Bears position outlook: all but the qb

Discussion in 'Chicago Bears' started by riczaj01, Jan 21, 2014.

  1. riczaj01

    riczaj01

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    Bears position outlook: Running backs
    January, 21, 2014
    Jan 21
    8:00
    AM ET
    By Michael C. Wright | ESPN.com
    2014 free agents: None.

    [​IMG] Forte The good: Matt Forte earned his second Pro Bowl berth after finishing the season ranked No. 2 in the NFL with 1,339 rushing yards, third in yards from scrimmage (1,933), third in first downs (97), fourth in receiving yardage by running backs (594) and tied for No. 6 in rushing touchdowns (nine). The rushing yardage and yards from scrimmage were career bests for Forte. In all, Forte ranked in the top 10 in eight statistical categories, while also serving as a crucial component of the protection schemes. Forte’s primary backup, Michael Bush, finished second on the team in rushing with 197 yards.

    [​IMG] Bush The bad: As well as Forte played in 2013, he can’t do it all by himself. So the Bears need to explore the possibility of bringing in a complementary back. Bush averaged just 3.1 yards per attempt, and ran seven times for minus-five yards in a Nov. 24 loss at St. Louis. Given that Bush outweighs Forte by 27 pounds, it would seem logical he’d be a more viable short-yardage option. But that didn’t seem to be the case in 2013. The team’s 1,828 rushing yards ranked as the team’s lowest total in three years, and the 404 attempts were the club’s fewest since 2009. The Bears also finished last in the league in third-and-1 rushing situations, converting just 33.3 percent.

    The money (2014 salary-cap numbers): Forte ($7.5 million), Bush ($3.85 million), Tony Fiammetta ($730,000), Michael Ford ($496,616). The cap numbers are manageable, but the Bears might look into upgrading in Bush’s spot given that his contributions aren’t commensurate to the $3.85 million cap figure. Perhaps the Bears will give Ford an opportunity to win the No. 2 job during training camp. Ford excelled during training camp and tied with Forte for the team lead in preseason rushing, but he’ll have to improve at pass protection for the team to feel comfortable enough to increase his role.

    Draft priority: Low. The Bears would be fine going into the season with Bush as the primary backup to Forte. But it wouldn’t be a bad idea to see whether they can upgrade there because Forte, while healthy in 2013, has missed time in the past. Teams are increasingly going to a running back-by-committee approach, but in Chicago, Forte has shouldered the majority of the workload. That just doesn’t seem to be a sustainable plan moving forward.



    So it seems the 4 letter network will do this for every position, I posted the QB one in a qb thread, I figured I just do this one and the others in this thread. As I see them posted I'll add them in.

    I agree w/the assessment, no need to draft a rb early or possibly even late, you can get good backup rb's in the late rd's and UDFA, you can get them in FA cheaper then we got Bush.
  2. riczaj01

    riczaj01

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    Bears position outlook: Receivers
    January, 22, 2014
    8:00 AM ET
    By Michael C. Wright | ESPN.com

    2014 free agents: None.

    The good: On the way to making it to the Pro Bowl, receivers Alshon Jeffery and Brandon Marshall racked up 1,421 and 1,295 yards, respectively, to finish sixth and 11th in the NFL in receiving yardage. Their combined 2,716 yards ranked as the second most of any receiver duo in the NFL, behind only Denver’s Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker (2,718). Marshall and Jeffery’s combined yardage total represents the most by a duo in Bears franchise history. When teams focused on Marshall, Jeffery often took advantage of single coverage, which helped him to become the only receiver in Bears history to produce two 200-yard receiving games in a season. That production moving forward will likely change the way teams defend Marshall and Jeffery.

    The bad: Because of all the weaponry at the offense’s disposal, the Bears weren’t able to utilize much of the receiving corps outside of Marshall and Jeffery. Running back Matt Forte finished third in receptions (74), with tight end Martellus Bennett right behind with 65 grabs. So as difficult as it may be moving forward, the Bears would probably like to get their No. 3 and No.4 receivers more involved. No. 3 receiver Earl Bennett played in 15 games, but finished with a 243 yards receiving, his lowest total since 2009. Rookie Marquess Wilson played the No. 4 role, but caught just two balls for 13 yards as he was inactive or didn’t play in six contests.

    The money (2014 salary-cap numbers): Marshall ($9.3 million), Earl Bennett ($2.45 million), Eric Weems ($1.6 million), Jeffery ($1, 240,317), Wilson ($506,787), Chris Williams ($495,000), Terrence Toliver ($420,000).

    Draft priority: Low. The Bears appear to be set going into 2014 with the receivers currently on the roster. But they might consider trying to extend Marshall prior to the season to try to lower his cap figure and prevent him from hitting free agency. Bennett took a pay cut in 2013, and it wouldn’t be a surprise if the club asked him to take another going into the season. If Williams makes it to training camp, he could challenge for one of the auxiliary receiving spots as well as the job of primary return man.

    tend to agree w/this also. Expect maybe a very late round WR if the team trades back, or more likely a UDFA. Weems and Earl are all but gone thouh, so Wilson/TT are likely the first 2 and C Will and a UDFA are likely to fill in that final spot.
  3. GermansbombedPH

    GermansbombedPH

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    We could use another developmental WR that can return kicks. I have a feeling we won't cut Weems and let him do the returns. I don't like that.
  4. riczaj01

    riczaj01

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    I'd be sick of that happened German, Weems is even more useless then Hester is.
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  5. riczaj01

    riczaj01

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    Bears position outlook: Tight ends
    January, 23, 2014
    8:00AM ET

    By Michael C. Wright | ESPN.com
    2014 free agents: Dante Rosario.

    [​IMG] Bennett The good: Free-agent acquisition Martellus Bennett finished with 65 catches for 759 yards and five touchdowns as he produced career highs in receptions, and receiving yards while tying a career high for TDs. Bennett ranked eighth among NFL tight ends in catches, tied for ninth in yards and tied for 12th in TD receptions. Bennett is now one of eight tight ends in the league to gain more than 1,000 receiving yards in addition to catching at least 10 TD passes since 2012. Bennett also finished third on the team in receiving yardage and fourth in receptions, providing Chicago the threat down the middle of the field it had lacked in years past.

    The bad: Bennett was plagued by nagging injuries, and that limited his effectiveness as a blocker on occasion, especially in the first three games. Bennett gave up two sacks and was responsible for six hurries on the season. The Bears often brought in offensive tackle Eben Britton as an extra blocker at the tight end position. Rosario played in 15 games with three starts, but caught only one pass for 13 yards while promising prospect Fendi Onobun spent the entire season on Chicago’s practice squad.

    The money (2014 salary-cap numbers): Bennett ($6.025 million), Zach Miller ($645,000), Onobun ($570,000).

    Draft priority: Low. Bennett is an ideal fit for what the Bears do offensively, and if one of the club’s younger players such as Miller or Onobun steps up, the team could be set for years to come at the position. Athletically, Onobun is probably the most talented tight end on the roster. But he’s struggled to make the transition into the NFL game, and has been plagued by concentration lapses. Miller, meanwhile, is a former fifth-round pick of the Jacksonville Jaguars, and caught 41 passes over his first two seasons in the NFL, but has since bounced from Tampa Bay to Chicago. It’s unlikely the Bears will bring back Rosario.

    This is a position I see them trying to get someone in the draft, I would not have any faith in Miller or Onobun as the next legit backup to Bennett. Take a flyer in the 4-6th round and see if you can develop them.
  6. MPbears68

    MPbears68

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    Weems blows and he wasn't even a good gunner this past season which is supposedly his forte.
    He's a total waste of cap, cut him.
  7. mdbearz

    mdbearz

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    They need to draft ST specific guys in the late rounds, get rid of Hester, Weems, and Podlesh, time to move on from these guys.

    One the other hand Mills is a late round guy.

    Glad I'm not a GM.
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  8. mdbearz

    mdbearz

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    We have no one after M. Bennett that can catch a ball down field. I think Britton had more snaps at TE than anyone and that would not work. We need Fendi to step up this year or they need to move on from him too. He had some important drops during the preseason. He still has some potential, but so did Kellen Davis.

    I could see them taking a TE in the draft, because of the lack of depth.

    There is a guy out there in FA that might be worth a contract, Ed Dickson from the Ravens. He was one of those guys that infuriated me (I'm a Ravens fan too), because of his drops early on in his career.

    Dennis Pitta got most of the throw and when Dickson got his shot he usually dropped the ball. HOWEVER, this last year when Pitta was out most of the year, something clicked and the guy found his hands. Not just an occasional catch, but it seemed like he caught everything thrown his way, and he has always been the best blocking TE they had.

    Both Pitta and Dickson are FA, so I do not see them being able to keep both. I think that Dickson could be a steal in FA.
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2014
  9. riczaj01

    riczaj01

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    Md, I agree not sure it will be early or late, but I see this as a mid-late round draft need, and that's regardless of Fendi or Miller. If they can solidify some of the D players I could see them going after a guy as early as the 3rd or 4th, but that completely depends on how FA falls.
  10. JustAnotherBearsFan99

    JustAnotherBearsFan99 SuperFan

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    They must see something good in Fendi or they wouldn't have kept him on the PS. But we're the 6th team he's been on since 2010, so time has to be running out on the Fendi experiment in the NFL. He never played football in high school or college (he was a basketball player). On the plus side, there have been great TE's that have made the transition to football from basketball (Antonio Gates, Jimmy Graham & Tony Gonzalez). And we're currently using a baseball player at RG (Kyle Long). So changing sports at the NFL level can be done. But he sure looked like a stone-handed guy in camp/preseason. And I find it very interesting that a guy who's got unbelievably good measureables, and has been in the league since 2010, didn't get a sniff from another team when left on our practice squad with the rookies. If he had any value at all, you'd think a team would have tried to steal him (as we have done to other teams with other positions). But not a sniff.

    So I don't know what to think. We sure need someone other than M.Bennett on the roster.....anyone who can catch a football at TE.
  11. little bear

    little bear

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    Uhm, what?! :confused: Did I miss something?

    Onobun is horrible. Can't catch, can't run, has no instincts and you call him a "promising" prospect? Please Mr. Wright, put down the crack pipe.
  12. riczaj01

    riczaj01

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    JABF, the article says that he's the most athletic TE they have on the team, but he's struggling to convert from BBall to Football. Emery, much like JA, LOVES athletes over football players; Shea and Long were both athletes more then Football players.

    All I can do is assume they are hoping he makes a transistion this year and he becomes a legit option next year.


    lil b, he's promising b/c of his atheltic ability; and it was the article that called him promising, not me.
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  13. little bear

    little bear

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    I know that, bro. ;-)

    The thing is he's been in the NFL for 4 years and he still hasn't made a transition. How much time does he need? Another offseason? Preseason? A whole season?

    I don't want them to waste their time like they did with Kellen Davis. I'd give him till August. If he still hasn't made any progress, move on.
  14. riczaj01

    riczaj01

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    Lil B, he never played college or hs ball, i would guess it'd take several years...but that is why they need to draft a guy.
  15. JustAnotherBearsFan99

    JustAnotherBearsFan99 SuperFan

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    Here's the latest one. It's on the OL. I'm still trying to make up my mind about it. Is the OL "fixed" or just a fix in progress? Brad Biggs, in a Chicago Trib article today says we must go after a center THIS year.

    Last edited: Jan 24, 2014
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  16. little bear

    little bear

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    Unless Mills isn't ready for Training Camp and backup tackle Joe Long turns out to be a bust, I don't think we have to worry about the oline.

    Something I would have never thought to be able to say as Bears fan. lol
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  17. mdbearz

    mdbearz

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    Britton played as a Tackle Eligible in the heavy package and he played well, I think he even stepped in for Mills, so I would hope they bring him back.
    Brown is capable of taking over at either Guard position.
    I would like to see Slauson take over at Center, very similar to what Garza did.

    Bushrod,Long,Slauson,Brown,Mills if Garza is not coming back with Britton as the swing tackle.

    Same as last year if Garza comes back.

    Draft a guy late if at all, maybe UDFA.
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  18. little bear

    little bear

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    Of course Arkansas' C Travis Swanson would be pretty cool but we must not draft any offensive lineman in the second or third round. We've got more problems than that.
  19. JustAnotherBearsFan99

    JustAnotherBearsFan99 SuperFan

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    I liked how they used Britton. He was a big help blocking. I realize he's not a receiver, and just a lineman, so other teams paid zero attention to him as far as a receiving threat. He was just blocking, but wouldn't it have been cool to see him slip downfield and catch a pass since he was always tackle-eligeable? Towards the end of the season I thought they might use this and really catch a defense napping. I wonder if the guy can catch?
  20. tbear1

    tbear1

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    Britton stepped right in for Mills in the last game and played pretty good. He is still young. I say bring him back. They may be able to expand his role if Garza goes.

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