Brad Biggs Mailbag; Q&A With Fans.........

Discussion in 'Chicago Bears' started by soulman, Jun 17, 2014.

  1. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    Readers Q&A: Brad Biggs' Bears mailbag

    The Tribune's Bears reporter answers readers' questions about the defensive line, getting tickets and Jordan Lynch



    8:29 a.m. CDT, June 16, 2014

    In your opinion, did the Bears improve their defensive line with the additions of Jared Allen, Lamarr Houston, Willie Young, Ego Ferguson and Will Sutton? Conversely, did the loss of Henry Melton, Corey Wootton and especially Julius Peppers to conference and division rivals actually weaken them up front? – Paul, Decatur, Ill.

    Jay Cutler received the biggest pay day from the Bears this offseason but general manager Phil Emery made the largest investment of overall resources on the defensive line. Allen, Houston and Young were signed to significant contracts in free agency and then the Bears used draft picks in the second and third rounds on Ferguson and Sutton, respectively. I would be willing to bet Emery expects the defensive line, as a position group, to make the most improvement from 2013. As far as getting weaker, that is hard to say until we see where Melton is at with the Cowboys. If he’s a very productive three technique tackle again, he could very well be better than any player the Bears have at that position on their roster. But in a year of trying, the Bears never came close to re-signing him. Sometimes that happens. Peppers will probably add a little juice to the Packers. How much remains to be seen. Wootton, provided he returns healthy from hip surgery, will be a nice addition to the rotation in Minnesota. But there is no question the Bears feel better about their end rotation with Allen, Houston and Young right now. On paper anyway the line looks like it will be much improved.


    If things don't work out for Jordan Lynch at running back, do you think the Bears would try him at safety? If you remember, this worked out pretty well for Tony Dungy and Nolan Cromwell. – Carl N., Forest Park

    Cromwell was a terrific defensive player for the Rams beginning in the late 1970s and a four-time Pro Bowl selection and three-time All-Pro. But let’s not confuse the excellence of Dungy’s career as a coach with his playing career. According to Pro Football Reference, he made nine starts for the Steelers and 49ers over three seasons in the league. There are plenty of quarterbacks who haven’t made the successful move to safety. Scott Frost did so for a brief period of time. It never clicked for Eric Crouch or Bradlee Van Pelt. I don’t see a position switch in the mix for Lynch. His best skills right now are when he has the ball in his hands. Let’s see how he does with that when the pads go on and he will have to make a real mark on special teams to have a shot to make the roster. Let’s see if he can be a running back before spending too much time wondering about him playing defense.


    My question is in regards to tickets to home games. I am planning on attending the Nov. 16 game against the Vikings. I'm struggling to decide what to do about game tickets. My airline is already reserved! I am bringing my 70-year-old aunt and grandstand seats do not seem feasible. What are the odds of snagging tickets through Ticketmaster when they go on sale? Any buzz yet when they will be available? – Tawnya C., Carson City, Nev.

    The Bears put single-game tickets on sale July 18 last summer and tickets went on sale on July 13 in 2012. Barring a change in plans, I’d expect the club to maintain a similar timeline this year. Generally, an announcement is made several days before the ticket window opens. My guess is tickets will be sold relatively quickly. Good luck.


    The Bears have not done well with free agents or draft picks at the safety positions while running the Tampa Two. The odds of the sheer number of players that have been tried not working out points to the scheme being an issue. Have other teams fared much better using Cover Two as heavily as the Bears, elite players aside? Mike Brown and Bob Sanders-type players can thrive but are also special talents. Does even the above average player have the deck stacked against them from the beginning? I’m thinking of Tony Parrish, who did well after leaving Chicago, getting out before the downhill run fits broke him down like the other two mentioned above. If the scheme is at least partly to blame, could the move away from Tampa Two be the reason that Phil Emery felt less pressure to draft a safety early than most draft experts expected? And also could this be very good news for Chris Conte? – Steve A., Keene, N.H.

    The Bears over the last two seasons, under Lovie Smith and Mel Tucker, have probably played as much or more single high safety as they have Cover Two. Every team in the league plays Cover Two. Even the ones with exotic pressure packages. It’s about players and personnel and the Bears haven’t drafted well at the position over a period of time. They’ve also tried filling needs at the position with late-round picks. I think you’re really overthinking this one. Scheme is secondary to talent. The Seahawks were as basic as you can imagine against the Broncos in the Super Bowl. It was almost entirely Cover One and Cover Three. But they had better players and they dominated Peyton Manning and Co. Conte had a poor season a year ago, particularly in the second half of the season. Blaming the scheme is looking for a crutch.


    Is there any chance the Bears play Jon Bostic in the nickel but start D.J. Williams and Shea McClellin in the base package? -- @pmthompson9 from Twitter

    The only thing that will not change is Lance Briggs is going to be the starter on the weak side. Everything else is up in the air right now. From what I’ve seen through OTAs, they’re trying different combinations and allowing Bostic and McClellin to get time in the middle and on the strong side. I’ve maintained all along Williams is the man to beat out in the middle but this competition reaches the next level when training camp opens.


    How has Jordan Mills looked in the OTAs? Is his foot fully recovered from surgery? -- @leeper21 from Twitter

    Mills was fully cleared to return to action before OTAs started. He’s looked good moving around.


    Not much talk about the two big boys in the middle? How do Ego Ferguson and Will Sutton look so far sans pads? -- @chibcp from Twitter

    I think you’re asking for a difficult evaluation when you talk about defensive tackles not wearing pads. Both players have gotten looks here and there with the first unit. Sutton doesn’t have an ideal football body but the Bears knew that when they got him. Lance Briggs doesn’t exactly look the part either but he’s been a high-level performer. I expect both to challenge for time in the rotation during training camp.


    Do you think Christian Jones can make a difference for the Bears? -- @briansiviax21 from Twitter

    Jones is an intriguing guy and there were a lot of questions about him right after the draft. He’s in a decent position when you consider the Bears did not spend a draft pick on a linebacker this year. But there are a handful of young players at the position and those young players that were drafted will get a crack at things ahead of an undrafted free agent like Jones. That being said, he’s got good size at 6-3, 240 pounds, and he’s very athletic. If he’s going to make a big mark on the roster this season, or make the team period, it’s going to have to start on special teams. The good news for Jones is I know special teams coordinator Joe DeCamillis was high on him coming out of the draft. We’ll see how this shakes out.


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  2. JustAnotherBearsFan99

    JustAnotherBearsFan99 Coordinator SuperFan DBS Writer

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    Why is this so hard for some fans to grasp? There is no magic scheme. Ultimately you need talent. No magic scheme is going to transform crappy talent into a great defense.
  3. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    Yep, best it can do is hide some shortcomings until you get up against a team who knows exactly how to exploit them. One good example of that is how well Rodgers and the Packers were able to exploit the soft spots in Lovie's Cover-2 if he didn't get in his grill or contain him. Another was how Seattle played Manning. They took away his short game and brought so much pressure he had no time to exploit man coverage deep. The Broncos lived by the short timing passes and then died by them.

    If you want to win a championship IMHO you do it be having few if any holes in your defense. Stonewall the running game, get a lead so your force the other guy to throw and then bring the heat. I now see a Bears defense with plenty of DL and LBs who can bring pressure and create sacks the huge question is how well do they play the run this year? They need to solve that riddle first and become one of those defenses teams can't run on successfully like they always have been.
  4. riczaj01

    riczaj01 DaBears Ditka DBS Writer

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    same w/Turner/Martz and all the OC's before them, gotta have talent to be able to run an O scheme. If your starting WR's are Moose and Berrian then no matter who the qb is the O will be limited...and sadly the WR core went down from there before it got better.

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