Could addressing safety lead to playoffs?

Discussion in 'Chicago Bears' started by riczaj01, Apr 15, 2014.

  1. riczaj01

    riczaj01 DaBears Ditka DBS Writer

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    http://espn.go.com/blog/chicago/bears/

    Could addressing safety lead to playoffs?
    April, 15, 2014

    Neil Hornsby over at Pro Football Focus put together a piece Wednesday identifying five teams that could push themselves into the playoffs by identifying and addressing one specific positional need in the upcoming NFL draft.

    He pointed to Carolina in 2013 as an example. Headed into last year’s draft, the Panthers needed to fix issues at defensive tackle. They did so by drafting interior linemen Star Lotulelei and Kawaan Short with their first two selections, turning what had been identified as a glaring weakness into a major strength.

    For the Chicago Bears, the significant weakness, according to Hornsby, is the safety position.

    Horsby writes: “It would be far from unfair to say the worst position group in football last year was the Bears' collection of safeties. Both regular starters were listed in the worst five of our 86 ranked players at the position. Major Wright and Chris Conte combined to give up more than 1,000 yards in the air, and if anything, were worse as run defenders. Both missed more than 10 tackles in that phase alone, and were both in the top 10 for missed tackles overall.”

    Obviously, the Bears tried to upgrade the safety position in free agency by acquiring Ryan Mundy, M.D. Jennings, and Danny McCray. But at this point, those players appear to be depth signings, capable of starting games in a pinch. The club needs to raise the talent level, especially now that Conte might end up missing some training camp coming off a shoulder surgery.

    Though it’s unclear whether the Bears will address safety immediately with the No. 14 pick, it’s pretty much guaranteed that at some point in the draft the team will take one, possibly even two.

    By Hornsby’s rationale, that could be the difference in the Bears earning their first trip to the playoffs since the 2010 season
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2014
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  2. riczaj01

    riczaj01 DaBears Ditka DBS Writer

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    This article pretty much sums up my feelings, especially this part. They've solidified the DL, and could probably use a DT/NT, but the S's went from average to bad in 1 year. No matter the reason, even if the DL is fixed or not, average at best cannot be acceptable.
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  3. Bearsinhouston

    Bearsinhouston Hall of Famer

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    I'm not arguing either way, because I am not going to pretend to know, but it's very possible the safeties were bad the year everyone thought they were average. Good play up front and by the LB's and CB's means a lot less is asked of them.
    I just plain don't know, but I suspect they have been pretty bad for a while and have just been exposed.
  4. riczaj01

    riczaj01 DaBears Ditka DBS Writer

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    BiH, I wante them replaced last offseason b/c I constantly saw them get burned when the DL didn't get pressure and the CB's handed off the player. Again when EVERYTHING was great in front of them, they were average, when they EVERYTHING fell to hell in front of them they were literally the worst in the league, so the truth is Wright and Conte are somewhere between average and awful, and that just isn't good enough.
  5. Henry Burris

    Henry Burris Head Coach

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    They went from average(conte)/bad(Wright; don't forget, lovie used a LOT of Cover 3 to allow Tillman to make up for Wright's ineptitude) to bad/horrible last year, largely because the d-line wasn't there to mask the secondary's inefficiencies.


    With that said, our linebackers are still question marks, we don't have enough talent or depth at DT/NT AND we might be forgetting that the Packers lost Rodgers for much of the season. Long story short, we're going to have to do more than fix just one position to ensure we can keep pace with the Pack.
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  6. riczaj01

    riczaj01 DaBears Ditka DBS Writer

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    A lot of issues still w/our team and could easily create the same problems last year, like you said LB's, hell even CB if Tillman goes down again. Even if the DL is fixed and is MUCH improved, the rest of the front 7 could be an issue which would still create a need for the S's to play above average.
  7. Bearsinhouston

    Bearsinhouston Hall of Famer

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    Yeah, I agree. Our whole secondary can use some work. I think our CB situation is solid, but it can use work in the sense that this may be the last year it is sold and an injury is something that I think would take it from solid to turd-level.

    S is a huge issue, and I also agree with LB being questionable despite the small army if LB we have brought in. I'm still thinking that the odds defy them all being bad and either the schemes, coaching or both played a big factor. Herring is a solid coach, so I am hopeful for next year, but I would probably still make an LB move assuming we could with all our other needs.

    I think (hope) that next year we won't have all of the issues we had this year and can start to maybe look at more of a BPA and just start upgrading in general. Emery makes MANY upgrades in FA and I am not used to that. If we used to somewhat address one or maybe two needs under JA, that would be good. Now Emery makes like 3 or 4 upgrades (2 at DE, DT, several S - all JA type picks though...), etc. We seem to be able to go after our weakest links in FA and at this rate, we will be a good team in the near future.
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2014
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  8. Grizzblue

    Grizzblue Pro-Bowler

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    I still think Calvin Pryor would be an excellent pick. Great tackler who can and will help in run support, with the coverage skills that are just one slight step behind Dix. I have always from day one viewed Pryor as an equal to Dix when you compare the entire skillset. They are both similar players with Pryor a bit better tackler and in run support and Dix slightly better in coverage. Pryor's X factor is his ability to detonate the big time hit over the middle on in run support and contrary to some I still think theres value in that when done correctly and legally.
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  9. Bearsinhouston

    Bearsinhouston Hall of Famer

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    Ric - can't disagree, but the OL was a dumpster fire and much more important. I think we made the right move, but that means we still have a S issue. He also addressed the LB issue, but that might not have really fixed it yet. We'll have to see.
  10. riczaj01

    riczaj01 DaBears Ditka DBS Writer

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    No it couldn't be addressed last year unless the team was able to find a diamond in the draft or FA. I agree the LB is still a problem.
  11. Grizzblue

    Grizzblue Pro-Bowler

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    I don't think LB is as big of a problem as some do on here. I put that need in the tier 2 needs with RB2 and QB2. As for our primary needs I still think its S,DT,CB
  12. riczaj01

    riczaj01 DaBears Ditka DBS Writer

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    WILL: Briggs/Greene
    ILB: DJ/Bostic
    SAM: Shea/Bostic

    You don't see a glaring problem there? I have 1000% more confidence in Palmer(B/c of Trestman/OL/WR's/RB/TE) and Ford then I do the LB core outside of Briggs.
  13. Grizzblue

    Grizzblue Pro-Bowler

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    I said in another thread that I would guess right now it looks something like this

    WLB: Briggs/Bostic/Greene
    MLB DJ/Bostic/Shea
    SLB: Shea/Greene/Bostic

    Bostic is still talented, as with most other players we can't judge based on the train wreck that was last year. Greene has talent that was apparent in college and we can't write him completely off after a rookie year. Him and Bostic have yet to have a full off season with a full slate of NFL workouts and studies, so I do expect improvement from them. Shea is another wildcard. He is finally playing the position he should have been all along and we frankly have no idea what we have in him. Maybe we can add depth in the later rounds and UDFA land but to invest a high pick on a LB may end up with us making a lateral move on a player we already have, and sending one to another team down the line. There is no positive long term situation at DT, S, or CB. We have 3 young guys 2 of them top 2 picks in the LB corps, so may be wise to wait a year before we reinvest a top pick there so we can see who goes where and what they can do.
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  14. JustAnotherBearsFan99

    JustAnotherBearsFan99 Coordinator SuperFan DBS Writer

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    Phil will take care of the safety position in the draft. He's not stupid.
  15. Bearsinhouston

    Bearsinhouston Hall of Famer

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    I actually never thought I would say this, but I'm not really sure how high my confidence in Briggs and his harness is right now either.
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  16. JustAnotherBearsFan99

    JustAnotherBearsFan99 Coordinator SuperFan DBS Writer

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    Maybe Conte will have one of those harnesses after his shoulder surgery too, and they can work on using them together to just "hook" or snag runners & bring 'em down. If it's effective, maybe we can get Shea to wear one.
    [​IMG]
  17. Bearsinhouston

    Bearsinhouston Hall of Famer

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    I like it. Get me two in blue and orange.
  18. dachuckster

    dachuckster Veteran SuperFan

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    Can you get one that has a drink cup? I can see that it would take a lot of stress of your shoulder when drinking during the game.
  19. Bearsinhouston

    Bearsinhouston Hall of Famer

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    Excellent idea. A little value-add. I think I'll have some people start on an "armpit holster" since the hat straw idea is already taken. Damn them for taking all the good ideas....
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  20. riczaj01

    riczaj01 DaBears Ditka DBS Writer

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    I'm not saying they don't have talent, but to assume they will be fine is a huge gamble, at best, especially w/2 vets that haven't shown an ability to stay healthy or that will be healthy this year. If Briggs/DJ were to go down we'd have no depth and would be realying on a near bust and 2 guys that haven't shown they deserve to start, going into the season like that is beyond ballsy.

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