Frustrated Lance Briggs laments Bears 'transition'

Discussion in 'Chicago Bears' started by The Benjamin, Mar 7, 2014.

  1. The Benjamin

    The Benjamin George Halas Staff Member

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    By Rich Campbell

    Tribune reporter

    10:13 AM CST, March 7, 2014

    Linebacker Lance Briggs on Friday morning lamented some painful transitions involving his “brothers” on the Chicago Bears defense.

    Briggs conducted a wide-ranging interview on WGWG-FM 87.7 in which he endorsed defensive coordinator Mel Tucker more strongly than any Bears player has. He also was obviously pained by the possibility that the Bears could move on from pending free-agent cornerback Charles Tillman in the same manner it has from past cornerstones such as linebacker Brian Urlacher in 2013 and return specialist Devin Hester on Thursday.

    “Right now, you know, I’m thinking about the whole situation as positive as I can,” Briggs said on the radio. “I really truly hope that the organization makes the right decision regarding Peanut. Peanut, I can’t say enough about what he has meant to the organization, the city and myself. I really can’t imagine playing without him. They took—I mean, one of my brothers didn’t get a chance to come back this past year. Now, hopefully the other one gets to stay. We’ll see.”

    Bears general manager Phil Emery has repeatedly expressed his desire to get younger on defense, particularly after the Bears ranked last in the NFL in yards allowed per play last season and surrendered the most yards in franchise history. The marquee move of that process was not re-signing Urlacher, a future Hall of Famer, in 2013, which was Emery’s second season in his role.

    “It has been a transition period for the Bears, I think, ever since Emery came in,” Briggs said. “I think there’s a big push to get younger, and I understand that. But guys, players like Peanut and myself, are guys that regardless of our age we still play at a high level, at an elite level. If you’re producing, if you can produce, in this game, then to me you hold value.”

    Tillman, 33, a two-time Pro Bowler, appears headed to the free-agent market when it opens on Tuesday at 3 p.m.

    Briggs, 33, was downbeat about the organization’s decision not to re-sign Hester, which it announced Thursday.

    “It’s sad, man,” he said. “For a guy like me, and Peanut and Brian who have been here a long time, we’ve seen a lot of guys come and go, and I think we all know our time is coming, but it’s sad when it does. And I hate to see a guy like Devin and what he has meant to this city and to the Bears’ organization not brought back. He’s a guy that I’ve become very close with from the day he got there, to over the years we’ve gotten closer and closer. It’s hard with the bond that you build with all your brothers. It kind of just sucks.”

    Briggs said he agreed with radio host David Kaplan after Kaplan expressed his displeasure about how the Bears publicly handled the Hester decision. Kaplan opined the team should have hosted a media event at its headquarters with more fanfare instead of emailing a press release and tweeting its gratitude for Hester’s service.

    "I don’t what the format is for when you have players like Brian and Devin and you’re parting ways,” Briggs said. “I envision it the same way you do. But at the end of the day, I’m just a football player. And when my time comes, I don’t expect anything more or less than a tweet saying we’re parting ways with Lance. It’s not going to hurt my feelings or anything like that. I think that’s more so for the respect of the people that have appreciated these players over the years, that say these guys these guys should be due more respect for what they’ve done and what they’ve meant to everyone.”

    As Briggs looked ahead, he expressed his determination to improve the defense. He supported Tucker as the qualified coordinator to lead that effort.

    “I know that whatever comes out of Mel’s mouth is sincere,” he said. “I know that Mel knows what he’s doing. I know that I can sit in a room and break down tape with Mel and know exactly what he means and know what he’s trying to achieve. The calls that Mel made during the year were the right calls. Shoot, 98 percent of the calls that he made were the right calls. We just didn’t execute. Guys didn’t execute.

    “It’s frustrating, and I know how frustrated he is because I’m frustrated watching from the sideline. That’s just the way it was. It was a terrible year for us defensively. It was the worst I’ve ever been part of in the Bears’ history, but it was also a transition year (with) a lot of changes, a lot of young guys, a lot of injuries. There were a lot of things that were going on. Not to many any excuse, but this next year it must be better. It is what it is. We can’t change anything from last year but we can change moving forward.”

    rcampbell@tribune.com

    Twitter @Rich_Campbell
  2. butkus3595

    butkus3595 Pro-Bowler

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    Solid interview and classy. Obviously he's going to be upset to see guys he played his whole career with go. Heck look at what's going in New Orleans...they just let go of two MAJOR CONTRIBUTORS....this is the business of football.
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  3. Jimmors

    Jimmors The Rhymenoceros Staff Member SuperFan

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    Part of it is business, sure. But part of it is that you have a new regime in charge, and with that, you are going to have turnover as they try and build the team in THEIR own way.

    Example: Angelo and Lovie thought it was a bright idea to put Hester in as WR, based on his return production alone.
    Compared to: Emery and Trestman who drafted a REAL WR in Jeffery.
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  4. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    That's exactly what I've been pointing out and although age, cap cost, and performance is a part of it this team is letting players go who still had something to offer and who have been loyal to the organization for years. In comes the new Sherriff and his trusty side kick and those guys are gone but NOT actually replaced and there's a big difference in restocking your team that way and the way Emery and Trestman are going about it.

    The part of the article Benji posted, I bold faced and highlighted is exactly what I believe as well and I'm glad Briggs had enough balls to come out and say it because it's true. The fact is there was nothing in the performance of those two guys before they went out with injuries that in anyway indicated they were losing it. The only thing that was lost was their leadership, their play, and a whole lot of football games that should have been won.

    You get younger by signing FA or drafting rookies you hope can replace aging stars but releasing them before you have them makes me wonder what their real reason for doing it is. Money cannot be the only issue because in most cases there was money to keep them if they had wanted to. I don't believe that situation has changed this year either and yet the outcome may well be the same and because of it the team and the fans suffer.

    If I have to watch another year of defensive atrocity like I did last year I'm coming back to Chicago to hang Emery and Tucker myself and I'm gonna ask Trestman to blindfold them and put the noose around their necks. Let me also say that I am NOT a fan of David Kaplan at all but in this case he was spot on. The Bears put out a press release thanking Hester for announcing his own departure!!! Wow, just how arrogant is that?
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 8, 2014
  5. a_miljan

    a_miljan Veteran

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    ok, Briggs is gone next year
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  6. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    :rofl2::rofl2::rofl2: That's what he gets for going public with his concerns, LOL.

    But he also very cleverly slides to Tucker's defense in order to balance the scales. Make no mistake on the whole Briggs is watching out for #1 first, last and always. You notice he lumped himself in with Peanut and Briggs is in contract for another year so he already hedging his bets. His rep for doing it proceeds him not that I object to it at all. You gotta be selling, selling, selling all the time and maybe that's Peanuts problem. He's being too passive.
  7. a_miljan

    a_miljan Veteran

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    Pnut is a rare true gentleman (in nfl) thats why we should offer him a nice 1 or 2y contract, second year optional
  8. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    I truly believe he's good for two more years at CB and then he'll retire rather than move to Safety. That's just too brutal a position to play at his age. If Emery will offer him a fair deal for two years I believe he'll stay and I also believe he'd be willing to accept some adjustments if he is injured which defeats all debates about that. That's how Garza's deal is structured. He has a base and a per game bonus for each one he plays.

    Hell Champ Bailey was still putting up Pro Bowl level seasons until he was injured last year and he was 32 when he got a $40 mil 4 year deal. The Broncos just released him but mainly because his salary this year was $10 mil! Peanut keeps himself in good shape and he's never been an injury prone player. I just hope they see the value in keeping him until they do find a good replacement and Bowman ain't it.
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  9. riczaj01

    riczaj01 DaBears Ditka DBS Writer

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    I'm sure a lot of the OLD Lovie players feel this way, not that there are that many left. When Lovie was fired I said this was going to happen, then guys like BU, Roach, Izzy were either offered bare bones contracts or nothing at all, now P-Nut is likely gone along w/Wright and Steltz and Melton.

    But there is another aspect that people forget while they center on this; these players were also either old or not very good, inj'd or were DRASTICALLY overpaid by another team. Jennings was a Lovie guy, re signed, he is also young and has played at a high level. Of the old guard, if the level of play is then Emery will try and keep them, if not then ba-bye; you know the NFL. Loyalty is highly talked about but rarely is it ever shown by either side player or team.

    What loyalty got shown by NE during their dynasty era in the 2000's; they still don't show it now as it's coming to an end. Did BU show loyalty when he held out and threatened to retire before he got his last contract extension? Did Cutler show any loyalty by offering the Bears a "hometown discount"? Loyalty is a schload of BS thrown up by the person about to get bent over by the other party, but when they are the ones standing tall know mention is ever made of it and it's all about how the NFL is a business.

    Long story short, welcome to the NFL Briggs, but then again you knew that already Lance, this is you just backing BU and the other Lovie guys; the ones you are still loyal too.
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  10. JustAnotherBearsFan99

    JustAnotherBearsFan99 Coordinator SuperFan DBS Writer

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    He'll be "welcomed back with open arms" by Emery now. :-(

    [​IMG]
  11. BSBEARS

    BSBEARS Pro-Bowler

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    I am not expecting Briggs back after this season. He will be old in football terms as well. He will soon be in the same boat. If he has an excellent season he may get a 1 or 2 yr deal and surprise me but I would trade him. If he is so valuable and worth all that money surely some team will give a high round pick for him if he is worth so much.:36_1_11[1]::7_4_14[1]::10_6_5[1]::10_7_5[1]::14_6_6[1]:
  12. BearJim

    BearJim Veteran SuperFan DBS Writer

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    BSB, is this the last year of his contract?

    By the way, cool avatar!
  13. BSBEARS

    BSBEARS Pro-Bowler

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    Yes, Briggs will be a F/A after this yr
  14. BearJim

    BearJim Veteran SuperFan DBS Writer

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    Thanks BSB. I'd say that this year will probably be his last in Chicago. Especially if we don't sign Tillman.
  15. omc1969

    omc1969 Veteran

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    For all the hand wringing going on I would remind some that it's all simply a part of the NFL. Sure we would all like to see all our good players stay but there is a "Shelf Life" involved here. This is NOT like Mikey dismantling the SB Bears of the 80's. It's about good players who are at the end of their careers weather we like it or not. Time marches on and I just hope the younger players Emery brings in can do for the "D" what players like Long and A.J. have done for the "O".
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  16. BSBEARS

    BSBEARS Pro-Bowler

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    There needs to be a balance with young and OLD. Just do not want your old in Wheelchairs and walkers. You need Veteran leadership and next yr will be yr 3 for Bostic and I would hope he could fill the Leadership role of Briggs. Jennings will have to fill Peanuts role for the DB's, depending on the new Safeties and FAgents. Ratliff is a savy Vet and fills it on the DLine. The balance of young and old blood is vital to a teams success, but when the talent of the old blood is similar to the Old blood you need to move on. It is the GM's job to ensure you have the young blood in place. Without it you need FAgents to fill the gaps. That is where JA left us and so Emerys efforts have been seen on Offense. Missing on McClellan at DE really hurt, hopefully as a LB it will be forgotten. Its time for McClellan and Bostic to step up, I still expect Bostic to make some errors but show vast improvent. The following yr he needs to Make his second rd pick show value.
  17. MPbears68

    MPbears68 Pro-Bowler

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    This is Briggs last year. Bostic is his replacement. Lets just get that out now so a year from now we aren't having a nonsensical argument about Emery unfairly "purging" the roster of Lovie guys purely out of spite.
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  18. JustAnotherBearsFan99

    JustAnotherBearsFan99 Coordinator SuperFan DBS Writer

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    You have no idea how deep the conspiracy is. If only it stopped at Emery/Trestman.

    [​IMG]
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  19. riczaj01

    riczaj01 DaBears Ditka DBS Writer

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    Well there is something Obama and I can agree on, only took 7 years
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  20. Trackguy

    Trackguy Veteran

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    So, he thinks there should be more fanfare, like a big press conference to announce to a player that his services are no longer wanted? Think that one through, Lance. Would you like to be trotted out in front of everyone and told "we don't want you anymore"?
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