Good Article on The Gap with GB and offseason Moves

Discussion in 'Chicago Bears' started by Bearsinhouston, Apr 12, 2014.

  1. Bearsinhouston

    Bearsinhouston Assistant Head Coach
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    Very similar to what we all have been saying. He argues that we may have more talent than GB. Personally, I don't think so yet, but Were much much closer than we have been in years. This is exactly what George McCaskey had asked him to do.

    Jay Cutler, Chicago Bears primed to realize full potential in 2014
    • [​IMG]
    • By Adam Schein


    Seemingly out of the blue, without the hint of a whisper or rumor, Chicago Bears general manager Phil Emery brilliantly added to his purposeful and dreamy offseason early Wednesday morning.

    When Emery signed star defensive end Jared Allen to a four-year contract worth $32 million (with $15.5 million guaranteed), it capped a well-thought-out month of March with the ultimate free agency exclamation point.

    Instant Debate: Allen vs. Peppers
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    Jared Allen ( READ
    The gap between this team and the rival Green Bay Packers -- winners of the past three NFC North titles -- has narrowed greatly. In fact, one can intelligently argue that the Bears have the more talented overall roster.

    Green Bay, though, still employs Aaron Rodgers. And if thePackers and Bears played tomorrow or in Week 17, whether in Green Bay, Chicago or on the moon, I'd pick the Packers -- because of their quarterback.

    But that could change if the Bears' signal-caller takes the next step.

    Yes, Jay Cutler is now the single most important and pressurized player in the NFL's oldest rivalry -- and he's one of the most significant players in the NFL.

    Cutler has his skeptics. I'm not one. I think the eight-year veteran is up for the challenge and will make Emery look like a genius. He has no other choice.

    Last season, after backup quarterback Josh McCown replaced an injured Cutler with aplomb, head coach Marc Trestman rightly went back to Cutler the instant he was healthy enough to play. It was an unpopular decision among many Bears fans. To me, it was a no-brainer, as I wrote in a column at the time. It was a win for logic. Jay Cutler is a superior talent to Josh McCown, plain and simple.

    And right after the season ended, Emery immediately re-signed Cutler on a $126 million deal, which was also a fantastic decision. Cutler hasn't always played like a top-10 quarterback, but he's clearly a top-10 talent. Emery is banking on Cutler becoming even more consistent and dominant under the watchful eye of Trestman, a true quarterback/offensive guru. It's a good bet. Cutler improved last year as a player and leader. And when he wins, the critics will lay off of his demeanor. That's just the way it works.

    Free-Agent Tracker
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    Follow all the developments on the NFL's open market with our up-to-the-minute tracking of 2014's free agents. More...
    With the team Emery has formed around Cutler, the time to deliver is now.

    The Bears' defense was their weakness last season. As I wrote back in December, re-signing Cutler was the only play. The next step was to fill in the defensive gaps with savvy free agency moves.

    And Emery's moves have been extremely savvy.

    Allen greatly aids what was an ailing pass rush, as Chicago finished tied for last in sacks last season with 31. He's an upgrade from Julius Peppers, whom Emery jettisoned a few weeks ago. Peppers will help his new team, the rival Packers, but Allen is the younger and better player at this point. And Allen is a true leader, a true professional. It's a superb pickup for the locker room and practice field -- and an obvious boost on game day.

    Allen isn't the only pass rusher joining the fray. Emery wisely paid former Oakland Raider Lamarr Houston, a young (26), talented, well-rounded defensive lineman with his best football in front of him. Another spectacular move.

    Emery also overhauled the safety position by adding Ryan Mundy and M.D. Jennings. Chicago's refurbished secondary hardly resembles Seattle's "Legion of Boom," but this safety duo represents an upgrade from last year. It's logical.

    And you know that Emery will invest heavily on defense in May's draft, looking to acquire instant help at linebacker, defensive tackle or in the defensive backfield. You can focus on defense in the draft when you already have an offense this explosive. Brandon Marshall andAlshon Jeffery are beasts at receiver -- it's an unstoppable duo. Matt Forte is a great runner and receiver out of the backfield. Martellus Bennett is a weapon at tight end. And the line significantly improved last year, thanks largely to rookie guard Kyle Long.

    Which brings us full circle to Cutler.

    I believe he truly wants to win, and Trestman is the perfect coach to tap into his immense talent. This is their second offseason together. Time, experience and compatibility all matter in the growth of this ultra-important relationship. You cannot discount that.

    While Green Bay obviously serves as the juiciest measuring stick for Chicago, in reality, Cutler needs to step up for the Bears to keep up with the Joneses across the power-loaded NFC. These are heady times in the conference. Seattle, of course, just won the Super Bowlin astoundingly dominant fashion. San Francisco was a play away from beating the Seahawks in the NFC title game. Bruce Arians spent time at this week's NFL Annual Meeting talking about his Cardinals playing in this coming season's Arizona Super Bowl. (And general manager Steve Keim has added a great left tackle, a speed receiver, a pass-catching tight end and a gifted corner to that 10-win team.) I've already written about the Eagles' march to greatness, as well as the amazing competitiveness of the NFC South. Heck, the Giants,Vikings, Lions and Redskins have all upgraded in some form. And the talented young Rams have two top-15 draft picks.

    The NFC is packed to the gills with frighteningly good football teams. Hyperbole? No, it's accurate. The chase to be one of six playoff participants in this conference is going to be special.

    Emery's Bears are ready for prime time, but they only get there if Cutler shows that he's up to the most pressure-packed challenge of his career.

    With Trestman's guidance, I think Jay delivers.

    Follow Adam Schein on Twitter @AdamSchein.
     
  2. butkus3595

    butkus3595 Pro-Bowler

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    Solid article. I think he's on point...overall...right now, this roster has more talent than green bays does. The only area they have us is at the QB situation. They've got good receivers, I'd say ours are better. They've got a nice running back but right now forte is better. We're better at tight end by a mile, and our o-line is much better, and they lost their starting center from last year. Defensively we got MUCH MUCH better at d-end. Even if you want to consider Allen for Peppers a wash, Houston is better than Wooton, and anyone else we put out there last year, and young is a better 3rd end than anyone else we put out there last year. I'll take Briggs over any of their linebackers and williams too when he's healthy. They got us at safety right now...that's about it.
     
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  3. riczaj01

    riczaj01 DaBears Ditka
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    I think you can was the qb/wr thing. they don't need the great wr's/te's b/c of their qb our qb needs them, but b/c we have them he's every bit as capable as the better qb(theoretically).

    The rest is a wash until after the draft.
     
  4. JustAnotherBearsFan99

    JustAnotherBearsFan99 Assistant Head Coach
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    It will be interesting to see how Briggs plays this year coming back from a fractured shoulder & wearing a brace. He will turn 34 years old this season. He may, or may not be, able to play at the level he's performed in the past. D.J. Williams is coming off an injured reserve and is no spring chicken anymore too. He'll be 32 this summer and has had drug and legal issues. Our two rookies didn't exactly look like beasts last year either. It's possible that Briggs and Williams will be fine and the two youngsters will be much improved their second season. But it's not a "given" that the LB corps is solid. It remains to be seen what we have there in 2014. I'm really not worried so much about our DL and CB's. It's the LB's and safeties that concern me more at this point.

    2015 will be interesting as far as LB's. I wouldn't be surprised if both Briggs and DJ are gone after this season. Briggs would be 35 years old during the 2015 season.
     
    #4 JustAnotherBearsFan99, Apr 12, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2014
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  5. riczaj01

    riczaj01 DaBears Ditka
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    It's why Mosely is an interesting proposition, he MIGHT be able to play MLB, but can DEFINATELY play OLB which means that if either of these grey bears isn't able to stay healthy, or just needs rest you have a guy that can hopefully fill in for both, and HOPEFULLY Bostic can fill the other, IF She can fill SAM.
     
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  6. JustAnotherBearsFan99

    JustAnotherBearsFan99 Assistant Head Coach
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    +1

    I hope the Shea move works. But we could just have a bust there. If he flounders this year he's gone at the end of the season too.
     
  7. Henry Burris

    Henry Burris Head Coach

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    I agree with much of what has been said so far (our talent level is higher, but Rodgers is such a good QB, that he doesn't need the tools Cutler needs, to succeed and Briggs might be in physical decline), and would only add that I think the linebackers will probably be average at best, but if Lovie's last year has shown us anything, the linebackers can be the quietest part of the defense, and the D can still be top 3. To take it a step further: if Emery fixes the d-line this year the way he fixed the o-line last year, mediocre linebacker play won't be as glaring a problem as it was last year, and thus, isn't a big need going into the draft, imo.
     
  8. Bearsinhouston

    Bearsinhouston Assistant Head Coach
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    I agree. You can make a good argument for a top LB. You can do the same for a top CB or S as well as a DT. It will be interesting to see who is left and what direction Emery wants to go.
     
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  9. weneedmorelinemen

    weneedmorelinemen Pro-Bowler

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    For DJ, I'm hopeful that he has something left in the tank for this season. He's has not played very much football the past two years. He's managed to start 5 games in that time. Might just be the rest his body needed to get his second wind. Or he winds up on the trainer's table again and the Bears re-explore Bostic at MLB. I don't know what they do if Williams goes down again. They might need to address LB in the draft.

    Or, wait, maybe they move Shea to MLB, and he proves everyone that said he's the heir apparent to Urlacher right.
     
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  10. soulman

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    Time is gonna work it's way through that LB core and although I hope Briggs can turn his burners up on high for another year for a WLB who depends on his experience, tackling and coverage abilities to survive there has to come a time when age overcomes ability and the decline begins. It's hard to tell yet whether it has or not because of how poorly the entire defense played but Briggsy needs to come in lighter and in better shape than he was when he returned from his injury last year.

    If I'm the Bears I'd really be working hard on Bostic to get him ready to take over there next season just in case it all comes to a screeching halt for Briggs and his shoulder injury may be leading up to just that. One more major injury and I think that will be it. This is the main reason I'd like to see us pick up a good young MLB prospect in the draft to play behind DWill. I don't believe MLB is Bostic's best spot. If DWill can stay healthy he's a little like Ratliff. Low miles for his age since he's missed the better part of three seasons.

    We have to have a good year out of DWill and McClellin needs to show he belongs at LB. He was the #50 ranked NFL DE out of 50 and if this transition doesn't take he's as close to being a busted first round pick as you can get at least for the Bears. But if he can start to play like the Rob Ninkovich type Emery envisions then he'll become one of the most important parts of the defense. He's one of those guys who can be used a many different ways and positions so let's hope he "gets it".

    So there are question marks at LB but with 3 high draft picks invested there it's gonna be up to Coach Herring to get those guys playing well or McClellin won't be the only wasted pick. There are a couple of others who've spent time of the PS and STeams who might rise to the occasion as well but we still need another MLB and OLB prospect from the draft or UDFA. Once the problems on the line are resolved, and they sure as hell should be, I think the line backing will fall into place.

    On the good news front we really seemed to have improved ourselves dramatically at DE. FWIW B/R did a few of it's NFL Best by position and we now have 3 top 20 DEs and two of the 3 rate top 10. http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2002256-br-nfl-1000-top-50-4-3-defensive-ends. McClellin and Wootton were ranked at the very bottom although to be fair neither would get a fair shake based on playing in that 2013 defense but even with as few plays as he had with Detroit even Izzy outranked both of them. Nice to have him back.

    Jared Allen was actually the lowest ranked of the three at #16. Willie Young was ranked at #10 with a bullet and Lamarr Houston at #6 both more for their run defense and ability to disrupt and pressure as for being sack meisters extraordinaire like Allen. If the goal was to get better run defense out of the line then we got the right guys. Two of the best actually at least according to that ranking. Now we just need to lock down the NT and DT slots.

    Healthy again and with a year to get back in condition I think Ratliff will be a major run stopper if they can leave him at NT. Paea was playing better too until he got that turf toe injury so with those two healthy and in rotation I expect the middle to be much better protected. Collins is a decent 3 tech DT. Nothing special but he makes a nice partner to whoever else we can pair with him in rotation so this is where we need to find help in the draft.

    Overall that front seven should be far better this year and the depth should also be much greater so injuries won't be as big a factor.
     

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