Newcomer Anderson fitting in nicely with Bears

Discussion in 'Chicago Bears' started by short faced bear, Aug 6, 2013.

  1. short faced bear

    short faced bear Assistant Head Coach
    DBS Writer

    Mar 29, 2009
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    Veteran LB looking forward to exhibition opener vs. Panthers

    By Brad Biggs, Chicago Tribune reporter

    7:53 p.m. CDT, August 5, 2013

    BOURBONNAIS — When players talk about the "business" of the NFL, they often don't fully understand it until that part of the game has packed their bags for them and shipped them out the door.

    It was a business decision by a new front office that led the Panthers to release linebacker James Anderson on March 12, 18 months after the club signed him in a post-lockout spending spree to a $22 million, five-year contract that included $8.5 million in guarantees.

    After seven seasons in Carolina, the third-round draft pick from 2006 was on the street, suddenly confronted with realities of the business side of the game. Multiyear deals were scarce for veterans in free agency and in 12 days he landed a prove-it contract from the Bears — $1.25 million for one season.

    Nearing 30, it gives him a chance to perform well and possibly land one more multiyear contract.

    So, Anderson readies for the preseason opener Friday night at Bank of America Stadium against the Panthers, for whom he set a then-club record for tackles with 174 in 2011. He started the last 3½ seasons in Carolina and is healthy after a back issue forced him out of the final four games a year ago.

    "It will be fun to see all the guys and go play against them," Anderson said. "They have to make decisions that benefit their organization so you move on and you deal with it and you go to the next day."

    Translated, Anderson was bummed out to be let go just as many veterans are caught off-guard every year.

    "You always are disappointed when you have to leave a situation that you have been in for a while," he said. "You take the next step and you move on."

    The Bears are feeling comfortable about their reconstruction project at linebacker. Of all the veterans brought in on one-year deals in the offseason, Anderson might have been the most impressive in the spring.

    That has continued in training camp and he's a natural fit on the strong side even though he had never played in this Cover-2-based scheme. Talk to club officials and they're also raving about the work Anderson has done with young players, draft picks Jon Bostic and Khaseem Greene.

    That's not always something a veteran playing for a future will do, but Anderson's makeup is such that he has been an asset for coaches.

    "He's a quick study," defensive coordinator Mel Tucker said. "He understands the game. So, he's only got to see it one time and he's pretty much got it down."

    That's key for the Bears, who are using Bostic in the middle right now while veteran D.J. Williams is on the sideline with a right calf muscle injury. Lance Briggs is the only holdover near the top of the depth chart, so having a quick study in the mix is a benefit. Anderson played in three different schemes during his time in Carolina.

    "So I have seen a variety of different ways to play things," he said. "It is just a matter of adjusting to the communication and verbiage we use here. Once I pick that up, a 4-3 defense is a 4-3 defense. There are quirks and different little ways of doing things, but having been around for a while, I have seen almost everything. I am totally comfortable."

    The Bears have not made a decision how long starters will play Friday, but Anderson probably won't be lined up across from Cam Newton, Steve Smith and Greg Olsen for long. That will be fun, but he's focused on the guys he's playing with.

    "It is going to be a great year," Anderson said. "If I go out there and play well … the chips will fall where they may.",0,7763013.story
  2. Blue Horse-shoe

    Blue Horse-shoe Pro-Bowler

    Aug 3, 2013
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    Good to have an experienced LB who's been a tackling machine in the past . Maybe he starts maybe he doesn't but we have a little more depth than we did .
  3. riczaj01

    riczaj01 DaBears Ditka
    Member of the Month DBS Writer

    Nov 4, 2006
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    he and Williams were huge upgrades to the lb core from last years duo.

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