Summary On Bears Moves To Date...............

Discussion in 'Chicago Bears' started by soulman, Mar 15, 2014.

  1. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    I told a couple of other members that I'd wait until the week was out to comment on Emery's move thus far so here it is. JMHO on these signings and what they might mean as far as adding starters or depth.

    1) Tillman; Whether it seems like it or not this may well have been the smartest move he made so far. IMHO Peanut would have been the most difficult unsigned FA to replace. Without him both the play and the leadership he provides might have been just as devastating as losing Urlacher's leadership was last year and arguably Peanut is still playing at a higher level at CB than Brian was at MLB. For only $3.5 mil (that surprised me a bit) he's a bargain because I doubt we could have found a better fit even if we spent twice that. With the high degree of likelihood that we'll be playing two new Safeties this year, none of whom are All Pros, to me there is a huge need to have two players of Pro Bowl caliber playing CB and helping the Safeties to adjust to whatever scheme it is they finally decide on. Peanut is still a turnover machine and the only CB in the NFL who makes Megatron "cry uncle".

    2) Houston; Some had him ranked above Bennett on the list of available FAs. Whether or not that the case makes no difference at all anymore. Bennett wasn't available and Houston was. This guy is pretty much a left side guy like Bennett but a little bigger. He's NOT a guy who can step up at RDE and replace Pep. I'm not saying he can't be rotated over there just as we've rotated DEs and DTs in the past but if Tucker is smart he'll stick him at LDE where his ability to play the run will be most useful. If McClellin as ever gonna make it as a SLB he'll need a great run stuffing DE playing in front of him to set the edge so he can stay free to penetrate and pursue. That's his game and being a tough hardnosed tackler is Houston's game. Houston doesn't have the burst or speed off the edge to be a top pass rusher but McClellin does. So let Houston set the edge and allow McClellin to roam free and rush like Colvin used to and by using both at their strengths they may have the best of both worlds on that left side. Especially if they can couple that with a great rusher at 3 tech and that's where nabbing Donald and rotating him with Ratliff comes in.

    3) Mundy; He may turn out to be the best value of all of them. Maybe another deal like Slauson. He's surely an improvement over Wright, but then a blind man in a wheel chair could be an improvement over Wright based on the way he played last year. Other than his size and ability to hit and tackle what intrigues me is that this guy has been playing for two teams who had very good Safeties as starters which relegated him to playing backup most of his career. When he did get a chance to start 9 games last year he turned in some pretty respectable numbers and as an "in the box" kind of guy he did well. He may not be the best cover guy around but right now I'll be happy just having someone back there who can tackle a runner who breaks into the second level and do a halfway decent job of shadowing TEs.

    3) Williams; He was the second most important guy of our own unsigned FAs to bring back and once again we got him for a good price. Now let's hope he can stay healthy. While he has the versatility to play any one of the LB positions we badly need him at MLB. Jon Bostic is not, and I emphasize NOT, and NFL caliber 4-3 MLB and I don't see him ever becoming one. For once Emery was both correct and far more timely in his assessment that Bostic's skill set fits best at WLB and hopefully that's where he'll end up once Briggs hangs it up, or they hang him up. There Bostic has a chance to be another Briggs or Wilbur Marshall but in the middle he's just another guy who can't read fast enough or shed blocks well enough to make a dent. Williams is pretty savvy vet who knows the game and while he may not be great in coverage over the deep middle (that needs to be changed anyway now that Urlacher is gone) he brings back an element that was ignored by Lovie and that's blitzing the MLB and using blitzes is something Tucker is more comfortable with than Lovie ever seemed to be. Along with Tillman this guy brings me some comfort that the teams won't be able to move the ball at will next year.

    4) Senn; Much faster than Costanzo and although he's undersized he plays bigger and is a good hedge against Greene's complete failure as an NFL LB. He's 29 and not part of Emery's so called youth movement but he loves playing STeams and gives us another guy similar to Ayanbadejo. I can see him as a WLB backup and as a blitzter but his real purpose is to replace Constanzo on STeams. He has a good motor and a great attitude.

    5) Jennings; I'm tempted to say that signing ANYONE who played Safety for the Packers is about the same as signing a Bears OLineman from most any season from 2010-2012. If this is the only competition Emery can find for Conte we may be in trouble but I doubt that will be the case. I'm not sure based on his track record this kid can cover anyone but since he can't seem to defend against the pass at least it's made a fairly good tackler out of him. He's another guy with some speed but more the size of a CB than a Safety so I think he's a STeams guy who can replace guys like McManis and Bowman if neither of them return. I think we can draft a FS somewhere in the first three rounds so we don't have to worry too much about this kid being our last line of defense.

    6) Young; Emery calls him a "relentless pass rusher" and all I can respond with is so is Shea McClellin but both always seem to be a step or two short of closing the deal as far as sacks go. At 6'5 and 251lbs he's not an all around DE as much as he is a 3-4 OLB and IMHO pretty much limited to playing RDE in a 4-3 where I'm sure he won't make anyone forget Peppers. Unless we can sign Jared Allen (and that's about as likely as Urlacher inviting Emery out for a beer) what we have in the way of replacements for Pep are two 250-255lb former 7th round picks whose teams let them go and a 260-265lb 6th round pick who never even saw the field last year even though out pass rush sucked. So how much worse did he suck at it? Aside from these guys what we have are two slightly bigger vet rejects who don't strike me as edge rushers either. Forgive me if I'm not all that enthused yet.

    7) Hixson; Ho hum. The guys a bigger slot receiver with some speed and some return skills. None that will match Hester's but he's a more legitimate WR. If he does nothing more than but Weems on the street I'll be content with that. I still think the KR/PR guy will be the Williams kid from Canada. If Wilson comes on strong and Hixson meshes with Cutler and can add some talent as a returner than Weems and Bennett may both be gone.


    So what's left to be done? I'm not convinced we wouldn't be far better off bringing back Wootton once he's gotten a medical clearance although he's another guy Emery never talks about or indicated he wants back. What's up with that? The kid had 7.5 sacks in 2012 playing in rotation with Izzy and willingly sacrificed his future contract by agreeing to move to DT last year and although very undersized for a DT he was still the Bears best interior DL and put up 3.5 sacks or about the same our other prize FA DEs Houston and Young have averaged. So WTFIUPWT? I think Allen is a wet dream but I can't see Wootton getting any long term offers we couldn't match. IMHO we should let Melton go, sign Wootton and draft Donald or Jernigan if Donald is gone. There good talent and youth in that bunch and together Donald and Wootton can probably be had for less than Melton is looking for. JMHO.

    The draft needs to provide us with a DT, a FS and a CB, a MLB prospect and when that's all over and done an OC prospect and a QB Trestman can work some magic on should somewhere near the bottom of the list. Despite Emery's call for a "youth movement" it didn't exactly happen that way. Getting rid of 30 year old plus guys for a bunch of 28 and 29 year olds won't get that done so next year quite a few more of these guys will be replaced. One thing that should improve this year is the caliber of the depth on defense. Most of these guys are a cut above those we had to use last year although it's not a huge jump. We did add a couple of starters but not one of these guys is an impact type player like some of those we've lost. Emery claims he's not done yet so we'll see what the next couple of weeks brings. After that it'll be all about the draft and then some June 1st cuts to cull through.
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  2. BSBEARS

    BSBEARS Pro-Bowler

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    Pretty good wrap up of FA so far. I think I give the DE's a little more credit than you are but they need to prove it. I read somewhere they were statistics were #1 and #2 last yr against the run. I realize they need to rush the QB also but I like the signings more than you I guess..Senn, Jennings and Hixon like you said nothing special but upgrades. I think your spot on with draft needs. Just not sure I agree with DT first but agree with the positions and just have to see how it plays out. We need impact players at DT and FS. With signing of Peanut and DJ it lessens the immediate need fpr CB and MLB but obviously if Mosley or Dennard on the board I would not be surprized to see the Bears take them, nor would I be surprised if they took Donald or Jernigan. I am leaning towards S as the depth is not there.
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  3. JustAnotherBearsFan99

    JustAnotherBearsFan99 Coordinator SuperFan DBS Writer

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    Soul, that's a pretty good synopsis of where we're at up to this point. It's a "work in progress" and it will sure be interesting to see how it all unfolds. I do hope we stay healthier this year too. I understand injuries happen no matter what, every year. But I hope we have enough depth to do better this year.
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  4. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    Thank you. I don't really dislike either signing. In fact for the Bears needs Houston is actually the better choice for the exact reason I mentioned. Put him in front of McClellin and for once we may all get to see why Emery drafted him in the first place. There's a lot of potential with them playing together on that left side. If Tucker plays them right THAT combination excites me.

    I see Willie Young and David Bass as being a lot alike but with Young having more experience. With some good coaching those two in a rotation at RDE could produce Pep kind of rushing stats but not just one or the other. They won't be quite as effective against the run though because they don't have Pep's freaky size and wingspan. But if Tucker and Pasqualoni can scheme them well we can probably live with them and probably will have to. I think any chance of signing Jared Allen went out the window after GB gave Pep a similar deal to the one Elway gave Ware. That extra $10 mil of cap space made some of these deals possible.

    Look at my other response to a post you made on the draft. We both agree that DT and FS are the trouble spots the draft will need to address with that first pick. MLB and CB needs are there as well but by bringing back both Peanut and D.J. he effectively postponed them or at least took them down a notch or two on the needs board. Now he can fill those needs after the first round with guys he doesn't necessarily have to start right away in the way he would with his first pick.

    IMHO anytime you have a top 20 pick that pick should be used on an immediate starter at a position of need. There are a few exceptions but that's it. One is QB and another is MLB because those positions control their units on the field so they need to not only learn their position but also learn the entire offensive or defensive scheme and that can take some time. The only other typical exception is WR because those guys usually take an extra year or two to develop a knowledge of reading defenses in order to adjust their pass routes. They can play year one but usually not as the #1 WR. Other than that the other positions are expected to play day one. A LT might play RT his first year but he will play and unless they become a bad pick most of the rest will too or at least be given a shot at it.

    I'd agree about a FS being almost equal to a DT and that's what we probably won't know until we see how the picks fall before them. Between now and then some guys will rise and some will fall and there's always a QB or two taken before he should be out of sheer need. So I'm still sticking with it being one of those two positions for now and a CB or MLB only if they rate much higher than who ever is left a FS or DT. CB and MLB are secondary needs to FS and DT.
  5. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    I give Emery credit when and where credit is due and I always have. Of course that means I'm entitled to verbally kick his ass when I believe he screwed up. Fair is fair right? :bah:

    So far I not only see what he's doing but for once I think I actually understand how he's going about it and while I'm not in 100% agreement with all of it I'd say that I am more than I'm not. With as many defensive needs for both starters and vet depth as he needed to fill he really only had room for one major signing if that guy was gonna cost him upwards of $30 mil. Bennett turned him down in order to stick with a proven winner and the Safeties immediately priced themselves out of his range thanks to Elway signing Ward and NOLA tagging Graham as a TE which is the only way they free up enough cap room for Byrd and keep Graham.

    Johnson was already in bed with Lovie so Houston was the only logical choice. He may not be a great replacement for Pep but if they'll keep him at LDE most of the time I believe he'll be one of the more effective guys we'll have on that DLine. So the big money was gone and he still needed another but Wootton is still not cleared medically (so no rush) and the draft kind of sucks as far as impact DEs beside Clowney. Looking over who was left I suggested in another post that Young should be his target because I felt he could get him for $2.5 to $3 mil I think he'd be willing to give Melton. Melton shrugged and went shopping for a better deal so Emery filled his RDE starters spot and now that's one less need he has going into the draft.

    He also got himself a young SS with some potential so that need is gone as far as the draft goes and the got vet FS for competition with Conte but he spent very little on him since he knows there are two top FS in the draft and one if not both may be on the board at #14. I'm about 90% certain Melton is gone. Somebody will eventually offer more than Emery will pay which leaves a hole at 3 tech DT to fill and again the draft offers a solution or two that are younger, most likely less expensive, and uninjured. So those are the holes he's left himself and there are prospects in the draft at #14 who can fill those roles and start this fall. If Melton does return he can always gamble on his returning to form and take the FS and if he doesn't he can draft the DT first and then look for Safety help in rounds two or three.

    Overall I think he's gone about these moves in an intelligent way and left himself with options for ways to fill the rest of his needs. Of curse not one of these guys has played a single down for the Bears but based on their level of experience, previous production, and cost he did far better with his defensive work so far this year then he did last. I'm not inviting him over for dinner mind you but unlike Urlacher I might buy him a beer........and even pour it for him. I do that pretty well. :13_4_9[1]:
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  6. a_miljan

    a_miljan Veteran

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    Cheers Soul
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  7. omc1969

    omc1969 Veteran

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    Pretty good and rational take on what Emery is doing. Cudos on that unlike some of the "Sky Is Falling" posters here. Emery has a plan and along with Cliff Stein, has done a admirable job so far as he did in fixing the "O" last year. He's not done yet either so stay tuned.
    ;)
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  8. JustAnotherBearsFan99

    JustAnotherBearsFan99 Coordinator SuperFan DBS Writer

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    I agree :-)

    It's kind of like watching a chess match. I'm hoping Emery makes the best moves and gives Trestman and especially Tucker, the players needed to have a better season. I'd sure like to see us take a significant step forward this season, and then see Emery put the icing on the cake in 2015.
  9. a_miljan

    a_miljan Veteran

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    From what I can see from Peps new contract he could have stayed with us, he would have the same paycheck and our cap hit would be not too different, this is a really special move
  10. JustAnotherBearsFan99

    JustAnotherBearsFan99 Coordinator SuperFan DBS Writer

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    Judging from his poor play, I just don't think the guy wanted to play for us anymore. He was just "going through the motions" and hurting our team. As frustrated as I was with McClellen, I never questioned his effort or heart. Peppers frustrated me because it looked like he was taking entire games off, and loafing. I can forgive a player for not having talent but I can't forgive a guy for "mailing it in" and loafing.

    We paid him a lot of money, and I expected him to earn it - and not loaf. So, even if we could have brought him back financially, I didn't want him back. We couldn't count on him anymore. In key games he just disappeared.
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  11. a_miljan

    a_miljan Veteran

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    exactly, and i pointed that quite a few times round here, starting from middle of the season. we dont know the entire story, maybe he was in love with lovie and urlacher, guess brian would have done the same if he could have
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  12. BSBEARS

    BSBEARS Pro-Bowler

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    They numbers say we are better off with the new DE's
    upload_2014-3-16_10-50-53.png
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  13. BSBEARS

    BSBEARS Pro-Bowler

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    So before the start of Free Agency we all knew we needed a DT, S, and CB. Now that we have spent a bunch of money we can look back and see the draft much more clearly. We now need a DT, S, and CB. Glad we got that straightened out.
  14. a_miljan

    a_miljan Veteran

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    well we dont need no starter CB, we dont need DE (and we sure did before) and we probably got 1 starter S, so...
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  15. BSBEARS

    BSBEARS Pro-Bowler

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    I agree we do not need a starter CB, But we need a CB who is ready to step in incase of Injury. Does that require a starter? I think I would say yes.
  16. a_miljan

    a_miljan Veteran

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    ok, then before FA we needed 2
  17. MPbears68

    MPbears68 Pro-Bowler

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    Great write-ups by Soul there.

    I'm heartened to read encouraging words about Mundy (whom I knew little about beforehand) because I was a little disappointed in Emery's safety signings. [MD Jennings sucks and is ST-worthy only. I'd rather have Conte starting at FS than him.] But if Mundy is a solid upgrade over Wright with upside I'll take that. Wright was a total fail who's arrow is pointing down not up.

    I'd really like Wootton back to bolster RDE. There's no rush though. No team is gonna make him a serious offer without medical clearance and we are a few months away from that. Emery should have plenty of time and inside information on his physical status to get him back cheap if/when the docs clear him to play.

    And one other thing that hasn't been mentioned much....it would be a good idea to get Bowman re-signed (he will be cheap as well). ZB is a pretty decent STer and he did a quite respectable job last season filling in for Peanut when CT was hurt. He also has similar size which I think you need opposite Jennings who's only 5'9". I'd let McMannis go and give his roster spot to a rookie draftee you're grooming to eventually replace Tillman.
  18. butkus3595

    butkus3595 Pro-Bowler

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    I could make the argument, and it would be a strong one, that despite his lack of size(which I still don't understand the hang up), that Young was better against the run last year, and while his sack stats didn't bear it out, a better pass rusher than peppers was last year.
  19. a_miljan

    a_miljan Veteran

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    yes, there are s few guys we should get back, bowman and britton especially!
    although i love that lewan guy, unfortunaely we cant go oline
  20. Trackguy

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    I disagree. It's not even arguable. :lol-027:

    Kidding aside, I was not in the least bit sad when they parted ways with Urlacher. He was done (and the rest of the league seemed to agree). Conversely, I think Tillman still has some gas left in the tank. He wasn't playing his best football before the injury but he was still an above average corner. A one year deal with him is fine and I am guessing they will use a high draft pick to groom his replacement next year.

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