And now I present my thoughts on this coming offseason, as free agency approaches and Draft Day looms.
Let's say one thing first. After 2001, the Chicago Bears still had Jim Miller and Shane Matthews at quarterback. They had a sketchy offensive line. They had Dick Jauron coaching and John Shoop calling plays.
This team is in the pole position (the only NASCAR reference ever on DaBearsBlog) of the NFC North next season. They have stability all over the map and a very favorable schedule - playing the NFC West and AFC East - the two weakest divisions in football a year ago.
This team needs to stop ignoring its weaknesses and start fortifying its strengths.
WHAT I ALREADY LIKE
Jerry Angelo is already settling the depth on the offensive line. Lenny and John St. Clair are necessary pieces to the puzzle, especially St. Clair as the swing tackle.
WHAT NEEDS DOING AND MUST GET DONE
I keep hearing Randel El and it's growing on me. He'd add an immediate threat at the second receiver post and in the kick return game, two areas where the Bears lacked greatest last season. His arrival would enable the Bears to slide Bernard Berrian to the slot consistently and work Mark Bradley slowly back from injury. It would also enable the Bears to bid adieu to Justin Gage. (Sorry, Dave)
Leonard Pope of Georgia is the most projected player coming to the Bears at 26 in the first round. I like it. The Bears need a tight end to do more than catch three yard outs and balls at the back of the end zone. They need to open the middle of the field and occupy opposing safeties.
I've heard Adam Archuletta rumors and I fucking love them. Adam Archuletta is the sort of safety that toughens up the middle of the field and enable Mike Brown to sorta roam free deep. One of the untalked about holes on this defense is the lack of our saefties to cover over the top. Someone has to and Archuletta would help focus the problem.
We're all Robbie Gould fans. We all are. But Adam Vinatieri and John Kasay are probable free agents. Both of those guys make the kicking game lethal immediately. I'd like to see Adam kicking for the Bears next season.
Before training camp. Before the season starts. Sit down with the Drewster and work out a long term deal for Lance Briggs. This guy is a brilliant linebacker.
That's enough for me.
It was a big day for Bears' defenders apparently. Vasher has a pick in the pro-bowl, Tommy and Lance each get a tackle and Tank gets maced.
I dont think it has the same intimidation factor that Ray Lewis got for stabbing people but its a start. Certainly tougher than David Terrell's erratic driving.
From the Chicago Sun-Times:
Already on probation for a weapons conviction, Chicago Bears defensive tackle Terry "Tank" Johnson was charged Sunday with aggravated assault and resisting arrest after allegedly threatening a police officer.
"You ain't the only one with a Glock," Johnson told the officer, according to Chicago Police. "If it wasn't for your gun and your badge, I'd kick your ass."
The threat was against an officer who was ticketing a limousine illegally double parked at 1045 N. Rush at 3:45 a.m. Sunday, said Lt. Joe Schmit of the Near North District. When the officer tried to arrest Johnson, the player allegedly refused to place his hands behind his back to be handcuffed.
A struggle ensued, ending after the officer sprayed Johnson with Mace and overpowered him with the help of other officers, Schmit said.
Hey, where's Jerome Bettis from?
Go back in time and think about some Super Bowls. Trent Dilfer vs. Kerry Collins. Brad Johnson vs. Rich Gannon. Mark Rypien played in one of these things. Now here this: Sunday was the worst performance by a pair of a quarterbacks in Super Bowl history.
I really don't think the NHL needed a gambling scandal right now. Going to hurt those massive ratings they are doing on whatever channel the games are on now.
But they've got Sidney Crosby and that will make everything okay.
I watched the fourth quarter of that Kobe Bryant point fiasco. It was insanely entertaining.
Americans are dropping from the World Baseball Classic like it's being played in Fallujah. We're getting dangerously close to throwing Aaron Small out there game one.
More people should start talking about Roger Federer because the guy is on the way to becoming the greatest player in the history of professional tennis.
Tiger Woods is 2 for 2 but David Toms is going to win a major this year. I like him to surprise at Augusta.
For the World Cup fans out there, can the English shut the fuck up? God it's like they've won the thing without playing a game.
FIELD OF DREAMS is still a great movie. Watch it soon if you haven't seen it in awhile.
I've started watching some Arena Football League. I'm gonna stop.
At the Senior Skins Game recently, Jack Nicklaus and Hale Irwin were playing a hole for $120,000. ESPN announced %10 of that money goes to charity. You mean poor Jack Nicklaus could only win $108,000 on that hole? Fuck you!
Hires I like: Gary Kubiak, Rod Marinelli
Hires I don't: Bred Childress, Dick Jauron
Who cares: Sean Payton
Ridiculous: Eric Mangini
Stupid: Mike McCarthy
Charles Tillman's position coach is now a defensive coordinator. Dick Jauron hired him. That. IS. Comedy.
When's the draft?
Everyone knows that Charles Tillman is a big fan of movies. But what a lot of peope don't know is that he was an actor in college before he started playing cornerback at Louisiana-Lafayette.
"We knew from the very beginning that he had talent and was a natural on stage," said Dr. Craig Feemerston, head of the Drama department. Tillman took bit parts his freshman and sophomore years, playing roles like Osric in HAMELT and the detective Baylen in GLENGARRY GLEN ROSS.
As a junior, however, Tillman was offered a part he couldn't turn down - Tevye in FIDDLER ON THE ROOF. It was the performance of his career and he was so good he quit the craft. "With my Tevye I reached the pinnacle of the acting craft and I knew I could never top it," Tillman was often quoted as saying.
What he didn't know was who in the audience during his final performance of FIDDLER. Ang Lee, a rising star in Hollywood, was so moved by Tillman's performance that he offered him a role in his soon-to-be made film sent in the western American countryside.
That's right, Charles Tillman was set to star in BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN. But after a short period of filming, Tillman was fired as test audiences did not believe he could stay with his man.