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.
#2 jeff said . . .
I backed Gage for a long time, and I was happy that he seeemed to step up a little and make some good and clutch catches at various points in the second half of the season. But I can definitely say I would rather have Berrian and Bradley out there than Gage. And if his departure came as part of the price of Randel El then Id shed no more tears for his departure than I did for Brock Forsey's (but I wouldnt revel in it like I did when we got rid of Wade. Nice guy, but an incredible liability)
February 28, 2006
#3 Max said . . .
Yeah, the Bobby Wade era couldn't have ended fast enough for me.
With the running game the Bears currently have, there is no excuse for this team not going out in the offseason and doing everything possible to strengthen the hell out of the passing game.
But like always with the Bears, it'll come down to the health of the quarterback.
March 1, 2006
#4 Mike said . . .
I agree with Pope. He is huge and has some soft hands. But we need Turner to expand the plays he has for the TE position. If Pope is taken earlier, I say we take a look at the O-Line. All these guys are getting older. And even with the new depth there, you can never have enough quality linemen
March 2, 2006
#5 JJ said . . .
Vanderjagt is also a FA. Lots of kickers out there this off-season.
March 11, 2006
#6 Drew said . . .
i don t get y wr wanna get a TE we just had a pro bowl TE and and we lost the battle for randle el so now i think we should trade up in the draft and get a wr like chad jackson or sinorice moss
March 12, 2006
I live in Pgh and love Randel-El.However, the Rooneys know he's not worth the money he signed for, so don't fret about the fish that got away. Lets spend the money on the O line and CB's
March 13, 2006
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