Reactions to Day One of Free Agency

| March 12th, 2014



Of the three high profile defensive ends on the open NFL market, Lamarr Houston was the best fit for the Chicago Bears. Neither he nor the two Michaels (Bennett, Johnson) are elite edge rushers who’ll draw double teams on every down. But Houston is smart, gets off blocks and displays tremendous discipline; he is one of the best run-stopping defensive ends in the game.

The Bears could fix their pass rush all they wanted. It wouldn’t matter if they continued being one of the worst run defenses in the history of recorded time.

From Brad Biggs:

…Houston plays the run very well, he’s durable (hasn’t missed a game in four seasons) and has the flexibility to shift around on the line. There is a good chance the Bears will slide him inside in the nickel package, which is probably what the plan was for Bennett. He’s athletic enough to see time at the three technique tackle position, if needed.

Versatility is great but production is better and that is what Emery is counting on. The reality is Houston, who will turn 27 in June, offers more bang for the buck than a 34-year-old Peppers and probably more than Jared Allen or DeMarcus Ware, both soon to turn 32.

Remember this, desperate Bears fans: it ain’t all getting fixed in twenty-four hours. Houston doesn’t solve their woes along the defensive line. But he solves one of them.


  1. If Ryan Mundy turns into an elite safety in Chicago, I’d be surprised. Mundy was a role player for the Giants, rarely cracking the starting lineup but contributing well on specials. Mundy will be given every opportunity to start in Chicago, however, and his development will serve as a nice barometer to judge Phil Emery’s evaluative prowess when it comes to young defenders.
  2. Jared Allen is only thirty-one even though it feels like he’s been tormenting the Chicago Bears for twenty years. Adam Schefter reporter the Bears were interested. Brad Biggs and Jeff Dickerson reported they’re not. My thought? They should be. Start Allen and Houston on the outside and 2013 and get young at DE in the draft.
  3. Does Alterraun Verner signing a big money deal in Tampa mean Lovie Smith won’t hotly pursue Charles Tillman? (It should certainly mean he lacks the funding to coax him away from Chicago financially.) Emery and Peanut need to get together.

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