Monday, January 19, 2009

A Concise and Effective Plan for the Chicago Bears Offseason

Obviously we have a few months to analyze what the Bears needs are in the off-season. I have heard a lot of talk about quarterbacks, receivers, defensive backs, etc. Without doing any in-depth research, my initial conclusions are short and sweet, but don't hold me to them:
  • We need a premier wide receiver. Trade for Anquan Boldin or sign a free agent. (NOT an overpaid veteran on the downslope of his career i.e. Mushin Muhammed).

  • This goes against what I just said, but if Jeremy Maclin is on the board at 18, how can you not take him?

  • Do not spend a lot of money on a quarterback! Get a decent backup (Leftwich or Chris Simms maybe?), but do not overspend on someone who may or may not be more effective than Neckbeard. I'm looking at you Matt Cassel, Kerry Collins and Kurt Warner! Stay away from Chicago.

  • Let Jerry Angelo do what he does best, improve the defense through the draft. Most of the effective players that made the Bears defense great these last few years were drafted in middle and late rounds by Jerry. He is a great talent evaluator when it comes to defensive playmakers that fit the Cover 2 system. Let him do his thing. My top suggestion is to draft an entirely new secondary. Even though I still like Peanut, we need depth at all 4 defensive back positions.

  • That being said, maybe bringing in Julius Peppers to replace an aging Ogunleye isn't a bad idea.

  • Is Urlacher's day done? Not quite, but maybe it's time to look for a legitimate replacement for him in the draft for 2-3 years from now. If you're one of those people that wants to move Briggs to the middle, then look for Briggs replacement.

The biggest changes that need to be made are obviously with the coaching staff. If Lovie can't change the mindset of the defense, then it won't matter what personnel they bring in. More draft coverage to come as it draws closer.


Gepetto said...

You're close, but there's a few holes here.

First of all, with the exception of Boldin (who is a monstrosity), no one receiver makes their quarterback better. Rather, if we get a quarterback who can throw an accurate deep ball (e.g., NOT Orton), we can legitimately use Hester as a deep threat. Once Hester requires extra attention, we open the underneath for Olsen and Forte. The reason that Forte and Olsen were good this year is that Orton can make the short passes and only those - having 2 seconds in the pocket with our line didn't help. Imagine if we could utilize the deep ball, too. Oh, and take Maclin anyways.

Peppers isn't going to happen. He commands a bajillion dollars for being, well, Julius Peppers, and I expect the Cowboys to make a serious run at him.

I agree with getting replacements for Tillman and Urlacher, but those needs have been long overdue. In reality, we need to get a functional defensive gameplan that takes advantage of our measty linebackers while we still have them.

So, in short:
#1. Sign/trade for O-Line help
#2. Get a big arm QB (I hear both Daunte Culpepper and Jon Kitna will be fighting for a job...)
#3. Draft D

The rest will fall into place.

Stormin' Norman Disciple said...

Interesting. The quarterback thing is just a matter of taste, and personally I'm pro-Orton (obviously). The O-Line needs to be revamped, but we have our first round pick this year Chris Williams healthy, and Beekman with a year under his belt (I know he was shaky at best this year, but he was a rookie). Hopefully we can revamp from within, if you will. Peppers will be expensive. No doubt.

The Zoner said...

What the barnacles? Leftwich or Chris Simms? No more retreads; at least neither of those 2.

The Zoner said...

I think Beekman is undersized and I wasn't a huge fan of his play this year. I'm no offensive genius but his style is more suited to the Broncos run scheme. I'd rather move St. Clair inside.

Matt Clapp said...

Whoa whoa whoa... Culpepper or Kitna over Orton? Um, no. Plus, there's no way in hell they'd beat out Orton so if you're looking for a QB to take the job from him, 2 options that would not happen. I never got all the love with Kitna. He consistently makes stupid throws and consistently had good players to throw the ball to. He's an INT machine. Culpepper showed a few flashes of being his old self, but I think he's a #2 at best in this league right now.

I'd go get Leftwich. He's shown he can be an effective starter in this league and will challenge Orton for the job more than those two will. Still I think Orton's fine if you get some playmakers around him. It's tough to complete too many passes when your wide receivers are never getting separation and drop everything when they do. It's also important to look at how the ankle injury hurt Orton's game. Go back and watch highlights of him in the Minnesota game at home, those numbers weren't a fluke, he was throwing darts. He came back 3 weeks earlier than he should've from his ankle injury, and it clearly bothered him all year. Your back leg provides all the power in your throws, and he couldn't get the drive on it that he had before the injury.

Furthermore, if you get a legitimate WR, do you know how much better it's going to make Hester? None of the Bears other receivers scared the defense. He'll get more 1 on 1 opportunities.

2 WR(1 free agency, 1 the draft), FS, Pass Rushing DE, RT, #2 QB, OLB, Backup RB, OG.

Gepetto said...

I don't think having another good receiver makes a difference if every accurate throw has to be 10 yards or less. There's only so much space to play in.

Don't get me wrong - I love the neckbeard - but if we're going to utilize a deep threat, it's not going to be with Kyle Orton

Gavin said...

I was saddened to hear that the Bears played themselves out of the opportunity to nab Michael Crabtree or Jeremy Maclin who both looked to be that special type of receiver who could make a big difference at the next level.

If the Bears are looking for a WR in the first or second round, hopefully they take a look at Hakeem Nicks of North Carolina. I might have been one of the few to have watched the Meineke Car Care Bowl with UNC v. WVU, but he was a stud racking up 8 catches for 217 yards with 3 TDs. He received the same type of pre-game attention that Maclin normally gets, and the Volunteers still couldn't stop him.

Here's a clip of one of his catches during that game:
Slow-motion starts at about 0:40 mark.

Yes, he may be Ronald Curry Version 2.0, coming out of UNC, but I'll definitely be following his progress in the NFL. And with the contributions that DeSean Jackson, Eddie Royal and other lower drafted WR's in this past year's class, maybe a player like Nicks could shine.

I'm also with the camp though that thinks the Bears should think about drafting another OL high if they can. Forte will be key for this team in the future, and he and whomever is under center will need a quality O-line. Tait and St. Clair are only getting older.

Stormin' Norman Disciple said...

This Nicks character sounds good, but I don't know about using our first round pick on a WR unless its a superstud like maclin or crabtree.

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