After the OTAs...

Nice job by Brad Biggs (been saying that quite a bit recently) with his position summaries coming out of the OTAs.  Let me break it down, in brief:

The Non-Surprises:
1. Caleb Hanie is going to be the team's backup quarterback, making him the player I'll be watching the closest throughout the summer. 
2. Pisa is going to be the starting backer on the strong side and I don't see Hunter Hillenmeyer as more than a special teams player in 2009. (Especially due to the emergence of Jamar Williams.)
3. Frank Omiyale is lining up as the starting left guard.  Frank Omiyale will be the starting left guard.

The Surprise
:
Biggs reports that Corey Graham was playing nickel corner, not safety, meaning Kevin Payne and Craig Steltz are currently the starting safeties.  This doesn't necessarily mean that Graham won't be moved there in August but that's a frightening amount of inexperience on the third level.   

The Summary
The Chicago Bears are going to be able to run the ball and stop the run, just as they did in 2008.  The questions heading into training camp and the 2009 season will be can the club make plays down the field offensively and prevent opponents from converting in third-and-long situations?  They've upgraded the offensive line and quarterback spots.  They've brought in Rod Marinelli.  This means the focus at the end of July will be on the wide receiver and safety positions - where the most intense competition will be taking place.

Updating Earlier Stories
: Chicago has decided against retroactively taxing PSLs.

Comments

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  • first

  • Jeff - 1st time poster and a follower from the original site. Glad to see your work is being rewarded with this site. Congrats on that. Keep up the great work.

    As a continuance from the other post about FA WR's next year, could you write something about the safeties that will be FA's next year and what they might bring to the team? Or even if there are any stud Safeties that will be eligible in the draft next year?

  • Tougher column to write, Ghost, but a terrific idea. I'd have to take a look around the league as I doubt I'll be able to piggy back someone else's work.

  • The kid out of USC, I think his name is Mays, is the best prospect coming out of the draft at S next year. I wish the Bears would have taken a shot at Adrian Wilson from the Cards before they locked him up.

    Glad to hear that Hanie is still high on everybody's QB chart. I think he's got talent, and can't wait to get a few more looks at him in pre-season.

    I know the thought process is rookie WR's take alot of time to get their NFL feet underneath them, but I have a feeling about Johnny Knox. I think he could be the steal of the draft, as a faster more sure-handed version of Wes Welker.

    I'm excited to see Hester's numbers, as I think he and Cutler might really create some magic this year. Camp can't come soon enough for me. Bear Down!!

  • In reply to MattySouthside:

    i remember everyone was talking about taylor mays in the off season. he decided to complete his senior year so he will be available next year. 6'3" 226lbs 4.32 forty. unless he gets injured there's no way hell fall to the second round

  • In reply to MattySouthside:

    Jeff,
    the thing that I worry the most about is our secondary!
    Tillman/vasher then behind them, we start the season off with the fudge packers, that will be a test secondary wise the the steelers? So we need that push up front from the 4 and then everyone stays in the gaps we should be fine so You tell me if you agree sending vasher&hillemeyer to denver for marshall?

  • In reply to MattySouthside:

    Prankster: I feel like the B Marshall saga would be too much to overcome. This guy brings incredible talent but also a media circus, horrible off the field behavior, the new contract he's demanding, and his general bad attitude. All these damn pretty boy wideouts need to be put down or these assholes will continue to hold their teams hostage. Marshall is a trainwreck who cant keep from beating his lady's ass.

    I think going for Plax would be the best move at this point. If what his lawyer says is true, he wont even go to trial until after this season. If RG doesnt suspend him, I say sign his ass to the vet minimum w/ performance incentives. I dont believe Plax to be a bad guy, he just made a really fucked up descision. We should inquire to the League office about Goodell's intentions w/ the Plax situation just like the Bucs did. Lets not lose out on this guy when he can help put us over the top. Bottom Line.....If we sign him, we will instantly be favored to win the NFC as long as the D does half of what its supposed to. BearDown Mother Fuckers!

  • In reply to MattySouthside:

    Sorry for the repost, but I'm selfish since Jeff added a new post today...

    Wow, I really liked Haugh's piece. Here's a couple quotes from JC...

    "I played with him for three years and put up some big numbers with him, and wherever he ends up, I'm sure he's going to be successful," Cutler said of Marshall. "Whether or not it's here, it's up to the guys upstairs. As of right now, I'm 100 percent happy with what we have."

    Asked how he would survive without a No. 1 wide receiver, Cutler offered a response that only will help establish his rapport in the locker room.

    "We have one in Devin [Hester]," he said.

    Regarding Burress, if Cutler chooses his receivers as well as he chose his words, the quarterback will be as good as advertised.

    "If it happens, it happens," Cutler said. "I'm not going to speculate whether we're going to get him or not. The guys that we have right now, I'm 100 percent confident in and comfortable with."

    After reading that piece I wonder if the previous lack of talent behind center played a role in our receiver's lack of seperation that was often commented on 670 the SCORE. You wonder if subconsciously they didn't stretch that little bit more because they didn't have confidence in KO that it really would matter because KO just couldn't quite get it done talent-wise. Sure they liked him as a leader and respected him because he was putting forth his best effort (same as Rex), but he just didn't quite have the "stuff".

    Will our receivers now be more talented because the excitement of a guy like JC makes them try just a little bit harder? Maybe an analogy or comparison can be made to Michael Jordan's presence making those around him try just a little bit harder. The rest of the team feeding off of his talent and becoming much more talented because of him.

    This is an exciting concept. It makes me delve further. In the 80's our Bears had the best D and they went head to head with our Offense. You can say that because Jimmy Mac had to go against the Samauri Squad in practice that any D they faced on gameday brought no fear, making them much better.

    Now our D needs to get back to form and they have to face JC in practice, he is supposedly spectacular and he can only make them get back to where they belong too. Maybe facing Kyle, Rex, Brian and Caleb made our D soft because it wasn't a challenge and then when facing better offenses they allowed the meltdowns. This may not hold water, just thinking.

    This is a thrilling concept. The only flaw (there may be more) is that the 80's practices were more physical, Offense vs Defense, in terms of today's more non-contact, protect your players from injury style.

    Either way, it's all I have to stretch another day out so we can be just a little closer to July 31st and beyond.

    Go Bears!

  • In reply to MattySouthside:

    Mike Brown is still not picked up by anybody, even though he was supposed to visit the Browns, what are the chances they will reconsider him? What are the chances that he will be around as some of our secondary potentially get's banged up during preseason? If we go to the playoffs or even ended up making it to the Superbowl, winning it etc.. It would be a shame for him not to be onboard for it. Not that I would cry too hard about it, I'm just stubborn and I think he still has something to offer.

    Also, is someone ever going to tell me how to add my own photo?

    Go Bears!

  • In reply to shonbear:

    Click on your name(tagline "Shonbear") then I think it links you to your edit page,there you can change info,pic etc...

  • In reply to shonbear:

    Yes!

  • In reply to shonbear:

    Yes?

  • In reply to shonbear:

    again?

  • In reply to shonbear:

    It's so small. (that's what she said?)

  • In reply to shonbear:

    That was an excellent post, Shonbear. I totally agree with you, maybe Cutler hasn't yet proven himself to be Joe Montana or John Elway yet but imagine if one of those guys came on our team - how would the receivers react? They'd pick up their game, for sure! A little more effort, a little more concentration, and they damn sure aren't letting a ball come their way when thrown by one of those esteemed QBs - they won't let themselves be embarrassed. I think we can expect the same thing with Cutler behind the reins. Not to mention the expected huge improvement in execution with someone who is skilled at putting the ball where it's supposed to be.

    I also loved reading about Cutler's comments about Rideau, and the implicit assumption that that means Rideau has a good chance of playing. Any time someone else besides Ron Turner is selecting which wide receivers are on the field, I LOVE IT. And when Brandon turns out to be as good as many of us feel he could be, I'm not wasting any bitter recriminatory thoughts about last year and Ron Turner. IT'S IN THE PAST.

    I also want to apologize for my lack of posting - it's not because of not liking the new site (even though I admit I don't like it as much) - it's because of my job which is now mostly away from the computer instead of in front of it. I will try to do better, Jeff - you deserve our best efforts! Thanks again for all you do! Having said that, I'm off to the great northwoods for two weeks, so that promise is on temporary hold, but I'll work at it.

    BEAR DOWN AMERICA!!!! JAYCUTLERJAYCUTLERJAYCUTLERJAYCUTLERJAYC

    One more comment, just heard Rome talking about Tim Hasselback (most famous for being married to Elizabeth the hottie) talking about Plaxico B - in the worst possible terms - says the guy is one of the worst teammates ever (of course he has to not be including TO) - you have to beg him to come to practices, beg him to work hard in practices, and if he doesn't get the ball early in games, he quits. That's pretty damning stuff. I don't want him anymore (I did before I heard that). We have a chance this year at having some absolutely magical chemistry - dare I say 1985-style chemistry - and a guy who has that said about him, I don't want.

  • In reply to shonbear:

    Steltz and Payne...yikes. We better hope Marinelli is as good as advertised. If our D-Line doesn't improve, our last line of defense will be made to look silly.

    If only Manning would have worked out at free safety...it's a shame that guy doesn't seem to have the instincts to play that position. With all of his physical gifts, he could have been a good one.

  • In reply to shonbear:

    I am not that gun-shy about Steltz; come on give the guy at least some preseason games before we start shaking in our collective boots. Yes I saw him get ran over by Grant, I also watched him save our asses from being the only team that lost to the Lions. If the coaches believe he is better than Graham there then I would assume he is; and for me it is better than Bullocks.

  • In reply to shonbear:

    Just say "no" to Plaxico.

  • D-Line MUST generate real and regular pressure on the QB on 3rd and long, something that's been lacking of late, or else.

    Liked the comments from Cutler I saw on WGN yesterday. He basically said that the criticism comes with the job, the pundits are entitled to there opinons but let's just what and see what happens on the field.

  • I am scared to death of our secondary as it is right now. Getting rid of a healthy...yes i said it...healthy Mike Brown was the worst move they could have made. This is a guy who has come back from 3 career threatening injuries to be ready for camp each time. When you over compensate for another part of your body being injured you are bound to aggravate another area of the body in the process.

    Mike is coming off of a season where he had no major injuries, missed some playing time with a nagging calf injury no doubt brought on by his constant rehab and managed to rack up the most amount of tackles in a season that he has ever had.

    I find it hard to believe that no one in the Bears organization can see that Brown is completely healthy, is not coming off of any serious injury and would have been a huge contributor this year. Also, when you replace a player on a team it is usually customary to replace him with someone better or at least as good...which we did not do. We were willing to extend a 1 year contract to Glen Earl who suffered the same foot injury as Brown but we wouldn't resign Brown for the Vet minimum which he would have taken gladly with incentives. Have you heard Glen Earl's name lately? Didn't think so. Mark my words: We will have serious trouble if we keep Payne and Steltz at safety. Payne lacks the speed, quickness and awareness of an NFL caliber safety. Brown made up for it by being the toughest son of a bitch out there and by being the smartest. He knew where to be.

    I say that we continue to develop young Steltzy and possibly Graham but immediately sign Brown to at least compete for a spot on the team. The Bears owe it to him. He will deliver this year if given the chance. This is officially my last rant post regarding Mike Brown.

    We have made some historic moves in the off season and will most likely kick ass but not bringing back a healthy and refreshed Mike Brown is a huge glaring and hopefully not fatal mistake by the Bears.

  • okay.. enough is enough really. I mean really, can we please stop talking about Mike fucking Brown. He got cut period.

    I loved the guy, great Bear but if you wanna face reality he hasn't been very good for 4 or 5 years. He missed what 2 full games and 2 half games last year.. thats being injured every 4 games and that is healthy? Finishing the season on IR is healthy? What season are you talking about, okay relatively healthy for Brown but.. that's part of the fucking problem isn't it?
    He has been tested and weighed by at least two other teams and found wanting. That means he wouldn't even be a backup on at least two other teams in the NFL but we better hurry up and sign him to start? After we cut him knowing what we had in the closet and didn't sign any vet FA safeties? They would all look like idiots. So please drop it, let him fade away in peace.

  • In reply to dutsami:

    I would be happy to let him fade away in peace except that he is better than anyone else we are going to throw on the field this year at safety and that pisses me off and it should piss you off too.

    We have treated the safety position this off season like little league coaches treat right field. Just throw the nerd out there and hope that he doesn't have to make a play. All i hear is that we need more pressure from the front 4. blah, blah, blah...that doesn't make our safety options suck any less.

    Manning and Bullocks suck meat and Glen Earl was given a one year contract with the same damn foot injury that Brown had? I didn't hear any bitching when they gave him a vet minimum contract after not playing in the league for 2 years.

    Here's to Steltzy stepping up like a young Chuck Cecil and Payne not breaking our linebackers arms or legs as he flies in like a North Korean missle with shitty North Korean guidance systems.

  • In reply to dutsami:

    I'm just so pumped i don't want anything to get in the way of the Bears. I'm done being negative. We have so many new weapons and tools to wreak havoc on our opponents. Here are some of the reasons why i am excited:

    CUTTY at QB
    Pace at tackle
    Forte and Jones in the backfield
    BRIGGS, URLACHER AND TINOISAMOA AT LB
    A REJUVENATED DEFENSIVE LINE
    A 6'6 275lb Idonije running around on Special teams
    GOULD hitting everything under 50
    Cutty to Hester all day long
    Cutty to Olsen and DEZ

    Can we skip baseball season and just move straight into football season?

  • In reply to dutsami:

    Max, really what is it that you love about Rash?

    After reading what Cutlere talked about I'm ok with or without Plax, but if it happened, I would root for him to improve his character being surrounded by a solid locker room like the Bears have, in addition to his on field performance and need to show the league that he needs to be paid more.

    I'm down with Brown, I don't think you lose anything to have him compete during preseason and see if he can truly earn a roster spot. He does that and what arguement is there? Any player can get injured, so you pick a lesser talented guy and he gets injured, then where are you?

    Plax and Tank the same thing? I don't think so. The only thing the same is there was a gun vs multiple guns around children. Everything else is different about that situation, then his ass can't even stay home after the hours of 2am when the whole team bent over backwards to support him during his whole jail experience. WTF man! Anyways, maybe there are slight similarities, but both are stupid guys for different reasons, but lame character being the most similar.

    Here is a thought off the beat and path. Hoping Brett doesnt end up in Minny because the following analogy works better.

    Bernard Berrian for two games this season watches Jay Cutler thowing strike after strike for TD's to Devin Hester, Greg Olsen or anybody else and thinking to himself, "man this really sucks"!

    40 DAYS!!!

  • In reply to dutsami:

    The only issue i see with bringing Mike Brown back is the playoffs. Yes, he might make us better but if he goes down late this year, wouldn't we be dealing with inexperience for the playoffs.... Steltz wouldn't get shit for reps, and get he'd get run over, again.... He needs to get on the field.

    I say sign Mike Brown and put him on the shelf! When december comes around, unleash him....

  • In reply to dutsami:

    Shonbear - Max has always been big on Rash. When you get a favorite its hard to let him go. A couple of seasons ago he was looking pretty smart for it. Last year not so much. There's a shot he could rebound with a good arm at QB. He used to be pretty damn solid in the slot. We've all got favorite players. Sometimes we get too attached to them to the point where it gets in the way of being a Bears fan. Sadly I think this may have caused the disappearance of Pissed Off concerning Rex. I wouldn't put Max in that boat yet.

    Concerning Plax, I don't personally think that the gun thing is a big deal. However, I live in NY. They do. I have a pistol permit. It took me a year and about 150 dollars to get it. I had to take an 8 hour course as well. That allows me to own a pistol for hunting/target shooting only. All my pistols must be registered with the state. It doesn't let me carry it outside my house unless I'm going hunting and then it needs to be in a locked case during transit. To get that privilege I'll need to take another 16 hour course, pay 250 dollars, and pass a proficiency course with my handgun to prove I can hit the braod side of a barn. These are the laws for me in an extrememly rural area of upstate NY, I can't imagine how much stricter the city is. Plax was carrying a gun that was unregistered and he doesn't even have a permit to own, let alone carry one. This big issue isn't even that it went off, it's that he had it on him. After being cut by the Gmen I don't see why he's going to get much in the way of special treatment. I think he's looking at serious time and a long time away, for that reason alone I don't want him. I'm crossing my fingers and drinking the Halas hall presented koolaid that our current receivers are adequate.

  • In reply to dutsami:

    i think we will be just fine with receivers this year. we went to the superbowl with far fewer offensive weapons even though our defense and special teams kicked serious ass.

    The only one i'm not really excited about is Davis...never have been. There is no doubt that he has tremendous heart and work ethic but the physical football skills and consistency just aren't there and never have been. I can't wait to see what Brandon Rideau can do along with Hester and Bennet. The youngster Knox and Iglesias should be exciting and of course we have 2 tight ends that could both start on almost every team in the league.

  • In reply to dutsami:

    Slightly off-topic but not really, and stolen from another forum:

    http://www.nfl.com/videos/nfl-network-total-access/09000d5d810e8dde/32-in-32-Denver-Broncos

    About a minute and a half in they directly compare Cutler to Orton using footage of similar plays.

    Me likey

  • In reply to dutsami:

    jdawg I dunno, I think we all know Cutler is more mobile and has a stronger arm than KO, so I was kind of like um yah.. and. Then the idiot says KO doesn't fit the mold of Cassell and Brady because he is a "shorter guy".... um they are all exactly 6'4";... there are a ton of reasons why not to lump KO in with those 2 but height is not one of them. What a douche.

    I rewatched the NFL Network game in 08 between the Saints and the Bears. KO wasn't near as bad as I remembered. He barely overthrew Hester on the 1st deep ball, 2nd was very catchable but Devin didnt adjust right, Dez dropped a gimme laid right into his hands in the end zone, Kreutz should have gotten the fumble not Orton, and davis had one bounce off his bricks err hands right into Bullocks.
    I think Devin really lost a step last year, he has never seemed as fast since his weird injury during the panthers game, I remember in 07 when he told Kyle to just throw it as far as he could and he would go get it.

  • In reply to dutsami:

    http://www.nfl.com/videos/chicago-bears/09000d5d8106e68f/Cutler-s-supporting-cast

    watch this!

  • In reply to Grizzly559:

    Fres, that one is like a month old and lots of new stuff has been revealed since it was originally aired. As I stated on "Da Blog" last time I saw it. How many video clips do they really need of Forte dropping passes so that they can demonstrate their NFL commentary ineptness. Just like the previous one I concur, how do they call Kyle Orton not tall?!?

    These guys just shoot from the hip, not doing any real research, but trying to be NFL shock jocks to get the attention. "Let's say something controversial" to create a buzz and stir the fan base. They piss me off and it's why I like the Bears "us against the media" attitude. If everybody is against them they play better.

    That said though, I would like it even more if we were favored and proved to everybody that we deserved it rather than us often having to say our team is better than their record because we gave away 3-4 sure wins. How many times did we kill someone elses "sure win" (Eagles come to mind)?

    So lets do away with the constant wondering if we will hold onto the win, is the lead big enough? I want to replace the wonder with the assurance that I know we will win.

    I got off the beat and path there a bit, anyway the media sucks. I want some serious eating of words when they all jump the hump of the "Ursus arctos horriblis" this season.

    Go Bears!

  • In reply to Grizzly559:

    Urlacher FTW-I don't think Hester lost a step last season. In that very same game Hester outran defensive backs causing pass-interference penalties twice! Doesn't seem to me like a loss of speed.

    Now, maybe Taub can get his punt return abilites back to normal.

  • In reply to Grizzly559:

    Mike Brown- yes
    Plax- yes

    Both one year and incentive-laden.

    They can always be cut if they don't work out.

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