Audibles From the Long Snapper
So a minicamp is in the book and now comes the long peaceful wait for training camp.
Lovie Smith is Swallowing the Happy Pills
"I'm excited,'' Smith said. "There's nothing to not like about what we did. Getting Brian (Urlacher) back at his position and seeing Brian and Lance (Briggs) back together, and Pisa Tinoisamoa also coming back. Then seeing Chris Harris back on the field and hearing his voice, along with seeing Julius Peppers. I see Tommie Harris in the best health he's been in. Mark Anderson ... seeing Zack Bowman continuing to make progress ... it kind of goes on and on. We like what we saw out there.''
Who else is booking their hotel rooms for Dallas in February? It's nice to see Lovie Smith excited about the defensive outlook for the 2010 season but I'll temper my enthusiasm for the time being. Unless Julius Peppers produces at a Pro Bowl level and Chris Harris stays healthy, the Bears will have a difficult time improving arguably the worst defensive unit in franchise history.
Mark Anderson: Defensive Key
Vaughn McClure calls Mark Anderson the likely starter opposite Julius Peppers and how he performs may very well determine the success of the entire unit. Anderson has been the Lovie love affair I've yet to understand and with Alex Brown no longer serving a purpose here (and only finding a home with the measly Super Bowl champions), the pressure will grow weekly on #97. And there's one place in particular (read: here) that will closely monitor both his sack totals and his play against the run - Brown's strongest asset.
Wanted: Veteran Quarterback
The consistent word out of Halas Hall is that Mike Martz wants a veteran backup quarterback. The reason? Simple. He knows there isn't a second, viable professional quarterback on the roster and he's worried about his offensive line's ability to protect. (The idea of bringing Trent Green in is intriguing but Green's brain should be his priority.) Martz has gone overboard in his praising of the quarterback, backs, tight ends and receivers but he's not said too much about the fellas responsible for keeping defenders from breaking their bones. A veteran backup is a good idea. Marc Bulger is the guy.
Final Word: I hate to let my theatre self crossover into my football self but methinks the ladies doth protest too much. When someone keeps telling you how good they are, chances are they aren't that good.
Brian Urlacher, Chicago Bears, Chris Harris, Julius Peppers, Lance Briggs, Lovie Smith, Mark Anderson, Mike Martz, Trent Green, Vaughn McClure, Zack Bowman