Tucker Confirms Defensive Changes and Other Bullets

MelTuckerHopefully everyone had a great weekend! The Bears rookie minicamp finished up, and sadly, my pet prospect (Indiana safety Greg Heban) didn’t make the grade for the Bears. (Not that I think that’s a bad decision; I’m certainly not qualified. I just liked watching him play in college.) According to Brad Biggs, the Bears did sign at least two players out of minicamp: North Texas safety Marcus Trice and Louisville running back Senorise Perry. Both players will head to camp with the Bears, and given the relative strength of their respective positional groups, I think Trice has to fancy his chances of cracking the roster more than Perry.

  • Among Perry’s competition, former NIU quarterback Jordan Lynch is certainly the highest-profile candidate. As Adam Hoge writes for CBS Chicago, the key to Lynch making the roster and being a potentially useful offensive player will be his ability to contribute on special teams. As a Heisman Trophy-finalist college quarterback, Lynch obviously wasn’t asked to do a lot of blocking or tackling, so he’s a bit behind the curve.
  • ESPN Chicago’s Michael C. Wright has a nice rundown of the potential changes in store for the Bears defensive scheme. Mel Tucker sounds as though he wants to make a lot of changes, and after last year’s performance, I’d think that’s a good approach. From the piece, I received the impression that while the changes wouldn’t be sweeping, they will be felt at all levels of the defense. Tucker notes that the high level of defensive personnel turnover (both coaches and players) helps to facilitate this sort of change. This is Mel Tucker’s defense now; he’s no longer beholden to Lovie Smith’s scheme, and he’ll benefit from a wealth of new defensive talent. I’m very interested to see how the Bears look defensively under Tucker; due to injuries (and the Bears effort to maintain defensive continuity from Lovie’s system) I’m still not really sure I know what a Mel Tucker defense looks like.
  • Marc Trestman plans on giving Jordan Palmer the first crack at the backup quarterback position, as noted by Adam Jahns. I think Palmer has a leg up at this point, given that the Bears certainly view themselves as a contending team; his veteran status probably provides a more reassuring presence. That said, Palmer has thrown all of 15 passes in the NFL, so it’s not as though he’s a seasoned, tested player. Considering the Bears spent a sixth-round choice on David Fales, Palmer probably shouldn’t be too comfortable.
  • Patrick Finley wrote a quick piece for the Sun-Times on the relationship between second-round choice Ego Ferguson and undrafted free agent signing Christian Jones.
  • The Bears released punter Drew Butler, according to ESPN Chicago’s Michael C. Wright. Butler was signed to a reserve/futures contract this offseason, but his chances of making the team were drastically diminished when Chicago selected Pat O’Donnell in the sixth round of the draft.
  • Speaking of O’Donnell, Jeff Dickerson wrote that he’s got some advice from the veteran specialists while at minicamp this weekend. Dickerson also reports that O’Donnell repeatedly hit the roof of the Bears indoor practice facility. Personally, I’m hoping he hits the Dallas scoreboard at some point. Remember when everyone assumed that would happen repeatedly, and it was treated as some sort of “Thing To Worry About”? Has it even happened in a game?
  • Finally, the National Football Post’s Joe Fortenbaugh has the Las Vegas Hotel Sportsbook NFL over/under lines for the upcoming season. The Bears sit at 8, which strikes me as low; I’d probably put it at 9. (Note: I’m not a professional gambler.) Looking at the other divisional teams, the Packers are at 10, the Lions match the Bears with 8, and the Vikings sit at 6. Play at your own risk.

Jay Rigdon is the editor and lead writer at Bleacher Nation Bears, and can also be found @BearsBN on Twitter.

371 responses to “Tucker Confirms Defensive Changes and Other Bullets”

  1. DReese

    The defense cant be worse right?

    1. frank

      Oh Lord, I hope not . . .

  2. mdavis

    sounds like BMarsh just signed an ext. 3 years, $30mil .he wasn’t kidding, he was going to give a bargain.

  3. Toby

    Dirt cheap

    1. mdavis

      total, looking at 4 years, $39.3mil $23 guarenteed. bargain. for an elite receiver that’s a steal. and its awesome.

      1. frank

        Blackhawks win on Sunday, Bears extend Marshall on Monday (and at a great price)–a good beginning to the week.

        1. mdavis

          agree agree agree. and whats awesome, is all the publicity Marshall is getting. Not just for being a great player, because we know that, but it seems like every outlet is writing about the “deeper” value of the contract, such as his leadership. He’s a totally differnt guy since he’s been in Chicago. He has done the “Bears South” thing past couple off seasons and that’s awesome. Hosting a bunch of guys down at his home, and yeah working out, but more importantly just hanging out and doing different things. That’s going to build a strong locker room, and he’s been awesome. And the fact he’s pledged $1m to Mental Health, that’s awesome too. Jazzed up bout it.

          1. frank

            Yes–he’s been a role model since he’s been here. And the $1 M pledge is great–now that I work in the mental health field, I see how our health care “system” still does not do a very good job in this area, leaving non-profits to pick up the slack. It’s not just the money–his bringing awareness to the situation is just as important.

            1. mdavis

              yeah for sure. plus, while people dog on Cutler from time to time, i think he really does have a great influence on Marshall. And you’re right, not just the money, but the attention he’s drawn to it. I think he said it in an interview, football is not his purpose, its his platform. and he’s using it very well. good on him. and damn, if he can help wilson to make the jump he helped jeffrey make…look out. reports are already that Wilson bulked up to the 205 range, which is excellent. hopefully he comes into camp and takes that 3 job and never looks back

              1. frank

                Agreed–on all counts.

  4. 5412

    Hi,

    I hope our punter never hits the scoreboard in Dallas because they are never forced to punt.

    regards,
    5412

  5. mdavis

    another thing i was encouraged about, read a story about Fales. Said Cutler reached out to him immedietly, was very welcoming and basically was texting with him daily about practice, plays, progressions, trestman etc. That’s great. Shows leadership, shows he’s willing to work with the kid, but it also shows he’s finally confident and comfortable as a leader on this team. only strengthens that qb room.

    1. frank

      Agreed–I think Cutler gets a bad rap about things like this, and it’s not necessarily deserved.

      1. mdavis

        with you on this 100%.

  6. frank

    I’m interested in seeing how Christian Jones does–getting him as an undrafted free agent may turn out to be a steal.

    1. mdavis

      Ageed. Big kid, i i think in the 6’3″ 245 range. they said he was workin at the Sam in Rookie camp. He’ll either eed to beat out a vet or they’ll have to carry an extra LB then what they did a year ago.

      Briggs, Williams, Bostic, McClellan, Greene are pretty much locks, signed Senn as the ST ace. I’m not sure they’d be able to sneak Jones onto the P-Squad.

      1. frank

        Well, given the new schemes and emphasis on flexibility, if they want to give a 3-4 look on occasion, they may add another LB — at least right now, they’re not carrying anyone specifically as a returner, like they did with Hester last year. That might open a spot somewhere, and if he can play on ST, that might be what they do. In college, he played both the Will and the Sam, and DE in 3-4 formations.

        1. mdavis

          yup good call on that. if he can be a 4 phaser ST his versatility might make it tough to keep him off the roster. Alternately, i could put a guy like Washington on the chopping block unless he shows some serious progression. But you’re right, if they go with some hybrid looks, he could develop a niche. I’ll say cautiosly, I think he makes the 53 (this is of course without having seen him in presaeson or anything at all)

          1. frank

            I think he’ll make it as well–given those same caveats. Washington concerns me–as bad as the DL was last year, he still didn’t see the field. As you say, he’d have to show some serious progress to stick around.

            1. mdavis

              yeah good point. with the amount of injuries, the fact Wooton was more DT last year, and McClellan missed some time with the hamstring and Washington still didn’t crack the rotation is a concern. Freak of nature athlete, but I’m wondering where he fits, especially with the influx of DL coming in. obviously Ratliff, Ferguson, Sutton are locks, Paea and Collins more than likely, and then at DE Allen, Houston, Young, and they are high on Bass. we’ll see, he’s p-squad eligible so they could try and sneak him through at the end of camp.

  7. frank

    Heard on the radio today that Pro Football Focus ranked Brandon Marshall as the #1 WR in the NFL (Jeffery was #8). Part of that was his utter dominance in blocking–he graded a 17 in blocking, while the next closest WR graded out with a 6. In fact, his blocking score was so high that if he had not even caught 1 pass all year, his grade in blocking alone would’ve ranked him as the 10th best receiver in the NFL. His blocking score was 2nd among all skill position players in the NFL–one FB ranked higher. The closest TE scored a 13.

    1. Patrick W.

      This morning on Mike & Mike Chris Carter told Marshall he wasn’t even the best receiver on the Bears.

      1. mdavis

        yes because 1 good year trumps 7 years of dominance.

        cris carter is a moron though, so i don’t expect anything less.

        1. frank

          mdavis–you beat me to it!

  8. frank

    Saw an article by Ross Read (don’t know anything about him) in which he says that there’s a “very good chance” that Roberto Garza doesn’t break camp with the team and announces his retirement. I guess it’s a possibility, but I don’t know that I’d call it a “very good chance” as he does. His reasoning is that the team sees de la Puente as a better long term option and Garza doesn’t bring much as a backup. Also says Kelvin Hayden, Izzy, Jordan Senn, and M.D. Jennings might not make the team.

    1. mdavis

      eh, i’d find that hard to believe. Garza was playing some real good football last year. I don’t think while De la Puente is a better long term option, i think that would be after this year. And considering Garza can play guard and center i think he still offers value as a back up. Can’t say I see this guy’s point of view in that regard.

      Hayden could have a tough time making the roster. Obviously Peanut and Jennings are the starters with Fuller the nickel. Frey is younger and can play the nickel. McManis is a ST ace. but we’ll see Hayden offers value on the outside, maybe in that Bowman role. Izzy same thing, could be a #s game. Senn is a ST ace, which are always wild cards. I think it depends if they plan on keeping an extra LB this year and how much they like the FSU kid. They brought in a lot of safeties, and the reports on Jennings were kind of meh, but he does bring starting experience. Will be some good camp battles for sure.

      1. frank

        The other thing is the value that they place on continuity, especially on the offensive line. Because de la Puente has worked with Kromer, he can bring some of that–but he hasn’t worked in this offense with these players. I’d be surprised if Garza didn’t make the team–but wouldn’t be surprised if he retires after this season.

        The ST problems last year, I think, will play a role here–they obviously went out and got some people who are good ST players–Senn and McCray being the most obvious. But Jennings is supposed to be very good on ST as well; however, there are an awful lot of safeties running around there right about now–Mundy, Jennings, Vereen, McManis, Steltz, Conte (when he gets back), and McCray. Senn and Jones are linebackers though, and that’ll play a role in the decision making as well. And as you said, for Izzy, it might just end up being a numbers game, especially after drafting Ferguson and Sutton. But to tell the truth, it wouldn’t surprise me all that much if Paea didn’t make it. He’s shown flashes, but at this point in his career, he should be showing more than that–and Izzy’s been consistent, if nothing else. The question is whether his limited playing time in Detroit was because of the talent, or because he doesn’t have much left in the tank.

        1. mdavis

          yup good points for sure. it’ll be fun to watch, and jobs are going to be won and lost on those ST units. OTAs opened today and saw that in nickel packages Jennings bumped inside and Fuller lined up outside. Sounds like Jennings has been wanting to play in the slot for awhile now. I like it though, keep the bigger guys outside move Jennings to the slot, plus you can ease the transition for Fuller that way. That nickel spot is a whole different animal. But we’ll see. Day 1. Probably want to get a few looks and what not.

          1. frank

            That’s interesting–I didn’t think of Jennings as the nickel, since all the conversation has been about Fuller at the nickel. Makes sense though.

          2. frank

            I was just thinking though–doesn’t the nickel entail more run stopping responsibility as well as lining up against TEs? Though he’s a pretty good tackler, his size might be a hindrance when matching up against bigger TEs. It wouldn’t be bad against slot receivers though–and he may even do some blitzing–that might be interesting.

            1. mdavis

              yeah that’s true. also heard Fuller actually excelled in the nickel position last season at Va Tech. But Jennings has experience there, so it may just be getting Fuller comfortable in the pro system and then come camp they bump him inside. We’ll see could flip tmrw for all we know, but now is the time to tinker with it.

              1. frank

                Switching Jennings from nickel to corner also gets Fuller on the field for all of the defensive snaps. Of course, as you said, this could all change tomorrow, but it is interesting.

                1. mdavis

                  maybe i read that wrong, but Fuller would still get the same snaps. base package Jennings is still on the outside. he would only bump inside in nickel situations, so Fuller is still looking at 50-60% of the snaps per game on avg.

                  1. frank

                    You’re right–I read it wrong.

                    1. mdavis

                      all good. it’ll be interesting to see though. i doubt they would flip flop week to week, but it could be a matchuip thing as well.

                  2. frank

                    Depending on matchups, they might flip flop from series to series, depending on which receivers line up where. For example, I can see them move Fuller to outside against the Saints if say Jimmy Graham, for example, lines up wide, and play him at the nickel if Graham lines up in the slot–something like that.

                    1. mdavis

                      yeah the could be a possibly. or when a team like tampa comes to town, they have Vjax and Evans now, to big cats on the outside, you may want a bigger corner out there. a lot of it will depend on how much Fuller can handle between the ears, how much info he can process and if he’s comfortable flipping back and forth.

  9. frank

    Read some things on McClellin’s conversion to LB–he’s played Sam and Mike, and has played as one of two linebackers in nickel sets. He’s also been calling huddle signals as the Mike with the 2s. He says it’s more natural for him, and Briggs has commented about his speed, athleticism, and smarts. He’s also going from being the smallest DE on the team to the biggest LB.

    1. mdavis

      thats interesting for sure. if he could profile to the mike spot and develop enough there where he can maybe take that next year, that would be huge. im getting ahead of myself with optimism, but hey that’s what its all about right? plus I think eventually Bostic will be the heir apparent at the Will where he can use that run and hit ability he brings.

      1. frank

        At this time of year, optimism is everything . . .

  10. mdavis

    Domenik Hixon tore his ACL yesterday in practice. That’s a shame, first practice of the year and your season is over. He’s a real good ST player too. Spot just opened up for Bellamy, Morgan, Weems, Williams. Still hate to see that.

    1. frank

      Agreed–it is a shame. Looks like Slauson’s out for awhile too, and D.J. Williams was a no-show–Bears didn’t give a reason.

      1. mdavis

        yep sounds like Slauson should be fine come camp. he’s a veteran so he’ll be fine missing on field work in OTAs. DJ Williams missing actually bothered me a bit (granted idk the reasons, could be something legit). But i suppose it gives the young guys an opportunity to get some reps.

  11. frank

    Did you hear this? Jason La Confora says that gb will basically walk away with the division this year, because: the Bears still can’t play defense; no one knows how Cutler will handle having a new, big money contract or the loss of Josh McCown; and no one has done anything to alter the balance of power in the division–or in the conference, for that matter. I can’t remember the last time I’ve read anything more stupid and ill-informed. If you think gb will win the division, fine. But how about at least giving reasons that show that you’ve been paying attention this offseason–the Bears did make a good number of moves, after all. Apparently, La Confora either thinks that these moves are insignificant (which is really kind of ignorant at worst, and lazy at best) or he doesn’t even know that they happened.

    1. mdavis

      wow, did not see that. but to be honest i’ve never liked him so i dont usually read his stuff. but yeah that’s pretty ignorant. to say the least. if anything, i’d say the packers are the only team that didn’t do anything to continue strengthening their squad. adding a 35 yr old Peppers doesn’t exactly light the world on fire. Lions added Tate, Bears bring in a revamped line. And on top of that…Cutler has made money. He signed a big extension when he arrived in Chicago, so…not sure where that’s coming from. Some of these national writers just seem to throw whatever they can at the wall be it informed or not. shame.

      1. mdavis

        i guess i shouldnt group all national writers with that. most of them have the bears on the rise, really liking what they did in free agaency and the draft.

        1. frank

          Well, a (local) blogger labeled La Confora’s comments as “out of town stupid”–but what La Confora said isn’t just stupid for someone who doesn’t follow the team on a regular basis–it’s just plain stupid (and lazy, for that matter).

          1. mdavis

            yeah agreed. i’m not sure how a team that brings in that much defense, and not just bodies, but a Houstom, an Allen, a healthy Tillman back, did nothing. But yeah, the guy is a clown. Just about every other report I have read has praised the Bears for what they have done. And I’m sorry, yes, losing McCown hurt. He had a nice run, was great in the QB room. but a team is paying him based on 7 games, and not the rest of his 11 or so years in the league when he was not very good. I think Palmer is strong in the qb room as well, but hopefully cutler stays healthy and its a moot point.

            1. frank

              Thank you! I’ve been trying to tell someone I know that McCown’s a lifetime backup with a QB rating of about 72. And he did lose to two last place teams, one of which had a defense ranked among the 3 worst in the NFL last year. Yes–he did more than we expected, and he was a good teammate and great in the QB room. I would’ve loved to have him back–but, as you said, look at the entire body of work. I also think that if Trestman was able to get that much out of McCown, he should be able to make Palmer into a competent backup as well.

              Yes–rebuilding the entire defensive line with some quality players; Fuller, Ferguson, Sutton and Vereen in the draft; plus getting injured players like Tillman, Briggs and Williams back equals nothing.

              1. mdavis

                yeah agree completely. He was a produt of being in a great system with a great staff and some of the best weapons around. I know Tampa is trying to surround him with similar players, but Evans is a rookie, and the TE they snagged is a rookie. Not to mention, I am not high on Tedford at all. I know he’s been referred to as a “QB Guru”, but only 2 qbs come to mind from his program, Kyle Boller (ouch) and Aaron Rodgers….and Rodgers had to sit 3 years, and McCarthy completely overhauled his mechanics from his Tedford days. I think McCown could be successful, but let’s not get carried away. The guy was out of football 3 years ago, he’s not the second coming of Rich Gannon.

  12. frank

    Here’s a good one–according to researchers at U.C. Berkeley, when the Bears play on Monday night, crime in the city drops by 13%, crime during Bears games on Sundays drops 3%, and when the Bears were in the Super Bowl, crime dropped 26%. The researchers go on to say that the evidence suggests that the most important factor for the drop is potential offenders are watching Bears games instead of committing crimes There’s also the possibility of police manpower used at Bears games causing a reduction in police patrolling the streets). So that’s it, Phil–the Bears HAVE to be good. Lives depend on it!

    1. mdavis

      haha that’s awesome. its for the good of society, damnit!

  13. mdavis

    Bears picked up an interesting UDFA today. Al Louis-Jean. Looks like he has some size, 6’2″ 200. Had some off field trouble. could just be a camp body/potential P-squad guy.

    side note: anyone else get that almost “convinced” feeling the Bears are going to be the team the NFL picks for Hard Knocks if no one volunteers?

    1. frank

      Just looked at his background a bit–seems to have a boatload of talent, but never developed. First “attended” Miami, but the coaching staff got fired, so he transferred to Boston College, and then their staff got fired. The incoming staff tried to use him as an off-the-line zone-type corner when his skills are better suited for press and man coverage, or as a safety. Could be interesting.

      The Bears seem to have everything the NFL would want for Hard Knocks–a team that just missed the playoffs, an enigmatic/lightning rod QB, a redemption story WR, a TE made for TV, an offense that has recently entered the 21st century, a rebuilding defense, cerebral HC who couldn’t catch a break in the NFL and ended up in Canada, all wrapped up in one of the NFL’s founding franchises in one of its largest markets. Why wouldn’t they pick the Bears? That said, I hope someone else volunteers–seems to me that Hard Knocks would be an unwanted distraction.

      1. mdavis

        yeah took a look at his numbers, nothing really jumps out at you, but has size and athletiscm, maybe with the right coaching they can develop something there. also don’t forget about the 2 corners from the p-squad last year, CJ Wilson and Demontre Hurst. Both guys were pretty good in camp last year, I wouldn’t be surprised to see one make the roster.

        I’m not sure it would be as big of a distraction as some may think. I mean, the real focus of Hard Knocks is always on guys lower down on the roster. If they did the Bears yes, I’m sure B-Marsh and Bennett would play around a bit. But I don’t see Cutler really being a factor or Briggs or whatever. Kind of would center more so around Emery and Trestman and then some guys trying to make the roster…Think Fales, Carey, Jordan Lynch I bet would get a ton of air time. I mena I don’t wnat the Bears to be selected, I think a team like the Browns or the Bill who are trying to sell fanbases on young talent should do it….but it’d be real interesting/pretty cool to get that behind the scenes look ,

        1. frank

          They might simply be looking at him as a developmental project. The things I’ve read say he has lots of talent . . .

          I don’t know–even if the bottom of the roster guys are getting most of the air time, just having a tv crew and all that around can be a distraction.

  14. frank

    Something else interesting–according to multiple sources, the Bears are investigating the possibility of signing Ed Reed. He’s nowhere near what he used to be, but he’s better than what the Bears have, and could teach younger players a lot. I’m sure he’ll ask for way more money than he’s worth though . . .

    1. mdavis

      Who’s reporting that? I just ask cause I read from the espnchi guys the Bears have no interest in him. interesting.

      Personally, I don’t want Reed. His style of player would be a disaster on the Bears. Reed is much more of a freelancer type safety, which would not work well with the Bears style of play. He’s old and has a lengthy injury history. Its also telling when his boy Rex Ryan doesn’t even want him back. I think this would be a bad move, would much rather see what Vereen has to offer.

      1. frank

        One of those reporting it was SI. I think you’re right. We’ve already seen the freelancing safety show before with Brandon Meriweather.

  15. mdavis

    also: bears signed Armanti Edwards and Michael Spurlock. Cut Patrick (LB) and Hixon (injury settlement). Those two will add competition to the return battle with Williams and Ford.

  16. Ed

    Looks like this site is down again…

    1. Jon

      no updates since may 19th. place is def rocking lol

  17. mdavis

    how do you know the media is bored? they are going on and on and on about the scuffle at OTAs as if it isnt something that happens every year on multiple fields.

  18. frank

    Just read that Marquess Wilson has bulked up to 207. That’s good.

    1. mdavis

      very good. Said he was running with the 1s in 3-wr sets, and Cutler was throwing to him. JD was on Waddle and Silvy yesterday and said basically Cutler does not throw you the ball in practice unless youre going to be in the game plan, so expect Wilson very involved this year. that would be huge.

      1. frank

        Yes — 4 receiving targets the size of Marshall, Jeffery, Bennett, and Wilson will give defenses nightmares.

        1. mdavis

          and then Forte out of the backfield. and they split him out occassionally and he’s a legit 6’2″. pretty ridiculous.

  19. Ed

    I’m not trying to be a dick here, but does anyone else feel like Brett should just cut his losses and hire someone who will be more consistent in their day-to-day writing? I mean this is getting ridiculous, if Jay is unable to write 1 or 2 articles a week then he needs to be replaced. I understand it’s the off season and there is not a lot to discuss but I expected at least a write-up on the Brandon Marshall extension,

  20. mdavis

    I’m sittin here thinkin bout the #2 TE, Rosario is meh, Miller has some experience, Onoburn is the talent….but he can’t catch the ball in games. would be great if he could realize that potnetial. but what about trying to convert Jerrod Johnson to TE? Lord knows he has the size at 6’5″ 250. I think he was a pretty good athelete in college, and not sure he’s going to be able to beat out Palmer and Fales. Just spit ballin. Haven’t heard anytthing of the sort, just bored at work and thought of it.

    1. frank

      Many thought that the Bears should’ve drafted a TE, specifically for that reason–their #2 TE is just a guy. If Johnson is a good enough athlete, he should be able to make the conversion–unless he has stone hands. How much speed does he have? I can’t see him beating out Palmer or Fales either. Ideally, Onabun will take the next step–which for him is catching the ball. Pretty important step for a TE, I’d say. As you say, he has a ton of talent and athleticism–but that’s not all that useful if you can’t catch a football ball in a football game.

      1. mdavis

        Yeah for sure. I took a look, seems Johnson ran in the 4.75-4.8 range a few years back. Comparison: Bennett ran 4.68, Ebron ran 4.6, and Amaro ran 4.75. So he’s in the general range, I suppose. No clue bout his ability to catch the ball or anything like that. Just looking at his size, and he’s already 25-26, hasn’t stuck on a roster as a QB yet, so just a thought. Would be so big if Onobun could catch haha. But lots of players have had great athleticism and potential never realized. Hope that’s not the case with him but I have my doubts. Especially since they said he worked very hard after practice and with the JUGS machine, and still had the drops in the preseason.

  21. mdavis

    Bears signed QB Jimmy Claussen….there are just so many things wrong with that statement, I don’t know where to start.

    1. frank

      Wait . . . What? Jimmy Claussen?

    2. frank

      My God, why?

      1. mdavis

        no clue. maybe just to take a look, update the files in case of injuiry? idk, i just think he’s terrible at football.

        1. frank

          I think his lifetime passer rating is about a 58. “Terrible” pretty much describes it . . .

    3. Toby

      Look how well McCown played under Trestman. Clausen might be worth the look.

      1. mdavis

        that’s fair…i suppose i’ve been saying the same thing about Palmer, and Claussen comes with more experience. Either way, competition is a good thing. Just have to wonder if having 5 (!) QBs on the roster is going to take snaps away from a younger guy, such as Fales. but i believe they are only going to carry that many through the end of mini camp, then i suspect they’ll go down to at least 4.

      2. frank

        True–I guess if Trestman can do what he did with McCown, then you have to at least give him the chance to work with Claussen, and the others, and see what he can do.

        1. mdavis

          for sure…i guess probably part of the reason i just don’t like him is he comes off as a huge jack ass. I still haven’t forgotten how he announced his college decision. ridiculous. but, sounds like hes matured, and at least comes with game experience. can maybe push Palmer, but in terms of what a back up needs to do, not on the field, but in the classroom and on the headset and sideline, i have to say i prefer Palmer.

          side note: Trestman also has noted (tribune) that Cutler amped it up this offseason to come in a little bigger and stronger, try and withstand the punishment and stay healthy this year. His health is crucial . 4 years in a row has missed at least a game. needs to end

          1. frank

            Agreed on all counts–Claussen has been a jackass, Palmer probably is better off the field (though Claussen has a chance to prove he can be an asset there as well), and Cutler amping things up in the offseason shows teammates that everyone can get better. You need that from your stars. Shouldn’t count on a backup to do much more than just keep you afloat.

            1. mdavis

              for sure. and really you’re looking for that strong room. Cutler has to respect they guy on the phones when he comes off the sideline, because he’s such an intelligent guy. I feel like he has a pretty good relationship with Palmer, and on top of that you want a guy to mentor Fales (I don’t see Johnson lasting on the roster). Palmer ran Bortles pro-day, he’s trained guys at an offseason academy. Yes Cutler has helped Fales out a lot from what I’ve read also, but Palmer is going to be the one, at least mentally, helping to bring Fales along.

              on the other side….if Clausen beats out Palmer, what does that say bout his playing ability. So, once again, competition is good. we’ll see how it plays out.

  22. mdavis

    ::sigh:: is it just me or did the BN Bears tab disappear again? Another hiatus?

    1. frank

      Looks like it . . .

      1. mdavis

        thats the pits.

  23. mdavis

    Clausen assigned #8…kiss of death. McCown. Rexy….Podlesh?

    1. mdavis

      sorry. I meant McNown…haha

      1. frank

        Not a lot of good luck with that number lately . . .

        1. mdavis

          underrated competition this camp i think is going to be that returner battle. Ford looked real good in pre-season last year. Williams is suppose to be an explosive guy and the favorite. They just brought in Spurlock and Edwards Weems is a former Pro Bowler. I also read Lynch was fielding punts, but I don’t think he will factor into that role. But who knows, wouldn’t hurt to throw him back there in pre-season game 1. WR depth chart will prob look like BMarsh-The Show-Wilson-Morgan-Weems/Spurlock/Edwards/Williams. It may come down to who can contribute the most on the offense, since all of those guys are solid ST. I’ve read Trestman actually prefers smaller shifty type WR, and with his familiarity with Williams, that could give him the edge. We’ll see how many wide outs they keep on the roster though.

          1. frank

            They’ve said that there’s a competition for the #3 spot, but I think it’s Wilson’s to lose. I know little about Williams except that he came from the CFL, and is supposed to be shifty and explosive, as you say; however, I don’t think I can think of three players who came from the CFL and had much success in the NFL. I don’t see much difference between Morgan, Weems, Spurlock and Edwards in terms of what they might produce. I believe they carried 6 last year–but without Hester, they may go 7. I doubt that though–I think they’ll add an extra LB for ST purposes, rather than a WR. My guess is they stick with 6 WRs.

            1. mdavis

              yeah, I’m sure they’ll compete, but Wilson would have to bomb imho to not be in the slot. I think Andrew Hawkins is probably the best *potential* comparison for Williams. We’ll see. If nothing else, he’d give a much different look from the current crop of WR. I think Morgan is above the others in terms of receiving ability. He’s actually had a couple of decent years as a receiver, while Spurlock, Weems, Edwards have pretty much been exclusively ST. So in terms of a 4th WR, I think Morgan could have the inside track. I think you’re right with 6. And depending on who wins the returner battle could also help determine how many WRs dress on Sundays. They’ll probably stash a guy or two on the P-Squad as well.

              1. frank

                That’s true–Morgan has had some success as a WR. He’s also 6’1, I think. Have you heard anything more about that assault charge? Depending on what happens, that may be a quick ticket out of town, too.

                1. mdavis

                  yeah Morgan has good size, would be a nice fit as the #4. Haven’t heard anything else except he pled not guilty. He’s been participating in OTAs for whatever that’s worth (not much).

  24. Ed

    Brett,

    Not telling you how to run your site, but please do NOT bring Jay back! He is way to inconsistent in his writing and obviously is not dedicated to this site.

    1. mdavis

      i’ll throw my hat in the ring if it opens up. played football most of my life and through college. Long been a student of the game. But either way, just as long as we don’t let this page go away, I’ll be pleased. Love the Bears, love talkin bout football.

      1. frank

        How about we make it a formal nomination? Brett, I nominate mdavis to take over BNBears–he’s been talking football on this site more than anyone (even more than me) and has the background for it.

        1. mdavis

          much appreciated sir.

  25. frank

    Just read that, so far, McClellin has looked excellent at LB–though it’s hard to say anything definitive before they start actually hitting people; and that Bostic is looking good enough to challenge–at the Mike.

    1. mdavis

      That’s a plus. Of course its always hard to contain the excitement. They are in shorts. My concern is, McClellan’s issue last year, other than overall awareness, was getting off blockers. Now, with the improvements up front, hypothetically it should be harder for lineman to get to that second level. But it’ll be big once the pads come on.

      If Bostic can challenge for the Mike I’m all for it. I think he just wasn’t ready last year, did the best he could. And I know Mike Wright at espn has harped on it a few times, but when the injuries hit, the coaches in place weren’t good teachers to get the young guys ready to play. Sounds like that problem was corrected in the offseason. But I think I prefer Bostic come in and take that job from Williams. His athletic ability would be a huge upgrade.

      1. frank

        With the upgrades at DL, I think LB play will be especially important this year–so the play of McClellin and Bostic will be especially important. With some added athleticism, they can take some pressure off the safeties, which I think that, though probably better, are still a weak point for the defense.

        1. mdavis

          yeah for sure. I’m curious to see what the nickel package will look like with the LBs. If it goes say, Bostic at sam, Williams at mike, Briggs at will…would they consider pulling Williams off the field in nickel packages to and leaving Bostic on with the added speed and coverage ability? Or do they stick with the vets. If it shakes out with McClellan (s) Bostic (m) Briggs (w), then I think its a no brainer McClellan comes of the field in those packages.

          As for safety, I’m still high on Vereen. I think he’s going to be a steal. Decent size at 5’11”-6′, 200 pounds, experience at both safety spots and corner spots. With Conte’s injury, I wouldn’t be shocked if Vereen and Mundy emerge as the guys, and I think they could form a decent tandem. Obviously a lot more will come out once the pads come on.

          1. frank

            That’s an interesting point. I think in your first scenario, they go with Bostic over Williams–depending, of course, on how Bostic picks up coverages. He was not impressive in that area last year–but he was learning. In the second scenario, I’d be inclined to agree that McClellin comes off too. A couple of things could have an effect though–Briggs is not as quick as he once was, he’s coming off an injury, and he’s a year older. But taking him off would leave an awful lot of inexperience on the field. And Bostic has to be better in coverage than he’s shown so far–otherwise, it could be him coming off.

            I think Mundy and Vereen would be an upgrade for sure. At least Mundy has experience and he’s not prone to mental errors. I just don’t know that Mundy is a starter on a top defensive team. And Vereen could be good. Of course, much depends on coaching, scheme, and playcalling–and whether they’re positioned to best take advantage of their strengths.

            1. mdavis

              Certainly need to hope Bostic makes the strides, from the early OTA reports he has. That will be an interesting battle. As will the DT spot. I’m sure Ratliff is penciled in. Paea has been inconsistent, Collins coming off the ACL, and then Sutton is the wild card in my opinion. Think he could actually end up starting with the other two (maybe Ferguson) rotating in. Also have to keep in mind they could bump in Houston to the 3 tech in nickel or dime packages, though I haven’t heard of that just yet.

              I agree, Mundy isn’t a star on any team, but with this scheme (or general scheme since we don’t know excatly what it will be) they don’t need to be stars. Just don’t make mistakes. Be where you’re suppose to be. Make a tackle when you need to. Basically, just be a solid player. I think Vereen has the playmaking ability to develop into a ballhawk down the road, but just be a lunch pale type safety, and they could solidify those spots.

  26. mdavis

    Also, just saw a few tweets from OTA. Guess Palmer and Trestman talked before Claussen was brought in, and Palmer has been sitting out team sessions because of a shoulder strain. Will be good for mini camp though.

    Honestly, not a terrible thing, he knows the offense and 3 days of OTA reps arent going to hurt him. Gave Fales a chance to get some reps and get his feet wet.

  27. mdavis

    More stuff from JD on the OTA today. Vereen took all the reps with the 1s (alongside Mundy who seems to be penciled at SS).

    and going off our LB convo, kinda interesting this popped up, but the 1s? Briggs (W) Williams (M) McClellan (S). but then in nickel, Williams AND McClellan came off and Bostic came on. Which actually might be a pretty solid rotation. Base, run stopping packages you have bigger run stuffers in Shea and DJ, and in the nickel with more room to roam, you bring in Bostic with his run and hit ability.

    Also Jerrod Johnson was running ST….seriously think they should consider moving his position. Can’t teach his size and athetlic ability.

    1. frank

      The 1s at LB aren’t surprising, especially at this point–Williams has the experience over Bostic even if he isn’t as athletic–so with experience and smarts, he can make up for the step he may have lost with age. And Williams has had some good years. He’ll be 32 when the season starts, but that’s not all that bad. The move to Bostic in the nickel is interesting, especially since they do tout McClellin’s athleticism and ability to move in space. But if both are athletic, fast, and can cover, picking the one that does it best is a good problem to have.

      1. mdavis

        yeah i guess my biggest shock was McClellan over Bostic at the sam. Though, if the reports are accurate and Bostic really is pushing Williams for the mike spot maybe they just said ok, lets have him focus on that….or another way of looking at it, if that’s how they are going to package it, Bostic is going to see the most pt out of the 3. Nickel is pretty much 60-65% of the time, especially with the North O’s.

        1. frank

          That could be what they’re looking at. And the Sam hasn’t been a major focus in this defense, historically. Hell, we had a pretty good defense with Nick Roach playing there. Roach is competent, but he’s not a star. If McClellin can play well at the Sam and allow Bostic to develop at the Mike, that could be a very good thing. I remember back to last year though, when they were saying that Bostic didn’t have the instincts to play the Mike–looks like scheme and coaching are making a big difference there. Bostic said that this scheme is more like the one he played in college. But I think we’ll see a lot more rotating of players before positions are locked down.

          1. mdavis

            yeah for sure. Could be just the best way to A. keep everyone fresh and B. maximize the skillsets of their top LBs.

            Sounds like they are still going with Fuller on the outside and Jennings bumping inside on nickel situations. More I think bout it the better i feel. That nickel position needs to create turnovers, be a ballhawk. Frey did an ok job last year defending, but created 0 turnovers (he may have had 1?). it’ll be a good battle for those backup corner roles as well. obviously peanut, jennings, fuller are locks. Back from last year Frey, Hayden, McManis, Wilson, Hurst, UDFA this year Louis-Jean, Purdy. I want to say they kept 6 last year. Frey and Hayden bring a lot of experience, McManis is a ST ace. They liked Wilson and Hurst enough last year to carry on the P-sqaud, and Louis-Jean has great size and potential.

            1. frank

              Also read that Vereen is getting all the snaps at FS, with Mundy getting the snaps at SS. Interesting that MD Jennings isn’t getting any of those snaps. It’s early, but it looks like they’re giving Vereen every chance to win the job.

              1. mdavis

                yea and i think rightfully so. He’s got the best potential, and could be a steal. I think Jennings was lining up with the 1s for the first half of OTAs, and then they made the switch to Vereen. I hope he takes the job. We’ll see when the pads come on.

                1. frank

                  I think I remember that as well. I’d like to see him take it as well, but I’m just hoping that whoever plays can provide some consistently solid play at the position. It would make a big difference.

  28. mdavis

    Falcons got Hard Knocks. Could have opted out so they volunteered. Would have been fun to see the Bears, but I’m glad they dodged the bullet.

  29. mdavis

    Just saw the Chiefs cut Brandon Flowers. 5’9″, 6 year vet, was a pro bowler last year. Not sure there is a fit with the Bears, but never know, can never have too many good players

    1. frank

      And the Lions cut Chris Houston. True–can’t have enough good players–I think the concern will be money.

  30. frank

    Saw an article that suggests the Bears sign Santonio Holmes to play the slot if they can get him for league minimum–another veteran who’ll give Wilson a bit more time to learn and develop. Three things–I don’t think they’ll get him for league minimum, his injury history as of late is a concern, and I think that if they feel Wilson is ready, they should let him play. Marshall said he thinks that Wilson will be considered the steal of that draft–so he must have some confidence in him.

    1. mdavis

      pass on Holmes all day. the guy is a disease in the locker room. best days are behind him. I’d much rather see what Wilson has to offer. Morgan is the security blanket. I’m good with that.

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