FanPost

Mark Carrier vs. Mike Brown

The safety position is an area that seems to get overlooked in a city known for linebackers. Mike Brown's departure seems to have left a void in a position that is critical to pass coverage as it is to the run. 

 

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The safety position is an area that seems to get overlooked in a city known for linebackers. Mike Brown's departure seems to have left a void in a position that is critical to pass coverage as it is to the run.

I don't know if Craig Steltz is the answer or if Kevin Payne's hits will outweigh his poor coverage skills. The Bears also have Josh Bullocks and Zack Bowman. Bullocks doesn't look all that good and Bowman has upside, but is unproven.

Looking back at the position we've had some pretty good players back there and some not so much. I don't think that safety is one of those interchangable positions where you can stick anyone back there and if the system is good enough it doesn't matter about the talent. When you think how John Lynch, Ronnie Lott, Terrell Buckley, Sean Taylor, Ed Reed and Troy Polamalu were/are capable of changing games with a single play and how important that cog in the defense is. 

Going back to 1975 the Bears have had several changes at the position, but a few mainstays: 

1975-82 Doug Plank

1983-89 Dave Duerson

1990-96 Mark Carrier

2000-08 Mike Brown

Notice the 4-year gap between Carrier and Brown. Those would be the Marty Carter, John Mangum, Tony Parrish years. I know I'm omitting Fencik and Gayle here ... as well as Todd Bell, Mo Douglass and Marcus Paul -- while Gayle and Fencik were good, for the sake of sanity, I'm narrowing the field. Plank, Duerson, Carrier and Brown all played FS and SS. Based on stats, which only tell half the story -- each one was a pretty damn good all-around safety.

Plank -- the 46 -- could knock the hell out of you. Balls to the wall every time. While he didn't put up big numbers -- 15 INT, 14 fumble recoveries -- he was what a safety should be. He was a force beyond the second level and one that both RBs and WRs needed to be aware of. 

Duerson was als an aggressive safety, racking up 16 sacks and 18 picks, but it could be said that he was a product of the 46 scheme. Still, he executed and excelled within the scheme and he could hit. 

Carrier was a personal favorite because not only was he an incredible athlete, but he was the leader in the secondary. He could cover (20 picks), he could tackle and the sense to know where to be on the field. He set the stage for Brown. 

Brown never really reached full potential, though he managed 5 sacks, 17 picks and 7 fumble recoveries. A fan favorite for his gutsy play and leadership, Brown always seemed to be "right there" if he could just stay healthy. While Polamalu gets a lot of attention for the way he plays with reckless abandon, I think Brown could have done the same. 

All this in mind, what do you all think about the position and the current prospects to fill the role? Do we have another solid guy or a revolving door?

 

 

<em>This FanPost was written by a Windy City Gridiron member, and does not necessarily reflect the ideas or opinions of its staff or community.</em>

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