Along with GB and WCG, I will be writing a weekly column that comes out on Wednesday. Mine is tailored more towards the long-term strategy of the Bears and the news and notes around the NFL. As per usual, I'll be giving you a steady dose of cynical and Devil's Advocate-type views.
If any of you listen to The Score, you may know that Mike Murphy does a "Tool of the Week" segment. At the end of each column, I'll have "ChiFan's Cretin of the Week." The lucky individual/individuals will either be from the Bears or the rest of the NFL.
Let's start, shall we?
Is the NFL Draft moving to February?
This article courtesy of Pro Football Weekly:
For instance, the draft has been held in late April or early May since 1977. However, there are a number of movers and shakers in the league who believe that veteran free agency should follow the draft, and with the CBA still to be agreed upon for the next contract, this issue could be a bargaining chip for owners.
Those same league insiders would like to see the draft moved to late February, with free agency to commence following rookie minicamps, most likely in mid-to-late March.
At the very least, this is an intriguing idea. Upon first read, I thought it was a great idea. I love the NFL draft and it would occur during a relatively dead time in the world of sports. However, there are more than a few problems with this notion:
1) If players have any sort of injuries towards the end of the year, it gives them little to no time to heal up and prepare for their pro day or the combine.
2) For the most part, pro days would cease to exist. The Senior Bowl, Shrine Game, and the combine would take their place.
3) It gives talent evaluators less time to perform their job.
How this has gained steam is beyond me at this point. I am almost positive that this move would not be popular with the veteran players, and I don't blame them. If they are on the FA market, most want to find a new home. This move would place too much emphasis on the draft, and, as we all know, drafting is never an exact science. An elite prospect may not pan out, and a team would be left with a gaping hole. As they say on all the anti-drug commercials, "Just say no."
Draft Talk: What should the Bears do?
This question has been bothering me for some time. Originally, I was a big fan of Oher and DHB, but Oher's been steadily slipping down the draft boards and I'm starting to get worried about DHB's skills translating to the NFL. A lot of you have been clamoring for Hakeem Nicks, and I was starting to come around on the idea until it was reported that he scored an 11 on the Wonderlic.
I realize that a poor Wonderlic score does not always translate to how productive a prospect will be. However, it does give some sort of an indication as to their problem-solving capabilities. I don't know about you, but consider me officially skeptical about drafting Nicks.
Digression aside, what should the Bears do?
As SackMan showed in this FanPost, we have a ton of holes to fill. Unfortunately, I see Jerry's moves to get Josh Bullocks and Glenn Earl (who?) as a sign that they're filling the FS void through free agency. Competition at positions is great; competition among below-average to awful players is not. I think this is a pretty clear signal that we're not going after Sean Smith or any safety prospects.
What about the wide receivers? Along with our offensive line, those two groups are disaster zones. No it All's idea is to move up in the draft and grab Crabtree. I'd be all for getting an elite prospect like him if we didn't have so many holes on our team. However, if Maclin slips to #17, I truly hope Jerry gets on the horn with the Jets and trades some picks so we can get him. After Crabtree and Maclin, the rest of the WR's possess something that I'm not interested in. DHB doesn't have a productive track record, Harvin scored low on the Wonderlic (so picking up a traditional offense could be slow for him) and has been injury prone, Nicks scored low on the Wonderlic, and Britt has the ego of Terrell Owens. Barring us getting Maclin, I don't know what we'll do here.
As we all know, our offensive line is a ship-shod group. Considering for a minute that we don't get Maclin with the first selection, my vote is to trade down to the end of the 1st or early 2nd. Why? We have a ton of needs right now. We would (hopefully) be able to pick up a prospect like Britton at the end of the 1st and grab either an OG or WR with another 2nd round draft choice. This does seem to be the most likely scenario, since Jerry loves to trade down for more draft selections. There's just an increased sense of urgency to get quality starters this year.
If Jerry follows through on his QB quote and we take Josh Freeman, it will be a sad, sad day in the annals of Chicago Bears history and a tough day on yours truly's liver.
Brief Rant on Jerry Angelo and the McCaskey's
GeoMak and others have started to champion the "McCaskey's are ruining the Bears" bit and have taken some of the blame off Jerry Angelo. I agree with the first part; I am not a fan of the McCaskey's and never will be. However, Virginia McCaskey didn't tell Jerry Angelo to sign Josh Bullocks, Glenn Earl (who?), Dan Buenning, or any of the other people we have masquerading on the Bears pretending to be football players. The McCaskey's are at fault for some things, but don't let Jerry off the hook for personnel issues.
ChiFan's Cretin of the Week
Taking "Apply directly to the forehead" a little too literally
We have a tie between Jerry Angelo and Lovie Smith; hear me out before you start incessantly bashing me.
Jerry - Last offseason, you should have re-signed John St. Clair to a minimal contract. Instead, you chose to wait until our line completely fell apart, which would (obviously) drive JSC's asking price up. If you couldn't see that John Tait was on his last legs, you're worse off than we thought. John St. Clair is not worth nine million dollars, and I would've been more pissed at you if you signed him to that amount. But to let a serviceable band-aid get away when our line was already bad showed an incredible lack of foresight on your part.
Not only that, but here's another reason why you're Cretin of the Week:
Rashied Davis dropped a couple of passes in early drills. Not a good sign.
Uhm....well....duh. How he's still a WR on an NFL roster is still beyond me. Looking forward to watching him drop more balls this year, Jerry! Keep telling yourself QB is the only problem.
Lovie - Vaughn McClure relayed this little tidbit after JSC was signed by Cleveland:
Coach Lovie Smith said the team wanted to re-sign St. Clair but said there were other options in case he didn't.
Who, exactly, are those other options? Cody Balogh? Dan Buenning? Woohoo! Get pumped, Bears fans. Patrick Mannelly might be playing on the OL sooner than you think.
As always, I'd love to hear from you all. What you hated, what you liked, what you want to argue, lemme have it.