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Positional Review - Linebackers and Secondary.

Hello my friends,

I hate to have to throw together this last post, but work left me no other option.  In any case our Linebacker situation may be wrapped up anyway.  Obviously, it's an unofficial story, but there is a chance that Briggs will stay here in the Chi.  If he does, great!  If he doesn't Angelo seems to have enough back ups to carry us.  Before I get too far into this article, let me set the stage for where I am going. Our LB situation is uncertain, our CB situation is good but apparently injury prone, and our Safety position needs help.

Without further ado let's briefly get into our LB situation.  We know that Brian Urlacher is good and balky back or not he isn't going anywhere this year.  If anything he may be able to control it and play at a high level for another couple of years.  He is still one of the best MLB's in the game and I am thrilled to have him around.  Plus he makes weird commercials for Nike, like this one.  Next to him we have Hunter Hillenmeyer who is a real nice guy and not that bad of a line backer either.  He rounds off the corp nicely and hit the 100 tackle mark this year.  He does a good job.  Obviously, Lance Briggs and his Lambo wrecking self is the real mystery of this group.  At this point on our team, and with Urlachers back and age, Briggs seems to be the most talented and valuable LB on the squad.  I hope we can retain him, but if we can not we have young depth.  Jamar Williams can play, and behind him we have Darrell McClover who is a capable backup.  Behind Hillenmeyer we have Brendon Ayanbadejo who is a toss up because he is a FA.  He wants to get a contract and more snaps on D from what I have heard and if so he is a very capable backup.  All in all the LB position looks all right and even if we lose Briggs it wouldn't be as big of a hit as losing Tommie Harris or Vash/Peanut would be to our overall D.  Don't get me wrong having Briggs will make our Defense better and special, but we will not become a "horrible" LB unit if we lose him.

Now for the fun stuff, check out the Secondary review after the jump.

I love our Cornerbacks.  I'm not going to lie.  When I see Peanut and Vasher owning WR's a certain joy comes to my heart.  You see when it comes to Football there isn't much more I hate than watching the corners get burned and giving up the deep ball.  When I watch the Bears with Vash and Peanut playing its like a security blanker.  I feel safe.  Granted Safeties can get burned (see Super Bowl 2007), but Vasher and Tillman rarely get smoked.  However, they both spend time licking their wounds ever year, or so it seems.  I hope that they won't suffer from injuries this year, but even if they do our D has become stronger.  Trumaine McBride is a great backup CB who is only going to get better this year.  Having Ricky Manning Jr. taking ownership of the Nickel spot is a nice comfort to have.  We have 4 CB's who can be starters, and in this current pass wacky league you can never have enough quality secondary players.  Needless to say, unless Angelo sees some gem in a later round in the draft I highly doubt we are going to bolster our CB position at all.  We are pretty solid as far as performance is concerned and you can't ask for much better depth than what we have.

All that being said our Safety spot is hurting.  I will submit to you that I really like Danieal Manning and believe he developed well this year.  Aside from wussing out when Adrian Peterson ran in his 3rd TD long ago (seriously he didn't even try to hit him and basically let him have the TD) I don't have many complaints.  His stats have remained consistent since last year and he helped keep the position from imploding during the year.  As far as our other "starter" was concerned (Brandon McGowan) I really don't have a lot of kind thoughts/words from him.  His stats were decent for a backup Safety being pushed unto a starting role, but unfortunately ESPN and other stats compilers don't keep tracked of "missed tackles" and being a wuss because if they did McGowan would lead in both categories.  He is going to stay on the team and be a starter or a second string, but I just don't like him.  Nothing about him jumps out to me.  I like Kevin Payne as a backup and I hope he continues to develop.

I hope we can all agree that the Adam Archuleta thing was a disaster and I hope he is relegated to Special Teams.  He is overrated.

This brings us to the biggest enigma on the Bears... Mike Brown.  I want you to understand that I love Mike Brown.  I really believe he is the most important player on our defense.  He is a playmaker, he is a leader, and our defense is special when he is our there.  As we saw during our super bowl season and last year our D isn't that great without him.  He really pushes us to another level, and it still PISSES ME OFF BEYOND BELIEF that freaking Lornezo Neal Horse Collared him and ended his season.  Thankfully, he hasn't been cut and it looks like the starting job and leadership spot on the team will be his to lose.  I hope he comes back and is successful, but there is still that fear that he will get hurt again.  I believe this is a position where we at least have to invest in the draft.  Thankfully, the best S is projected to go at the end of the first round or the beginning of the second which means there should be plenty of players for the taking in the later rounds.  Here are some potential draftees from nfldraftcountdown.com.

  1. Kenny Phillips Miami (FL) 6-2 210 4.45  
  2. Reggie Smith Oklahoma 6-0 196 4.45  
  3. DaJuan Morgan North Carolina St. 6-1 200 4.50  
  4. Thomas DeCoud California 6-2 204 4.55  
  5. Craig Steltz L.S.U. 6-2 209 4.60  
  6. Marcus Griffin Texas 6-0 202 4.60  
  7. Tyrell Johnson Arkansas St. 6-1 197 4.55  
  8. Tom Zbikowski Notre Dame 6-0 210 4.55  
  9. Jamar Adams Michigan 6-2 210 4.50
  10. Josh Barrett Arizona St. 6-3 231 4.60
Those are some of the names, and I fully expect one of them to be a Bear after the draft.  The one that I am a fan of and hoping for is Josh Barrett.  The stats above are flawed as Barrett came into the combine at 235 and running a blistering 4.35.  That was one of the better S times and was quite impressive for someone who is 6-3 with a larger muscular frame.  

Our LB situation is dependant on Briggs, and our CB situation is looking good but we need Vash and Peanut to stay healthy.  The Safety spot is much more uncertain and I really hope that we can hope for Brown to stay healthy and continue to build through the draft.  

There is a lot of hope in this article.  I know that and admit it and it could very well come to be that we will lose some of our key players to injury yet again... it happens to every team.  In any case, I am very comfortable with where we are.  We have good depth at the LB and CB spot and not so much at DT and S, but Angelo will build our D up as he always does.  He has proven time and time again hat he can draft Defense and there is no reason to think that he will stop now.

As always, let me have it in the comments.  Let us all know if you have watched any of the College prospects and have inside info and check out the Poll. Let me know if I missed anything and heres hoping for a big FA signing on Friday!

Poll

What is most important to you based on this article?

This poll is closed

  • 67%
    For Mike Brown to stay healthy and solidify the S position
    (21 votes)
  • 3%
    For Lance Briggs to remain a Bear
    (1 vote)
  • 12%
    For Vasher and Peanut to stay healthy
    (4 votes)
  • 16%
    For Angelo to forget about relying on Brown and Draft and Sign help
    (5 votes)
31 votes total Vote Now