If the Bears’ offense ends up being anywhere near as productive as the Saints’ has been in Sean Payton‘s tenure, I’ll sure be happy.
1. As shocked as I was by the selection of Kyle Long with the 20th pick, I’m warming to the idea. I was initially frustrated because I felt there was a playmaker there (Tyler Eifert) and a good player at a position of need (Desmond Trufant) that would have been a better pick. But Dan Pompei’s article today has helped me along. I do trust that Long may have been gone if the Bears had traded down. And as Pompei writes, he may in the end have the most upside of anyone that was available at the 20th pick. My only concern now is that perhaps Long could have started at left tackle, thus making the signing of Jermon Bushrod overkill.
2. According to Emery, Long’s athletic ability was the reason for drafting a guy that only started four games in college. Reminds me of the Eagles drafting workout freak Mike Mamula in 1995. And of the Bears selecting guys like John Thierry and Marcus Spears in 1994 based on numbers alone. Since then, ratings have seemed to swing back to football skills rather than workout numbers and measurables. I have confidence Long is going to work out–but just saying.
3. A little surprised to see the Bears draft middle linebacker Jon Bostic over Arthur Brown from Kansas State. Brown was a sure tackler and the Bears were very connected to him during the pre-draft process. I obviously have not watched Brown play-but regardless, obviously he is the heir apparent to Brian Urlacher. Time will tell if Brown is closer in talent to Urlacher, Mike Singletary and Dick Butkus, or closer to Barry Minter, Tom Hicks or Waymond Bryant.
4. Speaking of the bluff to be interested in Brown, it seems the Bears are great these days at keeping their draft intentions under wraps. Sure beats the days when the whole world knew the Bears wanted to select Andre Carter (2001), allowing the San Francisco 49ers to leapfrog them and snatch their player.
5. It is somewhat disappointing knowing that the Bears did nothing in the draft to address needs at cornerback and backup quarterback. Hopefully Chicago can do something to lock Tim Jennings in long term, as well as keep Peanut Tillman for another year at least, then take a player in 2014 to groom. At quarterback, looks like Josh McCown is locked in as Jay Cutler‘s backup, God willing that the Bears aren’t thinking of bringing in Tim Tebow. But they’re going to be in a sticky situation in 2014 now if Jay Cutler doesn’t come back, or demands too much money.
6. In 2012, the Bears selected cornerbacks in the sixth and seventh rounds, and neither of them made the team. In 2013 with only five draft picks (six after a seventh-rounder was added via trade), the Bears had to make all of them count. Despite the fact that any players picked after the fifth round are long shots to make the team, I am hoping that Emery’s exhaustive scouting may have found a gem or two in Khaseem Greene (LB), Jordan Mills (OT), Cornelius Washington (DE), and Marquess Wilson (WR). The Wilson pick is intriguing in particular, as many teams may have passed on him after he walked out on his Washington State team.
Here is Profootballtalk’s review of the Bears’ draft. I’d like to hear yours.
I was in pain from a minor procedure and had no interest in following the draft on twitter, or tweeting out myself. When the Chicago Bears selected Oregon guard Kyle Long with their 20th pick, I tried to send a message out stating how much the pick confused me, but it didn’t work. Then all I could think about was falling asleep, which I promptly did.
I think it’s fair to say that everyone was surprised by the Bears’ pick of Long, who I didn’t see on anyone’s first round mock draft. Yet Bears GM Phil Emery stated that no trade offer was going to get the Bears to pass on Long.
Earlier in the day on Thursday, I heard WSCR’s Boers & Bernstein opening their show by stating they hoped that Emery wouldn’t make another “cute” or “weird” pick, as Shea McClellin seemed to be last year. I didn’t think there would be any way that he would. But to me, he did.
I still trust that Emery knows what he’s doing as he assembles a Bears roster that is truly all his own. But my take on the situation is:
At the time the Bears made their first round pick, Chicago had major needs at Linebacker and Cornerback. And an offensive playmaker that surprisingly fell would have been too good to pass up. The following players were on the board:
- Tyler Eifert, TE Notre Dame
- Desmond Trufant, CB, Washington
- Alec Ogletree, LB, Georgia
And those three players flew off the board fast after the Bears surprised by taking Long.
It also puzzled me because the Bears seem to have a logjam at guard. Not that they shouldn’t try to get better there-they should-but with Matt Slausen, James Brown and Gabe Carimi set to battle for the two starting positions, I felt this would be better addressed later in the draft.
But with trust in Emery, we have to trust that he did indeed take the player his exhausting research told him was the best available player. But it certainly was the most surprising first round pick to the experts.
Now if the Bears are able to get their hands on Brian Schwenke in the fourth round, or pick up a third-rounder by engineering an amazing trade, I would be truly excited about their offensive line. But then this would prove that Carimi was a complete waste of a pick.
What do you think?
The 2013 NFL Draft commences tonight at 7 p.m. central. By the end of this evening, barring a trade down, the Chicago Bears will have selected a new player with their 20th overall pick. As of now, the Bears have only one selection on Friday, then pick in rounds 4-6 on Saturday.
Instead of making any predictions, I’m just going to watch intently and see how it plays out. I do know that the Bears very much would like to trade down to acquire more than the five total picks they currently have. But in order to do so, there has to be a team below them wanting to pick higher in the first, or possibly a club that wants to move back into the first round from the second. I know Bears GM Phil Emery will only do this if he is offered the right deal.
There has been a lot of talk that the Bears are enamored with Notre Dame tight end Tyler Eifert, but I’m thinking this is an effort to get a team a few picks back to offer the Bears a deal. Chicago also just conducted a workout on NC State quarterback Mike Glennon, and I’m thinking that the Bears are probably trying to get a team interested in making an offer for their second round pick.
Regardless, again, we’d be wise to expect the unexpected tonight. Who out there really thought the Bears would draft Shea McClellin last year when Whitney Mercillus was on the board? I know that in 1998 and 2005, the running backs I feared would be taken (Curtis Enis and Cedric Benson) were selected. In 2000 I had confidence the Bears would draft Brian Urlacher. Other than that, the way the draft has fallen has usually been a surprise.
And I’m looking forward to it.
No mock draft is ever spot on. Mel Kiper, Todd McShay, Mike Mayock, and others make a lot of their money on the draft, but it never quite works out. Mel Kiper was not a fan of Russell Wilson coming out of Wisconsin last year, and Mike Mayock loves Manti Te’o this year, which goes against everyone else’s opinion. Pete Prisco once called Peria Jerry the next Warren Sapp yet ripped the selection of Clay Matthews by the Packers. With that being said, I tried to throw together a mock draft for the Bears. In this draft, I attempted to combine things said by Phil Emery and Marc Trestman, along with reports of who the organization has met with. I also incorporated their needs and players where other mock drafts have them slotted. This draft might be the biggest for the franchise in years. They are getting older at many positions, and they are also getting to the point where there is no depth, yet alone youth. Remember- making a mock draft for a team with five picks is no fun. Making one with trades on the other hand is fun.
The Bears trade pick #20 and a 6th round pick in 2014 to Atlanta for pick #30 (1), #60 (2), and #163 (5).
1. Zach Ertz, TE, Stanford
—According to Jeff Dickerson of ESPN Radio 1000, the Bears are very interested in Zach Ertz, and why wouldn’t they be? They added Martellus Bennett, yes, but reports out of minicamp were that Evan Rodriguez is still lining up at FB. Ertz would give the Bears two capable pass catching TE’s. He’s very smooth and smart and runs good routes. His hands are very good as well. The only thing that’s keeping him from being the best TE in this class, according to most, is his straight-line speed. However, when everything that is thrown your way is caught, it makes up for it.
2. Larry Warford, G, Kentucky
—Kentucky hasn’t had an offensive lineman drafted in 19 years. That will change this year with Larry Warford. If there’s one thing to learn here: Kentucky is in the SEC and Warford gave up ZERO sacks last season. He made the All-SEC second team three times as a Wildcat, and that can be attributed to his quick feet, knee bend, and arm length. The Bears have been lining up Matt Slauson along with James Brown as the two starting guards, but if Phil Emery is serious about upgrading the offensive line, he can’t stop with just the acquisitions of Jermon Bushrod and Slauson.
2. Darius Slay, CB, Mississippi State
—Emery has made it known that this is a great class for cornerbacks, and he can add one here in Darius Slay. Slay is tough and has long arms. He can tackle pretty well, too. If he was on the bulkier and blazingly fast side, he would easily be a 1st round pick. Learning from Tim Jennings and Charles Tillman would benefit any player.
4. Brian Schwenke, C, California
—To me, Brian Schwenke is the best center in this class. Prior to the year, the argument was made for USC’s Khaled Holmes, but along with just about every Trojan in 2012, he had a rough year. Schwenke played guard as a junior but switched to center for his senior year, where he shined, making All-PAC 12 first team voted on by coaches. He is quick and smart and will never lose the leverage battle. Power is not his strength, hence the switch to center. A lot of Bears fans like Roberto Garza, and while he might be a great person, he’s in the last year of his contract and he’s not very good anymore. Once again, the offensive line upgrading can’t just stop with Bushrod, Slauson, and now Warford. It has to be totally revamped.
5. Matt Scott, QB, Arizona
—Using a late round pick on a quarterback is a smart thing to do. Matt Scott has drawn comparisons to Colin Kaepernick. While that might not necessarily be a great thing since nobody has seen more than one year of Kaepernick, I will take my chances with a guy who can sit back and develop.
5. Devonte Holloman, OLB, South Carolina
—Devonte Holloman has been compared by some draftniks to Chad Greenway, who has proved to be a very good NFL starter in Minnesota. While Holloman might never be as good, the Bears need depth and youth at linebacker regardless. He used to be safety, so he is good in coverage. He has long arms and is built well, and making tackles is a sure thing for him. It’s also a bonus that he has good hands from his defensive back days, so interceptions aren’t foreign to him.
6. Ace Sanders, WR, South Carolina
—There is still rumors that the new coaching staff talking up Devin Hester is nothing more than them attempting to raise his trade value. If this is the case, Ace Sanders could be his replacement. He is a smaller guy, so he might not be able to contribute much as a receiver right away. Then again, it would not shock me if he was used in the slot because he is so fast. If he doesn’t play much there, he is a dangerous punt returner who can help out there.
–Brian Ociepka (follow me at @bjociepka1)
The 2013 Chicago Bears schedule was released last night. I have my thoughts-would like to hear yours.
What is interesting to me:
- Great to see two games at home to start the season for the first time since 1999. I’m afraid to ask when the other shoe is going to drop. I had been complaining that for years, the Bears started on the road and the majority of their games at home were late in the season. While dome and warm-weather teams played at home early in the season. Glad to catch a break for the 2nd year in a row.
- First Thursday Night Football game in Chicago since 2008 I believe. This is going to screw with my workweek.
- Monday nights at hated Green Bay and at home against the hated Cowboys. I’m hoping the December game against Dallas will be as frigid as the 2008 game on MNF vs the Packers-the coldest game in Chicago history. That was cool. No pun intended.
- Bears wrap up the season at home against Green Bay. Let’s hope the game is meaningful-for once.
One week to the 2013 NFL Draft. I have reviewed my draft magazines as I usually do, and have my thoughts and opinions on what the Chicago Bears need. But since I’m not scouting anyone there is no reason for me to be rambling about my opinions consistently. However, we will have a mock draft posted by contributor Brian O. by Tuesday the 23rd, so make sure to stop back and weigh in.
As the draft approaches, I’m not so sure that the Bears may not surprise everyone if the right player is there. Profootballtalk recently posted its Bears team needs, and they have them ranked as Linebacker, Offensive Line, Quarterback, Defensive End. To me, it should be best player available or trade down, with the exception of wide receiver or running back.
As the day comes closer, I’m not so sure that if the best player available was a quarterback (such as Syracuse’s Ryan Nassib, pictured), the Bears wouldn’t take him. The Bears need some sort of roadmap at the position. We know it’s a make or break year for Jay Cutler. But if it turns out to be the break year, how stupid would it be in retrospect for the Bears to not have taken a quarterback if the future was there.
The biggest problem with that, of course, would be Cutler’s reaction to the drafting of a quarterback high. In my opinion, he’d go ballistic. That would be a huge problem, but I hope Phil Emery drafts in the way best for the organization, not in the best way for Jay Cutler. And I expect that he will.
As always, it’s going to be interesting. As will the release of the 2013 NFL schedule tonight. Enjoy.
The Chicago Bears have retired the most numbers of any team in the NFL, and second most in professional sports behind the New York Yankees. They’ve retired so many numbers, in fact, that in 1987 team president Michael McCaskey initially told Walter Payton that #34 would be worn again.
Because of what eventually turned into a shortage of uniform numbers, the Bears would for years at a time not use numbers worn by special players. For example, nobody wore #40 from Gale Sayers‘ retirement until the number was immortalized in 1994. Same for #50, this number has been reserved but not retired since Mike Singletary‘s last game played in 1992.
Now oddly, the Bears have announced that the legendary uniform number will be worn by new linebacker James Anderson in 2013. A player on a one-year contract. That’s what is strange about it. If they were going to eventually use the number again, why did they not assign it to Brian Urlacher or Lance Briggs? Just seems odd to bring it out of mothballs for what could be a one-year player.
Apparently, Singletary is OK with it according to ChicagoBears.com via ProFootballTalk.com.
Maybe this is a veiled way for Phil Emery to continue to prove that there is a different era indeed dawning in Lake Forest. Or maybe that’s reading too much into an innocuous event. Or maybe since #7 (George Halas) was worn by Bob Avellini, #51 (Dick Butkus) was donned by Jim Morrissey and #89 (Mike Ditka) has been worn by a lot of average tight ends, it just doesn’t matter.
I wonder when #54 will be worn again? Surely if Singletary’s number can be worn by a one-year player, Urlacher’s legendary number will be used again.
Former Bears coach Jack Pardee (1975-1977), shown at left greeting Bears WR James Scott after Pardee left the Bears, died on April 1st at the age of 76. Pardee departed the Bears under questionable circumstances, but regardless his life story is pretty remarkable in my opinion.
Pardee was one of Paul “Bear” Bryant’s “Junction Boys” at Texas A&M University. One of the remarkable parts of Pardee’s life occurred in 1964, when he missed a year of football as he battled malignant melanoma at the age of 29. According to Jeff Pearlman’s book “Sweetness”, Pardee was told that he should have his arm amputated in order to save his life. He instead chose an experimental treatment, which cured him at the time. He then went back to playing football.
In 1975, new Bears GM Jim Finks chose the 38 year old Pardee to be his first head coach. Looking back, I kind of liken the Bears situation at that time to the present-day Chicago Cubs. The Bears were embarking on an experiment of their own, with George Halas Sr. and Jr. turning over the reins of their franchise to outsiders for the first time.
Finks and Pardee had the team headed in the right direction, and the team rallied by winning the final six games of the 1977 Chicago Bears season to make the playoffs for the first time in 14 years. But as dramatically happy a time that must have been for the team, Pardee was engineering his and the team’s demise.
Former players’ of Pardee’s that were quoted in his Chicago Tribune obituary were remarkably vague about what happened, possibly out of respect for a good man. But it has been clearly been put on the record that Pardee was more concerned about taking the Washington Redskins’ head coaching job than preparing the Bears for their wild card playoff game at Dallas. I have been told for my Chicago Bears History book that Pardee was more concerned about readying his house for the move than getting the team ready for the playoff game. The Bears were throttled by the Cowboys 37-7, and Pardee quickly left for Washington.
In retrospect, Pardee’s replacement Neill Armstrong was not up to the task. But one good thing that did come out of the change was Armstrong bringing Buddy Ryan to Chicago as defensive coordinator.
Pardee’s passing is sad to me because the former Bears coach reminds me vividly of my childhood. I started watching the Bears in Armstrong’s second season, but I still remember my Dad telling this eight year old that Pardee was a good coach and it was a shame that he had to leave. When the grizzled Pardee became the head coach of the Houston Oilers in 1990, that also took me back to my childhood. And the memory of him presiding over the Buddy Ryan-Kevin Gilbride fight…priceless.
Another legend from my childhood deceased. May he rest in peace.
I’m trying to think-seriously-when was the last time the Bears drafted and developed a solid offensive lineman? Before Lance Louis, that is. 2001 pick Mike Gandy? He was solid but not a star. Before that, Rex Tucker, who was oft-injured. Then before that, you have to go all the way back to Olin Kreutz.
Just think of that, every guard and tackle that has played for the Bears from 1998-2012 was acquired from another team. (Not counting Chris Villarial, who was drafted in 1996 and played solidly until 2003).
That’s a shame and embarrassing. And now it’s unfortunate that the one offensive lineman they drafted and was just becoming solid, they have lost. The aforementioned Louis signed with the Miami Dolphins yesterday.
It’s a shame, but I understand that a team can’t add pieces such as Jermon Bushrod and Martellus Bennett and still have cap room for guys like Louis. I’m sure the hope is that Gabe Carimi and James Brown will develop at guard. And perhaps an elite guard will fall in the draft, the Bears will take one later in the draft, or a veteran cap casualty will be available before the season begins.