In a rush, for corner help

Seemingly the Bears top draft priority on defense was to add a pass rusher, but defensive coordinator <!--Default NodeId For Greg Blache is 449107,2002--><A HREF=[PlayerNode:449107]>Greg Blache</A> believes adding a cornerback is a more pressing need than finding someone that can get to the quarterback.

"Is that something that's got to be addressed?" Blache said of obtaining a pass rusher. "No. I don't think it has to be addressed as much as the issue of corner needs to be addressed."

The Bears decided to let Walt Harris go last off-season expecting that Jerry Azumah could move from nickel responsibilities to become the team's second cornerback. However, their best cover man, R.W. McQuarters, went down with a knee injury in the season opener and didn't return until Week 5. Azumah quickly became the top cornerback, meaning either Todd McMillon or Reggie Austin had to start.

Roosevelt Williams, the team's third choice in 2002, got hurt in training camp and never seemed to catch up to were the Bears expected him to be.

Injuries aside, the Bears need to add depth at cornerback. McQuarters and Azumah will be the starters, but the third slot is wide open and that's where Blache is hoping to get help.

"We're in need of a third corner right now," Blache said. "Ro didn't come through last year like we'd hoped he would. He still may, but I can't sit around waiting another year and if he doesn't, he doesn't. He's just got to step up to the plate and do it now or whoever this new guy is coming in here is going to get (the job).

"At some point in time, I think in the first few rounds, I'm almost certain we will address the issue of corner at some point in time on that first day. If it's the first round or if it's the third round, it doesn't matter."

Blache said Colvin's absence will hurt the team's pass rush, but he feels more comfortable with his current crop of ends that corners.

"If you can't cover people, I don't care how fast you run up the field (after the quarterback), the ball's going the other way," he said. "For our football team, our needs, I need a corner.

"I can line up the first ballgame and 18 games with Alex Brown and Phillip Daniels (at end) and sleep at night and feel pretty darned good. I think I can give my guys a chance for the championship."

Bear Report Top Stories