Pros & Cons

The Bears roster is set, so it's time to critique the Bears the starting lineup.

BEARS ON OFFENSE

DAVID TERRELL
WIDE RECEIVER

* PRO: Confident, determined. Won't hesitate to go across the middle to make a tough catch.

* CON: Has never lived up to No. 1 pick status. Immature and lacks the leadership skills the team must now have with Marty Booker gone.

* BACKUP: Justin Gage.

QASIM MITCHELL
LEFT TACKLE

* PRO: Great size at 6-foot-6, 355 pounds. Promising prospect showed signs of potential by finishing 2003 as starter on left side.

* CON: Inexperience. Mitchell is a former undrafted free agent who is being asked to protect the QB's blind side.

* BACKUP: John Tait.

RUBEN BROWN
LEFT GUARD

* PRO: Experience. The eight-time Pro Bowler established himself as one of the best while playing in Buffalo. * CON: Lazy. Brown was a backup through training camp until Terrence Metcalf went down. Needs to play hard all the time.

* BACKUP: Terrence Metcalf.

OLIN KREUTZ
CENTER

* PRO: Still known around the league as one of the best and most durable centers. Great leadership skills.

* CON: Undersized. Kreutz has trouble with oversized D-linemen and sometimes has to rely on double-team help.

* BACKUP: Terrence Metcalf.

MIKE GANDY
RIGHT GUARD

* PRO: Versatile. The Notre Dame product is sharp and durable enough to play guard or tackle.

* CON: Consistency. Gandy has been moved around so much he's yet to establish himself at one position on the line.

* BACKUP: Ruben Brown.

JOHN TAIT
RIGHT TACKLE

* PRO: Experience. The veteran started 33 consecutive games with K.C. the last two seasons.

* CON: Tait battled a groin injury all of training camp. He's also got to live up to a six-year, $33 million contract he got this off-season.

* BACKUP: Aaron Gibson.

DESMOND CLARK
TIGHT END

* PRO: Soft hands, decent size and good speed to catch short passes and turn them into big plays.

* CON: Injuries. Clark has yet to stay on the field. He's been slowed of late with a hamstring strain.

* BACKUP: Dustin Lyman.

BOBBY WADE
WIDE RECEIVER

* PRO: Clutch play. Half of Wade's receptions last season came on third down and resulted in first downs.

* CON: Inexperience. The second-year pro is taking over for Marty Booker and he's never started an NFL game.

* BACKUP: Bernard Berrian.

REX GROSSMAN
QUARTERBACK

* PRO: Quick release, strong arm, and great leadership skills.

* CON: New offense, new coaches, fairly new quarterback. This is Grossman's team to lead, but he still hasn't proven anything.

* BACKUP: Jonathan Quinn.

THOMAS JONES
RUNNING BACK

* PRO: Strong, quick runner who has shown he's perfect for the new offense when it comes to running and catching the ball.

* CON: Much like Terrell, has never lived up to first-round potential. Jones needs to get it right with his third NFL team.

* BACKUP: Anthony Thomas.

BRYAN JOHNSON
FULLBACK

* PRO: Great blocker who has shown he can catch the ball and star on special teams.

* CON: Still young and inexperienced. The former undrafted free agent played linebacker in college and is still growing at fullback.

* BACKUP: Jason McKie.

PAUL EDINGER
KICKER

* PRO: Most accurate kicker in Bears history (77.9 percent). Has converted an NFL-high 46 FGs over 40 yards the last four years.

* CON: Edinger can't get kickoffs into the end zone and usually gives opponents great starting field position.

* BACKUP: Brad Maynard.

BEARS ON DEFENSE

ADEWALE OGUNLEYE
LEFT END
* PRO: Led the AFC with 15 sacks last season and is very good against the run. Should help a team that had only 18 total sacks in '03.

* CON: Ogunleye held out all of training camp in Miami. Some think he also benefited from having Jason Taylor on the same line.

* BACKUP: Michael Haynes.

TOMMIE HARRIS
LEFT TACKLE
* PRO: Great first step, fast motor. Harris has all the tools to eventually be an All-Pro.

* CON: Rookie. Harris is a first-round pick, but will need some time to learn the position.

* BACKUP: Terry Johnson.

ALFONSO BOONE
RIGHT TACKLE

* PRO: Is an effective run defender. Has lost weight, which could improve his speed.

* CON: Pass Rush. Is not the typical defensive tackle in Smith's scheme. He isn't known for getting to the quarterback and will not play in the nickel defense.

* BACKUP: Terry Johnson

ALEX BROWN
RIGHT END
* PRO: Led the team in sacks with 5 1/2 in '03. Plays hard on every down and is more than adequate against the run.

* CON: Brown has been out with a calf injury most of training camp and is being pushed for his position.

* BACKUP: Michael Haynes.

JOE ODOM
STRONG-SIDE LINEBACKER

* PRO: Great special teams player and a guy who has a knack for always being around the football.

* CON: The Purdue product had a groin injury that spoiled his rookie season. Needs to stay healthy to win over coaches.

* BACKUP: Marcus Reese.

BRIAN URLACHER
MIDDLE LINEBACKER
* PRO: The name speaks for itself around the league.

* CON: Hamstring injury on the first day of training camp has set him back. Has been challenged to make the big plays.

* BACKUP: Hunter Hillenmeyer.

LANCE BRIGGS
WEAK-SIDE LINEBACKER

* PRO: Showed what a talent he is by taking over the job in his rookie campaign last year, starting 13 of 16 games.

* CON: Still young, Briggs hasn't come close to reaching his potential and needs to show last year wasn't a fluke.

* BACKUP: Leon Joe.

CHARLES TILLMAN
LEFT CORNERBACK

* PRO: As a rookie last season, Tillman turned into the team's best cover man. Great one-on-one skills and ball awareness.

* CON: Tillman still doesn't know all the ins and outs of playing corner. Needs to keep working at his craft and prove he's legit.

* BACKUP: Todd McMillon.

R.W. McQUARTERS
RIGHT CORNERBACK

* PRO: Veteran corner with great speed and instincts. He's also the team's best punt returner.

* CON: Forced to step in for the injured Jerry Azumah, McQuarters is not a premier cover man and will be picked on by teams.

* BACKUP: Nathan Vasher.

MIKE GREEN
STRONG SAFETY
* PRO: Physical player who is solid against the run, adequate against the pass and is always one of the team leaders in tackles.

* CON: Staying healthy. Neck injury cost Green six games last season and Bobby Gray has pushed him for the job.

* BACKUP: Bobby Gray.

MIKE BROWN
FREE SAFETY

* PRO: Big hitter and team's vocal leader on defense. Brown has started 63 of 64 games with the Bears.

* CON: With only two interceptions last season, some wonder if Brown has lost his touch as a playmaker.

* BACKUP: Todd Johnson.

BRAD MAYNARD
PUNTER
* PRO: Great accuracy on punts and ability to pin opponents inside their 20-yard line.

* CON: Weak leg. He's got the touch, but not the distance when team's in a pinch.

* BACKUP: Paul Edinger.


Bear Report Top Stories