Bears Could now Target Running Back

Taking care of adding a No. 1 receiver before the draft allows the Bears to consider taking a running back with the fourth pick.

Despite signing Thomas Jones to a four-year $10 million deal a year ago, the Bears need playmakers anywhere on the offensive side of the ball.

Jones led the team in rushing (948 yards), in receptions (56) and touchdowns (7), but he missed two games and only had one carry in another because of a toe injury. During the three-game stretch, Anthony Thomas rushed for 280 yards and the team went 3-0. However, Thomas wants to start and is certain to leave via free agency.

New offensive coordinator Ron Turner plans on stressing the run. Jones has never been able to play a full NFL season and considering Adrian Peterson is currently second on the depth chart the Bears are in need of help.

"I just think that if you look at the league as a whole, what we would like to do, grinding the ball, play action passing and things like that Anthony Thomas is a free agent out there. And we probably need to add another running back," Smith said.

Although there is a chance that Cedric Benson could still be on the board when the Bears are on the clock, the more likely scenario would be the choice between teammates Ronnie Brown and Cadillac Williams from Auburn.

While Williams got the bulk of the hype, Brown's team first philosophy has caught the eye of Bears head coach Lovie Smith.

"You talk about unselfish. I mean, most of the time running backs say hey, I'm the man, give me the ball," Smith said. "You got Ronnie Brown lining up as a fullback. How many great tailbacks line up as a fullback. He's also on the punt team."

Williams and Brown are both considered top ten picks. However, Brown might have moved ahead of his running mate because of his forty time.

On Saturday Brown had an official forty time of 4.48 seconds and during his second run he clocked in at 4.32 unofficially. Williams clocked in at 4.5 seconds.

Brown is also a more versatile prospect than Williams because he not only had to block, but he was also a target in the passing game coming out of the backfield.

Going to camp with Jones and a first round pick at running back could cause some controversy in the backfield. Jones came to Chicago to be a starter after being the 7th pick in the 2000 draft by the Arizona Cardinals turned out in disappointment for both sides and a one-year stint with Tampa Bay.

Brown is used to being a backfield by committee and Jones has been trying to avoid the situation, so it could become an issue if the Bears decide to go that route.


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