Camp Closes with a Surprise

The Bears plan to have their starting safeties swap positions. Meaning, Mike Brown and Mike Green will not be in their customary spots when they walk on the field in less than three weeks.

Brown, who has played the bulk of his five-year NFL career at free safety, will be at strong side when the team holds their mini-camp on May 20th.

On the flipside, Green will move from strong to free safety.

According to defensive coordinator Ron Rivera, the decision has nothing to do with the fact that Brown is coming off an Achilles injury that ended his '04 season after just two games.

"We found that when we watched tape last year on Mike Green that with him all the big plays he made for us was when he was playing the single (coverage) up in the post," Rivera said.

"We also saw that Mike Brown is an aggressive football player who is a tremendous blitzer. Based on stuff we saw from last year (on film) from the ‘03 defense and some of the stuff we saw early before he got hurt, we thought that he's a box safety."

At 5-foot-10, 212 pounds, Brown has been a solid in run support. From 2000-03, he averaged 99 tackles, which is second only to Brian Urlacher during the four-year stretch.

Part of the reason behind the move is to increase turnover potential. While both Brown and Green are capable of playing either position, this combination could lead to more big plays.

Green has played cornerback during his stint with the Bears, but has failed to come up with the ball. He has just three interceptions, two of which came in 2004.

He may be more apt to be a ballhawk in the center field nature of the free safety position.

Brown has always been a big hitter and would be an effective eighth man in the box.

Roster Move: At the close of the rookie mini-camp, the Bears released wide receiver Darrin Charles, who signed with the team as an undrafted free agent.

Charles dropped several passes throughout the weekend and caught the wrath of wide receivers coach Daryl Drake.

The Bears then signed Brandon McGowan a safety out of Maine, who participated in the weekend mini-camp on a tryout basis.


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