Although the Redskins seem to be making a quality offer on the surface, Jerry Angelo isn't nuts about having to pay the major dollars required to sign the sixth overall draft pick. If the deal does indeed go through, look for the Bears to made another trade to move down in the first round and get another selection or two in the process. No. 6 could be a great spot because Notre Dame quarterback Brady Quinn may be there, and a few teams might be anxious to trade up and get him. However, the longer the offer sits on the table, the better the chances of it never happening.
And as far as Briggs' threat to sit out the first 10 games of the season, he's simply trying to be as difficult as possible right now to encourage the Bears to do something with him.
I would really like the Bears to go after one of the premier DTs in this year's draft, and Briggs is going to be a distraction to the team. That said, I can't actually believe Jerry Angelo will go on with this trade. I mean, there is no way the Bears' management will have their decisions made up by a player or his agent. What is your opinion on this?
– CTomas1941 (El Salvador)
If the Bears get the sixth pick from Washington, I for one think it would be wise to target Louisville defensive tackle Amobi Okoye. He was one of the more impressive talents at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis, and the fact that he's only 19 years old is just mind-boggling. Could you imagine him lining up next to Tommie Harris in the trenches the next five years? They could be quite the combination, especially since Lovie Smith's cover-two defense is predicated on consistent pass rush from the front four.
With regard to the Bears having their hand forced by the likes of Briggs' agent, Angelo is already furious that Drew Rosenhaus went public with all this like the attention whore he is.
What do we know about this Anthony Adams guy we got from San Francisco? Can he play at all? – Dallas (Moline, IL)
I wrote a feature on Adams earlier this week, and the main thing to know is the fact that he was simply a bad match for Mike Nolan's 3-4 defensive scheme. What a defensive tackle is asked to do in the 3-4 versus the 4-3 is completely different, so he was a square peg trying to fit into a round hole. DTs must take on blockers one-on-one and hold the point of attack in the 3-4, but Smith's 4-3 system concentrates more on filling gaps. Adams was a second-rounder not too long ago and is definitely a high-motor guy, but he's a shade under six feet tall and tends to get swallowed up by offensive lineman.
Moreover, he played alongside Michael Haynes at Penn State, so he has some negative Bears mojo already.
If the Bears go through with the Briggs trade and are able to get the 6th pick and whatever else, I think the Bears have to make a run at trading up to 1 or 2 and getting a shot at Calvin Johnson. I know it's not Angelo's style and it will probably never happen, but in my opinion it's a gamble worth taking. – OnTheRebound
I stole this question off the message board because I'll look for any excuse to write about Calvin Johnson, unquestionably the most talented player in this draft. It's incredible to me that he may slide to fourth or fifth because some teams at the top have other needs, but this guy appears to be an instant difference-maker. Nevertheless, even if the Bears do make the swap with the Redskins and get to No. 6, they'd still have to give up an awful lot in order to put themselves in position to get Johnson. Since Angelo has made his money finding gems in later rounds, he's even more reluctant to sacrifice those picks.
The Giants gave up way too much in their efforts to land Eli Manning a few years ago, but teams ahead of the Bears will be expecting that kind of compensation because Johnson looks to be a once-in-a-generation guy.
I'm starting to think that either Charles Tillman or Nathan Vasher will not be around much longer because the team can't afford both of them. If you could only take one, who would it be? – Frankie (Modesto, CA)
I've seen this question before in the forums, and it's turning into a Coke vs. Pepsi debate. Tillman was terrific for the majority of last season before being hampered by a back injury, and he tied for the team lead with five interceptions. Vasher made the trip to Hawaii in 2005, and although he was good this year, he wasn't quite the same player and struggled with a hamstring late in the season. The cover-two requires a lot of press coverage and jamming at the line of scrimmage, a tactic much better suited to a player of Tillman's size as opposed to the diminutive Vasher.
Former defensive coordinator Ron Rivera felt that one of his defenders got snubbed for the Pro Bowl in 2006, and he was talking about Tillman.
Any news on Ian Scott? I heard a couple days ago the Bears still had an interest despite signing Anthony Adams. – SmanBear
Halfway through the regular season, I was absolutely convinced that Scott would be playing elsewhere in 2007. He had lost starting job to Tank Johnson, and the team was high on Dusty Dvoracek despite his injury and pleased with Antonio Garay despite his inexperience. But with Johnson now serving a 120-day jail term and facing more charges in the near future, Scott might be in the cards again. He's visited with several teams already, although I was somewhat surprised he left both Minnesota and Atlanta without signing a contract.
But with Adams now on the roster and other clubs having more money to spend, I'm guessing Scott is as good as gone.
I saw that the Bears are opening the season against the San Diego Chargers. What does the rest of the schedule look like in 2007? – Carlton (Lake Zurich, IL)
The Bears lucked out last season and actually played the easiest schedule in the league according to winning percentage. Next season, the slate is much more daunting. In addition to the usual home-and-away series with Detroit, Green Bay, and Minnesota, there are home games against the Cowboys, Giants, Saints, Broncos, and Chiefs, all of which were at least 8-8 a year ago. On the road, the Bears will face the Eagles, Redskins, Seahawks, Raiders, and the aforementioned opener with the Chargers.
Even if the Bears field a better team in 2007, they are unlikely to match last season's 13-3 record with that schedule.
Why is Rex Grossman still battling the media in the offseason? He seems to be getting more and more bitter every day. – Allen (Michigan City, IN)
I wrote about this in a feature story on Thursday because Grossman was again talking about the press this week. He still seems upset that he was so heavily scrutinized last season because he believes overall he played pretty well. Grossman is the first one to say that he had some awful games, but he did take his team to the Super Bowl and finally suited up for a full 16-game schedule. Although I can understand why he's upset for getting slammed so gratuitously, he needs to just let it slide.
Even if he's exactly right, questioning the media's motivation is never a good career move.
Who is the latest player not being talked about too much that the Bears like in the draft? I know getting another Mark Anderson is too much to ask, but Angelo is good at this stuff. – Lonnie (Wichita, KS)
Last I heard, the Bears like what they see in Michigan defensive end Rondell Biggs. He wasn't a full-time starter until his senior season, but he's an all-effort guy and made the most of his opportunity. On the other side of the ball, Minnesota receiver Logan Payne had a very good Pro Day performance. He wasn't able to showcase his skills too much last year because the Golden Gophers are a running team, but he's got some ability despite his lack of blazing speed.
And assuming the Bears stand pat with their selections at 31st and 37th overall, I'm still predicting that one of those picks will be an offensive lineman.
Are you heading to the Bears Fan Convention this weekend? – Mitch (Lockport, IL)
I will most certainly be there since it's one of the greatest concentrations of Bears fans you'll ever see. I'll be giving away copies of the magazine and doing what I can to sign up new subscribers, but more importantly, it's the best opportunity I've had since the Super Bowl to talk to some of the players. There will also be a ton of Bears alumni there, so connecting with some of the older guys is always a good time since they all love to talk about what it was like back in their day. I actually used to volunteer at the Fan Convention before I ever got into this racket because a buddy of mine is married to one of the Bears' top executives.
It's going to be absolute pandemonium at the Hilton this year because the event is completely sold out.
|John Crist is the Publisher of Bear Report and Editor in Chief of BearReport.com. To read him every day, visit BearReport.com and become a Chicago Bears insider.|