Scout Analysis: Anthony Adams

Since the Tank Johnson era is now a memory, it's time to focus on who will take over in the starting lineup next to Tommie Harris at defensive tackle. Anthony Adams came to Chicago from the 49ers in the offseason, so can he step in and get the job done? Scout.com 49ers expert Craig Massei spends some time at BearReport.com to tell us everything there is to know about Adams.

Craig Massei: Anthony Adams is a hard-working, team-first, overachieving defensive tackle who is probably good enough to start for a dozen NFL teams and perhaps several more.

The reason he became a short-timer in San Francisco despite his virtues and obvious desire to remain a 49er is that his strengths are not suited to the 3-4 system the 49ers are committing to as their full-time defensive scheme in 2007. Adams makes up for his lack of height and optimum size with quickness and ability to play with leverage thanks to his compact frame. He often makes plays by shooting gaps and beating opposing linemen off the snap, and he is effective at eluding those linemen after initial contact with his agility and spin moves.

But because of his lack of sheer bulk, he also can be engulfed by those linemen and swept out of plays. Teams can run right at him. He has the ability to play both tackle and end in a 4-3 system – something he did during his four seasons in San Francisco – but was not a good fit for nose tackle in the team's 3-4 system and did not have the desired pass-rushing prowess to produce at end in that system.

In and outside the locker room, Adams is a personable individual and well-liked team leader who lends his time in the community, and the 49ers' decision to allow him to leave as a free agent was based strictly on how he fit – or didn't fit – in San Francisco's defensive plans of the present and future.

JC's Take: Adams is relieved to be back in a 4-3 scheme, which is what he played throughout his collegiate career at Penn State and where he feels most comfortable. Although Dusty Dvoracek probably has the inside track on the starting job, Adams fits the mold of what head coach Lovie Smith looks for in a defensive tackle. His ability to shoot gaps should make him a good run defender in the Cover 2, but his apparent lack of pass-rushing skills will probably keep him off the field on third down.

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.

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