Despite the fact that the Bears have been better up front under the direction of new D-line coach Rod Marinelli, general manager Jerry Angelo sent a second-round pick to Tampa Bay for end Gaines Adams before the trade deadline.
The No. 4-overall choice in the 2007 NFL Draft, Adams never lived up to his potential with the Buccaneers in part because the Cover-2 system that had been employed for so many years got scrapped when coach Raheem Morris was hired. When Marinelli was coaching the Lions, he liked Adams a lot coming out of Clemson and considered taking the former Tiger instead of wide receiver Calvin Johnson, who has already developed into one of the better skill-position players in the league. The Bears have gotten 7.0 sacks in five games from starters Alex Brown and Adewale Ogunleye, although there is room for Adams to get some playing time off the bench since situational pass rusher Mark Anderson continues to disappoint.
For an insider's perspective on Gaines and what he brings to the table as a football player, Bear Report consulted with Matthew Postins, the publisher of BucsBlitz.com on the Scout.com network. ...
Strengths: He has the long, lean body that most successful speed rushers in the NFL possess. He put on some weight between his first and second years in the league and didn't lose speed. He showed improvement in his pass-rushing moves during his first two years in the NFL and is less of a straight-edge rusher than he was in college. His speed and height allow teams to drop him back into shallow pass coverage and he has two career interceptions, one of which he returned for a touchdown.
Weaknesses: Despite adding the weight, Adams can still be pushed around, as he's still under 260 pounds. He missed several games last season with injuries and only made five starts. There's always been some question – maybe not in the locker room, but certainly among outsiders – that Adams is too laid-back to be considered a consistent pass-rushing threat. He benefits from having a strong coaching influence, and the departure of Larry Coyer, his position coach for two years in Tampa, probably did him no favors. He showed little improvement in the sack department from his first year to his second, going from 6.0 sacks in 2007 to 6.5 sacks in 2008. With just one sack in the season's first six games in Tampa, some were beginning to use the "B" word – as in bust – in reference to Adams. Not even Morris publicly calling him out a few weeks ago seemed to motivate Adams.
Postins Says: I think Adams is reaching the point in his career in which the potential has to start matching up with his production. His first year in the NFL was average for a rookie defensive end selected in the top 10 of the draft. There was definitely more expected from him in Tampa Bay than 13.5 sacks in two-plus seasons. I think his biggest problem is his upper-body size. He doesn't have enough bulk to get the leverage he needs to get around tackles on a consistent basis. If he doesn't show real improvement in the next two years, Adams could be one of the bigger draft busts in Tampa history.
JC's Take: Angelo admits that he may not have made this move if not for the presence of Marinelli, so he's banking on Adams blossoming with better tutelage at his disposal.
As the Bears learned once again in Week 6 at Atlanta, their defense can be beaten if they don't put consistent pressure on the enemy quarterback. They did just that in consecutive wins over the Steelers, Seahawks and Lions, but Matt Ryan didn't so much as have to wash his uniform after beating Chicago 21-14 in the Georgia Dome. Perhaps Brown and Ogunleye need to play fewer snaps in order to maintain a higher level of production, plus there's no reason to play Anderson ahead of Adams at this point since he has only 7.0 sacks in his last 35 games.
This trade was more about the future because both Ogunleye and Anderson are free agents after 2009, plus Angelo's financial commitment to Adams is minimal when you consider his draft position, but Marinelli will have the final say in whether or not it was a move worth making.
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Scout Analysis: DE Gaines Adams
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