Not driven by need

Perhaps someday the <!--Default NodeId For Chicago is 115,2005--><A HREF=>Bears</A> will look back on that awful 2002 season and view it as a blessing in disguise.

Perhaps that day will come in April when the misery of a lost year in Champaign translates into eight draft picks, with a couple more supplemental choices possible to make up for the free agent losses of Tony Parrish and Walt Harris.

The Bears have the fourth overall selection in the draft and high choices in each of the seven rounds, along with Miami's sixth round pick acquired in a trade for quarterback Cade McNown. The booty of draft picks should result in four or five players with a chance to contribute and hopefully a couple of core players who will have an immediate and lasting impact.

The big question is whether the Bears will get the quarterback everyone wants. The answer is that the Bears will definitely get a quarterback, but perhaps not the one fans desire.

``We're going to take a special player if there is one there at No.4, irrelevant of position," Bears general manager Jerry Angelo said. ``We're not going to be driven by need. One of the benefits when you pick this high is that wherever or whoever the special players are, you have a shot at one. The thing I am going to emphasize is don't get so driven by a need that you don't take a special player.''

What kind of special player is Angelo talking about? One who plays a position that normally wouldn't warrant a top-five selection but is such a can't-miss prospect, he's worth the choice. Hall of Fame safety Ronnie Lott was that kind of player, according to Angelo. Teams with top-five picks usually use them on so-called impact positions like quarterback, running back or edge rusher, but Angelo insists the Bears will not be limited in their thinking.

``The one thing about Sunday is that there are only a few special players on everybody's team, and those difference-makers determine the outcome of the game," Angelo said. Yeah, you fill needs in the draft, but you fill needs when the special players are all gone."

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