But a lot has changed in a relatively short period of time, as Tillman's body keeps falling apart because of his physical style of play, Vasher is so bad he can't even get on the field anymore, Graham has come down with a case of Danieal Manning disease from all the shifting of positions and McBride spent all of 2009 on injured reserve. Fortunately, Zack Bowman started to live up to his potential and snared a team-high six interceptions, although fourth-round pick D.J. Moore – considered a steal that late by many draft experts – was a regular on the game-day inactive list. Things got so bad at the position that Woodny Turenne, an undrafted rookie free agent from Louisville, got some playing time down the stretch on special teams.
Once considered one of the better corner combinations in football, Tillman is overdue for a switch to free safety and Vasher is likely to be pink-slipped very soon.
Inside the Numbers
The Cover 2 requires strength in between the hash marks, from the three-technique tackle to the middle linebacker to the free safety, so with Tommie Harris inconsistent, Brian Urlacher injured and free safety a revolving door of mediocrity, this scheme doesn't have a chance to operate the way it should. Because Tillman is known as a physical tackler and has a knack for forcing turnovers after the catch, skills that make him unique at the corner position, he should be able to make the transition to free safety with relative ease and might extend his career as a result. The challenge then, of course, is finding another starting corner to line up opposite Bowman.
Since McBride was lucky to make the roster, Moore showed nothing as a rookie and Turenne is raw as sushi, perhaps Graham can regain some of his confidence and do the job he did in 2008 subbing for a banged-up – and soon to be gone – Vasher.
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John Crist is the Publisher of Bear Report and a member of the Professional Football Writers of America. To read him every day, visit BearReport.com and become a Chicago Bears insider.
2009 Position by Position Review: CB
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