- Rob Rang at CBSSports.com reviews the good and bad fits from the NFL draft. He liked the Bears Chris Conte pick:
“Chris Conte, Chicago Bears: Conte played cornerback for the first three years of his career at Cal, so when he made the switch to free safety as a senior, he flew a bit under the radar for most. However, while Moore earned most of the attention in the Pac-10, Conte was the more reliable tackler and coverage defender despite his limited experience. The Bears have experimented with undersized safeties for years under Lovie Smith, but in the 6-2, 197 pound Conte, they get a rangy center fielder with a legitimate combination of size and speed. The learning curve will be steep considering his lack of experience at the position, but Conte will prove a starting caliber free safety early in his NFL career.”
- Donald Liebenson and Brian L. Cox at the Chicago Tribune have dubbed newly drafted offensive tackle Gabe Carimi the “Bear Jew”.
- Bears long snapper Patrick Mannelly plays golf with the Chicago Tribune‘s Teddy Greenstein. This was a throw away line at the end of the article but I’ve often wondered the same thing.
“I don’t understand why more kids don’t go to schools like Rice, Northwestern, Stanford and Vanderbilt.”
- Cold, Hard Football Facts.com gives the ultimate NFL draft grades by reviewing the last ten years for each team. Here’s what they said about the Bears:
“Pro Bowlers: 5 (t-21st)
“Draftees Active in 2010: 38 (t-20th)
“Players with 50+ Career AV: 4 (t-6th)
“Players with 20+ Career AV: 21 (t-4th)
“Best Pick: LB Lance Briggs (3rd round, 2003)
“Worst Pick: WR David Terrell (No. 8 overall, 2001)
“Summary: The Bears have found a lot of later-round gems, but have really struggled to hit on their first-rounders. Only Tommie Harris was a true success, with Marc Colombo and Cedric Benson not finding their niches until the Bears gave up on them (apparently too early). The second round has been their forte (no pun intended), where they’ve gotten Matt Forte, Devin Hester, Charles Tillman, Tank Johnson and Danieal Manning.”
- John Mullin at CSNChicago.com commets upon where Stephen Paea will play. Some draft experts have argued that Paea fits better inside in Anthony Adam‘s usual spot.
“A 4-3 one-gap team does not trade up, which the Bears did, for a nose tackle. It trades up for a three-technique.”
I’d agree and add that the Bears already have an adequate player that fits inside to sign and fill out the lineup in Adams. If not him , then there are a number of other options. But if they put Paea there, what will they do at the three technique? I think its obvious what the plan was when the drafted him.
- Dan Pompei at the Chicago Tribune writes about how the Bears are coaching the coaches this offseason. Good coaching makes all the difference in the NFL. The Bears are working at broadening the knowledge of their staff. It does sound like a good use of the time I must say.
- Julius Peppers‘ father was arrested on drug charges. Via the AP.
“The father of Chicago Bears defensive end Julius Peppers has lost his law enforcement job after being charged in North Carolina with felony possession of cocaine.”
George Thomas Kurney was a sheriff’s deputy.
“What are the chances of Andy Fantuz starting for the Bears at WR? Brandon, Wisconsin
“He has an excellent chance of starting — if Johnny Knox breaks his leg, Devin Hester retires, Earl Bennett blows out his knee, and whoever the Bears sign as a free agent breaks his arm. Otherwise, he doesn’t have much of a chance.”
- Sam Farmer, writing for the Tribune Newspapers, quotes Arizona Cardinals receiver Larry Fitzgerald:
“Last season, the NFC West became the first division in the modern era to send a losing team to the playoffs. The Seahawks made it at 7-9.
“So, Larry, seeing as three teams have uncertain quarterback situations, is the NFC West the league’s most fluid division?
“‘Yes,’ he said. ‘Fluidly bad.'”
- For those who still listen to his blather, Mike Ditka basically tells the Detroit Free Press that he thinks referees should ignore the rules. On the positive side he also gives the Lions the kiss of death by joining the crowd of experts who love them this year.
- The Lions haven’t won anything yet but head coach Jim Schwartz has already dubbed his defensive line the “Silver Crush”.
- Pompei also answers your questions:
“What are the chances the Bears go after Nnamdi Asomugha? Mike, St. Charles
“If the Bears go after Asomugha, it will be completely out of character for them. Given the defensive scheme they run, they have not prioritized high-priced, shutdown cornerbacks. They need physical corners who can tackle and who have ball skills. I don’t see that changing now.”
The Bears are almost certainly not on the list of teams that are going to be on the phone to Asomugha. But it seem like they’re one of the few that aren’t. Asomugha is almost certainly the number one free agent this offseason. His telephone is going to be mighty busy about five seconds after free agency opens. Three teams in the NFC East, Washington, Philadelphia and Dallas, would seem to be right at the top of the list. It going to be fascinating to see where he goes and for how much.
“If Andy Reid thought Kevin Kolb was so good, why would he be trading him? He knows quarterbacks. Good quarterbacks don’t get traded when they are young by good coaches.”
- The Sports Pickle sponsors the first annual athlete spelling bee. Let’s listen in:
“Bee Master: You are wrong. Next speller. Ben Roethlisberger?
“Roethlisberger: Hit me.
“Bee Master: Your word is ‘no’.
“Roethlisberger: No. Y-E-S. No.”
One Final Thought
The boys at The Onion take us through the ins and outs of player-led workouts. Here’s a typical drill for the Bears:
“Defensive players practiced their team fundamentals by having linebacker Lance Briggs hit the tackling dummies while linebacker Brian Urlacher got all the credit.”