Optimism Reigns and Other Points of View

“If the draft is how you build a franchise, then why is there not more coverage of a teams’ scouts? I don’t mean fluff or assassination jobs, just journalism 101. How many current Bears scouts gave Jerry Angelo advice? How does the Bears’ scouting department stack up with the rest of the NFL and NFC North? – Kirk, Chicago”

“Most teams make their scouts off-limits to media so spending time with them to pick their brains about the draft, the prospects, their role in it and the big picture is difficult.”

I remember attending one Bears Convention back when they still had them and being fascinated by a question and answer session with then Director of College Scouting for the Bears, Greg Gabriel.  It was easily the best session I ever attended.

I don’t understand why scouts should be off limits to the media.  Are NFL teams afraid that they’ll reveal valuable information?  Or are they afraid that too much time spent with the media will mean less time scouting?

  • Biggs can safely consider this question to be a dead issue as far as I’m concerned:

“With all the versatile front seven players the Bears have could they be leaning toward a 3-4 going forward? — @huskysize from Twitter

“I thought we buried this question when the Bears publicly announced they were playing a 4-3 front. Jared Allen would not be at his best in a 3-4 scheme and he was the biggest defensive acquisition of the offseason. I don’t know that Jeremiah Ratliff is still cut out to be a 3-4 nose tackle. I don’t think Lance Briggs would be at his best in a 3-4 scheme and really Shea McClellin is the only linebacker ideally suited for that scheme with the exception of perhaps undrafted free agent Christian Jones. The 3-4 isn’t happening.”

I couldn’t agree more.  The Bears are likely to play multiple fronts and a three man line might occasionally pop up.  But I wouldn’t expect it with any regularity.

  • Michael C. Wright at ESPN.com and I don’t always see eye-to-eye but I couldn’t agree more with this part of his assessment of the Bears offseason moves:

“Best move: Bringing aboard experienced veteran coaches on defense. Chicago was mostly a veteran group on defense in 2013, with the majority knowing the system so well they needed little guidance. When injuries hit, several young players were forced to play significant minutes, and some of the coaches on the staff at that time weren’t capable of properly teaching the inexperienced players. With the roster currently featuring so many young players on defense, it was important to hire experienced teachers/coaches, which is what Chicago got in Paul Pasqualoni, Reggie Herring and Clint Hurtt, who all have extensive backgrounds in multiple schemes.”

These new coaches are going to make a huge difference for the Bears defense this year.

One Final Thought

One more question for Biggs:

“ I really don’t think I’m being overly optimistic here when I say I think the Bears really have made the leap to a Super Bowl contender. When you think about how good the offense was last season, if the Bears had just an average defense, wouldn’t they have been one of the best teams in the league? It seems like they have improved the defense to the point that it might even be above average, and we should expect the offense to be better than last year with no significant losses and everyone having another year under the system. What do you think? – Dan, Skokie”

“The Bears should expect to be a playoff contender this season, as they have every year since appearing in Super Bowl XLI. Unfortunately, the Bears have underperformed and made just one postseason appearance in the last seven years. It’s going to be a challenge for the Bears to remain as potent on offense this season but they certainly have the personnel to do so and a coach with a vision that transformed things quickly on that side of the ball. Keep in mind the offense remained relatively injury-free in 2013 with the exception of quarterback Jay Cutler. The defense is more of a wild card and unknown.”

I’ve written already about the Bears luck with injuries last year on offense.  I’d also like to point out that the NFC North was miserable last year and that had an impact on the Bears success as well.  The Packers losing Aaron Rogers with much more serious consequences than the Bears had with Cutler’s loss.  The Lions and Vikings both have new coaches this year.

I know that this is the time of the year for hope but I would urge Bears fans to temper their expectations for this year.  Otherwise they might well be setting themselves up for serious disappointment.



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