- The Chicago Tribune‘s Brad Biggs points out this interesting fact:
“With the release of Hunter Hillenmeyer, Bears have 2 linebackers under contract: Lance Briggs & Brian Urlacher.”
- On a potentially related note, Aaron Wilson reports:
“Illinois linebacker Martez Wilson met with the Chicago Bears, New Orleans Saints and the Houston Texans.”
- Tribune beat writer Vaughn McClure quotes Bears defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli on the NFL Combine:
“The drills a lot of times, for me, don’t tell a whole lot of the story because there’s no reaction. It’s all pre-determined movements. Defense is not that. It’s reaction. I do love watching guys vertical jump and broad jump because you can see their natural power.”
- McClure also quotes Bears defensive line coach Mike Phair in the wake of the release of Tommie Harris:
“I’d say it’s a deep class, at least that’s what I’ve seen.”
Defensive lineman Anthony Adams is also hoping the Bears will make him a better offer before entering free agency (via McClure).
- Here’s one that almost got by me. ESPN.com is reporting that the Bears have tendered Danieal Manning, who would, indeed, be a restricted free agent under the current rules. If they hold up under the new agreement, this promises to irritate him no end.
- Tim Ruskell might have an impact not only upon the personnel that the Bears select but also upon the way that the Bears approach the draft. Dan Pompei at the Tribune asked him about trding up in the first two rounds, something general manager Jerry Angelo has never done:
“I don’t have the final call, but I wouldn’t have any problems moving up or down if something sounded right. If you can get an impact player right now, you have to look at that hard. I have a history of doing that.”
- Biggs quotes Bears head coach Lovie Smith on punter Brad Maynard, who is not signed for next season:
“A lot of times you look at average. We play in the elements. So you go through all of those things with him … he’s a holder for us, we have an athlete back there. There is no team player better than him. Believe me, we’re not trying to get rid of Brad. Brad knows that. He’s been our guy every year we’ve been here for a good reason because of how he played.”
Then why haven’t they signed him, yet?
- Michael C. Wright at ESPNChicago.com thinks that the Bears might target Eagles guard/center Nick Cole in free agency.
- Want to know why the Bears are a good defensive team? Read why Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer thinks the Bengals are not one (from the Bengals website via Aaron Wilson at The National Football Post):
“[middle linebacker] Dhani [Jones] will miss a tackle and another guy will jump out of his gap and the safety comes down and doesn’t keep the ball on his proper shoulder. The defensive end has got him and he locks a guy out and he jumps inside too fast or he gets off a block or we jump offside on fourth and 1. All those things are discipline. We’re an undisciplined defensive team.”
- Bob LeGere at the Daily Herald thinks Illinois LB Martez Wilson helped himself at the combine. The Bears have reportedly interviewed Wilson with an eye towards potentially drafting him. Though this was generally a positive entry, here’s the reason why alarms are going off in some heads:
“But there are still questions about whether Wilson has the instincts to be a first-round draft pick. His production on the field has rarely matched his physical gifts, and NFL teams will have to be sure that the neck injury that sidelined him for the entire 2009 season will not become a chronic condition.”
- Top five pick Nick Fairley was disappointing at the Combine but not for the reason you might think (via ESPN). He can always get heavier but how are you going to correct the problem when a guy who’s reported to be 6’5″ turn out to actually be 6’3″? What are they going to do, put him on the rack?
- The Sports Pickle asks which NFL Combine workout has the most relevance to playing real NFL football. Here’s a sample:
“broad jump — many a top NFL player has eluded police and continued their career by jumping over a dead broad/hooker”
- Of course, you could go with the ever popular performance in the nose-pick. Watch number 34 on the right:
- But in the end, I think this is the workout that I most prefer (via BenMaller.com):
One Final Thought
Want to know why Americans don’t consider soccer to be real football? This video says it all:
For what its worth, the referee wasn’t fooled.