Bears Need at Wide Receiver Revisted

Dave Birkett at the Detroit Free Press says that the Lions are looking at wide receivers.  Why, with a Calvin Johnson on the field, are the Lions doing that?  I think those who don’t see this as a need for the Bears should think carefully about the following quote from Lions general manager Martin Mayhew:

“Offensively, it’s a game of matchups.  If our third receiver can be better than their third corner, if we have somebody who can stretch the field that can allow Calvin (Johnson) to catch some balls in a deeper area of the field than what he normally would catch them in … . He can make a big play if a guy can take the top off the defense and get safeties out of there and that kind of thing.”

The Bears game against New England, where they got absolutely slaughtered in what amounted to one half of football, taught me many things.  But the biggest was the truth of Mayhews’ statement.  The Bears didn’t have a third corner to match up with Wes Welker in the slot and he almost dsingle handedly beat them.

This means two thing.  The most obvious is that the Bears have a need at corner.  The less obvious in that they have a need at wide receiver.  even the Lions, who have other needs along with maybe the best wide receiver in the league, think they need to look closely at wide receiver.

The Bears are average at wide receiver.  There’s just no getting around it.  Devin Hester is forever raw, Johnny Knox disappeared in big games where defensive backs got physical with him, and Earl Bennett is good for what he is, a big underneath possession guy.

The game is, indeed, one of matchups.  I look at the Bears’ opponents and I don’t think their wide receivers matchup well with them one-on-one up and down the depth chart.  And when you have a team that can dictate those matchups it becomes, ultimately, what the game is about.  The Packers and the Patriots are that kind of team and the Lions are trying to become that kind of team.  Without better wide receivers I’m not sure the Bears are ever going to be.

Could Washington Be a Chicago Trade Partner?

Matt Williamson at Scouts Inc. thinks it might be smart for the Washington Redskins to trade back in the draft from thier position at number 10.

They need a quarterback and, given that Blaine Gabbert and Cam Newton are likely to be gone, he thinks they might have their eyes on Jake Locker.  Locker’s characteristics do seem to be a good fit for head coach Mike Shanahan and its not impossible that they would prefer him anyway.

The knock on Locker is his accuracy.  His best career completion percentage was 58% and statistically quarterbacks with percentages less than 60 often don’t do well in the NFL.  But Shanahan is a quarterback guru and I’d say if Locker can be successful in the NFL, he’d have as good a chance in Washington as anywhere.

I would agree with Williamson but it would be more Washington’s style to move up from the second round to the bottom of the first round closer to where most think Locker will go.  And most Bear fans know that they might find a very willing trade partner in Chicago.  Depending upon what’s available at 29, trading back is definitely Jerry Angelo‘s MO.

Jay Cutler Is a Twinkie and Other Points of View

Bears

“Something positive

“DT Tommie Harris looked creaky at times and was asked to handle only about 15 snaps a game. Given his hefty contract, it’s no surprise that the Bears released him after the season. But Harris can still play. He can still get uncommonly deep penetration with his initial quick step off the ball. As long as he’s not asked to move laterally, he can produce. Any 4-3 team needing a situational interior pass-rusher should take note.”

  • CBS Sports’ Rob Rang has updated his Big Board.  Some names of note for Bear fans:

16. Mike Pouncey, OG, Florida: Size, strength and the athleticism to block at the next level, Pouncey’s ability to stand out against SEC competition makes him an easy first-round pick.

20. Tyron Smith, OT, Southern California: In terms of pure talent, Smith is this year’s best tackle — but his experience lies on the right side, his future lies on the left and scouts have questioned his maturity. He’ll impress when he works out at USC’s pro day March 30.

21. Gabe Carimi, OT, Wisconsin: A road grader with enough size, reach for pass protection, Carimi would be best off moving to right tackle.

22. Corey Liuget, DT, Illinois: Overshadowed a bit by ex-teammates Mikel Leshoure and Martez Wilson at Illinois, Liuget will wind up the earliest-drafted and best NFL player of the trio.

23. Danny Watkins, OG, Baylor: Don’t let his marginal tests at the combine or the fact that he’s 26 distract from the fact that Watkins is the toughest, nastiest interior lineman in this class. He might not make the first round, but he’ll one day be viewed as a steal.

24. Derek Sherrod, OT, Mississippi State: I’m admittedly higher on Sherrod than most, but see him as an ideal swing tackle capable of stepping in immediately and well worth a first-round pick.

25. Phil Taylor, DT, Baylor: A top-20 talent athletically, but will have to answer questions about his suspension and transfer from Penn State to get drafted there.

Mikel Leshoure was 35.

  • The Bears are on the clock with the ESPN crew:

Elsewhere

“Myth Buster

Jared Allen is a dominant pass rusher

“In 2010 at least, this wasn’t true. Allen was not much of a factor early in the season–– even though he faced frequent one-on-one blocking. He came to life down the stretch … once he faced inferior competition. This isn’t to say Allen is not an elite defensive end. But his struggles last season only give more ammunition to detractors who point out that a majority of his sacks in ’09 came against the feeble Packers and Bears offensive lines.”

“Myth Buster

Jahvid Best is a superstar in the making

“The ’10 first-round rookie running back has superstar features (speed, lateral agility, terrific acceleration and soft hands). But he had a tendency to abandon his blocking last season, which led to too many potential three-and four-yard gains ending in gains of zero or lost yardage. Experience and playing behind a more consistent offensive line should help.”

  • Williamson also does another entry in his weekly “Pressure Point” series which looks at a player who must improve in 2011.  This week its Marshawn Lynch and Williamson doesn’t pull any punches:

“Lynch is more effective as an every-down runner and, at his best, he can wear down a defense. But he just doesn’t do a good enough job of creating on his own when the blocking is sub-par. He becomes a lateral runner instead of a bulldozer. He too often gets what is blocked and nothing more.”

“With all the team needs Seattle has, I would not use a lot of resources on the running back position right now…  But if Lynch doesn’t step up his game in 2011, I would look for a back one year from now.”

  • According to the New York PostJenn Sterger is suing her former manager to get back materials related to the Brett Favre sexting scandal.  He may intend to use those items in a tell-all book.  I had a feeling that Sterger would have dropped this without a fuss if it weren’t for bad advice she was getting from the start of it.  I’d say this supports the idea.
  • NBC 2 Fort Myers in Florida reports that Oakland Raiders offensive tackle Mario Henderson was arrested on a weapons charge Thursday morning (via BenMaller.com).  At 6’7″, 300 lb Henderson is so large that he couldn’t fit into the back of the police car.  He was offered the option of lying down in the back or walking four blocks to the station.  He decided to lie down.
  • Commissioner Roger Goodell needs to start staying awake in that tanning bed.  Via Deadspin:

Sun burn

One Final Thought

Jay Cutler‘s true, soft nature revealed:

However, lets not make the mistake of believing this means he’s not tough.