|« "The Garden" Grow Up||Rick Telander on the New Playground »|
Bears Mon Mar 08 2010
Friday the Chicago Bears went out and made some very large splashes in the free agency pool. Lovie Smith flew down to North Carolina to award Julius Peppers a $91.5 million dollar check, ala, Ed McMahon on a Publisher's Clearinghouse commercial; meanwhile back at the Halas BatCave, Jerry Angelo and his faithful manservant, Alfred signed Chester Taylor and the fun to say Brandon Manumaleuna to smaller but still "paid and now we pop the Cris," sized paychecks. In any case, with all things Bears the fans are in an uproar. "Yay! Finally the Bears did something.", some proclaim, while others claim "Nay! They did not do enough." With that in mind, Tailgate presents: "Half Full or Half Empty."
The defensive line at multiple points during last season resembled a World War One triage tent, signing Peppers immediately provides added depth and skill at a position that even in the war of attrition NFL game, gets hit heavily and often with casualties. Peppers has missed a total of four regular season games over the past seven seasons. He's the gridiron equivalent to "Old Ironsides." History, kids, education is fundamental.
More good news on the Peppers front? He's no faith-healer and Tommie Harris' knee still is the consistency of pulled pork, but if Harris and his knee can get back to being on speaking terms, Peppers and Harris will form an impressive duo that NFC North qbs should be wary of.
"Hi, Chester Taylor. You're an impressive and still 'youngish' running talent that also should be able to flourish in Mike Martz's offensive schemes. You live for catching the ball outta the backfield and Martz lives for drawing up plays like that. Matt Forte and Jay Cutler are good people and you should do well with them. Play nice and run hard, kthxbai"
Meanwhile, Brandon Manumaleuna will be protecting Cutler while sharing time with the very talented Greg Olsen unless the Bears decide to trade Greg, not a smart decision, btw. The two tight ends should both be able to get the reps and snaps the odd man out is now going to be Desmond Clark who, well, who knows where he's going. The only question for the "Half Full" crowd is "Why are the Bears not pursuing Terrell Owens at some modest price?" He (even with an awful offense in Buffalo) was a standout receiver who raised nary a peep of complaint of disgust. Sign him to a one year and have him do something for Cutler, et al.
Still less porous than the Bears offensive line and less burnable than the Bears secondary
The Bears have made very nice additions: Peppers helps the defensive line, Taylor and Brandon "Fun to type out last name" are great offensive talents and both are pieces that work well for Mike Martz. BUT the Bears still have terrible, terrible holes in the offensive line. The o-line is getting older and older every day and there is not a "hole" (see what I did there?) lot of young emerging talent. The secondary was pathetic last year and with an interception happy Darren Sharper still on the FA market you have to wonder, "Why, o why??? Are the Bears not chasing after him." Chicago has no first or second round drafts so the free agency market is their draft this year. The Bears are going to have to make some risky moves to try and fix the problems that have been the twin screen doors in their submarine for the past three seasons.