Monday, February 05, 2007

Without too much distance from the disappointing end I wanted to take a bit to gather my thoughts.
I think more than anything, more even than Rex's turnovers the Bears lost this game due to poor game planning. It's time to put faith back into the secondary and stop calling conservative cover 2 defences in big games. This strategy obviously works throughout most of the regular season, but any good, experienced QB in the league knows how to pick it apart by now. Either Ron Rivera must go, or he has to bring the blitzing edge he had his first two years back. Leslie Frazier would also make a perfect replacement for him if he heads to Dallas.
On the other side, the most important decision facing the Bears of 2007 is who to name as starting QB. They have three QB's with varied talent and experience who have all proven that they are capable of winning in the NFL. Wade Wilson has five years of coaching experience and has yet to show that he knows what he's doing. I would love to see someone with a track record brought in to develop all three QB's. This off- and pre-season must be looked at as an straight-up tryout for the starting QB job. It's up to Lovie and Turner to decide which QB gives this team the best chance to win every single game that they play.
The RB situation should be simple. If Jones wants to come back, offer him a one year extension in which he makes the exact same over the next two seasons as Benson. Get rid of the starting/reserve idea and play Jones and Benson completely interchangeably, and sometimes at the same time. After next season, if the price is too steep, trade one of them and commit to the other.
As for WR's, Lovie needs to sit down with Hester and have a conversation with him about how he can most help the Bears. I know he wants to play DB, but Lovie needs to decide if he can help the team more at WR. I'm sure he could make a hell of a fifth receiver. I like Moose, Berrian, Bradly, Davis, Hester, and Currie as a receiving corps. But there's always room for a rookie if Hester or Currie aren't available.
The TE's and OL are fine, not a lot of depth so finding more of that would be nice.
On the defensive side the DT's are the biggest area of concern. Tommie Harris is obviously irreplaceable and I really like Tank DD and Idonije. That leaves room for a first day DT to slot into the rotation.
The DE's are great, but there's definitely room on the roster for an outside rush specialist/outside LB to add some depth.
Briggs and Urlacher are the best in the league, unfortunately Hillenmeyer is not. I'd love to see Wilson, Joe, Williams, Ayanbadejo and a first day LB battle for the third LB spot. Hillenmeyer adds great depth and could probably turn into a pretty decent Special teamer.
The secondary is top notch. Peanut, Vash and Manning are the probably the top three DB's on one team in the entire league. Wesley looked like he could play last summer. And Daniel Manning, Vash or Todd Johnson can fill in at nickel. Brown is irreplaceable, but McGowen did a much better job than Harris or Johnson.
I think Brown and Manning with McGowen as backup to both is about as good as we can hope for. Let Harris, Johnson and Worell battle a first day rookie for roster spots and see what happens.
This is still the top team in the NFC; they only need a few tweaks to turn into a full-season steamroller and make everyone forget yesterday and the "dominance of the AFC."

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