Sunday, March 02, 2008

BB recap

The big news of the day is that Lance Briggs will be a Chicago Bear for the rest of his prime. The Monsters of the Midway will have the two best linebackers in football for at least four more seasons. When you throw in Tommie Harris, Peanut and Vash, Alex Brown and possibly Mike Brown it's a pretty fierce core. I'll go out on a limb and guess that if two or less of this core are injured each game the Bears will be the best defense in football, so good in fact that they could carry a mediocre offense to the Super Bowl.
The Bears still have some work to do to become a mediocre offense but starting with Devin Hester can't hurt. Even if he doesn't touch the ball the Bears are likely to start on at least the 40 most of the time. Again call me crazy but I believe that between Orton and Grossman someone in Chicago will figure out how to move the ball 30 yards enough times for Bears to win a lot of games.
It's true that this task became more difficult when Berrian signed with Minnesota, but Berrian leaving is a truly minor issue. He caught the most passes last season but he still didn't have one thousand yards, nor did he score the most TD's or have anything like a good attitude. For once I think Jay Mariotti made some very good points today, and I'm inclined to believe that some of what he says about Angelo is true, though pessimism seems to be a job requirement in the Chicago media. But the inaccuracy of this argument cannot be understated, "[The Bears] lost the one proven speed threat who stretches a defense, and the fact Berrian was allowed to sign with a superior divisional rival is all you need to know about the conservative rockheads in Lake Forest."
Devin Hester is if nothing else a proven speed threat. He is not a 'proven' wide receiver but it's a stretch to call Berrian that so I assume he's just referring to defense-stretching ability. Hester doesn't need to catch a lot of balls to stretch a defense, he probably doesn't need to catch any. The Bears do need to sign a proven wide receiver to put opposite Hester but 23 is stretching defenses as I write this. Plus Greg Olsen was clearly the Bears #1 receiver last year and he's still on the team and still nothing but upside.
The other overlooked aspect of the Berrian deal is that Minnesota totally overpaid and Chicago simply couldn't afford to match. Briggs is the more important player but Angelo had to hedge knowing that one would go and it wasn't until Berrian signed that they could sufficiently up their offer. Tommie Harris and Devin Hester are going to get big contracts, Urlacher will probably get more money, and hopefully one QB will next year as well. They need to sign a Guard and a Safety and it'd be nice to see a RB brought in instead of another draft gamble. With 24m left and the best defense in the league they look like they're in descent shape.
David Haugh doesn't agree but his argument ignores the fact that Chicago was never going to keep both and figures that a disgruntled Berrian is a good option. Berrian isn't going to do better than he did this year, a lot of receivers can help this team for less than 8m a year. Also, what's with Haugh's weird need to make Briggs out as a jerk and an idiot. Contrary to Haugh's math a 7 year deal for 43m looks a lot different than one for 33m. I feel like Brigg's quote is a much more accurate assessment of the situation than Haugh's, "I'm not greedy. I'm not trying to knock something out of the park. All I wanted was what's fair. If it's fair, I'm happy."

1 comment:

Marcus said...

Haugh's column really pissed me off, too. You shoulda seen the obscenity-laden post I almost posted last night! Nobody, but nobody thought the Bears had a chance of getting Briggs, who was by far the most important player not to lose over the off-season. It'd have been nice not to lose Berrian, but he's not worth anything near what the Vikings paid for him. But there's not even half a note of celebration or anything positive in Haugh's column, and there's no real reason for there not to be, it's just that he took that note because complaining is what gets him paid, I guess. I hope Haugh has to struggle with painful constipation for the rest of his whiney life.