The Chicago Bears 2011 Offseason Needs

1) Offensive Lineman

In 2010, the Chicago Bears had the worst offensive line in the NFL. Any Bears fan or even my mother could tell you, just by watching Chicago games, that this line were letting people pass them through them faster than Paris Hilton. Football Outsiders agrees with what we fans see with our eyes- as Da Bears actually did rank dead last in offensive line blocking.

Cubsfan and I were looking at the free agent pool for 2011 and there are some quality offensive lineman on the market. This is actually surprising, considering that most great O-lineman are found through the draft and not via trades or free agency. But with two great Patriots lineman (Matt Light and Logan Mankins) this years crop is pretty good.

I personally would love it, if every single one of the Bears draft picks, were spent on an offensive lineman- just because all of the current offensive lineman blow more donkey balls than a Tijuana hooker.

I have watched Jay Cutler throughout his two years in Chicago, and it seems to be his biggest fault (more than his mechanics) is the fact that he can not stay upright. In 14.5 games last year- he led the NFL with 52 sacks. And not only to help Cutler, a much improved line will help Matt Forte. It's really hard to run through the tackles to gain positive yardage, when the tackles are being squished together by defensive lineman every single down.

2) Defensive Tackle

The Bears are no need of defensive ends. Julius Peppers looks like a men among boys and even though Chicago lost their top four ends last year (Alex Brown, Wale, Mark Anderson, and Gaines Adams) Isreal Idonije looked amazing. However, both Peppers and Idonije only ended up with eight sacks. That wasn't because of a lack of talent or production, but mainly because of a lack of inside line support. Tommie Harris looks old and ineffective and I can't even name the other starting defensive tackle. An improvement in the middle of the line not only helps the ends, but will have a domino effect to the other seven players behind the defensive line.

When Brian Urlacher was named to the Pro Bowl, Anthony Adams (Oh, that's the other defensive tackle!) joked that the only reason Urlacher looked so good, was because of the line ahead of him. There's a lot of truth in Adams' statement and I'm sure if you asked any defensive lineman from the '85 Bears what made Mike Singletary so good, they will credit themselves (and rightfully so).

3) Number One Wide Receiver

I personally sort of like the Bears receiving corps. Johnny Knox is young and seemingly getting better and Earl Bennett looks really good in the slot as a possession guy. But the Bears top two wideouts are Knox and Devin Hester- guys who don't really strike fear in defensive backs' eyes. However, I think a number one wide out could help push all the Bears receivers back into their rightful positions.

This year has an amazing crop of free agent number ones. Normally, you're lucky if there is even one legitimate number one receiver out there- but this year we have three or four- with Vincent Jackson leading the list. During Game Of Inches' wide receiver rankings, Jackson ranked no lower than the 13th best wide out in the game right now with Cubsfan ranking Jackson 8th and myself ranking him 9th.

This year also has Sidney Rice has a free agent along with New York's Steve Smith, and to a lesser extent Terrell Owens and Randy Moss. Hell, I'm all for signing Shooter McShooty Plaxico Burress to a minor league contract.

4) Cornerback

A greatly improved defensive line really cures all woes. It improves the linebacking corps and thus in turn improves the corners. So while the Bears actually have some fine corners in Peanut Tillman and Tim Jennings and they can get away with being average to above average, however neither of them are a shut down long term solution. Peanut's getting up there in age and we'll see about Jennings, but there are still great options in the free agent market.

The biggest name being Nnamdi Asomugha- who is a long term solution and a shut down corner. There are still some other great names out there like Antonio Cromartie and Jonathan Jospeh- all would be upgrades for who Chicago has now.

5) Linebackers

OK, right now the Bears linebackers are amazing. There's a reason Brian Urlacher and Lance Briggs are Pro Bowlers. And during the few plays that Tino Pisoismoa is on the field (when the Bears aren't running nickel and dime sets) he looks pretty good as well. But the main reason the it wouldn't hurt the Bears to draft LB's is because Urlacher and Briggs are no spring chickens. Lovie's Tampa-2 scheme runs best when he has a Brian Urlacher-type guy in the middle linebacker slot. It wouldn't hurt for the Bears to look for guys like that within a year or two. Plus, as good as Brian Urlacher looked this year, I also saw the dude get juked in an open field by 6th round rookie James Starks in the playoffs. 2006 Brian Urlacher never would have let that happen.

6) Safeties

If the Bears are going to draft a safety in the 6th round like they always do, then I say screw it for this year. The Bears have a stable group of safties in Chris Harris, Daniel Manning, and 3rd round rookie Major Wright. But I'm not convinced on how well Harris can stay this good as he's getting closer and to being on the wrong side of 30. Safety is not a huge area of concern for Chicago this year, but it's not not 100% stable either.


Anonymous said...

you forgot to mention quarterback on this list...

Brian said...

Good list, they need these badly. Problem is, their drafts for these needs have gone very poorly. Anonymous is wrong, we have a QB. But the rest of the talent in offense has to be upgraded. Cutler never looked like this in Denver. I just hope the offense can get better before the defense gets old.

Dmitry said...

apparently daniel manning is a FA and is gonna be expensive.

tommy harris is a FA and is not expensive, but also not worth it

i agree we need another true corner

i'm fine with not having a top WR. maybe DA can get it going

drafting 7 o-line is a fun idea. i would settle for 3-4

DB said...

I agree.... The Bears pretty much need a new everything!

Anonymous said...

This offense is rolling...Logan Mankins and/or Matt light would sure things up. No need to worry about Jay, Jay is a BEAST. aND NO WE don't have a #1 receiver and that's what keeps the defenses guessing because they never know who's gonna light it up from week to week. Nnamdi or D'Angelo at corner and we're on our way to a dynasty

Anonymous said...

Fuck the draft, J'Marcus came outa the draft and there's no time to train...MANKINS OR LIGHT. Time to break the bank again