Round 2 Of A 21 Question Series From Site Editor Russ Loede To Columnists Eric Cook & Ron Norman
8. Site Editor Russ Loede: Are we going to regret passing both DeSean Jackson (Cal) and Limas Sweed () in the 2nd Round? Both were considered 1st round talents, possessing the speed to stretch the field. Either receiver could have filled our major need for speed/playmaking ability at the WR position, enabling us to add a legitimate go-to deep threat (replacing Berrian) for our aerial attack, while “catering” to our gunslinging, deep-ball happy QB.
Columnist Ron Norman: Both receivers are very talented but to draft a player that is probably two years away from contributing would put us in a vulnerable position, setting us back from making a playoff run this year (need for instant offensive weapons). Two playmakers that are going to bring life to our deep ball game are: The “Windy City Flyer” Devin Hester and my breakout/impact player of the year – WR Mark Bradley.
Columnist Eric Cook: Well in light of the recent arrest of Cedric Benson, I am growing more and more comfortable with our second round draft selection – Matt Forte. I honestly thought we had to address the runningback position ahead of wide receiver becuase it was a more pressing need. I think we will be pleasantly surprised with our 3rd round draft choice Earl Bennett.
9. Russ Loede: Why another pass-catching TE prospect when we already have two of ’em that are good? We needed more of a 3rd string TE that can do the “dirty work” (Free Agency), one who would be a speciality blocker in the run department. TE was one, if not the only area on offense in which we did not need to address ~ we could have gotten Marcus Howard (LB, Georgia), my personal favorite Owen Schmitt (FB/Beast,), Carl Nicks (OT, ), or Josh Johnson (QB, )! Instead we opt for a “raw” TE/DE with all these better options on the board. If you had a chance to re-do the pick, who would you’ve selected in the 5th Round (#168)?
Ron Norman: I totally was disappointed with this pick as I felt it was an excellent opportunity/time to take a chance on a QB, namely Andre Woodson. Drafting Woodson with our 5th round pick would have given us some flexibility (future starting QB?) to let him go if the throwing mechanics were unable to be corrected.
Eric Cook: I don’t quite understand the thinking on this one either Russ. I hear he is a physical specimen also, so maybe the Bears know something we don’t know about where they are going to play him, or the status of one of our other tight ends. Who would I have drafted instead of Davis in this spot – probably Kentucky’s Andre Woodson (QB).
10. Russ Loede: Who will get more playing time – Craig Steltz or Kevin Payne? Between Danieal Manning/Brandon McGowan? Name the two starting safeties who will be in on the field the most in ’08. What do you think about the safety position and how to do you rate it? Is it a strength or a weakness? What are your thoughts on what what the safeties should focus to improve on the most – tackling/run support or pass coverage/ball awareness?
Ron Norman: I think it will be a three-man safety rotation: Steltz, Brown (provided he can stay healthy), and McGowan. Craig Steltz gets the nod over Kevin Payne because of his intangibles – you can neither coach nor teach Steltz’s instincts/ball skills and his ability to be in the right place at the right time in the Cover 2 Defense. Steltz is also interchangeable with his experience to play both the free safety and strong safety position.
Eric Cook: Who will get more playing time – Craig Steltz or Kevin Payne?
Kevin Payne. Between Danieal Manning/Brandon McGowan? Danieal Manning. Name the two starting safeties who will be in on the field the most in ’08. Mike Brown & Kevin Payne. What do you think about the safety position and how to do you rate it? I am praying for Mike Brown to stay healthy, but I like what we did to get Steltz to along with our young, intriguing, up and coming talent at the safety position. Is it a strength or a weakness? Right now it is most certainly a strength. We have more depth and experience at safety than we have had in years. What are your thoughts on what what the safeties should focus to improve on the most – tackling/run support or pass coverage/ball awareness? After watching last season, the whole defense needs to focus on tackling – period.
11. Russ Loede: A lot of SEC players, injury-prone athletes, and safe choices early – explain the reasoning behind the Bears strategy?
Ron Norman: I feel the Bears currently recognize the unique position they are in with a team that still has the chance to make a strong playoff run while also at the same time preparing to rebuild, investing for the future if they are not successful in ’08. They chose the high risk/high reward propisiton/route with players like: CB Zack Bowman, DT Marcus Harrison, and WR Marcus Monk, as they hope to find that “diamond in the rough” a player(s) who can help provide a spark/lift and an immediate impact in ’08, while also developing for beyond ’08.
Eric Cook: Really, I believe the Bears focused on need, as they selected the best athlete available at each position of need. I realize that they took a lot of injury-prone guys but if it pans out in the long haul/end – they got major steals/values in the mid-late rounds, as they’ll look like geniuses if it all works out. If not, they have egg on their faces, but only one of those guys really has to pan out in order for them to be considered successful when we look back at this draft.
12. Russ Loede: Do we sign a veteran QB/OL before Training Camp? With June cuts coming up soon – do you see us doing anything in particular?and Dylan Gandy are two serviceable offensive guards who are available. There’s a rumor that Chris Simms is almost certain to get released or traded – do we go after him or someone else? Who’s the best guard on are roster? Name the projected starting guards for ’08 (include FA’s if you want).
Ron Norman: I have been “preaching” this all off-season: “Go Grab ”! He can instantly solidify and add depth to our offensive line. My starting guards this year will be: on the left side and Roberto Garza on the right – with Josh Beekman waiting in the wings.
Eric Cook: I would love to see us go after one of those guys (Gandy or Olivea). Terrance Metcalf and Roberto Garza will be our starters until we see what we have in our draft picks and free agents (unless Beekman is ready). Let’s hope one of our 7th round picks (Chester Adams/Kirk Barton) or free agents beat out Garza. I wouldn’t mind seeing St. Clair give it a go at left guard next to Chris Williams. Most Likely one of the new addition guards beat out Garza or Metcalf. I think Chris Simms or another veteran QB would be worth an investment as an insurance plan unless we are sold on Caleb Hanie and Nick Hill.
13. Russ Loede: Cedric Benson got arrested – What do we do with him now? How do you feel about this situation?
Ron Norman: We should not do anything yet, simply because the Bears do not have all the facts yet. Let the legal process run its course and then make a decision. Cedric Benson still has to be a valuable part of our team if we are going to make a playoff run.
Eric Cook: Wait it out, don’t make a quick decision just yet. How do you feel about this situation? I am not a big fan of Benson, mostly because his on-the field production, or the lack thereof – is unimpressive. I still think we ought to wait and keep him around as an insurance policy though. That being said, he isn’t winning me over with his antics either!
14. Russ Loede: Fill in the Blank: Mike Brown, “The Heart & Soul Of This Defense” will be rewarding thewith a ________ season.
Ron Norman: Mike Brown, “The Heart & Soul On Defense” will be rewarding the Chicago Bears with a Pro Bowl season!
Eric Cook: Mike Brown, “The Heart & Soul On Defense” will be rewarding the Chicago Bears with a 6-game season!
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