With McGowan (ankle) done this means Graham, not Manning, should receive full-time duty at nickel back. Just remember that Corey Graham was selected in the 5th round only one pick after starting strong safety Kevin Payne, who by the way is making his impression felt leading the team in tackles. Graham wowed the coaches in training camp and preseason with his physical skills and aggressive play, now he should be given the opportunity to carry it over and show us what he can do on Sundays in an extended, not limited role as a defensive playmaker – surely, he will fit right in.
I Would Like To See More Of:
1. Jamar Williams – clearly more talented than Hunter at LB and we need his coverage skills against top TE’s. He’s finally ready to contribute on defense and should be given the chance to succeed and at least challenge for the starting strong side job. Win/Win situation – he will thrive, allowing Urlacher and Briggs to protect the middle and get to the QB.
2. Free Agent Shopping For Run Stopping – Sign John Lynch to share time with Danieal Manning. Another Win/Win move that would only benefit the Bears. Lynch still has some juice left in the tank and he would shore up a gaping hole that was left vacant by Chris Harris. He is a big hitter who loves to defend the run and also in his arsenal – knack for the loose ball (think: turnovers, forcing fumbles). His strengths would be maximized and he played under Lovie Smith in Tampa. Lynch would excel right away and would add another dimension as an intimidator.
I Don’t Want To See More Of:
1. Tommie Harris On The Sidelines – The way Dusty, Israel, and Marcus Harrison are playing the case could be made for Tommie to rest and take it easy. I don’t know how much the injury(ies) bothers him, but this I know – he should be playing more and frequently reaching the QB. The defense needs him to step up and play at an All-Pro level. Right now his caliber of play is shaky and he is not the same Tommie Harris. There has to be something going on for him not to be dominating. Even if gets his snaps reduced, the time that he’s on the field – there needs to more production out of #91.
2. Nathan Vasher Looking Out Of Place – More and more I’ve seen Vasher getting beat and missing tackles because of bad pursuit/angles. What is wrong him the former pro bowler? Vasher has not been much of a ball hawk nor has he been in on many plays. Charles Tillman is holding up his end of the bargain and side of the field, the question is: When will Vasher show up and earn his paycheck?
Last But Not Least: If the Bears want to beat the Bucs this Sunday (very winnable home game) they have to run the football more than 35 times. If Forte gets 25 carries and Jones gets 10 carries this will open up a successful play-action – the Bears bread ‘n butter. Obviously the deep pass isn’t working (utilize only when run is established) because of Orton’s inability to throw with proper touch and the lack of a fast downfield threat, so with that being said – don’t attack Tampa’s strength (athletic secondary) and play ultra-conservative because this is a game where you will be able to win if the run game get on track and the D is fresh. Next week against Philly – different game plan, different story. For now, Chicago needs to stick to its strengths and win the old-fashioned way with this simple two-ingredient recipe. As long as Matt Forte is starting the team has to give him 25+ touches a game to be efficient because the pass game is not effective.