How cool is it to be a Chicago sports fan right now…
Rumors are swirling that Lebron James will sign with the Bulls shortly after the July 1 NBA free agent shopping period opens. If that’s the case, two Chicago sports teams will be responsible for landing the biggest free agent catches in their respective sports.
With the Julius Peppers signing in March, the Bears injected a much needed performance enhancer into their often invisible pass rush. But the pickup will also pay dividends in the defensive backfield, especially for the corners, who last year, were all too often left covering opposing wide receivers a second or two longer than they should have.
And ask any poor Nebraska fan the impact that one measly second can have on the outcome of a play and/or game (see Big XII championship game vs. Texas).
Here are the corners I think will be around on opening day 2010 to benefit from the Peppers Pass Rush.
Peanut Tillman, Zack Bowman, Corey Graham
D.J. Moore, Josh Moore, Tim Jennings, Woodny Turenne
With the switch of Bowman to Tillman’s former place on the left side, we’re witnessing a changing of the guard within the starting CB tandem. With 7 picks in his 17-game Bears career, Bowman is officially THE playmaker in the Bears secondary.
It appears Graham will man the nickelback position, giving the Bears a trio of 6-foot DBs to match up with opposing WRs (hello, Charles Johnson and Sidney Rice). That leaves the Moores (DJ and Josh), Jennings (a free agent pickup from Indy) and Turenne to battle for three backup spots.
Jennings, while short in stature (listed at 5’8”), will make the squad, giving the Bears an experienced fourth CB. I think only one of the Moores will stick, and my guess is it’ll be the taller one. DJ didn’t show much in his ‘redshirt’ year last year, and I think Josh will get the nod based mostly on potential.
So in the surprise roster spot of the year, the once undrafted Woodny Turenne will bump a coveted former mid-round draft pick to the street. After a solid camp/preseason last year, it’ll be hard for the coaches to say ‘no’ to Woodny two years in a row.
Only one position left to predict. Please enjoy tearing apart my previous position predictions:
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