Two TE Sets At A Premium: Bears and TE Desmond Clark agreed to a two-year contract extension through the 2010 season. He’s been one of the better TE’s in the league the past two seasons, consistently averaging 13.2 yards per catch—most among NFL tight ends. Teaming up with the young ‘n versatile Greg Olsen, Clark helps form a dynamic 1-2 punch at TE and this duo creates mismatches for linebackers and defensive backs, stretching the field in the passing department and provided sure-handed options in the red zone for their QB. He was third on the team with 44 catches for 545 yards and four touchdowns last season, giving him 15 in five years with Chicago—second to Mike Ditka (34). The extension for Clark, who has 262 catches for 3,067 yards and 24 touchdowns in nine seasons, is just another move for the busy Bears, who are looking to make plenty of more decisions this off-season.On To The Next QB – Bears Secure Position, But Do They Bolster It: From a former SEC standout to a Big-Ten Alum, Chicago has cleared the way to select a young QB in April’s Draft to wait in the wings and prepare for the future because of another “smart” move made by GM Jerry Angelo. A one-year extension has been granted to Orton based on the team’s up and down play and shaky production from its signal callers. You expected this signing to occur because of the slim free-agent market for potential replacements at QB. You can look at this move in a couple of ways if you are Kyle Orton. If he loses the job to Grossman, then a longer term extension would’ve left him stuck as an overpriced backup, giving him no shot to look for a starting role elsewhere (Is he even NFL starter-material?). On the flip side, if Orton puts up while shutting up the critics as the Bears leader under center, it would keep him from landing a wealthier deal. I am hearing that if the ’08 season started today, Orton would likely be the starter! So this move benefits both parties and it was going to eventually happen sooner or later. The 6-foot 5, three-year pro ended the ’07 campaign successfully improving steadily on a high note, and because of that, Chicago looks to call upon him to run the show after he displayed a 2-1 record against tough teams (Wins: Green Bay, New Orleans). Orton’s “determined” pefromances were described as impressive, leading the Bears to 68 points in those two contests in which he improved. The Purdue Boilermaker alum has been 12-6 as a starter during his three-year tenure in the Windy City. It will be interesting to see whether or not he is the answer in Chicago and how the QB battle this summer goes. Look for Rex to maintain the starting role because he has a better arm (Ex. see his deep passes compared to Orton’s) and more zip on this throws. Expect this on-going controversy to be front and center all throughout camp, up until the regular season begins. Let this “Overly Hyped” Duel of the Inconsistent QB’s Begin! May the best mediocre signal caller win! I believe this will be a neck-n-neck race and we will not get a definite answer anytime soon! Kicker Confidential: For Clutch Robbie (Nickname Earned), his kicks have been “As Good as Gould” and it looks like Chicago will sign him long-term (Desreves a New Deal) and it would be a brilliant investment. He doesn’t boot the super-long kicks through the uprights all the time and doesn’t attempt them on most ocassions, but he’s consistent enough and has been the team’s best kicker since Kevin Butler was handling the duties during the Bears run of dominance in the NFC during the mid 80s. Coach Smith can count on him every Sunday to go out and make a big kick when needed, sending most of his tries less than 50 yards right down broadway between the goal posts. Gould does just what a place kicker needs to do in order to stay in the NFL – He Simply Gets The Job Done!
BearsGab Schedule And What To Look Foward To: Stay Focused on Bearsgab.com as I will be putting up another “can’t-miss” segment of “Bears Banter” questions that will be answered with our very own excellent Writer Eric Cook. Along with Vol. 2 of the “Off-Season Edition”, you can scoop up inside info and news about who the Bears are thinking about selecting in his upcoming NFL Draft. I will be talking about potential free agent targets, acquisitions, moves/contracts, and who the Bears should draft and keep a close eye on, while discussing which needs should be addressed and taken care of first. Along with lots of Draft coverage, I will team up with E-C double O-K and we’ll dish out answers on who the team should pick and why, sharing insight and anaylsis, and of course our very own opinions on the decisions made my GM Jerry Angelo and the front office, giving you the latest and most recent Bears happenings and what impact it will have on the upcoming 2008 season!