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Bears Banter Exclusive: Special Off-Season Edition Vol. 3 – Part 2 of 2

mark-bradley.jpg Editor Russ Loede Talks “Bear Necessities” With Our Expert Analyst, Columnist Eric Cook As He Answers 12 “Intriguing Questions”

14. Is Chicago’s front office dealing with their players/free agents considering the amount of salary cap room available (30 Mil) the right way? Why extend contracts before dealing with expiring contracts?

In this case (Briggs, Berrian, and Ayanbedejo), I fully agree with how the front office is approaching these guys, last year with Lovie Smith’s contract I thought they took too long, and really should of locked him up immediately. In the past, I think they could of been a little more generous in their contract offers. This year concerning these players, I think what they’re asking(Briggs, Berrian) and what they’re worth are definitely two different markets/situations.
Just a side note a couple of Bears Ex-Linebackers (Warrick Holdman, Roosevelt Colvin) were both released. I can remember everyone thinking those guys were amazing, the only thing they proved amazing was how amazing playing next to Brian Urlacher made them look! In my opinion, Briggs is better than both of those guys, but he appears better than he really is, because of who he is playing alongside.

15. Choose: Who would you rather have Faneca (Signed with NY Jets) or Turner?

Faneca, no question… although Turner certainly appears to be good. Yet we haven’t seen him as “THE GUY”. Alan Faneca is a proven commodity, he has been that “guy”, and really this is where our greatest area of need lies right now (OL).

16. Give me one reason why our Bears will be “winners” in FA and why we should get excited?
There are a lot of free agent WR’s out there that we can get for a bargain, I think that is an important position to upgrade this off-season. There are also other unrestricted free agent tackles and guards available in the NFL right now: OT’s Flozell Adams (Re-Signed with Dallas), Shane Olivea (Just Got Released By SD Max Starks, and Todd Stuessie to go along with OG’s Jake Scott and Floyd Womackjust to name a few. We have a need at these positions and a lot of salary cap room this year to use for improving.

17. Are you all that concerned with Urlacher’s neck?
I think any time you have a player with a back or neck injury you should be concerned. But Urlacher is a tough guy, regardless of the effect you have a “good” two years left in him.

18. Is the combination of Mark Bradley & Devin Hester enough to replace Berrian & Moose?
Moose is a much easier on the field replacement than Berrian. But let’s face it, Devin Hester is a speedster, and that is what Berrian offered you, so I think the attention Hester gets will help Bradley, and if he stays healthy and someone else such as Rashied Davis or Mike Hass steps up (or a free agent acquisition) as a third guy/slot WR we could do well. There are two very talented TE’s on this team in Desmond Clark and Greg Olsen who create mismatches every time they line up. Also, there are plenty of weapons and if we can shore up our O-Line and can get the ball into their hands.

19. Give me a WR we should acquire via FA and Draft?

I like any of these guys:
Brandon Stokley UFA Denver Broncos
Devery Henderson UFA New Orlean Saints
Bryant Johnson (released) Arizona Cardinals
Brandon Lloyd (released) Washington Redskins
D.J. Hackett UFA Seattle Seahawks

20. Are you confident that a drafted RB or OL can start right away for us?

This is an extremely DEEP draft class for TALENTED offensive lineman – so yes, a drafted OL can start for us, and RB’s historically/typically make a fairly decent transition in their first year so I don’t see why not.

21. Bigger Impact to team’s overall improvement: Free Agency/Draft?

Well, because I believe our greatest need is Offensive Line, the Bears will acquire primarily through the draft – so, I would say the draft.

22. Should Mike Brown be projected to start at Strong Safety?

Projected… yes, counted on…. NO. I love him because he has the heart of a lion but a body of glass.

23. Give All-Pro DT Tommie Harris a new deal now or wait?

Give it to him now, he is a stand up guy and has earned it.

24. Would you be upset if we pass up on an OL in the 1st round?


25. Place yourself in Mr. Angelo’s shoes and Play the Role of GM: Bears need to accomplish these 3 things from now until Training Camp to be ready for the Regular Season.

1. Move John Tait back to Right Tackle and get a better Offensive Guard next to Olin. Along with adding a Left Tackle via Draft or Free Agency.

2) Acquire through Free agency or Draft a Wide out, a Future Franchise QB and get another Running Back in there to compete for the job.

3) Get Tommie Harris and Brandon Ayanbedejo signed.


4) Transplant Mike Brown’s brain into Danieal Manning’s head.

Satisfaction: I hope Volume 3 – Edition of “Bears Banter” strengthened your knowledge of the Windy City Soldiers and bolstered your understanding on what’s taking place and what’s soon to happen in Chicago with our Bears!

Mission Statement: Make your football home this off-season and throughout the year, letting the site be your reason to follow the team closely in ‘08!



  1. Keith Harmon

    March 7, 2008 at 8:13 pm

    You are a moron. Calling Mike Brown a lion with a glass body. The man played the first ?3? years of his career without an injury. He has had some problems the last 2 1/2 years, but this guys is th heart and soul of the Bears defense. When he is in the game, this is a top 3 defense, when he is out, they are lucky to make the top 20. Everyone puts so much emphasis on Urlacher, but check the stats when Mike Brown plays. I take a chance on him every year, no matter his injuries. He is the best defensive player we have seen on this team since Mike Singletary. His injury last year should have been a fine on the chump FB from San Diego. It was an illegal clothes line block. Lion in a glass body, pitiful remark.

  2. Russ Loede

    March 13, 2008 at 8:22 am

    I Agree With Your Comments on Mike Brown.

    But I Do Have to say that our Columnist Eric Cook is Right about Mike Brown being fragile, sadly but true, very unfortunate because like you said he, not Urlacher, is the “HEART & SOUL” of this DEFENSE!

    Mike Brown is an Outstanding Leader and Playmaker when HEALTHY and I Love that we are giving him another chance!

    Thanks 4 your Feedback

  3. Eric Cook

    March 14, 2008 at 5:04 pm

    Well I have to say after reading your comments, I can’t find any way around it. Mike Brown is fantastic I agree with you, I never questioned his heart or ability or what he adds to the team. But…..He is fragile…..IT is all about what have you done for me lately.

    You are right his first four years He started all 16 games.

    Here are his last four years,

    2004 – 2 games
    2005 – 12 games
    2006 – 6 games
    2007 – 1 game.

    I am not sure what else needs to be said, the stats don’t lie. Is Mike Brown amazing, one of the better defensive players the Bears have had in recent history? Yes, but after 21 games in 4 seasons. and only 7 games in the last 2 years and 1 game last year? The trend looks bleak. Not the last 2 1/2 years but the last 4, here’s hoping for a healthy Mike but not expecting it.

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