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Bears Banter Exclusive: Special Off-Season Edition Vol. 2 – Part 1 of 2

windy-city-flyer-_23.jpg Editor Russ Loede Talks “Bear Necessities” With Our Expert Analyst, Columnist Eric Cook As He Answers 13 “Burning Questions”

Bears Banter: Part 1 of 2:

1. I like the job GM Jerry Angelo did in signing Rex to a one year deal. Tell Bears fans what to expect with #8. Give us best case/worst case scenario with Grossman calling the shots.

Best case scenario:

1. Rex Stays Healthy
2. Rex gets it, and stops forcing the ball into
double coverage.
3. Rex has 2:1 TD to INT Ratio.
4. Rex learns to step up into the pocket (stepping into throw) and not run into a sack which he can avoid.
5. Rex develops a pocket presence and begins to
sense oncoming blitzes, and begins to learn how
to get the ball out of his hands faster.
6. Rex gets better at taking snaps from under
center without fumbling.

Worst Case Scenario:
1. Rex gets injured
2. Rex continues to make bad decisions
3. Coaches stick with him in spite of first 2.

2. Tell us why Rex isn’t the man and convince us because I believe he is the one to lead the offense in ’08.

See Above: Six bullet points, with Rex not improving on ’em.

3. Let’s tackle the QB Controversy: Rex Grossman or Kyle Orton?

I agree with the coaches Rex is the more talented quarterback with the most upside. My fear is he will never get past the mental errors that it takes to be a consistent quarterback in the league. Orton has shown me one thing, he can take care of the ball and avoid making mistakes that will hurt you. He also seems to have made progress in his ability to get the ball to the receivers in such a way as they can make a play. I am not sold on him being the franchise guy, but I will take him as an average QB that can develop into becoming a franchise QB.

4. I keep hearing if the season were to start today Orton would be in at QB – Do you believe this?

I honestly believe the coaches are still looking at Rex Grossman through rose colored glasses, so no I do not believe that given a healthy Rex Grossman Orton wins the job. He (Rex) plays great in practice and training camp. But gets rattled and out of sync in games. I would like to believe this (because if our defense plays as well as I think it can, we could go a long way with Orton under center).

5. Which direction (position) will Chicago go 1st Round?

If we do not address the left tackle position in Free agency (considering we do the right thing and move Tait back to the right side), I hope this is where we get our answer because there are plenty of SOLID offensive tackles in this draft. If we take care of this position, then we should be looking at a quarterback if the one we want is there, unless we expect to somehow pull a Cleveland Browns and get both in the draft. I would assume the next need would be wide receiver or running Back whichever has the most upside when we get to our pick.

6. Rate our major needs in order (1-5).

1) Offensive Lineman
2) Quarterback
3) Wide Receiver
4) Running Back
5) Safety

7. If there was one player realistically that Bears could get draft that you would love to land – Who would it be?

OL Jake Long (Michigan)/Ryan Clady (Boise State)……WR Mario Manningham (UM)

8. Would you like to see the Bears trade up or trade down and which is more likely (we all know that Chicago loves to get extra draft picks), can you see a shocking deal with us moving up?

Moving up doesn’t seem to be Angelo’s style…He is a “Bargain Hunter”. I could see us moving down and trying to pull off what Cleveland did last year but with lesser high profile names at the QB/OT positions. I would like to see something like that, us getting a solid tackle and the quarterback the team wants.

9. Who is on your Free Agent “wish” List? (1-5, Including our own Bears)

1) Alan Faneca
2) Michael Turner
3) Bargain wide out to fill a need, Bryant Johnson, D.J. Hackett, or Eric Moulds – there are lots out there!

10. Are we going to go after/pursue any big name/money players like an Alan Faneca or a Michael Turner?

Obviously I hope we do. But…the buzz is Faneca’s asking price is too rich for our blood.

11. What are the chances of bringing back Berrian, Briggs, and Ayanbadejo?

I think Ayanbedejo has the best chance of returning, I don’t see us feeling like either Briggs or Berrian is worth want they want.

12. What’s the KEY to having a successful draft for us?

Addressing key needs this year not grabbing the so, quote unquote “best athlete” available. Shoring up our O-Line, getting a QB of the future, and a running back or wide out, along with maybe a serviceable (young, healthy, versatile) coverage Safety/DB for depth purposes!

13. Name one player that will exceed expectations and play better than expected – I’m under the impression that it may be SS Kevin Payne.
I hope it is OLB Michael Okwo (3rd round, Stanford) in place of the soon-to-be departed Lance Briggs.

Satisfaction: I hope Volume 2 – 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!

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

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