Your Turn: Bears Blog Post Of The Week From “Blitz65” @ Bear Report (Chi.Scout.com)
What Has Changed During 2 Years: Comparison Of Bears Roster From ’06 Super Bowl Team To This Season’s ’08 Squad:
Team Outlook – Author’s View (Blitz65): Players from the 2006-2007 team that are no longer on the roster:
– RB Thomas Jones (he hasn’t done well with the Jets, but he is/was better than Benson in the Bears offense).
– OT Fred Miller (he was good until age caught up with him and he hit the wall).
– OG Ruben Brown (see: Miller, above).
– WR (decent/average WR at the time, skills diminished).
– WR ( a legitimate blazer at WR in 06, likely to be better than anything the Bears currently have – they will likely miss his wheels/game-changing speed).
– DT Alfonso Boone ( big body who was a player that added depth, could have been useful last year when every DT in sight got injured).
– DT Ian Scott (see: Boone, above).
– S Chris Harris (head & shoulders above recently dropped Archuleta and more likely better than Danieal Manning as well – playmaker and solid in run support).
– LB Brendan Ayanbadejo (caused havoc on special teams and gave the Bears a few key turnovers).
Notable players on the current roster that have been added since 2006 (excluding rookies):
– WR Marty Booker (he was good for a few years in
– WR Brandon Lloyd (bad player with a bad attitude, although he has always had potential).
– TE Greg Olsen (Playmaking TE with size, speed, and tremendous ability).
– DT Anthony Adams (street FA DT, looked decent when he played, but is injury-prone).
– CB Trumaine McBride (CB that showed some promise, but won’t start over Vasher/Tillman).
– RB Garrett Wolfe (fast RB, but not likely to be anything more than a change-of-pace guy 3rd down back that gets a handful of carries per game).
– S Brandon McGowan (very inconsistent player, hasn’t displayed the skill that got him a place on the roster and his mistakes far outweight his talent, needs to show that he can stay on the field during passing downs – needs work to improve his technique and better awareness would help).
Players that should be healthier:
- Tommie Harris
- Mike Brown
- Brian Urlacher
- Nate Vasher
- Dusty Dvoracek
- Charles Tillman
- Lance Briggs
- John Tait
- Rex Grossman
- Mark Bradley
- Kevin Payne
- Anthony Adams
Old players that are likely to take a step back:
– John Tait (not sure if he is the same player even with a move back to his original home at RT).
– Mike Brown (all of those injuries may hurt/disrupt his play/quickness, while limiting his ability).
– (he’s getting up there in years (31 in August) and is likely to lose a step).
– (his nagging back/neck injuries could become legit problems).
– (he’s on the wrong side of 30 and isn’t quite the force he once was).
– Desmond Clark (getting older and will inevitably get slower, fortunately the Bears have Olsen and rookie Kellen Davis if his level of play declines).
Final Thoughts/Conclusion: Downgrading from the ’06 Super Bowl roster is what people see. Losing 7 significant producers/contributors and replacing them with sub-par players such as McGowan and Lloyd does not do much to improve the team. Rookies such as Williams, Bennett, and Forte could do a lot to improve the Bears, but they are unproven and they could easily turn out to be busts as well; the same goes for second-year players such as Bazuin, Wolfe, and Beekman. Getting Dvoracek, Vasher, and Brown back from injury should definitely help the cause, but that trio, which the Bears depend on defensively, could easily become injured again and it is extremely difficult to count on Mike Brown seriously anymore, with the usual on-going problems that seem to continue from year-to-year.
Need To Bring Your A-Game, Will The “Real” Bears Please Stand Up? Bears 2008 Edition Has To Step Up: I think the NFC as a whole has also gotten a lot better since the Bears went to theand the balance of power is starting to cycle back to the the NFC as opposed to the AFC which has been stronger over the past few years.