The "Fix the Bears" Thread
Well I wanted to start a thread where the general rebuilding and retooling of the Bears can be discussed. Be it philosophical football x's and o's or players you'd cut, sign or trade. Talk about it here.
I'll start with my first entry:
Fix the offensive line:
The first step in the offensive line rebuilding process was set in motion when Chris Williams moved over to left tackle. Hopefully he was able to pick Orlando Pace's brain a little, making the Pace experiment less of a complete failure. Chris has played well since taking over, and hopefully he and Cutler will get a little more comfortable with each other. Shouldn't be that hard, considering they were college teammates and all.
So what do we with the other 4 spots? I'd say Garza is probably locked into right guard, Kruetz is probably out the door. Omiyale has been better since being benched, but is probably better suited for the outside. Schaffer hasn't done anything to cement the right tackle spot, but he has played well when given the opportunity. I'd like to see right tackle as an open competition between Omiyale and Schaffer. Both are relatively young, and don't have much wear on the tires.
Which leaves us with openings at Left Guard and Center, with Josh Beekman in competition for one of the spots. I think Beekman's value is a backup with the versatility to play both, rather than start at either. We know he was supposed to be the future at Center, but that was when the future at quarterback was Kyle Orton. So Center should be high up on there on our list of needs. I'd like to see us spend one of our first couple picks on a center. Beekman can keep Jay's hands warm while we bring him along, but long term he shouldn't be the answer, but we can get one of the top center prospects with our third.
Which leaves us with left guard. I think the key to some stabillity at left guard might be coaching, it might be the same thing we heard with Marinelli last year but I'd like to see us hire an offensive line guru, someone who will install a working offensive line system, and begin developing some long term prospects. However this might not be the case since we're probably in "Win Now" mode.
It all depends on who we bring in to run the offense. Lets say we get someone like Jeremy Bates from the Shannahan tree. We're gonna be looking for OLinemen who can move and have good technique. In that case, Garza is definitely out and Kreutz is fine at C. Garza is slow and constantly gets pushed back. Kreutz is still mobile and can get to the 2nd level, making a good fit for the ZBS. Omiyale is interesting cause he shows sparks but is lazy and has god awful technique. Williams is fine at LT for now, but I doubt he is the long term answer. Very inconsistent and gets much too passive at times. At RT, I guess we can live with a Shaffer/Omiyale compeition, but that is nothing but a stopgap;.
I disagree about Garza and the ZBS, he's lighter and quicker and played in a zone offense in Atlanta. I think we'd get more out of him if we asked him to block on an angle. Williams has only played three or four games at left tackle in which he's preformed admirably, with an offensive line coach who has not shown the ability to coach up or develop his players. A new system, and year of positional stability will do wonders for Williams. Kruetz is not fine at C though, his play is only decreasing, and he is very inconsistent on shot gun snaps, always has been. He's due to make more money than his play has dictated and it's time to go in another direction. Schaffer/Omiyale is a stop gap that could turn into a permanent solution, but I agree with need to bring someone along. Not developing offensive linemen to replace the aging starters has really hurt this team, but unless we trade away somebody like Urlacher, Tommie Harris or Lance Briggs, we don't have an early pick to waste on a RT that won't play right away.
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