The post office may be closed for Columbus Day, but the email man keeps stuffing my mailbox.
So today, we'll answer some questions about Bears drafts and the offense.
The Bears returned to practice Monday after a long weekend off. If any of them got to watch the Vikings, they should be happy to know they don't have to play them until Nov. 29. The Vikings right now look like the best team in football.
Maybe over the next seven weeks or so, that will change.
Until then, questions, questions, questions.
Hi Dan, I have to be honest and I really hope Jerry Angelo keeps his recent strategy. That is, trade all of your early draft picks! Here we we go . Cade McNown, Curtis Enis, David Terrell, Michael Haynes, Cedric Benson (ok, the verdict is still out on him), but do you get the point? Here is an idea, trade early rounders for more probowl caliber players and sign the lateround draft picks for crazy cheap (hello Johnny Knox). Do I need to explain more? The draft is all media coverage and an excuse to give more attention to players that will not actually make it in the NFL. You can find quality players late in the draft (Mike Brown, Tony Parrish, Tom Brady just to name a few). I say, I would be happy to never to see another firstround draft pick in Chicago (and you might bring up Urlacher, but remember, Grossman was a 1st round pick too). Your thoughts?Dan N., Champaign, IL
You definitely are onto something by pointing out the comparative value of late round picks, but I think you are being a bit shortsighted, Dan. The Pro Bowl every year is filled with players who were chosen in the first round of the draft, and the Bears have drafted a number of good ones. The Bears should always be open to trading down if they can get commensurate value. The problem with wanting to trade down is there usually are more potential sellers of first round picks than potential buyers and that drives down the price of the picks. It's only worth giving up a first rounder if you can get what you want in return. And if you can't trade down, there is nothing wrong with trying to draft a highly talented player, one that NFL scouts deem is one of the 32 best in the country.
Dan, How do you think the Bears 2009 draft class is working out so far? Massaquoi looks pretty good and I haven't heard much about Henry Melton or Jarron Gilbert. I don't see Angelo's quantity over quality draft strategy paying off this year. Thanks, Bob Drewes
Of course it's way too early to judge the 2009 draft class. Moore. The good news is they have two rookie starters, Johnny Knox and Al Afalava, to show for the draft, and they used two of their picks in a trade for a veteranguy you may have heard of Jay Cutler. So if I told you before the Lamarr Houston Black Jersey draft that you'd get Jay Cutler and two immediate starters from the day, I think you would have been tickled pink. The Bears still have high hopes for their first four picks, but they need a little more time. They could live to regret passing on Mohamed Massaquoi in the second round. Then again, if they had picked him, maybe they wouldn't have had Gilbert and Melton, the players they chose with the picks they got in return for their second rounder, or Iglesias, who was chosen in the third. Let's give it time to see how it plays out.
Is it just me or have I been watching a more subdued Cutler in the games. I thought he was brought in for his arm accuracy for the deep throws and so far he has not thrown one, to the best of my recollection. Are the Bears trying to mold him into another "game manager" or are we going to see the real Cutler at some point. I really hope he does not turn into another Rex or KO. AJ, Waltham
I think the Bears expect Lamarr Houston Authentic Jersey to see more of Cutler's big arm as the season goes on. They haven't used it much up to this point because of a number of reasons the defenses they have gone against, the fact www.raidersofficialonline.com/99_lamarr_houston_jersey_authentic_black_limited_cheap.html that Cutler still is getting his timing with receivers and his offensive line hasn't always protected consistently. I think they also have been using the short passing game as kind of a run substitute because of problems in that area. But the Bears don't want to have a wideopen offense. They want to have a ball control offense that can loosen teams up with the run and make big strikes with the pass.
Versus the Lions, I saw a couple of formations that had Olsen and Clark on the far left and right. Are the Bears simply hoping to match a small corner on the TEs and a line backer or safety on the WRs? Todd, Homewood, IL
They are trying to gain a matchup advantage, yes. And they also are trying to get the defense to display its intentions presnap, or maybe force a particular defensive call. If a bigger defender walks out with a tight end, the Bears usually know the defense is in mantoman. If they keep a corner out side, the Bears know the defense is probably zone.
Hi Dan, I was checking out the upcoming Bears schedule and noticed that their next two games are on FieldTurf in ATL and CIN, and then later in the season they play at BAL, MN and DET with artificial surfaces. Do you think these surfaces play to the Bears' advantage with their overall team speed and quickness (especially Matt Forte's running style. and Johnny Knox)? Is there any proof of this from recent seasons based on FieldTurf vs. natural grass? Thanks a lot, I really enjoy reading your columns each week! Dean Riechers, University of Illinois at UrbanaChampaign
Glad you enjoy the columns, Dean. I always thought playing surface was overrated because if a player is the fastest player on grass, he's still the fastest player on an artificial surface even if he's running at a faster pace. It's all relative. So I don't really think the Bears will have an advantage in these games Dean. For what it's worth, over the last two years, the Bears are 32 on artificial surfaces and 96 on grass.
So whatever happened to Greg Olsen's magical breakout year? Wasn't this the year he's supposed to be near the team lead in receptions and have a couple of 100yd games? Instead, he's been mostly invisible in the passing game. Was the Cutler/Olsen connection overrated in the preaseason, or have defenses focused on containing Olsen because the Bears lack a true WR threat outside of Johnny Knox? Michael, Woodbridge, VA
Good question. I think the Olsen breakout still could happen. I know Ron Turner is recommitting to making it happen. A number of factors have prevented it up to this point, including the way defenses have played Olsen, the way other receivers have stepped up and the plays Turner has called. Olsen probably won't put up the kind of numbers many of us envisioned him putting up at the start of the year, but he still could be a very valuable part of the passing game and maybe even the team's leading receiver.
Dan, What's going on with Devin Aromashodu? With the active receiver corp having injury issues, isn't it about time the Bears found out if this guy is the real deal? Pete, Chicago, IL
It would be nice to find out if Aromashodu is as good as he appeared to be prior to the season. But the problem now is how do you get him on the field? While he was hurt, he was passed by Johnny Knox. No way you take away snaps from Knox for Aromashodu now. And the other receivers are playing well too. It's possible that Aromashodu's opening could come this week if Devin Hester is not 100 percent, but I doubt it. Bottom line is he probably needs an injury to a wide receiver to get on the field.
By Vaughn McClure
According to a report by the San Diego UnionTribune, Bears rookie offensive lineman Lance Louis will not face felony stemming from a fight with a teammate while he attended San Diego State.
Louis still could be charged with a misdemeanor after allegedly assaulting safety Nick Sandford in the team meeting room. Sandford had a concussion, broken eardrum and fractured cheekbone. Louis alleged actions came after Sandford poked him with a stick.
According to the report, the San Diego District Attorney office determined it couldn prove a felony case beyond a reasonable doubt. The district attorney office turned the case over to the San Diego City Attorney office to consider possible misdemeanor charges.
The incident was not initially to the police Louis was not suspended.
Louis, a seventhround pick, played well enough in the preseason to earn a spot on the 53man roster. He has displayed the ability to play both tackle and guard and is listed as the thirdstring left tackle on the depth chart behind starter Orlando Pace and backup Kevin Shaffer.
By Vaughn McClure
As the Bears prepare for Friday practice, a story has developed out of San Diego involving rookie offensive lineman Lance Louis.
According to the San Diego UnionTribune, Louis, who attended San Diego State, is under investigation for felony battery stemming from a Nov.5 fight with thenteammate Nick Sandford. According to the raidersofficialonline.com/99_lamarr_houston_jersey_authentic_black_limited_cheap report, Sanford suffered a concussion, a broken eardrum and a fractured cheekbone in the fight. The incident wasn reported to police until Nov. 20. And no charges were immediately filed.
Scott Hagel, the Bears senior director of communications, said the team was aware of the fight but also aware that no followup was immediately by either the police or the university. Louis was not suspended for the incident. He was drafted by the Bears in the seventh round of April NFL Draft.
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