Tag Archives: Defense

We Put Our Faith in Lance Briggs!

Brigg Business

Brigg Business

Since the departure of Brian Urlacher, Nick Roach, and Lovie Smith, the question hanging over the heads of football fans has been over how the defensive line will perform after such drastic change to the team. A lot of pressure has been put on linebacker Lance Briggs, and Briggs has volunteered himself for the responsibility of running the plays of the defensive line, keeping the line tight, and mentoring the rookies while making sure veteran players are focused and challenged by his leadership.

Brigg Trouble In Little Chi

Brigg Trouble In Little Chi

First, the concern about how Briggs would handle the pressure seems a little overdramatic. He has been a solid, key player for the Chicago Bears for over a decade, almost as long as Urlacher. Briggs has played twenty-five games in his career without Urlacher and was just fine. This included 2009 when Urlacher missed 15 games, the same year Briggs went to the Pro Bowl. He has missed four games in ten years. The challenge is not going to be whether or not Briggs can handle being relied on to run a defensive line; the challenge is how Briggs will manage a line of veterans and rookies under the guidance of a new coaching staff. Briggs has core teammates like Charles Tillman, Julius Peppers, and Tim Jennings returning, so the gaping absences will not be that difficult to adjust to in reality. Balancing veterans like D.J. Williams and James Anderson with rookies like Jon Bostic and Khaseem Greene means using his leadership abilities with the old dogs and the new recruits.

The Brigg Chill

The Brigg Chill

His performance in training camp has brought a lot of success and Briggs recognizes when he’s fallen short or made a bad call, hoping to keep getting sharper and maintaing and building on the progress he has made. Defensive coordinator, Mel Tucker, said Briggs’s performance is “a work in progress, but it’s been getting progressively better and that’s what you want to see.” Briggs himself recognizes the challenge before him and said, “It’s different. You’ve been in a system for a long time. You’re told to change and do things a different way. It just takes time.”

The Brigg Chill

The Brigg Bang

Time is fleeting. With a week until preseason football and a month until regular season, now is the time to focus on getting skills sharpened and players focused. With this team the Bears have a shot at a Wild Card spot in the playoffs, and with Briggs leading the defense the Bears are going to be a threat. Briggs has been helping the new coaches learn the Bears system, mentoring and guiding the rookies, and rebuilding a slightly fractured yet determined defensive line. We put our faith in Lance Briggs because he’s the Bear with the talent, focus, drive, and leadership skills to drive this team to victory.



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Matt Forte’s signed…so what’s next for the Bears?

So hours before the deadline for Franchise Players to reach a long-term extension, the Bears and Matt Forte came to an agreement on a new 4 year contract. With Matt Forte now signed for four more seasons, the Bears can now concentrate on the 2012 season and beyond. The Bears front office and fans has a lot to look forward to in both the short-term (on the field) and long-term (off the field).

In the short-term, the Bears will feature the best team that they’ve has in a few decades with the additions of Michael Bush, Brandon Marshall, Shea McClellin, and Alshon Jeffery while not losing any key players from either side of the ball. The Bears will be one of the few teams to have a Pro Bowl (and top 10 ranked at their respected position) at each of the three key playmaking positions on offense in  Jay Cutler, Matt Forte, and Brandon Marshall. Like many others, I feel this team (on paper) is most likely the Bears best team that they’ve had since the late 1980’s or early 1990’s. This franchise hasn’t featured this many playmakers on their roster (especially the offensive end)  since the end of the Ditka Era. I feel if the Bears answer a few key questions during the season, then they might be one of (if not) the team to beat in the NFC this season.

1. The Offensive Line: The O-Line needs to make sure they can give Jay Cutler enough time to survey the field so he find his playmaker down field and isn’t running for his life each play. As the season progressed onward, the Offensive Line started to show signs of improvement as Lance Louis, Roberto Garza, and Chris Williams  looked like they were becoming a solid group as the season progressed on. In addition to those 3 players, the Bears will have 2011 1st Round Draft pick Gabe Carimi back in the fold making this O-Line that much better next season. The biggest question lies within the Left Tackle position as the Bears hope JaMarcus Webb can take the next step and become a reliable Left Tackle for the Bears in 2012. If Webb’s able to take the next step, than there’ll be that much more running space for the running backs (Matt Forte and Michael Bush) while also allowing for Jay Cutler to bootleg out of the pocket allowing for him to become an elite Quarterback.

2. Tight End: In addition to the offensive line, the Bears need to receive contributions out of the Tight End position. During the offseason, the Bears decided to resign Kellen Davis to go along with Matt Speath and rookie Evan Rodriguez on their roster. If Kellen Davis (or one of the other 2 Tight End’s) can make a few key receptions downfield, the the other wideouts will be able to find single coverages against other defenses.

3. Defense’s Age: Like I said above, the Bears have a number of playmakers on the defensive side of the ball (Urlacher, Peppers, Briggs, and Tillman) however, each player is over the age of 30. Since Urlacher injured his wrist during the first game of the 2009 season, Chicago’s defense has been fortunate to stay relatively healthy on the defensive side of the ball. I don’t feel any of these players have “lost a step” however, I do worry about are the injuries and if someone gets injured how they’ll be able to recover from the possible injury. If they stay healthy, I feel these 4 players as good as ever during the 2012 season.

4. The Young Defenders: In addition to their key defensive players over 30 years old, I feel the Bears feature a few key younger players on the defensive side of the ball in Henry Melton, Major Wright, Chris Conte, along with rookies Shea McClellin (1st Round) and Brandon Hardin (3rd Round). If Henry Melton can become a reliable interior defensive tackle, and bring pressure from the inside of the defense, then Julius Peppers won’t see as many double-teams and the linebackers will be able to drop back into coverage. The same goes for Shea McClellin as if he’s able to prove that he can be true Defensive End that can get after the Quarterback, then the Bears will feature a solid rotation from the Defensive End position in Peppers, McClellin, and Israel Idonije. As for the other three players, they were the franchises last 3 third round picks: Major Wright (2010), Chris Conte (2011), and Brandon Hardin (2012). If two of the three young safeties are able to solidify that position in 2012, then the Bears defense would be that much better in 2012.

Those are the 4 keys surrounding the Bears in the short-term. So what are some of the long-term issues surrounding the Chicago Bears? 

Within the next 2 years, the majority of the Bears key players will be free agents and the team will have to decide who to sign and to let go. Within the next 2 off-seasons, the following key players will be Free Agents: Jay Cutler, Brian Urlacher, Charles Tillman, Henry Melton, and Robbie Gould. With that said Bears fans should look forward to the start of the 2012 and not too much at the future as the Bears have a chance to do something special in 2012 and early 2013.

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