Thats what it feels like, after the last 2 games watching the Bears play like they should have all year, it has takin me this long to even want to talk about them again! First off, I was at the Saints game and Devin Hester is worth the price of admission! I say hand the man a blank check. It is astounding what hes accomplished in 2 years and he is a very valuable tool in just the return game. They dont want to kick to him? Fine, great field position. They do kick to him? Anything can happen.
Looking at offense, give Kyle Orton a chance, the kid wins. We need an upgrade at running back folks, its sad to say with so much money wrapped up in Benson, but hes not the answer, If Rashard Mendenhaull from Illinois decides to come out and is availiable when the Bears pick they need to pull the trigger. This kid is the real deal. This is one of the deepest drafts in years for offensive lineman, after Jake Long from Michigan, who will be gone before the Bears pick anyway, there is a big second tier that are very similar, so I think if the Bears have a chance to draft a difference making running back with their first pick they should do it and use their next couple picks on lineman.
After running back their next biggest need is an offensive line. Starting with Kruetz who had an awful year but isnt going anywhere. You are not good this long and just get bad in one year, I think he will play well and have a nice rebound year next year. The gaurds, Rueben Brown is probably done, he suffered a season ending elbow injury that required surgery and is getting up there in age, if he comes back it will have to be for cheap and doesnt solve any long term problems at the position. Terrence Metcalf isnt a solution in my opinion either. I wouldnt mind them continuing to use Roberto Garza, I think he does a good job and gets off the ball well. If I was Jerry Angelo for a day I would make a big push for Alan Faneca, free agent gaurd from Pittsburgh. This guy would change the entire complexion of this o-line and bring the mean back to this group.
Moving on to the tackles, its an easy solution. Draft a NFL-ready left tackle, there are supposed to be a bunch of them, and move Tait back to his natural position at right tackle, that was easy wasnt it.
Wide recievers, Muhammad isnt going anywhere, because of money only I would hope because if our coaching staff thinks hes a #1 reciever we got big problems, hes a big, slow, posession reciever who doesnt catch very well, scary huh? I hope no one spent to much money on a Bernard Berrian jersey this holiday season because I think hes played his last game in Chicago. Someone with a proven QB and passing game is going to make BB a very rich man, and with the passing game in Chicago why would a lightning fast, game-changing reciever who can go anywhere want to stay here? Then you got the walking band-aid Mark Bradley who is also a free agent, he may be back, once again, for cheap. I do believe they will work Hester into the offense more next season. This group needs help also, I dont know what the draft or free agent crop looks like but they need reinforcements from somewhere.
On defense, first the ends, I think Wale had an outstanding year, and was probably the defensive player of the year. On the other end, Alex Brown needs to start, and Mark Anderson needs to come in on passing downs, remember how well that worked the Super Bowl year? At the tackle position you got Tommie of course, and then question marks. Dusty Davorcek has proved nothing, especially that he can stay healthy, he could be Dan Hampton folks, but if he isnt on the field it doesnt matter. Walker was a good pickup, but Im not sure hes got enough left in the tank to be an every down lineman. I would like to see them put a few pounds on Idonije and let him play more, I like his energy, and hes got to have the longest wing span Ive ever seen, the mans arms hang down to his shins!
Line backer..... Youve got Urlacher and Hillenmeyer, pretty good. It sucks but we've probably seen the last of Lance Briggs, great player just way to many more needs they can spend that money, which is gonna be a lot, on. I think Jamar Williams will be fine, and dont forget, they drafted Okwo from Stanford last year and he was on IR all year and will be back next year. Heres an idea, how about an OPEN COMPETITION for the starting spot?
Moving on to the secondary, I believe we have two of the best corners in the league, hopefully Vasher can get back to playing again because we all seen how nice it is to have him out there in that Minnesota game. Another shout out to Peanut Tillman who I also thought had an excellent year. At Safety counting on anything out of Mike Brown is foolish. Hes a great player and it is a different defense when he is on the field but he just cannot stay healthy. That being said, I would rather have Mike Brown out there on one leg than to ever see Adam Archuleta in a Bears uniform again. I know hes Lovies boy, but it would astound me if hes even able to make the team in camp if he looks anything like he did this year. Once again, If I were Angelo for a day, and because Im partial to this player and this University, I would draft Tommy Zibikowski from Notre Dame. If Brown comes back and is healthy we need him back there, if not, having Manning on one side and Zibikowski on the other provides both your speed and punch in the secondary.
On special teams, you have whats turning into one of the best kickers in the league, one of the best punters, THE best returner, and one of the best special teams players in the NFL in Ayanbadejo, hes a free agent and I would make signing him back a huge priority, you need to keep this group together, they have top to bottom probably the best special teams unit in the entire NFL.
Bears fans want to taste that championship again, I think we have a good core of players, now we just have to see if Angelo can fill in the blanks.