86 Comments

Postseason Positional Analysis Part VIII: Secondary

| January 20th, 2016

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Here are a few sentences I never thought I’d write, or think, in 2015:

  • The Bears really struggled covering the slot without Bryce Callahan.
  • Tracy Porter is playing like a corner who wants a contract extension.
  • The secondary has been the best level of the Bears defense several games this season.

My predictions were (1) the Bears would field the worst secondary in the league and (2) perhaps one of the worst secondaries in the organization’s history. Neither of those predictions were accurate. Neither was even close.

WHO IS BACK

Kyle Fuller and Adrian Amos both had up-and-down 2015s but both will be prominent members of the Bears secondary next season.

Tracy Porter isn’t a top tier corner but his ability to close on the football is somewhat astounding. If Calvin Johnson does actually retire this offseason, does Porter’s value increase?

Antrel Rolle doesn’t actually cost the Bears much in 2016 so it wouldn’t make sense for them to cut bait before Bourbonnais. Even if the Bears target safety in free agency or the draft, Rolle could provide cheap depth off the bench.

Bryce Callahan was arguably the defense’s most pleasant surprise and a player the Bears coaching staff will surely want to continue developing.

WHO IS NOT BACK

Sherrick McManis may have value on specials but he’s not a professional corner.

WHO CARES

Stack ’em up. Harold Jones-Quartey had some nice moments. So did Chris Prosinski. But seeing their success coupled with some awful moments leads me to believe Vic Fangio and Ed Donatell can get a lot of juice out of some lemons. Wouldn’t surprise me if these two are in Bourbonnais. Wouldn’t surprise me if they’re not. Wouldn’t care either way.

Demontre Hurst, Sherrod Martin, Alan Ball and Jacoby Glenn were just bodies.

NEEDS (AND HOW TO FILL THEM)

Three things:

  • Avoid the first round. The rules simply don’t permit the existence of a shut down corner anymore and the strike out record in the first round is alarming.
  • Avoid the big money. The strength of the Bears coaching staff is at the backend of their defense. If they’re going to spend this offseason, spend on quarterback disrupters up front.
  • Attack rounds 4-6. If the Bears can find another secondary starter in these rounds (as they did a year ago) this personnel regime will be off to a flying start.

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  • The Yes Guy

    YES!

    • T’Challa

      I am of the opinion that we need to draft a CB in the later rounds to develop as well as resign Porter and sign another FA. There are two CBs currently under contract that is worth keeping in my opinion, Fuller and Callahan.

      I like McManis on ST but question his ability as a CB. Maybe he is better suited to play on the outside instead of the slot. His better position just might be safety.

      Given Porter’s injury history, I would not feel comfortable going into the offseason program without having another veteran on the team. I like Morris Claiborne’s length and talent. He should be able to be had for a reasonable price.

      Fuller and Claiborne on the outside and Porter in the slot is a quality CB group with Callahan, Hurst, and a late round rookie as reserves.

  • Irish Sweetness

    Sonofabitch, that was MY first …..

    • Shady

      SOMEBODY GET THIS MAN A DRINK!

      • CanadaBear

        That’s awesome!

      • MB30SD

        Not what I expected them to look like…. at all.

  • Irish Sweetness

    Isn’t Porter a free agent?

    Agreed on not trying to find a corner in the first. The front 7 needs to get built, and preferably spending the first 3 picks doing it. Let’s improve our existing DBs by making the QB put it up for grabs. Strength and mayhem in the trenches and everything else is gravy.

    • That Guy

      I suspect the Bears will have Porter back on an inexpensive 2 year deal.

  • Shady

    https://amp.twimg.com/v/98846a5b-ef5e-422c-bd7a-e67014fd5fb3

    “Arizona Cardinals Spanish radio play-by-play man Gabriel Trujillo has provided us with some great calls throughout the 2015 season.

    Things were no different last Saturday when the Cardinals beat the Packers 26-20 in overtime, thanks to two plays by Larry Fitzgerald: a 75-yard catch to start OT and a 5-yard TD catch on a shovel pass to end it.

    To say Trujillo got excited during both plays would be a massive understatement. From screaming, “LARRY, LARRY, LARRY,” over and over to his prolonged touchdown call, it was all outstanding. Take a listen.”

    • MB30SD

      Awesome… sonofabitch….

    • Jokey

      Good stuff. Loved the stiffarm in that play. Also loved Rodgers whining about the coin flip. I’m a couple threads behind so I’m sorry if I’m bring up dead topics.

      • Sactowns#1

        No, that will never be a dead topic. When watching the video you can see his eyes begin to water, like he’s on the verge of throwing a full blown 6y/o temper tantrum complete with “it’s not fair!” screamed over and over.

    • Sactowns#1

      Awesome! I may have to listen to the SAP broadcast this weekend.

  • BearDown100393

    The secondary will get better if Megatron really does quit on the Lions.

    • willbest

      But will get worse if Nelson/Cobb return to form and get substantially worse if Bridgewater develops

      • BerwynBomber

        One potentially ominous sign from last week’s GB/ARI game was that Rodgers was largely relying on the 6th and 7th WRs from their depth chart (specifically, Janis and Abberdaris) for their passing attack. Moreover, he was halfway successful with those guys against one of the best Ds in the league. If those guys develop more next year, their aerial attack might start looking crazy again.

  • Jokey

    Reasoning seems pretty sound there. I’d like to see a stud LB like Kuechly on the team, but who wouldn’t?

    • your mom.

      • MB30SD

        Damn

        • not my fault! he set me up.

          • MB30SD

            He barely comes on anymore since I had him fired for looking at poon-rn at work. Be gentle.

            I’m SOOOORRRY jokey!!!

  • Jokey

    I’m still savoring the Packers loss. Sure they did some good things this year but 2015 just underscored how 2014 was their year, making the memory of their meltdown in the Seahawks game even more delicious.

    • BillW

      I made a point on PFT that the only SB Rodgers won was when the beat the Bears twice to get there. I love that fact due to the delicious quandary that puts the Packer fans in. Do they admit the Bears really were good and therefore that was an accomplishment?

      They certainly did not at the time. In their eyes that was the Quitler game. Now I think they were thought they were on their way to multiple SB appearances. But haven’t got there yet.

      So fast forward to 2015 season playoffs, and on PFT at least a Packer fans said the Bears were really good back then. I’m not saying the Bears were or were not – ( though Angelo crapped the bed with a back up QB and that may well have cost us another SB appearance).

      My point is Packer fans are now talking about how tough it is to make the playoffs and what an accomplishment it is just to be there so often. And yes, beating the Bears twice in 2010 was in fact a feat that took all they had etc etc.

      Yeah – right.

      My screen name there made the guy think I was a Seahawks fan. So when I pointed out Russel Wilson made the SB twice to Rodgers once he says “well, they have a strong defense, and the cap hit they will take will make that a memory.

      But the Packers are 16 million under the cap and they are wasting the best QB in the conference by not building a team around him. The word seems to be Thompson wants to build through the draft and street pickups and is obsessively proud of how almost the whole team is made up of players who only played for the Packers.

      In a way, that is as dysfunctional as the Bears had been prior to Pace/Fox. The only difference (a big one) is Rodgers vs Cutler. The rest of both teams were just pieces put in here and there that the GM hoped would work out.

      • Big Mike

        Good work BillW

      • Trac

        16 million under the cap isn’t really that much and if there’s nobody out there really worth spending on in FA, why waste the money.

        • And they like to re-sign their own guys first.
          Every once in a blue moon, they’ll make a “big splash” like with Pepp, but not often.

          If they were smart, they’d at least sign Osemele to fortify that Oline.

          • BerwynBomber

            And Woodson (along with Pep). But those are definite exceptions to the rule.

            I tend to think the problem with GB is less Thompson and more McCarthy — though I realize GMs and HCs are often tied at the hip. But McCarthy, along with Sean Payton, have always struck me as somewhat overrated HCs. Sorry, but if you have a HoF QB for a decade you should be able to get to more than one SB.

            In fairness to Peyton, NO’s front office has made some horrible moves. But still, if you’re a quality HC, even one with an O background like Payton, there is no reason you can’t build a decent D. Instead, he’s the ying to Lovie’s yang: a good offensive-minded HC who for the life of him can’t build a decent D.

      • Irish Sweetness

        I never waste a second thinking about the Packers.

  • That Guy

    Sample first five rounds for Bears Draft. My rule is that I can’t take a player already chosen in the most recent Walterfootball mock draft.

    Round 1:A’Shawn Robinson, DT, Alabama
    Round 2:Shilique Calhoun, 3-4OLB, Michigan State
    Round 2*:Kentrell Brothers, ILB/OLB, Missouri [Trading up from the 3rd round for our 4th and maybe swapping a 6th for a 7th]
    Round 5:Joshua Garnett, G, Stanford

    Rounds 6-7: We have four picks to grab at least one DB and one tight end. Possibly some trades here as well. Perhaps:
    Bryce Williams, TE, East Carolina

    Jamal Golden, S, Georgia Tech

    Deon Bush, S, Miami

    Matt Johnson, QB, Bowling Green

    I see this as the kind of draft we want. A defense heavy effort that bulks up the line with our top two selections and takes advantage of our extra picks to get a favorable trade. Robinson is a run stuffer and clear BPA at #11. Calhoun is a big bodied pass rusher (like a McPhee) that lucky for us falls out of the first round. Brothers might be my favorite ILB prospect given the high character and nose for the ball – totally worth an extra pick. And Garnett is the kind of value offensive line prospect we’d want in the mid-rounds to replace Kyle Long if Long stays at tackle. Then we grab a couple of prospects at safety, a really tall TE who might be productive as a pro and a QB prospect from a small school with good measurables.

    • Sactowns#1

      I would like to see us get linemen in the 1st and 2nd. You can grab a LB in the 3rd no problem. I don’t like trading up in those middle rounds because really it becomes far more of a crap shoot. I want LOTS of picks and 70% of them to be linemen.

      • That Guy

        Calhoun is a lineman. I avoided the 230 lb types in favor of Calhoun because he’s big enough to also line up at DE. Think of him like McPhee or Houston, a big guy that can rush the passer.

        I usually don’t mock trades, but Brothers is a special prospect and I think there’s some drop off after him. ILB is worth a high pick on this team. Only issue with Brothers is he’s not as much of a run stuffer as a speed guy. I look at him like I looked at Kendricks last year, and that worked out pretty well for Minnesota.

        • Billy Wannabe

        • Irish Sweetness

          6’5 250lbs?? Not my idea of a 3-4 end, pass rushing OLB, yes.

          if we’re serious about the playoffs, we need to more ILBs to go with Timu. Minimum. I wanted to see Shea do well, but he’s no Urlacher and never will be.
          Chicago needs to have a stud Mike.

    • I havnt investigated all of them specifically, but seems sound.
      I still would like a pair of Broncos in DT/DE Malik and ILB Trevathon to kick off our rebuild and give us flexibility going into the draft. Them plus a solid draft will def improve our significantly.
      Few thoughts . Project TEs take a couple years to.develop, so hopefully Miller can bridge that. Long at RT means we can indeed snag an OG in the mid rounds.
      I’m a lil torn w S cuz i don’t typically like paying for them,.esp in their 30s, but someone like Weddle would really solidify our backend and we won’t have to waste a draft pick . Then again, Bears showed a knack for both drafting and developing S, amd we can’t pay everyone

      • That Guy

        With this projection, I tried to fill a variety of spots on the defense. If the draft pans out, every single one of them can start without impeding each other’s progress. But we could easily go DT, OLB, ILB, S in free agency and take the exact draft. We are very shallow at every position on the defense.

        One free agent I would love to get is Casey Hayword. I liked him a lot in the draft and he’s been decent for the Packers ever since. Not a top cornerback, but also not looking for top corner money. Would love to get him as a value addition once the dust settles at the start of FA.

        • BerwynBomber

          I would be surprised if the Cheese let him go. They lost two CBs last year to FA and I can’t seem them cutting ties with Heyward this quickly unless he is demanding stupid money

          • That Guy

            I tend to agree. The Pack like to keep their vets in house.

      • Irish Sweetness

        We should still go after Trevathan (or whoever) even if we draft ILB in the first. We really only have Timu at ILB, and we need two great/very good ones in there on top of that.

        • Oh yes, I’m all for doubling up, and FA is before the draft, isn’t it? I always forget.

          But getting those two guys will mean we won’t have to reach either way.

          Emery was a bit of a ditz, but I do ascribe to his philosophy of FA-Draft complementing each other.

    • Irish Sweetness

      Robinson is 20? Can he go in and be a factor straight away?

      We have Goldman, Williams, and a couple of guys at DT – but ILB has got to be the priority. We can grab a DT in the 3rd if necessary, but even then, DE is the greater need. Goldman will be better, and Williams is a load at 350lb. Gaston showed promise, we have Unrein obviously – I can’t see us drafting a DT in the first. We need the best ILB in the draft. Period. Like the sound of a Calhoun in the 23nd though.

  • AlbertInTucson

    Probably discussed but, I tried to watch the NFL Films reconstruction of Super Bowl I on the NFL Network week. Nice job by NFL films of putting the film (because neither CBS nor NBC managed to save the broadcast video) together with the late Jim Simpson’s radio play-by-play.

    That was all I needed but the NFL Net promptly took a giant crap on the presentation by making it the center of a discussion byseveral “pundits” who proceeded to comment/babble over most of the game’s play by play.

    The panel included several members who were not even BORN yet when the game was played!

    It was classic football. Just show me the film and you have great TV.

    If you want a round-table discussion on the game, fine. Do one AFTER THE GAME!

    DUH!

    • BillW

      They are having a do-over the right way (I think this Friday.) Can’t find the link but I think I read it in PFT

      • DaBearsBlog

        Yep. They fucked up and are actually listening to the criticism. They completely botched the broadcast.

        • AlbertInTucson

          STUNNING admission by NFL network but I do applaud the move.

        • AlbertInTucson

          It was doubly insulting in that play-by-play man, Jim Simpson, had just passed away on the 13th!

    • BearDown100393

      NFL Network is sort of de-evolving akin to MTV and ESPN. Football is becoming a secondary product like music videos and actual sporting news coverage. Shock value and cheap production (reality garbage) become prevalent. Because dummies watch.

      • I can see that. Thosr ex jocks sound like bafoons. Don’t do the stereotype any favors.

        What i would like more is coaching 101. Something along the way of Gruden or that xo guy who used to do bits for the Bears

        Gruden is a wco guy, so they can dig up other retired coaches w specialty like Martz, Gibbs, LeBeau or even Lovie on D just to teach the principles and techniques.

        Could even couple that w the draft and guys they like who would excel in their system in the up coming draft.

        Woukd also want to hear from more scouts or former GMs about draft prospects outside the 1st , or even FAs

        Could always show more games too

        • BerwynBomber

          Gruden is by FAR the most knowledgeable Xs and O’s analyst. The problem is half the telecast he has to play the ESPN boo-yah role.

          • With the games, I was thinking along the same lines, but maybe do a “Time capsule”.
            So, say in 2016, maybe they show games from the 1986 season, with heavy dose of the SB winners.

            Think that would be a good way for fans to learn about the history while actually watching real hitting. Win/win.

            Lot better than the “Top 100” VH1 countdown shit.

          • Irish Sweetness

            Yeah, for all the various football channels there are – not one of them is actually any good. There is so much material on tape out there – that you don’t even need to present it … you could almost put it on ‘shuffle’.

  • MB30SD
    • The GP

      This one is for Yonny

      • Cutty of Mt. Olivet Nazarene

        haha, awesome.

  • BearDown100393
    • BerwynBomber

      Good for Cutty. A nice honor and I’m sure well-deserved.

      • BearDown100393

        A cursory look on his Wik page shows quite a bit of accomplishments considering the team itself was not very good. Lynch’s quote is a classic but I won’t spoil the fun here. Go check it out when time permits.

        • SC Dave

          Well, at least he had Earl for a season… or two?

          • CanadaBear

            Just one.

  • Sactowns#1

    Does anyone know if we will get a compensatory pick fro BMarsh? “Teams that gain and lose the same number of players but lose higher-valued players than they gain also can be awarded a pick, but only in the seventh round, after the other compensatory picks” Does that include players that were traded away? How do they even judge this? Is it all opinion based or ?

    • Don’t think we will get much . We traded him, so we didn’t lose him to FA
      Also, we picked up McPhee

    • 1) Marshall was traded, not lost in FA, so no.

      2) It’s about how much $$ you spend vs. how much you lose (aka how much the guys you lost signed for elsewhere). Guys you cut don’t count, and guys you sign who were cut don’t count either. Any moves after June 1 don’t count either.

      Bears spent more in FA than they lost last year, so they won’t get anything. Same will happen this year, likely even if they lose Forte and/or Jeffery.

  • Doc Nitty

    Shit. I’m already tired of draft talk. It’s going to be a long off season.

    • Sactowns#1

      Haha. Seriously. Perhaps we should start debating the best player on the team each year dating back to 1921. My first vote is for Guy Chamberlin.

      • The GP

        He was secretly a Nazi I heard

        • I have a sneaking suspicion a lot of Old $ Brits were at least sympathizers initially. Hitler after all considered the Brits Aryan allies and became enraged when they didn’t play along.

          I think that was one of the themes of “The Wall”, the little neo-nazi in brits.

          • The GP

            Smokin Joe Kennedy sent them money.

          • Irish Sweetness

            Ever see “The Remains of the day” ? Anthony Hopkins plays a Butler to Lord Darlington, a fictional Nazi sympathizer in the early ’30s. The British Royal family is German (house of Hannover), so there’s that…..

    • Trac

      Maybe you’re just plain tired Doc. Get away for a few days and recharge my man.

  • So, Von Miller says Brady can throw it in 2 seconds, but all he needs is 1 second.
    That reminds me of when my best bud says he prevents karma from coming around.

    But here’s the one thing I never figured out.

    WHY can’t defenders jump up and bat down the ball in two seconds? Don’t even rush. Just shove your guy back, and jump up and swat it down after one-Mississippi.

    Force the Pats to change up their plan.

    Once they do start running draws or other plays to counter, go back to blitzing or rushing. Throw them off.

    Get your smallest guy to shadow Edleman, or get a big CB to jam the fuck out of him on the line.

    Jam the shit out of Gronk with Trevathan and assign your S to double bracket Gronk or Edleman.

    Make them beat you with others.

    The whole time, pound Brady into dirt

    • The GP
    • Irish Sweetness

      The pats have 2 things going for them that should make this a beatdown. Brady’s quick release negates the pass rush … Manning’s annual meltdown/immobility.

      • BerwynBomber

        Technically, it’s not Brady’s quick release; in fact, his release is definitely not in the Namath/Marino/Rodgers speed zone. But what the Pats do is design short passing plays in which the ball comes out early — all the Edhleman/Welker/Amendola shit we have seen over the years. And YES, negates a pass rush big time.

        • This is what I mean. Why not sit on the short routes, and have the Dlinemen jump after a second?
          Make Brady beat you deep. Ironically, their only deep threat is Gronk.

          That’s what I would do. Has Brady even completed a pass through the air over 20 yds? I would wager many of his long TDs probably are YAC.

          Broncos have the D to play aggressively, and Wade is no fool DC.

          If the Pats score more than 17, then the Broncs deserve to lose for being out-smarted.

          • That Guy

            Its an interesting theory. But Brady is extremely cagey, probably the best QB in the league at play action stuff. I suspect he’d be able to catch jumping linemen with pump fakes and such and still get a lot of short passes off.

          • It’ll take the Pats a series or two to see the trend. They’re also going into the game with a plan, maybe even a scripted 14 plays, which they then will tweak, but heck, after I see him start pump faking, counter. Also, by then, a few batted balls might be INTd.

            And what’s he gonna do after he pump fakes it anyways? Chuck it 40 yds or draw? I’d like to see him win a game with that.

            It boggles my mind that the entire world knows they’re going short under 2 seconds and no one can do shit about it.

            Use the Pat’s philo. Whatever they like, take it away.

            If Brady beats you by throwing deep to nobodies, so be it, but I think it’s criminal to not force them to do so.

            They have no deep threat and no stud HB.

          • BerwynBomber

            Exactly. He is football IQ is way up there. The other things about Brady are a) his arm is MUCH stronger than people think, and b) he is actually one of the best deep throwers around — though age has probably diminished some of that skill.

            But that year Moss was there? It seems Brady would stand flat-footed and deliver 70 yard dimes to him every game. Impressive stuff to say the least.

          • Johnnywad

            I would enjoy watching a game where none of the D line rush Brady, but instead just start jumping up and down 1 second after the snap. After about the second snap, Brady would be laughing out loud. It would be a new record for most points allowed in a game. I’m sure he’d do quite well throwing the ball around a bunch of linemen doing jumping jacks instead of collapsing the pocket.

      • MB30SD

        that’s what she said

  • The GP

    MB will call me a dope but I like this 505bhp Alfa a lot

    http://www.caranddriver.com/photo-gallery/u-s-spec-2017-alfa-romeo-giuliagiulia-quadrifoglio-are-you-threatening-me-official-photos-and-info#1

    V6TT again, but oh – it’s like that M3 Fraulein had a hot Italian cousin.

    • Irish Sweetness

      Beautiful motor, like the Aston DB9. Can’t believe somebody stuck a shamrock on the side.

    • MB30SD

      I would never!

      My dad likes it. i’m just meh.

      I did like this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W_x1lY7t1p0

  • Irish Sweetness

    Just read this extract from Jacques F. Vallee’s paper on crop circles :

    1. The early formations were simple circles, then circles with satellites. In later years
    more and more sophisticated and precisely-drawn geometric figures appeared.
    2. Vegetation is bent because the nodes are exploded. The stalks are not broken and
    indeed the plants are often reported to start growing again.
    3. All the significant formations were observed in an area in close proximity to
    major research facilities of the British defense establishment, often in controlled
    airspace.

    So much for Aliens and Druids. These studies point to the crop formations as the
    result of sophisticated electronic warfare experiments conducted by defense contractors.
    The answer to question (1) provides the first clue: If you are trying to calibrate a beam,
    drawing a pattern on a wheat field can yield precision information within the diameter of
    one stalk over hundreds of feet, an ideal test situation. The answer to question (2)
    narrows down the type of energy that can be responsible, because the amount of heat
    radiation that needs to be coupled into one node of a stalk of wheat to vaporize the water
    content is a known quantity, as laboratory tests in France and in the United States soon
    established. The answer to question (3) points to the likely authors of the tests

    Tin-foil hats indeed.

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