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Audibles From the Long Snapper: Paea, Prospect of Will Hill & MORE!

| June 4th, 2014

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PAEA IN THE SKY-A

Stephen Paea has been a disappointment for almost the entirety of his Chicago Bears career. In 2014 he is acknowledging that disappointment:

“You see how I played — I let my teammates down,” the defensive tackle said after the fifth of 10 organized team activity sessions at Halas Hall. “The best thing about it is, I have a second chance to do it …

“Just put a chip on my shoulder this year.”

For me Paea is the Bears fifth defensive tackle in 2014 and will see even less field time when the Bears slide some of their versatile ends (Houston, Young) inside on passing downs. You could make an argument that no player on the defensive roster outside of Shea McClellin needs a better summer.

WILL HILL WENT TO MY HIGH SCHOOL…

…but that is not the only reason I believe the Bears should be interested in the talented, pot-smoking knucklehead recently released by the New York Giants.

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Reactions to Day One of Free Agency

| March 12th, 2014

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ON LAMARR HOUSTON…

Of the three high profile defensive ends on the open NFL market, Lamarr Houston was the best fit for the Chicago Bears. Neither he nor the two Michaels (Bennett, Johnson) are elite edge rushers who’ll draw double teams on every down. But Houston is smart, gets off blocks and displays tremendous discipline; he is one of the best run-stopping defensive ends in the game.

The Bears could fix their pass rush all they wanted. It wouldn’t matter if they continued being one of the worst run defenses in the history of recorded time.

From Brad Biggs:

…Houston plays the run very well, he’s durable (hasn’t missed a game in four seasons) and has the flexibility to shift around on the line. There is a good chance the Bears will slide him inside in the nickel package, which is probably what the plan was for Bennett. He’s athletic enough to see time at the three technique tackle position, if needed.

Versatility is great but production is better and that is what Emery is counting on. The reality is Houston, who will turn 27 in June, offers more bang for the buck than a 34-year-old Peppers and probably more than Jared Allen or DeMarcus Ware, both soon to turn 32.

Remember this, desperate Bears fans: it ain’t all getting fixed in twenty-four hours. Houston doesn’t solve their woes along the defensive line. But he solves one of them.

THREE ADDITIONAL THOUGHTS

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Free Agency Begins Today!

| March 11th, 2014

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The Bears need help on defense and help is available (Houston, Mitchell, a plethora of safeties). The Bears don’t need much help on offense but dynamic weapons are available (Darren Sproles). Julius Peppers is still on the club. Darrelle Revis may be the most desirable free agent defender in years.

For my moment-to-moment commentary on free agency as the day progresses, check my Twitter feed on the right rail or follow me on Twitter by CLICKING HERE. If the Bears make any significant moves, we’ll address the move here.

One thing to remember: no reporter has been ahead of Phil Emery yet so take everything you’ve read with a massive grain of salt.

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Bears Must Add Defensive Starter in Free Agency

| March 6th, 2014

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I am not for spending sprees in NFL free agency. More often than not the more money spent by an organization in March, the more time they end up spending in the salary cap penalty box for years to come. But Phil Emery’s execution a year ago – landing Jermon Bushrod and Martellus Bennett and Matt Slauson – proved to me the Bears GM knows how to approach the veteran flea market and add the right pieces at the right prices. (Pay too much for the starting left tackle, save a boat load on the starting left guard.)

But this offseason, coming off one of the worst defensive years in Bears history, Emery must attack that side of the ball. That starts Wednesday with free agency and runs right up through the signing of undrafted free agents in May. Emery must be aggressive, must believe that while injuries were greatly responsible for the downfall they were not the only element of culpability. The players on the roster were not good enough. Simply bringing them back is not an option.

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