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Team needs: Chicago Bears

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Rarely does a 10-win team fire its head coach.  The Bears did just that in January.  So they’ve got more talent than most teams with new coaches.  Which means they’ve got fewer needs.  But they still have some.  And our assessment of the needs that should be addressed with their five 2013 draft picks appears below.

Linebacker:  Nick Roach is gone, and he’s not coming back.  Brian Urlacher is gone, and he’s likely not coming back.  Lance Briggs turns 33 later this year.  The position most identified with the franchise has taken a hit, and one-year deals with veterans on the downhill of their careers won’t provide the long-term fix the Bears need.

Offensive line:  Thanks to free agency, the most glaring weakness on the roster is less conspicuous.  But depth is needed, and youth would be preferred.

Quarterback:  Jay Cutler enters the final year of his contract, with no clear indication that the quarterback acquired by a different G.M. and different head coach will be the long-term answer.  It won’t hurt to add a young quarterback later in the draft.

Tight end:  Despite the addition of Marcellus Bennett via free agency, the Bears would benefit from a young, versatile, pass-catching tight end.  Reports recently have emerged linking the Bears to Stanford tight end Zach Ertz.

Defensive end:  Julius Peppers is 33, he was signed by the prior regime, and he’s making a lot of money.  While last year’s first-round selection was used on Shea McClellin, more help will be needed to develop a long-term replacement for Peppers.

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40 Responses to “Team needs: Chicago Bears”
  1. sdchargers25 says: Apr 17, 2013 3:05 PM

    Cutler? cocaine is a helluva drug!

  2. tokyosandblaster says: Apr 17, 2013 3:07 PM

    And the list goes on, and on, and on…

  3. blackandbluedivision says: Apr 17, 2013 3:07 PM

    I’d be interested to see Matt Barkley in a Bears uniform next year. In the second round maybe. After taking a LB in the first.

  4. sdwat54 says: Apr 17, 2013 3:09 PM

    I think as long as Trestman, Emery, et al don’t spend press conferences thumping their chests about beating the Packers every year, and instead focus on winning consistently through the playoffs, LOTS of team needs will be met.

  5. worldofburgers says: Apr 17, 2013 3:11 PM

    The only people that think Lovie deserved to keep his job are people that know nothing about the Bears

    Also, PAY CUTLER. He’s going to be worth a hell of a lot more in a year in this offense

  6. edavidberg says: Apr 17, 2013 3:12 PM

    Bears really need a productive draft this year. Peanut Tillman is getting up there in age as well so the core of the defense is getting older and weaker.

    Tight end is one of the last positions the Bears need to be concerned about. I assume the Bears are finally trying to throw teams off their scent rather than make it obvious who they are interested in.

    The Bears really need to get an impact linebacker in this year’s draft as well as another body or two for the offensive line. Of course, if you think you can draft an impact guy on the D Line you have to pull the trigger there too.

  7. inyofaceagain says: Apr 17, 2013 3:12 PM

    They should’ve hired Mike Tice as headcoach. Woulda been a better move for them

  8. metalhead65 says: Apr 17, 2013 3:14 PM

    I love how your obvious dislike of Cutler makes you think the bears need a qb. for the first time since being acquired by the bears he will be playing for a coach who knows offense is part of the game. they have finally made an attempt to protect him by signing bushrod and giving him tight end to throw to. and since they signed bennent I see no need to waste a pick on another one when they need more help on the line and linebacker. there is no qb that is a difference maker that will be available when they make their pick so if the new staff does not like Cutler they should wait and draft one in the first round next year.

  9. gbmickey says: Apr 17, 2013 3:17 PM

    Bear fans you better hope that they take a qb in this less than stellar class and pray they are another Russell Wilson because Cutler cant get it done when it matters.

  10. packerbackernj says: Apr 17, 2013 3:22 PM

    If they don’t resign Cutler they are nuts.

  11. hyzers says: Apr 17, 2013 3:24 PM

    Looks like the aging defense is finally catching up with them. At least they got future all pro Shea McClellin to hold it down on that side of the ball lol

  12. signaturewin says: Apr 17, 2013 3:25 PM

    Team needs: A coach who looks like he doesn’t live in a van down by the river.

  13. west4420 says: Apr 17, 2013 3:29 PM

    To suggest that the Bears need some rookie LB to come in when we have one of the best LB Corps in the league and a better one than last year is laughable.

    Anderson on the downside of his career? He had like 174 tackles in 2011 Mike. He was 3rd on the team last year as the SLB which is exactly what he should be at.

    DJ Williams is a huge upgrade over Urlacher at this point in Brian’s career. DJ is younger, faster, more athletic and is not coming off of hobbling injuries.

    Also, anyone that says Cutler can or can’t win or lead a team to a superbowl and uses the scraps of a supporting cast that he plays with as the litmus test is delusional.

    No QB can win without skill around them. Every HOF QB had HOF OL, RB, WR,etc and actual playcallers.

    Even with the scraps he’s put together a solid record in Chicago. This year is the year to put it all together. OL improved – check, Actual Offensive Coach – check, Stud TE – check, solid WR corps – check

    It’s going to be fun to watch.

  14. jintsfan says: Apr 17, 2013 3:42 PM

    Their O-line is still a sieve. Overspending on below avg. LT (Buschrod) not smart. They need 3 new OLs MLB and safety help as well

  15. bluepower77 says: Apr 17, 2013 3:50 PM

    they need o-line, whateveru think about Cutler the fact is when he plays he wins, n later in the season they lose cause Cutlers either out with injury or so panicked n beat up from taking hits, I’m I giants fan so I don’t have a fans blind love for him, but u can’t deny he can qb

  16. duce000 says: Apr 17, 2013 3:50 PM

    Haha ppl have been saying our defense is too old for years now and they still are one of the best in the league. If offense can produce points and close out games we wont need the defense to play at the same level they have the last few years.

    We do not need a qb. Maybe a back up but cutler is our guy and he can get the job done. Our offense looked pitiful without cutler.

    Our main need is still OL. We can still use some youth on the DL.

    This is the best we have looked in a long time. Solid qb solid wr’s solid rb solid defense and now Hester full time returner again.

    I’m excited

  17. crownofthehelmet says: Apr 17, 2013 3:51 PM

    Team Need #1 – relocate out of the NFC North.

  18. fugetaboutit says: Apr 17, 2013 3:55 PM

    Jintsfan the bears do not need safeties- Bears had one of the best seasons with safeties last year.

    Defense getting old but still sharp.

  19. notor23 says: Apr 17, 2013 4:00 PM

    My money is on the Bears trading down to acquire more draft picks. They currently don’t have a third round pick because of the Brandon Marshall trade. Phil Emery wants more draft picks and I think he will acquire them from either ATL or SF via a draft day trade down.

  20. asublimeday says: Apr 17, 2013 4:01 PM

    And the list goes on, and on, and on…
    ——–

    Ha! Green Bay’s defense is even worse than the one that got tea-bagged by the 49ers

  21. chi01town says: Apr 17, 2013 4:06 PM

    O-line Emery O-line
    the Bears will get a MLB easy because the best ones always find there way to Chicago. Protection for Cutler is everything. Cutler has been winning 10 games a season with NO O-line so if Emery can get him some real protection 10 wins can turn into 14 real easy

  22. greysolon says: Apr 17, 2013 4:08 PM

    I don’t even like Cutler, but it’s insane that they haven’t gotten him under contract for longer when a guy like Romo is getting lots of years/dollars.

    He’s likely to have a great season with Trestman and then they’ll have to pay hugely.

  23. wnstonchill says: Apr 17, 2013 4:13 PM

    Since the Ditka regime, the Bears have hired and fired a few head coaches and GM’s during that time period. Yet, one guy that just keeps getting a free pass is Ted Phillips, the former McCaskey “beancounter” that is now the CEO and President of the Bears. He was given that title for two reasons; first, he’s been a McCaskey family pet for years and second, the McCaskey’s had to put a puppet in that position so they could make it look good to the public, like they’ve stepped back from the football operations, yet can still make decisions by pulling the GM’s strings. Phillips is a waste of money and as long as the Ghepetto’s known as the McCaskey’s keep pulling Teddy, Pinocchio Phillips strings, nothing significant will change. End of story!

  24. crownofthehelmet says: Apr 17, 2013 4:24 PM

    @wnstonchill, you watch too many kids movies.

  25. lionsdraftguy says: Apr 17, 2013 4:33 PM

    Well Bears, its a good think you cant draft “refs”, because everyone knows the Packers have all the refs already on their team.

  26. mialto says: Apr 17, 2013 4:57 PM

    Funny speculation by irresponsible so called journalists…Emery has never said he won’t get a deal done for Cutler this offseason. I think right now they were/are focused on Free Agency and Draft. Period.

    Emery & Cutler camp has plenty of time to get a deal before beginning of season in September.

  27. spr41 says: Apr 17, 2013 5:21 PM

    I hardly ever hear mention of DT. Melton is on a 1 yr franchise tag, Paea has underachieved and the only decent backup is Collins who’s also on a 1 yr contract. The rest are camp bodies. 1 injury there and the bears are royally screwed. A guy like DT Sly Williams would give them a good rotation and depth at position. Then LB in 2nd and Center who can play guard maybe in 4th.

    IMO the perfect scenario would be to drop down maybe to 30th with Falcons and still get a guy like DT S.Williams in 1st while getting a 3rd rd pick also to make up for the B-Marsh trade.

  28. SilentMajority says: Apr 17, 2013 6:32 PM

    Even if Cutler has a bad year he’s not going anywhere, unless some team throws him a ton of money at him, and even then he may not leave. Cutler still has more upside than any QB in in the draft or that will likely be a free agent. The Bears aren’t going to go with McCown as their starting QB or a 6th round draft pick. That’s not saying they won’t draft a QB, but he won’t be drafted to replace Cutler…

  29. iowahbr says: Apr 17, 2013 6:38 PM

    The Bears need much help in the front office. Another writer said get a new team CEO and the book is still way out on Emery although last year he did nothing great and his handling of the whole Urlacher departure and the hiring of a new coach was nothing to put on his next job resume.

    More of the same for Bears fans is the most likely call for 2013.

  30. livepredictor says: Apr 17, 2013 6:45 PM

    Good piece Mike..right on the money.

  31. dabears7190 says: Apr 17, 2013 7:58 PM

    Absolutely love what the new regime has done so far, and I don’t think they will mess up the draft.

    Cutler, Forte, Bush, Marshall, M. Bennett and Jeffery with this offensive minded coaching staff should be plenty of offense to score points, provided the protection is there. They’ve already improved on that front, and will likely add a key component with the first pick in the draft. If Chance Warmack is there, you gotta get him.

    If there is a quality young deep threat receiver available with the 2nd or 3rd pick, I might splurge there, otherwise, I’d probably spend the rest of the draft picks on restocking the defense.

    No reason to waste a draft pick on a QB at this point. Realistically, as Cutler goes, so go the Bears. In other words, if Cutler gets hurt, season over.

  32. cfos00 says: Apr 17, 2013 8:04 PM

    I’d take QB completely off the list. Cutler isn’t going anywhere. Worst case scenario is that they tag him until they get a deal done next year, and we have back ups in place.

    If you want to stick to 5 needs, break up the general o-line and go by position. Garza was supposed to be a stopgap at Center. Grab another Center or a Guard if there’s value (they are statistically some of the safest picks in the first round), and beef up the interior of the line. We could also use a RT if there’s one worth anything there. It’s still our biggest need. Now, if that’s not there and there’s a stud MLB available, it’d probably be worthwhile to grab him. But it’s not a disaster if we don’t go that route. A 3rd corner with potential to become a starter would also be a great move. Our nickel corners weren’t always very good, and we play against the Packers twice a year, who throw as much as anyone in the league. Doesn’t seem like you can every have too many.

    But basically, when in doubt, draft a fat kid. We need better fat kids.

  33. larryboodry says: Apr 17, 2013 8:15 PM

    Assuming no trade down, I’d like to see the Bears draft a LB at #20…either Brown or Ogletree would be great.

    On the o-line Schwenke would be good to spell (and ultimately replace) Garza at C…A line of Bushrod, Slauson, Garza/Schwenke, Carimi, and Britton will be a huge upgrade over the turnstile we had last year.

    A QB to back up Jay, and eventually take over the reigns…I like Tyler Bray, not sure he’ll last ’til the fourth round…Barkley is an intriguing option as well.

    A stud WR like Austin, and either Ertz or Eifert at TE, would round out my wish list, but Austin will likely be gone before we pick, and Emery may feel TE is now a luxury in Rd. 1…Perhaps Travis Kelce in a later round?

    Don’t need a safety, especially after signing Zbikowski to spell Wright and Conte…CB depth would be nice, but is not a pressing need.

    In short, this team is much better now than they were four months ago…Like others have posted, I am excited about the upcoming season.

    Go Bears!

  34. cmahdavi says: Apr 17, 2013 10:19 PM

    Cutler may not be likeable etc…but when he’s on he is on. Fact is he is better than average at least and can sling it. He has a great number one receiver and should have a great year. It’s not like the lions D or GB D will hurt his numbers after all…

    The Bears D has been an amazing thing to watch, all the Zone D even though teams KNEW they were gonna run it, it was truly badass.

    I (being a Giants fan) have TONS of respect for how Bears would win so many ugly games but their defense is a little vulnerable now:

    Their linebacking core isn’t the best in the league (anymore) (sorry) and Briggs has maybe two years left in him tops. Peppers isn’t long either. They have been in win now mode for a reason, their window was closing, hence the firing of Lovie (he had to win now and didn’t).

    I think the nice thing about a well run stable organization that plays great smart tough football (like the Bears) is that they have a number of options, and likely won’t be hurt by not having the number one guy on the board. They could be helped big time by a quality O-lineman, or a (gasp) number two receiver, or perhaps a guy that could actually (not hypothetically) spell Forte. On defense their best defenders are getting old, drafting their replacements won’t be a bad idea.

    But even though I am a Giants fan I have to give respect to the Bears, they are a great franchise and should do fine (though it’d be smart to keep Cutler…who would you rather have…..that’s out there? Skelton?)

  35. mputelli55 says: Apr 17, 2013 10:19 PM

    Kiko Alonso…..future!

  36. nastyn8770 says: Apr 18, 2013 9:10 AM

    Cutler has a .750 winning percentage in the games he’s started. Hate him all you want,but the man wins football games.

  37. larryboodry says: Apr 18, 2013 9:41 AM

    nastyn8770 says: Apr 18, 2013 9:10 AM

    “Cutler has a .750 winning percentage in the games he’s started. Hate him all you want,but the man wins football games.”

    I love Cutler, and agree that he has won a lot more games for us lately than he has lost – 29-13 in his last 42 starts – but his winning % is nowhere near that high.

  38. filthymcnasty1 says: Apr 19, 2013 6:43 PM

    When the chips are down, and you need your QB to pull out the NFC Championship game and send the Bears to the Superbowl, Cutler is your guy………………..

    ………….to tap out of the game and ride his exercise bike on the sideline.

  39. rocketdogsports says: Apr 20, 2013 10:25 AM

    The real problem is not on the field. Mark Trestman is not a quality coach with any meaningful success or credentials.
    Good luck and don’t lose Lovey Smith’s phone number.

  40. larryboodry says: Apr 20, 2013 4:51 PM

    @rocketdogsports:

    Hard to take you seriously if you can’t be bothered to look up how to spell someone’s name…And Trestman’s success in the CFL was very meaningful, and shows he can be a good coach.

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