Bears have rare chance for 'elite' D

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Bears have rare chance for 'elite' D

During the NFL Scouting Combine last month, former NFL safety and current National Football Post columnist Matt Bowen visited with CSNChicago.com in the wake of coach Lovie Smiths press session.

Bowen had heard Smith discuss (to a limited point) what the Bears wanted for next season. What he also heard, in between the lines of the requisite we want to get better everywhere, was a stronger emphasis on upgrading the pass rush beyond the everywhere group.

Bowens conclusion at the time was that a course of action should be to look in free agency for the impact wide receiver the offense craves, where the Bears would be getting a proven pro vs. a far less certain rookie who cant be projected to have top-shelf numbers this first year. Then the Bears should be all over an edge rusher in the draft, which has a number of them.

And Bowen is going one step further in NFP with a statement that the Bears should be after Houston Texans end Mario Williams as a chance to pair with Julius Peppers for a truly rare combination of elite rushers in a defense built on just that.

Beyond the obvious of simply pointing to a really good player and saying, get him, the Williams scenario is a shot at something the Bears havent come close to since Richard Dent was at one end and Dan Hampton at the other.

Dent himself once said that all elite defenses have three true pass-rush threats, whether specific individuals or in a combo pack (like with a Ray Lewis). Dent-Hampton-McMichael. Eller-Marshall-Page (Minnesota). Greene-Greenwood-White (Pittsburgh). Davis-Jordan-Aldridge (Green Bay). Jones-Martin-White (Dallas).

The Colonels Rule of Three can be argued, but not what Williams could mean opposite Peppers. As noted previously, Williams has never won anything with the under-achieving Texans. But with Peppers and Henry MeltonAmobi Okoye, the Bears have the building foundation for a very, very good defense. Very.

Forget about the age theme with the defense. Charles Woodson is older than Peppers, Lance Briggs, Charles Tillman or Brian Urlacher. So is Ray Lewis.

The issue isnt whether the defense is too old. Its whether its good enough up front, which is why Smith rightly has pass rush as the high priority he does.

Getting Reggie White was a rare fortuitous chance that the Packers grabbed. So is a chance to pair Peppers with someone his equal or better as a pass rusher.

Whether if that someone is Williams or a first-round draft choice, a double-digit edge rusher added to what the Bears already have in place is arguably as much a golden opportunity as may come again in quite some time.

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Will there be any takers for Bears QB Jay Cutler?

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SportsTalk Live Podcast: Will there be any takers for Bears QB Jay Cutler?

In the latest SportsTalk Live Podcast, Hub Arkush (670 The Score/Pro Football Weekly) and Brian Hedger (NHL.com) join Kap on the panel.

ESPN is reporting that the Bears have begun shopping Jay Cutler. Will there be any takers? 

Meanwhile, Jimmy Butler doesn’t think he’s going anywhere. Would that be a mistake?

Miguel Montero makes his peace with Joe Maddon but was this even a big deal? Sammy Sosa says he put Chicago on the map, and compares himself to Jesus. When he will the Cubs welcome him home?

Plus, Pat Boyle drops by to talk Blackhawks and the “Roly Poly Goalie” is looking for work all because he ate a pie.

Check out the latest SportsTalk Live Podcast right here:

Report: Bears seeking trade partners for Jay Cutler

Report: Bears seeking trade partners for Jay Cutler

That the Bears may be moving on from quarterback Jay Cutler this offseason is not going to come as a surprise to many, but it appears the first steps towards Cutler's departure have begun.

Jeff Darlington of ESPN reported that the Bears are "actively started seeking a trade partner" for Cutler. NFL teams can't make trades official until March 9, but it sounds like the Bears are starting talks already.

Cutler has been the Bears' primary starting quarterback for the past eight seasons and totaled 154 passing touchdowns, more than 20,000 passing yards with six more rushing touchdowns against 109 interceptions in 102 games. He played five games in 2016 after suffering a shoulder injury.

The 33-year-old is heading towards his 12th year in the NFL. Darlington's report includes a mention that Cutler's contract does not include a no-trade clause.