It is not what the critics of GM Jerry Angelo or coach Lovie Smith want to hear. But it is a consistent thread among core Bears players who believed before this season that they were on the brink of at least another run to an NFC Championship game, or more:
Do not even think about blowing this team up and starting over.
This team we have is very capable, said linebacker Lance Briggs, echoing sentiments he expressed to CSNChicago.com during training camp. This is a championship team. Even though were not going to make the championship this year, well take a shot at it next year.
Every offseason is marked by changes, sometimes major, sometimes not. The plan is for major changes at wide receiver, cornerback and ideally linebacker and defensive end.
And there will be significant departures: Marion Barber, Brandon Meriweather, probably Roy Williams, and others through free agency or the usual "going in a different direction."
But the Bears were put together by Angelo and that is one change the veteran core does not want to see. It is not expected to happen and its not going to solve anything if you get rid of all the folks who put this team together, Briggs insisted.
This year was unfortunate for us all and even though we didnt get in the playoffs, we are a championship-caliber team and well get there.
As part of our coverage leading up to the 2017 NFL Draft we will provide profiles of more than 100 prospects, including a scouting report and video interviews with each player.
Charles Harris, OLB, Missouri
6'3" | 253 lbs.
61 tackles, 12 TFL, 9 sacks
"High-cut pass rusher with good athleticism but concerns regarding his ability to drop anchor against the run. Ironically, Harris might be best suited as a penetrator which is something he fought against this season. His hands can be improved as pass rush weapons, but he has agility and footwork that can't be taught. Harris can play on the edge in a 4-3 or 3-4 front and should be the next in a line of early contributing defensive ends coming out of Missouri." — Lance Zierlein, NFL.com
Video analysis provided by Rotoworld and NBC Sports NFL Draft expert Josh Norris.
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PHOENIX – Brandon Marshall never needed a whole lot of encouragement to step before a microphone but the NFL, which sometimes wished he'd put a sock in it, has now invited the former Bears wide receiver to speak up.
The NFL extended an invitation for Marshall, whose time in Chicago ended in some measure because of his insistence on pursuing the media portion of his career, to address the league higher-up's ostensibly as part of a communications bridge-building. Marshall jumped at the chance.
"They thought it was important for a player to come up and give a player's perspective and talk about the relationship between owners and players," Marshall said on Monday at the outset of the NFL owners meetings. "I think it's evident that our relationship could be so much better."
Marshall has been part of Showtime's "Inside the NFL" in recent years, flying to New York to participate in taping the show, and ultimately accepting a trade from the Bears to the Jets in 2015, which obviously cut down on his commute. The Jets released Marshall earlier this month, after which Marshall signed on with the Giants.
He told owners this week, "If we want our game to continue to be on that [positive] track, that it's on being super successful and being a pillar in our community and being a thread in our community, we have to make sure our relationship as players and owners is good."
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The immediate response was more than a little positive: Per San Francisco 49ers owner Jed York:
Marshall predictably welcomed the forum and wants to see it expanded.
"I'd like to see more players be more involved in our owners meetings," Marshall said. "And not only at the owners meetings, but any time we're talking football, we should have players at the table. Commissioner Goodell is always open-minded. He always has that open-door policy. So I think he'll continue to listen and continue to evolve this part of our business."