Always a good time visiting on Thursdays at 10 a.m. with Danny and Spiegs on The McNeil and Spiegel Show on WSCR-AM 670 The Score, and this morning was especially timely given that there is a new Bears coaching staff in place.
Mac raised the hiring of Mel Tucker as defensive coordinator, which was a slight surprise to me because I thought a couple of other candidates came a little higher recommended.
But what makes Tucker intriguing begins with how he will use Shea McClellin, because now that Lovie Smith and Rod Marinelli are gone, so is the law that McClellin will be a hand-on-the-ground defensive end. Tucker has run 4-3 and 3-4 schemes, and there are 3-4s that are de facto 4-3s, so where does Tucker see McClellin lining up?
Because heres the deal: If Tucker sees McClellin as a true hybrid, maybe that solves the Sam linebacker situation, and expands a scenario where Nick Roach fits in the middle and under the salary cap as well as Brian Urlacher. And how does that affect what or whom the Bears then draft?
Mac threw in that McClellin and tackle Gabe Carimi both needed to bunk together in the weight room this offseason. Both do need to muscle up and best guess, with new strength-and-conditioning coordinator Mike Clark, is that both will be adding functional strength.
The most common personnel theme of the offseason (again) is the offensive line. Spiegs wish-list starts with a veteran starting tackle signing and Carimi and JMarcus Webb competing for the other spot.
My question back is: Given that starter-grade tackles rarely hit the truly open market, would you pony up two No. 1s for a Ryan Clady if the Denver Broncos franchise-tag Clady as expected? Spiegs wasnt sure about that price tag, but if you want elite, youre going to pay elite.
All to be played out in the next three months before the start of the draft on Thursday Apr. 25.
The 2017 veteran makeover of the Bears’ wide-receiver position group continued on Thursday with the signing of former New York Giants wideout Victor Cruz to a one-year deal, a fourth move this offseason fitting an intriguing pattern in Bears roster construction.
Cruz “announced” the move on his Instagram account, declaring, “The Giants will forever be family,” Cruz wrote. “But for now, Bear down!!!” He becomes the fourth free-agent wide receiver signed by Bears and coming in with no fewer than four seasons of NFL experience.
The Bears have been about the business of shoring up their receiver group virtually since the 2016 season ended, adding depth in addition to filling in the vacancies created by Alshon Jeffery leaving for the Philadelphia Eagles via free agency, and the subsequent release of veteran Eddie Royal.
In their places, the Bears have added Cruz, Rueben Randle (Jan. 10), Markus Wheaton (Mar. 10) and Kendall Wright (Mar. 11), in addition to having Joshua Bellamy, Daniel Braverman, Cameron Meredith, Deonte Thompson and Kevin White in place.
Cruz, whose trademark Salsa dance to celebrate touchdowns has been an NFL staple over his six seasons with the Giants, for whom he started 53 of 70 career games after signing with the Giants as an undrafted free agent out of Massachusetts in 2010. Cruz has caught 303 career passes for 4,549 yards and 25 touchdowns, earning a Super Bowl ring with the Giants and earning selection to the 2012 Pro Bowl.
Cruz has not played a full 16-game season since 2012, when he caught a career-best 86 passes for 1,092 yards and 10 touchdowns. He missed all of 2015 after rehabbing from a torn patellar tendon in the 2014 season and then suffering a calf injury that eventually required surgery. The Giants released Cruz in early February this year.
The Bears added some veteran depth to their wide receiver corps on Thursday.
Former New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz announced on Instagram that he's signing with the Bears.
Cruz visited Halas Hall early last week and announced on his radio show earlier Thursday that he had narrowed down his choices to the Bears and Baltimore Ravens.
Cruz, 30, missed the entire 2015 season with a calf injury, but bounced back to play in 15 games with the Giants in 2016. He had 39 receptions for 586 yards and a touchdown.
[BEARS TICKETS: Get your seats right here]
Cruz has appeared in 67 career NFL games and has accumulated 303 receptions for 4,549 yards and 25 touchdowns. Cruz earned Pro Bowl honors in 2012 and second-Team All-Pro honors in 2011.
Cruz helped the Giants capture the Lombardi Trophy over the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLVI. During the 2011 playoffs, he had 21 receptions for 269 yards and a touchdown.
Cruz joins a crowded wide receiver group which includes Cameron Meredith, Kevin White, Markus Wheaton, Kendall Wright, Josh Bellamy, Deonte Thompson, Daniel Braverman, Titus Davis, Tanner Gentry and his former Giants teammate Rueben Randle.