Thursday, Feb. 3, 2011
Posted 3:32 p.m.
By John Mullin
As the 2011 draft stands right now, the Bears dont go on the clock until the No. 29 pick of the first round. What they could use, after playing the Green Bay Packers three times in the span of about four months, is for some of the Packers draft good fortune to have rubbed off.
The Bears were very lucky once when Brian Urlacher fell to them at No. 9 after the Arizona Cardinals took Thomas Jones at No. 7 and the Pittsburgh Steelers opted for Plaxico Burress at No. 8. Both teams had Urlacher in their final three at those spots and chose offense.
The Packers were down at No. 24 in the 2005 draft, long after the Bears chose Cedric Benson at No. 5, and had to wait and settle for what was left. What was left turned out to be Aaron Rodgers.
And yes, they were surprised, GM Ted Thompson admits.
We talk about that locally a lot, Thompson said during a media session in Dallas Thursday. We didnt spend a lot of time studying Aaron up until about a week or 10 days before the draft, because wed always assumed that he was going to go pretty high.
Then the rumors started flying that he might be dropping, not because people didnt like him as a player, but because people werent in the position to take a quarterback in the first round.
Could it happen for the Bears? Absolutely. Somewhere in every draft are nuggets deep into the first round and beyond. To wit:
T Bryan Bulaga, 23rd, 2010
LB Clay Matthews, 26th, 2009
WR Jordy Nelson, 36th, 2008
G Daryn Colledge, 47th, 2006
WR Greg Jennings, 52nd, 2006
LB Nick Barnett, 29th, 2003
T Chad Clifton, 44th, 2000.
Throw in Rodgers, another 20s find, along with LB A.J. Hawk (5th, 2006) and DT B.J. Raji (9th, 2009), and you have might have something.
Like a Super Bowl team.
The Bears filled their staff vacancy for defensive line coach almost as fast as they did the one for special-teams assistant, where Kevin ODea was in place about the same time as Chris Tabor was taking over special teams for the Cleveland Browns.
Mike Phair has been hired as D-line coach. Call it part of the Ruskell Connection, with Phair formerly with the Seattle Seahawks in several capacities during the time Tim Ruskell was president of the Seahawks. Phair previously was a scout with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, also working for Ruskell.
A report in Thursdays Sun-Times confirming what Lovie Smith said after the loss to Green Bay, that quarterback Jay Cutler got a shot and received treatment at halftime for his injured knee, shouldnt elicit surprise. What is surprising is that anyone still would find something to blast Cutler for in that game other than his performance.
Cutler went back in the game and tried for one series to play. That somehow seems to be overlooked constantly. It shouldnt be.
John "Moon" Mullin is CSNChicago.com's Bears Insider, and appears regularly on Bears Postgame Live and Chicago Tribune Live. Follow Moon on Twitter for up-to-the-minute Bears information.