View From the Moon: Lining up the offense

311692.jpg

View From the Moon: Lining up the offense

Thursday, April 14, 2011
Posted: 9:50 PM

By John Mullin
CSNChicago.com

Worth a look.

The Bears are expected to address their offensive line with one or even both of their first two picks, whether in those current slots or up or down by virtue of a trade. It could happen.

And it is also a distinct possibility that the Bears will pick two offensive linemen before round five for the first time since Jerry Angelos first (2002) Bears draft. One would be within those first two rounds. And last Friday, the Bears held a private workout for Louisville tackle Byron Stingily, who at 6-5, 315 pounds, ran a 4.86 in his 40 at the Cardinals Pro Day and impressed the Bears enough to take an up-close second look at a talent not expected to go in those early rounds.

After what the Bears found with JMarcus Webb in last years seventh round, Stingily is a name to listen for on draft day. More than a dozen teams have been circling and best guess is that he will not last if the Bears wait past their pick in the fourth round.

Center Olin Kreutz is all but a lock to return and is the teams No. 1 veteran priority. That takes the need at center down a very significant notch. It also means right guard also is in place with Roberto Garza, one of the potential options for a Kreutz replacement but one that would have meant just moving the need area one place to the right.

Important changes

Two new voices of major significance are being heard at Halas Hall in the run-up to this draft.

One is Tim Ruskell, director of player personnel, who has revamped some key elements of Bears scouting processes. Insiders say that Ruskell has shifted some of the often-excessive attention given to prospects targeted in later rounds and turned that on higher-round possibilities.

The other is Mike Tice. The offensive line coach took an increased role in the offense overall during last seasons off week, one of the major reasons the play-calling changed so dramatically at that point of the season.

Tice, with his impeccable credentials as a position coach and perspectives from his head-coaching time, now is playing a very big part in draft plans. Bears coaches have always had input into the draft; with this draft and the lockout theyve had more time to do film study, workouts and all the rest.

But Tice is a player. What that suggests is that the lines will be addressed early and often, and probably pretty well.

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.

2017 NFL Draft Profile: Tennessee OLB Derek Barnett

2017 NFL Draft Profile: Tennessee OLB Derek Barnett

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.

Derek Barnett, OLB, Tennessee

6'3" | 259 lbs.

2016 stats:

56 tackles, 19 TFL, 13 sacks, INT, 5 PD, 2 FF

Projection:

First round

Scouting Report:

"Strong edge presence with NFL-caliber hand usage and play strength. Barnett is one of the most productive defensive linemen to come out of the SEC in quite some time despite lacking the length and twitch that teams usually look for off the edge. His awareness and play traits should keep him near the action and he has the talent to step into a starting base end spot right away. There could be coordinators who view him as an early down, outside backer in a 3-4 with the ability to put his hand in the ground on sub packages." — Lance Zierlein, NFL.com

Video analysis provided by Rotoworld and NBC Sports NFL Draft expert Josh Norris.

Click here for more NFL Draft Profiles

Bears Chairman George McCaskey sets 2017 demands for Ryan Pace, John Fox

Bears Chairman George McCaskey sets 2017 demands for Ryan Pace, John Fox

PHOENIX — When the 2014 season concluded, with all its drama, poor play and internal dysfunction, Bears Chairman George McCaskey passed along the unvarnished mood of Bears matriarch and owner Virginia McCaskey:
 
"She's pissed off," George McCaskey declared.
 
The 2016 season ended worse record-wise (3-13) than 2014 (5-11) but Bears ownership sees arrows pointing up, not down as they appeared after 2014, occasioning the jettisoning of the general manager and coaching staff.
 
"[Virginia] sees the progress, but like any Bears fan, she wants results," George McCaskey said, chuckling at the recollection of relaying his mother's mood. "That's the quote that won't go away."
 
"Progress" and "results" are vague terms, and sometimes relative. But Bears ownership is not setting a public fail-safe point for either general manager Ryan Pace or head coach John Fox to remain in place, although no scenario could presumably consider four wins actual "progress" from three.
 
"We want to continue to see progress, see the building blocks but there isn't any sort of particular threshold," McCaskey confirmed. "We're not on any particular timetable that somebody else is wanting to set for us. We're wanting to see continued progress toward our goal of sustained success."
 
"Sustained success" is not beyond the scope of possibility, assuming that a talent core can be established and includes a quarterback, which the personnel department under Pace believe it is on the brink of putting in place, whether around Mike Glennon, Mark Sanchez or a player to be drafted or traded for later.

[VIVID SEATS: Get your Bears tickets right here!]
 
GM Phil Emery adopted the buzz phrase of "multiple championships," but current leadership does sound less grandiose and more grounded. And where Emery drafts proved disastrous, the Pace administration has had clear hits, injuries notwithstanding, as recently as the 2016 class, which McCaskey mentioned in the context of Pace building the roster exactly the way ownership prefers.
 
"We have confidence in Ryan and John," McCaskey said. "We want to build through the draft. Ryan said that in his interview when he said he was interested in coming to the Bears and we like how he's stuck to that plan. We saw it last year when we had three rookies on the Pro Football Writers of America all-rookie team; Cody Whitehair, Leonard Floyd and Jordan Howard.
 
"And that's what we need to keep doing; keep building through the draft. I told Ryan he should get ripped this time of year every year for not being more active in free agency and that's because we're developing our own guys and rewarding our own guys."
 
McCaskey supported the actions, or lack of same, by Pace in the pursuit of max-dollar free agents this offseason. The Bears dropped out of sweepstakes for cornerback Stephon Gilmore and safety Tony Jefferson, among others, when prices spiked far beyond the parameters set by the Pace staff.
 
"I've been very impressed with [Pace] as a leader, as an evaluator of talent," McCaskey said. "And one of the things I've been most impressed by with him is the discipline he's shown just as recently as this free agency period. He didn't want to overpay guys. Too often, I think, you overpay guys who don't come through for you and then you have a big hole in your salary cap and you're behind the 8-ball. So I like the discipline he has shown, the restraint he has shown in free agency."