If you are coming to this blog looking for a kool-aid drinking Bear fan that refuses to think or type anything but positives, you’re in the wrong place. I also have to either talk myself off the ledge, or be talked off the ledge fairly frequently. So at the same time I try not to complain as much as some people I know.
This thought could go in 50 different directions-but for now, let’s just look at the “pipeline” of young talent in the NFC North. The Vikings are tied with the Bears in last place in the division at 3-5. Actually I put the Vikings ahead of the Bears by virtue of their head-to-head win in one of the Bears’ embarrassing performances of 2007. The Vikings seemed like an embarrassment with their problems at quarterback and receiver-but Minnesota has built a dominant defense and offensive line. Not to mention drafting probably the best running back to come into the NFL since LT, six years ago, in Adrian Peterson, with the seventh pick in the 2007 draft.
The Detroit Lions finally look like they’re putting it together. Their defense still has holes, but they lit up the visiting Denver Broncos yesterday 44-7. Their offensive line, running game and receivers are built for the future.
I still say that once Brett Favre finally hangs it up, the Packers will come crashing back to Earth (as I’ve been saying for close to ten years and it has yet to happen). But again, the Packers rebounded quickly from a disastrous 2005 to assemble an offensive line and defense built for the future.
Ah, and now the Bears. What we thought was still one of the best defenses in the NFL this year is now second-weakest in the division to Detroit. The positives are that our solid corners are locked up for five and six years, and Tommie Harris will still be a piece to build around for years to come. But the safety position is in disarray, Brian Urlacher may never be as effective as he has been again, and barring a significant change, this year’s most consistent defender (Lance Briggs) will still be gone.
Our pipeline on defense is Dan Bazuin and Michael Okwo, two very questionable picks at their slots in the second and third rounds who are both on injured reserve.
On offense, the Bears spent the fourth overall pick two years ago on a slow, tentative running back with a clear attitude problem. So our running backs, receivers, quarterbacks and offensive line are the worst in the division collectively. Our pipeline on offense is Greg Olsen, running back Garrett Wolfe (probably would have been taken in the sixth round had the Bears not taken him in the third) and guard Josh Beekman (not Beckham as David Haugh thinks). Beekman is 6’2″, about 2-3 inches shorter than most interior linemen.
In my opinion, Bear fans, and you have your own, it’s ugly in 2007. But for the next few years, it’s going to get uglier.