Dec 28, 2013; Bronx, NY, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish offensive tackle Zack Martin (70) blocks against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights during the second half of the Pinstripe Bowl at Yankees Stadium. Notre Dame Fighting Irish won the game 29-16. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Bears Defense Still Needs Work, But Draft Should Include Offense Too

Listening to the Jared Allen presser today reminded me just how much better the Chicago Bears are on paper than they were when the 2013 season came to a painful, and abrupt end against Green bay at Soldier field . The work Bears General Manager Phil Emery has done this off-season along with Bears financial guru ( VP of Football Admin/General Counsel ) Cliff Stein has been nothing short of remarkable. Together they hatched out a plan, and executed it to perfection. Emery in scouting and recruiting, and Stein in figuring out how to organize the cap to pay for all the players they acquired. So the fact that the Bears have re-signed, and added some impact players via free agency the drafting of defense isn’t so urgent. Of course that doesn’t mean they should stop adding on defense. They still need to build good young depth, and get that pipeline stocked with playmakers, but the same is true of the offense too.

January 24, 2014; Ko

All you have to do is look to last season on the other side of the ball to see what happens when your depth isn’t up to par. The Bears have two fantastic wide receivers, Brandon Marshall, Alshon Jeffery, and perhaps an up and comer in Marquess Wilson, but three wide receivers getting a ton of targets, and taking a pounding season after season is sure to produce a recipe for disaster. On top of it Wilson isn’t remotely proven yet. It would not hurt getting one of these big, strong, fast, athletic, and smart wide outs to add to the stable of stud thoroughbreds you have now.

You can say the same for the offensive line. They improved the protection, but that was more on other factors like the system, athletic Quarterbacks to move in the pocket, and a strong interior unit allowing Jay Cutler, and Josh McCown, to step up to avoid outside pressure from the ends. Also they had a smart receiving group making quick reads, and running l sharp routes so that the ball could come out of the quarterbacks hand quickly. Both tackle spots were not exactly lock down walls of protection. They both could be upgraded.

Dec 1, 2013; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Chicago Bears offensive tackle Jermon Bushrod (74) against the Minnesota Vikings at Mall of America Field at H.H.H. Metrodome. The Vikings defeated the Bears 23-20 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Jermon Bushrod is still getting his guaranteed money from his signing last off-season so he’s staying put, but Jordan Mills is not, nor should he be, a lock for anything. There are some very good tackles in this draft that can easily win the starting right tackle job from Mills in training camp. Mills should not be given up on by any means, but he should have competition and earn that job.

Roberto Garza is not going to be around very much longer. Serious consideration should be given to drafting his eventual successor at some point in this draft. Many feel Kyle Long is going to be the eventual long term Left tackle once Bushrod either leaves, or perhaps gets kicked inside maybe as early as next off-season, so a decision needs to be made on who takes that right guard spot should Long be moved. Perhaps former un-drafted back up out of Troy James Brown challenges for a starting spot somewhere along the line, but the fact still remains there still is a need to add Offensive linemen at every level for both upgrades, and depth.

Forte is an extremely valuable piece that helps the offensive system the Bears have created go. His value as a do it all back allows the Bears to be deceptive in the way they do things, because they don’t tip off plays with packages, and substitutions. You hear Emery talk about wanting versatility, and the Bears don’t have many one trick ponies on the offensive side. It’s exactly what the Bears are trying to build on the defensive side. In order to maintain this philosophy, and maintain the advantage of secrecy It’s time to get a back to groom to spell Forte, and extend his career, as well as to have his replacement when it’s time for him to move on. This draft is loaded with quality backs. It would be a shame if the Bears didn’t take advantage of this talent pool.

Dec 28, 2013; Charlotte, NC, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels tight end Eric Ebron (85) runs after a catch during the third quarter against the Cincinnati Bearcats in the Belk Bowl at Bank of America Stadium. Carolina defeated Cincinnati 39-17. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Having another Tight end in this offense seems almost gluttonous, but there’s no such thing as too many weapons. Emery always speaks of wanting dynamic football players, and if the most dynamic player on the board is a tight end in whatever round including the first it’s his responsibility to grab him, and be true to his philosophy on building through the draft. And that’s get the most explosive dynamic athletes available.

I know everyone is focused on defense, defense, defense, and with good reason. The Bears were absolutely manhandled by offenses, The best teams in the league including the Super Bowl winner had excellent defensive units, and this draft is loaded with defensive firepower. However, as I pointed out the same holds true for the offense. You can never have too much firepower. On both sides of the ball.

Tags: 2014 NFL Draft Chicago Bears Favorite Jermon Bushrod Jordan Mills

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