Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Safety Dance







Safety Dance!

The NFL Draft begins Thursday and for most experts and the casual fans they would tell you the draft begins with the first pick.  As this is true, when you are a Chicago Bears fan the draft begins when it is time for you to make your selection. 

So if the Bears don't make any draft day deals this grand spectacle starts at #14.

The Bears having not made the playoffs are in need of retooling their roster to better add strength and depth.  This is the purpose of the NFL draft.  You are maybe looking at a starter in your first couple rounds but after that you are looking at adding depth to the rest of your roster. 

The Monsters of the Midway, as they were once known, are in desperate need of help on the defensive side of the football.  They were dead last against the run last year and at times looked foolish out their trying to stop the opposing teams running backs. 

There were times when it looked like they had 11 men on the field and the Bears thought they were playing in a 7 on 7 league.  The chunks of yardage gained against them was pathetic.  They truly need someone on their defense that can patrol the defensive backfield, as well as, take a no holds barred approach to stopping the run. 

This is a very vital part of a successful defense.  Baltimore had Ed Reed holding court for the Ravens for  years and the year he leaves it was apparent. 

The Bears haven't had a quality Safety roaming on defense since Mike Brown.  There was a reason when Brownie was heading up the defensive backfield that the Bears were highly successful on defense.  This season the Bears were punished repeatedly due to having what many felt was an extremely poor Safety in Chris Conte. 

Did you see the last game against Green Bay.  In a win and in scenario Aaron Rodgers once again killed us by exposing a glaring weakness in the defense and propelled the Packers into the playoffs by throwing a game winning touchdown that should have been covered by even an average NFL Safety. 

The Chicago Bears don't have on and it is time Phil Emery goes out and gets one. 

I want to hear Thursday night with the 14th pick in the 2014 NFL Draft the Chicago Bears select Player X Safety, from College Y. 

It better be a safety or I am going to need a new TV in my living room. 

The consensus is the cream of the crop for this years safety draft class are led by the following players per Scouts, Inc.

1.  Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, Alabama

2.  Calvin Pryor, Louisville

Scouts has them slotted at 13 for Clinton-Dix and 21 for Calvin Pryor.  The Bears won't get caught up in who is rated at what number but should select the best fit for their style of defense.

It is no laughing matter when it comes to the athleticism of Ha Ha.  He is a couple inches taller than Pryor and approximately the same weight.  He comes from the national powerhouse that is Alabama and its winning tradition. 

Pryor is listed under six feet tall but what he lacks in height he sure makes up for in his ability to create a hit on opposing players.  He is probably better suited to fill the void the Bears have by lending his talent of attacking the running game. 

I wouldn't be opposed to either of these players wearing a Bears uniform next season.  What I hope and pray for is that Emery sees the need and makes an informed choice to better the Bears defense. 

It is apparent the Bears now have the offense they so wanted and needed all the years prior.  Now it is time to solidify the defense, even though most Bears fans would never have thought that would be a problem after so many years of powerful defenses. 

It is time to make the right choice so Emery and the Bears brass need to select a safety.

So when they do Bears fans everywhere...

"can dress real neat from our hats to our feet and surprise them with a victory cry!"

Monday, May 5, 2014

East Bound and Down...

"East bound and down loaded up and truckin'. We're gonna do what they say can't be done." 
- Jerry Reed, Smokey and the Bandit.

The Big Ten conference has once again made their move to make their brand an even larger one than it is now.  The announcement today further cements Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany's vision for where he wants this conference to be. 

The Big Ten and Big East conferences will start a basketball season tip off challenge, starting in 2015 running through 2020, that will allow more exposure to east coast viewership and ultimately east coast money. 

The marriage between the Big East and Big Ten coupled with the continued success of the ACC/Big Ten challenge means the Big Ten is venturing into markets it previously wasn't as successful.  Everyone ultimately wants to be on top of the world and be part of the New York market. 

This opens up numerous opportunities not only for the expansion of the Big Ten Network but each school should see rewards in recruiting.  The more your team is viewed on TV or in person the better you can market your style of play and possibly landing talent from places you may not have been as successful. 

I see this as a win in every way for the Big Ten.  The Big East as well.  The addition of Rutgers and Maryland, from a regional standpoint, was vital to have some Big Ten representation in the east coast. 

From a basketball standpoint it is a slam dunk.  The trouble with early season schedules is there are less and less marquee match ups that the casual fan wants to watch.  The higher profile opponents and having it billed as a conference versus conference battle makes the interest level more appealing. 

I would prefer to see an early season game like Illinois versus Georgetown rather than a cupcake city one like Illinois versus Southwest Texas State.  The more games early in the season that can have a positive impact potentially on Selection Sunday the better.     

Mr. Delany has a good head on his shoulders and is making a great choice with this one. 

The one issue I do have with the attempt to invade the east coast market is the possible move of the Big Ten tournament in the future from past sites in Chicago and Indianapolis to Washington, D.C. 

It makes sense due to having Maryland in the fold but for the rest of the conference's traveling fans it is going to be a nightmare.  I hope it doesn't basically forget about them while working on obtaining the east coast fans.  You want to remember your current members while courting those new to your brand.  It is a fine line they must walk but I have faith in Jim Delany.  He has a clear vision for where he wants the Big Ten to be in the future.

He has a long way to go and hopefully not a short time to get there.  Or stay there. 

He is east bound and we will watch this old bandit run!