The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.
Analysis of the Rams and Bears
It is always a fun spring activity to play director of player personnel for the Rams and the Bears.
Most of the so called experts say that they both had only average drafts. The Rams had considerably more holes to fill than the Bears.
The Bears can field the same starters, on both sides of the ball, as last year. Their player personnel and Lovie S. have done the best job in football in keeping free agents.
Some would question why the top five draft choices were on the defense when they already had the best defense around.
Of course Lovie, being a defensive expert, is the answer, even though it was apparent they needed another tight end and it wouldn't hurt to have an outstanding blocking back.
When you look at the offense of the Bears, it appears to be decent. Of course, Grossman has been very injury prone at QB.
However, picking up Griese (free agent) was a wise move as he would be an effective replacement.
Ortman, now relegated to third string, cannot be too shabby with all of the games they won with him at the controls last year.
They are also three deep at quality running backs. The offensive line is getting some age on it in places, but they should continue to be an effective unit this year.
The Bears' defense is outstanding. It is hard to believe Urlacher and Briggs had 171 and 170 tackles, respectively, as linebackers last year.
Tommy Harris is emerging as a top interior defensive lineman and the ends are effective pass rushers. The secondary has been the one defensive concern and it was addressed in the draft with Manning and Hester, who should also be an outstanding return man.
The Rams' offense appears to be in reasonably good shape. They acquired Frerotte as a proven back up at QB for Bulger.
Running back is strong with Jackson and Faulk. The strongest position is wide receiver with Holt, Bruce, McDonald and Curtis. They picked up two good receiver tight ends in the draft (Klopkstein and Byrd).
Pace and Barton are young, strong tackles. Although some interior linemen have passed their peak, they have some good young ones waiting in the wings.
On defense, the Rams should be immensely improved. They picked up a good safety (Chavous), a good lineman (Glover), and a good linebacker (Witherspoon), through free agency.
Their top choice in the draft was a safety (Hill) and they also picked a strong lineman (Wroten).
Now if they would move Little to outside linebacker in a 3-4 (which he played in college) he couldn't be two timed as much.
Hargrove would also be effective there as a blitzing pass rusher. Their leading tackler, Tinsosamoa, and Witherspoon would make tough interior linebackers.
Hopefully, they have considerably improved their special teams. Hagans should be a big improvement as a return man.
Both teams should be playoff caliber this season. Many of us can't wait.