With the trade for Brian Price from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for a 2013 draft pick (reported by Adam Schefter), the Bears have added some depth to a position they'd let slide this off-season-the defensive tackle.
Price is a former second-round draft pick from 2010 who has underperformed due to both injury and off-field issues (his sister died in a hit-and-run accident last May).
The Bears are willing to give players who have underperformed for one reason or another a chance—be it the underwhelming Chris Williams, the mercurial Brandon Marshall or now, Price.
Fully healed after two hamstring surgeries and another procedure on his pelvis, Price fits the Bears' one-gap scheme of constant pressure on the offense and quarterback.
Price is a powerfully-built interior lineman who was very productive in his time playing for the UCLA Bruins. He has tremendous strength and will battle whistle to whistle, relentlessly trying to get into the backfield to disrupt a play.
He is adept at stunting but also can hold the point and is usually good at maintaining his gap responsibilities.
GM Phil Emery says he's a perfect fit for their scheme, according to The Chicago Tribune.
"This is a very talented player," Emery said. "When he came out in the draft, he was picked high in the second round (35th overall. Fits our system. Fits the 4-3. Very explosive player off the ball, very reactive.''
Price's explosion and burst, as Emery mentioned, will be an added bonus to a line which has some tremendous parts already.
Julius Peppers, Israel Idonije and Shea McClellin already have the edges covered, and the potential for them to be terrors in the division is very good.
Henry Melton, Stephen Paea and Matt Toeaina do well enough at tackle, and for all his potential, Price's health history is a huge concern. So it's not a situation where he will be handed the starting job.
However, if he can stay healthy, Price could end up as a tremendous addition to this defense. They also need him to focus.
It falls to defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli to get the most out of Price and getting him to play consistently and to his maximum ability.
If there is anyone who can do it, Marinelli sure seems like a good choice. Sure, he wasn't a great head coach, but that doesn't mean he can't coach at all, and Marinelli has handled some good defenses.
It could be an uphill battle for Price; his injuries and off-field family issues still resonate. If the Bears can give him the support he needs and he can maintain health, Price could be a huge asset to this defense.
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