With much sadness we must admit that the Bears are getting older. While JerMichael Finley's comment was stupid and ridiculous, it's not completely out of this world. The Bears are a far better team with Brian Urlacher on the field. But he's also an old 34 with 12 years of NFL battering under his belt. We can't rely on him to be an every down linebacker for too much longer.
As a group, our linebackers aren't young. Lance Briggs is 32. Next in line are Blake Costanzo, Nick Roach...28 and 27 respectively, more importantly, neither of them strikes fear in the hearts of opponents.
Geno Hayes has yet to prove that he's an every down guy. He certainly could grown into that guy, but he needs to do it now.
Tim Jennings has stepped up quite nicely this year, but whether this is the new Jennings or a flash in the pan remains to be seen...and he'll be 29 in a week.
Charles Tillman is having a career year. He is simply a beast. But, he's 31.
The only place where we have young talent is on the defensive line. With time I think McClellin could be a poor man's Clay Matthews. Stephen Paea has talent, Henry Melton and Corey Wooten have both shown serious ability.
Instead of going after a safety, per usual, the Bears need to draft a young linebacker late as well as a dynamic corner back - someone who has all the skills but not yet the coaching or opposition to showcase their skills - someone like Charles Tillman, drafted out of Louisiana Lafayette, or Chris Carr who went un-drafted. In 2010, five of the starting CB's for the playoff teams were un-drafted players.
Our scouts need to do their job and find more of these guys.