With a long way yet to go until the 2010 NFL season, the buzz around Chicago is already loud. There hasn't been this much excitement in the Chicago off-season air since the Bears landed their franchise quarterback, Jay Cutler, last year.
The Bears struck quickly by landing Peppers, Taylor, and Manumaleuna all in day one of free agency. Peppers got the gold mine of the deal, but the other two earned big contracts too.
Jerry Angelo and company know that they have to win, and in order to do that moves had to be made. The moves that were made today will surely help this team, but there are other positions on the team that need to be addressed.
Safety and offensive line were the two biggest holes for this team, and neither have seemed to be addressed yet. There was very little at the offensive line in free agency, but the safety position had some valuable players.
With the Bears not addressing those needs, to me that says that the team is confident in what we have now. There still is the draft to work with, but, without a first and second round pick, these positions will be hard to find.
None-the-less, I am very excited about the new signings today.
The day started off with the Bears announcing the signing of tight end Brandon Manumaleuna. Manumaleuna (we really need a short nickname for this guy) played under Martz with the Rams, and is a excellent blocking tight end.
He knows his role and what he needs to do. In a way, this is actually a signing of a sixth offensive lineman because of what Manumaleuna can do in the blocking game.
Next came the Taylor signing.
Chester Taylor will play a huge role in Mike Martz's offense. He and Forte can create a Marshall Faulk type backfield—maybe as effective as Faulk, maybe not. Only time shall tell.
Drawing a division opponents' running back away from them was a bold move by the Bears, and somewhat payback for Bernard Berrian leaving them.
And finally the grand slam, Julius Peppers.
Peppers still has what it takes to be the dominant defensive end that we have seen for the past eight or so years. Mix him in with Tommie and Alex Brown, and the line can be a danger zone for other teams.
Peppers understands the cover two and what it takes to make it successful, his position. Creating pressure from the line forces the pressure off the secondary, creating havoc for the offense.
So welcome to Chicago guys, and enjoy your stay. And just like Jerry Angelo said today, "We are not looking to make a splash, we are looking to win."