Chicago Bears Digest: Vol. One

Nathan VenegasCorrespondent IApril 23, 2009

William Perry Hospitalized

Beloved member of the ‘85 team William Perry was hospitalized over a week ago to deal with complications from Guillain-Barre Syndrome, a chronic inflammation disorder of the peripheral nerves.

Perry was diagnosed with this disorder in the summer of 2008.

Perry’s career after the NFL included starting a construction company in South Carolina as well as several celebrity appearances, including charity boxing events and made for TV movies.

(A side note that may only interest me—Perry was inducted in the WWE Hall of Fame Celebrity Wing in 2006.

We hope Perry makes a full recovery.

Cutler not wasting any time

Jay Cutler has been a busy boy since signing with the Bears. Not only has he been spotted at several Chicago social hot spots, but he also sang the stretch at Wrigley and dropped the puck at the UC.

Moving to a bustling hub of culture and entertainment like Chicago has to be a step up from Colorado. Not to say there’s nothing to do in Denver, but I imagine making snow-angels gets boring after a while.

Having drinks and getting acquainted with tight end Greg Olsen is a good sign.  Here’s hoping they hook up a lot more on the field.

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New Logo, Same Lions

The Detroit Lions unveiled a new logo this past week, most likely in an effort to confuse their fans into thinking they’re a different team.

Updated Draft Needs

Securing Jay Cutler doesn’t change the Bears draft needs as I saw them a few weeks ago. The signing of three free-agent offensive lineman on the other hand does. With the draft this weekend let’s go over what the Bears should look for.

1)  Wide Receiver: The Bears were thin at this position last year and will remain so unless they address this need in the draft. I highly doubt a game changing receiver will be available by the time the Bears first pick comes around (49th overall) but we can hope the Bears pick a hard worker who they can work with in the offseason (no holdouts).

2)  Cornerback: Charles Tillman and Nathan Vasher have battled injuries for the last two seasons. A physical corner that jams receivers at the line is necessary if the Bears are to shore up the pass defense which was a big part of their seven losses last season.

3)  Safety: This position is a toss up, as there are several on the roster who can conceivably step and claim the starting spot. The loss of Mike Brown and the one dimensional game of Kevin Payne and Daniel Manning mean players are always shuffling in an out of this position.  

     Drafting a young fearless safety may not pay dividends right away but will help the Bears in the long run. Mike Brown never regained the spark he had early in his career and his decrease in production cannot be taken lightly.

As an honorable mention of sorts, I want to stress the need for the Bears to start molding a new center to take the place of Olin Kruetz when he ends his stellar career. Josh Beekman’s name has been tossed around as the eventual successor.  Not that there’s a problem with that, but it wouldn’t hurt to draft another young man that can benefit from Kruetz experience.

The Hall Yet to Call for Dent

Another year another goes by without honoring one of the best pass rushers of his time.

Overshadowed only by Lawrence Taylor, Dent dominated offensive lines while anchoring the rugged Bears defenses of the mid- to late-'80s and capturing Super Bowl XX MVP honors.

This is another example of how the selection committee honors timing over ability.

While he gave me nightmares as a young Bears fan, Chris Carter deserves to be in the Hall of Fame. The fact that he didn’t make in his first year of eligibility because they decided to induct Art Monk (another talented receiver) shows that the Hall is as much about politics as it is skill level.

I would hate for a similar situation to happen when/if the hall finally does call for Dent. 

When Michael Strahan retired after the 2007 season many people said he’s a first-ballot Hall of Famer. Not that I disagree with that—I just want to point out how comparable Dent’s and Strahan’s numbers are.  They are similar in the number of total sacks, Pro Bowls, and All-Pro selections. Dent has one more Super Bowl as a member of the 1994 San Francisco 49ers, but he was injured most of that season.

Regardless of that fact, Dent made his mark on the league for years. One of the most tossed around questions asked of potential Hall of Fame inductees is, “did they dominate their era?”

Richard Dent? Do you really have to ask?

Monsters of the UK

In an effort to expand the NFL’s global appeal, inter-conference games have been played in London since 2007; this year it’ll be the Patriots versus the Buccaneers at Wembley stadium.

I’m not exactly sure what the process is for selecting what matchup will be showcased for our friends across the pond.  But if this game is to showcase what the NFL is all about, it gives reason to believe the matchups should reflect who’s on top of the league—or at the very least showcase the lush history of the NFL.

No disrespect to the Patriots or Buccaneers, but I feel that there are better games to showcase. Perhaps tthey should feature an historic rivalry—Steelers-Raiders, Cowboys-Redskins, or Bears-Packers. A Super Bowl rematch, if the schedule works out that way—or even an newer rivalry, like Patriots-Colts.

The short history of this game indicates that they do indeed want it to be an inter-conference game, which creates a perfect opportunity to showcase two of the most honored franchises in the league—the Bears and the Steelers.  

To be fair there, are a couple other inter-conference games more suitable than Patriots-Bucs—Baltimore-Minnesota, Arizona-Tennessee, and Pittsburgh-Green Bay.

No can assure two top teams going into the season will remain that way until their game overseas. Showcasing the history of the league seems like the next obvious choice.

Next Week

Draft breakdown.

Schedule analysis.

Roster battles.

Where are they now?

Five questions

How many pots of coffee will be consumed by Jerry Angelo and his staff this weekend?

Should Chicago miss Kyle Orton?

Will Kevin Jones be injury free this upcoming season?

What can we really expect from Chris Williams?

How soon will the Chicago “media” turn on Cutler?