Building Through the Draft

Finally, after weeks of doing nothing, or at least nothing worth mentioning, my beloved Bears have caught my attention.

March 27, 2009, 9:28 AM

By: Tom Waddle

Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

Finally, after weeks of doing nothing, or at least nothing worth mentioning, my beloved Bears have caught my attention. For months I've been telling anyone who would listen that this team CANNOT address all of their needs solely through the draft. They have too many holes, and its irrational to expect so much from so many rookies. Go ahead and tell me about the "Steeler Way" of building through the draft. Talk to me about the other teams that forgo free agency and yet still maintain their winning ways. Unfortunately our Bears keep different company because they haven't drafted well. Sure, Jerry Angelo has hit on several picks: Lance Briggs, Peanut Tillman, Matt Forte to name a few. But he's also missed on his fair share as well. He hasn't drafted well enough over the years to ignore the other available options for improving his roster. Jerry needs to pursue trades and participate in free agency to fill the holes left by sketchy drafts. And this week, we learned he's picked up the pace on both of those fronts. Wednesday the Bears added veteran Kevin Shaffer, who will take over at right tackle. Ironically, Shaffer was recently released by the Browns, who signed Jon St Clair last week. Jackie Slater he is not, but Shaffer is a couple years younger than St Clair and has several more starts on his resume. I like it! Bravo Jerry!!! At your next minicamp, you can actually run a "Two Tackle Offense".

Even more comforting was the confirmation that, yes, the Bears have made contact with the Broncos about the availability of Jay Cutler. Or so says Yahoo Sports. I assumed as much, but you never know what's being discussed up in Lake Forest. Maybe it was my on air suggestion that all the faithful supporters of the burnt orange and navy blue come together and call for a subpoena of the Bears telephone records to see if in fact a call was placed to a number with a Denver area code. I don't know if the Broncos will actively shop Cutler and I'm not convinced the Bears have enough to pry him away, but a call had to be made, and I'm glad to hear one was made. And for you Kyle Orton Fan Club members out there, take your common sense pills. I like Kyle, too. I've seen Kyle play. Kyle Orton is no Jay Cutler! That's not a vote against Kyle. That's a vote FOR Jay Cutler. He's a young, franchise caliber quarterback and you offer the house for him. (Even if it's a rundown double-wide your living in).

Is a deal realistic? Probably not, in fact, Id be shocked if the Broncos let him go, but Josh McDaniel's is the valedictorian of the Charlie Weis Charm School, so anything is possible.

I would prefer they do more, but this week was a start.

Also this week, several rule changes and talk about increasing the number of regular season games to 17 or 18. 17 seem farfetched as it would create an uneven home field advantage for half the teams, but 18 are very doable and very likely. Eliminating two of the preseason games and increasing the regular season schedule by two is more financially attractive to the owners, and may lead to larger rosters and more jobs for the players. I see it as a win-win as long they cut back on the pre season schedule.

As for the rules, I'm all for trying to protect the players safety. Trust me; I was on the receiving end of many hits that would be criminal acts by today's standard. Limiting the blows to the head is admirable and reasonable. The rule that's been given life due to Tom Brady's knee injury, though, is laughable. What's next, tying defensive ends' hands behind their back? If Caleb Hanie was on the receiving end of that hit, we wouldn't be having this discussion! Enough said!


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