Monday, August 18, 2014

Briggs and Tillman Still Defensive Keys for Bears

"Lance Briggs" by Jeffrey Beall - Own work. 
Licensed under Creative Commons 
Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

One thing that's tough to measure in preseason, is just how good your vets are going to play.  Especially when you have players who have been banged up in the previous season like Lance  Briggs and Peanut Tillman.  The face of the 2014 Bears D  are these two guys.  It may be possible to play good defense without them with the new additions the Bears have made, but if these two guys are healthy, it will help the Bears repair their Monsters of the Midway reputation.  When on the field, they also give the Bears D the kind of "street cred" they need--in addition to their physical play, they also play very intelligently.  Jared Allen helps the Bears football IQ and muscle--another pro-bowler that the vets appreciate.

The Bears wanted to improve their defense with acquisitions short term while building their talent with new players for the long term.  Defensive end Jeremiah Ratliff who came over from Dallas last year, is another vet with plenty of experience.  His health is another key for the Bears--he is a versatile defensive lineman who has played several positions over his career.  D. J. Williams who came from Denver is another vet who helps the Bears substantially if healthy.  Williams suffered a season ending injury last year.  

So as the Bears build up and the young players gain experience, new acquisitions help  today's Bears.  Just how it all plays out is a mystery, but we know Briggs and Tillman remain key.

 Sporting Chance Press is the publisher of Pillars of the NFL: Coaches Who Have Won Three or More Championships and other fine books.