Friday, March 2, 2007

Marching In Like a Lion

Some thoughts of my own and pointers to others while watching the Windy City snow blowing sideways.

Denver Trades Tatum Bell & George Foster to Detroit for Dre Bly

In like a Lion, indeed. Off the top of my head, CB Dre Bly was possibly the best player on the Lions. There aren't that many good ones to choose from. He was in Detroit 3 years and made 3 Pro Bowls. But Matt Millen trades him away for an RB that Denver was going to cut anyway and an offensive lineman.

Millen obviously hasn't heard the old adage that if the phone rings and the Caller ID says it's Shanahan, don't answer. The same goes for the phone ringing and the nameplate on your desk saying Matt Millen. Although interestingly, in doing some diligence, I punched up firemillen.com and that guy loves the move! Who'da thunk it?

The spin I heard elsewhere is that getting the lineman in trade puts Detroit in position to take either Brady Quinn or yet another WR with the #2 overall pick, instead of Tackle Joe Thomas outta Wisconsin.

Why does it seem like Mike Martz is the coach and GM of this team?

Shanahan Again: Broncos Trade Jake Plummer to the Bucs for a 4th-Round Pick

It's Shanahan. Don't answer. Oh nooooooo! The Buccaneers, fresh off re-signing the spleen-less and muscle-less Chris Simms for $5 million for 2007, trade a 4th-round pick to Denver for the soon-to-be-cut Jake Plummer. A 4th-round pick?

The Buccaneers appear to have been saved the embarrassment. Of all people, it's Jake Plummer who refused to pick up the phone when Shanahan called. He has reportedly chosen to retire somewhere other than the armpit of Florida, hence nixing the whole deal. Jake's always had the behind-the-back pass in his arsenal, so he may still have a trick up his beard to stay in the league on his terms.

Pep Talk

With Wade Wilson mercifully gone, the Bears need a QB coach to work with the three drunken gunslingers. Hard to find much talk about it, but I'll cast my vote nearly as cluelessly as I did on Tuesday.

I like the looks of Pep Hamilton. Good name, good face. Pep was with the Jets for 3 years working with QBs and WRs. He spent 2006 in San Francisco, working under Ron Turner's brother Norv as Assistant QB Coach.

It's a simplistic view, but young 49ers QB Alex Smith was a complete wreck in 2005 -- 1 TD to 11 INTs and 11 fumbles in 9 games. In 2006, Smith wasn't great either, but 16 TDs, 16 INTs, and 10 fumbles is a huge improvement. I'm down with Pep and hope to start seeing him on the Bears sideline.

Free Agency Is Open!

I'd be more wild about free agency if the Bears figured to be big shooters, like the Niners and Browns will reportedly be. I've read enough sourpuss columns about how crappy free agency is nowadays. Writers are pissy that the NFL is making so much money that the salary cap increase means team can retain their stars. As a result, there aren't enough sexy names out there to write about.

The most useful, non-whining free agent list I've read was by the sexy Len Pasquarelli. I'd be surprised if the Bears end up signing any of these guys. The one I've heard as being on the Bears short list is offensive lineman Eric Steinbach, whose contribution to the Bengal police blotter was a drunken boating escapade. Pasquarelli talks about his ability to play Center, Guard, or Tackle, and Jerry Angelo loves that, but I imagine he'll be out of the Bears' price range.

I got a little rush of adrenaline when Joey Porter was released by Pittsburgh, but even 1 year of Urlacher, Briggs, and Porter is too good a dream to be true. Even if he came, any number of gun-happy Bears are a risk to pop a cap in Joey's keyster. He'd call somebody a fag and it would be a whole mess.

And a Historical Note

The Bears go into the season assuming that franchise-tagged Lance Briggs will be a holdout, as will Thomas Jones again, if neither is traded before it comes down to that. I've also heard that the Bears are looking to trade Adewale Ogunleye, which is slightly ironical in that they acquired him largely because of his unhappiness as a restricted free agent whom the Dolphins wouldn't sign long-term.

But bringing it back to Briggs, here's a pretty interesting read about the first ever franchise tagged player. None other than good ol' #58 Wilber Marshall, in 1993. Guys weren't big on being franchised back then either, and they fought the power.

1 comment:

Chelsia said...

Keep up the good work.