Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Hellos and Goodbyes?

Hester Moved to Offense

The biggest news for the Bears this week was obviously that would-be Super Bowl hero return man Devin Hester will be working with the offense full time from here on out. This is the other cleat dropping following all the quotes from last season about how, sure, they'd love to give the offense some punch by getting him a few touches.

But that was the same as: sure, we'd consider looking into that shotgun formation, a cleat which has also dropped this offseason, with Ron Turner saying Rex should be plenty comfortable with it from his experience at Florida.

Makes sense to just put Hester on offense now. They got a look at him at cornerback during last season's dead period when the games didn't mean a whole lot. Peanut and Vasher were resting up, so Hester got reps at his advertised position.

It would be more exciting if he were being handed to Ken Whisenhunt, who designed some nice trickery for the Steelers, before being crowned Denny Green's successor for 2007. We'll see what Ron can do with it, but I have to look at it as a sensible experiment. After all, Miami U did their best to use Hester on offense -- stats are sketchy, but it only took to the tune of a handful of touches and 1 or 2 TDs, depending on who I asked. Expectations tempered, but I know better than to bet against the kid.

When first asked about the possibility last year, Hester said he wanted to stay in good buddy Deion Sanders's footsteps and remain a CB.

Garrett Wolfe Inked

The 3rd rounder has signed on for 4 years. Hester's move to offense made me a little more dubious about the value of drafting Wolfe, who in most circles was viewed as a slight hometown reach by the beloved. Hester certainly won't be a fully capable 3rd down back any time soon, probably ever, but there's a lot of crossover in their skill sets. I still wonder if they couldn't have used the 3rd rounder on a player who'd have contributed reps at an area of greater need.

Draft guru moving on?

According to the Sun-Times, college scouting director Greg Gabriel's contract with the Bears expires at the end of May, and he will be the top candidate for the same position when he interviews with the Giants, with whom he previously worked for 16 years.

I'm always writing Angelo drafted this guy, and that's simplistic. Gabriel and his guys provided the scouting intelligence Angelo has worked from since 2001, and it's obviously been intelligent intelligence, which is hard to come by these days.

Mike Brown cap issue?

It's a slam dunk that the Bears will have a talk with Mike Brown about restructuring his contract into something more incentive-based, to give the team some relief in the event that Brown is out of commission as often as in recent seasons. Brown should be amenable given that his ledger for the last 3 years shows 2, 12, and 6 games. The Bears had no choice but to fortify the depth chart at safety already.

Many depth charts are going to show Manning and Archuleta at safety, with Brown on the outside. That would be a shame for the cat who gave us and Coach Jauron so many thrills, but if he doesn't start, it might be his best chance to finish and be on the field for the important stuff this time around.


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