but www.footballcardinalsshop.com/cardinals-frostee-rucker-jersey-c-34.html nothing set at safety
The skinny: Safety might be the position where you find the most legitimate and real competition for a starting job going on in camp, certainly on the defensive side of the ball. Nothing is locked down here but Payne will probably emerge as the strong safety and he played well there at times last season. The switch with Mike Brown in midseason when Payne was shifted to free safety didn't play to his strengths. Payne is a physical player who had offseason shoulder surgery a year after missing most of his rookie season with a broken arm, so he needs to stay on the field to create a longterm future for himself. Remember, it was the addition of Payne in the 2007 draft that was the leading factor in the team trading Chris Harris away to Carolina. Payne has a decent nose for the ball and does well when he has it in his hands, a product of his early days in college when he was a running back.
What will happen with Steltz? He's been labeled strictly a strong safety by some in the organization but it was the fourthround pick from 2008 who spent a lot of time at free safety during the offseason program. Steltz doesn't have the range you'd like there, but he's intelligent and is a strong communicator and those attributes right there might given him an edge. We're interested to see how it plays out in the opening days of camp and who goes where. Of course, how they open in July isn't always how they open in September. Remember, the Bears moved the secondary all around before the final preseason game last year, promoting Payne, benching Brandon McGowan and in doing so taking Danieal Manning out of the nickel role.
Challenging Steltz will be Bullocks, who was signed to a oneyear deal. Only $525,000 of Bullocks' contract was guaranteed, so he's got to make the roster to collect on the bulk of his pay. He's more athletic than Steltz but was in a rut before leaving New Orleans. It will be very interesting to see where Graham lands. He spent the final two weeks of the offseason program filling in for Manning (pulled hamstring) at nickel. We've yet to see him really get a chance at safety, but he could factor in the process here. Earl has experience but might wind up being worked as a reserve nickel back. Afalava is a hard hitter who comes in a smaller package. The team badly needed a free safety but simply didn't see any in the draft, and the Bears grabbed him in the sixth round. He'll have a chance to make the teamand the Bears might keep a total of 10 defensive backsbut he'll have to show an understanding for the defense and be a demon on special teams. Deleston is in the same position as Afalava but without draft status.
The upside: Payne nails down the strong safety job and doesn't have to challenge for the team lead in tackles because not as much action is getting to him. Someone, anyone steps forward at free safety and proves all the ruckus this offseason has been for nothing. Coaches will tell you that defenses can get by at the position. The Bears would be happy with that. They just don't want to be burned at the last line of defense. New secondary coach Jon Hoke has a chance to make an immediate impact.
The downside: The revolving door at both safety positions continues and the Bears, who entered this offseason figuring they needed one safety, find out they really going to need two. Realistically, what kind of expectations can you have here, though? Expectations are created by two thingsdraft status and contract size. The team has not invested either here.
On the hot seat: It would probably be more difficult to find someone who isn't on the hot seat. Asked about safety midway through the offseason, Smith said everything was open, meaning Payne had to win the job at strong safety. That wasn't a ringing endorsement, although the coach always says that there is competition across the board. Steltz has to prove he can play a position some don't think is best for him, unless he somehow supplants Payne. Graham wants a seat, meaning a starting position, when the music stops playing. Bullocks is trying to get his career back on path. For the rest of the candidates, nothing is assured.
Final thought: More attention was paid to exBear Mike Brown than almost any other former player in the last decade this offseason. He didn't sign with the Kansas City Chiefs until last month, and there were constantly inquirieswill the Bears bring back Brown? He might just prove to be the kind of savvy veteran that can help a Chiefs team looking to rebuild but the Bears almost moved on a year earlier. They'd made up their mind to part ways with him, and really it might have been the best thing for Brown. You don't want to be in a situation where there are people who can't get past the injury history.
DetroitCalvin Johnson, who is capable of beating any bracketed coverage with a freakish combination of size, strength, and speed. Pettigrew is a rookie, but still a likely mismatch for safeties. Not much else.
Green BayDriver, Jennings, Jones, Nelson are very deep and talented. Will tax a secondary to cover them all
MinnesotaBerrian, the 1 route wonder, and the rest are middle of the pack. Harvin and Sidney Rice could be electric with Favre throwing the ball, but Bobby Wade and Shiancoe are serviceable at best.
If our starting safeties are Steltz and Payne, we had better pray for a better pass rush. Neither are particularly rangy or Frostee Rucker Youth Jersey natural in coverage. Both do their best work when they are in the box playing the run. That should help with Peterson, Smith, and Grant, but does not account for Rodgers, Culpepper/Stafford, and Favre/Jackson/Rosenfels.
Our best chance of a wellrounded defense is if the free safety spot is manned by Corey Graham or Danieal Manning, both of which are not very comfortable back there. But they are probably the two best athletes we have in the secondary, and would give us the best coverage options.
I am concerned, but we will see what happens. Most teams will think they can run on the Bears all day, and until we prove otherwise, the safeties will spend a lot of time pursuing running plays, which plays to the strengths of Payne and Steltz. I still think Steltz is not stout enough to start in the NFL at either position. he has size, but it doesn't seem to translate well to the impact he makes when tackling.
I still say the most physical member of the secondary is Danieal Manning. If he could ever get the free spot figured out, he could be a dynamic player for us, and give Otogwe a run for his money for the turnover title in the NFC. He could also be a great strong safety, but we have 25 of them already on the roster.
I am starting to drink the koolaid and think Lovie was right. The most important acquisition in the offseason for the Bears was Rod Marinelli. If he does what they think he can do, the safety position will not be as big an issue. If he doesn't, we are in for a long season against the pass. Jon Hoke also has a lot of hero/goat potential this year with the talent we have in the secondary.
Get camp started already! I am ready for football! baseball is p!ssing me off!
I'm not an expert so I might be way off base. But what always impressed me was Mike Brown's intelligent and intuition as a safety. Being in the right place at the right time. And similarly, the lack of these same skills in D. Manning.
I do think the depth chart will play out as above but what mystifies me is why the Bears have so many apparent SS's vs FS's in this list. ?
The Bears were good at not allowing the big plays last year. Mike Brown had a lot of football instincts and guts (your characterization of Gary Fencik also characterizes Brown) that allowed him to play better than what his physical tools alone would allow. Maybe Brown's not a true FS, but what's the point of letting him go if you don't have one to take his place. Of course, Craig Steltz needs to get his shot too, but watching the Texans game last year gave me the impression that it was still early for Steltz, and besides, wouldn't it make far more sense to get a true and viable FS before letting the current one go? Just my thoughts.
The Joyner methodology to determine the NFL's best safety, is to count how many and the most effective use of "Safety pins" the player uses on his uniform during a game. It is also quite important to give 1/2 point each for near tackles, near interceptions and near turnovers. For that safety that does intercept the ball and returns it, he gets the percentage of yards he returns it to the end zone and a full point if he returns it to the house on an interception. Based on the above criteria the Bears surely will have a Probowl caliber safety this year.
Corey Graham has size, speed and is not afraid to tackle. He has been impressive at corner although Joyner did not think so. Of the group Graham seems to have the most FS talent and my gut tells me the instinct to be very good at Free Safety. Is he smart enough to be the leader, know the defense and be insictive like Mike Brown, maybe but not likely in his first year at the position.
Steltz seems to be a prototypical strong safety but when he played last year seemed to be positioned in the right spot for the coverage, could tackle and did not fall(as much) for the play action that has plaqued and burned many a BEars safety's in the recent past.
Bullocks, I know there are far more experts about him on this blog than me. The tools maybe good enough for this position, he had some good production when he first came out and played on a poor Saints defensive team that left him on an island. As we all know without a pass rush, every defender in the league except maybe one or two will be toasted by great www.footballcardinalsshop.com/cardinals-frostee-rucker-jersey-c-34.html wide receivers and good QB's. Maybe, just maybe Bullocks could be quite serviceable at the free safety position if either Graham or Steltz falters.
Manning has a job as kick returner and nickel he has been very good at both. Lets not challenge him by adding the free safety position, albeit he does have the physical talent, but the instinct and smart defensive knowledge haven't been exhibited yet.
The new rookie talent will show during camp and who knows which of these guys will impress? The Oregon Cardinals Frostee Rucker Jersey kid seems to be a srong safety candidate more so than free safety.
At strong safety Payne looks to be a missle that can make turnovers and make plays. Payne floundered when he played free last year, lets keep him at strong where he made plays on the ball with interceptions etc. He should be a good one for awhile at strong safety but lets keep him there all season so he can focus on just one job, strong safety.
Prediction: Afalava will be a stud on special teams and make the team backing up the strong safety position if an injury occurs to free safety Steltz moves back to Free maybe starting over Bullocks.
The good news is that Marinelli is for real, the Bears will have a pass rush this year, the linebackers will be improved and the safety play will not be exposed as in the recent past.
Keywords: Frostee Rucker Youth Jersey