Chicago Bears – Uneventful Signings Could Prove Eventful

Bears

Trestman

 

 

The Chicago Bears have been active during 2014 free agency, yet they haven’t made any knock-your-socks-off moves.  Their best score so far has been Lamarr Houston, Defensive End from the Oakland Raiders. Here’s a quick run-down of the Bears signings:

 

Lamarr Houston – OAK – DE

M.D. Jennings – GB – S

Ryan Mundy – NYG – S

Jordan Senn – CAR – LB

Willie Young – DET – DE

Domenik Hixon – CAR – WR/KR

 

Lamarr Houston is the stand out free agent signing, but if you look at the group as a whole it’s mediocre at best.  At first glance, Bears fans may be wondering why there haven’t been any fireworks on the defensive side of the ball where the Bears ranked 30th in Yards/G, 15th in Passing Yards/G, and 32nd in Rushing Yards/G per ESPN.  The rushing yards per game was a whopping 161.4 Yards/G.  The 31st ranked Atlanta Falcons gave up 135.8 Yards/G to showcase just how abysmal The Bears were. This is topped off with a 30th ranked 29.9 PTS/G.  It wasn’t a secret to anyone that watched the Bears what kept them from the playoffs.  While they suffered injuries at every key position and lost both their defensive captains for significant time, this simply can’t happen.  In spite of this, they still managed to finish the season 8-8 as their high flying offense under Marc Trestman, the mad scientist, put up a 2nd best 27.8 PTS/G.

What the Bears are doing is simple; they’re using free agency exactly how they should in order to fill voids.  They’re not over paying for the top free agents on the market – they’re bringing in help in purposeful fashion that will be where they’re supposed to be on the field while not breaking the bank.  Their recipe for success is rather simple: while they have one of the most effective offenses in the league, they just need to move the needle toward middle of the pack on defense.  Lamarr Houston just missed the top 10 in overall profootballfocus rating, and Willie Young was in the top 20.

I imagine the Bears will address the defensive line early in the draft by adding an impact player in the middle. Ryan Mundy had a 0.2 slightly-above-average rating, and M.D. Jennings had a -6.5 rating.  While this is nothing to write home about, Chris Conte and Major Wright managed to perform bad enough to secure 2 of the bottom 5 rated safeties in the NFL.  While the end result is mediocre at best in terms of safety play, the overall improvement is a big gain for the defense. Jordan Seen is a special teams standout that was signed specifically to help in transition.

Domenik Hixon is a flyer at best, but he brings a great size and speed depth-option that Trestman has clearly leveraged to provide one-on-one match-up wins across the field.  They’re not depending on Hixon; he simply gives the Bears a 5th receiver at 6’2” or above including Martellus Bennett. The Bears don’t need to break the bank in free agency — they need to fill gaps with veteran talent that won’t give up the big plays while they continue to reshape their defense and score points in bunches.

The Chicago Bears are well on their way to building a mediocre defense, and that’s all they need to win.

 

@fantasygumshoe

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