To put it mildly, the Bears’ defense struggled last season — they allowed the second-most points and the third-most total yardage in the NFL on the way to finishing 25th in defensive DVOA. But rather than choosing between rebuilding or entering “win-now” mode, Chicago has melded the two approaches as it seeks to revamp its defensive unit, according to John Mullin of CSNChicago.com. During general manager Phil Emery’s tenure, the Bears have focused on defense during the first four rounds of the draft, selecting three linebackers, two defensive tackles, a cornerback, and two safeties in the three-year span. But the team also made several additions this offseason, including Jared Allen, Lamarr Houston, and the recently-signed Adrian Wilson. Emery’s fusing of two divergent strategies may ensure that the Bears will remain competitive while they continue to stockpile young talent that can contribute in the future.
More assorted notes from around the league:
- The vote regarding the 10-year lease deal between MLB’s Athletics and Coliseum Joint Powers Authority (which operates O.co Coliseum) was cancelled today after four members of the Authority boycotted the meeting, reports Carolyn Jones of the San Francisco Chronicle. As we noted yesterday, any complication of the deal is good news for the Raiders, who want to build a new stadium where the current Coliseum is located.
- Some Dolphins’ decision-makers would like to make Marcus Thigpen expendable by having rookie Jarvis Landry take over punt-return duties, writes Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald. But offensive coordinator Bill Lazor likes Thigpen, so he’s likely to stick on the 53-man roster.
- Darren Urban of AZCardinals.com takes an early guess as to the Cardinals’ starting offense, and there are several positions up for grabs, including tight end, right guard, and right tackle.
- If Josh Gordon‘s suspension stands, the Browns will have to rely even more on Jordan Cameron and the rest of their tight end group; with that in mind, ESPN.com’s Pat McManamon takes a overview of the unit.
- The Cowboys’ offensive line is shaping up to be one of the better front fives in the league, and David Moore of the Dallas Morning News zeroes in on the right guard position. First-rounder Zack Martin will start, and Dallas enjoys enviable depth with veteran Mackenzy Bernadeau backing up the rookie.