Phil Emery hasn't stopped reshaping the Chicago Bears roster since he took over the general manager job. In a seasoned geared around a championship run could he put the team on the fast track by trading for Pat Angerer and Dwight Freeney?
Status of Brian Urlacher the biggest issue heading into season
For the first time in what feels like centuries the biggest question mark facing Chicago football isn't how bad the offense will play. After years and years of futility Emery and the Bears front office woke up to NFL reality and put together a group of Jay Cutler, Brandon Marshall and Matt Forte that could become great. However, Bears fans have a history of finding things to worry about so naturally their focus has shifted to the left knee of beloved middle linebacker Brian Urlacher. Everyone knows he has become the difference between great and terrible defense in Chicago. It is why he reached eight Pro Bowls and sits at the edge of a date with the Hall of Fame. A Super Bowl ring would surely clinch it for him but no one knows if his surgically repaired knee and 34-year old body can make it through the season. That in turn has sparked unrest on if Emery and the front office can find a replacement before the defensive captain chooses to leave in free agency next year or retire.
Angerer and Freeney don't fit with Chuck Pagano type of NFL defense
Two names that could help the Bears defense aren't what fans might expect. Their week one opponents, the Indianapolis Colts have already gone through a string of changes with drafting quarterback Andrew Luck. That has become the focus as expected but part of their rebuilding effort stays focused on the defense. New head coach Chuck Pagano has done what he can bringing in players that fit the 3-4 scheme he perfected with the Baltimore Ravens. However like any new coach he has to rely on veteran players already on the team to fill in the gaps. Two names that are holdovers from the previous era are middle linebacker Pat Angerer and defensive end Dwight Freeney. Each are players drafted to play in a 4-3 defense but have shifted to fit Pagano's new scheme. Whispers out of Colts camp though say the team may not want to pay Freeney's hefty contract and have thought about releasing him at the risk of losing his ten sacks per year. Angerer meanwhile nurses a broken foot and has an uncertain future in Indy. He is only 25 and led the team in tackles last season. Chicago could have use for both players if Pagano and the Colts front office want to get help elsewhere such as nose tackle, special teams or the draft board.
Brian Urlacher is a key to the Chicago Bears defense. Replacing him is next to impossible. Then again with the NFL overhaul going on in Indianapolis they may find a couple of diamonds in the rough with Dwight Freeney and Pat Angerer.