The debate rages on. Fans continue to argue over how the Chicago Bears should go about protecting quarterback Jay Cutler, whether through free agency or the draft. In that light are Jake Long or Lane Johnson possible matches?
Johnson and Eric Fisher could give NFL free agents problems
When it comes to the NFL draft and free agency, a good year for one usually means a bad year for the others. In the case of the 2013 off-season, pending free agent tackles may not like what they hear coming from early scouting reports on the crop of tackles coming out of college. Among the surprise favorites include left tackles Eric Fisher out of Central Michigan and Lane Johnson of Oklahoma. Both display a premium blend of size, strength, and agility pro teams look for. If true then it isn't great news for the free agent class of tackles like Jake Long. His time with the Miami Dolphins seems close to ending. As a four-time Pro Bowler he normally would command top dollar on the market. However, an injury history and promising crop of younger tackles like Fisher and Johnson in the draft may cause his value to drop. While not good news for him it can become great news for teams in need of offensive line help.
Bruce Arians believes Marc Trestman can win with Cutler
Chicago fits that bill better than most teams. Since they made the trade for Cutler in 2009, they have given up at least 35 sacks and over 45 in the past three. That is not a recipe for offensive success, which is why GM Phil Emery chose to fire Lovie Smith in favor of quarterback maestro Marc Trestman. Fellow coach Bruce Arians shed light on the hire when he opened up about the interview process he went through with the Bears. He stated the team has a dedicated player in Cutler who wants to win and is willing to do whatever work is asked of him. Arians thinks this is great news for the detailed Trestman who has a proven history at getting the best out of passers. The only job left for the team then is to make sure Cutler is properly protected, hence the ongoing debate over where and when Emery will find help for the offensive line.
Jake Long is a proven player in the NFL but also a risk. Lane Johnson has youth on his side but also inexperience. The Chicago Bears finally have a coaching staff tailor made to get the most out of Jay Cutler. Making moves to protect must come early and often when the 2013 off-season goes active.
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