Found June 12, 2012 on Midway Illustrated:
Amobi Okoye left a pretty big hole when he left for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in free agency this off-season.  Okoye had over 30 QB pressures on the season and four sacks in a rotational role behind Henry Melton.  Okoye's departure means there is no true three technique DT behind Melton, or is there? Israel Idonije was one of the top pass rushing defensive tackles in the NFL a mere two seasons ago.  From ProFootballFocus: Idonije has been a quiet performer all year and in fact last week was his first red negative (-2.8) performance of the year. He has 23 stops on the season and 9 sacks and been a danger in opponents backfields all season. A good yardstick for any pass-rushing 4-3 tackle is the highly touted Ndamukong Suh. Name Overall PFF Grade QB Sacks QB Hits QB Pressures Israel Idonije +13.1 9 8 24 Ndamukong Suh +10.4 9 6 23 Idonjie has but up these number on 181 less snaps, so if you would be willing to play Suh, you should be willing to play Idonjie! According to those PFF statistics Israel Idonije was a more productive interior DT than the All Pro Suh.  These stats point directly to Idonije rushing from the inside three technique in passing situations while also giving Melton a breather on occasion. Helping to bolster the chances that Izzy will slide inside a lot more in 2012 than he did in 2011 is the abundance of DEs on the roster.  The Bears drafted DE Shea McClellin to be that outside third down pass rushing specialist in place of Idonije.  In addition McClellin the Bears also have Chauncey Davis and Corey Wootton both battling for a roster spot in 2012. Wootton is a third year player and it would seem foolish for the Bears to so easily cast aside a once promising talent.  In Davis the Bears have a scrappy run stopping veteran DE who could be as good as a player as Wootton.  The Bears carried four DEs on the roster in 2011 but why would they carry five?  Idonije would be the reason to carry five as he's proven he can play the DT spot in addition to his DE duties. Additionally, given the mishmash of garbage that essentially exists behind Melton for the backup three technique spot, Idonije is easily the best backup three-technique on the roster currently.  Common sense and history would seem to dictate that even though the Bears may be working Idonije at DE opposite Peppers you can't rule out Idonije as a DT.  He's played it before and defensive coordinator/D-Line extraordinaire coach Rod Marinelli has always like putting his best "rush men" on the field at any one time.  Sliding DEs in to the DT position has been common place before and likely could be again. So while Idonije may not offer the youth and overall talent of the lost Amobi Okoye, he clearly offers an option that may not cause a major drop off in production during a season in which the Bears are hoping their defense and offense come together for a championship run.

The Bears Den: June 12, 2012

'Jay Cutler Show' off to a good start - Kevin Seifert: Given his sack totals in three years, Cutler has every right to take a wait-and-see attitude with the Bears' latest plan for the OL. Carimi rates on 2012 'Breakout' list - Moon Mullin: Gabe Carimi's inclusion on the Top 10 Breakout Players for 2012 is a good omen. No comment on the rest of the NFCN having...

Pro Football Focus names Tim Jennings the Bears' "Secret Superstar"

Pro Football Focus has been running a series this offseason about the underheralded players on each team that probably deserve a little more respect than what they've actually been given. They only just now got to the Bears, and their selection for the Bears' "Secret Superstar" is a player that I've often gone after for not finishing enough of the interceptions...

Smith pleased with Bears progress as mini-camp opens

    Without playing a game, Chicago Bears head coach Lovie Smith thinks his club “has made alot of progress” in its bid to reclaim a post-season playoff spot. Smith made his comments as the Bears began their mandatory three day mini-camp, the last offseason acitivity before the team reports to training camp in late July. Predictably, much of the [...]

Forte absent as Bears minicamp opens

The Chicago Bears opened minicamp, and one key piece remained missing - Matt Forte. The Pro Bowl running back was absent Tuesday as expected, with his franchise-player tender remaining unsigned and the staredown with management continuing. Coach Lovie Smith says Forte's situation is ''not an issue for me'' and would not say if he expects him to show up for the...

Bears begin to answer questions at mini-camp

With organized team activities (OTA’s) in the books, the Chicago Bears begin their next step on the way to the 2012-13 season with the veteran mini-camp being conducted this week at Halas Hall.  The  mini-camp is scheduled for Tuesday, June 12 through Thursday, June 14. Practices on Tuesday and Wednesday will be held from 1:30 to 4:00 p.m. Practice on [...]

BR Rookie Diary: Alvester Alexander

Former Wyoming RB Alvester Alexander was signed by the Chicago Bears as an undrafted free agent this offseason. Bear Report goes one-on-one with the youngest ball carrier in the Windy City.

Forte a no-show at Bears minicamp

Running back Matt Forte, who wants a new multiyear contract, was not present at the Chicago Bears' first day of minicamp on Tuesday, the Chicago Tribune reported. Forte's absence was expected, and coach Lovie Smith did not want to guess whether Forte would be present when training camp begins. "No, I wouldn't speculate on that," Smith told the Tribune. ...

Melton wants to stay in Chicago

Chicago Bears starting defensive tackle Henry Melton, whose contract expires after this season, says he can’t envision himself playing anywhere else and would be open to an extension.

Chicago Bears: Jay Cutler Will Join Elite Class in 2012

Jay Cutler has always had the physical tools to be an elite NFL quarterback, but injuries over the past two seasons with the Chicago Bears, including a fairly fluky thumb injury that ended his season early in 2011, have derailed that progress and led to concern that he will never be among the league's elite signal callers. Offensive line play has been a particular issue for...

VIDEO: Brandon Marshall at OTAs (III)

Our third round of film work and commentary on Bears WR Brandon Marshall from OTAs. This edition shows how OC Mike Tice's plans to isolate his No. 1 receiver out wide.

Matt Forte and Cliff Avril won’t face fines for skipping camps

Chicago Bears RB Matt Forte and Detroit Lions DE Cliff Avril both received the franchise tag from their respective clubs. Both players are seeking long-term deals with their respective teams and have yet to sign their tender offer. Both players have given no indication of signing their tenders and are likely to miss mini camp later this week. Since neither player has signed their...

Bears veteran minicamp review (Day 1)

What we saw from the sidelines at Halas Hall during the first of three practice sessions that encompass the mandatory veteran minicamp for the Chicago Bears.

Bears Kahlil Bell named to most eligible Chicagoans list

Chicago magazine has just released it’s 2012 list of the most eligible bachelors and bachelorettes in the city (25-year-old Sara Collins looks yummy!). Chicago Bears tailback Kahlil Bell is among them. So he’s got that advantage on Matt Forte; if not more playing time. So what’s he looking for? A well-put-together woman with drive, dedication, and ambition. “Someone who...
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