Originally written on Bears Brain Trust  |  Last updated 6/28/14
Nfc_championship_new_0bd9
Bears Brain Trust will go over each position and see how the Bears did. We’ll look at how the Bears finished in 2009, what they tried to do during the offseason, and how well they executed -- and if they should have done anything differently.

__________

Still here:


Hunter Hillenmeyer: Played in 14 games (started in 13) at both strongside linebacker and middle linebacker; made 65 tackles; had 2.5 sacks and one interception.

Nick Roach: Played in 16 games (started in 15) at both strongside linebacker and middle linebacker; made 50 tackles; had two sacks.

Out:

Jamar Williams: Played in 16 games (started in three); was the primary back-up at both outside linebacker positions.

2009 review: Eh, but it wasn’t entirely their fault.

The Bears' linebacker depth is on the outside -- entirely on the outside.

So when Brian Urlacher went down, the Bears robbed from the strongside to fill the hole. Neither Roach or Hillenmeyer are great Cover-2 middle linebackers. Hillenmeyer struggled with the covering of the deep middle; Roach struggled with setting up the defense.

Both went in and out of the middle, and whoever was left on the strongside struggled at times, as well. Neither is a particularly great starter, and the rest of the defense didn't put them in a particularly great situation.

The Bears blitzed 6+ guys more than all but two teams in the league; they were tenth in the league in the number of zone blitz. It's fair to say the Bears’ linebackers blitzed a fair number of times. The problem is neither of them are particularly good at it.

Of the three starting backers, the Bears would have liked to spend time hiding Roach and/or Hillenmeyer, letting the others make a majority of the plays. Last season, the situation didn’t lend itself to that.

2010 offseason plan: Do less than nothing.

I was ahead of myself when I said the Bears did nothing at defensive tackle and middle linebacker. At those positions, the Bears are at least hoping the Tommie Harris and Urlacher are healthy and good this season. Here the Bears don’t even have aren't even hoping for anything.

The traded Jamar Williams to the Panthers. It cut some of their depth at outside linebacker, but they got help at safety.

At strongside linebacker, the Bears are just hoping Urlacher doesn’t get hurt, forcing one of these two to move to middle linebacker. We all saw how that turned out last season. On the strongside, both are serviceable if nothing else.

Execution: Urlacher is still healthy, right?

They're going to re-try the 2009 plan: hide these two serviceable players at position with Urlacher and Lance Briggs.

If this season blows up, strongside linebacker isn’t going to be the reason. This is far from the Bears’ biggest problem.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Robert Klemko given four-week suspension from The MMQB

Michael Vick: Percy Harvin won't be a monster here

Robert Griffin III 'guaranteed' to be back in Week 11

Urlacher: Cutler paid like elite QB, hasn’t produced like one

Hoyer doesn’t think about getting benched for Manziel

Cardinals kicker blew $1,500 signing bonus on headphones

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Ainge: Draft lottery reform would be 'better for the game'

Royals take Game 2 to even series with Giants

Report: Roger Goodell will have to testify in Ray Rice case

Blake Griffin accused of slapping man in Las Vegas club

Ronda Rousey to face Cat Zingano at UFC 182

Report: Zach Mettenberger to start for Titans over Locker

Louisville Athletic Dept. asking for donations at gas pump

Falcons make huge mistake with London infographic

DeMarco Murry surprises Cowboys linemen with iMacs

Jimbo Fisher's son reps for Winston on 'Superhero Day'

WATCH: Steve Ballmer freaks out while shown on Jumbotron

AUDIO: Rex Ryan pranks Sammy Watkins on conference call

Top storyline for each Week 8 NFL game

WATCH: Giants pitcher yells at Salvador Perez after HR

Will Muschamp's head coaching job posted on Craigslist

Miss California USA would like to date Eric Hosmer

WATCH: Eric Bledsoe sends Clipper flying with sick move

Kiffin's mom fears for son's safety in return to Tennessee

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Brian Urlacher rips Jay Cutler

Top NFL storylines: Week 8

Kiffin's mom worried for son's safety

Report: Goodell will have to testify

Penguins do 'O Canada' following tragedy

UEFA Champions League midway report: Groups A – D

Porn star: No one parties like Janikowski

Report: Expect Florida to make a run at Bob Stoops

The San Francisco Giants are zombies

10 bold predictions for NFL Week 8

Pitcher's wife leaves generous tip

Nicklaus defends Jameis Winston

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.