Tag:Chester Taylor
Posted on: January 11, 2011 6:30 pm
Edited on: January 11, 2011 6:30 pm
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James Starks shoulda/coulda been a Bear

J. Starks could have ended in Chicago instead of Green Bay (US Presswire). Posted by Josh Katzowitz

An interesting story here from the National Football Post’s Greg Gabriel about Packers RB James Starks and how he was almost – and perhaps should have been – a Bears RB instead.

Gabriel, the former Bears director of college scouting, tells how Chicago let him slip away during the 2010 Draft. Or better yet, how the Bears screwed up the pick.

The Bears didn’t necessarily need a RB because of Matt Forte and Chester Taylor, but the three scouts who had seen Starks had given him high marks. Since Starks was still available in the sixth round – mostly because he had been injured and because he had played at MAC school Buffalo – the discussion about whether Chicago should draft him intensified.

But the Bears also had Central Michigan QB Dan LeFevour rated highly as well. It was going to be tough for LeFevour to make the team, Gabriel reasoned, because the Bears were planning to carry only two QBs on the roster.

I’ll let Gabriel finish the story from here:

As we got closer to our pick, (Bears GM Jerry) Angelo made the decision for the Bears to draft Starks. When we drafted a player there was a protocol we followed. After the decision on who to draft was made, Cliff Stein (the Bears contract negotiator) would call the players agent and tell him we were planning on drafting his player. He would tell the agent that (he) wanted to get a 4-year contract with the player and wanted the contract done by a certain date. If the agent agreed then I would call the player and give him the news that the Bears were going to take him. This is exactly what happened with Starks. I was on the phone for a minute or so with Starks when Angelo walked in my office and told me he had changed his mind and was drafting LeFevour. I put Starks on hold and then said to Angelo that Stein had already talked to the agent and I had the player on the phone…we couldn’t do business like that. He said he was sorry but he decided he wanted LeFevour and the card had been turned in.

I then had to tell the player (a player that I had developed a good relationship with over the previous two years) that in fact we were not drafting him. Hearing a kid go from being extremely excited to silence was not easy. It was the most embarrassing moment I had experienced while scouting.

In my mind everything is about integrity and I felt our integrity had been damaged. We had told a player and his agent that we were going to draft him and then backed out of the deal. To make amends, we promised the agent that if Starks was still available in the 7th round we would draft him. Green Bay, though, took him about 10 picks later and the rest is history.


And the Packers, I’m sure, appreciate Angelo’s ultimate decision. As evidenced by his 127-yard performance vs. Philadelphia last Sunday and considering LeFevour didn’t make the Bears squads this season, the pick probably shouldn’t be considering a good one.

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Posted on: October 7, 2010 7:36 pm
Edited on: October 7, 2010 8:09 pm
 

Forte sick of 'frustrating' Bears running game

Posted by Will Brinson

The Bears rushing attack isn't what one would call "potent." In fact, at 68.8 yards per game and 275 total yards, they don't just average less yards than the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (who feature Cadillac Williams who features a 2.5 yards per carry average!), and Tampa's only played three games. 

Or put more simply, the Bears are in next-to-last. And it's starting to get frustrating, of course.

"It's frustrating to the nth power," running back Matt Forte said to the Chicago Sun-Times. "It's very disappointing and frustrating. I'm a running back; you want to run the ball."

Adding to Forte's frustration is that the Bears have only even tried to run the ball 84 times; Denver, in dead last in yards per game is at least over 100 attempts on the season (and not to mention they aren't repeatedly punching their quarterback depth chart in the side of the head, metaphorically speaking). 

He's not the only one frustrated either -- Olin Kruetz, Mike Tice, Lovie Smith, Chester Taylor and pretty much everyone except Mike Martz made it seem kind of silly that they weren't at least trying to tote the rock a little bit. Indeed, the point of the article seemed to involve some sort of "tipping point" for everyone's gaskets getting blown about passing on every down.

But, hey, Martz is the guy who got them to a division-leading 3-1, and, well, now's certainly not the time to question his strategy. After all, look how safe and healthy and his quarterbacks are! 
Posted on: August 3, 2010 11:55 am
Edited on: August 3, 2010 12:12 pm
 

What happens to Minnesota without Favre?

T. Jackson likely would take over for Minnesota if B. Favre retires (Getty). If, as is being reported all over the place (and on the Facts & Rumors blog), Brett Favre does retire – and there’s some healthy skepticism that he will, no matter what he says – what happens with the Vikings offense?

Obviously, they’ve still got some of the best young wide receivers in the game with Sidney Rice and Percy Harvin. WR Bernard Berrian is solid and dangerous as a deep threat. Those guys will make a mediocre quarterback look better than he actually is. And running backs? Two words: Adrian Peterson. Meanwhile, second-round pick Toby GerhartChester Taylor’s replacement – is a Doak Walker Award winner who will take a few of Peterson’s carries, especially when Minnesota needs a physical inside runner.

At the skill positions, there’s no question the Vikings have the talent to win the NFC championship. The quarterback position is … well ... a different story.

If Favre retires, they’ll have a couple problem areas. First, Minnesota doesn’t have the greatest run-blocking offensive line – which is a bit surprising, considering the talent the team has on this unit – and without Favre, the Vikings will need to run the ball more effectively to make up for the lack of Favre-ian like talent at the signal-caller position (more on this below).

Favre, at least in my opinion, is still a top-five quarterback , especially considering the season he had last year (68.4 completion percentage, 4,200 yards, 33 touchdowns, seven interceptions), and Minnesota would lose one of the most important players in the game.

So, who would replace him? Most likely, it’d be Tarvaris Jackson – an athletic quarterback who hasn’t figured out how to become a successful NFL quarterback. He started 12 games in 2007, and though the Vikings went 8-4, he wasn’t particularly impressive. His accuracy was mediocre, and his decision-making was questionable. If you’re comparing him to Favre, Jackson is more mobile but not nearly as strong in every other facet in the game.

If not Jackson, the team could turn to Sage Rosenfels. He’s never been a full-time starter, and there’s a pretty good reason for that. In fact, if Favre stays, Rosenfels might be on his way out of town, depending on how rookie Joe Webb is performing in practice. 

Rosenfels is often too aggressive, leading to too many avoidable interceptions. He’s the prototypical backup. He doesn’t look bad on the sidelines while wearing a ballcap. But if you have to throw him in as the starter, that’s not a great thing for your team. Webb, meanwhile, was slated to be a wide receiver, but he’s played well enough in practice for the Vikings to keep him with the quarterbacks. At this point, though, you certainly don’t want Webb starting games for your team.

If Favre doesn’t return, like he’s apparently saying right now, the Vikings wouldn’t face a disaster if Jackson was their man. But if it’s Rosenfels or Webb, there’s no way this team can make a deep run into the playoffs. For their sake, the Vikings have to hope this latest Favre news isn’t true. Otherwise, their Super Bowl hopes have just taken a huge hit.

--Josh Katzowitz

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com