The Bears have a need to stabilize the nose tackle position next to Tommie Harris this offseason. It was a revolving door of players next to the Pro Bowler last season, starting with Dusty Dvoracek, moving to Darwin Walker, then Anthony Adams and back to Walker before rookie Matt Toeaina got a turn.
But is that position a greater need than finding some help at safety where there were four starters for two positions — Mike Brown, Danieal Manning, Brandon McGowan and Adam Archuleta?
The question was posed to general manager Jerry Angelo, who has said he wants Brown back but realizes the team cannot count on him without major insurance.
“Given the fact that we have four pretty good defensive tackles back with Tommie, Dusty, we talked about Anthony Adams, we even talked about putting Idonije inside as well, I would feel better about that position,” he said. “Where weve hurt at that position is the durability. Weve lost players with injuries and that made us look a little more anemic than probably really what we are. If all our players come back healthy, we feel pretty good about it.
“The safety position, maybe theres a little bit more concern there comparatively speaking because you have younger players. You have McGowan, you have Kevin Payne back there, obviously Mike Browns still under contract. We feel good about Danieal Manning, but theres more concern there because theyre younger players. But we feel good about the players that we have playing there and we feel good that we can win with these players even if we didnt do anything outside of what we have on the present roster.
Payne actually started the first Detroit game as a third safety. That was the game he suffered a broken arm in, costing him the remainder of the season.