Tomlinson and Westbrook Not Right for Bears

‘Tis the season to go picking through other peoples’ trash.  Coming off a down year, with limited draft picks and even less desire to spend money, the Bears ain’t too proud to beg.  Guys like Ladanian Tomlinson and Brian Westbrook were recently cut by their respective teams and pundits in every corner of the interwebs want to find a new home for these guys.  My suggestion?  The retirement home!

Don’t get me wrong – Tomlinson and Westbrook were among the best in the game and would be in the any decent all-decade team for the 2000′s, but I just don’t think they fit here with the Bears.  I understand why people are quick to try to plug them into Chicago.

Matt Forte is coming off a disappointing sophomore season; a season in which he struggled behind a struggling offensive line and a new quarterback.  To make matters worse,  primary backup Kevin Jones suffered a season-ending knee injury during the preseason, former third round pick – yes THIRD ROUND PICK -  Garrett Wolfe has never lived up to his lofty draft status and Adrian Peterson – no, our AP – brings occasional burst but not consistent #2 RB kind of stuff.   Only when free-agent rookie Kahlil Bell came on the scene was there any real depth for Forte. 

The addition of new offensive coordinator Mike Martz to the mix and you can see why a pass catching threat like Westbrook might make sense.  But he’s spent way too much time on the injured list in recent years to be a serious threat.  Then you get LT’s worship of former Bears legend Walter Payton and you can connect a few dots to see how Tomlinson might be considered by the Bears.

LT is probably the last of the true workhorse backs; he’s logged a ton of mileage and he’s production has been in a steady decline.  Could he give you some flashes of his former brilliance in a backup role?  Sure.  Is that going to help you develop your third year running back?  Does Forte need to be looking over his shoulder at the legendary Tomlinson after every fumble or carry-for-loss?  Nope.

My suggestion to the Bears?  Go get a little lightening to compliment Forte’s thunder.  Go find a guy to fill the role that Garrett Wolfe was supposed to fill.  You know, like that Darren Sproles guy who unseated LT in San Diego.

As for Tomlinson and Westbrook, I wouldn’t even take them on my fantasy team.

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Tags: Adrian Peterson Brian Westbrook Garrett Wolfe Kevin Jones Ladanian Tomlinson Matt Forte

  • City

    I’m usually with you, but I can’t disagree more. Matt Forte absolutely needs someone breathing down his neck for motivation and to push him. And LT is a smart west coast offense back. And who else are the Bears going to pick up to be that backup RB? What other options do they really have?

  • Boomer

    Good comment City. I think as much as he needs someone breathing down his neck – like Kahlil Bell did late last season – he needs someone who can offer a change of pace. I don’t know if LT at this stage of his career brings anything to the party. If the price is right, of course you bring in LT, but I wouldn’t blow my wad on him.

    My “money is no object” choice is Chester Taylor. He is a great pass-catcher and would thrive in a Mike Martz system. Plus he’s got way less mileage than LT. As we did with Bell, you can find a serviceable backup late in the draft or even on the street.

  • City

    I agree that Chester would be the ideal addition, but that whole “money is no object thang” well… you know the McCaskeys as well as anyone. I was looking at the options being LT, Westbrook, Taylor or draft. And they all seem pretty limited.

    Let me ask you this: How good is Kahlil Bell? That first rush of his was a thing of beauty! (But I don’t know if that was just a case of fresh legs towards the end of a game… or if there is some real talent there).

  • Boomer

    I think Bell could be in the mix next season. He showed good burst at times, but I doubt he’s a load back in the event Forte went down.

    I expect Forte to bounce back strong next season. He gutted it through the season on one leg and I knew he lacked the same speed as his rookie year. As far as the other backs:

    AP is as good as gone and the only thing that might spare Wolfe is his draft status. Maybe Martz can find something creative to do with him to take advantage of his speed. I really doubt K Jones figures in the mix, but you never know. He spent time with Martz in Detroit, I believe, so you never know.

    With so few draft picks and so many other holes, I just don’t see the Bears going the draft route to find a RB unless someone falls into their lap.

    With a fire lit under Lovie and Angelo, the pressure is on, so maybe they can find a way to spend money on a free agent. If the price is right, you would be a fool not to consider LT or Westbrook, but they are not game changers at this point in their careers. Maybe they could show you a few flashes here and there. That was the point of the post.