Super Bowl Post Game: What Bears Fans Learned
After watching two NFL powerhouses in what in a few years could be called a matchup between two dynasties, it’s clear these two teams have been cut from a different cloth than the Bears. Whether it’s their confident and consistnet coaching, locker rooms filled with leaders, or their uniform effort on the field, both teams represent the kind of organization the Bears new front office should strive for. But, after a disastrous 2014 season, the question is: where to begin?
Neither Team Built With Wide Receivers:
Although both teams have failed on recent offseason wide receiver acquisitions (Danny Amendola and Percy Harvin) neither has suffered much from their mistake, as each has easily supplemented new players in when needed. Doug Baldwin, an undrafted free agent out of Standford, has become Seattle’s number one receiver since Harvin’s departure and the team has hardly missed a beat. In fact, Chris Matthews, an undrafted free agent out of Kentucky, made his first career reception in the Super Bowl, on his way to a 5 catch 109 yard night with a touchdown. While Brady has always had a comfortable group of receivers with which to operate, aside from Shane Vereen and Julian Edelman, no player on their current roster caught a pass in the 2013 AFC Championship game. The team has continued to year-to-year at the receiver position since Brady’s arrival. Whether it’s Brandon LaFell or Aaron Dobson, The Patriots have always managed to survive no matter who lines up outside.
Secondary Key Cap Figure For Both Teams:
In a Super Bowl that featured many strong match ups none may have been more elite than the cornerback battle between Richard Sherman and Darrelle Revis. Both are considered Shutdown Corners by most standards, as their high salary figures indicate (both are within the top five paid in their position). In fact, nine of the top ten teams with the highest secondary salary cap figures were in the playoffs this year. In other words: it pays to pay your secondary. Guys like Patrick Peterson, Vontae Davis, and Aqib Talib all made the Playoffs this year. Why? Because in today’s NFL you need a shutdown corner to succeed. While good receivers don’t always translate to good teams, good secondaries often do, something the Bears would be wise to make note of.
Value Found in Later Rounds of the NFL Draft:
Although some teams maybe have one or two undrafted free agents stars in their backfield or receiving corps, no team has gotten more value from the later rounds in the NFL Draft than New England or Seattle. Six starters on Seattle’s number one ranked defense were picked in rounds four or later. For comparison, heading into the season only one of the Bears’ starters were picked in a round later than four (Ryan Mundy) and the selection wasn’t even made by Chicago. In starting wide receiver Julian Edelman and Hall of Fame quarterback Tom Brady, Bill Belichick has been able to continue winning through 14 seasons because he continues to get solid production from undrafted free agents and the greatest sixth round pick of all time. If there’s one lesson that should be learned from Super Bowl XLIX it’s the importance of the third day of the Draft. For the Bears to have any chance to compete, the organization needs to start finding value at the end of the draft.