Let’s hold off on the position switches

October 31st, 2008 - 5:33 pm

Chicago Bears cornerbacks Nathan Vasher, Corey Graham, and Charles TillmanWith Charles Tillman and Nathan Vasher expected back this week, much has been made about where that leaves Corey Graham, who has developed nicely while filling in for the injured starters. Immediately, antiquated suggestions of moving Tillman to safety and keeping Graham as a starter at corner have come up.

We need to stop trying to move a cornerback in his prime — Tillman — out of position at this point in his career. And moving Graham — or Vasher, for that matter — doesn’t make any sense, either. Tillman was having a successful season before he went down with an injury. And even if he and Vasher stay healthy for the rest of the season, it’s not like Graham won’t get any playing time. He’ll rotate in, giving the other two breathers in certain situations, such as running downs.

A team can never have too many good cornerbacks as we’ve seen the past few weeks with Tillman and Vasher missing time. What happens if the Bears were to slide one of their cornerbacks to safety and then suffered another injury at the position? This isn’t Madden Football. You can’t keep moving guys back and forth. As we saw last year with Danieal Manning — a man without a position — sliding a guy from one position to the next doesn’t happen like clockwork.

Later down the line, when Tillman’s career wanes and his skills decline, they can prolong his time in the NFL by moving him to safety as so many cornerbacks in the past have done. The only time I’d consider moving a cornerback to safety is if the Bears were in a pinch because they lost one of their safeties to injury in the middle of a game. And even then, it wouldn’t be an easy transition.

But you don’t rearrange guys in the middle of the season with 9 games to go, when injuries can happen in the blink of an eye. I know the Bears’ defense has struggled against the pass, but with Tillman and Vasher both missing time, and the front four not getting a lick of pressure on the opposing quarterbacks, and “Bullet” Bob Babich doing God knows what with the play-calling, there’s a reason why they’re ranked 29th against the pass.

Friday’s Injury Report: The Bears released their injury report on Friday and it definitely looks promising. Three players — Hunter Hillenmeyer, Brandon Lloyd, and Danieal Manning — are listed as questionable after three straight days of limited participation. The only other four on the report — Marty Booker, Charles Tillman, Nathan Vasher, and Tommie Harris — all had full participation on Friday and are listed as probable.