From a bird’s eye view a 3-1 record and a seat atop the NFC hardly seems like a desperate situation. But take a closer look and examine things at eye level and the Bears know they’ve entered dire circumstances. In truth, the Bears’ front office has been in desperation mode since the end of last season as they seemingly are down to their last chance to turn around the franchise.
On Tuesday, the Bears parted ways with defensive end Mark Anderson and have replaced him with veteran Charles Grant. Anderson, who recorded 12 sacks in his rookie season in 2006, has failed to produce since then and was deemed expendable by the team.
Grant was a 2002 first round draft pick by the New Orleans Saints and has had a fairly successful career. He’s recorded 47 sacks in 8 seasons although more than half of those (27.5) came in his first three seasons. Still, he recorded 5.5 during last season’s Super Bowl run and was viewed as an upgrade over Anderson.
The Bears recognize the need to take pressure off Julius Peppers who has been double- and even triple-teamed throughout the first month of the season. They’re clearly desperate to upgrade the pass rush as they’re fifth-worst in the league with just four sacks through four weeks.
Desperation is not necessarily a bad thing. It can sometimes provide extra focus and motivation. Just ask the Giants, who were desperate to turn around their season after starting the campaign 1-2 and struggling to execute. Or a better idea might be to ask Jay Cutler what a desperate team is capable of, if he can remember anything from the game Sunday night.
If the Bears were willing to cut Anderson, I’m sure they’ve also been looking around the country for available offensive linemen to help upgrade what should be considered one of, if not the worst offensive line in football.