Saturday, April 24, 2010
Bears add Moore to cornerback mix
By Jeff Dickerson
Joshua Moore ranked second in tackles (64) at Kansas State last season.
LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Safety wasn't the only need for the Chicago Bears in the secondary. Despite signing Tim Jennings in free agency, Lovie Smith needed another cornerback with a little size to potentially provide depth behind Charles Tillman, Zack Bowman, Corey Graham and perhaps Woodny Turenne. The Bears took cornerback D.J. Moore in the fourth round last year, but like Jennings, he probably only projects as a nickelback because of height concerns.
On the other hand, fifth-round pick Joshua Moore, not a giant but decently sized at 5 foot 11, might have a better chance matching up against taller receivers, even though he needs to greatly improve his upper body strength.
"[Moore] has excellent cover sense, has good zone instincts," Bears secondary coach Jon Hoke said. "He has very good man instincts, route feel. For the guys we have, he's probably a little farther ahead in man skills."
Unlike third-round pick Major Wright, there is no immediate need for Moore to start. However, Tillman has been ravaged by injuries over the years, so it's unclear how many more quality seasons he has left in the league. Bowman, if healthy, looks to be a fixture for years to come, while Graham's standing with the team seems to fluctuate on a weekly basis.
Once considered a tad on the slow side, Graham has impressed during voluntary offseason workouts, running with the first team because Tillman has been a no-show. Finally, Turenne turned some heads last summer, and is held in high regard by other members of the secondary.
There is talent behind the starters, but not enough for the Bears to ignore drafting another cornerback.