July 30, 2007

Position Preview: QB

This year the Bears will sport their deepest and most talented quarterback corps in recent history. While there are 5 quality players at the position, two players definitely stand out from the pack and will vie for the starting job this year.

Contenders

Michael Machen

Called the "Old Man", Machen brings size and a cannon arm to the field, as well as a maturity that the other quarterbacks don't have. After a stint in the minors, Machen spent time at Alabama, a JUCO and then Kent State. He's been successful in quickly learning new schemes and being productive in them, though the Baylor job will be by far his toughest test. Not only will he be called upon to lead a pass-heavy (to say the least) offense that depends on the quarterback to make quick decisions and accurate throws, but the step up in competition from his last two stops is more than substantial. Machen has shown the coaches that he can stay cool under fire, which will help him in this offense.

On the downside, Machen is a bit more Drew Bledsoe than Tony Romo, if you catch my drift. Machen is not going to beat anyone in a foot race and will depend much more heavily on the protection being there from the offensive line than the others challenging for the job. While expectations are for the line to improve, there is a big question mark at right tackle and Baylor starts the year against a very aggressive, attacking defense in TCU. If Machen wins the job, it will be important to have the offensive line ready to play if we hope to give him time to use his talents effectively.

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