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Bears switching gears on the corners

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Dan Arkush

darkush@pfwmedia.com
Executive editor

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Posted June 11, 2010 @ 4:22 p.m. ET
By Dan Arkush

One the Bears' more noteworthy defensive developments so far this offseason has been the position switches involving starting CBs Zack Bowman and Charles Tillman, with Bowman switching to the left side — the position where the Bears have normally gone with their top cornerback — and Tillman lining up on the right side. "I wouldn't necessarily call it a permanent move, but you could see the reasoning," said one daily team observer. "With Bowman making almost half of the team's interceptions last season (six of 13), it would appear he might have become a better ball athlete (than Tillman). But Tillman is more physical than Bowman and perhaps could offer a lot more run support on the right side."

The consensus on Tillman, who had been considered the team's best pass defender for some time now, is that his health is far more important than whatever position he plays. In that regard, Tillman told our sources at the Bears' most recent minicamp that he is fully recovered from the four broken ribs and a punctured lung suffered late last season, which didn't fully heal until late March.

As far as the depth behind Bowman and Tillman is concerned, we hear Tim Jennings, a free-agent acquisition from the Colts, has been impressive for the most part and would appear to have the edge at present as the nickel cornerback over Corey Graham, who "has looked good at times and not so good at other times," according to the observer. We also hear 2009 fourth-round pick D.J. Moore is probably no better than the fifth corner right now and could be hard-pressed to make the final roster unless he significantly steps up his game in the coming weeks.

 

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