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Bears back to drawing board on complementing Peppers

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Dan Parr

dparr@pfwmedia.com
Associate editor

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Posted Dec. 23, 2011 @ 3:13 p.m. ET
By Dan Parr

With Rod Marinelli tapping into the considerable potential of Henry Melton and Amobi Okoye, the Bears have enjoyed solid production vs. the pass from their two three-techniques this season. The team will be resuming its search for an edge rusher to complement Julius Peppers after the season, though. Melton (seven sacks) and Okoye (four sacks) have provided a push from the interior, although not very consistently. Those two players and Peppers, who has a team-high 10 sacks, have combined to produce 70 percent of the Bears' sacks this season. Starting DE Israel Idonije, who is due to become an unrestricted free agent this offseason, has four sacks and 2010 fourth-round pick DE Corey Wootton has no sacks in the six games in which he has played this season. Wootton has been a disappointment — there are doubts about his ability and durability — and the only other D-end signed beyond this season is journeyman Chauncey Davis. He's a decent base 4-3 end, but nothing more.

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