CHICAGO - DECEMBER 30: Alex Brown #96 of the Chicago Bears smiles on the field against the New Orleans Saints at Soldier Field on December 30, 2007 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bears won 33-25. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
They say you can't go home again, but with former Bear Alex Brown, could it be possible? The defensive end was released from the New Orleans Saints just as the Bears are struggling with depth on the defensive line. Would Jerry Angelo make such a move?
Brown was a key member of the 2006 team that went to the Super Bowl, but found himself in New Orleans after the Bears had to make room for Julius Peppers. After averaging around six sacks and 45 tackles for the Bears for eight seasons, he had just two sacks with New Orleans. That says more about the talent in New Orleans than it does about Brown's abilities, as their sacks were spread out among several players.
Bringing back Brown could be a popular move. He was well-liked for his friendly attitude with fans and for consistently, if not spectacularly, producing on the field. His family continues to live in the northern suburbs, and when Brown tweeted news of the release, different Chicago media outlets jokingly jockeyed for Brown's service. (For the record, Alex, if you decide the analyst's booth is your place, it's really fun to work for NBC!)
It makes football sense, too, if Brown is comfortable in the back-up role. Right now, the Bears official depth chart lists Vernon Gholston and Corey Wootton as the second string players at defensive end. Gholston was cut yesterday, and Wootton is recovering from surgery. Add in the fact that Brown is a respected leader who would be welcome back by his teammates, and that he already knows the Bears defensive schemes quite well. Signing him is a no-brainer.
Which is exactly why Bears fans shouldn't get their hopes up. Angelo tends to have his own course that he wants the Bears to follow, and it usually causes a bit of confusion among Bears fans and media. We may see Brown as a perfect fit. That doesn't mean Jerry does.