Imrem: Bears get it right with Goldman pick

  • New Bears nose tackle Eddie Goldman

    New Bears nose tackle Eddie Goldman Associated Press

 
 
Updated 5/3/2015 8:29 PM

Only two positions matter in any Bears draft: quarterback and fat guy.

Over the weekend they flunked the former and aced the latter.

 

Ryan Pace cited all sorts of reasons for not drafting a quarterback, and he gets a pass, so to speak, as a rookie general manager.

A bigger, so to speak again, issue was to find a fat guy to plug the middle of the defensive line against the run.

Say hello to Eddie Goldman.

The 336-pounder from Florida State ends a regrettable period in Bears history in which they trended toward someone more like me being their next nose tackle.

(For the record, I'm approaching 150 pounds for the first time in my life, with an estimated 78.6 of the weight in my belly and the rest distributed among my 10 toes.)

To be fair, Goldman might not be a svelte fat guy and, no, I wouldn't call him that to his face regardless. His body fat might be less than the average homecoming queen's but, still, even 1 percent of 336 is a formidable number.

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If the Bears are lucky, Goldman still is growing and will be 350 pounds when the season opens and 400 by the time he reaches his NFL prime.

By the way, it should be noted that football is the only place in America where calling a person a fat guy is meant as a compliment.

For the fun of it, the Bears added 6-feet-6, 353-pound offensive tackle Tayo Fabuluje in the sixth round, though he says he has lost weight and indications are he will be expected to lose some more.

Back to Goldman: At the podium for the Bears' second-round pick, Bears legend Dick Butkus both announced and endorsed him.

That should be good enough for anyone. The Bears should value Butkus' opinion even if he predicts that the jockey who won the Kentucky Derby would be their next great middle linebacker.

As for Goldman, Butkus likely liked the idea of taking him because the Bears have had their best success with fat guys in the middle of the defensive line.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Consider the Bears' previous two championship seasons: 1963, Fat Freddy Williams, defensive tackle; 1985, Refrigerator Perry, defensive tackle. Fat Freddy and the Fridge were good size for their eras, though at their rookie weights they would be small by today's standards.

Starting with head coach Lovie Smith in 2004, the Bears preferred defensive linemen who looked more like high hurdlers than run stuffers. It was like the Bears were prepping for beauty contests, fashion shows and prom nights more than for the Packers, Vikings and Lions.

If a defensive tackle weighed much more than 300 pounds, he belonged at Seattle Sutton. Last year under Smith's successor, Marc Trestman, the Bears' biggest at the position was Ego Ferguson at 315 pounds.

The most recent considerably larger-than-life, middle-of-the-defense players were Ted Washington and Keith Traylor, a combined 700 pounds. Or two tons, depending on how big a side of beef they had for breakfast.

Emblazoned on my psyche is the game when the Vikings had the ball near the Bears' goal line and called a running play. Two blockers ganged up on Washington and couldn't move his 365 pounds an inch.

That's Bears football, and hopefully for their fans Goldman will be a throwback to those days.

"He's a big, wide body, very strong, has great leverage," said new Bears head coach John Fox. "He's tough to knock out of there."

Maybe now all the Bears need is a fat guy quarterback.

mimrem@dailyherald.com

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