Bears’ Affairs: Who Should Win the Free Safety Duel, Major Wright or Danieal Manning?
With a seemingly beefed up squad entering 2010, the Chicago Bears are soon to reveal the athletes who earned their starting spot among a team representing Lovie Smith and Jerry Angelo’s crucial year.
Major Wright, a free safety product from Florida University, has been highly touted in regards to none only but the duo of Smith and Angelo. Fan favorite Mike Brown has even been in comparisons between the two ballhawks, immediately drawing attention from all Chicago faithful.
The rookie is set to battle it out with five-year veteran Danieal Manning in Bourbonnais.
Manning, the soon to be 28-year-old, is a one-in-a-dozen type of athlete, possessing speed, agility, and fearlessness. However, Danieal isn’t as physical as some Bears enthusiasts tend to admire.
Gathering only one interception last year and rallying in 92 total tackles, some fans refuse to accept the Manning and safety position bond. Instead, those few believe the kick returner spot would be a better fit for the Abilene Christian graduate.
Wright, however, has been a proven defender in college, ranking high among the 2010 prospects in terms of coverage and tackling.
Should Coach Smith award Manning another season to gain ground as a defender, or use his gifted talents to his advantage?
Well, the simple answer is no. Johnny Knox and Devin Hester are too valuable to the youthful Bears offense. Danieal has proven himself as an elite kick returner, averaging 27.8 yards-per-kick return. While Knox and Hester are still former Pro Bowl return specialists, Manning strides with no fear whatsoever and would fit the Chicago return blocking much better.
With Major quickly maturing as a teammate and player, starting the Miramar native for Chicago’s opening game would not only strengthen the team as a whole, but add much needed ballhawking and hitting assistance to a pass-stopping starved secondary.