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Across The Middle: Will the Real Dowell Loggains Please Stand Up?

| November 21st, 2017

Outside of maybe John Fox, the hottest seat in the city of Chicago belongs to that of offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains. But in reality, do we even know if he’s bad?

Whether he intended to or not, Mitch Trubisky dropped a bombshell after Sunday’s game, saying he knows Loggains trusts him, but that Fox limits what they’re allowed to do. That’s Fox’s job and I can hardly blame him. The Bears had Tanner Gentry and Tre McBride lined out wide with a rookie quarterback two games ago. The results were completing less than 50% of their passes and an insanely high sack rate.

But that doesn’t change the fact that we still don’t really know what the offensive coordinator can do.

Some reflections:

  • Two of Loggains former quarterbacks — Matt Hasselbeck and Jay Cutler — insist he’s a bright coach.
  • Cutler went as far as to say that he thinks Loggains is going to be a head coach one day.
  • Hasselbeck has appeared on the Waddle & Silvy Show several times and has been adamant that what you see on Sunday isn’t a reflection of the coordinator.
  • Mike Munchak vouched for Loggains, having employed him as his offensive coordinator once and selling him as the guy who was going to run his show should he get another head job.

That said, he’s never had an offense finish better than 19th in scoring or 15th in yardage. Last year, the Bears were 28th in points scored and they sit 27th so far this year. But, how much can we blame him for that?

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Bisky Sour: Six Thoughts on Falling to 3-7

| November 20th, 2017


(1) Mitch Trubisky is starting to show signs that he’s going to be a very good quarterback in this league for a long time. Improving weekly. Learning from mistakes. Scrambling in key spots. Throwing receivers open. Leading. But I thought his comment post-game was so telling.

How many quarterbacks have to say something like “what coach Fox is allowing us to do on offense”? Get the feeling Trubisky won’t be heartbroken when Fox is let go.


(2) Connor Barth is terrible. He’s not shaky or inconsistent. He is legitimately the worst kicker in the league. And for a team with such a small margin for error to employ him is inexcusable. If he’s on the roster Tuesday, fans should boycott the team next weekend. Read More …

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316 Comments

Data Responds: Lions at Bears

| November 19th, 2017

Chicago’s offense had their best game of the year, but their defense played possibly their worst game of the year. All in all, that evened out, but the Bears ended up falling to 3-7 because their kicker is terrible.

Offense

  • Now that’s more like it. The offense was finally run like an NFL offense, mixing things up and keeping the defense off its feet, and unsurprisingly it led to good things happening. Chicago stayed run-heavy in the game, but mixed up how they were running instead of making it so predictable, and thus the run game really took off. As a result, the offense scored more than 17 points in regulation for the 1st time all year.
  • This also helped the passing game open up a bit as well, since the Bears didn’t routinely end up in 3rd and long. This was a nice change from how their offense has functioned most of the year.
  • Another nice wrinkle we saw on offense was a number of read-option looks for quarterback Mitchell Trubisky. He kept it several times (though there was at least one more where he should have) and made Detroit’s defense pay for crashing down on the running backs.
  • After ignoring Tarik Cohen on offense for several weeks, the Bears made a point of getting him involved early and often. He had 8 carries and 3 pass targets in the 1st half alone after getting 8 total touches in the previous 3 games.
  • Another nice wrinkle was lining Jordan Howard up as a fullback, with Tarik Cohen at tailback. This set Howard up with a few nice runs as he could spring through the line quickly and the linebackers had to worry about Cohen.

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Da Saturday Scout: Dorance Armstrong, Pass Rusher, Kansas

| November 18th, 2017

Player: Dorance Armstrong, Edge/DE, Kansas

Game: Home vs. Oklahoma (#3), 2:30 PM CT


Video Highlights

Quick video because, hell, he plays for Kansas.


What They’re Saying

Luke Easterling at USA Today:

Not much has gone well for the Jayhawks on the gridiron in recent years, but every now and then, they produce a legit NFL prospect destined for the early rounds. Armstrong is this year’s installment, and despite a dip in production so far this year from his impressive 2017 numbers (20 tackles for loss, 13.5 sacks), the 6-4, 246-pounder has flashed the kind of versatility and explosiveness NFL scouts will love.

From KU Sports blog:

Bleacher Report’s draft analyst Matt Miller loves what he’s seen on tape of Armstrong. He called KU’s star defensive end, “one of my favorite athletes in the entire class. The dude is long-armed, extremely quick and has the moves to beat tackles off the edge…In his preseason Top 25 Big Board of draft-eligible players, Miller ranks Armstrong 18th overall — the fourth-highest defensive end.

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DaBearsPod Week 11 Featuring Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free-Press [AUDIO]

| November 17th, 2017

On this episode of DaBearsPod:

  • Jeff discusses the unrest at Halas Hall following the Bears loss to the Packers (based on actual source information) and lays out the stakes for John Fox Sunday against Detroit.
  • Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free-Press picks up his daughter and explains why the Lions haven’t been able to run the ball since Barry Sanders retired. He also weighs in on two potential head coaching candidates currently on Lions staff: Jim Bob Cooter and Teryl Austin.
  • Reverend Dave has a friend who shot a guy.
  • Fox-related tunes! (Both good too.)

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205 Comments

Week 11: Lions at Bears Game Preview

| November 16th, 2017

He’s not quite a lion. But he is Bear the Cat. And on this album cover he represents how I feel about this Bears team right now.


Why Do I Like the Chicago Bears This Week?

I always like the Chicago Bears. And they can’t play as badly as last week, right?


An Original Limerick

I once bet a horse called Fox

Who slowly came out of the blocks

He’d pick up some speed

And get near the lead

But leave me with only my socks


Three Reasons The Bears Win

This section is now an exercise in futility since the Bears have shown little interest in studying their opponents and attacking their weaknesses.

  • Detroit Can’t Run the Ball. Only Miami, Arizona and Cincinnati get less on the ground weekly and those are three terrible offensive teams. The Bears defense looked bad a week ago but the primary reason is they were pushed around at the point of attack by Green Bay and delivered their worst performance against the run all season. Shouldn’t be an issue this week.
  • The Trubisky Development Train Keeps a’ Rollin. While the film of the 2017 season was taken over by director Lars von Trier Sunday, the future was not so bleak. Mitch Trubisky had his most prolific day throwing the football and Detroit’s secondary can be beaten through the air. (The Lions were the first secondary to make DeShone Kizer look like a professional quarterback.) Seeing Adam Shaheen and Dontrelle Inman develop a rapport with the young signal-caller, even with limited opportunities, should lead to some productive performances down the stretch and those performances should start Sunday at home.

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Across The Middle: The Argument for Firing Fox

| November 15th, 2017

Forget clock management. Forget the stupid challenges. Most of all, forget the play calling. John Fox gave fans — and team management — the only ammunition they’ll ever need to fire him last Sunday. In a big game they had plenty of time to prepare for, his team was sloppy. That doesn’t happen to a good coach.

With the loss, the Bears dropped to 0-3 after their bye week under Fox with a point differential of -36. In two out of the three, the Bears went into the bye week with momentum and hopes of turning the season into something but fell flat on their faces.

Of course, Denver fans know the pain all to well. They saw Fox’s team get embarrassed after a week off before the Super Bowl in 2013. They also saw his teams get beat after first-round byes in 2012 and 2014, his last game with the team. In all, Fox is 5-6 after byes since 2011 and they’ve been outscored by 28 points.

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The 2017 Bears’ Greatest Sin: They Are a Bore

| November 14th, 2017

Sometimes fans and football media (bloggers too, for that matter) get so wrapped up in the particulars of NFL action they lose touch with the bigger picture. Snap counts. A-gaps. Running into run looks. Drama between GM and coach. It’s all the stuff that allows us to fill space – whether that’s a newspaper column or blog post or Twitter feed. And with only 60 minutes of game action a week, it’s not that easy to six days of space. Hell, there’s a reason the Chicago Tribune has about nine people covering the Bears.

But this whole sports thing is supposed to be entertaining. This is supposed to be something we do for enjoyment. Yes, for the media it’s a job but these guys aren’t covering Afghanistan or sex abuse scandals or gun violence in Chicago. This is all supposed to be fun. And the 2017 Chicago Bears are not entertaining. They are not enjoyable. They are not fun.

They are a massive fucking bore. And that alone should be enough to get people fired.


Image result for boring gif


The empty seats at Soldier Field Sunday – against the team’s oldest rival, with actual things on the line – were just the beginning. The Lions are coming to town in the thick of a playoff hunt with a fan base that loves traveling south to Chicago and annoying the shit out of me in Rossi’s. What is that building on the lakefront going to sound like when half the seats are silver and blue?

The Bears have the awful Niners at Soldier Field in December. Who is going to that game?

They have the worst organization in the history of pro sports, the Cleveland Browns, coming to Soldier Field on Christmas Eve!! Who is going to THAT game? Oh that’s right, I am! You’ll see me on television. I’ll be the guy in the stands.

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Packers Loss Should Effectively End the John Fox Era in Chicago

| November 13th, 2017

If Sunday’s horrendous performance against an undermanned Green Bay Packers, at home, in an empty stadium, didn’t seal John Fox’s fate with the Chicago Bears…what could? That is the question every single Bears fan can fairly ask this Monday morning. Because what happened at Soldier Field yesterday was inexcusable. The Bears, coming off the bye week, were out-coached and outplayed in all three phases of the game. And they were beaten by Brett Hundley.

The reasons to fire Fox all surfaced yesterday.

  • The Bears learned nothing from supposed bye week self-evaluation and ran into loaded boxes time and time again. (Oddly, when they didn’t, they hit for big plays. Who would have thought?) Even the color commentators don’t hide their disdain for the Bears offensive plan each week.
  • The Bears have no idea what to do with their talent, which has to infuriate GM Ryan Pace. This CAN’T be what he envisioned for Tarik Cohen. Two offensive touches? Two?!?!
  • Penalties, penalties, penalties. And not just flow of the game penalties. You can excuse a pass interference here or holding there. But the Bears commit pre-snap penalties that just don’t happen with good, well-coached teams.
  • Mismanagement. Why on earth would John Fox challenge the Benny Cunningham dive? Seriously. Why? Anybody who follows the league knew what had happened because it’s been happening in high profile games all season long. Hell, I was sitting in a bar and didn’t even need replay to proclaim it was a touchback. (I was actually yelling for Bears to hurry up and snap the next play.) Fox’s face after the ruling told the story: he had no clue that outcome was possible.
  • Scheme. The Bears are never smarter than the other guys. You never watch the Bears play, on either side of the ball, and think, “Wow, they are well-coached.” There is no excuse for a defense as talented as the Bears to perform how they performed yesterday. Detroit made Brett Hundley look unprofessional. Chicago made Brett Hundley look like Brett Favre.

There were positives in this game. Mitch Trubisky. Dontrelle Inman. Adam Shaheen made a big play. Connor Barth looked like a pro kicker. But the Bears aren’t in the business of moral victories any longer. John Fox and this coaching staff need to show their program and approach will yield results. And yesterday was a game they HAD to win. That’s not hyperbolic. That’s a fact.

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