Seven Thoughts for Seven Games (Thought 7)

| October 25th, 2016


Thought 7. On Offensive Optimism

I started making a chart a few weeks ago. The chart has three columns.

  • Column 1 – each position on the roster.
  • Column 2 – players who could be part of the team’s plans in 2017.
  • Column 3 – players who will be part of the team’s plans in 2017.

(I’ll be sharing this chart over the second half of the season.)

Why did I start doing this? Because I thought it would be important to track the development of younger players and monitor just how many holes the Bears will still need to fill come the end of the calendar year. For instance, a player moving from column 2 to column 3 would show growth; moving in the opposite direction would mean things are going in the wrong direction.

Think about the 2017 Bears on offense.

They have good tailbacks. Jordan Howard is big and physical. Jeremy Langford is shifty and versatile. Ka’Deem Carey is looking like a solid change-of-pace option for either player.

If they re-sign Alshon Jeffery, which they must, their receiving corps will be affordably four-deep. Jeffery, Cam Meredith, Kevin White and Eddie Royal present enough challenges to an opposing defensive coordinator to keep the chains moving most every week. Meredith’s emergence will take pressure of White. (Marquess Wilson will forever be on the horizon and I actually believe Josh Bellamy can play.)

Read More …

Tagged: , ,


Seven Thoughts for Seven Games (Thoughts 5-6)

| October 24th, 2016


Thought 5. On the Coaching Staff

A point on each of the three major coaches on this staff.

  • Agree wholeheartedly with Adam Jahns’ belief that it is impossible to come to a conclusion on John Fox due to the number of injuries this roster has sustained. Has he been good in-game? I laid out my rationale from moving on from Fox just a week ago. But there won’t be serious pressure on Fox until he’s playing with a somewhat-full roster or possibly until September, 2017.
  • Dowell Loggains found his rhythm as a play caller after the Dallas game but much of that has to do with improvement along the offensive line allowing the run game to thrive. Loggains had his starting QB for six quarters against two solid defenses and then made Brian Hoyer look like the second coming of Chad Pennington. I mean, Loggains himself can’t throw the ball to Alshon Jeffery when he’s wide open in the end zone.

Read More …

Tagged: , ,


Seven Thoughts for Seven Games (Thoughts 3-4)

| October 23rd, 2016


Thought 3. On the Run Defense

The Colts ran it for 98 yards. The Jaguars ran it for 54 yards. The Packers had one 30-yard run and otherwise quit on that element of the game altogether.  Even without their best run stuffer on the line (Eddie Goldman) out the Bears are building a run defense that is going to be formidable moving forward.

Why is this important? Because teams only have so many resources.

If the 2017 Bears are able to defend the run stoutly it will keeps downs and distances manageable on that side of the ball. And this will allow them to do in Chicago what Fangio did in San Francisco: save money at the cornerback spot. You saw how consistent and precise Aaron Rodgers had to be to move the ball against the Bears secondary and that secondary was LeBlanc, Bausby and Glenn. That’s what happens when an offense is faced with third-and-eight as opposed to third-and-two. Put three professional corners on the field and a few of those drives are ending far earlier.

Read More …

Tagged: , ,


Seven Thoughts for Seven Games (Thoughts 1-2)

| October 22nd, 2016


Thought 1. On the Cutler Injury

It shouldn’t surprise anyone that much of the analysis done on the Bears this season has failed to mention they have been without their starting quarterback for five and a half of the seven contests. Jay has always been undervalued in Chicago, especially by those covering the team and Brian Hoyer’s ability to move the football (without, you know, scoring any points) seemed to convince many reporters that his filling in as signal caller was essentially a push at the position. It’s not.

You ever see Monty Python & the Holy Grail? You know the iconic sequence where King Arthur fights The Black Knight? (Look you stupid bastard, you’ve got no arms left! / Yes I have!) Well that Knight, at that moment in the film, could throw a better deep ball than Brian Hoyer.

Read More …

Tagged: , , ,


Who the Hell is Bausby? (Bears/Packers Rapid Fire)

| October 21st, 2016


I mean, really, what’s the point?

When Matt Barkley enters a game for your team, one of two things is happening. Either (a) your team has a 65-point lead or (b) your team has no other choice. For the Bears, it’s the latter. And the Bears will be non-competitive in every game he plays moving forward.

  • Barkley spoiled what looked to be a heroic performance from Vic Fangio and the Bears defense. With Bausby and LeBlanc in at a corner, the Bears defense dominated the game for much of three quarters until, you know, Barkley. When you see the defense play this well you can understand why many, myself included, thought this was going to be a top ten unit coming into the season.
  • If you were looking for a breakout game from Leonard Floyd, you got it. Two sacks, a forced fumble and a touchdown was exactly the kind of head-turning performance Floyd needed. Nice to see the defensive coaching staff turn him loose on an opposing QB as opposed to having him run ten yards downfield with tight ends.
  • I have never seen a team deal with injuries like this. It’s reached comical levels and from the sound of it, Kyle Long isn’t going to be playing football any time soon.

I have nothing else to say.

Tagged: , ,


Across The Middle – Week Seven

| October 19th, 2016


We entered this season believing in John Fox for one reason above all else: Thanksgiving 2015. He needs a repeat performance to restore the faith.

As mediocre as the Packers have been this season, the Bears roster should not be able to compete in this game. They’ll likely be down their top four cornerbacks and three of their top four pass rushers. Oh, and Brian Hoyer is going to be the quarterback. The same argument was made about the Thanksgiving night game last year, but the Bears won because they played their butts off and John Fox was a large part of the reason why.

Fox has never been and is never going to be a good in-game coach. His teams are never going to be known for their discipline and his philosophies will always be simple. But Fox has survived because his players fight for him and give him everything they have. Fox needs to show he can still get that out of them this week.

I don’t know if winning the game is realistic. The Packers are ticked off and the “what’s wrong with Aaron Rodgers” questions are guaranteed to bring out his best. As important as wins and losses are, this Bears season should have never been defined that way.

Read More …

Tagged: , , , , , ,


Removing John Fox for Vic Fangio Before the Bye Won’t Happen, But it Should

| October 17th, 2016


This has never been a hot take blog. It has never been an overly praising or overly doomsday one either. I’ve always believed much of sports lives in a gray area, a world of nuance, a world of maybe. I’ve never denied being a passionate fan of the Chicago Bears and it’s that subjective approach I hope makes this a fun place to be. But I’ve tried to address the club objectively.

Through six games, objectively speaking, John Fox has been a disgrace.

Excluding the Dallas game, wherein the Bears were thoroughly outplayed by a far better team, the Bears have outscored their other five opponents in the first half 51-35. After halftime, where presumably adjustments are made to the game plan, the Bears have been outscored 74-33.



That is a 57 point difference. And that, folks, is a disgrace.

These are not random numbers. These are not flukey statistics. The Bears are lining up with their opponents and displaying they are every bit as good and capable of winning through two quarters. Then the teams go into a room. Talk a bit. Return the field. And the Bears get embarrassed.

Read More …

Tagged: , ,


Terrible. Bears Lose to Jags.

| October 17th, 2016


This will be the last time this site addresses Sunday’s game. Because it doesn’t deserve much more than that.

  • Cameron Meredith is going to be a real player. It’s obvious. And the Bears, when they re-sign Alshon Jeffery, are going to have an exciting receiving corps in 2017.
  • Hoyer. Jesus. Two major problems with his performance. (1) How do you not at least throw the ball somewhere Alshon can catch it when he’s wide open in the end zone? Anywhere but ten yards over his head and out of bounds? (2) When you have a pocket big enough to fit a dining room set, why not look down the field? Hoyer is backup. And, honestly, a pretty good one. But he’s nothing more.
  • And Hoyer has now loss to two of the worst teams in the league’s in subsequent weeks. 300 yard games are by-and-large useless.
  • Jacoby Glenn can’t play.
  • Willie Young has started playing how the Bears need him to play. But they are getting so little pass rush from their defensive line or opposite Young that their attack has become feast or famine. Basically Willie Young or bust.

Read More …

Tagged: , , ,

© Da' Bears Blog