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Weekend Show With Adam Jahns [AUDIO]

| August 23rd, 2017

On this episode of the Weekend Show, Adam Jahns tells us a whole bunch of stuff, including:

  • How he views the situation with Glennon and Trubisky.
  • What the locker room is seeing on the practice field (hint: it’s not good news for Glennon).
  • Eddie Jackson may have been the best member of the Bears’ secondary this summer.
  • McPhee ain’t McHealthy.
  • Trevathan back.
  • Long not so much.
  • Lots and lots and lots on the whole Glennon playing thing…

And music from Mike and the Suspects!

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Dowell Loggains Needs To Be Creative with Bears Backfield Duo

| August 23rd, 2017

Tarik Cohen takes a handoff, runs right and immediately sees three defenders in his path. Instead of going down easily and waiting for his next opportunity, Cohen manages to freeze all three, and sprint by for a nine-yard gain.

Nobody can really explain how Cohen managed that run in the first quarter against Arizona. It doesn’t make sense. He should’ve been stopped for a loss. And that wasn’t the first time he’s had an improbable run this preseason. He’s already made a habit of it, just as he did in college and it’s becoming very clear that the Bears have a special player to complement their already special back, Jordan Howard.

But how they’ll manage to get the most out of both remains to be seen.

Howard didn’t play against the Cardinals and Cohen only got one carry in the first two drives before Howard exited the Bears preseason game against Denver. If the Bears are going to maximize their offensive potential this season, they’ll need to be able to use both players together.

It’s not as easy as you might think.

The player Cohen is most often compared to is Darren Sproles, who didn’t have more than 200 yards from scrimmage until his third season. Sproles entered the league with Marty Schottenheimer as his coach but one of the greatest play callers of all time, Norv Turner, took over in 2007. In their first season together, Sproles — used primarily as a return man — managed just 195 yards from scrimmage.

As great as he was, Turner never did figure out a way to get his two special backs involved simultaneously. It wasn’t until 2008 when LaDainian Tomlinson started slowing down that Turner started to use Sproles more. That season he had 672 yards from scrimmage and six touchdown. The next year, he nearly equaled Tomlinson’s production, but LT was 30 and on his way out.

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Two Tweets, or Is There Hope?

| August 22nd, 2017

The question was asked and the question was answered.

The follow-up was asked and the follow-up was answered.

The Chicago Bears have a chance to do the right thing for the 2017 season. They have a chance to admit their mistake – acknowledge giving Glennon 18 million anything was insane – and take an important first step towards the future of this franchise. They can do it Sunday in Tennessee.

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Non-Glennon Reflections on the Second Preseason Game

| August 21st, 2017

There will be little mention of Mike Glennon and Mitch Trubisky in this post beyond this: everybody is now seeing what I’ve been telling them to see for six months. Mike Glennon isn’t any good. It doesn’t require stats. It doesn’t require nuance. It doesn’t require Bill Belichick’s football acumen. If you open your eyes and watch him play quarterback you become deftly aware of his limitations. They are many. He’s just not any good.

On the rest of the game…

  • Tarik Cohen is brilliant and it’s very clear the Bears are going to be using him in a larger role than just third-down back / kick returner. I’d still be concerned about someone his size taking too much contact over a sixteen game schedule but ten carries a game is now in play.
  • Who gets cut first: Roberto Aguayo or Daniel Braverman? Both are exceedingly useless.
  • Listen, preseason lovers. If these games are as important as you tell me then Roy Robertson-Harris is going to make the final 53. No player was more impressive in Arizona.
  • Why is everybody so concerned about Kevin White’s preseason performance? (1) He’s playing with Mike Glennon. He has no shot to be successful. (2) Bears don’t care what he does in these August games. They need him healthy in September.
  • Bears are going to be cutting a decent tight end. Both Brown and Braunecker are not bad players but how are they cracking through Sims/Miller/Shaheen?
  • Bears seem unclear about their kick returner. Cunningham was on kickoffs, Deonte Thompson scored off a missed field goal, Tarik Cohen and Eddie Jackson have both seen action on punt returns. Not sure what it all means.

That’s it.

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Bears Decision To Bury Trubisky Last Night is Inane, Irresponsible & Indefensible

| August 20th, 2017

There was no giddy-up in this 2017 Chicago Bears season. There was no reason to believe this year’s model would be a significant improvement over 2016’s clanky, too-often-in-the-shop lemon. Then, in the first preseason game, a normally useless affair, the sun rose over a dark night sky. The narrative changed in an instant. There it was. There was the future. And that future was – dare we believe what are our eyes doth see – bright.

Last night the organization that drafted Mitch Trubisky went out of their way to shield their fans from that big, beautiful sun. Darkness returned. Mitch Trubisky didn’t get time with the first-string offense. Mitch Trubisky didn’t get time with the second-string offense. Mitch Trubisky was buried on the depth chart – behind two quarterbacks he’s infinitely better than – in a decision that was equal parts inane, irresponsible and indefensible.

INANE

Dear Ryan Pace,

Mike Glennon.

How much more do you need to see?

He hasn’t been any good in the games he’s played in the NFL. He hasn’t been any good in camp practices for the Bears. He hasn’t been any good in the two preseason games he’s started. When do you expect he’s going to suddenly become good? Is it going to happen between now and the start of the season? That’s not much time, Ry.

You had to see what we all saw last night. A running game getting bulk yardage and an offensive line dominating the line of scrimmage. Only one thing was missing. A capable quarterback. And you made the boldest move of the NFL Draft to acquire one! What the hell are you waiting for?

I know, I know you gave Glennon a boatload of cash. That was silly. But you’re in the clear on that now. Trubisky has given you a mulligan. There won’t be a single newspaper column criticizing you for making this move. You know why? Because nobody wants to see Glennon play a single snap for this franchise.

Trust your eyes. Glennon is awful. Make the move.

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Second Preseason Game Day Thread

| August 19th, 2017

Three thoughts for tonight:

  • Jordan Howard isn’t playing. And Jordan Howard shouldn’t be touched by another defender until that defender is wearing the uniform of the Atlanta Falcons. Running backs only have so much wear and tear in their bodies. Howard’s style – tough, bruising, absorbing contact – will have less than most.
  • In the absence of Howard, will the Bears start Tarik Cohen? He was first off the bench a week ago. I think they’re making a mistake if they try to use this kid as an every down back. Kick returner. Third down, scat back. 3-5 carries as a change of pace.
  • This is truly a rough spot for Mike Glennon tonight. He will be under an immense amount of pressure and facing one of the feistiest secondaries in the sport. It just seems the stars are aligning for Mitch Trubisky to take this gig. (And in case I haven’t made it clear, that’s in the best interest of the Bears organization moving forward.)

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Saturday Night Should Be Glennon’s Last Chance

| August 17th, 2017

The preseason is meaningless.

Mostly.

There is one exception to this rule: when a team finds itself embroiled in a quarterback “controversy”. And the Bears, especially after the events of last week, now find themselves firmly in the midst of a battle at the most important position in all of sports.

From Rick Telander in the Chicago Sun-Times:

Now make Trubisky the starting quarterback.

Yes, he’s only 22 and started only 13 college games at North Carolina. And the NFL is mean and vicious and eats its young.

Again, so what? Life is hard and then you die. Maybe you’ve heard.

Trubisky ran a 4.67-second 40-yard dash at the NFL combine — the same as athletic Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson — and his feet never will be faster than they are now. His arm is a cannon.

This is not news around these parts. No one lurking in Media Meadow or strolling down Blog Boulevard has been as steadfast when it comes to what the Bears should do at quarterback, starting week one, starting against the defending conference champions. When the team boldly traded up and selected Mitch Trubisky in April, Trubisky immediately became the best quarterback on their roster. And there was nothing to debate.

Trubisky is a wow talent. Mike Glennon, the incumbent starter due to a hefty one-year paycheck and limited alternatives, is not. I’ve been prone to saying “Glennon stinks”. Maybe that’s my pithy way of saying, well, no, Glennon does in fact stink.

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Pace Wins Training Camp, Glennon is Glennon & Jaye Howard’s Poor Debut

| August 16th, 2017

Remember when people were calling for Ryan Pace to be fired?

Sure you do, it wasn’t that long ago.

He was stupid for taking a quarterback with just 13 collegiate starts, a D-II tight end, a safety with a rod in his leg and a tiny and a small running back from a small school. Guys like Matt Miller and Jason La Canfora quoted made-up sources saying Pace was SURELY going to be fired.

It’s early, of course, but two weeks into preseason, Pace is the unquestioned winner of Bears training camp.

Adam Hoge and Adam Jahns brought the topic up on their podcast last week. Who is the winner of training camp? Jahns named UDFA and 2017 Joe Anderson Boner Award winner Tanner Gentry. Hoge raved about rookies such as Adam Shaheen, Tarik Cohen, Eddie Jackson and, of course, Mitch Trubisky. Neither Hoge nor Jahns was wrong. Those guys all look legitimate. But one guy is responsible for all those individuals being in camp, in Bears uniforms. That’s Pace.

It’s funny how much a narrative can change once football players, you know, play football.

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Data Entry: Scouting Chicago’s 2016 Rush Offense & Defense

| August 15th, 2017

The Bears generally had a good rushing attack and bad rushing defense last year. Their offense was only 17th in rushing yards, but 6th in yards per attempt. On defense, they were 27th in rushing yards allowed and 21st in yards per carry allowed.

These basic stats are easy to look up, and I think most fans generally know Chicago’s run game was good (thank you Jordan Howard) while the run defense was bad. What’s more interesting to me is to look at why that happened for both. That is, what areas of the field did they do well running to/stopping the run in, and where did they struggle running/stopping the run?

Thankfully, that information is all available through the NFL Game Statistics & Information System (username and password are both “media” if you want to poke around), so I’ve compiled it into a few handy images that we can look at. This should be helpful heading into 2017, as much of the personnel in the run game (OL/RB) and run defense (front 7) is similar. I’ll re-visit this at the bye week to see how things have changed halfway through the season. At that time, I’ll also add in passing offense and defense, I didn’t bother with those now because the personnel for both has changed so drastically.

Rush Offense

Here’s the data for Chicago’s rushing attack in 2016. The line at the bottom is the line of scrimmage, runs are split into 7 zones, and attempts and yards per carry are listed for each zone, with ranks relative to the rest of the NFL in parentheses. The height of the bar is proportional to yards per carry, and bars are colored green for top 10, red for bottom 10, and yellow for middle 12. Note expected yards per carry varies by region, so the colors are relative to their peers in that region.

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Three Thoughts For Another Week of the Offseason

| August 14th, 2017

Mini-primer for the week ahead…

  • Ryan Pace praising competition at all positions is a drastic shift from “Mike Glennon is our starting quarterback and we’re pumped about that”. Remember, Pace put his neck (and arguably career) on the line when he moved into the two slot for Trubisky and NO ONE was more enthralled by the kid’s preseason debut. But again, Trubisky’s success isn’t the story to watch. Trubisky is going to have the same ups and downs any rookie has. Watch Glennon. If he continues to struggle – and he’s not good so that should be expected – the Bears will have no choice but to move quickly into the future.
  • Three different trustworthy individuals, all on the ground in Bourbonnais, told DBB there was no way to argue Eddie Jackson wasn’t one of the two best safeties in camp. This, coupled with reports of Jackson getting time with the ones in practice, leads one to believe EJ will soon find himself lining up beside Quintin Demps in the starting defensive backfield.
  • Bears waiver claim of Roberto Aguayo is just…odd. Most of Pace’s maneuvers, position-by-position, have been understandable. Even the Glennon signing made sense as long as there was a correlating move. But how he’s handled kicker is bizarre. Cutting an aging Gould for a mediocre Barth. Cutting Barth’s popular and accurate challenger early this summer, creating a completely competitionless position. Now signing one of the worst draft picks of modern times? Taking one of the most mentally fragile players the league has seen and putting him in front of one it’s most angry, impatient fan bases? Asking a guy who couldn’t make extra points in the perfect conditions of Tampa to now come kick in arguably the third most difficult kicking building in the league behind the Meandowlands and Heinz Field? Seriously, what’s the point?

Another week begins. (And these practices become far more important…because they are secret.)

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