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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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Bye, Glennon: One Thought on the First Preseason Game

| August 11th, 2017


There is no reason to overreact to the first preseason game. But forgive me while I overreact to the first preseason game.

It’s time.

Now.

Not tomorrow.

Not Week 8.

Now.

#PlayTheKid.

Mitch Trubisky is the most talented quarterback on the Bears roster and the future of the franchise. Last night’s performance – while excellent – didn’t just confirm that. It confirmed what this site has been writing and screaming and a month: Mike Glennon should not play a down for this franchise if it means delaying the future.

Make the move.

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The Wright Stuff: Veteran Receiver Could Have Big Impact

| August 9th, 2017

It was only one day at camp, but Kendall Wright was running circles around the Bears’ defensive backs.

Admittedly, this is not a great group of corners and safeties, but still one could see the talent that made Wright the 20th pick in the 2012 draft. And it shouldn’t be a surprise if the Bears use him a lot more than Tennessee did in recent seasons.

Part of the reason why Wright is with the Bears is because of his history with Dowell Loggains. Loggains was promoted to offensive coordinator in Tennessee late in the 2012 season. In his first game, Wright had 10 targets, then 9 the following week. The next season, the Titans made an active attempt to get Wright the ball and he racked up 140 targets, catching 94 for 1,079 yards.

(Mike Munchak’s staff — including Loggains — was fired after the 2013 season. Wright had 93 targets with Ken Whisenhunt in 2014, but that total dropped by 32 in 2015 and by 18 more in 2016.)

But there’s reason to believe Loggains will get him back on the right track.

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Bears Were Historically Injured in 2016

| August 7th, 2017

Woke up this morning with an email from Africa. That’s right, folks, THE Reverend Dave has made his first contribution to DBB in a monkey’s age. Dave, I have to assume, is the only person reading Peter King’s MMQB on The Dark Continent. Here’s what interested him in the lengthy camp column:

a. Chicago led the NFL last year with 155.1 Adjusted Games Lost. That’s a metric that accounts for injuries to starters and important situational players by counting not only games missed but also games where players were at less than 100 percent because of injury. Chicago had the highest total in FO’s entire injury database, dating back to 2000.

Two things I think about this:

  • The 2016 Bears simply weren’t as bad as many people think. They were historically injured.
  • When you understand that, and understand that the odds of them being historically injured again are not good, you should be able to understand my points about Trubisky. This is the ideal situation to bring a rookie QB into. Improved defense. Strong running game. Good TEs. WRs who will thrive in a short passing attack.

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Audibles From the Long Snapper: Sunday Edition!

| August 6th, 2017

Cruz on Trubisky

From Dan Wiederer’s piece in the Trib, wrapping up Family Fest:

As for Mitch Trubisky? The Bears’ top draft pick oversaw an 11-play, 60-yard field goal drive. Trubisky threw five passes and completed three, the longest a 23-yard bullet over-the-middle to fellow rookie Tanner Gentry.

Cruz stressed the growth he’s seeing in the young quarterback.

“It’s his eagerness to learn,” Cruz said. “He’s not above the game. He doesn’t feel he’s entitled to anything because he was drafted so high. He’s eager, young and bright-eyed and ready to learn.”

There is a very interesting scenario about to play out for the Bears. Everyone knows – including Mike Glennon – that Trubisky is going to be the Bears starting quarterback very, very soon. How will this influence Glennon’s play? Remember, this is a kid who has proven nothing in the sport. He’s got one mediocre season on his resume and eleven passes in the two seasons since. Is he going to be willing to take the chances a quarterback needs to take to be successful? Or is he going to take the Brian Hoyer conservative approach, play to a good stat line and try to parlay that into a camp opportunity somewhere next summer?

The answer to that question will determine whether these Glennon games – of which I hope there are very few – are entertaining or not.

New Shirt!

It’s right over there on the right rail. (Or down below on mobile.) And it’s cool. Buy one.

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Tannehill Injury Provides Opportunity for Bears To Embrace Future & Trade Glennon

| August 4th, 2017

Ryan Tannehill’s injury at Dolphins practice sent a Jolt Cola through the veins of the NFL yesterday. This is what always happens when a team loses their starting quarterback during the summer months. The other thirty-one all stand at attention, processing such an injury in a very similar manner.

Stage One: How injured is Tannehill? Before overreacting teams have to know if the QB is done for the year, several months, four weeks…etc? With this injury it sounds like Tannehill could be looking at a two/three month rehab or season-ending surgery.

Stage Two: Who is out there? The three names that sprinted into media mouths within minutes of the injury were Cutler, Romo and Kaepernick. Kaepernick does not fit what Gase does. Romo just signed to be the lead analyst on CBS. That job isn’t worth giving up to quarterback an 8-8 Dolphins team to second or third place in the AFC East. And then…there’s…Cut-ler! Darling Cut-ler! (Catch that reference, win a prize.)

Stage Three: What do we have that can provide a solution and help build our future? Call it Bradfording. The Dolphins need a quarterback. And if you have one on your roster they want, it could be worth the Joe’s Stone Crab fortune.

The Bears have one.

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