When Mariota Proved Unattainable, Young Bears GM Prudently Committed to Cutler

| May 21st, 2015



The Bears made it clear they weren’t going to ditch Jay Cutler without a replacement in mind. Marcus Mariota was that replacement. When Ryan Pace failed to land the Oregon quarterback at the top of this year’s draft, he realize the team’s best chance to win and his best chance to remain Bears GM is Cutler under center. While the team has only committed to Cutler for one season, there’s a good chance the new regime sees him as the guy who can potentially win them a bunch of games. If, for no other reason, because finding someone better isn’t easy to do.

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NFL Changes the Extra Point Because the NFL Has No Idea What It’s Doing

| May 20th, 2015

Picture if you will…

January 3rd 2016.

Lions at Bears.

John Fox has rejuvenated the Bears franchise and led them to a 9-6 record. A win, at home, against the lowly Detroit Lions will send them into the postseason.

Lions lead 24-17 heading into the fourth quarter. The heavens open. Snow. Not just snow. A blizzard. Both teams struggle to move the ball. The game seems lost. With 1:07 remaining, Cutler hands the ball to Forte at midfield. A hole opens! Forte slips! Forte slides! End zone! Touchdown! Overtime!

Or not. Because now, according to the new rules of the NFL, in the howling winds off the lake, with snow piled an inch and a half high off the field, the Bears must now make a 32-yard field goal to enter the postseason.

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On Bill Simmons’ Departure From ESPN

| May 18th, 2015


I’ve never cared for the writing of Bill Simmons. It’s just not my thing. It’s doesn’t stop me from acknowledging Simmons as the most important sports media voice since the turn of the century.

Why don’t I care for Simmons? Content and approach.

Pop culture references in sports writing, movies, music…etc always bother me because they limit the lasting power of the piece. Nobody on earth will get the references in The 40 Year-Old Virgin – an otherwise funny movie – twenty years from now. (They actually make jokes in that film about Maid in Manhattan, a movie people had forgotten before it was released.) Simmons not only utilizes pop-culture references but often uses reality TV and his favorite movies as the complete framework for his columns.

Simmons likes a lot of stuff I don’t care for. He likes reality TV and fantasy football and wrestling. He’s spawned a generation of barroom boneheads saying things like “Andre Iguodala is like the girlfriend who blah blah blah nonsense.” He’s glib and unserious and that works for this generation of young males (especially his most dedicated readers) who have a detachment from the sports they watch.

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New Regime Seems to Like Shea McClellin (But They Just Got Here)

| May 14th, 2015


Perhaps the most unexpected thing to come from the Bears new regime is the consistent praise of annual disappointment Shea McClellin.

When Vic Fangio was asked about returning players who could contribute, McClellin’s name was the second one to come out of his mouth (after Kyle Fuller, of course). John Fox admitted to liking him come out of college and said he “has a bright future.” These are two old school football men. They have done this before. They have nothing invested in Shea McClellin.

Even though they didn’t pick up his fifth-year option (which would’ve made him one of the highest-paid inside linebackers in the league) the Bears have made it clear that they see McClellin as a piece of their defense, somewhere.

They genuinely seem to like him.

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What Do You Want From DaBearsBlog?

| May 12th, 2015

This season DBB would like to introduce some new elements to the site aside from the columns and podcasts. Today I am asking you, the loyal readership, what you’d like from this site. What does this site not currently provide that you wish it did?

All ideas are welcome and please share them in the comments below. If you’d prefer to email me, feel free to do so: jeff@dabearsblog.com.

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Three Post-Draft Thoughts

| May 7th, 2015

Denver Broncos Rookie Minicamp

Adam Gase has to love this opportunity.

He has one of the league’s top backs, one of the league’s top tight ends, a terrific receiving corps (especially if Kevin White makes an immediate impact) and a quarterback that can make every throw. The unit has two holes: health/production from right tackle and the decision-making of the quarterback. Gase’s system should mitigate both to an extent with a run-heavy approach and quick, timing throws. Gase is going to be a head coach in 2016.

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Grasu Pick Not Sexy, But Substantial

| May 5th, 2015


“His makeup is outstanding. When you talk about work ethic, team captain, leadership all those traits that we stress around here, he brings those to the table.”

-Ryan Pace

The Bears expect Kevin White to be a star but third-round pick Hroniss Grasu could be the most important piece of establishing their new identity. Taking Grasu in the third round wasn’t sexy and wasn’t expected, but it’s not unlike 1998 when the Bears spent the 64th pick on Olin Kreutz. One major difference: Grasu’s impact should be felt more immediately.

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In the End, a Rebuild Emerges

| May 4th, 2015


A year ago the Bears used a second round draft pick on a defensive tackle from the southeast. They took a productive running back in the fourth and a safety with the pick that followed. This year they did the same in those three spots. This was not, as it has been characterized, a redraft of 2014. 2014 never happened according to Ryan Pace and John Fox. Those picks, more than anything else happening on draft weekend, signaled clearly the Bears have begun to rebuild their roster. They are acknowledging their talent deficiencies and turning positions over.

Is this significant? Absolutely. Phil Emery tried to build an offense around a pre-existing defense. In doing so he created a massive locker room divide that proved irreparable. The Bears were two teams. Emery’s Trestman-led offense and the remnants of Lovie’s defensive dynasty. This resulted in the Sarajevo-like disaster that was the 2014 Chicago Bears season.

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NFL Draft: Day Three Open Thread

| May 2nd, 2015


Three of the four players I profiled last week – Nick O’Leary, Jalston Fowler & Nick Perry – are still available for the Chicago Bears on day three of the draft. Who else of note is available?

  • Two of the safeties I thought would be gone on day two – Josh Shaw and Adrian Amos – are still on the board. Both are potential NFL starters in 2015. Since I posted some Shaw video yesterday, here’s Amos:

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NFL Draft Rounds 2 & 3 Open Thread

| May 1st, 2015

paceCan’t bring myself to sit on the couch and watch eleven hours of Mike Mayock making up phrases and misusing half the English language. So if you’d like to follow my thoughts over the course of rounds two and three, as always, you can do so by (a) checking out my Twitter on the right rail of this page or (b) following me on Twitter by CLICKING HERE

I’ll have a report on tonight’s selections posted late tonight/early AM.

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