168 Comments

Conversation with Detroit Free-Press Beat Writer Dave Birkett [AUDIO]

| October 14th, 2015

Dave Birkett sounds the way the man covering the Detroit Lions should: dour. During the conversation he discusses:

  • Defensive lack of identity in the post-Suh era.
  • How age is starting to catch up with the Lions roster at various positions, including wide receiver and linebacker.
  • Why Matthew Stafford is losing confidence of Lions fans and quite possibly ownership.
  • Calvin Johnson no longer being Calvin Johnson.
  • A possible bright side for the remainder of the 2015 season. (Hint: it starts with Lions winning Sunday.)

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  • Viva

    BOOM. First twice in one day.

    • MB30SD

      W.

      • Viva

        Well done, Lad!

    • Scharfinator

      That’s what she said! OOO BACKHANDED COMPLIMENT

      • Trac

        MB was second. Yuk.

        • MB30SD

          HOW DAAARE YO…

          …aw, never mind. you get the point.

  • Trac

    Tsk tsk tsk Jeff. Trolling the suicide watch in Detroit is low. Let them be. Hee hee.

  • SC Dave

    So MB, did you see the stuff i posted on where Shea’s tackles have been relative to the line of scrimmage? I admit i was a little surprised. Just goes to show how selective memory/perception can be.

    • Scharfinator

      Which thread? I am curious.

    • MB30SD

      I did not dave. That also surprises and somewhat amazes me to be 100% honest.

      Can you please re-post sir?

      So, I will eat crow publicly and say he’s not as bad as I make out (most of the time I’m only doing it to razz you). I’ve just seen games/tape and every time I focus on him for 5-10 plays, he’s pile jumping or making a tackle down field 9 out of 10 plays.

      If the data supports it, then there it is… I can agree he’s become a serviceable IMLB a la hunter H, but we really do need a playmaker back there. Doesn’t have to be Lach/lewis, but someone in the london fletcher mold of solid, consistent play with bursts of great plays.

      • Irish Sweetness

        But there is no data supporting Shea, is there? He is not a good Mike, don’t need any numbers to tell us that … not with the ocular devices attached to our brains that allow us to visualize in three dimensions. N’est pas?

        • MB30SD

          weeee.

    • where was this?

      • ok, just found it. I changed it to only include THIS year, as it’s his only year at ILB.
        Average tackle distance: 7.1 yards past the LOS
        Total tackles: 33
        Tackles for 1 yard or less: 5
        2-3 yards: 6
        4-6 yards: 10
        7-10 yards: 5
        11+: 7
        That seems bad to me. Comparing it to Chris Borland in 2014. Hold for results

        • Borland in 2014 had an average tackle distance of 3.9 yards. A little over half of Shea’s. He also had 5 passes defensed (Shea has 0) and 13 TFL (Shea has 1, in 1/4+ of the season).

          Out of Borland’s 99 tackles, 8 were 11+ yards. Shea’s already at 7/33.

          That’s the closest comp. I can find. Rookie playing that exact position in Fangio’s defense.

          Overall, here’s how the % of tackles breaks down:
          1 or fewer yards: Shea 15%, Borland 28%
          2-3 yards: Shea 18%, Borland 26%
          4-6 yards: Shea 30%, Borland 24%
          7-10 yards: Shea 15%, Borland 13%
          11+ yards: Shea 21%, Borland 8%

          • MB30SD

            that’s what us maths experts call an inverse relationship.

          • BTW, I’ve been comparing Shea to AJ Hawk all year. Let’s see how those stack up (using Hawk’s 2014 season that got him cut):

            1 or fewer yards: Shea 15%, Hawk 14%
            2-3 yards: Shea 18%, Hawk 20%
            4-6 yards: Shea 30%, Hawk 31%
            7-10 yards: Shea 15%, Hawk 19%
            11+ yards: Shea 21%, Hawk 16%
            Mean: Shea 7.1, Hawk 6.0

            The comparison holds.

          • MB30SD

            damn. Hawk still more than a yard better.

            So basically, what you’re saying… our resident stats genius… is that Shea is a bottom of the barrel NFL linebacker? Is that a fair assessment based on the factual, statistical data presented?

          • to be fair, this isn’t the only stat to measure. Shea is apparently important for calling the plays, and he also hasn’t missed many tackles. I don’t think he sucks, he’s just kinda there. He’ll make the tackle, but it’s 2-3 yards downfield from where it needs to be, and he doesn’t make any big plays.
            I think ideally he’s your 3rd ILB/ST, but I could live with him as a starter if they paired him with a playmaker.

          • ILB with the green dot is also SYMBOLIC (Bears fans should know this better than most fan bases).

            MLB usually sets the tone. If the tone is riding a HB 7 yds down the field hanging on for dear life, no thanks.

            I gave him a chance. Maybe, just maybe, he’s not “anticipating” as much since he’s new to this specific system, but I’m leaning more towards that he’s just a JAG.

          • he and JOnes are both reacting. THey need to stop thinking, play instinctively, and attack downhill.

          • Irish Sweetness

            This. If in doubt, just run straight through that A-gap

          • MB30SD

            yeah. speaking of which, you don’t happen to have the same type of rundown on CJones handy do you?

          • ha, just looked it up. He’s not much better.
            I switched it to looking only at run D. Thought that was fair, as pass D can vary a lot in terms of depth of target (and how often you’re targeted, it’s really a separate population from run D and skews the data to put them together).

            Shea is at mean 4.8, median 5.
            Jones at mean 5.5, median 5.
            Hawk 2014 at mean 4.1, median 4.
            Borland 2014 at mean 2.9, median 3.

          • MB30SD

            interesting stuff. thank you sir.

            Borland was a stud.

          • Cormonster

            Wisconsin has another stud linebacker to keep an eye out for in the draft next year named Joe Schobert. He’s second in the nation with nine sacks. Before this year, he was more of a coverage linebacker in passing downs, and good at it. He had a Borland-esque game against Alabama with 13 tackles and 2 sacks. He had a JJ Watt-esque game against Iowa with 3 sacks, 5 hurries, 2 forced fumbles, and a fumble recovery. One of his hurries also resulted in a pick.

            They also have a pretty good white safety the Bears might want to look into next year in the 3rd-5th rounds.

          • MB30SD

            interesting corm. Is he a rush end or a IMLB?

            Also, did you say white safety… Bastardo!!!

          • Cormonster

            Rush end / OLB. It’s kind of surprising because he rarely rushed the QB before this year. I guess he worked on it during spring ball. Like Borland and Watt, he was a walk-on at Wisconsin. He was also leading the nation in TFL’s and forced fumbles before last week.

            I’m starting to get old. One of the OT on the team when I went there has a kid on the team now. Shit!

          • MB30SD

            aren’t we all.

            We need a star IMLB badly too maings. Lach has been turning over in his grave ever since he left.

          • I’ll check him out next round of college games.

          • Cormonster

            I was hoping you would see the post. I figured you would be interested. The other OLB Vince Biegel is pretty good too.

          • Irish Sweetness

            Cor – where you been boy?

            I’m at work listening to what Queensryche did in their latter years and was surprised to find out there are two Queensryches. Also Iron Maiden snuck a few albums int here on me. It also appears as though you can see virtually any Pearl Jam gig on Youtube.

            Is there any artist, metal or otherwise, who actually got better with age/or maintained greatness?

          • MB30SD

            speaking of, check out any concert pearl jam do in chi town and see what mr. vedder wears.

            Yep, that’s a sweetness jersey. he’s a devout bears fan baby!

            https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/236x/f2/0a/fa/f20afa5c4405e79c98808ae1223cfc52.jpg

          • so this got me looking. Checked the top ILB for every 3-4 team in the NFL. Comparing them all to Shea (and a bit to Jones).

            Publishing it tomorrow, but Bears boys don’t look good.

          • Irish Sweetness

            I’m betting Keuchly and Poz are right up there.

          • 3-4 ILB. Trying to compare apples to apples here, so guys with the same number of DL in front of them to keep them clean

          • Irish Sweetness

            Eyeball test. Always. The cat chasing the laser pointer was a good analogy, from GP I think. The Mike has no time to change his mind – at most, once.

        • MB30SD

          thank you sir.

          Dave I retract everything below and double down on my CD sucks path. hahahahaha

          Naw, my last paragraph below holds true. Dude is not good, but he’s probably not the worst in the league. Bottom line, we need someone much much better next year.

        • Scharfinator

          7.1 seems pretty friggin far.

          • SC Dave

            Remember,this includes pass plays too, and since wood is looking only at this year, the average isskewed way high by three or four plays.

          • MB30SD

            I don’t think you want to add either of those to the analysis since I believe they will both skew the numbers in a negative way… don’t you?

          • SC Dave

            No, it won’t. Tune back in tomorrow, or go back two threads and look at the link i posted. Or, go to pro football reference, go to the play finder, type in shea mcclellin and look it up yourself.

          • MB30SD

            siiiiiigh, you mean do the work?!?!?

          • Scharfinator

            I’m unaware of the initial discussion – was it about him playing as a starting LB?

          • Irish Sweetness

            It’s complete failure. How they haven’t given Timu a shot must be down to the playbook. He’s definitely more of an Athlete than Shea.

  • The Yes Guy

    Yes?

    • Irish Sweetness

      Ah, the seeds of uncertainty are sown …..

      .

  • I almost feel bad for the Lions. They’re the last team being screwed by the old CBA, because they had the rookie contracts of Suh, Megatron, and Stafford weighing them down. Kept pushing it off, but it eventually lost them Suh.
    Basically, instead of having all those guys on team-friendly deals that gave them leverage for 2nd contract, they were screwed by ballooning rookie contracts, which is why Megatron got paid more than most QBs and Suh had to leave.

    • but then I remember that I have yet to meet a Detroit fan who isn’t a raging asshole, and I laugh.

    • Trac

      They also have a very vanilla HC which doesn’t help either. Outside of being a Cleveland fan, not sure there’s a worse franchise than Detroit to be a fan of.

      • Irish Sweetness

        7 NFL championships in ten years under Otto Graham. I wish we were as successful as the Cleveland Browns historically.

        • MB30SD

          fuck the browns. What have you done for me lately Irish?!

        • Trac

          I don’t watch rumplestiltskin Irish.

    • Pissed Off

      If only shit like that would happen to the pack. I think the Lions might still be feeling some effect of the horrid Millen era.

  • The GP
    • MB30SD

      broken link my maings

      • worked for me

        • MB30SD

          fixed.

      • Huge Bear’s Penis

        refresh.

        • MB30SD

          did, thanks. Good post GP.

    • Irish Sweetness

      I need the relevance of all that explained to me. As usual. A bunch of numbers related to dubious metrics based on what down it is. Both good and bad teams on either side of each box.

      What the hell is a first down defense? The Titans have a terrible first down defense? They have the #1 pass defense in the NFL – so that’s immediately negated.

      The Rams run the ball 2-1 vs passing on first down? When your RB is Todd Gurley – maybe the best back in the game – you run the ball.

      The Jags can’t stop people on 3rd down? They can when Poz is playing, they have a top tier defense when he’s in there calling the shots. His replacement is Hunter Hillenmeyer apparently.

      WTF does this mean ?

      ” And, yes, this explains why and how the Texans are struggling on defense despite having one of the best third-down defenses in football.”

      Dear Mr. Barnwell, if your’re struggling on defense then obviously it matters not a fuck how well you’re ‘third-down’ defense is doing.

      SMH at pointless number-crunching ….

  • Huge Bear’s Penis

    we don’t have to worry about deandre levy this week.

    http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2015/10/14/deandre-levy-having-hip-surgery/

    • AlbertInTucson

      A good guy. He deserves a week off.

      • Huge Bear’s Penis

        he is going to be getting several weeks off and maybe the rest of the year.

        • AlbertInTucson

          Well, we know THAT song, too.

  • AlbertInTucson

    DeMarcus Ware will miss “couple of weeks” for the Broncos.

    • willbest

      Does that mean I should start Joshy Football? They still have solid corners but he mostly throws to the RBs and TE anyway.

      • DEN D is a lot more than just Ware. You don’t want to start a bad QB against them.

        • AlbertInTucson

          Arguably, the best corner tandem in the league.

          • Irish Sweetness

            It’s incredible that they’re undefeated with Manning playing as badly as he is.

          • AlbertInTucson

            I believe they lead the league in sacks and something like NINE different guys have at least 1.

            But maybe not so “Incredible” if you look closely at the record.

            To date, they’ve beaten nobody with a winning record after 5 weeks.

            Their wins:

            The 1-4 Ravens by 6.

            The 1-4 Chefs by 7 (In KC).

            The 0-5 Loins by 12 (In Detroit).

            The 2-2 Vikings by 3.

            The 2-3 Raiders by 6 (In Oakland).

            Now, you can only play who’s on your schedule and the Queens were bye last Sunday but their opponents have a combined 6 wins and a .333 winning pct. thru 5 weeks.

            The Chefs offense put up 10, at home against the Bear defense. Oakland put up 20.

            Ravens & Loins offenses have struggled most of the season.

            Does that make the Broncos 5-0 record a tad soft or their perceived defensive prowess a bit deceptive?

            Just askin’.

            In any case, I’d take 5-0 any way you can get to there.

  • Pissed Off

    http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2579048-chicago-bears-vs-detroit-lions-betting-odds-analysis-nfl-pick

    What scares me is that they’ve played some teams pretty tough. Opened up 21 on SD on the road to start ( I think it was 21), almost beat the Hawks, actually got screwed on a call in which if it goes the right way they win, and this AZ game was only one they were blown out.

    I guess the moral of the story is don’t panic if they get up early on us but then again the way Cutler is playing we should be in good shape for a comeback.

    • Big Mike

      In no week this season should we “expect” victory. The Lions are a very dangerous opponent. The difference between their 0-5 and our 2-3 is very, very slim.

      • chitownproud85

        Keep preaching. This is the one and only truth of the first five games. The space between 2-3 and 0-5…you cant even see it. Enjoy it, but perspective must be kept.

      • AlbertInTucson

        My Mantra: “The NFL is a Week to Week proposition.”

        Except with last year’s Bears.

        Then it was “Weak to Weak”.

    • Irish Sweetness

      SD have no D. SEA had no Kam, and the one really good team they played kicked their asses. If you’re scared by an 0-5 team .. .well, I guess that’s why the Beloved are 13/10 to win.

      • Pissed Off

        No one hopes you’re right more than me. So are you saying if we lose this week to shut down the franchise? This one’s a gimmie…

  • MB30SD

    Hey GP… Hubba hubba! I like this one, a lot.

    http://uncrate.com/stuff/ferrari-f12tdf/

    • The GP

      insane

      • MB30SD

        2.9/210

  • EnderWiggin

    Jeffery and Bushrod practiced today.

    • MB30SD

    • That happens when younger cheaper men are about to replace you.

      • willbest

        They aren’t that much cheaper than him this year, but its not a good bargaining chip to hit FA where the bears express no interest in retaining you

    • DaBearsBlog

      Don’t expect Jeffery on the field until after bye.

      • EnderWiggin

        Division game. If he can jog, he can catch a dodgeball.

      • AlbertInTucson

        And after the season do the Bears SAY “Bye”?

        • DaBearsBlog

          I am trying to get more info on this. All I know is I hear what everybody else does: coaches are frustrated.

      • Irish Sweetness

        Has the trade window closed?

  • OK, I said I had a spiel on contemporary Cutty (as opposed to “diabetes” or “classic” Cutty)., so here it is.

    I am an infamous Cutty believer, turned agnostic, turned skeptic (Cutler DID quit last season, after all), but none of these are set in stone and are fluid, and I’m slowly going back to agnostic, maybe even slight believer (just the tip).

    I said in the PS that Cutty is inexplicably turns into Rothlisburger about 4 times a year, and that’s usually just enough to give OCs woodies. It’s like soft porn in Cinemax. You KNOW how it’s gonna end. You KNOW you’re not gonna get anything hard core or a good money shot…but MAYBE just MAYBE…

    Well, sure enough, Cutty has transformed into Roth twice already (it was never about just the INT, but the types and if he came back), back to back. I don’t recall him doing that before. There was a brief period under Martz when they went 7-3 when that Cutty shined, but then he got injured.

    He seemed to thrive under Martz, in retrospect, and this might not be a coincidence.

    Piggybacking off what GP stated a few threads back, Gase is asking Cutler to TRUST his WRs at a spot (sound familiar?).

    Reportedly, Cutty HATED that cuz he never quite trusted the WRs to run such precise routes. Also, I’m sure in his more arrogant dooooont care days, he simply assumed he didn’t HAVE to anticipate. His arm was enough to look and shoot. This was one of his biggest drawbacks. Lack of anticipation, defenses like Woodson read his eyes, THEY anticipate, jump the route. INT. (combined with impostor WRs who do not run clean routes).

    So, Cutty said Eff you to “spot” routes with aforementioned results (this would also lead to sack/strips since he’s sitting in the pocket longer waiting to see his WR get somewhat open).

    Tice and the other OCs were too weak to make Cutler change his philo. Martz on the other hand, was the only one with an ego big enough to MAKE Cutty throw to a spot before the WR even got there. (Even then, Cutty gave him the finger)

    The fatal flaw in Martz as we all witnessed was a shitty Oline, no WRs and 7 step drops, but Martz theory in some ways was sound (as well as him limiting Cutty’s audibles).

    Fast forward to present, and now we basically got Gase asking Cutty to “spot” throw again, however this time, it’s not behind a dog-shit Oline, a decent TE, and no 7 step drops.

    Mix in some read-option (before Cutty got hurt) in order to keep Cutler’s read simple, and BAM, you got all the benefits from Martz without the obvious flaws (like getting Cutty killed).

    I think this might explain Cutty’s renaissance a lil bit.

    It’s ironic that he’s once more doing it with 2nd/3rd string WRs like with Martz. Don’t exactly know what to make of that besides maybe they do exactly what they’re told cuz if they don’t, they’re back to the PS.

    Anyhow. The jury is still out. Raiders and Chiefs D were not formidable coming into those games, but that doesn’t take away from how Cutty’s looking.

    The Lion’s are a reeling team that might have already checked out like we did last year, so don’t know if the next game is a litmus test either, but if he keeps stringing these performances together without regressing to throwing 4 picks to the same dude inbetween, Ole Butch might be inching back to the Jeff Cutty BJ bandwagon…but for now…

    just the tip…

    • Viva

      Good read. I think Cutty is a stud who needed s system. He now has it.

    • BerwynBomber

      Agreed about the Gase/Martz connection but it is not because Cutty has suddenly become an anticipatory passer (vs. his usual throw it when I see them open instincts.) Rather, it is because Gase (like Martz and Shanahan) has restricted his ability to audible. “Moon” Mullin laid it bare in a nice piece of reporting earlier in the week.

      “One of the prime directives guiding Gase when he took the Bears job was eliminating or at least substantially reducing the turnovers that have defined Cutler’s career. After weeks of due diligence in the form of calls to Cutler former (fired) offensive coaches to gain insight into Cutler, Gase’s plan became to truncate, not the playbook, but rather Cutler’s flexibility options within it.

      The result has been a more controlled Cutler, still capable of cataclysmic turnovers, but one with limited audible latitude and greater clarity of purpose, which typically translates into cleaner execution.”

      Jim Miller hit on this at least as early as year ago: that one of Cutty’s main weaknesses is audibling at the line and that he always performed better under the two coaches (Shanahan and Martz) who restricted his ability to audible. Just run the damn play as called, Jay (as a few of us have said over the years). You don’t want Cutty trying to be the field generals that Rodgers, Brady, Manning, etc., are at the line of scrimmage. Reading defenses on the fly has never been his strength.

      I think he has played well this year but I’m avoiding the JH/AD/DBB circle jerk. Still, given that Gase is a student of the Martz School, I think it bodes as well as anything possibly can for the remainder of Cutty’s ’15 performance.

      Here is a link to the Mullin article:

      http://www.csnchicago.com/bears/how-adam-gases-plan-working-bears-qb-jay-cutler?p=ya5nbcs&ocid=yahoo

      • Link?

      • Irish Sweetness

        But wait, clearly he’s been audibling, Ber, I’ve seen it in every game he’s played this season. I read that article, it doesn’t mention Cutty being restricted from audibles. He’s making better reads if anything.

        Who is that bald cock talking crap on CSNChicago ?

        • BerwynBomber

          A guy who has sources within the Bears organization? Mullin’s a seasoned reporter. Why are you so upset?

        • willbest

          1) Perhaps what looks like an audible is just nonsense
          2) Perhaps it is an audible coming in from Gases (the earpiece goes off at 15 seconds on the play clock so Gases could change the play if they get to the line early enough)
          3) Perhaps when he is allowed to audible is more strictly defined, and what he audibles to is also very limited.

    • TheBigCheesy

      I’d love to hear your spiel on “diabetes” Cutty…

    • Johnnywad

      It may just be that he’s less likely to put the ball up for grabs, trusting his receiver to make the play, when the receiver is a short white guy from Montana. Hence, fewer balls in harms way. Or something like that. Production suffers a bit, but turnovers are reduced as well.

    • Irish Sweetness

      Hmmm. He’s just looking after the ball now. I think it’s that simple. We’ve been screaming at him for years to just tuck it and run, or heave it into Row J. He’s doing that now, and he’s not forcing it through three DBs. Don’t be afraid of the BJs. I’ve got him in my mouth and he’s staying there. I’m a believer. Again.

      • BerwynBomber

        So he never cared about INTs until this year? Seems kinda simplistic. Much more plausible that, as with Martz and Shanahan (w/ whom both Cutty played his best ball), Gase has simplified things for Cutty by restricting his audibles, which have always been a weakness of Jay’s. Remember, Gase is a Martz student. Martz gave him his first NFL coaching gig.

  • On Bennett..if I were a coach, I’d create a drill where a CB is right behind Bennett. They’re both standing still.
    Then, just throw it as hard to Bennett as possible while the CB standing behind him tries to swat the ball away just with his arms.

    Maybe that’ll teach Bennett how to catch in traffic.

    • MB30SD

      can we incorporate a head turn aspect for fuller?

      • I’m gonna refer to him as “Neckbrace” cuz it looks like he plays with one.

        • MB30SD

          I give him a pass, cuz that’s how I fuck.

          • AlbertInTucson

            “…sounded funny in my head”

            Bet that has a LOT of company in there with those parameters.

          • MB30SD

            hahahaha, if you only knew.

          • Johnnywad

            Why would you turn your head MB? Action’s in front of you, right? Or am I doing it wrong?

          • MB30SD

            How else are you going to look at yourself in the mirror making stupid faces on purpose in the rodeo pose maings?!?!

  • Pissed Off

    A few thoughts from the interview. Glad Suh isn’t around to “scare the shit” out of QBs…..even happier he’s not around to stomp on guys.

    Could the Lions be getting old? A victim of age? Megatron isn’t looking like what he used to.

    Golden Tate is not old and he is not doing near what he did in terms of numbers last year. His word was he was coming from a champion and he wanted to change the culture in Detroit from perennial losers to a champions mindset. Seems he has finally fallen victim to the former. It worked for a little while though.

    Does Stafford’s benching make him mad? Will he pout and perform poorly or will he play with some fire and motivation and make it tough on us? Hopefully it’s not “just what he needed”. Let sleeping dogs lie.

    Guess if they keep down this path the Lions could blow it up. No more guaranteed money for Stafford after this year. Dude played in Detroit but there’s gotta be a healthy market for him I would think. Unless Cutler finishes out the year the way he’s played the last 2 games….looking at a career’s body of work between the two I’d take him in Chicago.

    • willbest

      Stafford already has his millions. He is a going to spend the next decade as a reasonable backup for various teams and we Bears fans will get to see whether or not Cook or Groff is the real deal when Detroit drafts one of them with their top 5 pick

    • BerwynBomber

      Stafford is basically Cutty Jr. The market for him will depend somewhat on what remains of his salary.

      • Irish Sweetness

        ‘Old’ Cutty Jr. Maybe. But he’s not got anything on our new, improved Cutty.

        (yes, here it comes …. SWOON!)

    • Irish Sweetness

      You’d take Matthew Stafford on the Bears??

      This is Jack’s stunned face.

  • ‘Lion’s D stops Cards on the first two possessions…the Lion’s O turns it over twice in the next two possessions…at that point, the D is probably thinking, “WTF?”‘

    Yes, this sounds veryyyy familiar (14 Bears).

    • as well as players quitting. Detroit and MIA this year are both eerily reminiscent of CHI 2014.

    • beninnorcal

      I don’t remember the ’14 Bears D stopping anyone at any point, much less 3 times in one game.

  • BearDown100393

    Jim Caldwell has perfected his Art Shell sideline stare of career death.

  • willbest

    As uninspiring as Shea has been, his ability to competently call the D, and our massive needs elsewhere (tackle, guard, DE, OLB, CB, safety, TE, RB, WR) will probably merit him leading the D again next year.

    The FA class next year doesn’t look all that promising on filling the needs. Although Eric Berry who just got done shutting Bennett down last week might be worth throwing money at.

    • In my mind, a playmaker at the heart of the defense is probably the biggest need on the roster right now.

      I’d love either that or a stud OT in round 1 of the draft.

      • willbest

        Well Bears are probably going to be drafting in the 10-16 range so all that is possible. I was just looking down the list of things that we need and ILB doesn’t break the top 5, meaning it is unlikely it will be a high priority for Pace

        • what do you put over that? Chicago has one of the worst run defenses in the NFL right now, largely because of the ILBS IMO.

          • and by that I mean they’re 24th in rushing yards per game allowed and 25th in yards per carry.

          • willbest

            Yes well we are also 19th in sacks and 24th in INTs and have the most false starts right now. So there are plenty of bad stats across the board. Just in most useful though. OLB > tackle > CB > safety > RB (under the assumption that if Forte is going to be back he would be signed already and as much as I like Langford its a drop)

          • They have McPhee at OLB, could look to add another guy there, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they re-sign Acho. Not much of a pass rusher, but very solid in all other facets of the game. Houston is technically under contract right now, but he looks like he’s out of sync in this defense (he’s a 3-4 DE playing OLB, IMO), so he could be cut. That said, I absolutely wouldn’t mind another playmaking OLB.
            OT would be great too. Long looks like he’ll have one spot locked down, so now the question is Leno. Is he your LT in 2016? Either way, they need a G.
            CB… Fuller is one. Do they re-sign Porter? Definitely need another young guy here, but worth noting Fangio has a history of taking mid-late round CBs and making them solid starters. Prefers to build the front 7 and S up with the early round picks.
            Safety. Definitely. Rolle will be gone, but Amos will be one starter. I still think ILB is a bigger need than this though (and bigger than OLB too).
            They’ve spent back-to-back 4th round picks on RBs. They think enough of Carey to keep him around this year even though he’s not contributing at all, which tells me they envision a Langford/Carey duo next year.

          • MB30SD

            agree. besides, we’re chicago ad the slop we’ve had at IMLB since lach left is making the old man spin in his grave. Disgraceful.

    • The GP

      Shae’s contract wasn’t picked up. He had to play his way to next year.

      Now he’s hurt.

      • willbest

        Well the 5th year option is expensive. Shea is going to get offered something like a 3-year 6 million with 2 mil guaranteed. My point is, its unlikely they are going to find a better option in FA

        • Irish Sweetness

          We already have one. Timu.

          • willbest

            Yes I know of your man crush. But Timu is on the practice squad and they brought in Reynolds and now Anderson

          • Johnnywad

            To be fair, he’s also called for Acho and Bellamy and Meredith. Those guys have been saving the Bears ass of late

          • willbest

            truth

          • Irish Sweetness

            Don’t forget Tayo Johnny! And I won’t feel like a complete team until Terry 8-Ball Williams is back in the squad.

          • Irish Sweetness

            Anderson got promoted???

            (wets self)

          • I wanna see what Timu has too, but I think he might be a coverage liability.

        • Johnnywad

          Won’t they be awash in cap space next year? Seems like Pace could most certainly find an upgrade for Shea on the market.

          • willbest

            Sure, but you would assume that anybody that is great isn’t going to hit FA unless the team is up against the cap.

          • Huge Bear’s Penis

            you don’t need to be great to be better than Shea.

        • Cheap Vet ILBs always hit the market. Maybe Bowman bolts from SF?

          A gal can dream…

  • Cutty of Olivet Nazarene

    Don’t overlook the Lions. I watched all but one of their games and it wasn’t utter shit like guys named Florio would have you believe. Megatron is not washed up, Tate is not a one hit wonder and their D can still do damage.
    If we don’t get a pass rush you’ll see exactly what i mean and please believe that they are going to run Abdullah on delay routes, swings and screens so they Jamaal Charles the shit out of the D.

    The Lions are better than their record and they will come to play on sunday. With all of that being said, they are still fucking dead.

    • Viva

      Fuck the Loins.

      • Cutty of Olivet Nazarene

        no doubt.

      • MB30SD

        and fuck jamaal charles

        • Huge Bear’s Penis

          why the jamaal charles hate?

          • MB30SD

            naaaaaah, I was just fucking around… and I liked the way it sounded.

            I’ve seen about 3 high lights of the guy in my entire life. I fuck around 99% of the time on this bitch.

          • Huge Bear’s Penis

            lol just fucking around too. I hate him cuz he blew out his ACL and i drafted him in my fantasy league. now i am down to starting D. Freeman and T. Gurley. oh the pain.

          • MB30SD

            Gurley looked like a beast the week before last… how’d he do against the filth last weekend?

          • Cormonster

            160 yards

          • MB30SD

            DAAAAAAAAAEEEEUUUUUM!

            Seems like homie is busting OUT! Kid’s a stuuuuud

          • Irish Sweetness

            And most of those in the fourth quarter (or was that the week before?)

          • AlbertInTucson

            But Foles was busy too. 4 INTs.

          • O points in FF.
            In my league, a QB gets penalized for sacks too, though earns some points for every 5 completions, so it almost evens out.

          • AlbertInTucson

            Yeah, I’m truly “not in your league” when it comes to FF.

            TDs, TD Passes, FGs, 2-point conversions. MINIMAL yardage bonuses.

            That’s it. That’s the list.

            No Defenses. No STs. No points per catch or penalties for INTs or Sacks.

            No weekly waiver wire transactions

            Basic. Simple.

            Definitely my speed.

          • Irish Sweetness

            That’s a backfield, fantasy or otherwise.

          • Shady drafted Charles and now he’s not in charge.
            Waiver wire hit, West gone, Kniles gone, Shady left with a dorito bag

            Next year you should join our league.

            http://games.espn.go.com/ffl/leagueoffice?leagueId=835653&seasonId=2015

    • Irish Sweetness

      They average 2.8 yards per carry. There’s no white-washing that. Playing from behind raises your rushing average usually. We’re better than our record too. So are Seattle. We’re going to kick the shit out of the Lions, like they deserve to be at 0-5.

      And Jamaal is out for the year !

    • TheBigCheesy

      The Lions are 2.5 point favorites so i wouldn’t say they are being overlooked…

      • Irish Sweetness

        They opened at three, so money has come for Chicago. Like the smart money that came for Chicago when KC opened up 10 point favorites against the Beloved last week.13/10, boys, get on.

        Will GB cover SD?

    • MB30SD

      I agree with this father. We had better be chastened and devout in our faith and belief… and play like the floods will come on sunday.

  • Irish Sweetness

    Yup, Willbest was right, they’ve promoted Jonathan Anderson (score!), but Timu is still on the PS. Why? Isn’t Shea injured?

    Guess who else is back on the PS? Yes, our shaggy-haired dreamboat, David Fales.

    • MB30SD

      Dude, they waived him again yesterday. :_ (

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