215 Comments

Data Entry: Turning Over the Turnover Problem

| March 13th, 2017

This is the 3rd installment of a monthly offseason piece I’ll be doing here at DaBearsBlog, helping fill the content void of the long offseason. Each one will be a numbers-crunching look at something Bears related in which I attempt to earn the “Data” moniker so kindly bestowed on me by the comments section regulars and, more importantly, answer a Bears question that I’ve been wondering about. If you have anything you’d like me to look into, let me know in the comments or email me at woodjohnathan1@gmail.com and I’ll see what I can do.


Chicago’s defense has significantly improved in the last two years from the disaster that was the Mel Tucker era, but there is one area where they have actually regressed: forcing turnovers.

Tucker’s defenses in 2013 and 2014 actually forced turnovers at a slightly-above average rate (Tucker can probably thank the leftover Lovie Smith-trained players for that), while Vic Fangio’s defenses have forced fewer turnovers in the last 2 years than any other NFL defense. In fact, 13 defenses have forced as many turnovers in one season (28) as the Bears’ defense has the last two seasons combined.

The problem was particularly pronounced last year, when the Bears forced a measly 11 turnovers, tied for the fewest by any defense in the NFL in the last 10 years.

Given the strong and well-established relationship between winning the turnover battle and winning football games, this is a real problem for Chicago. All of this research looks at turnover differential, not just turnovers forced. But forcing turnovers is half of turnover differential and it’s the part I want to focus on today. Avoiding turnovers is largely a product of your quarterback (and luck for fumbles/fumble recoveries). That’s a separate issue that has already been discussed on here at length.

Setting it up

Here’s my question: What is the history for teams the year after they have forced as few turnovers as the Bears have recently? Does the defense continue to struggle generating turnovers, or does it improve quickly?

Here’s how I approached the study:

  • I looked at turnovers forced by all teams each year for the last decade, so dating back to 2007 (full data here). The only factor considered was turnovers forced.
  • Turnover rates have generally decreased over the last 10 years. Specifically, the average varied from 22 to 28 turnovers forced in a season, with highs ranging from 33 to 48 and lows ranging from 11 to 19. Thus just looking at raw numbers isn’t that helpful, so I looked at z-scores instead. Basically a z-score is a measure of how far from average you are for that data set (that season). More negative z-score = fewer turnovers forced relative to league peers.
  • The Bears’ z-score was -2.0 in 2016 and -1.3 in 2015. Thus I looked at two data sets: teams with a single season -1.5 or lower and teams with 2 consecutive seasons -1.0 or lower.

One Terrible Season

There were 15 instances between 2007 and 2015 where a defense’s turnover z-score for a single season was -1.5 or worse (I didn’t include the 2016 season because we don’t have follow-up data yet). In the seasons following that turnover-deficient season, the average z-score improved to +0.5, meaning that teams, by and large, forced slightly more than average turnovers the following season.

Of course, the z-scores for the following season varied from -1.6 (remaining awful at forcing turnovers) to +2.1 (among the league leaders in turnovers forced), so this in and of itself is no guarantee that anything will change. Still, it is encouraging to see that a rapid recovery from a poor turnover year is not only possible but has a large amount of recent precedence.

Given the relationship between turnover differential and win %, it is unsurprising to see that this improvement in forcing turnovers brought with it an improvement in winning football games. These 15 teams improved from an average of 6.0 wins to an average of 8.4. Again, there are a variety of outcomes, from 9 win improvements to 4 win regressions, meaning there are certainly no guarantees, but it is encouraging to see that improvement is likely. To be fair, there’s not much room to get worse from 3-13–these aren’t the 2008 Detroit Lions, after all–so expecting a modest win improvement from the Bears next year isn’t exactly a bold statement.

Of course, it could be argued that much of this change in turnovers and success is due to a change in scheme. Many teams fire head coaches and/or defensive coordinators after a terrible season, and 8 of the 15 in this sample did just that. The results are slightly less positive but still promising for the 7 teams that kept both their head coach and defensive coordinator like the Bears did this offseason. The average z score was still slightly above average at +0.2, indicating teams basically forced turnovers at an average rate the next year, albeit with a wide swing in outcomes. These teams only increased their average wins from 8.0 to 8.4, likely because the average wins initially was much higher (and thus teams didn’t feel the need to fire their coaches).

Consecutive Bad Seasons

Of course, it might look different for a team that has had two straight poor seasons at forcing turnovers. That might indicate more of a personnel deficiency than a single season of bad luck. With that in mind, I looked at teams who had 2 straight seasons with a z-score of -1.0 or less; this set up a sample size of 6 teams between 2007 and 2015, showing you just how bad Chicago’s defense has been at forcing turnovers the last two years.

Looking at averages in a 6-team sample size is kind of pointless (even the 15 above is too small to draw definite conclusions from), but every team except 1 in this sample had a defense in year three that forced turnovers at an average rate or better. 4 of the 6 teams forced turnovers at basically an average rate (z-scores between -0.1 and +0.3), 1 had a great turnover-forcing defense (z-score of +1.5), and one stayed pretty poor at forcing turnovers (z-score of -1.1, with an improvement to average in the 4th year after 3 straight bad years).

Again, this is too small of a sample size to say anything definitively, but I think the main point to make here is that it’s hard to be as bad as the Bears have been at forcing turnovers for too long. There’s a large amount of luck involved (though certainly plenty of skill as well), and sooner or later bounces start to fall your way a bit more. Talent also gets upgraded before too long if players aren’t performing, which can then lead to more turnovers as well.

And again coaching changes could factor in, with 3 of the 6 teams changing coaches after year 2. All 3 who kept their coaches saw the defense around average at forcing turnovers; while the 3 who changed coaches saw their results much more spread out.

We also see general improvement in wins as more turnovers are forced, with teams going from an average of 6.3 wins in the 2 seasons with few turnovers forced to 9.2 when the turnovers start to come in year 3. Those numbers change to 6.3 and 10.7 if you only look at teams who kept their coaching staff after 2 years of bad turnover-forcing defenses.

Conclusions

It’s hard to draw any definitive conclusions from small sample sizes, so I’m not going to say “expect the defense to force turnovers at an average rate in 2017” or anything that specific. Instead, the main conclusion is this: there are very few teams in the last 10 years that match the Bears’ level of turnover-forcing ineptitude from 2016 or the last 2 seasons combined. That tells you just how hard it is to be that bad, and therefore it’s logical that the trend won’t continue forever.

There are no guarantees that the Bears force more turnovers in 2017, but it’s highly likely they will. Only one team in the last decade has had a turnover drought like the Bears’ last for 3 years. The combination of improved luck and better talent (started in free agency, will continue in the draft) should lead to the Bears forcing more turnovers in 2017 than they have either of the past two years. Logic dictates that more wins should follow. How many more turnovers and wins remains to be seen.

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  • Scharfinator

    Yummm crunchy number data

  • Sahr Gborie

    Get Peanut on the coach staff and the turnovers will come pouring in

    • willbest

      Think Fuller remembers what Peanut taught him all those years ago? He hasn’t done it in awhile.

      • Scharfinator

        He hasn’t played in a while either…

        • MB30SD

          hedone.

          if that dude comes back from the funnyfarm, I’ll be genuinely shocked.

    • Irish Sweetness

      He’s not stuck for cash.

  • “Modestly” Huge Bears Penis

    i was told there would be no math….

    • willbest

      There wasn’t really, we only had 6 teams as shitty as us in the sample.

      • yeah, that part kind of blew my mind. Only 6 in the last 10 years.

        There were 3 for 15/16 though. Bears, Jags, and Lions.

        Recent history suggests all 3 are likely due for better luck this year.

        • MB30SD

          so brutal. monsters of the midway my ass. smh.

  • MB30SD

    Thanks data, interesting.

    D turnovers are about one thing and one thing only…. Unit culture. Period.

    As much as you all know I hate lovie Smith and blame that buffoon for our on-going mediocrity and our SB loss during his tenure… He (and through him, his D staff) was great at instilling a culture​ where the almighty turnover was god. And they were better at almost everyone at worshipping that god.

    Now, I can probably argue that a laaaaarge part of that success was due to Chico.. and a couple blind squirrel HOF/all pro nut finds by that clown Angelo, but the ongoing culture was what made that D great.

    So, the two elements we’re missing are:

    – 2ish HOF players in key spots (imlb, DB)

    – a DC who makes turnovers​ a focus… And even more so, a religion

    Let’s hope pace does his job and gets us at least one of those Hof players @ #3 in a month. As for Fangio all of a sudden changing his whole culture after a career… Not likely.

    So all we can hope for is to return to the mean, ehno?

    • “Modestly” Huge Bears Penis

      i was really hoping Data would talk about deltas for you. lol

    • Sahr Gborie

      Fangio does not need to change his culture so long as he can produce the type of D-FENCE he put out in SAN FRAN

      • MB30SD

        this gives me nothing to work with man. Totally different culture, HC is world apart from weekend at bernie’s… I’d proffer that is was as much Jimmy H as fangio in SF, that dude just makes everyone in every unit give 100% man.

        Throw something out there with real substance, not just propaganda.

        • CanadaBear

          I feel the same way about Hairball but I would hate to be around him. What a jagoff. Here’s a story to illustrate the point.

          • Harbaugh on vacationing with brother Jim’s family: “No one is more competitive than him. He has a bunch of kids now, young kids. Just had a baby, John Paul. … Last Memorial Day we did vacation together. My wife and I have a cottage up north in Michigan on Lake Huron. We get Jim to drive up with the kids and all that, and we have a basketball hoop in the front yard in the driveway, and we were going to play a little game with the kids, and we just started shooting around, and next thing you know it was a 4-on-4 game. It was Jack, who is two-and-a-half, Addy, who is six, Katie, who is four-and-a-half or five at the time, Allison who is 13 or 14 and she is a little basketball player, and Jim and me and Sarah, my wife. We’re playing, and you can picture the kind of game it is, right? Allison happens to hit a couple jumpers and we’re playing to seven, and we’re up maybe 5-1. Next thing you know, Jim starts going over the top of Allison for rebounds, he’s boxing her out 10 feet away from the basket. Next thing you know, it’s 5-5 and Jim has made all the shots for his team of course. I’m like, you know, maybe Addy would like to touch the ball? Maybe Katie or Jack could dribble a little bit now and then? It goes 6-6 and a long rebound comes out the side, he goes and gets it. I see Allison happens to be over there, so I see him going to the basket, he’s going to take Allison to the hole, you know, he’s about 6’3″, 235, so I’m going to go cut him off. I get him with my right arm bar across his chest and I’m trying to body check him into the pricker bushes behind the driveway, and he just powers his way to the basket, lays one over the top, a reverse layup off the board, and all he could talk about is how he won. He picks up Jack and says, ‘Doesn’t it feel great, Jack, to win? Doesn’t it feel great to win?’ An hour later we were crossing paths in the backyard to go get a soda or something, and he looks me right in the eye and he says, ‘Hey John, have you won anything yet?’”

          • MB30SD

            BAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA…

            god damn it I want that crazy jagoff as our NFL football organization head coach… and possibly as our GM too.

            His kids are going to be fucking ruined for life, but that’s not at all my problem, and I want that asshole to couch our football team and I would love every fucking second of it… and do you know why canada?

            …because we would start actually winning a fuckton of football games man. That’s all I care about.

            Bring Jimmy Home! Bring Jimmy Home! Bring Jimmy Home!

          • CanadaBear

            He definitely has a shelf life in the pros. At some point he will drive everyone crazy. Same as in SF. He’s in the perfect place with new players constantly and others gone before they are ready to strangle him. I would be happy with him as the HC in Chicago but I also would know that at some point he has to go. You know they would win some games.

          • MB30SD

            oh yeah, totally… but I would LOVE him here for 4-5 years to bring us back up to playoff contention every year. We’d just have to have a plan for his expected departure. A coach who can take everything he’s done and maintain and grow it so you don’t have what’s happening in SF now when he finally wears his welcome thin.

          • CanadaBear

            SF is just an amazing shit show. That makes me really happy. It may change with Lynch/Shanny.

          • MB30SD

            I hope so for Lynch’ sake… I really like him. And he’s an SD boy… I went to grade school with his little bro. good peeps

          • Sahr Gborie

            Exactly….who cares if he is an ass. Look at Bilecheck. So long as we win NFC titles and SuperBowls

          • MB30SD

            jup

        • Sahr Gborie

          more than propaganda. im saying Fangio’s D-Fence just needs to get to the point it was at in San Fran. If we can field that kind of D-Fence the turnovers will come as a consequence.

          • MB30SD

            I get it man, I was just looking for a bit more meat to your statement

          • Sahr Gborie

            a strong front will allow the back to produce turnovers. lovie preached it and beat it into his teams. honestly if we can get to the qb and have a quick 3 n out, i would not be be bothered if we did not get a lot of turn overs. but that’s just another dream

          • MB30SD

            yes.

    • Fangio’s defenses in SF were quite good at producing turnovers. Better than average all 4 years, top 5 two of those 4 years.

      • MB30SD

        So you think it’s what Data?

        I’m throwing out that the diff is Jimmy H and his ability not only to acquire the best talent, but he is a maniac that just lifts everyone up and makes them give everything they have ++++.

        Your thoughts?

        • If Fangio’s Ds produced turnovers in SF, then it must be talent.

          But I never hear about Fangio preaching TOs like Lovie.

          And you can see that when defenders spot the ball on the ground they look surprised.

          Like that play when Porter stripped the ball at the goalline and Amos was just staring at it instead of jumping on it right away.

          The Lovie D not only were trained to jump on it, but to pick it up and run it back for a TD.

          I think Peanut used to do onfield pushups when they missed on an INT or fumble.

          So I think it might be a bit of both – talent and culture.

          • MB30SD

            The good example you just gave is 100% coaching. no no, 150%!!!

            I looked at the college tape again you posted on Amos the other day… dude was a stud in college (and I actually think he could be playing behind a decent dline and some actual NFL db teammates next to him).

            So to me that speak completely to coaching. porter and amos have the talent, there’s no excuse there, it’s all about coaching D culture to me.

          • I was thinking the same when I rewatched Amos in college. I was like “where the fuck did the playmaking disappear to?”

            I forgot how many TOs, including INTs, he forced in college.

            As they say in the military – train hard, fight easy.

            Seems like none of these guys are drilled to force or recover turnovers.

            I don’t know if it’s cuz they’re too worried about their assignment and not messing up or what, but Lovie proved you can be both disciplined AND a playmaker.

            Hard to see the TO draught continued simply because the talent level should improve due to health alone, yet alone FAs and draft.

          • MB30SD

            yeeeaaaah, we’ll see. I seem to think with talent you’ll def see an uptick, I mean, we gots to catch some fucking breaks at some fucking point, right?!!

            That said, those come sporadically, and not systemically… which is what we really all want (and pine for again). THAT type of change comes 100% from D coaches putting a priority on it and drilling it into every single D player every chance they get every day.

            Doesn’t seem to be fangio’s focus. If it was me, I’d put a HUGE focus on it, because just getting better there will instantly make our D exponentially better.

          • Bender McLugh

            last year……last year……GONE! I’m hoping with solid players around him Amos takes a leap, but that assumes he even makes the 53.

          • Amos will almost def make the roster.

            He’s not horrible like Vereen. Just can be a liability in coverage and won’t produce many TOs (though he does hammer players).

            He’s the definition of a JAG, and at the very least should make a great SP teamer.

          • willbest

            Amos is still on his rookie deal. I can’t see him not making the team even if he is relegated to #4 on the depth chart.

          • Bender McLugh

            ah right, forgot about the rook deal

          • willbest

            Well his isn’t guaranteed because he was drafted so late, but its still league min. You aren’t going to sign anybody cheaper with his level of experience.

          • Exactly.
            Even if Amos never starts again, he’s a borderline starter which is nearly the def of a mid-rounder.

            Also, lots of secondary guys improve. Look at the top CBs in back to back FA. Both “one year wonders”

            Even Demps was a “late bloomer”.

            We need to find a better option than Amos, but I would stay like him on the team, and I would consider him a “success” given his draft status.

          • MB30SD

            safety depth… hmmmmmm… what’s that?

          • willbest

            Necessary when your starter is 32 years old.

          • MB30SD

            he HAS to unless we pick up Adams @ #3.

          • Bender McLugh

            true

          • willbest

            College ball (outside a handful of minor league teams) is still like playing House league. You got like a handful of super talented guys just crushing it.

          • evantonio

            if he was such a stud, how did he drop to the 5th round?

          • MB30SD

            Yeah, he wasn’t such a stud obviously, but peep thought he was a steal where we got him.

            And while it’s a good point, guys like Kam Chancellor were also drafted in the 5th.

          • willbest

            Is Lovie’s Illini team above average in takeaways?

          • EnderWiggin

            I think the only thing Lovie’s Illini is known for is being the youngest starting roster in NCAA history. They’ll get more turnovers after Smith gets some of his recruits to Illinois.

          • Irish Sweetness

            I hope Fangio’s complete lack of testicles is due to the roster. I hope he’s looking at it going “If only I had this kind of guy … or that kind of guy … I could pressure more…”

            It may be simply that he has no testicles, or even a cock. He’s like Action Man/G.I. Joe.

        • SF had arguably the most defensive talent in the NFL.

          The Bears did not, especially in the secondary. That’s where turnovers really play in with INTs. And the Bears’ secondary was arguably worst in NFL last 2 years.

  • MB30SD

    Btw, it always interests me to see who’s a lol and who’s a hahaha.

    I kinda always felt that lol is for chicks and hahaha is for dudes, but maybe that’s just me?

    • “Modestly” Huge Bears Penis

      hmmm, never gave it much thought. why do you feel there needs to be a distinction between them?

      • MB30SD

        I don’t know, maybe it’s just me and I saw a lot of chicks using lol so I never used it myself.

        I mean tons of dudes use it, my bro, about 4 of my friends, etc… So I think its more of a me thing. But hardly any girls use haha it’s almost always dudes in my experience.

        Prolly nuthin, that kind of shit just really interests me.

  • BerwynBomber

    Nick Foles signs two year deal with the Iggles.

    • MB30SD

      (yawn)

      Dude is seriously meh

    • BearDown100393

      {Face Palm}
      – Poxbot

  • “Modestly” Huge Bears Penis

    In last several days by the time I get around to avoiding work by reading dablog there have been 200+ comments to read. SLACKERS!

  • Sahr Gborie

    has your draft wants/need changed since FA acquisitions?

    DREAM SCENARIO: GARRETT
    REALITY: ADAMS/THOMAS/ALLEN(K.WHITE all over again but this time we know ahead of time)

    if we cant get GARRETT do you want to trade back?

    • willbest

      I want Thomas at #3. I know our secondary is now on the lower end of competence, but that is where our pass rush was last year too. There is a reason Chandler Jones is getting 16.6 million a year with 53 million guaranteed. Hitting the QB is the best way to stop your opponent AND force turnovers.

  • CanadaBear

    Nice article JW. I know we had this convo before but I’m baffled that an intelligent, thoughtful writer like you has a following of Jr High nitwits. And this is coming from someone who revels in low brow humor as much as the next guy on this blog,

    • BearDown100393

      More like Special Ed

      • MB30SD

        that’s an insult to those kids who are trying.

        • BearDown100393

          Delinquent Special Ed

          • BearDown100393

            Or just write Bengals and call it quits.

    • The dude from yesterday wasn’t anybody I recognize. I even went and checked the site those guys hang out at now, because they’d be laughing about it on there if it was one of them, and there was nothing.

      • And most of the people who came here to troll actually are fairly thoughtful and intelligent when they want to be. They just troll when they get bored because they think it’s fun.

        • CanadaBear

          I’ll have to take your word on it because thoughtful and intelligent isn’t the first thing that came to mind. Thanks for the article.

        • “Modestly” Huge Bears Penis

          trolling is fun at times. I have been known to partake in the act from time to time, mainly just trolling Dave. The difference with your boys is they all came at once and was a little overwhelming and we were not prepared.

  • Tortured Bear fan

    this article makes me rave for Hooker or Lattimore more than ever.

    • Bender McLugh

      Hooker, yes please

    • MB30SD

      or adams @ #3 and budda in the 2nd… or that 6’4″ kid in the 3rd

      Boom. Our 10-year Safety problem solved for the next 5-10 (hopefully)

      • SC Dave

        I like the big guy from Connecticut or Vermont or wherever. Not over Adams, but there is no way he is falling to the 3rd. If he does, we should absolutely get him.

        • MB30SD

          Think he’s a husky. Butch doesn’t think he’s a playmaker, but with that size/speed, you have to take a flyer on him.

          He IS listed as the 4th best safety in the draft in a couple places if memory serves.

      • Irish Sweetness

        Draft them all. See what sticks.

        • MB30SD

          I’m in man

    • ButtonShoes

      Hooker or Adams at #3 would make me very, very happy.

  • Maybe Pace doesn’t want to shop till we actually begin fucking winning.

    “CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora reports Markus Wheaton’s contract with the Bears amounts to a one-year deal at $6 million.

    The full contract is for two years at $11 million with $5 million guaranteed, and apparently $6 million in year one. It sounds like the second year on Wheaton’s deal amounts to a team option. So the
    Bears gave Wheaton a deal similar to Brandon Marshall’s, who landed a two-year, $11 million contract from the Giants with another $1 million available through incentives. Reports out of Chicago had the team struggling to woo free agents due to organizational instability coming off a 3-13 season. The Bears were forced to severely overpay backup-caliber players Wheaton, CB Marcus Cooper, TE Dion Sims, and QB Mike Glennon. – Roto

    • The guy I’m actually hoping will turn it around is Wright. Wright has talent if someone could squeeze it out of him or make him buy in. He also makes Royal expendable.

      Bears signed WR Kendall Wright to a one-year, $4 million contract.

      Wright was underused as the Titans’ slot receiver last year, but he has the talent to make an impact in Chicago. His signing makes Eddie Royal’s $5 million cap hit expendable. Cameron
      Meredith, Kevin White, and Wright should open 2017 as Chicago’s top three wideouts, with Markus Wheaton competing for a roster spot. The 20th overall pick in the 2012 draft, 27-year-old Wright offers vertical ability in the slot. He underachieved in Tennessee due to clashes with several different coaching staffs and hard-luck injuries. – Roto

      • CanadaBear

        His big year was under Nathan Lane.

    • CanadaBear

      If the Beloved have to overpay it’s on them. Not to mention they do have plenty of cash. If the Bears get back to respectability at some point they won’t need to overpay.

      • Yeah, and most of the over inflated contracts were for this year, so going forward, it shouldn’t cripple cap.

        I just wonder if Pace is constitutionally incapable of splurging in FA.

        https://www.nbc.com/saturday-night-live/video/tightwad-007/n9621?snl=1

        One season we’re going to need him to actually open up that pocket book to get us over the hump.

        • Sahr Gborie

          and that season will be in 18.

          we have an up and coming d that this draft will make stronger and we will add to it in 18.

          we will add 1 big offensive weapon in this draft and another 2 in 18.

          that will be the core players that pace was talking about. sprinkle that with free agents and possible a new coach (JIM HARBAUGH/DAVE TOUB) and we will be truly ready for a playoff run

          • MB30SD

            you and I are dreaming about Jimmy H my man, no fucking way he comes to us at Mich until he gets the title once or twice.

          • Sahr Gborie

            money talk. plus he wants to make it on the biggest stage. i hope that’s enough to entice him to jump ship

          • MB30SD

            he was already in a SB maings… yeah I get he didn’t win it… and he lost to his bro (see canada’s story)… but he needs to win it where he is first. no way he leaves before that happens. I always bet for him to win, cause that’s just what he does, so maybe he’ll win it this year and then say ok, i’ve done it, i’m ready.

            And he will have done it for his college team, now time to do it for his first NFL team?

          • CanadaBear

            If it’s strictly money hairball stays at Mich. There are so many revenue streams available to the HC at a major univ football program they make as much as they want.

        • CanadaBear

          I think he would splurge but definitely goes against his nature. I’m OK with it now but like you say, at some point. Who knows? Hopefully this will be the last year for W@B. Somewhere along the line I hope a QB steps up and they get better. That’s about all I got.

    • BearDown100393

      Taxes also factored.

      • willbest

        IL isn’t horrible at 3.75% though you do end up paying in MI, WI, and MN which all are more signficantly more. IL is in the bottom half of the league though we don’t play the good teams all that often.

        The good teams for tax purposes are Jags, Bucs, Fins, Texans, Cowboys, Seahawks, and Raiders (after the move).

        • BearDown100393

          Work comp

          • willbest

            1) The law change is not novel. It exists in other states

            2) The present value of the worker’s comp law to a professional athlete is roughly $450,000 assuming they get Johnny Knoxed. Say you only have a 1 in 100 chance of that happening. So you are talking about $5,000.

    • willbest

      Outside of the Prince contract I don’t really see an overpay. Wheaton is in in prime BMarsh is breaking down. Demps got paid for his career year, but it wasn’t excessive.

      Glennon’s 18 million in guarantee is probably what he would have gotten from the other teams offering him 10 million a season instead of 14.5.

      • MB30SD

        Bucs offered him, what, $15 I read to come back and be the heighest paid backup in the nfl?

        That has to count for something (please god)

        • ButtonShoes

          Bucs offered him $8. Which is probably at the high-end of what his actual market value is.

          • willbest

            It was 2-year $15 million to be their backup.

          • willbest

            Incidentally, I would rather make $15 million over 2 years being an NFL backup QB on a team trending in the right direction than QB 1 for a total shit show at $18 million for 1 year when I know the HC has 1 foot out the door and they are going to draft my replacement this year or next anyway.

          • ButtonShoes

            Wasn’t only $8 guaranteed?

          • willbest

            I don’t know if that was reported.

    • ButtonShoes

      They’re certainly overpaying all of these second and third-tier free agents (in part because you have to overpay to get people to come to a bad team like ours), but all of the deals Pace has made are basically 1-year deals. Which shows that he and the Bears view all these players as lottery tickets – if they hit on one, they got a good player for cheap. If they bust, then they get cut and that’s that. But none of these players – Cooper, Wheaton, Sims, etc., are going to be part of the Bears long-term plans. Pace wants the draft to be where our stars and playmakers come from. And that should either thrill or scare you depending on how much faith you have in Pace’s ability to find good talent in the draft (for my part, I have no faith in Pace).

      • “Modestly” Huge Bears Penis

        hmmm. 1st sentence says we are overpaying 2nd and 3rd-tier FAs. 2nd sentence these FAs are lottery tickets and they got good players for cheap.

        Correct me if I am wrong. You are suggesting that we are overpaying players in hopes we get a good player cheap. Not sure if that logic pans out.

        • ButtonShoes

          It does. They’re getting more money from the Bears than they would elsewhere (have to overpay a bit to get players to sign here), but the contract sizes are relatively small, since they’re second- and third-tier free agents. So on the whole they’re cheap.

        • evantonio

          hicks?

  • BerwynBomber

    Things seem ugly between the Pats and Malcom Butler. They put a first round tender on him. He wants out. So it will be interesting to see if any team comes knocking.

    A first round pick doesn’t seem like a huge price if you are a contender and can lock him up on a reasonable deal for a few years.

    • willbest

      If I were Green Bay I would jump on that. Malcom Butler for my #29. That is basically a second rounder. Plus he is discontented so you could pay him less than Gilmore probably.

      • BerwynBomber

        Yeah, that was pretty much my first thought too. And I’d like to think it is so obvious that I would have thought it even if they weren’t our rival. But … Ted Thompson …

      • I don’t even know if the Pats will trade Butler for the #29th.

        On the one hand, they might as well get something for him.

        But Bill plays hardball. Supposedly Butler was in the Saints trade mix, but didn’t sign his tender, which fucked over that part.

        If Bill could, he’d probably send him to the Browns to fuck him over.

        • willbest

          I thought when you Place a tender on the guy any team can negotiate with them. If Patriots then have the option to match the contract or take the 1st rounder.

          Also teams aren’t allowed to poison pill (ie. $10 million bonus for the 3rd game played in MA in a given year). But the Packers could do something the Patriots might not be willing to match. Say a base salary in year one (instead of a signing bonus) of $25 million.

  • Sahr Gborie

    FIRST LOOK: The NEW Chicago Bears starting offense – https://twitter.com/i/web/status/841364274115145728

    it looks kind of nice minus LT/RT/TE (upgrade all 3 and i am happy)

    • BearDown100393

      Line’s good, rest stinks. Nice change of PACE when line was bad, rest pretty good.

      • Sahr Gborie

        I see what you did there sir…a change of PACE indeed….hahahaha

      • SC Dave

        Except the RB thing, you mean

        • BearDown100393

          Yeah the running back position looks solid with Howard.

    • willbest

      Why would White be WR#2 when we brought in Wheaton?

      • Sahr Gborie

        because he has less than 16 games worth of playing time under his belt

        • willbest

          I meant why was White even on it. It should be Meredith at 1, Wheaton 2, Wright 3

      • Merdith is the #1WR.

        Wheaton, for now, is #3 (though him and Wright will likely compete for that).

        Let that sink in.

        • willbest

          In the little infograph they had Wright in the slot. and Meredith and White on the outside. That is what I thought was nuts. That White was even on the starting lineup chart.

          • evantonio

            you just wait. 16 games. 94 catches. 1329 yards. 11 TDs.

            suck it, alshon.

    • you forgot QB

    • Irish Sweetness

      Wheaton beats out White easily.

  • willbest

    Goodbye Demarcus Ware.

    • willbest

      I presume he is a first ballot guy. #8 on the all time sack leader list, NFL sack leader twice. 4 all-pros, 3 more 2nd team, 9 pro-bowls, a DPOY, an SB ring, and the all-2000’s decade team.

      • willbest

        Speaking of first ballot guys, this will be Brian Urlacher’s first year of eligibility. But I suppose he will have to wait due to Ray Lewis.

        • EnderWiggin

          I’ll be heart broken. I was under the impression that Canton has made exceptions in the past.

          • willbest

            Well there is a bit of a queue and you also have Randy Moss as a first time eligible HoFer. So taking both Lewis and Lach this year seems unlikely and I can’t see Urlacher getting the nod over Lewis.

          • evantonio

            voters are less scared of being killed if lach doesn’t make it?

        • CanadaBear

          I could see both of them getting in and that would be the media angle. Of course, Ray would have more voters than #54.

        • SC Dave

          Lets hope not.

        • Lach will have more hair giving his HOF speech than when he played in the NFL.

          He’s like Benjamin Button.

      • SC Dave

        Looks qualified.

    • MB30SD

      He DIED?!?!?!?

      Come on will, you’re better than this. Link please!

      • willbest

        retired. He tweeted out “It’s time…” and then Rap and others talked about how he retired.

        • MB30SD

          I know, I was making a point.

          Oh, I see… she took a baahnicle and covered it in bio luminescent algeee… as a diveeersion

      • willbest
  • MB30SD

    interesting: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UfoWyZvDCEc

    (turrible name tho)

  • “Modestly” Huge Bears Penis

    Texas would be the richest state ever if this law gets passed.

    http://www.craveonline.com/mandatory/1229615-heres-texas-lawmaker-wants-fine-100-bucks-every-time-masturbate

    If I lived there I would be broke.

    • MB30SD

      policing it will be the problem.

      FREEZE!!! Sir, we’re the jerkoff police. Please put the penis down sir… SLOWLY!!!

      • willbest

        Not with the CIA having hacked your TV, phone, and computer.

        • SC Dave

          And whatever that idiotic digital thing amazin keep pushing to put EVERY aspect of your life in their fucking database.

  • MB30SD
  • “Modestly” Huge Bears Penis

    so I thought it was just a Belichick thing to trade trouble players to Browns as punishment. Turns out Oz fought with his coach.

    http://sports.yahoo.com/news/report-osweiler-obriens-confrontation-in-week-17-led-to-split-131829143.html

    so until the rest of the league starts trading their players with issues to us, we are not the BROWNS.

    • AlbertInTucson

      Talk about getting one’s panties in a wad.

      Not a great look, Oz.

      In their defense, Cleveland DID get a #2 for a #4.

      • willbest

        Expensive though.

        • Sahr Gborie

          Not if that #2 turn out to be an all pro player for 10yrs….But knowing the browns it will be a dud

        • AlbertInTucson

          How much is a #2 worth..?

  • TomC

    Part of the awfulness last year was fumble luck. The Bears forced 13 fumbles and only recovered 3, which is like a few-in-a-hundred occurrence if you assume each fumble is a coin flip.

    Then again, they were also below-average in forcing them and even worse in interceptions, so luck was by no means all of it.

    Edit: And thanks for the excellent piece, JW.

    • yeah, that was the biggest difference between 2015 and 2016. Recover 6-7 of those and now you’re looking at 14-15 instead of 11. 11 was atrocious, 14-15 is just really bad.

    • Irish Sweetness

      LBs and Safeties, Tom. We don’t have ’em. I’ll keep Floyd.

  • I’m usually all for targeting a mid-rd HB (Mixon this yr), but if Charles can be had for vet min, that might be appealing. At the very least he’d make a great 3rd back with some return potential.

    “Free agent Adrian Peterson left his Seahawks visit without a contract.

    It doesn’t mean a deal won’t happen, but the Seahawks want
    to host Latavius Murray and Jamaal Charles first. Peterson has yet to
    line up any other visits”.- Roto

    • BerwynBomber

      It is uncanny how the running style of Latavius Murray so closely resembles DeMarco Murray’s.

    • I am 100% not a fan of signing Jamaal Charles.

      Running backs in general don’t age well, but small speed backs age horribly.

      • “Modestly” Huge Bears Penis

        use in a Darren Sproles type role. plus it would be a good change of pace back.

        • That’s what I was thinking. Save his body and a draft pick for us.

          Think Charles can be effective as 3rd down back.

          IF his medicals check out.

          • SC Dave

            Wait… isn’t that what Langford was *at least* supposed to be when the “braintrust” dumped Forte for him?

          • Johnnywad

            I think they just dumped Forte. I don’t think it was due to Langford. The two are exclusive.

          • MB30SD

            Landford = not great

            forte = old

          • SC Dave

            I sure hope so.

          • Irish Sweetness

            I would be hoping he gets cut ASAP, Dave ….

      • Johnnywad

        And a 3rd RB/change of pace back could be had as a late pick or UDFA for peanuts and a coke.

      • Irish Sweetness

        They want a back there’s this freak who’ll be there at #3 ….

  • Still some good names out there. Floyd must be off the wagon or something to still be available.

    Jarvis and Datone Jones should get some action.

    I can’t believe Hankins is still available. He might be better than Poe. If Pace could steal him, that’s be the Hicks hit of FA this season.

    http://www.rotoworld.com/articles/nfl/68498/309/2017-nfl-free-agent-list

    • BerwynBomber

      Nice reference source.

    • Johnnywad

      Me likey Hankins.

      Every time I read Datone Jones, for some reason i think of “Motherfucker Jones” from Horrible Bosses.

      • evantonio

        you shoulda just said MF Jones. then when someone’s like, “who’s that?” you can be all, “don’t like movies, huh?”

        and then they’re like, “bro, i love movies.”

        and you can be all, “you don’t like movies where jennifer aniston is as hot as you hoped she could be.”

        and they’ll be like, “hotter than friends?”

        and you can be all, “i’m blocking you, bruh.”

        circle of life, man. circle of life.

        • MB30SD

          O….M….G…. I had this conversation VERBATIM with my buddy the other day!!!!

          …Sorry, ex-buddy. Cunt.

          • MB30SD

            My other buddy, the ex’s best friend, looks a lot like the irish cunt who played Bobby pellitt, so that’s what his contact card pic is in my phone. Cunt.

          • evantonio

            the mf jones, or jennifer saying “f*** my whore mouth” while crawling over a passed out dude?

          • MB30SD

            both?

        • Johnnywad

          Hahahaha.

          Jennifer Aniston’s nipples on Friends changed me. They made it possible to watch TV with my then girlfriend who is now my wife. You might say her nipples are the foundation upon which my marriage is built.

          • evantonio

            many relationships are built on less.

    • SC Dave

      If Hankins is as good as Hicks, Pace should snag his ass for sure

      • MB30SD

        Gotta be a reason he’s still out there right? Hmmmm

        • Johnnywad

          It’s because he wants to be a Bear.

      • From what I’ve seen of him, he’s good. He’s a NT that should save Goldman some milage, esp vs run.

        And he’s only like 24 without any back issues like Poe

        Hankins next to Hicks will improve our run D big time, and allow our LBs to run free.

  • SC Dave

    Jeff: “Blizzard bringing two feet of snow. Went to grocery store, post-gym, and
    just bought bread. Like 5 kinds. I think I did that wrong.”

    Since *none* of those five kinds are liquid bread, he obviously fucked up ENTIRELY.

    • MB30SD

      Blizzard?!?!?!!

      • evantonio

        calling for up to 24 inches here in the city. get on your current events, bruh

        • MB30SD

          bru, i don’t give a fuuuuuuu about y’all crazy bastards enduring that shit. Fuuuu dat.

          I’m all about 75 and sunny G$

  • Cormonster

    In crazy Japanese news, this will make Huge Bears Penis jealous.

    https://www.rt.com/viral/380403-giant-penis-festival-japan/

    I hate false advertising on a woman. Padded bras are bad enough, but this is really stepping over the line. Imagine the disappointment after getting all turned on by the camel toe, and then going down to find the chick wearing these:

    http://nextshark.com/fake-camel-toe-underwear-asia-trend/

  • MB30SD
    • Irish Sweetness

      Did he wrap a phone cord around her neck? No. Wait ….

  • BerwynBomber

    Ex-CLE/new WAS WR Terrell Pryor on whether he is worried about WAS’s current QB issues: “I played with six last year.”

  • Irish Sweetness

    “Vic Fangio’s defenses have forced fewer turnovers in the last 2 years than any other NFL defense.”

    Q.E.D.

    Vic Fangio has NO balls.

    “I think the main point to make here is that it’s hard to be as bad as the Bears have been at forcing turnovers for too long.”

    Not if you employ Vic Fangio ….

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