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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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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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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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More Camp Thoughts For a Thursday…

| August 3rd, 2017

Yesterday was an exceedingly positive day coming out of camp. But all that really matters is how many times the cart comes out.

  • Adam Jahns does a nice job breaking down the drama surrounding Kevin White in these early days of Bourbonnais. For my money, WR coach Zach Azzanni made a major mistake here. Why is a position coach calling out a player, insinuating he’s lost confidence, on the second day of padded practice? Why is John Fox allowing a first-year position coach to create a storyline that doesn’t actually exist? It’ll be surprising if Azzanni is so forthcoming moving forward.
  • Of course, Adam Hoge makes the exact opposite argument for WGN. With White being Wednesday’s star, Hoge believes Azzanni may be “pushing the right buttons.”
  • Amazing how hung-up on the quarterback pecking order fans seem to be. Let me clear something up. Mark Sanchez can’t play any more. If he’s on this roster in September – and he shouldn’t be – it’ll be in a break-glass-for-emergency/mentor role. Why wouldn’t Sanchez make my final 53? Because if you need him in October, he’ll be there, sitting at a bus station in Naperville, checking his cell phone repeatedly.

More practice today!

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Three Thoughts For a Practice-Less Day in Bourbonnais

| August 1st, 2017

Kevin White, Struggling?

Adam Hoge is not an alarmist. So when he opens a column with Kevin White’s early “struggles” there is reason to pay attention.

“He’s not where I want him to be or where we need him to be,” Bears wide receivers coach Zach Azzanni admitted Monday. “He’s a work in progress. He’s had a good three days. Good first day, OK second day, much better today.”

Azzanni was just referring to the three days since pads went on and Sunday’s quiet practice prompted the wide receivers coach to pull out some of White’s tape from West Virginia.

“He forgets about (West Virginia) sometimes because of the battle he’s had the last two years,” Azzanni said. “I wanted him to see how he used to go up and just grab that ball out of the air and he’s starting to do that again. I know he had a drop in one-on-ones the other day. The other thing is, he’s a prideful kid and he lets that beat him up and you cannot do that.”

White needs two things: (a) sustained game action and (b) success. And I’m a believer that achieving a will directly lead to be b. But tentativity from a player like White is understandable when he must be thinking that every cut in the middle of the field could be the one that ends his season. White’s not going to be confident and explosive on Day 3 in Bourbonnais. The Bears need to hope he is both of those things come Week 8 in New Orleans.

The One Throw Column

There’s a new trend developing with camp coverage across the league. Because media is limited to both what they’re allowed to see and what they’re allowed to cover – Pat Finley has resorted to drawing plays on what seems to be napkins – writers are turning in copy wherein they draw major conclusions from minor moments. Rich Campbell did so yesterday in the Trib, writing about singular moments from Glennon and Trubisky.

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Audibles From the Long Snapper: Camp Thoughts, Telander/CTE & More!

| July 31st, 2017

Five Camp Thoughts Through A Few Days

  • Tanner Gentry may be benefiting more than any other player on this roster by being low on the pecking order. While he’s situated with the 3s, he’s developing a relationship with the soon-to-be starting quarterback and face of the franchise. This isn’t Joe Anderson Boner or Daniel Braverman. This is a talented kid who may leave Bourbonnais with the faith of the most important player on the roster.
  • Bears won’t wait long to elevate Trubisky from that position, however. Right now he’s in “earn it, rook” mode. Give it a week.
  • Yes, the leap in competition level will be extraordinary. But I’m told by people on the ground that Adam Shaheen looks like he’s going to be something special. And for a team that struggled mightily in the red zone to get touchdowns a year ago, Shaheen’s productivity may begin on day one because it’ll be hard for any defense to match-up with his size and speed.
  • I’m a Kyle Fuller skeptic. I don’t doubt his ability. I don’t doubt that he’s having a good early camp. But the organization believed, less than a year ago, that Fuller lacked the heart and desire to be a professional football player. If that’s changed, wonderful. But I need to see it in September.
  •  Another summer, another weird injury as Markus Wheaton had an appendectomy that will greatly stunt his assimilation into this offense. Bears have big plans for Wheaton so the appendix not bursting should mean he’s back into the fray in 3-4 weeks.

Telander Donates His Brain

Other than my friend Rick Pearson, the best political journalist in Chicago, I rarely look inside the Chicago Tribune (physically or digitally). Rick Telander is one of the reasons why the Sun-Times has gathered almost all of my attention and why I was so thrilled to hear their new ownership pledge allegiance to good, local writing. Here’s an excerpt from his wonderful piece on his brain, and CTE:

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