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Audibles From the Long Snapper: Lots of Trubisky, Little Bit of Toub

| June 26th, 2017

This is truly the NFL’s off-season and I’m digging it. As you’ve seen, I’m not forcing any content on you. Whatever I find interesting, I’ll share. Once camp starts, the grind starts.

Breer on Trubisky

Albert Breer, writing for The MMQB, breaks down the progress of young quarterbacks across the league in his recent column. Here’s the piece on Trubisky:

The Bears rookie’s strides through May and June came in learning a lot of the basics. Through no fault of his own, Trubisky arrived with relatively little knowledge of defense in general or coverage in particular, and so he’s gotten a crash course in those areas and has made strides there. The other area of improvement came in the basics. At North Carolina, Trubisky got play calls from the sideline, didn’t take a single snap from center and never huddled. Early in OTAs, that was apparent. By the end, he was getting the hang of calling plays in the huddle and taking snaps. And he’s impressed with his accuracy and his movement skills—he doesn’t just run 4.6, he plays at 4.6, which should ease his growth once he gets on the field.

I’m still not convinced Trubisky won’t be the starting quarterback in September.

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Three Bears Thoughts For a Monday

| June 19th, 2017

Here they come! (I’m on vacation. They’ll be quick.)

1. Mitch Trubisky is not going to sit behind Mike Glennon long and I fully believe the primary reason will be Glennon folding under the pressure of “his year”. The more MG sees MT thrive in practice and preseason, the more he’ll press to keep hold of his tenuous starting gig. I’ll be shocked if Trubisky isn’t calling signals by the bye week.

2. Why would the Bears even consider putting Kyle Long or Danny Trevathan on the field this summer? Both guys are top players coming off serious injuries. Stick em on the bike and get them ready for the Falcons.

3. Asked two or my sources around the league if they think John Fox would be fired if the Bears had a difficult season. They answered with remarkable similarity. One said “it will all depend on the QB’s development.” The other said, “Only if Pace thinks he’s the guy to get most out of QB.” The Bears are all about Trubisky now.

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Audibles From the Long Snapper: We Got the Beat Edition

| June 5th, 2017

Lamarr Houston: Forgotten Man?

Many figured Houston would not be part of the Bears plans in 2017. Patrick Finley opines otherwise in the Sun-Times:

The Bears think Houston still can be a pass-rushing threat three seasons after then-general manager Phil Emery signed him to a five-year, $35 million contract. They signaled that by not signing or drafting any significant outside linebackers this offseason.

After rehabbing in New York during the offseason, Houston has participated in OTAs. He said his recovery is on schedule, though he hesitated to predict when he would be at full strength.

‘‘All you can do is work day by day and try to get better,’’ he said. ‘‘I work to be impactful, and I work to be the best at what I do.’’

Outside linebacker Willie Young, for one, can’t imagine how he would have handled tearing both his ACLs in a span of three seasons.

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Suddenly, Tight End Looks to Be a Position of Strength for the Bears

| June 1st, 2017

Zach Miller got injured in 2016. Because if it’s a year, and Zach Miller is playing football during it, he’s going to get hurt. His injury left the Chicago Bears with a crop of tight ends that could be described as…”Who?”

Logan Paulsen was supposed to be a blocking option but caught three passes (and dropped around three hundred). Harvard UDFA Ben Braunecker wasn’t supposed to see the field. Four catches. Daniel Brown showed up out of nowhere and caught a touchdown pass. I still don’t know who MyCole Pruitt is.

The Bears established an offensive identity last season. Tough, physical offensive line anchoring a power run game on the back of Jordan Howard. But that identity lacked a crucial component once Miller was admitted into the infirmary: a tight end that could both be a force at the point of attack and a threat through the middle of the defense.

Outside of quarterback, where his aggressiveness will define his general management tenure, no position was attacked with more fervor this off-season than tight end by Ryan Pace.

  • Dion Sims only has 74 receptions in four seasons but the Bears (a) signed him primarily for his physicality/blocking ability and (b) believe he’s capable of far more productivity if given the opportunity.
  • Adam Shaheen may have been a surprise second-round selection but early reports – from Adam Jahns and many others – are that Shaheen has been the early star of rookie camp/OTAs. He’s a massive human being with great hands, a perfect complement to what Sims provides.
  • Zach Miller is still here! And Zach Miller is still a very good player. But one should not expect Miller to contribute more than 8-10 games of healthy football.

And in case you were missing the Follies of ’16, worry not! Brown, Braunecker and Pruitt are all slated to be in Bourbonnais next month.

Do the Bears have a star tight end? It’s certainly possible if Shaheen becomes the player the Bears expect him to be. But one thing is certain: one of the biggest roster weaknesses in 2016 looks to be a major position of strength in 2017.

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DBB Weekend Show: A Shit Ton of Adam Jahns Edition! [AUDIO]

| May 25th, 2017

On this episode of the Weekend Show:

  • Adam Jahns on his recent interview with Peter King on the Niners draft room, Trubisky’s near-term future, the rookie class, the fluctuating secondary and injuries on the offensive line. (It’s long. He talks about more.)
  • The Reverend returns!
  • I’m involved.

Have a happy Memorial Day, one and all. No new content (barring some unforeseen shit) until middle of next week as I will be on the road!

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Turn the Beat Around: A Trubisky Dinner, Kyle Long on the Move & More!

| May 23rd, 2017

The Chapel Hill Story

An excerpt from Dan Wiederer’s magnificent piece in the Trib:

As Pace does with all such get-to-know-you dinners, he asked Trubisky to pick the restaurant and make the reservation. It’s a minor request. But it often can be revealing of a player’s reliability.

Pace also ordered Trubisky to keep the meeting top secret, so as not to tip off anyone — not any Tar Heels coaches or teammates, not any other NFL execs or agents, not even a campus meter maid — to the Bears’ interest.

Trubisky took the directive and pieced things together.

Before Pace and his cohorts arrived on campus, the Bears GM had a text. Dinner at 7 p.m.

The venue: Bin 54, a top steakhouse in North Carolina’s Triangle region. And to keep the gathering covert, Trubisky made the reservation for six under an alias: James McMahon.

“I thought that was cool,” Pace says.

Read the entire article. It is the best work Dan has done since coming to Chicago.

Kyle Long on the Move?

Brad Biggs was first to report the Bears intend to shift Kyle Long from right to left guard, as one of the team’s few offensive stars rebounds from injuries. The positional move leaves little to be discussed. Right guard, left guard, who really gives a shit? But it was one paragraph in the piece that stood out to me:

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Question Now Facing Ryan Pace: Are Fox & Staff a Match for Trubisky?

| May 15th, 2017

The Bears are in a bit of a pickle.

Ryan Pace, their youngest and boldest GM, has stacked his chips on number ten and is waiting for the wheel to spin. The development of Mitch Trubisky will define Pace’s tenure with this organization and determine greatly whether this is a fun team to watch over the next five seasons.

But Pace now must answer a pivotal question and he must answer it in this calendar year.

Are John Fox and his coaching staff

the right guys to get the most out of Trubisky?

The Bears can arguably afford a season under Fox, with offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains and quarterbacks coach Dave Ragone focused on Trubisky’s fundamentals: snaps, mechanics, getting the play into the huddle…etc. But as Trubisky makes the transition from the classroom to the field, stability will be of the utmost importance. Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers are the gold standards at quarterback in the NFL. It’s no coincidence that both have taken every single snap of their NFL careers under one head coach. (By the same token look at what instability has done to the productivity of Flacco, Eli, Rivers…etc.)

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