48 Comments

My Alshon Jeffery Reporting

| December 17th, 2016

The following is everything I know about Alshon Jeffery’s current status and future with the Chicago Bears. It is based on conversations with individuals in three different organization, none the Bears, and some local confirmations.

  • The Bears want Alshon in Chicago long-term and they firmly believe he wants to be in Chicago long-term.
  • The Bears made Alshon an offer last year well over the $10 million per year I had suggested earlier in the week. Alshon’s team rejected that offer and it frustrated people inside Halas Hall.
  • A “scout” with another organization told me, “If the numbers we heard are true, I can’t believe Jeffery’s people didn’t make him sign.”
  • Some around the league believe Jeffery’s lack of production and suspension in 2016 will humble him and make this deal and easy one for both sides to do come this offseason.
  • The Bears will have a breaking point with this. They won’t be bullied into overpaying Jeffery.
  • I don’t have numbers I can confirm as to what was offered or what will be offered now. My guess is Alshon will end up with a contract totaling in the $60 million range with about half of that guaranteed.

What’s important to note is that I believe I’ve been wrong about how the Bears value Jeffery. I’ve argued they don’t see him as a top tier receiver. At least as of early 2016, they did. I think this deal gets done.

Tagged:

451 Comments

DBB Weekend Show – Week 15 [AUDIO]

| December 15th, 2016

ON THIS EPISODE OF THE (Abbreviated) WEEKEND SHOW:

  • Jeff challenges Greg Gabriel’s belief that Matt Barkley is not a professional-caliber quarterback, using quotes from Gabriel’s own column.
  • A clip from the classic L.A. Story.
  • Reverend Dave believes Josh Bellamy is the Andie MacDowell of the 2016 Chicago Bears. (He get it there, trust me.)
  • Prediction. Bear weather. And the team that’s better at running it (Bears) and stopping the run (Bears) wins in -20 wind chill. 13-10!

Tagged: , , , , ,

194 Comments

Across The Middle — Week 15

| December 14th, 2016

If you follow a losing team long enough, the crappy seasons tend to all blend together. But if the 2016 Chicago Bears want to be remembered, they can make it happen this week by beating the Packers.

The Bears have been a losing team for most of my life, but there are a few teams I remember fondly. I remember the 2003 team because Charles Tillman ripped a pass out of Randy Moss’ hands and cost the Vikings a playoff berth. I remember Brian Urlacher running all alone down the field after intercepting Brett Favre in a 35-7 Bears win in 2007. I remember the 2015 Bears beating all odds by beating the Packers on Thanksgiving when Favre was being honored at halftime.

Those are the bad teams I remember positively and this year’s team has a chance to join them.

Read More …

Tagged: , , , , ,

216 Comments

Jeffrey on Jeffery: Alshon Returns From Suspension

| December 13th, 2016

Alshon Jeffery is a terrific wide receiver. He is a true number one option on the outside. But he’s not Odell Beckham. He’s not Julio Jones. He’s not a game-changing talent. And that makes his future with the Bears difficult to discern. More thoughts:

  • The ability to use the tag a second time is why I believe Alshon will return to Chicago next year. It allows the Bears, with their copious cap space, to keep a talented a player in the mix while not committing long term financially. It also gives Jeffery another opportunity to prove to the NFL he’s worthy of A.J. Green money. (His attempt to do so in 2016 failed miserably.)
  • PED suspension will have no negative impact on the front office. If anything, Alshon’s absence proved Cam Meredith – while an intriguing talent – is not ready for primetime.
  • If the Bears move on from Jeffery – a mistake in my opinion – wide receiver becomes a focal point of the offseason. Without Jeffery the Bears would be far more reliant on a healthy and productive Kevin White than they want to be. I wouldn’t rule out the team looking at Clemson’s Mike Williams in the first round.
  • Jeffery also has the opportunity to make the case for #barkleytime this week. Barkley’s had one viable excuse for not being 3-0 as Bears starter: his wide receivers don’t belong on a pro football field. Jeffery is such a massive upgrade I wouldn’t be surprised to see Barkley throw a few jump balls to him Cutler-style to take adavtange of his size and hands.
  • But let’s not pretend this is an easy decision for Ryan Pace. I get the sense Pace recognizes Jeffery’s ability but is not enamored with him as a player. GM’s hate spending money out of positional necessity but with the state of the Bears receiving corps, Pace simply may not have a choice.
  • One has to believe Pace has already made the decision on Jeffery’s future and these final three games will have little impact.

One thing is certain. If Jeffery returns in 2017 he needs to be more available. With the power run game in place, Jeffery’s ability to win over the top on play action could provide him the stage for his most productive season. Of course, it depends on who is playing quarterback.

Tagged: , ,

307 Comments

Penalties, Mistakes, Officiating Cost Backup Bears a Road Victory

| December 12th, 2016

It was a not a good game. It was difficult on the eyes. And there were a lot of reasons for that. Rapid fire…

  • It is difficult to enjoy a football game, as a fan, when you assume every long run and every good play made in the secondary is going to be accompanied by a flag. You’re simply never able to live in the moment of a football game. Yesterday the refs were a disgrace. Inconsistent pass interference calls. Hands to the face on the wrong team. Phantom holds late to literally cost the Bears a chance to tie or win the game. Officiating is going to be a big story come January and it will cost a team in he playoffs.
  • Worst example was the Stafford bomb downfield. Bears rushing three and dropping eight. Line judge throws flag, clearly for holding on the Lions. (She was staring at the line of scrimmage.) Refs convene and decide she had called holding ON THE DEFENSE! This means the refs believe one of the three rushers for the Bears held a Lions offensive lineman. Why? The only time defensive linemen hold is to prevent OL from getting to the second level. They didn’t identify who did it because, as you might imagine, it never happened. Farce.
  • How on earth are we supposed to evaluate #barkleytime with this crop of receivers “catching” the ball? Barkley didn’t do anything spectacular Sunday but when the game was put on his arm, he delivered. Again. His teammates and the refs let him down.
  • Seeing Barkley with Alshon Jeffery this week is going to be very interesting.
  • Barkley’s throw to Cam Meredith for the touchdown was a thing of beauty. Which are the throws Barkley can’t make?
  • Josh Bellamy plays wide receiver in the strangest manner I’ve ever seen. He has great hands but refuses to use them. He has no sense of where the boundaries are. He never knows when to jump or not jump for the football so his default seems to be JUMP! But he’s always open so how can Barkley not throw him the ball?

Read More …

Tagged: , , , ,

167 Comments

DBB Weekend Show – Week 14

| December 8th, 2016

On the Weekend Show:

  • Jeff discussed the importance for this coaching regime to put together a good division record down the stretch.
  • Dave Birkett on all things Lions, including whether this is a mediocre team winning a bad division or a good team ready to compete for a trip to the Super Bowl. (He also points out their specials as Detroit’s secret weapon.)
  • Ged Hourigan, Irish degenerate, tells a fake story as he steps in for the Reverend on the sermon.
  • The pick? Objective this could easily be a Lions blowout victory but two things stand in the way of that: a surging Bears defense and #barkleytime.
  • Music from Joni Mitchell and John Cale!

Tagged: , , , ,

106 Comments

Audibles From the Long Snapper: Salaam’s Passing, Fangio Rumors & More

| December 8th, 2016

You know you wanted it!

You know you missed it!

Here it comes!

The return of Audibles!

A Salaam Story

On April 22nd 1995, the day Rashaan Salaam was drafted by the Chicago Bears, I was playing Little League baseball in Kearny, New Jersey. For younger readers, the draft did not used to be a prime time affair. It was a two-day, all weekend long, NFL fanatic binge experience the likes of which the league has never duplicated. It was amazing.

There were four Bears fans in Kearny. Me. Anthony Aiello. Phil Caputo. John Cali. Yes, I grew up in a place that had a few Italians. It’s also the town where about 75% of The Sopranos was shot. (My mother did the real estate deal with HBO for the property that became Satriale’s.) Three of the four of us were at a place called Gunnell Oval – a large park area with six baseball fields – when Salaam became a Bear.

You know that scene in That Thing You Do! where the members of The Oneders run through the streets of town at the shear excitement of hearing their track on the radio? That’s what the Salaam pick was like in Kearny. We thought, none of us older than 17 at the time, this pick was going to change the franchise. We thought a Super Bowl was near.

It didn’t come to pass but I like to think I’m still that 13 year-old kid down the Oval, endlessly believing greatness is just one draft pick away.

Rashaan Salaam died of an apparent suicide at the age of forty-two. Our love goes out to his family and all the people in his life. Too many young men who’ve played this game we love have left the world too soon.

The Fangio Rumor

Mike Mulligan, not known to make shit up, shocked many Bears fans with a bit of a bombshell late Tuesday:

Read More …

Tagged: , , , , ,

© Da' Bears Blog