179 Comments

Audibles From the Long Snapper: Five Guys In Need of a Solid Sunday

| December 29th, 2016

In only four days, it ends.

WHO COULD USE A SOLID SUNDAY?

  • Matt Barkley. #Barkleytime has something. Call it moxie. Call it guts. Call it chutzpah. Does he have the physical tools of an Aaron Rodgers or Jay Cutler? No. But he’s certainly shown over his first five starts that he has enough to make it as a quarterback in the NFL. Barkley can go a long way towards cementing his inarguably successful 2016 by rebounding from his poor performance a week ago. And it would be hard to see him not playing a prominent role in Bourbonnais if he played well Sunday in Minnesota.
  • John Fox. Don’t think there’s any chance of his being fired because injuries (especially at QB) and suspensions (to 2 of the Bears 5 best players) will give him a free pass into 2017. But neither Fox nor Ryan Pace want to see the head coach finish this season being walloped twice. While not winning, the Bears fought almost every single week and kept most games close. Fox needs to show his team still, even as the season concludes, wants to fight for him.
  • Jonathan Bullard. Let’s be honest, Bullard has had a nothing rookie season. When the coaching staff is playing Mitch Unrein instead of you, it probably means you’re Mitch Ungood. But Bullard flashed against Washington – his first flashes all year – and a second consecutive decent performance could help the rookie’s confidence as he heads into a pivotal offseason for his development.
  • Charles Leno. The Bears starting left tackle received a glowing endorsement from Pace last offseason and has performed well overall in 2016. But he had unquestionably his worst performance of the season against Washington, allowing Preston Smith to walk around him as he carved the man’s bust for Canton. If Leno wants to hold onto his starting role in 2017 he might not want to leave Pace with the taste of two howlers to close out the campaign.
  • Adrian Amos. Injuries have been the biggest disappointment of 2016. Amos is the runner-up. The safety was never expected to display dominant ball skills but his struggles in run support (poor angling, inefficient tackling…etc.) have left many believing the Bears need two new players at the position in 2017 to become an elite defensive unit.

Enjoy!

Tagged: , , , ,

365 Comments

Bears Secondary: A Perceived Weakness May Be a Blossoming Strength

| June 22nd, 2016

porter

One position group quite a few people wished the Bears did a better job addressing this offseason was the secondary. But, despite not having any household names, they’re better back there than most think.

In 2015 the Bears defense ranked fourth in passing yardage allowed. But that’s not the eye-opening statistic. The thing that jumps out is a new metric Football Outsiders started using last year called ALEX, named after everyone’s favorite Checkdown Charlie, Alex Smith. The number ranks how often defenses forced quarterbacks to throw short of the first down marker — a clear sign of good coverage.

The Bears were the best in the sport.

Read More …

Tagged: , , , , , , ,

86 Comments

Postseason Positional Analysis Part VIII: Secondary

| January 20th, 2016

Screen Shot 2016-01-07 at 11.53.32 AM

Here are a few sentences I never thought I’d write, or think, in 2015:

  • The Bears really struggled covering the slot without Bryce Callahan.
  • Tracy Porter is playing like a corner who wants a contract extension.
  • The secondary has been the best level of the Bears defense several games this season.

My predictions were (1) the Bears would field the worst secondary in the league and (2) perhaps one of the worst secondaries in the organization’s history. Neither of those predictions were accurate. Neither was even close.

WHO IS BACK

Kyle Fuller and Adrian Amos both had up-and-down 2015s but both will be prominent members of the Bears secondary next season.

Tracy Porter isn’t a top tier corner but his ability to close on the football is somewhat astounding. If Calvin Johnson does actually retire this offseason, does Porter’s value increase?

Antrel Rolle doesn’t actually cost the Bears much in 2016 so it wouldn’t make sense for them to cut bait before Bourbonnais. Even if the Bears target safety in free agency or the draft, Rolle could provide cheap depth off the bench.

Bryce Callahan was arguably the defense’s most pleasant surprise and a player the Bears coaching staff will surely want to continue developing.

Read More …

Tagged: , , , , ,

243 Comments

FrontRowTickets.com Game Preview: Bears Try to End the Losing in Minnesota

| December 18th, 2015

dabearsblog banner

Sell Chicago Bears Tickets

8-8 is still on the table. 3-3 in the division is still on the table. Neither remains there if the Bears lose in Minnesota Sunday. I don’t think a John Fox team ever lacks for motivation and this one has no reason to.

THE GAME POEM

“Shall fair ladies never learn that I,
from blows me shielding, backward turned me;
nor shall ever Ingibiorg taunt me,
in Sigtuna sitting, that from sword-blows I fled.”

-From the Old Norse poem, Hialmar’s Death Song

3 THOUGHTS ON THE MINNESOTA VIKINGS

  • Blaine Gabbert, Kirk Cousins and now Teddy Bridgewater. The Bears are facing three very similar quarterbacks in a row and Bridgewater might be the most limited of the bunch. As a quarterback he does two things I don’t like consistently: (a) he doesn’t create plays with his legs when he feels pressure in the pocket and (b) he doesn’t stretch defenses with his arm. He’s a quick read/quick toss dink-and-dunker. If the Bears play soft on the outside, they deserve to have the ball moved on them.
  • Hard to evaluate the Vikings defense in recent weeks as arguably their three best defenders have been on the bench. But Linval Joseph and Harrison Smith returned to the practice field this week and there’s a very slight (very) chance Anthony Barr will give it a go Sunday. It shouldn’t be expected that any of them are 100% but their presence in the lineup can only be positive.
  • Minnesota is arguably the best kick return team in the league. (They already did some damage against the Bears this season.) The Bears coverage units can’t allow the Vikings to score on specials or play on short fields. Although, with the way the football is leaving Robbie’s foot these days, I’d expect the Vikings to have several shots to make a game-changing play on specials.

Read More …

Tagged: , , , , , , ,

271 Comments

FrontRowTickets.com Game Preview: And So Begins the Final Four…

| December 11th, 2015

dabearsblog banner

Chicago Bears Schedule

(Battling a demon virus this week so the game preview is abbreviated.)

Robbie Gould let the wind out of the sails of Bears fans last Sunday, shanking a game-winning chip shot worse than early 2015 Tiger Woods. But I’d expect the crowd to be fired up for the Redskins Sunday – a team that desperately needs the game.

THE GAME POEM

On the last bar stool to the left he sat,

For fifteen years in an orange and blue hat

A power lifter and reverend to his right,

And an endless amount of draught Coors Light

Fifteen years goes by in a blink

With the same stool, same people, same drink

Yesterday it was a title he’d choose

Now he’d like em to win as many as they lose

THOUGHTS ON THE WASHINGTON REDSKINS

  • Washington is every bit as bad a road team as San Francisco, losing all five of their road games by a combined 162-86.
  • Injuries across the defensive front (Stephen Paea, Jason Hatcher…etc) have severely limited the Redskins pass rush. On Monday night against the wretched Matt Cassel the ‘Skins managed just a single sack and (by my count) no additional hits. If they couldn’t muster a rush in that must-win, prime time affair, you’d have to be surprised to see them come after Cutler consistently Sunday.
  • Kirk Cousins at home and Kirk Cousins on the road are vastly different individuals.

Screen Shot 2015-12-08 at 12.49.08 PM

A THOUGHT ON THE NAME “REDSKINS”

It’s a football team. Why not just change it? Seriously, who gives a shit? I find the whole idea of these teams having mascots at all ridiculous. Oh, it’s the Chicago BEARS! They’re a bunch of a guys. Why are they bears?

Read More …

Tagged: , , , , ,

301 Comments

Across the Middle With Andrew Dannehy

| November 18th, 2015

111515-NFL-Bears-Zach-Miller-PI-CH.vresize.1200.675.high.1

• I honestly don’t know what to make of the Bears win over the Rams. I want to feel great about it, but I’m scared. Are we sure the Rams aren’t just terrible? It reminds me of last year when the Bears beat Atlanta 27-13, largely because Atlanta’s receivers couldn’t catch. This time it was largely a matter of the Rams quarterback not being able to throw. The Bears deserve credit because they were supposed to be among the worst teams in the league and they’re clearly not. But we won’t really know if this team is good until after Thanksgiving.

• The Bears defensive line hasn’t gotten enough credit for keeping Todd Gurley in check. I found it interesting that they played Jarvis Jenkins almost strictly as a pass-rusher – only eight snaps against the run, He was replaced by Mitch Urein and Bruce Gaston.

Read More …

Tagged: , , , , ,

104 Comments

Across the Middle With Andrew Dannehy

| November 11th, 2015

image

• Upon further review, I have changed my mind about the biggest thing to come out of this game. Immediately after the game, I thought it was about their defense finally getting a stop and Jeremy Langford. Now, I think it was about Alshon Jeffery. He was awful at the start of the game, with a dropped touchdown, another dropped pass on third down and a pick-six that he should’ve prevented. He put the team in a big hole. In the past, we’ve seen Alshon disappear after those moments. Then something happened. It’s as if he grew up before our eyes. He was different. We saw him pounding his chest and talking after the play. He was pissed off and he was going to dominate. Maybe it doesn’t happen that way if Jason Verrett doesn’t hurt his hamstring, but I’m not sure that mattered. He just may have taken the step the Bears dared him to take by not extending his contract before the season.

Read More …

Tagged: , , , , ,

105 Comments

Audibles From the Long Snapper: Regime Secrecy, Camp Fights & Famous Amos!

| August 17th, 2015

audibles

A rather mundane and boring training camp gave way to drama over the last half week. Let’s dive in.

Media Betrayed By Secret Regime!

From a Tweet by Tribune beat Dan Wiederer:

The Bears bungled how they framed this Kevin White injury to the public from the start. Still not sure what they hoped to gain w secrecy.

Wiederer was not alone over the last few days. Many of the Chicago sports media were bitching and moaning about the secrecy surrounding the Kevin White injury. But here’s the truth:

  1. Fans don’t give a shit. Sports media is an information delivery apparatus for fans; getting them the news and notes access affords. I have not spoken to, Tweeted or emailed with A SINGLE fan who cares how much detail a team reveals about a player’s injury.  Is he playing or not – that’s all they care about. The whining from Potash and Haugh over the last few days is press room only type stuff. It’s shop talk. And it could not land with more a thump when it comes to the public.
  2. This is sports. Can the sports media stop acting like they are covering a presidential election or an escalating conflict in the Middle East? Ryan Pace did not choose to be coy with Kevin White’s status out of “secrecy”. He chose to be coy with White’s status out of gamesmanship. The same gamesmanship employed routinely by the best coaches and organizations in the sport. This is a game. It’s not a disease epidemic ravaging a third world nation. Maybe everybody needs to take a step back and remember this is all about moving a ball up and down a field.
  3. It’s a false narrative. White, as of last week, was making significant progress. The organization did not believe this was coming. Then it came. So what’s the big deal here?

Camp Fights!

I love em.

Read More …

Tagged: , , ,

488 Comments

NFL Draft: Day Three Open Thread

| May 2nd, 2015

oleary

Three of the four players I profiled last week – Nick O’Leary, Jalston Fowler & Nick Perry – are still available for the Chicago Bears on day three of the draft. Who else of note is available?

  • Two of the safeties I thought would be gone on day two – Josh Shaw and Adrian Amos – are still on the board. Both are potential NFL starters in 2015. Since I posted some Shaw video yesterday, here’s Amos:

Read More …

Tagged: , , , , ,

© Da' Bears Blog