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Across the Middle With Andrew Dannehy

| November 11th, 2015

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• 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.

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Audibles From the Long Snapper: Shea Needed, Random Thoughts & Halloween!

| October 27th, 2015

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SHEA AND ANTREL MISSED

Yes, Shea McClellin is still learning a new position in the middle of a complicated defense. And yes, Antrel Rolle is on the flipside of his football playing coin. But both are pivotal when it comes to essential elements of playing defense in the NFL. Per Friend of the Blog Adam Jahns:

“Shea McClellin, obviously, getting him back in there at some point, as well as Antrel, from a leadership standpoint, getting guys lined up and understanding how to execute our defense is key,” Fox said. “We’ve got some guys that we’re leaning on right now that will just get better with time until those guys can get back in the lineup.”

If McClellin returns and the defense improves, expect him in the lineup beyond January 3, 2015.

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The Free Agency Notebook: Day 2

| March 12th, 2015

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COUGHLIN ON ROLLE

I sat next to Tom Coughlin on a flight once from New York to Jacksonville. The most amazing thing about him? He was as interested in me as I was in him. And it was genuine. He also knows quite a bit more about football and football players than I do. His thoughts on Antrel Rolle from the NY Daily News:

“I have never come across a player that was more interested in his team and trying to help his team get better in any way he could,” Coughlin said. “I think countless Tuesdays, Antrel was in my office with (questions about) how we can get better, what we can do to get better. Just thoughts going back and forth between coach and player in terms of how our team could improve. I don’t think I have ever been involved with a player who was more sincerely interested in how his team could improve.”

While I have issues about Rolle’s performance last season it is impossible to argue the Bears don’t need the man described above in their locker room.

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The Free Agency Notebook: Day 1

| March 11th, 2015

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IN BEARS LAND…

  • Antrel Rolle is not a great player anymore…and I’m not sure he ever was a great player. He was an alarming liability in coverage last year for the Giants. But the second he signs with the Bears he’ll improve the safety position and he is also one of the most accountable leaders in the league. (He also does a weekly radio show in NYC and delivers brutally honest assessments of his defense’s play.) The Bears shouldn’t be relying on his services two or three years down the road but he is someone who can make a few plays short-term.
  • Eddie Royal excites me. Royal is a perfect complementary receiver for Alshon Jeffery and his history with Jay Cutler will lead to an immediate comfort zone. Royal has been one of my favorites for years.
  • J.T. Thomas received a nice contract from the New York Giants. I wrote this about Thomas in August of 2013: “JT Thomas is one of those players who jumps off the preseason screen. But the numbers game does not work in his favor. Williams, Anderson, Briggs, Costanzo, Bostic and Greene are on this roster. Thomas is a long shot but if I’m the Bears I find him a role on specials and let him make plays.”

THE THREE BLOCKBUSTER TRADES

  • My first thought when Jay Glazer reported the Seahawks had acquired Jimmy Graham from the Saints was if they had him a few months ago they don’t throw that moronic slant route and lose the Super Bowl. I have issues with Russell Wilson’s accuracy from the pocket but guess what, it doesn’t matter now. If he puts the ball within three yards of Graham’s head it’ll be caught. Can’t imagine a scenario wherein the Seahawks don’t open the season as favorites to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl.

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