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Audibles From the Long Snapper: Stats, Forte “Struggling” & Lovie Smith with Personality

| September 23rd, 2014

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SOME STATISTICAL STUFF

  • Two quarterbacks will play Sunday at Soldier Field. One has completed 66.1% of his passes for 750 yards and a TD-INT ratio of 8-2. Passer rating? 98.2. The other has completed 62.7% of his passes for 697 yards and a 5-1 ratio. Passer rating of 95.1 Heading into Bears v. Packers, Bears have the quarterback playing at the higher level.
  • Through three weeks, the Bears have the league’s sack (Willie Young, 4) and interception (Kyle Fuller, 3) leaders.
  • Bears defense has not allowed a second half touchdown.
  • Bears offense is 27th in yardage and 9th in points. If you read this site you know how I feel about quantifying offensive performance with yardage gained. It is nonsensical, especially in the current NFL where yards simply aren’t that difficult to gain. How an offense performs in the red zone is how that offense is defined. Points matter. Yards don’t.

ON MATT FORTE’S “STRUGGLES”

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Audibles From the Long Snapper: Namesake Update, More Legal McMahon, Lyerla to Pack

| May 21st, 2014

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STATUS OF THE NAMESAKE

Pat Mannelly, the namesake for this column, is attempting to recover from January hip surgery. Special teams coordinator Joe DeCamillis commented on the organization’s approach to Mannelly in this post from ESPN Chicago:

“I’ve been in contact with Pat and there is no pressure one way or the other,” DeCamillis said. “We just have to let it play out. He’s had a great career, and I hope he continues his great career, but we just need to let it play out and see how it goes.

“I don’t [have a sense which way he’s leaning]. I just hope it’s the best situation for him. That’s really what I hope because he’s such a great person and such a great guy. Winning the Ed Block Courage Award is a big deal. Couldn’t be a better guy to win it, I can tell you that.”

Here are some facts about the world when Mannelly joined the Bears:

  • The reigning Best Picture winner? Titanic.
  • Seinfeld was the top rated television show in the country.
  • Dave Wannstedt was still coaching the Chicago Bears.
  • Barack Obama had yet to serve his first two-year term in the Illinois State Senate.
  • Brian Urlacher was a teenager.

Pat Mannelly is a Chicago Bears institution and deserves a proper, year-long sendoff. Here’s hoping he returns for a final season.

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Audibles From the Long Snapper: Rob Rang’s Draft Grades, Pompei on UFAs & Jordan Lynch

| May 13th, 2014

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 I’M NOT ONE FOR DRAFT GRADES…

…but I gathered a lot of respect for Rob Rang when he released his final mock draft and was the only analyst out there projecting four safeties to the first round. So I was interested to see what he felt of the Bears selections. He likes em. A lot.

For a team that once prided itself for its defense, the Bears were toothless in 2013. General manager Phil Emery did a nice job of patching holes throughout the draft, however, adding a pro-ready corner in Kyle Fuller at No. 14 overall, a talented 1-2 punch at defensive tackle in run-stuffer Ego Ferguson and one of the top penetrators in Will Sutton and one of the more intriguing safeties in the class in Brock Vereen in the fourth. The Bears added insurance behind star Matt Forte with Ka’Deem Carey, who plays faster than he timed and is a strong, determined runner. Watch out for Day Three developmental prospects in quarterback David Fales and offensive lineman Charles Leno, each of whom could surprise in Marc Trestman’s scheme. Fuller and Ferguson come with some medical nicks and Sutton allowed himself to get out of shape in 2013. On paper, though, this ranks as one of the year’s best groups.

Here is what needs to happen for this Bears draft to be successful. Fuller is solid. One of the two defensive tackles sticks. Vereen contributes.

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Audibles From the Long Snapper: McCown, Peanut’s Payton Award, Longsnapper.com & More

| January 20th, 2014

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PFT: McCown Set to Play in 2014

From Florio at Pro Football Talk:

It’s unclear whether McCown will return to Chicago.  Because he signed a one-year deal under the minimum-salary benefit in 2013, the Bears can’t sign him until he actually becomes a free agent on March 11.  That now follows a three-day period during which McCown’s agent can engage in discussions with other teams.

With the Bears devoting $22.5 million in cap space to Cutler for the coming year, the Bears likely won’t have much in the budget for McCown.  Any team that views him as a potential starter would surely outbid the Bears.

Josh McCown is a different kind of guy and I don’t see him jumping to a terrible team for a few extra million dollars. Does he really want to be the caretaker quarterback in a place like Jacksonville or Minnesota, tutoring a rookie and waiting to be replaced? I think McCown has found a home in Chicago, in that quarterback room. And I also think he knows there’s a good chance he’s going to see the field in 2014 with a contender if he sticks around.

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Audibles From the Long Snapper: QB Cap Numbers, Charity Event Photos, Bears/Browns Stats & MORE!

| December 11th, 2013

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ESCALATING QUARTERBACK CAP NUMBERS

Phil Emery wants to build a championship contender in 2014 and he knows that tying up too much money in a single position can drastically effect his ability to plug needs, mostly on the defensive side of the ball. If Emery franchises Jay Cutler, the cap number for next season is thought to be between 16 and 17 million. That money is a directly assault on the salary cap. Here’s a bit from a NFP post from Brad Biggs on the Aaron Rodgers deal:

Now, Rodgers is on the books for seven seasons – through 2019 – at a total of $130.75 million, an average of $18,678,571 per season. Probably the best part of the contract for the team is the salary cap numbers never get out of whack. That is good for Rodgers too because those issues can lead to restructures and players getting cut. Here are his cap numbers through the life of the deal:

2013 $12 million
2014 $17.9 million
2015 $18.6 million
2016 $19.6 million
2017 $20.65 million
2018 $20.9 million
2019 $21.1 million

When Emery said he didn’t like the idea of using the tag on Jay Cutler in 2014 it was not because he didn’t want Jay Cutler on the roster for next season. Emery knows a long-term extension with Cutler affords him cap wiggle room and opens the door for mid-contract restructures to fit players when necessary. If the Bears franchise Cutler and pay Josh McCown the 2-3 million he’s earned this season, they would have a larger cap hit at quarterback than the Denver Broncos and Green Bay Packers in 2014.

I will reiterate what I’ve said since the Cutler/McCown conversation began. I believe both will be back next year and I think the Bears will have the league’s best quarterbacks room. Or as Potash wrote in his Sun-Times piece, “It’s a new era in Chicago. Krenzel/Hutchinson is a problem. Cutler/McCown is a luxury. The Bears have bigger issues with three games to go.”

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