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Cam Meredith Can Make Kevin White’s Development Irrelevant

| July 5th, 2017

Ryan Pace exited the 2015 NFL Draft process with a really good wide receiver. Does it really matter if that player is an undrafted free agent or the seventh overall pick?

I’m not giving up on Kevin White – it is impossible to reach any conclusion on the first rounder – but Cam Meredith’s play last year has me wondering how much White’s health and development will actually play into the Bears plans and how much flak we should give Pace if he missed on the pick.

Meredith was the Bears leading receiver with 66 catches, 888 yards and four touchdowns, but the numbers are more impressive when you add context.

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Across The Middle — It’s Finally Over

| January 5th, 2017

After the worst season in terms of total losses in franchise history, the Bears should have one mission this offseason: find a quarterback.

Two weeks ago, I cited John Fox’s record without Peyton Manning as a reason to fire him. Here’s the counter argument: Fox won almost 80 percent of games when he did have a franchise quarterback. I don’t know how much credit Fox deserves for his time with Manning (a former Broncos player once told me Manning ran the whole show), but I do know that a great quarterback changes everything.

Guys like Jack Del Rio and Mike Mularkey have job security solely because their teams have good, young quarterbacks. The Cowboys went from 4-12 to 13-3 largely because they upgraded from the likes of Brandon Weeden and Matt Cassel to Dak Prescott. Mike McCarthy was getting fired two months ago but he’s now preparing for a playoff game because Aaron Rodgers put his team on his back.

It takes more than a great quarterback. The Colts continue to prove that. But the Bears have a good system in place and the kind of supporting cast that would be favorable for any quarterback to step into.

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Terrible. Bears Lose to Jags.

| October 17th, 2016

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This will be the last time this site addresses Sunday’s game. Because it doesn’t deserve much more than that.

  • Cameron Meredith is going to be a real player. It’s obvious. And the Bears, when they re-sign Alshon Jeffery, are going to have an exciting receiving corps in 2017.
  • Hoyer. Jesus. Two major problems with his performance. (1) How do you not at least throw the ball somewhere Alshon can catch it when he’s wide open in the end zone? Anywhere but ten yards over his head and out of bounds? (2) When you have a pocket big enough to fit a dining room set, why not look down the field? Hoyer is backup. And, honestly, a pretty good one. But he’s nothing more.
  • And Hoyer has now loss to two of the worst teams in the league’s in subsequent weeks. 300 yard games are by-and-large useless.
  • Jacoby Glenn can’t play.
  • Willie Young has started playing how the Bears need him to play. But they are getting so little pass rush from their defensive line or opposite Young that their attack has become feast or famine. Basically Willie Young or bust.

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For Cameron Meredith & the Bears, An Opportunity Emerges

| October 10th, 2016

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Kevin White was supposed to be the story of the 2016 Bears. But a second leg injury and second season lost have marred the development of the freakish athlete thought to be Chicago’s “next big thing”. The most likely scenario for White is the Gravitron spins again at the Feast of Football, 2017.

Enter Cam Meredith.

A local kid from Berwyn (an area I only know because of the great music venue FitzGerald’s), Meredith went undrafted out of Illinois State in 2015. Due to severe injuries at the position, his rookie year saw him on the field far more than anyone expected. Production? Not so much. But throughout 2016’s off-season program word started to circulate that Cam’s game was coming into form. He looked terrific in Bourbonnais, with Marquess Wilson’s injury opening the door for a fourth receiver. Even some commenters to this site (IrishSweetness) were lauding him as possibly the best receiver on the roster.

It took the perfect storm. An injury to Kevin White. An injury to Jay Cutler. Brian Hoyer’s bizarre desire to throw the ball to people not named Alshon Jeffery.

2 catches against Dallas.

4 cagainst Detroit.

Then the breakout. Indianapolis. 9 catches, 130 yards, 1 touchdown. Did he also fumble at a crucial moment in the game? Of course. But this is no longer a season where wins and losses are the crucial part of the story. The emergence of another talented wide receiver could have huge, lasting implications for the Chicago Bears moving forward.

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Postseason Positional Analysis Part III: Wide Receivers

| January 12th, 2016

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If the Bears can ever get — and stay — healthy at the wide receiver position, their offense should really take off. Their top four receivers missed a combined 36 games, with the only one playing over half their snaps being Marquess Wilson. Youngers players stepped up and made plays but the position, expected to be a strength, ended up being a weakness.

ALSHON

If you took the numbers Alshon Jeffery put up in 8 1/2 games this season and calculated them out to a 16-game total, you see a star. The numbers are roughly 102 catches, 1,520 yards and eight touchdowns. Looks great, but you can’t give him credit for 16 games when he doesn’t play 16 games. Injuries are his biggest problem and there’s no reason to think they will go away. So how do the Bears assign him a value?

By not signing Jeffery before the season, the Bears made it clear they didn’t view him as an elite receiver. As good as he was at times, it’s hard to say he did anything to increase his value. The Bears can’t let Jeffery hit the open market, however, because someone else will offer him top-tier receiver money and Chicago doesn’t have a replacement. Whether it be with the Franchise Tag or a long-term contract, the Bears need to bring Jeffery back.

WHITE

We don’t know what Kevin White is. We think he’s a stud and when we hear Ryan Pace say he can’t wait to “unleash” him, it makes us believe that even more. Still, he’s going to be raw and nobody has a clue what kind of long-term effects the leg injury might have on him.

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