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Three Easy Ways to Watch the Bears Finish Their Painful 2016 Campaign

| November 25th, 2016

Even with news breaking that Jay Cutler’s shoulder injury may not be season ending, he still isn’t playing football in the next few weeks. This means the Bears have two options at QB: Matt Barkley and David Fales. (It’s gotten so bad there was drama surrounding their attempt to sign Jake Rudock off the Lions practice squad.)

So how should you watch? I’ll tell you.

DON’T GET TOO INTO THE RESULTS

Fans seem to lose context over the duration of a football game. Third string quarterback playing? WHY DON’T THEY RUN THE BALL MORE? Defense on the field for 48 minutes? WHY CAN’T THEY STOP EM ON THIRD DOWN?

I know my opinion that the Bears are only guaranteed sixteen games a season so I always root for them to win is not popular. It’s easier for fans to say, “Fuck it, I hope they lose” because it removes any emotional investment from the proceedings and allows many to cling to the Dream of The Franchise-Changing Draft Pick.

But in the case of the next six games, I’m encouraging fans to root without emotion. Because the results of these next six games no longer have much to do with the future of the Chicago Bears. With these kids at quarterback, winning just ain’t gonna happen.

FOCUS OFF THE BALL

You don’t need to be a professional scout to understand the complexities of an NFL play. But you often have to ignore where the football is going.

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Notes from Day Three of Bears Camp

| August 1st, 2016

Bears Offense

• Context is the most important thing when it comes to evaluating training camp, but it often gets lost in the shuffle.

That was my biggest takeaway from Bears training camp Saturday morning as I watched the team run through routine drills before a few sessions of 11-on-11 scrimmaging. Daniel Braverman is too crafty for the Jacoby Glenns of the world to stand a chance, but does that mean he’s really standing out? He has stood out in the way that he’s caught more passes than any other player in camp, that he’s clearly better than Kieran Duncan and Derek Keaton, but the constant reports about him excelling are misleading because of who he is competing with and against.

There is an inherent problem with moving Braverman up the depth chart: Is he better than Marc Mariani? I don’t think he is and Mariani towers over Braverman (you don’t understand the size difference until you see them standing side-by-side. Mariani is significantly bigger). I expect Braverman to continue to stand out against the bottom of the depth chart guys and that should earn him a roster spot. I’d warn against anyone suggesting he’s going to earn actual playing time this season, however.

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Postseason Positional Analysis Part I: Quarterbacks

| January 7th, 2016

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Over the next few weeks, we’ll be evaluating each of the position groupings of the 2015 Bears. Today we’ll start with quarterbacks. Monday we’ll address running backs, Tuesday wide receivers, Wednesday tight ends and Thursday the offensive line. Defense will come the following week.

Jay Cutler did everything possible in 2015 to earn the starting quarterback job in 2016. He showed a command of the offense, assumed a serious, vocal leadership role, limited his risk/reward tosses and overcame a myriad of injuries at the skill spots and offensive line to provide Bears fans a season far more entertaining than was expected from their shaky roster.

He’s the guy. Indisputably.

But behind Cutler, what are the Bears doing at the position? Nothing.

Chicago determined David Fales was worth protecting from pilferage, I guess. But the decisions was less a vote of confidence in Fales’ ability and more an extreme willingness to allow James Clausen a one way ticket to Anywhere, USA. And while Matt Blanchard continues to taxi on the Bears runway, the chances of him ever finding Gate 53 are slim.

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Audibles From the Long Snapper: Hoge’s Three Points, Defense Improving & the Favored Raiders?

| September 28th, 2015

audibles

HOGE NAILS THREE POINTS

Sat down to write a column Monday morning and after a Google search realized Adam Hoge (WGN) already wrote it. He makes three suggestions to John Fox and all three are 100% correct.

1. Start David Fales against the Raiders.

2. Stop the nonsense and just have Pat O’Donnell boom kickoffs out of the back of the end zone.

3. Give Jeremy Langford more carries.

Quick thought on each.

  • Wrote the column on why Bears should have started David Fales last week. Jimmy Clausen is horrible and everyone on earth knows that. (Did you see how Pete Carroll approached him Sunday? They were daring him to throw passes!) 2015 is in the books. Every decision should be geared towards 2016 and beyond.
  • Teams are going to move the ball on the Bears all season so they’re not afraid to return kickoffs from inside the end zone. There’s no different to them between starting on the 13 or 20 yard lines. Bears can’t cover kicks currently and they shouldn’t have to. They have a protective measure on the roster. They should use him.
  • Bears need to make a decision immediately whether Matt Forte is part of their future. If he’s not, he shouldn’t be on this team. I’d take Hoge’s point a step further. I think Langford should be receiving a bulk of the carries.

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Starting Jimmy Clausen a Mistake for Chicago Bears

| September 22nd, 2015

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David Fales may be shit. He may be no closer to a starting NFL quarterback than Caleb Hanie or Jonathan Quinn or Henry Burris or, hell, Henry Rollins for that matter. A look at the image above reveals three words that ask a million questions: “No stats available.” Fales is an unknown. But an unknown is better than a known when that known is…

Jimmy Clausen is shit. Everyone knows this. And the Bears, according to multiple reports across Chicago, will be starting the ex-Notre Dame signal caller for as long as Jay Cutler is unable to take to the field. It’s a mistake. And another example of the Bears taking a short-sighted view of the 2015 season instead of playing the long game.

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Thoughts on the Fourth Preseason Game:

| September 4th, 2015

On the offensive side…

• It’s gonna be a little difficult to cut David Fales now. After a slow start, Fales looked pretty good. Of course, you have to consider who he was going against, but he threw the ball well and moved well out of the pocket. He probably isn’t going to be a starting quarterback, but it’s hard to find even adequate backups and Fales has that potential. What do they have to lose by keeping him around? Is there really that big of a difference between Fales and Jimmy Clausen?

• Not playing Zac Dysert until late in the game makes sense if the Bears know what they have and he has a roster spot locked up. If not, why sign him in the first place?

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A Look at the Potential Fifty-Three on Memorial Day Weekend

| May 25th, 2014

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UPDATE: SOMEHOW I DIDN’T COPY OVER MY FULLBACK COLUMN WHEN POSTING. THIS IS NOW DONE.

Here is the breakdown of the 2013 Chicago Bears roster as they broke August and headed for the regular season:

Quarterbacks (2): Jay CutlerJosh McCown

Running backs (3): Michael Bush, Michael Ford, Matt Forte

Fullbacks (1): Tony Fiammetta

Wide receivers (6): Joe AndersonEarl BennettAlshon JefferyBrandon MarshallEric Weems, Marquess Wilson

Tight ends (3): Kyle Adams, Martellus Bennett, Steve Maneri

Offensive linemen (9): Taylor Boggs, Eben Britton, James Brown, Jermon BushrodRoberto Garza, Kyle Long, Jordan Mills, Jonathan Scott, Matt Slauson

Defensive linemen (9): Nate CollinsShea McClellinHenry Melton, Zach Minter, Cheta Ozougwu,Stephen PaeaJulius Peppers, Cornelius Washington, Corey Wootton

Linebackers (6): James Anderson, Jon Bostic, Lance BriggsBlake Costanzo, Khaseem Greene, D.J. Williams.

Cornerbacks (6): Zackary Bowman, Isaiah FreyTim JenningsSherrick McManisCharles Tillman, C.J. Wilson

Safeties (4): Chris Conte, Craig Steltz, Anthony Walters, Major Wright

Specialists (4): Robbie GouldDevin HesterPatrick MannellyAdam Podlesh

Understanding how much can change over the next three months, let’s try and project  what this year’s 53 might look like and identify what camp battles might truly exist in Bourbonnais. One thing that’ll surprise you? There are very few questions.

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Thoughts on Entirety of the Chicago Bears Draft

| May 11th, 2014

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Congrats to Scott Vandermoon, winner of the DBB draft weekend ticket contest. He’ll receive a pair of tickets to a Bears home game this year.

The Bears drafted eight players over three days. They were Kyle Fuller (CB, Va Tech), Ego Ferguson (DT, LSU),Will Sutton (DT, Arizona State), Ka’Deem Carey (RB, Arizona), Brock Vereen (FS, Minnesota), David Fales (QB, San Jose State), Pat O’Donnell (P,Miami) and Charles Leno Jr. (OT, Boise State).

They also signed as undrafted free agents: Jordan Lynch (QB?, Northern Illinois), James Dunbar (OT, TCU), Christian Jones (LB, FSU), Brandon Dunn (DT, Louisville), DeDe Lattimore (LB, South Florida), Tana Patrick (LB, Bama), Lee Pegues (DT, East Carolina), Cody Booth (TE, Temple) and Ryan Groy (OG, Wisconsin).

There is a lot to discuss when it comes to this bounty of players. I, of course, am starting with the punter.

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