210 Comments

Bears Trade Jared Allen to Panthers for 6th Round Pick

| September 28th, 2015

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Three Thoughts

  • Jared Allen seemed to make significant progress at a new position this summer but looked overwhelmed in his first three real games. (This once again reiterates the point that preseason football is utterly meaningless.) Per various beats, Allen was nowhere to be found in the locker room after the Bears loss to the Seahawks. He clearly didn’t want to finish his career playing the wrong position.
  • Short-term this moves allows Lamarr Houston back onto the field. And Houston fits this defense.
  • Long-term the Bears need to be putting players on the field in 2015 who they believe will be part of the organization in 2016 and beyond. If the Cowboys or anybody else is interested in Matt Forte, and the Bears don’t plan to re-sign Forte, the deal should get done.

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103 Comments

Thoughts on the First Preseason Game

| August 14th, 2015

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General Note

Having not watched the game live, I was following along on Twitter and with a few friends via text message. It was absolutely astounding the level of hysteria permeating the Tweets whilst my friends were all texting me things like, “they look ok” or “not much to actually learn from this crap”. When I woke up this morning and saw some of the work by the illustrious Chicago media, I expected to be viewing a train wreck. That was not the case. My thoughts on the game last night were overall positive.

Three Thoughts on the Offense…

  • Jay Cutler to Eddie Royal is going to be this offense’s security blanket. Expect the Bears to start a lot of drives with quick outs to put them in second and six or less.
  • Will Montgomery is a HUGE upgrade at center. He attacked Suh at the line of scrimmage on several plays and frustrated arguably one of the best defenders in the sport.

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98 Comments

Audibles From the Long Snapper: Goldman, Allen, Long & Some Odd Stuff From My Email Box

| August 10th, 2015

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Reason for Optimism on Defense?

Two passages from Patrick Finley in the Sun-Times. First, could Eddie Goldman’s emergence allow the Bears to move Ratliff to defensive end?

Calling his second-round pick a “big, square body,” Bears coach John Fox praised rookie nose tackle Eddie Goldman’s performance the past 10 days.

“That’s why we drafted him where we did,” he said Saturday. “He’s had a good camp so far. We’ll get back to camp and evaluate the tape and have a better evaluation.”

Friday, defensive coordinator Vic Fangio said Jeremiah Ratliff could play either nose or defensive end. If Goldman keeps playing well, it would be little surprise to see him start in the middle on opening day.

Second, are we about to see the emergence of Jared Allen as situational pass rusher? Seems he thrived at the position in Pernell McPhee’s absence.

With starter Pernell McPhee held out because of a coach’s decision, outside linebacker Jared Allen saw additional snaps at his new position Saturday.

He might have been the scrimmage MVP, too, after “sacking” second-string quarterback Jimmy Clausen and batting down one of his passes.

Third, what the hell is the Sun-Times doing with their web design? There is not a newspaper in America with a sloppier, less focused presentation. When you see designs like these it is very easy to understand why newspapers around the nation re being led into the ground.

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99 Comments

Three Bears Thoughts as We Enter July

| June 30th, 2015

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As most of you know, this site does not produce content for content’s sake or for clicks. And as you’ll see with our upcoming sponsor announcements, money doesn’t drive the DBB omnibus. From Labor Day to New Year’s there is new stuff here every single day. This time of year? Not so much.

But I have a few thoughts…

#1 Jared Allen may be the key to the 2015 Bears defense. The more I think about this group heading into the season, the more I wonder just what Vic Fangio and John Fox and going to do with Allen. Is he going to have his hand on the ground? Is he going to be a stand-up outside linebacker? If I were the defensive brain trust I would never stop moving Allen around the defensive front and install a singleminded: get the quarterback.

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Position-by-Position at the Bye: D-Line

| October 30th, 2014

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The following is part of a series of position-by-position breakdowns at the halftime point of the 2014 season.

This is a tale of two units.

At defensive tackle the Bears have a pair of excellent starters. If Jay Ratliff did not miss time with a concussion who knows how productive a campaign he could be enjoying. But his performance in the first half against the Miami Dolphins was one of the most dominant I’ve seen by a defensive tackle in years. Stephen Paea has endured (and I’m sure it’s pained him) endless criticism on this page alone over the duration of his career but this year he’s been week-in and week-out the Bears most reliable and impacting defensive lineman.

It also seems Phil Emery found two solid tackles in the draft. Both Ego Ferguson and Will Sutton, when they’ve gotten on the field, have jumped off the screen and made plays. Are they going to be every down starters in the years to come? I wouldn’t bet against it.

Evidence the defensive tackles have been the Bears most improved unit? A year ago the Bears ranked 32nd in the league against the run allowing 161.4 yards per game. This year they are ranked 13th, allowing only 110.1 per. That is a massive turnaround and it sure can’t be credited to what’s happening behind them.

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A Win For the Maligned: Rapid Fire Recap of Bears Season-Stabilizing Victory over Falcons

| October 13th, 2014

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This was a win for the maligned, the individuals who have suffered the slings and arrows of fans/media for weeks and in some cases years. Rapid fire recap of a massive, impressive road victory for the Chicago Bears.

  • Maligned #1: Mel Tucker. Called his best game as Chicago Bears defensive coordinator and utilized the team’s 5-6-7 options at linebacker expertly. Darryl Sharpton jumped off the screen but the main reason was Tucker putting him in positions to make plays all afternoon long.
  • Maligned #2: Joe DeCamillis. While the Twitter terrorists killed Joe D for a blocked extra point (one of the dumbest reactions in many a year) it was Joe D’s punt coverage units brilliantly handling the greatest kick returner that’s ever lived that impressed me. Pat O’Donnell is a weapon.
  • Maligned #3: Jared Allen. That was a four-quarter performance from a player who’d been showing up in spurts. Getting into the sack column should be the springboard for the remainder of his 2014 campaign.
  • Maligned #4: Jay Cutler. Flawless.

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Bears at Panthers Game Preview Addendum

| October 3rd, 2014

More Sondheim. It’s an addendum.

A FEW ADDITIONAL THOUGHTS ON INJURIES

  • There seems to be a consensus among fans and media that Jared Allen will be extremely limited in the aftermath of his battle with pneumonia a week ago. But reports I’ve read stated Allen wanted to play against the Packers and was working out vigorously Monday morning. Sure, he might not play 95% of the snaps but I don’t expect him to be used situationally in Carolina.
  • Jermon Bushrod suffering a knee injury in practice would feel far more serious if the Bears were facing the 2013 Carolina Panthers and their relentless defensive ends. But Michael Ola should be a capable replacement if needed and Bears have the luxury of Eben Britton to provide security on that side of the line.
  • Bears keep ruling out Shea McClellin days before the game. He must not be close to returning.
  • Panthers have essentially ruled out Jonathan Stewart. They are turning to the street at running back this weekend.
  • Put Jeremiah Ratliff in non-medical language and maybe your perspective will change. Against the San Francisco 49ers he suffered a bruise to his brain. That brain bruise has been so debilitating that he’s missed two straight games and has yet to be medically cleared for the third with three days til kickoff. Why is Ratliff even considering playing? Why are the Bears contemplating this risk? Ratliff should not only sit this week but also next week, avoid air travel, and return at home on the 19th.

After the jump you can hear my spot on SportsTownChicago.com previewing Bears v. Panthers…

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217 Comments

Hey, Old Friends: Chicago Bears at Carolina Panthers Game Preview

| October 2nd, 2014

I don’t know what to make of the Carolina Panthers. After opening the season with two strong defensive outings and well-earned victories they have been beaten a combined 75-29 by the rather mediocre Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens. So with this complete lack of understanding who the Carolina Panthers really are you might ask a simple question…

Why do I like the Chicago Bears this week?

I always like the Chicago Bears.

WHY ELSE?

  • Panthers defense was a force a year ago but something is rotten in the state of North Carolina. They are allowing 140 yards a game on the ground and have fewer sacks than the Bears (8-10) after doubling Chicago’s total in 2013. There is very little reason to believe the Bears offense won’t be able to build off their success against Green Bay, run the ball effectively and score quite a few points.

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244 Comments

Most Important Defensive Player of 2014: Jared Allen, Pass Rusher

| September 4th, 2014

A bold statement to start.

If Jared Allen has a great year, great meaning relentless pressure week-to-week and somewhere around fifteen sacks, the Chicago Bears defense can be the NFL’s most surprising side of the ball and one of the league’s better units. That’s how important an elite edge rusher can be in the modern game.

Since Richard Dent walked away (and finally into the Hall of Fame) the Bears have never had the 4-3 pass rushing threat Allen is capable of being. Think of the names. Alonzo Spellman. Philip Daniels. Bryan Robinson. Alex Brown. Adewale Ogunleye. Israel Idonije. Good players, all of them. But nobody is confusing them with Derrick Thomas. And while the Julius Peppers signing would be deemed an overall success, his failure to ever be a consistent, dominant pass rusher manifested itself in failing to eclipse the 11.5 sack mark in any season in Chicago. Allen has only had less than 11.5 sacks once since 2007.

Sacks are not the only measure of a pass rusher. But they sure help.

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227 Comments

Collection of Thoughts on Last Night’s Snoozefest Second Preseason Game

| August 15th, 2014

Here are some thoughts on last night’s “game”.

  • Starting with the pregame interview, it isn’t easy to adapt to Jared Allen in a Chicago Bears uniform.
  • I think we saw a few clues last night as to how Shea McClellin is going to be deployed. DJ and Lance will be behind the defensive line and Shea will be sent at the quarterback.
  • Both McClellin and Bostic made excellent pursuit tackles. Good to see them showing instincts for the position.
  • If Chris Williams is going to be the starting kick returner against Buffalo, great. In the meantime the Bears need to be giving someone other than Eric Weems a look back there. I don’t know what Weems does well but I haven’t seen it.

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