0 Comments

Turn the Beat Around: A Trubisky Dinner, Kyle Long on the Move & More!

| May 23rd, 2017

The Chapel Hill Story

An excerpt from Dan Wiederer’s magnificent piece in the Trib:

As Pace does with all such get-to-know-you dinners, he asked Trubisky to pick the restaurant and make the reservation. It’s a minor request. But it often can be revealing of a player’s reliability.

Pace also ordered Trubisky to keep the meeting top secret, so as not to tip off anyone — not any Tar Heels coaches or teammates, not any other NFL execs or agents, not even a campus meter maid — to the Bears’ interest.

Trubisky took the directive and pieced things together.

Before Pace and his cohorts arrived on campus, the Bears GM had a text. Dinner at 7 p.m.

The venue: Bin 54, a top steakhouse in North Carolina’s Triangle region. And to keep the gathering covert, Trubisky made the reservation for six under an alias: James McMahon.

“I thought that was cool,” Pace says.

Read the entire article. It is the best work Dan has done since coming to Chicago.

Kyle Long on the Move?

Brad Biggs was first to report the Bears intend to shift Kyle Long from right to left guard, as one of the team’s few offensive stars rebounds from injuries. The positional move leaves little to be discussed. Right guard, left guard, who really gives a shit? But it was one paragraph in the piece that stood out to me:

Read More …

Tagged: , , , ,

115 Comments

Match-Up That Matters: Bears at Bucs

| November 10th, 2016

screen-shot-2016-11-09-at-11-20-01-am

The Bears travel to Tampa for a match-up of two pretty evenly-matched teams. What will tell the tale?

Bears Rushing Attack

vs.

Tampa’s Poor Rush Defense

Three thoughts:

  • The Bears ran the ball with toughness and determination against a terrific Vikings defense with backup guards. From all reports, Josh Sitton and Kyle Long will return to the lineup Sunday. Long and Sitton aren’t just their two best offensive linemen. They are two of the best players on the team and leaders on the field. Their return should be worth 25+ additional yards.
  • Bucs are allowing more than 117 yards per game on the ground at 4.1 yards per carry. If Bears stay committed to the run,  and we know they will, they should have tremendous success on the ground.
  • Only one back in the league has a better yards per carry than Jordan Howard. (That would be the revelation that is Jay Ajayi in Miami. Reason #31 you don’t break the bank for CJ Anderson.) Howard isn’t going to beat a healthy Ezekiel Elliot for Rookie of the Year but I expect him to make a formidable argument over the second half of the season. That starts in Tampa.

If the Bears run it well, they win. I think they will…and do.

Tagged: , , ,

260 Comments

Across The Middle — Week 6

| October 12th, 2016

screen-shot-2016-10-12-at-4-52-26-am

Well, now what?

The loss to the Colts may have been the most disappointing of the season to me because it ended any chance the Bears had of becoming relevant this season.

I didn’t think they’d make the playoffs but I expected the Bears to be relevant. I expected them to a be a team nobody wanted to play and I expected to see serious signs of growth. A win over Indianapolis would’ve put them at 2-3 with a  chance to go 3-3 next week before they played the Packers in a Thursday night game. At that point, anything would’ve been possible.

But they lost to the Colts, a bad team. Making the loss worse, they Colts are a bad team that was coming off of a trip to another country, while the Bears were coming off of their first win. It was a game the Bears had to win and didn’t.

There are still bright spots this season and I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. I think the Bears have a very good GM and a lot of excellent young talent. They actually have a better record through Pace’s first 21 games than the Packers did with Ted Thompson. But that doesn’t make me feel better today.

There’s always next year, for most of us anyway. Depending on how the rest of this season goes, that could bring some very difficult questions.

The biggest question is the coach and there is no easy answer.

Read More …

Tagged: , , , , , ,

333 Comments

Across The Middle – Week Four

| September 28th, 2016

i

I’ve tried to calm myself down and think about the loss to the Cowboys logically. But I can’t help but come to the same conclusion I came to while watching the game: this team is suffering from coaching malpractice.

Any team missing their three best defensive players and starting quarterback is going to struggle. Add to the fact that those three defensive players were all playing in the front seven and they were going against the team with the best offensive line in the league and a blowout makes sense.

But I don’t give a shit about any of that.

The Bears should’ve been blown out several times last year, but they weren’t.

They weren’t because they fought.

They weren’t because they either had a sound game plan or adjusted well.

They weren’t because their coaching was a legitimate advantage.

That isn’t the case right now and I’m not sure what the answer is.

Read More …

Tagged: , , , , ,

367 Comments

Bears Need Improved OL Play to Reach Potential

| July 6th, 2016

maxresdefault

The Bears have plenty of weapons at the skill positions and a terrific quarterback, but their offense won’t take a big step if their offensive line isn’t better than it was a year ago.

On paper, the Bears line should be significantly better. They lost Matt Slauson, but Kyle Long moving back to guard, combined with Cody Whitehair or Ted Larsen have to be better than Vlad Ducasse and whoever else they played last year. At his worst Bobby Massie was as good as Long was at tackle last year and, over the last 10 games last year, he was actually pretty good. Charles Leno Jr. and Hroniss Grasu should be better with experience.

But outside of Long, who should be expected to return to his stellar form at guard, there’s the possibility it all goes the other way.

Read More …

Tagged: , , , , , ,

511 Comments

Pace Has Magical Opening Week of Free Agency

| March 13th, 2016

Free agency success does not often equate to the field. Frequently the team making the largest cash splash in March lands with a deadened thump come September and beyond. But what Bears GM Ryan Pace has achieved in the first week of free agency is nothing short of a miracle.

Go through the league. Every team. And find the most improved position groups. Outside of the Giants defensive line, whose makeover cost about three hundred zillion dollars, one could argue the two most significantly upgraded positions in the NFL are on the Chicago Bears roster at inside linebacker and right guard.

Read More …

Tagged: , , , ,

311 Comments

Bears Sign Cardinals OT Bobby Massie, Move Kyle Long Back Inside

| March 9th, 2016

massie

Three thoughts:

  • Massie is a solid, professional tackle. He’s not elite but the Bears don’t necessarily need elite on the right edge.
  • I was excited earlier today thinking the Bears might sign Jeff Allen to play right guard. Instead they’ll start one of the best guards in the sports: Kyle Long.
  • Love that this Bears front office doesn’t run from roster deficiencies. Stubborn regimes of yesteryear would have kept Long outside and ignored a majority of the 2015 tape.

Tagged: ,

99 Comments

Postseason Positional Analysis Part V: Offensive Line

| January 14th, 2016

Screen Shot 2016-01-07 at 11.41.25 AM

This is, by far, the hardest position group to evaluate within an organization because it is not only an evaluation of individual performance but also of the collective whole.

THE GUARANTEES

  • Kyle Long is playing somewhere along the offensive line in 2016, most likely where he played the 2015 season. While the world has panicked at Long’s struggles at times this season, the organization – and more importantly the player – have not. Long will be on the Bears for the foreseeable future.
  • Matt Slauson would rank just behind Jay Cutler as my Bears MVP for 2015. Slauson excelled at two positions, rescuing the Bears from multiple moments of desperation at center. His versatility is developing into his finest asset as the former Jet can now line up at three positions along the line.

COMING BACK

  • Hroniss Grasu will most likely be the starting center in 2016 after the Bears put him through an extensive offseason of work. He needs to get bigger. He needs to get stronger. And it will be one of the major priorities for the offensive coaching staff this spring and summer.

Read More …

Tagged: , , , , , , , ,

326 Comments

Across The Middle With Andrew Dannehy

| January 6th, 2016

ct-matt-forte-final-game-bears-lions-spt-0104-20160103

• “Of course everybody’s frustrated, man. We were 6-10, that’s not acceptable.” That quote in itself may not mean a whole lot to most, but, to me I see it as Ryan Pace not losing track of the fact that he is in charge of a bad team. There seem to be quite a few people who have lost track of that fact. The pressure is on Pace and John Fox to make sure 6-10 doesn’t happen again and they know it.

• Going 1-7 at home isn’t OK, but five of the losses came to playoff teams and another came with a preseason lineup against a team that went 6-2 down the stretch. I’m not going to freak out about it that much.

• All of the talk about Jay Cutler’s decrease in interceptions was pretty dumb. You saw on Sunday, a lot of times, the interceptions are more about dumb luck. He’s just as good now as he’s always been.

Read More …

Tagged: , , , , ,

87 Comments

Preseason Bears Roster Falls To Lions (Rapid Fire)

| January 4th, 2016

image

Another coin flip game, another coin flip loss. No reason to dissect every element so here are a few thoughts from inside the ballpark you might find interesting.

  • John Timu ran the defense. And I mean ran it. Called the signals, made adjustments, pursued on every play. You’d have thought he was a six-year veteran. Impressive stuff.
  • Kyle Long could barely walk at times after his early injury. He’s a tough SOB. But I kept wondering what reasons Bears could have to keep marching him out there.
  • Pernell McPhee’s criticism of Bears fans at Soldier Field is warranted. The noise produced downstairs – from goal line to goal line – is slight. Most of those people seem to have no understanding of when a home crowd is needed. They were louder for the Dunkin Donuts race on the big screen than any third down on defense.

Read More …

Tagged: , , , , ,

© Da' Bears Blog