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Three Thoughts on Second Preseason Game

| August 18th, 2016

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Yes, tonight’s “game” between the Bears and Patriots is meaningless. But there’s things to watch.

  • Here’s hoping the Bears offense scores a touchdown early. To instill confidence? No. To show improvement? Absolutely not. To shut up the Sky is Falling crowd? Yep. A touchdown drive early would force all of them to admit their week of whining was silly.
  • The Daniel Braverman Boner has elevated this summer but the Bears’ quarterback is singing praise of Marc Mariani. With Eddie Royal struggling to get on the field, Marquess Wilson never on the field and the team being very cautious with Jeffery and White, don’t be surprised if Cutler looks to throw a few extra balls Mariani’s way to ensure he’s part of this offensive core in 2016.
  • The night is still only about health, especially along the thin offensive line.

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Postseason Positional Analysis Part IX: Special Teams

| January 21st, 2016

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I liked the progression of Pat O’Donnell as the season moved along and Deonte Thompson provided a much-needed spark in the return game in December. POD will return. Thompson should.

Rick Gosselin’s overall special teams rankings have Bears 12th in the league.

Which brings us to Robbie Gould.

Element One of the Gould Dilemma: The “Shot” Factor

No, I don’t think Robbie Gould is shot.

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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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Bears Beat Bucs, Put Sixth in Win Column (Rapid Fire)

| December 28th, 2015

Bears won their sixth game. Is it the biggest win in franchise history? Of course not. But a glance at their sideline as the clock wound down Sunday proved how important this win was for them. Loss after loss was tiring a staff and roster that knew they were improving but needed some tangible evidence. Rapid fire…

  • Adam Gase has a bully offensive line and a trio of talented running backs. Why does it seem like he runs the ball against his will? It sure seems like he’d prefer to throw those awful bubble screens on first down instead of pounding Langford behind Kyle Long.
  • My lord is Kyle Long something in short yardage. When is the last time the Bears had an offensive lineman who could move multiple defenders at the goal line?
  • John Timu, still making plays.
  • Pernell McPhee wants it. I get that. But why the hell are Pace and Fox marching him out there? Rich Campbell pointed out to me on Twitter that doctors have assured the Bears McPhee can’t do more damage to his knee but what about the rest of his body? He’s running at 8% speed! (He’s also a substantial financial investment. Why not protect it?)
  • If Kevin White turns out to be a star the Bears grabbed two first round picks in the 2015 draft. Eddie Goldman is that good.

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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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Thoughts on the Second Preseason Game

| August 23rd, 2015

On the offensive side…

  • If I were going to write a book entitled Stupidest Plays in NFL History, sure, Leon Lett is going to be on the cover. But in the chapter dedicated to the preseason, Jay Cutler deciding to neck joust Greg Toler in practice game – video above – is going to receive ample attention. Cutler may not be the most well-liked player around Chicagoland but  without him the Bears will resemble the unwatchable teams from the first half of the previous decade. Taking a physical risk like that is borderline insane. You know how I know I’m right? David Haugh called the play “smart”.
  • Sure seems like Adam Gase is wisely using Cutler’s athleticism in a way previous offensive play callers ignored. They’ve shown a few read option looks through two preseason games and Cutler is being allowed to roam outside the pocket, where historically he’s been most efficient. If injuries are going to keep mounting at the receiver spot, Cutler is going to need all the time possible to allow them to get open.

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Jeff & Jahns: Sun-Times Beat Discusses the First Week of Bears Training Camp [AUDIO]

| August 6th, 2015

On this episode of Jeff & Jahns, the Sun-Times beat writer tells me that…

    • Shea McClellin has been handed the reins of Vic Fangio’s defense (and I laugh)
    • He believes Jay Cutler’s lack of interceptions thus far is newsworthy
    • Marquess Wilson is still out there making too many mental errors to expect major impact
    • Pernell McPhee and Marc Mariani are the players jumping off the field (Mariani at wideout)
    • Jordan Mills still looks to be the weak link on the offensive side of the ball
    • Much, much more!

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