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Ka’Deem Carey Enters Camp as the Ultimate Wildcard

| July 13th, 2016

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Ka’Deem Carey is entering his third training camp with the Bears. And he has just as good a chance to start as he has to be cut.

While neither of those outcomes are particularly likely, they are realistic. There aren’t that many players in the league facing similar circumstances. Two years into his career, it’s impossible to know what Carey’s role will be.

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Forte’s Exit Leaves Hole at Running Back

| February 18th, 2016

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There is no question Matt Forte lost a step and little disagreement about the Bears decision to let him go. But the reality of the situation is that by exiling Forte the club has created a big hole at the running back position. Forte, even after injury and the emergence of Jeremy Langford, was getting nearly 60 percent of the carries and was the team’s best back by every conceivable measurement.

Langford is most known for his speed and explosiveness but Forte led him in runs of fifteen yards or more by the staggering total of 10-3. Ka’Deem Carey is known for running hard and breaking tackles but — according to Pro Football Focus — Forte averaged more yards after contact (2.24-2.05) and broke a tackle once every 9 touches. Carey did once every 9.2 touches.

Even if you were to combine Langford and Carey into one back, they weren’t as good as Forte. Langford averaged 1.76 yards after contact and broke a tackle once every 17 touches and Carey has never had a run longer than 15 yards. (He’s had runs longer than 10 yards just twice.) Forte also averaged about a half-yard more per carry overall than the other two combined.

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Audibles From the Long Snapper: 30-for-30 Bores, 2016 Schedule Dreams, Hatman & Hoge

| February 16th, 2016

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Having some trouble with the sound quality when transferring Soundcloud to WordPress so I’m simply embedding Andrew’s Tweet in this space. Dan Hatman is a quality follow on Twitter and his conversation with Dannehy is worth your time.

THREE THOUGHTS FROM AROUND THE BEARS

  • After a few days I can honestly say I didn’t like the 30-for-30 on the 1985 Bears. Why? (1) There was very little new information in the film. Having seen/read just about everything on the subject, ESPN offered a survey course on a subject I’ve devoted my life to. (2) The film wasn’t made very well. The focus – especially the Buddy Ryan excess – was off. The score was bizarre. The narration was poorly written and poorly cast with Vince Vaughn. (How can you not have an iconic Chicago voice attached to a project like this? Adam Jahns narrating would have sounded far better.) If you’ve never heard of this team, it’s a worthwhile investment of your time. If you know a lot about them it offers little more than a few smiles and a chance to dive once again into nostalgic waters. People who call this one of the best 30-for-30s are lost.

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Postseason Positional Analysis Part II: Running Backs

| January 11th, 2016

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Ryan Pace went out of his way to salute the Bears running backs room in his postseason presser and why wouldn’t he? Matt Forte, Jeremy Langford and Ka’Deem Carey were arguably the most versatile and dynamic backfield in the league.

Forte can do everything. Langford looks like he’ll be able to do everything. Carey was the ideal third back, most useful in short yardage and down around the goal line. (He also contributed on specials.)

Six weeks ago I would have said the Bears were crazy to re-sign Forte at his age and somewhat declining skills but my tune has changed significantly. Why? A few reasons.

(1) Bears are building a power run offensive line and having two top of the line backs was how John Fox found success in Carolina.

(2) Short passing game is essential to this offense and Bears may not be ready to allow Langford to exclusively assume that role as he’s been far too inconsistent catching the ball in big spots.

(3) Forte is still really good and there’s no reason to believe he’s going to fall off the cliff in 2016. Bears shouldn’t break the bank and bring him in on a long-term deal but two years at $5M per is reasonable and fair.

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Across The Middle With Andrew Dannehy

| January 6th, 2016

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• “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.

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Four Things At Stake in the Finale

| December 29th, 2015

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(1) 7-9. Is that just a number? To many, sure. But it would also be a fair representation of the progress this organization has made in just one season under their new regime. This has been a coin clip season and 7-9 would accurately reflect the fact that the 2015 Chicago Bears have been narrowly on the wrong side of the coin.

(2) The Completion of a Great Cutler Season. He’s completed more than 63% of his passes for 3,414 yards and thrown 19 touchdowns to only 8 interceptions. But his numbers tell little of the story. He’s been the Bears best player, snatching several improbable victories from the jaws of defeat and doing all of it with a decimated receiving corps and young offensive line. The most remarkable part of Cutler’s season has been his leadership. For the first time during his Bears tenure, this truly felt like the quarterback’s team.

Side note: Cutler needs a monster game to break Erik Kramer’s single season yardage record of 3,838.

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Across The Middle with Andrew Dannehy

| October 14th, 2015

• The Bears have two wins because they have a good coach and a good quarterback. You were told that they would win some games for that reason, I know you were because I’m the one who told you. (Pats self on back).

• Through five games in 2014, Matt Forte had 118 touches. Through five games in 2015, he has 120. I don’t know when we should start worrying about over-usage, but he looks damn good right now. He isn’t the only one getting the ball a lot, the Bears backup running backs have combined for 26 touches after totaling 42 last year. Fox wasn’t kidding when he said he wanted to run the ball, the Bears are 12th in attempts after finishing 30th last year.

• Coming into the game, there was a debate about which team had the better quarterback. That debate is dead. You saw on Sunday why turnovers aren’t the end all, be all when it comes to quarterback play. The guy still has to be able to make plays. Smith can’t. Cutler can.

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A New Cutler Emerges: Rapid Fire Reaction to the Suddenly Exciting 2-3 Chicago Bears

| October 12th, 2015

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Where do we start? Oh yeah, the quarterback.

  • There can’t be more outlets – mainstream media or internet – who’ve been more strident in their belief that Jay Cutler can be a winning quarterback than right here. The last two weeks he’s shown why. If the Bears are in the game, if their defense does not allow 300 points, if Cutler is put in a position to win…he can go out and beat any team in the league.
  • Cutler’s touchdown pass to Marquess Wilson was the prettiest throw I’ve ever seen from a Bears quarterback.
  • Cutler dropping the snap, picking it up and finding Forte with defenders at his feet TO WIN THE GAME was no less impressive.
  • Jay still makes mechanical mistakes on a lot of throws, especially when there’s pressure coming from his blind side. Just needs to step into his throws and deliver the ball.
  • Matt Forte might just deserve a two-year extension. I don’t care how old he is. He’s playing like a 25 year-old.

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