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Across The Middle: Will the Real Dowell Loggains Please Stand Up?

| November 21st, 2017

Outside of maybe John Fox, the hottest seat in the city of Chicago belongs to that of offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains. But in reality, do we even know if he’s bad?

Whether he intended to or not, Mitch Trubisky dropped a bombshell after Sunday’s game, saying he knows Loggains trusts him, but that Fox limits what they’re allowed to do. That’s Fox’s job and I can hardly blame him. The Bears had Tanner Gentry and Tre McBride lined out wide with a rookie quarterback two games ago. The results were completing less than 50% of their passes and an insanely high sack rate.

But that doesn’t change the fact that we still don’t really know what the offensive coordinator can do.

Some reflections:

  • Two of Loggains former quarterbacks — Matt Hasselbeck and Jay Cutler — insist he’s a bright coach.
  • Cutler went as far as to say that he thinks Loggains is going to be a head coach one day.
  • Hasselbeck has appeared on the Waddle & Silvy Show several times and has been adamant that what you see on Sunday isn’t a reflection of the coordinator.
  • Mike Munchak vouched for Loggains, having employed him as his offensive coordinator once and selling him as the guy who was going to run his show should he get another head job.

That said, he’s never had an offense finish better than 19th in scoring or 15th in yardage. Last year, the Bears were 28th in points scored and they sit 27th so far this year. But, how much can we blame him for that?

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Bisky Sour: Six Thoughts on Falling to 3-7

| November 20th, 2017


(1) Mitch Trubisky is starting to show signs that he’s going to be a very good quarterback in this league for a long time. Improving weekly. Learning from mistakes. Scrambling in key spots. Throwing receivers open. Leading. But I thought his comment post-game was so telling.

How many quarterbacks have to say something like “what coach Fox is allowing us to do on offense”? Get the feeling Trubisky won’t be heartbroken when Fox is let go.


(2) Connor Barth is terrible. He’s not shaky or inconsistent. He is legitimately the worst kicker in the league. And for a team with such a small margin for error to employ him is inexcusable. If he’s on the roster Tuesday, fans should boycott the team next weekend. Read More …

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The 2017 Bears’ Greatest Sin: They Are a Bore

| November 14th, 2017

Sometimes fans and football media (bloggers too, for that matter) get so wrapped up in the particulars of NFL action they lose touch with the bigger picture. Snap counts. A-gaps. Running into run looks. Drama between GM and coach. It’s all the stuff that allows us to fill space – whether that’s a newspaper column or blog post or Twitter feed. And with only 60 minutes of game action a week, it’s not that easy to six days of space. Hell, there’s a reason the Chicago Tribune has about nine people covering the Bears.

But this whole sports thing is supposed to be entertaining. This is supposed to be something we do for enjoyment. Yes, for the media it’s a job but these guys aren’t covering Afghanistan or sex abuse scandals or gun violence in Chicago. This is all supposed to be fun. And the 2017 Chicago Bears are not entertaining. They are not enjoyable. They are not fun.

They are a massive fucking bore. And that alone should be enough to get people fired.


Image result for boring gif


The empty seats at Soldier Field Sunday – against the team’s oldest rival, with actual things on the line – were just the beginning. The Lions are coming to town in the thick of a playoff hunt with a fan base that loves traveling south to Chicago and annoying the shit out of me in Rossi’s. What is that building on the lakefront going to sound like when half the seats are silver and blue?

The Bears have the awful Niners at Soldier Field in December. Who is going to that game?

They have the worst organization in the history of pro sports, the Cleveland Browns, coming to Soldier Field on Christmas Eve!! Who is going to THAT game? Oh that’s right, I am! You’ll see me on television. I’ll be the guy in the stands.

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Midseason Marks: Offense

| October 31st, 2017

The DBB team is evaluating the entire organization at this well-placed, exactly midseason bye week. The catch? Each of us is limited to ONE SENTENCE for each position group. Today we start with the offense.


Quarterback

Jeff: Trubisky is going to get 12 games of experience in close, competitive games – invaluable moving forward – and that’s all that mattered from the QB position in 2017.

Andrew: The present hasn’t been good, but the future looks bright.

Data: Mike Glennon is not good, Mitchell Trubisky is a rookie and the play calling has not helped either out.

DBB Grade: C-


Running Back

Jeff: Tarik Cohen’s versatility is exciting to watch but don’t sleep on Jordan Howard muscling his way to the rushing title as he’s only a hundred yards back.

Andrew: The best position group on the offense hopefully won’t be worn down by overusage.

Data: Jordan Howard must be getting sick and tired of getting hit behind the line of scrimmage.

DBB Grade: A


Wide Receiver

Jeff: This is just an awful collection of players.

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Big Picture: Ryan Pace Has 8 Games To Decide Future of Bears Offense

| October 30th, 2017

John David Mercer – USA TODAY Sports


Today could easily be spent on the particulars of the Bears 20-12 loss to the New Orleans Saints. We could talk about the ridiculousness of the Zach Miller overturn, a call that irrationally and irrevocably changed the outcome of the game, but Adam Hoge covered that brilliantly HERE. We could talk about another sterling defensive effort, marred by a few costly mistakes, but Adam Jahns detailed those HERE. We could talk about Connor Barth but, really, who wants to?

Yesterday wasn’t about the small things, however. Yesterday felt big picture.

The Bears – Ryan Pace, John Fox, Vic Fangio –  have built a championship defense. Not a decent defense or a good defense. A championship defense. And with a few off-season additions, it won’t matter who is coaching the unit. When the talent is that good and that deep you could bring Mel Tucker back and the Bears would still rank top ten in every meaningful defensive category.

[Note to Ryan Pace: Don’t bring Mel Tucker back. I was kidding.]

The offense is…the issue.

One couldn’t help wonder what Ryan Pace was thinking as he sat and watched his new team face his former team in the Superdome yesterday. It is well-documented how close the relationship between Pace and Sean Payton was during their time together and one has to believe there was some longing in the Bears GM’s heart Sunday.

Because the Saints offensive coaching staff was doing advanced mathematics at MIT. Their run game was varied and creative, using several formations and calls they hadn’t previously used this season. There was strategy in everything they did, with each early call having a late rationale. That’s not a wildly talented collection of offensive players but the coaching staff puts every one of them in the best position to succeed. Novel concept, huh?

The Bears offensive coaching staff was counting blocks at Wise Owl Nursery School in Belleville, NJ. (It is right between the McDonald’s and the bowling alley.) Read More …

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Across The Middle: Embrace Fox Ball

| October 25th, 2017

I was mad.

The Bears were ahead by fourteen with less than eight minutes to go. Victory was a near certainty. But was I happy? No.

Considering this is a team that won just three games last season and hasn’t won more than eight since 2012, my anger in that moment was not justifiable.

What I, and many Bears fans, must do is learn to embrace these 2017 Bears. They’re ugly, sure, but style points be damned! This team is tough. They are also a game away from .500 and, you know what, they’re kind of fun.

Their offense needs to be better. I don’t expect they’ll be able to win many more games like they have the last two weeks, but it is what it is. Nobody should expect them to win the Super Bowl, or even just light up the scoreboard through the air. This team will never do that.

But they can play defense and the last two weeks they’ve done that as well as anybody in the league.

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Audibles From the Long Snapper: Biggs, Jahns & Moon on Mitch & More!

| October 17th, 2017

BIGGS ON TRUBISKY TOUCHDOWN

It was a terrific play by Trubisky but the rookie QB actually made it more difficult than it needed to be. I noticed this live and Brad Biggs made the sixth of his ten things:

6. Dion Sims’ 27-yard touchdown came on a nice play by Mitch Trubisky, who was getting hit as he delivered the ball and didn’t see the touchdown. Sims was uncovered off the line of scrimmage. The Ravens had some pre-snap confusion and that allowed Sims to release from the line and head downfield with no one on him. Strong safety Tony Jefferson was late arriving and it was a really good play for the Bears. It’s nice to see Sims making some plays downfield and after some dropped passes in previous weeks, he needs to step up with plays like that. Trubisky said he took a while to get to Sims because it wasn’t his first read. I’m interested to see this again on the All-22 tape, but live I thought Sims was open immediately and if that’s the case, the quarterback needs to sense that immediately. Especially in this case as the Bears were facing third-and-7 and the goal was to move the chains and avoid having to attempt a field goal.

It’s all about experience. But it doesn’t necessarily help the rookie’s development when he’s only dropping back to pass on obvious passing downs, twenty times a game.


Jahns on That Very Topic

In the new AJ After Dark piece in the Sun-Times, three things to note.

  • Adam emphasizes this offensive approach is coming from Fox, not Loggains. Independently, I have confirmed that. Because this is not the way Loggains wants to use Trubisky.
  • Jahns argues the Bears need to let the kid do more.
  • Quotes from Bears players re: Trubisky should get every fan excited. Here’s a passage from the piece:

Coach John Fox’s game plan — not offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains’ — became more apparent with every handoff.

Fox wanted Trubisky to manage his first start on the road. Trubisky, though, did one better — he managed to win it.

When the Bears finally needed Trubisky to be special, he was. On the move, he delivered an 18-yard completion to receiver Kendall Wright over the middle on a third-and-11 play from the Ravens’ 41-yard line in overtime.

Being on the road in overtime — Trubisky called it a “hostile environment” — didn’t overwhelm him. It was a big-time throw from Trubisky after his role was purposely kept small in regulation.

“At the end of the game, we were all dead tired,” guard Kyle Long said. “Mitch is the one picking us up, making sure we get the gusto to finish.”

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DaBearsPod Week 6: Adam Jahns of Sun-Times & Tom Petty! [AUDIO]

| October 13th, 2017

On this week’s pod:

  • Jeff launches a profanity-laced tirade on the United States men’s national soccer disgrace. They are not a team. They are a disgrace.
  • Adam Jahns of Chicago Sun-Times discusses changes in the locker with Trubisky under center, John Fox’s buffoonery, Tanner Gentry’s real debut this coming Sunday, Cody Whitehair’s snap struggles, Adam Shaheen’s whereabouts, Nick Kwiatkoski’s health…and more!
  • Reverend Dave attempts to watch Monday Night Football in East Africa…
  • Once more unto the Tom Petty breach with You Got Lucky (possibly my favorite Petty song).

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339 Comments

Week Six: Bears at Ravens Game Preview

| October 12th, 2017

The Bears entrusted their franchise to this man.

Why Do I Like the Chicago Bears This Week?

I always like the Chicago Bears. And Monday night reinvigorated me.


What’s Next For Mitch Trubisky?

What impressed me about Trubisky in his Monday night debut was the moment never got too big for him. He was poised. He was under control. Did he make a few mistakes? Of course. The kid was making his first professional start! But he recognized the errors and owned up to them post-game.

The talent premiered. Now it’s about improvement. What should we be watching?

  • The Roll Right, Cross-Body Throw. This was the most prominent “mistake” he made in his debut and he made it differently each time, culminating with the game-ending interception. (All three, interestingly, were throws to Zach Miller on plays that has essentially broken down.) Biscuit has to understand how much steam those throws lose and how quickly NFL defensive backs close on the football. Often the smart play is just tuck it and get a few yards with your legs or throw the ball into the sixteenth row.
  • The Left Side of the Field. Trubisky did most of his work to the right half of the field which, if you read this blog, was fully expected. But Baltimore defensive coordinator Dean Pees has been DC for Nick Saban (Michigan State, mid-90s) and Bill Belichick (New England, mid-2000s). Those men approach defensive football the same way. They want to take away the thing their opponent does best. Trubisky should have to open up the field Sunday.
  • Cadence. The offensive line never looked comfortable Monday night partly due to their being off the snap. They also had a few pre-snap penalties, with Charles Leno clearly not knowing the count on several plays, including the strip sack of Trubisky. Are those on the quarterback? Possibly. Only the players actually know. But it’s now on Trubisky to get this group comfortable and that only happens with time and experience.

Tweet of the Week


Three Reasons the Bears Will Win

  • Now that Mike Glennon is on the bench, Joe Flacco is arguably the worst starting quarterback in the NFL. Rating barely above 70, a touchdown-interception ratio of 4-6 and averaging 165 passing yards a game is something you might accept from a rookie but not from a player occupying about $50M of dead cap space in 2017. This is not a game the Bears will have to chase with their passing game. Flacco will keep it close.

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Across The Middle: Fox & Co. Officially on the Hot Seat

| October 11th, 2017

Forget, if you can, the clown show on first quarter fourth down in which the Bears were going for it, then they weren’t, then they did, only to have a delay of game. After another game with so many of the same mistakes, it’s hard to have confidence that John Fox is the guy to get the Bears back on track.

Fox’s teams are often ill-prepared and rarely disciplined. That has been a constant since late in the coach’s tenure with the Panthers. His teams commit back-breaking penalties and awful turnovers. Game after game. They never get it right. But even with these fatal flaws, Fox has still won a lot of games. Primarily because he is very good at building talented rosters.

What is truly disheartening is what we saw from Dowell Loggains.

I’ve praised the Bears offensive coordinator’s work with the likes of Brian Hoyer and Matt Barkley. The game he called Monday night with Trubisky was predictable and displayed a lack of understanding his opponent.

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