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Bears Fans Should Love Pace’s Aggressiveness

| May 3rd, 2017

“I don’t want to be average around here, I want to be great and these are the moves you have to make.”-Ryan Pace

For the first time in my lifetime, at least the parts I can remember, the Bears have a General Manager who gets it.

They have a GM who doesn’t just want to make the playoffs or compete with the rest of the division.

They have a GM who wants to kick everybody’s ass.

And, for some reason, people are mad about it.

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My Five Favorite Players in the NFL Draft

| April 25th, 2017

I am not over-complicating things here. I think this is an extremely deep draft at a wide range of positions. But these are the five guys I like best.

#5 Jake Butt

Before injury, I thought Jake Butt was Jason Witten. Big, tough, physical, elusive in the open field, great hands…etc. Then he suffered one of the saddest injuries in many a moon. Supposedly he’s ahead of schedule to return – timetables range between mid-July to October – and who knows how far that will drop him on draft boards. But I can’t imagine a player of this caliber making it to Saturday.

#4 Obi Melifonwu

I actually watch Connecticut football. I don’t know why that’s the case, other than maybe geographic proximity, but I do. Obi is the real deal. Someone with his athletic ability paired with a 6’4″ frame is beyond rare. It’s unheard of. I think this kid is going to be a star.

And from the internet: “The 11-9 broad jump was the second-best number the combine has seen since 2003, behind only the record 12-3 recorded by Dallas defensive back Byron Jones in 2015.”

#3 Christian McCaffrey

You put McCaffrey in an inventive offense and he’s going to be one of the most exciting players in the league starting September 10th. Let him return kicks and punts. Give him 10-15 carries a game. Stick him in the slot a dozen or so times a game.

#2 Mitchell Trubisky

I just like the kid. I don’t see one element of his game that won’t translate to the next level. And if the Bears pulled the trigger on him with the third pick, I’d be pretty damn excited about their future.

#1 Solomon Thomas

I have been waxing poetic about this player for months and nothing that’s happened since his epic performance against North Carolina in the bowl game has changed that. If you want to drown yourself in the inanity of “technique talk” you’ve come to the wrong place. Thomas is a special player and a smart defensive coordinator is going to move him up and down the line and rely on his relentlessness to destroy games.

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Five Thoughts on the NFL Draft (Based on Actual Reporting)

| April 24th, 2017

Have spent the last two weeks exchanging texts and emails with my two league sources. This is not a good time to gather information but here’s what I think is happening.

  • There is a clear divide in the league when it comes to the quarterbacks and there is at least one team that doesn’t have a first-round grade on any of them. That team’s favorite quarterback in the class? Pat Mahomes. I’m not going to read too much into that but I believe Mahomes will be the name called way earlier than many expect.
  • I think DeShone Kizer is now clearly the fourth, if not fifth, quarterback.
  • As I suspected, Solomon Thomas blew teams away when he spoke with them. Thomas is not only an exceptional football player, he’s also a great guy. I’m not confident he gets to the Bears at 3 but if he does and they don’t take him, they’ll regret it.
  • Question. What is the strength of this year’s draft? Answer: “You will be able to find secondary starters well into the third round.” (Good news for the Bears.)
  • Question. What is the weakness of this year’s draft? Answer: “Worst crop of offensive linemen in a generation.”

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Making The Case: Marshon Lattimore, CB, Ohio State

| April 20th, 2017

The Bears could be looking the ever-elusive shutdown corner in the face if Marshon Lattimore is still available when they pick.

If you believe Adam Schefter (and you should) the Bears tried to trade up to get Jalen Ramsey last year. Then they went after Josh Norman prior to last season and Stephon Gilmore this offseason. They went 0/3.

Lattimore could be the best of the bunch.

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Making The Case: Solomon Thomas, Edge, Stanford

| April 19th, 2017

Editor’s Note: Solomon Thomas is my favorite player in this year’s draft. And it’s not close.


Solomon Thomas has the potential to be one of the best pass rushers in the entire league.

Physically, he has everything you could want: size, speed, length, strength, quickness, agility and explosiveness. His SPARQ score was in the 93rd percentile, tied with T.J. Watt for fourth-best in this class and two percentage points better than Leonard Floyd tested last year.

Thomas really burst onto the scene with a dominant performance against North Carolina. When everyone was trying to watch Mitch Trubisky, Thomas kept exploding onto the screen. It was impossible to not notice him. In all, he had 61 tackles — 14 for a loss — 8.5 sacks and one forced fumble.

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Making the Case: Malik Hooker, S, Ohio State

| April 14th, 2017

Any pass thrown in Malik Hooker’s general direction has a good chance to be intercepted. Do I really need to say more than that?

He has better range than any safety I’ve seen coming out of the draft and showed incredible hands in his one season at Ohio State. According to Pro Football Focus, 41 passes were thrown to guys he was covering. He either intercepted or defended 11 of them. He returned three interceptions for touchdowns while only giving up one score himself. His interception against Clemson was one of the best plays you will ever see a safety make.

For the Bears, that could be huge. They play in a division where two of the quarterbacks — Sam Bradford and Aaron Rodgers — avoid putting the ball in harm’s way at all costs. With Hooker on the field, the ball would almost always be in harm’s way if they threw near him.

Injuries & Inexperience

Hooker played only one season at OSU and had two surgeries, including one for a torn labrum in his hip. Perhaps he’ll recover 100 percent, but he’s on the small side so I don’t think it’s irrational to be concerned about his ability to hold up.

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Making The Case: Jamal Adams, S, LSU

| April 13th, 2017

The Bears haven’t had a good safety in so long. So so long. Jamal Adams is a pretty sure thing.

Adams fits what the Vic Fangio and John Fox have looked for out of the position because he can play in coverage and drop down in the box. Pro Football Focus rated him as among the five best safeties in the country at both disciplines.

The Bears three primary decision makers – Pace, Fox and Fangio – have all put a lot of value in the safety position with past teams and have a very good opportunity to do so with the Bears, early in the 2017 draft.

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Making The Case: Jonathan Allen, DL, Alabama

| April 12th, 2017

Editor’s Note: I hate writing about the draft. Andrew does not. Hence, Andrew will writing a shitload about the draft for the next few weeks.


You’d be hard-pressed to find a player in this draft who was more dominant in college than Jonathan Allen. And the ways he dominated translate to the next level.

Allen beat blocks over and over and over.

He had nearly perfect technique.

His ability to use his hands is already as good as anyone who is in the NFL.

Over the last two years he’s had 30.5 tackles for loss and 22.5 sacks, despite spending the 2015 season in Alabama’s deep defensive line rotation. In 2016, he showed he could handle a full-time load, finishing with 69 tackles, 16 for loss and 10.5 sacks. He’s considered by most to be a better prospect than either of the top defensive linemen the last two years, Leonard Williams and DeForest Buckner.

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Finding A Quarterback: There’s Something Special About DeShaun Watson

| April 5th, 2017

When you really think about the things that make quarterbacks great, you end up pinpointing traits Clemson’s DeShaun Watson has already displayed.

Being great in college doesn’t mean a player will be great in the NFL, but it’s the closest league we have to an apples-to-apples comparison and Watson was the single best player in that league last year.

Alabama was supposed to have one of the greatest defenses in the history of college football each of the last two years. They couldn’t stop Watson. His performance in the National Championship Game two years ago was impressive. And it pissed Alabama off. With one of the greatest defensive minds in the sport designing their game plan and a roster full of future NFL stars, Alabama was determined to stop Watson last year.

They couldn’t.

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