108 Comments

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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112 Comments

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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346 Comments

Audibles From the Long Snapper: Telling Stats, McPhee’s Defense, Around the League & Travel Distances!

| October 6th, 2015

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THAT DARNED STAT

  • Bears are currently 7th in yards allowed per game (309) and 5th in passing yards allowed (189.8). Considering the lack of consistent pass rush and deficiencies in secondary personnel, these are remarkable statistics.
  • The ten teams leading the league is total rushing attempts are a combined 13-27.

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  • Turnovers remain the most important stat in the sport. Not a single team in the top 12 in turnover differential is under .500.

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198 Comments

Across The Middle with Andrew Dannehy

| September 30th, 2015

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Note From Jeff: We are going to keep experimenting with the Wednesday space until Andrew feels right. Today is a massive tone change. Hope you like it.

• Oakland rookie receiver Amari Cooper has been awesome this season, which should make Bears fans excited about Kevin White’s potential. Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel does some great pre-draft work  having scouts rank the players. Cooper came in as the top-ranked receiver totaling 12 first-place votes and 88 points, while White received seven first-place votes and 82 points, way ahead of the rest of the field.

• It sure looks like Mel Tucker is coaching the Bears special teams. Players make mistakes that lead to big plays on the field, but when different players keep making the same mistakes, it’s a sign that the coach isn’t doing a good enough job of coaching them. The Bears allowed two 40-yard kick returns in Week 1 and have allowed return touchdowns in consecutive weeks. This comes after last year when the one thing they did better than anyone else was cover kicks, leading the league in average allowed yards per return.

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303 Comments

A Reason For Optimism: Rapid Fire Reactions to the Bears Opening Day Loss to Green Bay

| September 14th, 2015

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There is reason for optimism in the Kingdom of Bears Fans today. With a brand new collection of coaches installing a brand new scheme the Bears went toe-to-toe with a better foe and for a majority of the game held their own. Give Rick Morrissey, a guy I generally don’t care for, a lot of credit for this passage:

The Bears looked like a professional football team Sunday, no small thing after last season’s debacle, though they still walked away 31-23 losers. There are no moral victories in the NFL, but there are losses that don’t stink to high heaven. This was one of them.

It will be a long year, but maybe it won’t be the kidney stone many of us thought it would be.

Here are my rapid fire thoughts.

  • Jay Cutler threw the crucial interception. Aaron Rodgers did not. Rodgers never does.
  • On the Cutler pick, this wasn’t a typical pick. He was duped into that interception. He didn’t try to force a pass into a tight window.
  • Packers had to make every single play to win this game. James Jones was heroic. Eddie Lacy pulled in one-handers. Clay Matthews chased down sure thing touchdowns. Did the Bears have anyone on their offense do anything exceptional?
  • Catch the ball, Forte.
  • Paging Pernell McPhee. Come in, Pernell McPhee. (Side note: I earned this will become a thing if McPhee no shows a few games. Ravens have a history of letting the right guys walk out the door.)
  • With the complete absence of a pass rush it’s hard to complain about the secondary’s overall performance. Fangio didn’t get overly aggressive with blitz packages. Approach seemed vanilla but that may require a second viewing.

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181 Comments

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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179 Comments

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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68 Comments

Key for Bears Fans When it Comes to 2015 Defense: Managed Expectations

| August 5th, 2015

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The Bears have one of the best defensive coordinators in the league, but he alone won’t make the defense respectable.

No team upgraded any position more than the Bears did by replacing Mel Tucker with Vic Fangio. Tucker is one of the worst defensive coordinators in the history of the league and Fangio is pretty good. That’s a huge jump, but it might be the only jump they made. You could argue that the team’s talent level is about the same as it was the last two years.

Yes, they added Pernell McPhee to pressure the quarterback, but they also lost Stephen Paea (six sacks) and it would be a surprise if Willie Young had anywhere near the same impact he had a year ago, registering ten sacks. Is that a net positive for the Bears?

 

The secondary is still a disaster.

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256 Comments

Pernell McPhee Could Provide Flexibility Needed for Bears “Positionless” Defense

| June 2nd, 2015

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During the Miami Heat’s first championship run with Erik Spoelstra and LeBron James, Spoelstra coined the phrase “positionless basketball.” There was no set point guard or center. It was about getting the best five players on the floor and letting them play.

The Bears have the pieces to make something similar work with their front seven.

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271 Comments

Report: Bears Acquiring Ravens OLB Pernell McPhee

| March 9th, 2015

Aaron Leming, who is apparently dating Ryan Pace’s sister or something, reported this morning the Bears are finalizing a deal with Ravens edge rusher Pernell McPhee for 5 years and just south of $40 million. Four thoughts from the DBB Twitter feed:

(1) Wary of buying players successful organizations are willing to walk out the door. Ravens never seem to miss these guys when they leave.

(2) Haven’t watched the tape on McPhee but look at his game logs. Lots of zeroes in that sack column and lots of sacks against crap teams.

(3) Bears will be thrilled if 2015 Pernell McPhee – at about a zillion times the cost – produced at the level of 2014 Willie Young.

(4) But Bears have money to spend & need to get as many talented defenders in the building as they possibly can. McPhee is DEFINITELY that.

(5) The deal is reportedly worth only $16 million guaranteed. That makes it a difficult contract to dislike.

(6) Signing McPhee should not alter Bears draft approach an iota. They are not settled at a single position on the defensive side of the ball.

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