90 Comments

Three Thoughts For a Practice-Less Day in Bourbonnais

| August 1st, 2017

Kevin White, Struggling?

Adam Hoge is not an alarmist. So when he opens a column with Kevin White’s early “struggles” there is reason to pay attention.

“He’s not where I want him to be or where we need him to be,” Bears wide receivers coach Zach Azzanni admitted Monday. “He’s a work in progress. He’s had a good three days. Good first day, OK second day, much better today.”

Azzanni was just referring to the three days since pads went on and Sunday’s quiet practice prompted the wide receivers coach to pull out some of White’s tape from West Virginia.

“He forgets about (West Virginia) sometimes because of the battle he’s had the last two years,” Azzanni said. “I wanted him to see how he used to go up and just grab that ball out of the air and he’s starting to do that again. I know he had a drop in one-on-ones the other day. The other thing is, he’s a prideful kid and he lets that beat him up and you cannot do that.”

White needs two things: (a) sustained game action and (b) success. And I’m a believer that achieving a will directly lead to be b. But tentativity from a player like White is understandable when he must be thinking that every cut in the middle of the field could be the one that ends his season. White’s not going to be confident and explosive on Day 3 in Bourbonnais. The Bears need to hope he is both of those things come Week 8 in New Orleans.

The One Throw Column

There’s a new trend developing with camp coverage across the league. Because media is limited to both what they’re allowed to see and what they’re allowed to cover – Pat Finley has resorted to drawing plays on what seems to be napkins – writers are turning in copy wherein they draw major conclusions from minor moments. Rich Campbell did so yesterday in the Trib, writing about singular moments from Glennon and Trubisky.

Read More …

Tagged: , ,

755 Comments

Turn the Beat Around: Reactions to the Draft Reactions

| May 1st, 2017

Who Cares About Glennon?

Seriously, who cares? Rich Campbell makes the argument in Monday’s Tribune that the Bears must repair their relationship with the recently-signed QB before the start of the 2017 season. But Thursday night was a concrete, definitive statement from Ryan Pace: Glennon, you’re not the guy. (Thank God)

And I don’t care what Pace and Fox say about Glennon being the starting quarterback. They both know the ideal scenario is Mitch Trubisky winning this job in OTAs and over the summer and making it impossible to keep him off the field. That validates the pick and means the future of the franchise starts now.

Jahns, In a Paragraph

From Sun-Times beat and all-around nice guy Adam Jahns:

My favorite pick …

Make it two: tight end Adam Shaheen and running back Tarik Cohen. Both players face major jumps in competition after playing at small schools. It has seemingly been forgotten that the Bears did have needs on offense. They ranked 28th in scoring last year. They needed more firepower.

Read More …

Tagged: , , , ,

253 Comments

Around the Beat: Samplings from the Papers

| May 9th, 2016

grasu

BIGGS ON GRASU

If Hroniss Grasu develops into a frontline center, the Bears may have a terrific offensive line in 2016. But Grasu would have to make a significant leap if that’s going to be the case. From Biggs in the Trib:

The statistics in the eight games Grasu started last season and the other eight games that were split between Slauson and Will Montgomery are similar with one glaring difference. I tallied the stats for Jay Cutler’s 15 starts, (excluding the dud of a performance in Seattle in Week 3 when Jimmy Clausen was at quarterback) and what jumps out is the Bears averaged 4.22 yards per carry with Slauson and Montgomery at center. With Grasu, they averaged 3.77, nearly a half-yard less.

If the Bears had a high level of confidence in Grasu, they wouldn’t have made three additions even while removing Slauson from the equation. When the season opens Sept. 11 in Houston, left tackle Charles Leno could be the only starter in a position he played for the team last season.

My favorite line in the piece? “One front-office guy said his team nearly drafted Whitehair about 20 picks before the Bears.” I maintain a firm belief that Whitehair is going to be a ten-year star at guard for the Bears.

JAHNS ON THE UNDRAFTED FREE AGENTS

Adam’s piece in the Sun-Times is a solidly comprehensive breakdown of all the UFAs but I’m sampling the one position they may have had been most focused on: tight end.

Read More …

Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , ,

130 Comments

Rich Campbell’s Ernie Accorsi Interview is Must Read

| January 24th, 2015

accorsi

Been a long time since DBB has dedicated space to a single piece but Rich Campbell’s interview with Ernie Accorsi is one of the most insightful football pieces I’ve read in a long time. There is tremendous detail regarding the hiring processes, the relationship between Ted Phillips & George McCaskey, why this opportunity at this time was perfect for Ryan Pace and the difference between Chicago and other football markets.

Some of my favorite stuff was a look inside the Giants offices. An excerpt:

What did you admire about John from your experiences with him with the Giants?

“His office (as defensive coordinator) was right next to mine, so we interacted. In a lot of places, the GM and the coach are at two different ends of the building. We were right beside each other, and (Fox) happened to be in the office next to mine. We interacted every day. First of all, he’s just a great football coach. Second thing, he has a way with people. He’s not going to lock himself in the office and draw up plays and be aloof. Players love to play for him.

“When we lost him, Mr. Mara actually said these words, and they were printed. When we lost him and he became head coach of Carolina, Wellington Mara said, ‘I feel much the same as I did when (Vince) Lombardi went to Green Bay.’ He said that.

“I’ll just give you an anecdote about John. We’re going to play Minnesota in the NFC championship game (in 2001). They have Randy Moss, Cris Carter, Robert Smith, Daunte Culpepper, and they’re scoring a million points a game. Now, all week they already scored 50 touchdowns in my apartment while I was trying to sleep.

“Finally we get to Friday, and I bump into Fox, and Fox says, ‘You’ve been ducking me all week.’ I said, ‘I don’t want to talk to you. I’m afraid of what you’re going to tell me.’ He said, ‘We may just shut them out.’ And we did (41-0). I thought we had a chance to win because we could score, but I thought we were going to win 45-38. He said, ‘We may just shut them out,’ and we did. And John doesn’t say that kind of stuff … to be boastful or bravado or anything like that.”

To read the entire Tribune piece, and you absolutely must, CLICK HERE AND DO IT.

Tagged: , , ,

392 Comments

Audibles From the Long Snapper: Statistics, Coaches by Campbell & the Shitty Fake Spike

| October 15th, 2014

audibles

STATISTICAL CHECK-IN

  • When is the last time the Bears, six games through a season, had someone in the top ten in the league in passing yards (Cutler-4th), rushing yards (Forte-7th), catches (Forte-1st), receiving yards (Jeffery-T6th), sacks (Willie-1st) and interceptions (Fuller-T1st)? This season may be laden with individual errors but it also has been defined by exceptional individual performances to this point.
  • Have you looked at Jay Cutler’s numbers these days? He’s completing 68.1% of his passes for 1,676 yards, 13 touchdowns and 6 interceptions. Two of the three quarterbacks ahead of him in yardage have thrown more interceptions and all three have been sacked AT LEAST five times less.
  • Through six games the Bears are tenth in the league against the run. Last year they ranked 431st.

Read More …

Tagged: , , , , , , , ,

301 Comments

Game Preview Addendum: Opportunity for Holmes, Unicorn v. Willis, Special Teams!

| September 12th, 2014

Santonio-Holmes-Chicago-Bears

Four additional thoughts as we head towards San Francisco:

  • If Alshon Jeffery does not play Sunday night, and all evidence seems to be pointing in that direction, attention shifts to two individuals: Martellus Bennett and Santonio Holmes. Bennett looked like one of the better tight end receiving threats in the league in week one and his rapport with Cutler seems to have grown precipitously in their second off-season together. Holmes came to Chicago to rejuvenate a self-sabotaged career and never will have a better opportunity to showcase that rejuvenation than in prime time against one of the better teams in the league.
  • Matt Maiocco at CSN Bay Area breaks down the matchup between Bennett and Niners linebacker Patrick Willis:

Tale of the tape
Willis (52): 6 foot 1, 240 pounds, eighth season, Mississippi
Bennett (83): 6 foot 6, 265 pounds, seventh season, Texas A&M

Willis returned to the mike linebacker position this season, taking over NaVorro Bowman’s old role. He found himself in coverage against Dallas tight end Jason Witten in the season opener.

Willis came through with a big day, holding Witten to just two catches for 14 yards and providing a big play with an interception in the end zone.

“I feel like we did a decent job, but I always feel like we can be better,” Willis said. “I always feel like I can be better.

“There were times I could’ve played a little tighter. Every week is a challenge, and I won’t tell you something I wake up looking forward to every day is going out there and covering, but we do what needs to be done.”

Read More …

Tagged: , , , , , , ,

92 Comments

Audible at the Long Snapper?

| July 28th, 2014

x

The Bears have one of the most accurate kickers in NFL history. They drafted a booming leg out of Miami to erase the tortured memory of Shank Podlesh. But do they have someone to get the football to them under pressure?

Chad Rempel was meant to be Marc Trestman’s hand-picked-out-of-Canada successor to Pat Mannelly but things have not gone well to this point. Jeff Dickerson of ESPN Chicago Tweeted:

I’ve seen more bad snaps in the last 3 days than I did in the last 15 years.

How often do you hear a coach admit a potential starter is not on the roster as August approaches? Special teams coordinator Joe DeCamillis did just that. From Rich Campbell:

Sunday’s performances won’t decide the competition, of course, and DeCamillis maintained a zoomed-out view after practice. Neither snapper stood out for negative plays in field goal drills earlier in camp.

“We’ve got to work through the process and find out who our guy is going to be,” he said. “Hopefully he’s on this team right now. He may not be. We’ll have to see. I wouldn’t say concern. I’ve been in this position before with young guys. You’ve just got to work through the process.”

If the Bears eventually are compelled to look outside the organization, the talent available is expected to improve after final cuts on Aug. 30.

It is a position of concern in Chicago for the first time in a decade and a half.

 

Tagged: , , ,

© Da' Bears Blog