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Seven Thoughts for Seven Games (Thought 7)

| October 25th, 2016

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Thought 7. On Offensive Optimism

I started making a chart a few weeks ago. The chart has three columns.

  • Column 1 – each position on the roster.
  • Column 2 – players who could be part of the team’s plans in 2017.
  • Column 3 – players who will be part of the team’s plans in 2017.

(I’ll be sharing this chart over the second half of the season.)

Why did I start doing this? Because I thought it would be important to track the development of younger players and monitor just how many holes the Bears will still need to fill come the end of the calendar year. For instance, a player moving from column 2 to column 3 would show growth; moving in the opposite direction would mean things are going in the wrong direction.

Think about the 2017 Bears on offense.

They have good tailbacks. Jordan Howard is big and physical. Jeremy Langford is shifty and versatile. Ka’Deem Carey is looking like a solid change-of-pace option for either player.

If they re-sign Alshon Jeffery, which they must, their receiving corps will be affordably four-deep. Jeffery, Cam Meredith, Kevin White and Eddie Royal present enough challenges to an opposing defensive coordinator to keep the chains moving most every week. Meredith’s emergence will take pressure of White. (Marquess Wilson will forever be on the horizon and I actually believe Josh Bellamy can play.)

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Seven Thoughts for Seven Games (Thoughts 5-6)

| October 24th, 2016

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Thought 5. On the Coaching Staff

A point on each of the three major coaches on this staff.

  • Agree wholeheartedly with Adam Jahns’ belief that it is impossible to come to a conclusion on John Fox due to the number of injuries this roster has sustained. Has he been good in-game? I laid out my rationale from moving on from Fox just a week ago. But there won’t be serious pressure on Fox until he’s playing with a somewhat-full roster or possibly until September, 2017.
  • Dowell Loggains found his rhythm as a play caller after the Dallas game but much of that has to do with improvement along the offensive line allowing the run game to thrive. Loggains had his starting QB for six quarters against two solid defenses and then made Brian Hoyer look like the second coming of Chad Pennington. I mean, Loggains himself can’t throw the ball to Alshon Jeffery when he’s wide open in the end zone.

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Seven Thoughts for Seven Games (Thoughts 3-4)

| October 23rd, 2016

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Thought 3. On the Run Defense

The Colts ran it for 98 yards. The Jaguars ran it for 54 yards. The Packers had one 30-yard run and otherwise quit on that element of the game altogether.  Even without their best run stuffer on the line (Eddie Goldman) out the Bears are building a run defense that is going to be formidable moving forward.

Why is this important? Because teams only have so many resources.

If the 2017 Bears are able to defend the run stoutly it will keeps downs and distances manageable on that side of the ball. And this will allow them to do in Chicago what Fangio did in San Francisco: save money at the cornerback spot. You saw how consistent and precise Aaron Rodgers had to be to move the ball against the Bears secondary and that secondary was LeBlanc, Bausby and Glenn. That’s what happens when an offense is faced with third-and-eight as opposed to third-and-two. Put three professional corners on the field and a few of those drives are ending far earlier.

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