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Charting The Bears: 2016 In Review

| January 17th, 2017

Before the season began I decided to try to do something a little different by charting some of the things you don’t regularly see in box scores and the end result was some really interesting numbers that may change the way you feel about certain players.

The most time-consuming part of my weekly job on DBB was charting the little things that you don’t see. As most hardcore football fans know, completion percentage doesn’t always tell you if a quarterback is accurate, Pro Bowl voting doesn’t always tell you if an offensive lineman can block, sacks don’t always tell you if a player is getting pressure on the quarterback and interceptions don’t tell you if a guy can cover. There’s more to the game, a lot more and I tried to discover some of that here:

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300 Comments

Got A Christmas Present? Better Unwrappid Fire!

| December 25th, 2016

Merry Christmas and Happy Chanukah to you all. Thanks for another wonderful year at DBB. I hope I can keep improving this place for years to come.


Bad game yesterday. Very bad. Here are some quick thoughts.

  • That was a full meltdown from Matt Barkley and quite frankly, I half expected it. I knew yesterday was not going to be an “on the bubble” performance. It was going to be definitive. How Barkley responds next week, on the road, at a division rival, will have a huge say in his role with the organization moving forward.
  • Bombs to Josh Bellamy when he’s triple covered?
  • Would I pay Alshon Jeffery $17 million a year? No. will anybody in the league pay him that? I don’t think so. Bears need to get a deal done, even if they slightly overpay this guy. Jeffery may not be a weekly ten-catch guy but he is always capable of the spectacular and there’s distinct value to that.
  • Cam Meredith is going to be the third receiver next season.
  • Don’t want to get ahead of myself here but Jordan Howard is starting to look like one of the best Bears draft picks ever. If they held the 2016 draft today, Howard is going in the middle of the first round.

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Several Thoughts on a Horrendous Third Meaningless Game

| August 29th, 2016

Panic! Season over! Death! Cancel your Sunday Ticket subscription out-of-towners because Bears football will be scrap heap sport in 2016.

Here are some actual football thoughts.

(1) Whether it’s a smart move or not, the Bears clearly had no interest in showing Kevin White this preseason. I expected 3-4 bubble screens to the “rookie” just to get his feet wet in game action but Fox and Loggains didn’t see a need.

(2) Barely using White. No Eddie Royal or Zach Miller or Kyle Long, the Bears best offensive player. Not sure why anyone thinks what they saw Saturday after was the Bears offense.

(3) I didn’t notice Cornelius Edison. And that’s a good thing with the center position. And if you think I’m rewatching a preseason game, you sir are wrong.

(4)  You know where fans are going to notice Freeman and Trevathan most? The red zone.

(5) Cutler just wasn’t good Saturday. Looked completely out of sorts and inaccurate. But there were also several plays Jay would normally look to extend with his legs that he didn’t because, well, there is no earthly reason to expose yourself to hits in a practice game.

(6) If Tracy Porter misses time, I don’t know what the Bears do at corner. They don’t have the bodies. Some solid, young prospects but nobody ready to compete today. They’ll need to get to the quarterback.

(7) If the preseason showed anything relevant it showed what we already know. Bears need another offseason to get OL and secondary sorted.

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Bears Secondary: A Perceived Weakness May Be a Blossoming Strength

| June 22nd, 2016

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One position group quite a few people wished the Bears did a better job addressing this offseason was the secondary. But, despite not having any household names, they’re better back there than most think.

In 2015 the Bears defense ranked fourth in passing yardage allowed. But that’s not the eye-opening statistic. The thing that jumps out is a new metric Football Outsiders started using last year called ALEX, named after everyone’s favorite Checkdown Charlie, Alex Smith. The number ranks how often defenses forced quarterbacks to throw short of the first down marker — a clear sign of good coverage.

The Bears were the best in the sport.

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Five Thoughts on Free Agency, Day One

| March 10th, 2016

It was an exciting opening of the league year for the Chicago Bears. And one thing is absolutely certain: they got better. Five thoughts…

  • The signings of Danny Trevathan and Bobby Massie mean the 2016 Bears will open the season significantly better at inside linebacker and right tackle. It also means they will see their most significant upgrade at right guard. Vlad Ducasse is horrible. Kyle Long is one of the best guards in the game.
  • There will be a lot of chatter about the money given to Tracy Porter but it won’t come from me. Porter is not a shut down corner but he had a solid 2015 and the Bears didn’t need to create another hole in a secondary full of them.

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Postseason Positional Analysis Part VIII: Secondary

| January 20th, 2016

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Here are a few sentences I never thought I’d write, or think, in 2015:

  • The Bears really struggled covering the slot without Bryce Callahan.
  • Tracy Porter is playing like a corner who wants a contract extension.
  • The secondary has been the best level of the Bears defense several games this season.

My predictions were (1) the Bears would field the worst secondary in the league and (2) perhaps one of the worst secondaries in the organization’s history. Neither of those predictions were accurate. Neither was even close.

WHO IS BACK

Kyle Fuller and Adrian Amos both had up-and-down 2015s but both will be prominent members of the Bears secondary next season.

Tracy Porter isn’t a top tier corner but his ability to close on the football is somewhat astounding. If Calvin Johnson does actually retire this offseason, does Porter’s value increase?

Antrel Rolle doesn’t actually cost the Bears much in 2016 so it wouldn’t make sense for them to cut bait before Bourbonnais. Even if the Bears target safety in free agency or the draft, Rolle could provide cheap depth off the bench.

Bryce Callahan was arguably the defense’s most pleasant surprise and a player the Bears coaching staff will surely want to continue developing.

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Across The Middle With Andrew Dannehy

| December 2nd, 2015

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• The Bears should have been running into a buzz saw. The Packers seemed to right whatever was wrong with them four days earlier, the weather conditions suited them perfectly and it was a night in which they honored one of the greatest players in their franchise’s history. Shit, Ron Wolf even referred to the field they were playing on as the house that Favre built. At no point did I think the Bears were going to win until about five seconds after — waiting for a flag — Aaron Rodgers’ fourth down pass hit the ground. How sweet it is.

• This wasn’t just a win for the Bears and it wasn’t just a loss for the Packers. The times are a changin’ in the NFC North and both teams know it.

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Audibles From the Long Snapper: Message From Sponsor, Around the League Tweets, Peter on Porter & More!

| December 1st, 2015

AUDIBLESNEW

A Note from 26Shirts.com

First off, thanks to Jeff at DaBearsBlog.com for providing me with a little bandwidth to help explain what the heck that little block ad on the right-hand side of this website is all about…

Back in November 2013, I had an idea. I wanted to sell 26 t-shirts.

No, not one t-shirt to 26 individual customers. 26 unique sports designs over the course of a year. I’d sell a shirt for two weeks at a time, then once that two week period was over, the design would be retired. (That’s where the name comes from, 52 divided by 2.) This is limited edition-ness is part of the concept behind 26shirts.com.

“Ok,” you’re probably thinking, “another limited edition t-shirt website out here on the web. Big deal.”

Wait! Don’t walk (or click, or scroll) away! There’s more!

This isn’t your typical t-shirt website. What makes 26shirts.com different is that we are, as far as I’ve been able to research, the only sports merchandise company based on the “give back” model. For each shirt we sell, we donate $8 to a local family or foundation that can use the money.

We’re not a t-shirt website that helps people, we’re a website that helps people by selling t-shirts.

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Audibles From the Long Snapper: Around the League, Three Bears Thoughts, Boomer on Catches, Cutler Update!

| November 16th, 2015

AUDIBLESNEW

Around the League We Go!

  • Through nine games, Jeremy Langford has only 100 yards less from scrimmage than Melvin Gordon.
  • Someone in the Browns organization needs to walk down to the head coach’s office and tell him playing Josh McCown is no longer an option. I’ve never believed Johnny Manziel’s ability would translate to the pro game but losing down the stretch with McCown does the team zero good. (Manziel was quietly good in that Steelers game yesterday and Manziel isn’t quietly anything.)
  • Tom Brady is full of magic. That’s the only way I can explain it.
  • Giants should be 8-1. They’ve only played one poor game all season. I wouldn’t want to be walking into the Meadowlands in January once this group puts it together. (They are also +12 in turnovers this season. They are secretly good.)
  • The NFL got what they wanted by changing the extra point rule. They made kickers way too relevant on Sundays. (And they’ve delayed at least 7-10 of my piss breaks.)

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Law Firm of Cutler, Porter & Gould: Rapid Fire Reaction to the Bears Finally Getting on the Board

| October 5th, 2015

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It was only one win but it felt like six. Thoughts:

  • This was the classic Jay Cutler performance, even without proper usage of his legs. He moved the team up and down the field, behind a makeshift offensive line and without his top wide receiver. He threw one stupid pass. But with the game on the line and the ball in his hands he drove the Bears to their first victory of the season.
  • Cutler continues to be a winning quarterback when the Bears play defense. The model isn’t brain surgery, folks. Cutler is not a shootout-type quarterback. There are only about five of those in the league and he isn’t one of them.
  • Losing Will Montgomery can’t be overstated. NFL teams have collapsed under the weight of losing their starting center. But the Bears used their third round pick on center Hroniss Grasu this year. If he’s not moved into the starting lineup this week, one wonders how far off the kid is from playing?
  • Still not sure I understand Matt Forte picking up 25 carries while Rodgers and Langford total 3.
  • Hated how John Fox handled the ends of both halves. In the first half, once the Bears sack Carr on first down, Fox has to use the first timeout. He gave away a clear scoring chance. At the end of the game, who plays for a 49-yard field goal? I don’t care how good Robbie Gould is kicking right now – and he might be at his career best – there was far too much time to get ultra-conservative with the game on the line.

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