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Audibles From the Long Snapper: Sunday Edition!

| August 6th, 2017

Cruz on Trubisky

From Dan Wiederer’s piece in the Trib, wrapping up Family Fest:

As for Mitch Trubisky? The Bears’ top draft pick oversaw an 11-play, 60-yard field goal drive. Trubisky threw five passes and completed three, the longest a 23-yard bullet over-the-middle to fellow rookie Tanner Gentry.

Cruz stressed the growth he’s seeing in the young quarterback.

“It’s his eagerness to learn,” Cruz said. “He’s not above the game. He doesn’t feel he’s entitled to anything because he was drafted so high. He’s eager, young and bright-eyed and ready to learn.”

There is a very interesting scenario about to play out for the Bears. Everyone knows – including Mike Glennon – that Trubisky is going to be the Bears starting quarterback very, very soon. How will this influence Glennon’s play? Remember, this is a kid who has proven nothing in the sport. He’s got one mediocre season on his resume and eleven passes in the two seasons since. Is he going to be willing to take the chances a quarterback needs to take to be successful? Or is he going to take the Brian Hoyer conservative approach, play to a good stat line and try to parlay that into a camp opportunity somewhere next summer?

The answer to that question will determine whether these Glennon games – of which I hope there are very few – are entertaining or not.

New Shirt!

It’s right over there on the right rail. (Or down below on mobile.) And it’s cool. Buy one.

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Tannehill Injury Provides Opportunity for Bears To Embrace Future & Trade Glennon

| August 4th, 2017

Ryan Tannehill’s injury at Dolphins practice sent a Jolt Cola through the veins of the NFL yesterday. This is what always happens when a team loses their starting quarterback during the summer months. The other thirty-one all stand at attention, processing such an injury in a very similar manner.

Stage One: How injured is Tannehill? Before overreacting teams have to know if the QB is done for the year, several months, four weeks…etc? With this injury it sounds like Tannehill could be looking at a two/three month rehab or season-ending surgery.

Stage Two: Who is out there? The three names that sprinted into media mouths within minutes of the injury were Cutler, Romo and Kaepernick. Kaepernick does not fit what Gase does. Romo just signed to be the lead analyst on CBS. That job isn’t worth giving up to quarterback an 8-8 Dolphins team to second or third place in the AFC East. And then…there’s…Cut-ler! Darling Cut-ler! (Catch that reference, win a prize.)

Stage Three: What do we have that can provide a solution and help build our future? Call it Bradfording. The Dolphins need a quarterback. And if you have one on your roster they want, it could be worth the Joe’s Stone Crab fortune.

The Bears have one.

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Audibles From the Long Snapper: Camp Thoughts, Telander/CTE & More!

| July 31st, 2017

Five Camp Thoughts Through A Few Days

  • Tanner Gentry may be benefiting more than any other player on this roster by being low on the pecking order. While he’s situated with the 3s, he’s developing a relationship with the soon-to-be starting quarterback and face of the franchise. This isn’t Joe Anderson Boner or Daniel Braverman. This is a talented kid who may leave Bourbonnais with the faith of the most important player on the roster.
  • Bears won’t wait long to elevate Trubisky from that position, however. Right now he’s in “earn it, rook” mode. Give it a week.
  • Yes, the leap in competition level will be extraordinary. But I’m told by people on the ground that Adam Shaheen looks like he’s going to be something special. And for a team that struggled mightily in the red zone to get touchdowns a year ago, Shaheen’s productivity may begin on day one because it’ll be hard for any defense to match-up with his size and speed.
  • I’m a Kyle Fuller skeptic. I don’t doubt his ability. I don’t doubt that he’s having a good early camp. But the organization believed, less than a year ago, that Fuller lacked the heart and desire to be a professional football player. If that’s changed, wonderful. But I need to see it in September.
  •  Another summer, another weird injury as Markus Wheaton had an appendectomy that will greatly stunt his assimilation into this offense. Bears have big plans for Wheaton so the appendix not bursting should mean he’s back into the fray in 3-4 weeks.

Telander Donates His Brain

Other than my friend Rick Pearson, the best political journalist in Chicago, I rarely look inside the Chicago Tribune (physically or digitally). Rick Telander is one of the reasons why the Sun-Times has gathered almost all of my attention and why I was so thrilled to hear their new ownership pledge allegiance to good, local writing. Here’s an excerpt from his wonderful piece on his brain, and CTE:

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Three Bears Thoughts For a Monday

| June 19th, 2017

Here they come! (I’m on vacation. They’ll be quick.)

1. Mitch Trubisky is not going to sit behind Mike Glennon long and I fully believe the primary reason will be Glennon folding under the pressure of “his year”. The more MG sees MT thrive in practice and preseason, the more he’ll press to keep hold of his tenuous starting gig. I’ll be shocked if Trubisky isn’t calling signals by the bye week.

2. Why would the Bears even consider putting Kyle Long or Danny Trevathan on the field this summer? Both guys are top players coming off serious injuries. Stick em on the bike and get them ready for the Falcons.

3. Asked two or my sources around the league if they think John Fox would be fired if the Bears had a difficult season. They answered with remarkable similarity. One said “it will all depend on the QB’s development.” The other said, “Only if Pace thinks he’s the guy to get most out of QB.” The Bears are all about Trubisky now.

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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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