Catching the Packers Starts With Defense

| April 23rd, 2015


It was a long time ago that Lovie Smith was introduced as the Bears head coach and stated his first goal was to beat the Packers. Over a decade later, John Fox and Ryan Pace are walking into a similar situation and, if they’re going to catch the Packers, they have to do exactly what Smith did by building their defense.

The common reaction from Bears fans when the NFL schedule was released was that the team was going to start 0-1 and ruin Thanksgiving by losing to the Packers. Such early negativity is a little ridiculous but there’s reason for it. If the Bears are going to change the course of their franchise and undo much of what Phil Emery and Marc Trestman did, it starts with the defense.

Over the last three years, with Aaron Rodgers at quarterback, the Packers are just 5-10 (including playoffs) against teams with top-10 scoring defenses. During that time, they’ve lost just 15 games overall. In one of those, Rodgers left after the first drive of the game.

It isn’t just about the win-loss record. Rodgers has thrown 25 touchdowns and 10 interceptions in those 15 games. Good numbers, but far short of what we’re used to seeing from him. He’s also averaged just seven yards per completion (over a yard short of his career average) and the team has scored just 22 points per game.

Slow Rodgers, beat the Packers. Not every time, but most of the time.

Lovie got off to a good start, beating the Packers in his second game as the team’s head coach. The Packers still won the division that year but Smith’s Bears won it the next two, going 3-1 against the Packers in that span. They went to the Super Bowl in Smith’s third year before dropping back to mediocrity.

The key to Smith’s success wasn’t just his mentality. He came to a team that had three future Hall of Fame defenders in Brian Urlacher, Lance Briggs and Charles Tillman. Their first two picks with Smith as the head coach were defensive linemen, including Tommie Harris. They drafted Nathan Vasher later in that draft, Chris Harris the next year and a pair of key defenders in Mark Anderson and Danieal Manning.

They had other acquisitions, such as Adewale Ogunuleye, but the team drafted nine of their 11 defensive starters — six in the first three rounds — the year they went to the Super Bowl.

At the time, Smith had the number of Packer quarterback Brett Favre, including a six-interception playoff game. The same could prove true with current Bears defensive coordinator Vic Fangio and Rodgers. Rodgers never defeated Fangio’s 49ers, including two losses in the playoffs.

Of course, it’s about more than defense. Smith couldn’t hire a decent offensive mind, while GM Jerry Angelo couldn’t draft anyone who could block or catch passes. The Bears defense was still good, but their offense wasn’t up to par. In his last three years with the Bears, Smith’s defense held the Packers to just 22 points per game. They scored more than 25 times just twice in seven games, but the Bears went 1-6.

The Bears have already started to improve their defense. Just by hiring Fox and Fangio to replace Trestman and Tucker, they should be significantly better. They added two very good front seven players in Pernell McPhee and Ray McDonald as well as defensive backs Antrel Rolle and Alan Ball. The top of their depth chart actually doesn’t look bad, but they can’t afford any injuries, especially in the secondary.

The Bears  can’t neglect their offense but they’re probably better than they were under Smith. They’d almost certainly like to add a starting tackle and depth at every position. But if Adam Gase is as good as some say and Jay Cutler can rebound from a down year, the Bears should score enough points to win.

The Bears have two picks on the top 40. Both should be spent on defenders.

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  • Scott W.

    Ok, that’s a perspective that sweeps the generalizations out of the room.
    Damn near makes me feel optimistic.
    This is the first I’ve seen this take on the rivalry in it’s present day form.

  • Scott W.

    In otherwise irrelevant news…

    Source: Jameis Winston ‘in play’ for Titans if available at No. 2 http://es.pn/1Dcu7p4
     -via ESPN


    I’ve seen Rodgers have bad games. They have usually happened when his wideouts get roughed up.

    To do that, we need big corners and safeties that punish and a nickel that does the unexpected. Pressure doesn’t rattle Rodgers, up the middle he flushes as well as anyone ever. Side? He steps up or pulls the ball down and runs for the first. He’s so very mobile. You need to pick his throws and push his guys off their routes.

    His bad games don’t come when he gets sacked. It’s when he throws picks or INC. I think Fangio will want to move Fuller into a nickel, which is his natural spot. To that end, I think we go get Trae Waynes in the draft. We need secondary help badly. Jennings is going to start to fall off badly soon, and Fuller was abused SO SO SO badly by Megatron I think he’s just not the guy needed to cover the 1s.

    If we are going to shock the Pack on opening day, we need to show him a D he hasn’t seen and punch his wideouts in the mouth early and often.

    • BearDown100393

      Punching Rodgers in the mouth also is a good option. Well worth 15 yards as a welcome to Soldier Field from the new Big Bad Bears defense.

      • RenoBear


    • AlbertInTucson

      Secondary help? Yes. But Waynes is, what? 185 lbs. soaking wet? Don’t you think Megatron would LOVE to lineup against that? I don’t think Waynes is the “Punch’em in the mouth corner” you seek.

      • GPLDAN

        But he’s tall. I agree he’s not a physical corner, he’s more a Richard Sherman type.

        • AlbertInTucson

          Just mention it because his name came up on the radio driving in this morning questioning his ability/desire to tackle.

        • I actually think Waynes is physical. He goes up there and smothers at the line. Very aggressive, esp for his weight. He can do that because he runs a 4.31, so he trusts his recovery speed. Swag.

          If anything, the knock on him is that he’s TOO aggressive at the LOS, that he gets a little too “handsy” (and later at the top of the route).

          His weight does concern me a bit, but like you said, he has good height, and adding 10 pounds to his frame doesn’t seem outlandish. He’s not 5’8 like Jennings or anything.

          • Here’s his “pros”

            Good length. Loves to compete in man-to-man and is mentally tough. Asked to play on an island and did so successfully. Allowed just two touchdowns over last two seasons. Bump-and-run specialist. Fastest cornerback at the NFL Scouting Combine with a 4.31 40-yard dash, showing off his recovery speed to make up for separation. Maintains feel for vertical threats and uses his frame to pin wideouts against sideline. Excels in deep, man coverage and can be smothering. Acceleration and length to contest any throw on the field. Well-coached and plays with proper leverage in coverage. Can be intimidating and disruptive against finesse receivers. Drives forward with burst and runs through targets, jarring balls loose. Wrap-up tackler who understands his responsibility against the run.


          • Irish Sweetness

            I’ll take that over an OLB who’ll be lucky to make 3M some day.

  • Trac

    Wow! Jeff does still write. I’m shocked.

    • DaBearsBlog

      I didn’t write it.

      • GPLDAN

        Raggedy Andy did.

      • Trac

        Hahaha. Silly me!

  • Barb UMihai Mar

    The DLine and the Secondary isn’t the problem.

    The ILB position is the biggest and only roster weakness, but it’s a huge one.

    • I’ll re-post, but piggy-backing on Data’s contention, POX might indeed believe they already have enough defensive players to duke it out.

      “The Bears’ Game 16 starting three linebackers now are effectively in a competition for one job opening. Jonathan Bostic, Christian Jones and Shea McClellin will be competing with Foster, a physical inside linebacker, ironically from Lovie Smith’s 4-3 at Tampa Bay.”

      [and that’s not even counting an ILB we draft]

      Pretty good read on LB by Mullin.


      • Barb UMihai Mar

        Lets make it clear… Bostic and Shea are done. they’re non factors. Forster is a dud who could only scrap a minimal salary 1 year deal while in his prime.
        Jones is a possible producer…I’ll bank on him, or, better said, I’ll bank on Fangio ‘making’ him. Still…he’s young, unexperienced and raw. Also, not a leader type of ILB. I see him more like the side kick of the leader.

        They need that dominant personality player in the middle. They need the projection of Fangio on the field.

        • Irish Sweetness

          I’d love to see us get Benardrick McKinney, Kendricks sounds like a 4-3 guy.

    • Irish Sweetness


      WR is a weakness. We have a good receiver who was good because everybody was looking at Brandon Marshall. Let’s see what happens now The Beast has gone.

      The OL has two players who are good (although I have no opinion on Montgomery).

      No idea what we have at LB. That’s a big mess of players who may or may not flourish in the 3-4.

      But secondary is a massive glaring weakness. No peanut. I was never a Jennings fan, and I’m not sold on Fuller. Rolle’s 32, and until he proves he’s fit and able next year, he’s a short-term hope. I like Mundy. but what else have we got? At a bare minimum we require a top corner and safety. Rolle won’t be here in 2 years. Drafting a CB in the first takes a load off our shoulders. Briggs was a bum who won’t be missed, not so Peanut.

      • Barb UMihai Mar

        They got Allan Ball and there’s BrockVereen, who you don’t even mention, strangely. The Secondary is good, don’t you worry about them.

        As much as I think trading Marshall is a disgrace the fact that a Bears fan thinks this WR corp and OL are question marks tells you the impact Emery had during his time. Until 2 years ago Bears fans would have accepted not having sex for 1 year for such units. There’s room for improvement, but the base is very solid. They’re not the best of the best, but they’re not weaknesses.

  • Bear Down in Tampa
  • “The Bears have two picks on the top 40. Both should be spent on defenders.”

    I 100% agree with your premise of needing a good D to compete with the Packers, but I disagree with this statement. The Bears currently have a plethora of young, talented defenders on the roster. Some of them are going to be very good now that they will receive actual NFL coaching.

    I still maintain their first few picks-ESPECIALLY pick 7-need to be on the best player possible. Don’t worry about perceived roster need, just get somebody who will be a good player for you for years.

    • it’s also worth noting Pace has brought in 7 D players in FA, 5-6 of whom project as starters. He’s brought in 4 on offense, 2 of whom project as starters (and 1 is replacing a guy he cut).

      I think Pace looked at the roster and decided to use a lot of the young defenders as “draft picks” this year, giving him time to see how they pan out. Most of the guys drafted by Emery fit this D well from a physical standpoint anyway. So he brought in his guys on D in FA and will use the draft to get his guys on O.

      I’m guessing we see an O-heavy draft, which features a WR, OT, QB, and likely a RB and/or C as well.

      • MorganW

        Not too sure about that. The only “need” I can see that you stated was OT and possibly a RB. The Bears have other many good receiving targets now and this draft is woefully thin at center. They will draft a good guard, as the draft is full of them and kick Long to RT. They’ll draft a running back but not before the 3rd round because Pace/Fox don’t do the feature back thing. They platoon and rotate lesser known backs. It’s more effective for what they want, which is ball control, and it is cheaper. QB could be brought in undrafted. It’s a bitch of a position to scout and even the scouted QBs will bust. The article was absolutely right. The defense was the single biggest reason for last years debacle, and for Cutler’s problems, for that matter. Racetrack up and down the field means its a passing down every down and when that happens, defenses can cheat and just blitz every down. Note Cutler’s turnovers. The Bear’s don’t have interior linemen that fit in Fangio’s scheme and are extremely light in the secondary. They need at least one of both safety and corner in this draft. Fix the D, and overall leadership on the team and you’ve fixed most of what was wrong with the Bears last year. Next year they can worry about a center and possibly replacing Marshall.

        • WR is the biggest need on the roster right now IMO. Followed by OT. At every single position but WR they have enough capable bodies to cover starting spots, usually with competition. At WR, the 3rd guy (who will be starting opposite Jeffery, as Royal is a slot guy only) right now is Marquess Wilson, who is unproven, and there’s nobody to push him at all.

          C is more of a developmental need, so a late round guy IMO. And I’m sure they’re grabbing a QB at some point.

          • BillW

            With the draft a week away I am now beginning to pay attention. Your analysis is fascinating. It seems to come down to (given their position and the players likely to be picked in rounds 1-6) the Bears are very likely to go offense.

            It makes sense the way you lay it out – but I can foresee fans SCREAMING “here we go again – a clueless GM”. And the “experts” giving the Bears a C- as a draft grade.

            It could be Pace’s first taste of the “typical” Bear fan and media – who in my humble opinion both are generally pretty clueless themselves.

          • He has a lot more young talent on D than O. He’s brought in a lot more of his guys on D than O. Thus the depth and competition should be much better on D than O.

            My dream draft right now:
            rd 1 Amari Cooper, WR
            rd 2 Henry Anderson DE
            rd 3 Donovan Smith OT
            rd 4 Ibraheim Campbell S
            rd 5 Andy Gallik C
            rd 6 Matt Jones RB

            That’s 4 O and 2 D, but it ignores a QB, and I’m fairly confident somewhere in the first 4 rounds one will be selected. The Bears need a WR in the first few rounds for sure, because they need a guy who can contribute right away (or at least push Marquess Wilson). They also could really use an OT to compete with Mills and Ola.

          • SC Dave

            Yes,.esp on the ot thing. I still cannot comprehend the notiin of taking of or tbe three best guards in the league and making him a tackle. Why not, as you suggest just get a fucking tackle?

          • Irish Sweetness

            That would be our defense banjaxed then …. we don’t even have quality starters at DB, never mind depth.

        • In terms of the secondary, they’re incredibly light at S. I am fully expecting them to draft one, but I doubt he seriously pushes for PT this year.
          At CB, they have 2 veterans, 1 very promising youngster, and 3 young guys with potential. Why draft a CB when you can play Fuller, Jennings, and Ball and then see what you have in Louis-Jean, Hurst, and Mitchell in camp? I mean, you can draft a CB if one you really like is there, but you surely don’t HAVE to. You keep the 3 vets, McManis as the 5th CB for ST, and you let the other 3 compete for 1 roster spot.
          For interior DL, I’m assuming you mean NT. Fangio typically plays his NT for about 500 snaps in a season. Between Ego Ferguson and Jeremiah Ratliff, who both fit the typical Fangio NT mold well, they should cover that well. Not to mention Brandon Dunn, who may or may not amount to anything but was a 3-4 NT in college and is also the NT mold Fangio used in SF. I see zero point in drafting a NT this year, as you already have 2 on the roster plus a developmental guy for the practice squad.
          As far as 3-4 DEs go, I agree one could be added in the draft there, but it’s not a MUST draft. They have 2 proven vets in McDonald and Jenkins, and don’t forget McPhee and Houston will play some DE in sub situations too. Then you have young guys like Washington and Sutton who will likely get tried out at 5T. I’d love to see a guy like Henry Anderson added to improve the 5T depth, but it’s not essential.
          Where a lot of these positions become huge needs is when you look BEYOND 2015. McDonald is over 30 and on a 1 year deal, Jenkins 1 year deal, Mundy deal expiring, Rolle old and can be cut with no dead $$ anytime past 2015. But in terms of guys who will contribute with serious snaps in 2015 on D, the only draft picks I see earning PT on D would be at DE or ILB.

          • MorganW

            I can surely see them taking a look at what they have and see how it plays this season with some obvious additions in the draft. And I do agree that they knew that the band-aids they brought in were temporary. What I see as the biggest improvement that the Bears could have made was changing the front office and coaching staff. The pick ups in free agency and the general running of the franchise has improved by light years in the few months they’ve been there and has revived my confidence in their leadership. I have opinions on players to draft of course, but I can’t see the new regime really making a bad choice even if its one that I don’t agree with. Trust in Pace/Fox/Fangio/Gase has allowed me to remember that even if I don’t agree with a move they make, which has yet to happen, they see things I don’t, have knowledge and experience that I will never have and the benefit of a general plan to follow that I am not privy to. That being said, I love the idea of Henry Anderson in the second round or (speaking of developmental players) Za’Darius Smith in the third round. Only 2 years of organized football and is predicted to go in the third round. He’s gonna be a beast in a year or two. Even though I am heavily invested in the “defense first” philosophy of this draft, I can also see the Bears drafting Kevin White at #7. And this is why. Even though Cooper is more polished and pro-ready, he is pretty much as good as he’s gonna get. Which is excellent. Don’t get me wrong he is a very good receiver. However, White has the speed, size, jump ball tenacity, and angry run after the catch that Cooper doesn’t. Also, and here’s the big difference, while Cooper is pretty much as good as he’s gonna get, the sky is the limit on White. He has such a huge talent ceiling. He’s gonna be a H.O.F. for someone who drafts him. Might as well be the Bears with Marshall gone. If Marshall hadn’t been traded, then drafting White would be a superfluousness that couldn’t be justified. And for all we know, that was their plan all along. Trade the high priced, older guy and draft a youngster that will be as good if not better. I mean, White has visited the Bears twice. Seems they are more than a little interested….unless it’s to make other teams think that they are. See? You just don’t know. But that’s only it they think, we think they won’t. lol.

          • I like Cooper because he’s a safer pick, and I don’t want any busts. I also think Cooper is much quicker in and out of his cuts, based both on film and the agility drills, which is a nice complement to Jeffery.
            Honestly, I didn’t love White from the tape I watched of him. I prefer DeVante Parker, but I hope neither are picked at 7.
            But like you said, it’s not my opinion that matters.

          • Irish Sweetness

            With a smaller receiver you need a better QB. Losing Brandon, I’d hope they’d go with a bigger target like White or Parker if they go the WR route.

          • Irish Sweetness

            1. Hands up who thinks 5’8 Jennings is anywhere near a top corner?

            2. Hands up who thinks Fuller will be a pro-bowler at CB?

            Waynes will be if he can beef up a bit, won’t be a problem with his frame.

          • I think Fuller will be a better NFL CB than Waynes. I also think Jennings is a perfectly capable CB2. His problems last 2 years were more attitude/effort than anything else, based on what I saw on film.

          • I think Fuller will be a Pro Bowl CB. I think Jennings is one of the best 30 or so CBs in the NFL, which makes him a perfectly competent #2 CB.

            I am of the opinion that the defense’s problems the last 2 years had as much to do with coaching as talent. There was not a single young defender Emery drafted who looked good in the last 2 years. Fuller started out well but then fell off a cliff. Too many guys with potential for me to just give up on all of them. Pace has done a nice job of bringing in competition for virtually all of them, so now he can afford to see who is a bust and who emerges with quality coaching.

            Coaches need to put guys in position to succeed, and Chicago’s last coaches did just the opposite of that. Between the young defenders already on Chicago’s roster and the guys Pace brought in during FA, I think the D talent is better than most people realize.

            Of course, the Bears still lack the studs you build a unit around, so grabbing one of them at 7 would definitely be fine with me. But I only see 2 surefire defensive studs in this draft-Leonard Williams and Vic Beasley-so I don’t want them wasting a pick on defense if they’re both gone at 7.

            Pace said he wanted to patch holes in FA so he could draft the best players in the draft, and he’s done just that. The only position they absolutely NEED an instant contributor at still is WR, and even then they could find a guy in FA after the draft to compete with Wilson for PT if they don’t land one in the draft.

            Plenty of other areas could use an upgrade, or a rookie to groom for a year, but nowhere the Bears should be forced to HAVE to draft somebody just to have a competent body at the position.

    • Let’s say like John Does believes that these guys are gone

      Winston, Mariota, Fowler, Beasley, Williams, Cooper.

      Do you take White (even though you don’t like him?)

      Who would you like at #7?

      (no trading down)

      • I’d go best OL on my board, which for me is Scherff, but I could see it being somebody else (La’El Collins?) for Pace.

        • I like Scherff, but an OG at #7 is hard for me to swallow (if you look around the league, how many elite OGs were drafted in the top 10?)

          If Scherff were a RT or even C, that might make me feel better about him at that spot, but seems too rich for an OG (esp since we have Slausen/Long).

          Guess I’m old school draft value like that.

          • if you draft Scherff, I’m assuming either he or Long plays RT while the other is at RG. I just love Scherff’s attitude and think he’ll be a good OL for a decade plus, whether at G or T I don’t know, but don’t particularly care all that much.

          • SC Dave

            Rt please…. leave Lomg where he is

          • Irish Sweetness

            Tackles get paid more, the better player should be at tackle if we have another guy who can fit in at guard. Kyle will want to get paid at some point.

      • Irish Sweetness

        Any GM who’d draft a guy they didn’t like, in the first round , needs to be shot in the face. In public. At a game.

    • Irish Sweetness

      Fuller and TJ as your starting corners? TJ is 5’8! I don’t think either are necessarily even corners, and where’s the depth?

      • Fuller, TJ, and Alan Ball are your top 3, and then you have 3 young guys fighting for one spot of depth.

    • Irish Sweetness

      But the best player possible may be a defensive player based purely on the need. If you need to fix the defense you draft defense, this shit gets over-analyzed. Our defense SUCKS. Worst ever suckage. Record-breaking embarrassment for a town that prides itself on tough defense.

      We will not get better on D by drafting a WR for a QB that can’t hit a barn door at ten paces, and then draft some LB who may or may not work out in the 2nd, and then get trapped into drafting an OT or C in the third because of BPA-mantra.

      Have a plan. Stick to it. Fix the D – we all now what they were brought in to do. We need a receiver? Fine, let the brains trust draft one in the fourth.

      • yes, the BPA might be defense. In that case, grab a defender.

        But unless Williams or Beasley are there, I have a hard time seeing BPA be a defender at 7.

  • BillW

    “At the time, Smith had the number of Packer quarterback Brett Favre, including a six-interception playoff game.”

    I must have been out of the country for that one.

    • Bear Down in Tampa
      • BillW

        Thanks for the clarification. I’m sure that is what he was referring to.

        But in the sentence right before that:
        “They had other acquisitions, such as Adewale Ogunuleye, but the team drafted nine of their 11 defensive starters — six in the first three rounds — the year they went to the Super Bowl.”

        And the right after (with my emphasis):
        AT THE TIME, Smith had the number of Packer quarterback Brett Favre, including a six-interception playoff game.”

        I hope people don’t think I’m being picky – but seriously, if you’re going to write a blog post for what you hope to be a wide readership, a little editing for clarity helps.

        (And if people DO think I’m being picky – well, I’ll keep that thought to myself, since you wouldn’t get it anyway.)

    • Andrew Dannehy

      At the time means a period of time. In this case, it was the early 2000s.

      • BillW

        I won’t pick anymore other than to say we have a different definition of “at the time”. Also a different definition of “early 2000s”. (The Super Bowl season was 2006.)

        • Andrew Dannehy

          Yes, six years into the century is early.

          • BillW

            Again – we speak a different language. Obviously I’m talking decades not centuries.

            This is getting REAL silly.

          • BillW

            And by the way, I’m sure sometime later in the century the Bears will finally be able to beat the Packers. They have 85 more years to do it.

          • Scott W.


          • That’s like when I was 27. I would go around telling girls I was in my mid-twenties.
            A girl I dated for a while quipped, “You’re in your LATE 20s”.
            So all you 36 yr olds, you’re in your early 30s! I love it. Feel more energized already. Pass the bong.

          • Scott W.

            Technically, since bongs were just water pipes in my day, my deal was rolling cannons. Like in the paper that came in “Billion Dollar Babies”. When I was 16. There, I’m aged.

          • Irish Sweetness

            Buckets are the best. Anyone ever do buckets?

          • Scott W.

            Never heard of buckets…?

          • Irish Sweetness

            Yep, cos nobody cares once you hit 40. The only ladies in your life will all be related to you.

  • John Doe

    I continue to believe these six will be gone before Bears are on clock at #7. If these six are gone, I think chances of Pace trading down go up.

    Winston, Mariota, Fowler, Beasley, Williams, Cooper.

    • Barb UMihai Mar

      They should trade up if that’s the case….if they end up being out of position from an value point of view… regarding their board of course, not what ‘experts’ think.

      • If White is indeed still on the board while we pick, it is a VERY real possibility that many WR starved teams will want to trade up for him, esp MIA @ #14 , but other possible suitors IMO

        #12 Browns to replace knuckle-head Gordon (they also have two 1st rounders)
        #13 Saints. Just traded Graham, might attack through WRs (Also own two 1sts)
        #15 9ers. Might want to give Kap an actual weapon after losing Crabtree.

        There are other teams too, but those seem like the most logical. It really comes down to how much of a fall-off teams perceive between White and Parker/Agholor, but I keep hearing MIA esp will be aggressive for a blue-chip WR in the draft (even thought they just signed Jennings)

        • Barb UMihai Mar

          Frankly I don’t give a shit what Miami, Saints, Brown need or want.
          I’m much more into what the Bears need. If they think that the 6 players selected before are difference makers (as much as the draft gives you that conviction) they should trade up.

          The Bears have depth at all the position (minus ILB), they need difference makers. The elite players that can get you to the top for years to come..the JJ Watts, Luke Kuechlys, the Von Millers,…

          • GMs take into account what other teams want. That’s the way it works. In fact, some probably have tentative deals already in place for draft day.

            If MIA loves White and wants to give us extra picks for him, then yeah, it matters, don’t you think?

            If the Bears can get a difference maker @#14 AND get more picks, that’s win/win.

            The Bears at #14 can probably get S Collins or DL Armstead or maybe even CB Waynes or DT Shelton + theoretically an extra 3rd to maybe draft QB Grayson while still building up the D or OLine.

            As always, it just comes down to drafting the right guys, but the more lottery tickets one has, the more chances of striking gold.

          • Barb UMihai Mar

            if they can get a difference maker at 14 they can get one at 7, also. So …

            This discussion was based on the premise that the difference makers (from a Bears board point of view) are gone until #7.

            My point was take difference makers, whatever it takes and whichever route you take.

    • That’s why many have them drafting WR White, CB Waynes with a few surpise picks like HB Gurley, OG Scherff, DT Shelton.

      The guy who I think might be the first “shock” pick could be Arik Armstead going to us (from Oregon like Long, to boot).

      All 3 analysts from NFL.com mock Armstead to the 9ers who will run Fangio’s D.


      • Irish Sweetness

        I like him. He’s huge. Wouldn’t cry if they picked Shelton though.

  • Johnnywad
    • BearDown100393

      Charles is in a class of his own.

    • On one hand, I’m super pissed at Urlacher’s recent gripes.
      On the other hand, if it really went down like he said, (Emery just gave him an ultimatum as if he were just some bum off the street), then I’m willing to cut Lach some slack

      (esp given what a joke Tucker/Trestman were)

      My guess is Lach won’t be such a douche with this new regime.

      • BearDown100393

        Brian may not always be agreeable but his unfailingly honest expressing his opinions.

      • A lot of the beat reporters have said Emery handled that situation poorly. Right decision, but not handled with class at all.

      • Irish Sweetness

        I don’t think any of us thought Brian was a spring chicken, but the front office were piss-poor in handling that situation.

  • “But if Adam Gase is as good as some say and Jay Cutler can rebound from a down year” – Jeff

    Was it really a “down year” by Cutler? To me, it was just Cutler being Cutler. His QB rating was 88.6 while throwing 18 Ints in 15 games (not counting his lost fumbles) and 5% TD ratio.

    In his 3rd and final year w the Broncos (a PB year) in 2008 his rating was 86.9 w 18 INTs (not counting his lost fumbles) and 4.1% TD ratio. Only difference then was he got 4,500


    If Jeff means “Gase will have to Romo Cutler – limit the fuck out of him so that he won’t demoralize his team with killer turnovers especially to fat men” the I agree.

    But I don’t think he necessarily had a “bad year” (esp given Trestman’s predictable playbook).

    Just Cutler being Cutler.

    Sure, he quit on his team, but other than that, it was par course for Cutty.

    • Barb UMihai Mar

      so…your working theory is that Andrew Dannehy is a Jeff alias ?

      I guess it’s a possibility…with the huge amount of ‘articles’ Jeff has posted this offseason he needs an alias to keep things fresh and *New*.

      • Jeff couldn’t well declare a Cutty Moratorium then write ANOTHER Cutty article!
        But nah, Cutty poster hang at Dannehy Auto parts , an individual subsidiary…

        • SC Dave

          Not a second time, amyway

    • you also have to look at how QB performance has changed over that timespan. Average QB rating in 2006 was about 80, last year was about 85

      • Yeah, and one has to put the stats in perspective too.
        Lot of those yds and TDs in ’14 came in “junk” time when teams were essentially playing prevent with a 3 score lead. (though your study shed more light on it)

        Still, Cutler has remained relatively consistent, for better or worse.

        There’s 3 options for Cutty.

        1. Cut down the TOs. Given his history, a fantasy even if they Romo it.
        2. Accept the TOs but with massive production in yds/TDs and some comeback wins ala Luck.
        3. Put his hat backwards, light one up. Shrug.

        • actually, cutting down the TO isn’t a fantasy. I did a study on this last offseason. The 3 lowest INT rates of his career (all below 3%) were the only years when he was in the same offense instead of learning a new one.
          Didn’t work out last year, but last year was just a nightmare all around and I’m not really judging anybody much for it.
          But if you want to cut Cutler’s turnovers, history suggests you need to keep him in an offense for more than one year.

          • so, 2017 34yr Old Cutty should get the turnovers down to 12 INTs and 4 lost fumbles.

          • he’ll always turn it over more than you would like. Career INT % in year 2+ of an offense is 2.9%, compared to 3.3% in year 1. So roughly a 15% drop.
            For comparison’s sake, career INT % of some other notable QBs who you would hope Cutler can be comparable to (aka not the top guys):
            Rivers 2.6%
            Romo 2.6%
            Ryan 2.3%
            Flacco 2.5%
            Roethlisberger 2.6%
            Eli 3.3%
            Stafford 2.7%
            Cam 2.8%
            So most of Cutler’s “peers” have an interception percentage right around 2.6%. If you could get Cutler’s to 2.9%, his average in year 2 of an offense, that’s still high, but is tolerable IMO. Difference of about 2 INTs a year at that point for 500-600 pass attempts.

          • But that’s just counting INTs. I seriously doubt those others (besides maybe Eli who is TO prone but proven clutch, and maybe Cam who is a running QB) also have as many fumbles to go with a 2.9% INTs.

            On top of that, the intangibles. None of those of other guys have been BENCHED or have had their leadership qualities challenged so mercilessly by fan, pundit, and former QBs and coaches alike.

            That affects a team beyond the numbers IMO.

            There’s no doubt in my mind last year’s squad, esp the D, played more inspired against a tough Lion’s team with Clausen at the helm.

            If I have to hang my hat on 2016 Cutler leading the Bears to a SB…

          • I don’t think Cutler’s ever going to win a SB with the Bears. It takes a great team around an average QB to make that happen, and by the time the Bears have the chance to do that he’ll be gone.
            This was just in regards to maximizing Cutler’s performance.
            As to fumbles: I haven’t run the numbers yet, but I have a hunch that goes hand in hand with how often you get sacked. Cutler gets hit more than those guys, and fumbles more than them, wonder if the sack/fumble ratio is pretty comparable. Either way, he fumbles too damn much.

          • I don’t memorize the numbers, but I can almost guarantee that Cutler fumbles more per/sack than those guys. It’s because he dangles the football on his waist like a euro-purse.

            Other QBs like Cam, Roth, Rivers, (Rodgers) etc have been sacked and beat up quite a bit certain seasons, but I’m willing to wager they don’t fumble it as much (high and tight, better pocket awareness…)

            So on top of his INTs, comes his fumbles and lack of intangibles (and somewhat inj prone).

            I’m not about to go full Cutty hater cuz I don’t hate the guy, but much like Buffone, I’ve now come to realize that those shortcomings won’t change much, not enough to win a SB, so we’re an agreement on that.

            All that being said, I’m still gonna root for Cutty if he’s the Bears starter in spite of reason, cuz that’s why I’m a sport’s fan and not a watching math tournaments.

          • Scott W.

            Help me understand something here. Anyone. But since you’re making Cutler the Belle of the Ball here in this part of the thread, maybe you know Butch.

            While I wring my hands prior to the draft over getting a QB instead of one of the 6,021 needs on defense, I still have never heard anyone truly address the QB issue we have, other than to say:

            –Mariota isn’t good enough.
            –Mariota would cost too much by way of picks and Cutler’s contract money.
            –We have other, more important needs everywhere.
            –Cutler is our QB due to contract money.

            So here’s my question (okay, several questions), and what I think no one has even addressed, except, of all people, John Gruden, who mentioned it in passing when he was interviewed a few days back and pressing for the Bears to trade up and get MM:

            What’s the plan? Wait and see if a suitable QB is available next year? If so, WHO is that? Some FA lurking until the end of his contract?

            Is there a college QB I’ve missed that will be in the draft next year that would be as good or better than Mariota?

            Why is this position so minimized (and practically derided) in terms of the Bears needs? Are we not playing in the NFL after this season? Do we just need someone to hand the ball off to someone, or flick a pass 25 yards on occasion?

            Why is it all about “RIGHT NOW”? I don’t understand why we aren’t looking past the 2015 season. Are we determined to just mimic KC, Bears teams of the past, or the Lions? We just want someone “passable”?

            I look at GB, NE, Denver, Seattle. These teams are elite. They win playoff games. They contend for Superbowls. All of them place a very high priority on the QB position. And we shouldn’t because….we’re the Bears, and we’re all about the Defense?

            WHY? What am I missing?


          • Few reasons why some don’t want to trade up for Mariotta.

            1. It would cost too many draft picks on a team deplete of talent and depth.
            2. Some simply don’t believe in Mariotta, or college pistol QBs in general.

            As for alternatives to Mariotta.

            1. Some believe guys like Clausen, or maybe even a Sanchez-type can win with a run-heavy/D oriented team (this requires #1, draft picks to build). Fox has won with sub-par QBs before, afterall. The extra with this philo is that it would free-up about $8-$10M in cap to construct the roster.
            2. Some DON’T believe the likes of Clausen will take us to the promise land, but would rather wait till a better option at QB presents itself. Never know. Sometimes guys like Brees, Peyton, Rivers, (once upon a time, Cutty) become available.
            3. Some might want to go the “Wilson” route and draft a QB like Grayson/Petty in the 2nd/3rd to develop.

            Admittingly, these are all long shots, but it’s not as if Mariotta is a sure thing either. These seem like the only possible options at QB, which are somewhat grim, but the Bears are not alone in that nightmare, and at least aren’t starting Geno Smith.

          • Irish Sweetness

            We haven’t been to the promised land but twice in 30 years. Just build us a defense.

          • If Garrett Grayson is there for the Bears at 39, I’m guessing that’s the pick. With the hope he takes over in 2016. But I’m fairly confident some QB gets drafted between rds 2-4.

          • AlbertInTucson

            Yeah, the “2nd year in the same offense” concept is what had me thinking he’d be better last season.

          • last year was a clusterfuck. I can count the number of players who actually played well on one hand.
            And technically Cutler’s INT % was still lower last year than in 2013.

          • Huge Bear’s Penis

            it is sad that the Bears have had so many different offenses over the years.

          • Irish Sweetness

            Sorry Woodsy, the boy doesn’t learn. That horse won’t hunt.

            If you want to cut Cutler’s TOs .. you cut Cutler, so to speak.

          • sure, just ignore the numbers I’ve posted below.

    • Andrew Dannehy

      It’s about performance, not stats.

      • Turnovers are bad performances, IMO.
        But like I said above/below, if Cutler improves on his yds/tds/comebacks, then those could overcome his turnovers, but I’m not holding my breath on that, esp when it comes to Cutler vs Pack D.

        • Andrew Dannehy

          Turnovers are a stat. WR runs a wrong route, ball gets picked, is the QB to be blamed? He fumbled at a lower rate than Wilson and Rodgers, opponents just happened to jump on more of his.

          • Trac

            Boom! Crack that whip……hahaha

          • The same can go the other way too, how many INTs have hit defenders in the hands that are drops, or how many INTs have Alshon and Bmarsh saved Cutler from on jump balls?

            And like I said, it’s not just the INTs or the lost fumbles, but both together (along with all the other negatives).

          • Andrew Dannehy

            Which is why you judge on performance, not stats.

          • BillW

            So – now we’re here on this. How do you judge performance if not by stats? Is it purely qualitative? Is it “you know it when you see it”?

          • I agree. I’ve watched all his snaps as a Bear, and he’s not “improving” his performance. I actually think he played WORSE than his stats last season, which is why he got benched and should be replaced.

          • AlbertInTucson

            A lot of “Garbage Time” stats.

          • Irish Sweetness

            Well let’s judge Jay on performance then lads.

            Superbowls? NFC champs? String of playoff appearances? Hope for the future?

            Nope. Fail.

          • Irish Sweetness

            The QB is to be blamed when he doesn’t learn a damn thing in 9 years, continues to throw off his back foot, at high speed, into triple coverage, and then not seem to really care.


    Because I am just that kinda guy, I now post for you awesome Nick Cage Panchinko commercials..


  • DocNitty(BallsStillOrnamental)

    Agree Fill-in Blogfather.

    If there’s one thing the last two years taught me, it’s that I’d rather be avg overall with a great D then shitty with an “explosive” O. This is the Chicago Bears. Defense. Period. It pained me to see a team that showed no monstrosity the last two years. It’s like watching another city’s team. Me no likey.

    • NewBearInTown

      I remember when we brought Trestman in there was a lot of discussion about this on the blog. Some were saying it was a good thing, that the Bears were joining the “new” NFL and embracing a style that puts passing offense above all else.
      We’ve traded Marshall and brought in arguably the best defensive coordinator in the league. If the draft goes the way most expect it to, we’ll have 2-3 high picks spent on defensive talent.
      I said then that I liked the idea of winning, but that it was strange to root for a team that was so offense-first. Now I am somewhat concerned about the plan for our offense going forward. But I am excited to root for a first class defense again.

    • Big Mike

      This is what the Bears are. Even in 2013, I had no idea what I was watching.

  • AlbertInTucson

    The Bears sign TE Bear Pascoe? Sounds like an item leftover from April 1 but I guess it’s for real.

  • BerwynBomber

    A few things in regard to the article …

    One, although Fangio’s SF teams were 3-0 against Rodgers, Rodgers played well against them given that SF had one of the best D’s in the league. The Pack lost those games because, by and large, their own D got shredded by the pistol offense and Kaepernick not because Rodgers struggled mightily (as he has against, say, Seattle’s D). Fangio will be a huge upgrade from Tucker and maybe he is the best DC in the game, but his 3-0 record against Rodgers should come with proper context. In fact, statistically Rodgers might have struggled more against our Lovie D’s than the Fangio SF ones.

    Two, our GB schedule might prove advantageous. Catching them in Week 1 might result in GB delivering a flat performance as they did in their opener last year vs. NYJ at Lambeau (remember, they were a Marty Moerningwig TO from losing that game, against Geno Smith no less). And maybe the whole T-Day/hillbilly diva jersey retirement will affect their play adversely too. They very well might tighten up from the pressure of having to deliver a W.

    Lastly, the writer’s notion that Lovie inherited three HoFers in Lach, Briggs and Peanut. Hey, I can be a homer as much as the next guy, but let’s keep things real. Yes, Lach will certainly end up in Canton, and Briggs will probably get some votes over the years but it would be surprising if he ever got in and next to shocking if Peanut does.

    • What, Willis didn’t run for 200 yds in the play-offs vs the Pack!?

      I agree. With Rodgers as with most great players, a team’s best bet is to “contain”.

      Formula to beat Rodgers.

      1. Long drives on O ending with TDs, not FGs.
      2. Disciplined disruptive pass rush.
      3. Very limited penalties/mistakes/TOs

      This might be the formula to beat all teams, but with Rodgers it’s esp true because there’s lil margin for error. If you turn-it over, or go 3 and out, or blindly rush up field, Rodgers will make you pay.

      • BerwynBomber

        Or if our DBs are confused and on conflicting coverage assignments after he audibles. Apparently, that is what happened on one of the Jordy bombs in the Lambeau game the past season. Rodgers caught our confusion after his initial audible and gave Nelson a second, silent audible at the line of scrimmage.

        • That would go under #3, limitied mistakes,

          or the “don’t Conte it” playing one coverage while everyone else is playing another.

    • Rodgers for all 2012/13 games: 67.0% completion, 8.1 ypa, 6.7 TD %, 1.7 INT %, 106.9 passer rating.

      Rodgers vs. SF over 4 games across 2012/13: 64.4% completion, 7.3 ypa, 5.5 TD %, 2.1 INT %, 96.0 passer rating.

      So he’s normally a great QB, and against SF he looked like a good one. That’s more of a Big Ben stat line. In 2012/13, Ben was 63.8% completion, 7.3 ypa, 5.2 TD %, 2.1 INT %, 94.2 passer rating.

      • BerwynBomber

        Yup. As I said, he wasn’t been lights out against SF, but given how good SF’s Ds were, his performances were far from shit.

        Would be interesting to see his career stats vs. Lovie’s Bears Ds as opposed to those against Fangio’s. Again, despite his glittering W-L record against us, I wouldn’t be surprised if his stats looked semi-mortal up until the last two years.

        P.S. I looked up his games against SF but was too lazy to do the same against the Lovie Bears.

        • Played Lovie D 9x between 2009-12.
          Rodgers over that time: 66.5% cmp, 8.4 ypa, 6.9 TD %, 1.5 INT %, 108.7 rating
          Against Chicago: 67.9% cmp, 7.7 YPA, 5.2 TD %, 2.1 INT %, 99.5 rating

          Played 4x (kind of, only 2 passes in one game) against Tucker D 2013-14:
          Rodgers over that time: 65.9% cmp, 8.5 ypa, 6.8 TD %, 1.4 INT %, 109.6 rating
          against Chicago: 68.8% cmp, 10.0 ypa, 12.5 TD %, 2.1 INT %, 132.0 rating

          Really outside of those 2 INTs, both of which were thrown in his first quarter back after missing 7 weeks from injury, he pretty much did whatever he wanted to the Bears the last 2 years.

          • BerwynBomber

            Thanks JW. So a tad better statistically against Lovie than Fangio. But very close.

          • tough to compare. Rodgers torched CHI 2x in 2011 (which accounted for 8 of his 15 TDs in those 9 games and only 1 of the 6 INTs), which was that record setting MVP year. He never played SF in that season, so it skews it a bit IMO.

          • Big Mike

            Tucker.. 132 passer rating. Like playing on AIR. SMH

    • Andrew Dannehy

      Performances, not stats. Rodgers was ineffective in both playoff games.

      • BerwynBomber

        He was effective in both playoff games and his performances were fine. The Cheese lost because they could not contain Kaepernick. Plain and simple.

        Don’t be sloppy. DBBers will catch you on it.

        P.S. You would have an argument about Rodgers if you were talking the NFCC vs. Seattle or when they crapped the bed that year against NYG. Against SF, you don’t.

        • Andrew Dannehy

          Watch the games. He wasn’t effective. It’s not even debatable.

          • BerwynBomber

            I did watch the games. And your comebacks are as weak as the two articles you have thus far submitted.

          • Waffle

            damn bomber, straight to the guns, skip the knives.

          • BerwynBomber

            Yeah, I know. Lost my patience. But I’m not a big fan when published writers circle back to defend their work. Once it is out there they should let it go.

            And If they insist on arguing their point afterward, offer something factually based. Not some sweeping generalization/impression that is false.

          • Irish Sweetness

            Who’s published? Is making something available on a web page akin to ‘being published’ now? Is a person a ‘published writer’ because they posted something on a blog? I think not.

          • I think he was ineffective in 3 of the 4 games. He was very effective in the opener of 2013 season, which is why GB posted 30 points even though Lacy fumbled one away, but the D shit the bed on that one.

          • BerwynBomber

            Saying Rodgers was ineffective in those three SF losses is like saying Cutler was ineffective in our ’13 season finale loss to the Cheese (the infamous Rodgers-to-Cobb loss). Rodgers was effective enough against SF (especially given the quality of SF’s D in those years) and Cutty was effective enough in that one particular loss to the Cheese.

        • BillW

          I agree. The blog articles have to be much more than a long post. If I’m typing my opinion here and get sloppy because of time constraints – well, I’d rather not but at least I’m not expecting people to read me for insight.

          But if you are going to post an article for Bear fans and want that respected, it has to be a bit more precise.

          Just my opinion Andrew. And I suspect other’s opinion too. No offense meant – but I agree with those saying Rodgers was not ineffective in those games. Against Seattle – yes. Even against the Bears in 2010. Certainly against SF he was below his “norm” but his “norm” is very high.

          • Huge Bear’s Penis

            “But if you are going to post an article for Bear fans and want that respected, it has to be a bit more precise”

            LOLOLOL!!!!!! that is just funny!!! Jeff’s posts are hardly precise, but he gets away with it with his style/passion and the fact we have been reading his posts for years and are used to it.

            I tend to agree with Andrew on Rodgers being ineffective in the playoff games, and his own defenses did not help out much. I think we should all give Andrew a chance before we go slinging stones. Besides it’s the off season so i don’t mind some generalizations.

          • Yeah, but Andrew can’t go around stating “It’s performance, not stats” or “Watch the game” and expect Da Bloggers not to respond. As has been shown recently, many have been watching and examining and dissecting every Bears game (and therein, a lot of Packer games) for 20+ years.

            But you’re right about giving Jeff a pass, though we do call him on stuff like his Culter apologies, Tress Way, etc.

            I guess everyone has their niche here. Data is probably more “precise”, but Jeff is like the color commentator.

          • Irish Sweetness

            Jay has already been judged, measured, and he has been found wanting.

            We have all seen great QBs, and many very good ones. Jay does not spring to mind in either category. Is Jay anywhere close to Jim Kelly? Jim’s my idea of a good QB,and Jay Cutler doesn’t belong in any conversations that involve Jim.

    • MikeBrownhadaPosse

      I won’t be shocked if Peanut gets in eventually if he has a good , but it won’t be first ballot.

      • BerwynBomber

        Can’t see it happening. He was All-Pro only once and only has two Pro Bowls. No way that will get it done. He would have to completely tear it up in CAR and most likely for a couple/few years.

        Briggs will be closer but I don’t see him making it either.

    • BearDown100393

      The Hood is focused on the next President.

  • BillW

    A view from the “Moon”:

    “With someone as accomplished as head coach John Fox and defensive coordinator Vic Fangio, the absence of film on the “new” Bears may be to their advantage. They won’t reveal a lot in preseason, so let Aaron Rodgers figure it out starting on Sept. 13.”

    Playing the Packers first really IS an advantage. The Bears have nothing to lose. The worst thing that could happen to the Pack after the way their season ended is to start out bad. They already will be looking past the Bears to the Seattle rematch. In fact,no matter what they will say, they ALREADY are looking past them TODAY.

    This is a golden opportunity for Fox/Gase/Fangio. So much better than having this game later in the season.

    In 1963 my Dad told me Halas spent at least one day each week of camp preparing for the opener against GB. Not saying we’re ready to operate at the level of that team, but opening against your rival provides a sense of urgency and focus that may be lacking if they opened against say the Raiders.

    An upset is VERY doable under these conditions.

    • I can see that.
      I just don’t know how much “urgency” the new guys will have. That’s the negative about FAs. I doubt McPhee, McDonald, Rolle, etc hate the Pack all that much.

      Maybe after this season. I also would like to see a fight or something to speed up the process. When a team is inferior, something extra needs to spark the underdog.

      Get tired of seeing Cutler and Rodgers smiling, chatting w each other after the Pack bitch slap the Bears.

      Didn’t like it when Lach did it either.

      • BearDown100393

        I would think a bunch of free agents signed to one year deals would have everything to prove against Green Bay in order to get another contract.

      • Waffle

        I hear what you’re saying but McPhee is a Raven and learned how to be a pro behind straight up killers in Baltimore. He brings that attitude no matter what.
        Rolle is a seasoned vet that knows how to approach the season.
        Ray McDonald played the same way against all teams, solid all around. Fangio and Fox will have the guys ready to be deadly serious about this high stakes kids game.

        • Yeah, I trust Fangio. We really lucked out to get him at DC. Heck, I wouldn’t have minded him as HC, so to land him and Fox is crazy.

          I just remember when me and my best bud used to play his older brother and his best bud basketball in my backyard (they were a grade older).
          It started off nice, but sooner or later, Karl Malone elbows would start flying, knees, hard screens, then old grudges would come up from like grade school.

          We always came close to blows every time. It was intense. And whoever lost wasn’t smiling. We would all get over rather quickly, but that’s how rivalries should be in my book. Intense.

          But that’s not the sports scene now a days, and not just in football. The old blood rivalries like Pistons-Bulls, Lakers-Celtics are gone. They’re all buddy-buddy now.

          I mean, the Pack and Bears genuinely used to loathe each other. Maybe we need some of that back to return to glory.

          • Scott W.

            Great story! I could feel the elbows.

          • Yeah, the brothers would always go at each other, and me and my bud Joey would go at each other. He was a bit shorter, but he would make up for it with knees and elbows lol

          • Waffle

            I think those days are over. With the lopsided contract structure it’s more player vs ownership than anything at this point.

          • Bender (Call Saul) McLugh

            you think it’s Buddy Buddy between the Bulls & LeBron’s Cavs/Heat? No way man, awesome heated rivalry there

        • MikeBrownhadaPosse

          Well, one straight up killer and Ray Rice.

    • Scott W.

      I don’t think anyone with half a brain looks past a John Fox coached team. Mike McCarthy isn’t anyone’s idiot. I can’t see him looking past the opener to “more competitive” teams, Bill. I think he’ll study like hell for that game, and I don’t think for a minute he believes he’s already 1-0.

      • Good coaches never overlook a team. But it’s tough to get players to avoid that sometimes.

        • especially when the players have gotten used to beating their little bros.

        • BillW

          That’s my point; I didn’t mean McCarthy. And yet I read an article about how much time he’s spent studying video of the loss to Seattle. They screwed up in so many ways in that game I am sure it took a toll.

  • Scott W.
    • that’s an interesting way to look at things. It’s tough to draw too many conclusions across 2 different GMs though.
      One quibble I would have is that the data to not indicate the Bears didn’t value LB, as the article suggests. Rather, it just doesn’t include the fact that the Bears had 2 All-Pro caliber players at LB entering their primes right as this study began. So it’s not shocking the Bears didn’t spend many high picks at LB in that decade, considering they already had the group pretty well covered.

      • Scott W.

        I thought the exact same thing when I read it. Thought you’d enjoy it anyway.

      • Trac

        Sorry J Wood but I disagree. Emery passed up on the best ILB by a country mile and selected an understudy CB last year. Arrogance had a part to play but you don’t pass up on Mosley unless you don’t value the position. I saw the train wreck coming which was our LB’S 2 years ago. Only a piss poor GM couldn’t see it too.

        • yeah, but Emery was only around for 3 years of this study, and he spent the highest draft pick on a LB in it (highest 2 if you count Shea as a LB).

          I wanted Mosley if Donald was gone though.

          • Trac

            Hence my arrogance comment. It was arrogant to think that he had not missed on the position. At least the Browns admit they haven’t found their franchise QB yet.

        • and I don’t agree with Fuller being an “understudy” CB. He was always going to play at least 600 or so snaps, even if everybody stayed healthy.

  • BearDown100393
    • BearDown100393

      He is sort of transforming into Bruce Jenner.

  • NewBearInTown

    So this time I used Charlie Campbell’s mock draft (also on Walterfootball) as my guide for available players. This is what a Bears draft might look like if we pulled a Lovie and only took defensive players.
    1 – Trae Waynes, CB
    2 – Bernardrick McKinney, ILB
    3 – Henry Anderson DE (5 tech)
    4 – Kurtis Drummond, S
    5 – Lynden Trail, OLB
    6 – Tavaris Barnes, DE
    The way I see it, this would force us to get another WR and C in free agency. But both of those positions figure to have some guys available that can play. A draft like this is a distinct possibility and actually leaves us in a good position to trade down in the first or second rounds and get an extra pick or two.

    • I heard that studly WR draftees might be a permanent trend going forward, that is to say, that while college is not producing NFL ready QBs, they certainly are churning out NFL ready WRs. Last year’s crop lead by ODB, Benjamin, Mike Evans, etc made an impact and look like future stars.
      This year’s crop of WRs lead by Cooper, White, Parker, etc might be equally as impressive.

      It that is the case going forward, we would realistically be able to draft a very solid WR in future drafts if needed. And if all else fails, a premiere WR is almost always available in FA. That position tends to have lots of turnover.

      In other words, WRs going forward won’t be in short supply like some other positions like QB, Safety, LTs, and so on.

      Edit. On a side note, I really like McKinney esp in RD 2.

      • Trac

        Personally, unless you’re looking for the finishing pieces as a contender, I think it’s foolish to draft a WR with our 1st pick. I could live with it but it wouldn’t be my preference.

    • Irish Sweetness

      I like the top 2 – hope that’s who we get.

    • Scott W.

      I wonder if after the Trestman rat lab, if the Bears, with the hiring of Fangio and Fox, are going to make the draft all about D as you suggest COULD happen, to restore the image.

  • I think a pass rusher will fall more than expected, but not sure quite who. A case can be made for each.

    DT Leonard Williams. Some wonder why he disappeared in some games, and if his pass rush is lacking. If it is lacking, he’s a glorified run-stopper who never should go in the top 5.

    LB/DE Vic Beasley. Great combine, production, but played at 220. Is he merely a situational pass rusher like Bruce Irvin drafted at #15? Doesn’t have junk-yd dog mentality. Can he still keep his explosion at 240 +?

    LB/DE Shane Ray. Great production, tape, but small and slow. Might be Michael Sam of the draft. I think hes’ out of the top #10.

    LB/DE Randy Gregory. Weed. Unimpressive in interviews according to rumors. He’s almost certainly falling, but the Jets do pick #6.

    Some other surprises.
    NT Shelton might fall hard. NT Malcom Brown might get drafted ahead of him.
    OT D.J. Humphries might go before OG Scherff.
    CB Marcus Peters might go before CB Waynes
    FS Damarious Randell might go before SS Collins.

    • On that note…

      An anonymous executive tells ESPN’s John Keim that Clemson edge rusher Vic Beasley will likely go between Nos. 7 and 13.
      A prolific pass rusher in the ACC, Beasley tore up the Combine, and is a fit for both 3-4 and 4-3 defenses. NFL draft insider Tony Pauline recently reported that the Saints will “consider trading up” for the Clemson product. The Saints choose No. 13 overall. – Roto

      • Waffle

        i’ll take that phone call.

        • Bender (Call Saul) McLugh

          trade down and nab Collins at safety

    • BerwynBomber

      Ray is falling because of an injury concern, no?

      Peters was kicked off his own college team. So some concerns there. But what little film I saw of him on YT he seemed to play taller than, say, Waynes.

      Wonder when 6’3″ CBs become more the norm. Though I suppose when colleges start producing those size CBs, 6’7″ WRs will be the norm on the O side of the ball.

      • Waffle

        Ray’s got a toe injury that will plague him his whole career until surgery. Those don’t go away with “rest”.

      • Yeah, Ray inj his foot in the Bowl game and might require surgery after this season.
        Though that might be a good thing since he didn’t exactly impress with his numbers. The foot might have hindered him.

  • Irish Sweetness

    I’m all on board with the top two picks being spent on D. I think the first will be spent on Trae – we need a corner.

    • Trac

      But..but..but we have Kyle Fuller Irish.

  • Robban_HH

    as long as CUTLER stays Bears go nowhere

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