No podcast this week, as travel got in the way. We’ll have the 2017 season wrap-up pod in the next week or so if I can get Jahns to answer his cell.
Ted Phillips the Boogeyman!
Ever since Ian Rapoport reported Ted Phillips was “making phone calls” to gauge availability of head coaching candidates, Bears Twitter – including our own Andrew Dannehy – have been obsessed with Phillips’ role in the coaching search. Now Rap’s former bench mate, Albert Breer, had this dandy in his “Black Monday” column:
Chicago Bears: The writing has been on the wall here for a while. The expectation is that John Fox will be gone. What’s less certain is whether or not general manager Ryan Pace gets to pick the next coach, and whether or not the coaches pursued by the Bears dictate Pace’s fate.
(1) Ryan Pace is 100% picking the next head coach.
(2) The NFL sends each organization a list of prospective head coaches. Those coaches don’t always know they’re on that list. What teams do is call agents and ask if their clients are interested in becoming head coaches so that once the decision to fire the head coach is officially made, interviews can be lined up immediately. This is called due diligence. Teams also call agents of college coaches to gauge if they’re interested in coming to the NFL.
(3) Ownership, which Ted represents, can do this reconnaissance work while another coach is under contract. For a GM it is strictly verboten. The GM is a partner with the head coach, especially in an organizational structure where they both report to ownership.
(4) If this story was “George McCaskey is making calls” nobody would have cared. But McCaskey doesn’t make calls. That’s why he pays Ted Phillips and why Phillips is incredibly well-respected in the league.
(5) Do I think the Bears would want to know if Ron Rivera may become available? Of course. They want to know every good coach that is going to be available. But the apple of their eye is Stanford coach David Shaw.
Jahns on Shaheen
From AJ After Dark’s column in the Sun-Times:
But the Bears do feel good about Shaheen’s development. Loggains said he’s had a solid rookie season. Most of Shaheen’s 12 catches were either contested or diving grabs (two for touchdowns).
In time, the team believes that Shaheen will do more. The Bears still only have six packages for him. All of his catches also have come when he is a prototypical in-line tight end.
“We know that he’s going to be a good, all-around tight end because of his size, speed, his athleticism,” Loggains said. “In the offseason, the biggest jump he is going to have to take is in the run game. But he came in and affected the game in his opportunities in the red area the way we thought he would.”
In my mind, the Bears completely botched Shaheen’s rookie season. Six packages for him? Six packages total because he’s not a great run blocker? On a team with the worst pass-catching options in the entire league, shouldn’t it have become a priority to work Shaheen into the passing attack as more than an “in-line tight end” the second Cam Meredith’s knee blew up? But of course not. Gotta keep throwing those passes to Josh Bellamy.
Adam Hoge: The evaluation of Fuller is complicated, especially when you look at his 2017 season and his four-year body of work. There’s no doubt he has put together a good season this year and, frankly, saved his NFL career. But there have also been a few tough games sprinkled in there — two against the Packers and one against the Lions, all NFC North opponents. Should the Bears bring him back? Probably, but at what price?
Jahns: The price likely starts with the franchise tag in negotiations, and that’s a hefty price. CBS Sports’ current projections have the franchise tag for cornerbacks in 2018 at over $15 million. That’s a lot of money for Fuller. But cornerbacks always get paid on the open market. Last year is a perfect example. The Patriots signed Stephon Gilmore to a five-year, $65 million contract that guaranteed him $31 million when he signed. A.J. Bouye got a five-year, $67.5 million deal, including $26 million guaranteed at his signing, from the Jaguars.
The offer I’d make: 4 years, $48 million with the first two years guaranteed. If he asks for something wildly different than that, he’s playing 2018 on the tag.
No fancy football jargon needed. Watch and enjoy. pic.twitter.com/4eVWUJcprN
— Olin kreutz (@olin_kreutz) December 27, 2017
David Haugh Drinks Blue Moon
And I saw it live at the Billy Goat. Story to come this off-season.