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The Positional Quick 3: Defensive Line

| June 21st, 2018

I’m traveling in Dingle, Ireland years ago and I’m exhausted. This was my first day ever in Europe and I couldn’t keep my eyes open at 4:30 in the afternoon. My uncle turns to me and says, “Have a quick three. You’ll be fine.” I drank three Guinness in the span of a half hour. Seven hours later I’m dancing to a shitty Irish house DJ with Jenny Pye, a local lass who dreamed of being an EMT in New York City.

I’m very tired of this 2018 off-season. And incredibly eager for the season to begin. So I’m taking the quick three approach to each position group as we head into the summer. Not grading the groups or anything. Just making some points.


Defensive Line

  • Akiem Hicks and Eddie Goldman are the core of everything this defense wants to do. When they’re on the field, they become the focal point of opposing offensive coordinators because they are both capable of ruining a game. Hicks is the flashier talent but Goldman is just as valuable. They Bears can’t be an elite defense without both.
  • There is cautious optimism inside the building that a light went on for Jonathan Bullard at the end of last season. But I’d warn fans against sharing that optimism. Coaches ALWAYS believe they can get through. They never believe a player is incapable of taking the leap. Bullard flashed down the stretch in 2017 but can he be a disruptive force for sixteen games? We shall see.
  • Roy Robertson-Harris and Bilal Nichols will play and play an awful lot if Bullard does not impress this summer. Nichols is the player to keep an eye on. From a source inside the organization: “Fangio fell in love with this kid on day one. He’s got a chance to be a star.”

Tomorrow: Linebackers

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  • That Guy

    Again, no injuries. Please. This has the makings of a dominant unit, if they stay healthy and Hicks doesn’t get run into the ground (again).

  • Bullard was a Gator. Last decent DL from UF was Trace Armstrong or Alex Brown.

    Something about Gator lineman that always under performs in the NFL. Maybe Gainesville makes them soft.

    • BenderMcLugh

      Gainesville, VA now has a Bar Louie.

    • KentuckyBearsFan

      UF is no where even close to being the best program in the state compared to UCF, South Florida, FSU, and Miami.

      However, UF seems to consistently land some of the best secondary prospects who one of which usually gets drafted in the first round. But I don’t know how well they do in the NFL.

  • willbest

    Going to bring my response to Irish forward.

    “”The thing that makes Fangio’s defense so good ….”

    Sorry Andrew, what? We had 5 wins last season. I’m reading Bill Walsh’s ‘Find the Winning Edge’ at the moment. He says when you lose as many games as we have been, it’;’s either a rash injuries, or – stand back in amazement – your players are not very good.” – Irish

    Come on man. The Bears were 8th in the only D stat that really matters points allowed. They were also 14th in takeaways which while not great, isn’t bad. They also had to do more work than most defenses because the Bears O’s rousing RRP attack resulted in a lot of punts, bringing the bears in at 27th on time of possession.

    • Irish Sweetness

      ???

      NY Giants. mid-late 80s. Monsters of the Midway mid-80s. Steel Curtain. Purple-people Eaters.

      I saw nothing on our defenses. Akiem Hicks. There’s one.

      WE have different ideas about what makes defenses great, Will. That’s okay.
      Flaccid bend-don’t-break defenses are okay if you have the personnel …. but I don’t like them.
      And I can’t honestly say we have a bona fide pass-rusher on the team.

      Pressure. Aggression. Put the offense on the back foot.

      8th Will, really? We’re celebrating 8th in something? What do 8th-ranked defenses win?

      • willbest

        Its not about what I like or don’t like. It’s about what works in the modern nfl. And while you aren’t winning with 8th D unless you have a top 2 offense, it is not bad. Certainly not a cause to make drastic changes. They added pieces and it should be top 5 this year. Maybe top 3, if they get the offense working

        • Irish Sweetness

          If the offense works – and that’s a big IF given the nature of it … and we have moving parts that are not familiar with each other – then the defense gets better automatically.

          Roquan is interesting enough on his own. So we should be better … but to say we ARE better … I dunno. Let’s see.

      • I totally feel you. I’m not a bend-don’t-break type of fan either and believe Fangio is much too reticent at times, a la Lovie.

        That being said, a cook can only work with the ingredients he’s got.

        Could’ve had Beasly. Instead, got White
        Could’ve drafted a myriad of SS. Got Amos
        Even this yr, could’ve had Harold Landry. Instead, got Daniels
        Floyd isn’t exactly Von Miller either. Maybe a SS like Karl Joseph would’ve made more of an impact

        I won’t even name all the elite FAs Pace skipped over (or who didn’t want to join the Bears)

        At least Lovie had Harris, Ogunleye, Alex Brown, Mike Brown, Lach, Briggs, Pepp, Peanut, even guys like Vasher and Mark Anderson flashed

        What does Fangio have?

        Hicks, like you said.

        Dunno how we can expect much dominance with a roster of JAGS, esp when the O is so impotent.

        This yr is a bit different. Pace infused it with some D, not least of which is Roquan, Nichols, Fitts while we all expect Amos, Goldman, Tre and a few others hold serve, while others perhaps take it to the next tier like Jackson, RRH and Fuller.

        When I watch the old 9ers under Fangio, I still hold hope.

        That D was aggressive and savage. Just need some ballers like Bowman, and no more fucking Kwiat level JAGs

        • Irish Sweetness

          Yah, I never felt the Kwiat thing, or Danny T or Freeman to be honest.

  • willbest

    I see SCOTUS has decided that there shall be no competition to Amazon and Walmart. I don’t know why Amazon stock even dipped on the ruling. They are already set up to pay sales tax everywhere and do most places. The little guy is fucked.

    I don’t know how you get Ginsberg, Alito, Keneddy, Gorsuch and Thomas vs. Roberts, Kagan, Breyer, Sotomayor given their jurisprudence but it should make for some interesting reading this weekend.

    • Sactowns#1

      I dont get it. How does the collection of sales tax suddenly eliminate all competition for Amazon and Walmart?

      • willbest

        Its who you are trying to collect it from. The obligation of the sales (or use tax) is the obligation of the buyer, but states makes the seller collect it.

        That is all well and good when the seller is physically in the state, but when its not the state is asserting a policy of taxation without representation.

        Think of it this way. If somebody from Washington drives to Oregon and buys something and drives back, they are supposed to pay the Use tax to Washington. Most the time they don’t. But the Oregon business in this example is not required to pay the taxes for the Washington resident.

        Now how about instead the Washington guy calls up the oregon store gives the CC over the phone, they process it, and the Washington guy sends a delivery company to go get it. Again no obligation by the oregon store.

        And that is exactly what is happening with an online transaction. The purchase transaction is processed in the Sellers state. And the item is delivered to the Buyer’s agent (UPS/FedEx/USPS) in the Seller’s state.

        The Seller has no connection to the Buyer state other than a Buyer from that state walked into its store one day, and now it can be forced to comply with a tax regime it never consented to.

        The law in question was about taxing large businesses, and I have heard Kennedy did leave some wiggle room, but the logic behind allowing the states this latitude in their long arm statute is that it can apply to anybody. Even people selling stuff on Etsy and ebay as hobbies.

        Add to it that sales tax codes are complicated not just between the states but even inside a state, and you have a situation where regulations can cripple startups.

        • Sactowns#1

          They agreed to that “taxing scheme” when they decided to do business in that state. Take a look at the prosecution of Tommy Chong because he decided to sell items to people in a certain state.

          • willbest

            They didn’t do business in the state. Every part of the transaction the seller was involved with occurred outside the state.

          • Sactowns#1

            So by that logic, I can sell items that may be prohibited in another state or country as long as the payment is made online?

          • “Modestly” Huge Bears Penis

            It’s illegal to ship a lot of things through the postal service or via a shipping company.

          • Sactowns#1

            Some things, yes. But again, I would refer you to Tommy Chong’s case. Not prohibited to ship
            http://old.post-gazette.com/localnews/20030912chong0912p5.asp

          • willbest

            Chong’s case deals with the Feds though. They prohibit the sale throughout the entire US.

          • Sactowns#1

            Ah, correct. But I believe it stemmed from a local DA complaining that they were shipping prohibited pipes into his state. I agree, it does seem onerous but I also think states have the right to regulate the products sold or consumed in their state. I appreciate California passing restrictive regulations on various products to curb polution etc. Should that be undermined by online retailers?

          • The whole online shopping seems like it would be a mess

            For instance, I think in Utah, you’re either not allowed to buy beer on SUN, or can only get near-beer.

            But a willy online shopper may be able to order the good stuff for it to get there every SUN?

            Might be a good way for some frat boys to make extra $ on the side (instead of making ppl drive to Wyoming)

          • willbest

            Yes, because the point of sale occurs at the seller’s location where the sale is legal. HOWEVER, you won’t find a delivery company that is lawfully allowed to deliver it. So as a practical matter seller’s won’t complete the transaction.

            You bring up another interesting angle though. Because sometimes its not as simple as fireworks, or pot or firearms.

            A state may require a commercial product to meet a certain flame retardant level. And Ms. Betty on Etsy who makes some cute curtains out of some fabric she found at the local shop has no knowledge whatsoever of this. Nor does UPS. If the State can force her to pay the use tax on behalf of a purchaser then they can also go after her for shipping a product to their state that fails to compile with whatever rule.

            So its not just the problem of the little guy knowing all the ins and outs of tax law, they have to know the ins and outs of the health and safety laws too. Which pretty clearly favors Amazon and Wal-Mart who have teams of lawyers and compliance officers that aren’t available to startups and boutique outfits.

            And this incidentally is exactly the kind of horsefuckery the Interest Commerce Clause is supposed to protect against.

  • Russian Hacked Pacebot 2.0

    Bullard will step up this season. Coming in healthy and hopefully a bit stronger. We have to be able to give Hicks a breather as you can tell how he falls off of a cliff when he’s gassed. This is Goldman’s year to cement his place as an anchor of the D.
    RRH is my breakout guy. Not HOF material but could be our version of Steelers Stephon Tuitt.
    Need Trevathan healthy this year to patrol the middle with Roquan. He’s going to get burned once in a while but I hope he plays fast and violent….so basically the Anti Kwiatkoski..
    Jackson has to continue to evolve and are we really going with Amos???
    Corner scares me because we’re 1 injury from the same old shit cycle of sub par backup corners.

    • Mocha Man Meat gooooooooooood

      • Russian Hacked Pacebot 2.0

        haha, fucking loved that guy. Can’t believe his coked out wife blew his head off in bed.

        • Yeah, fucking shit. This is still one of my fav roles from him, and he only came out in that one scene in the movie

          • Sactowns#1

            Man, Mike Meyers career fell off a cliff. I heard an interview with him and all his characters and ideas came form when he was doing improv. When he stopped doing improv, or couldn’t because of his fame, he stopped generating ideas.

          • “Modestly” Huge Bears Penis

            Yes poor Mike Myers and his career falling apart. It must be hard for him and the $100+ million he made.

          • CanadaBear

            No pity party for MM but have you seen the Gong Show? Fuck is that bad. He’s practically unrecognizable as the host but it’s not funny.

          • Hm, didn’t know that. He’ll still pop up in bit roles like the Captain in Inglorious Basterds, but nothing like before.

            No coke, no improve, no ideas? Hmmmm

          • Sactowns#1

            Yeah. Gotta be kinda crazy to come to SNL with like two dozen characters and ideas that you’ve already fleshed out and practiced. I mean it seemed like the guy was on fire when he hit the scene. But those were characters he had done for years, just not on TV.

    • leftcoastdave

      Agree. It is a very good and flexible unit with big arsed Bullard being able to move inside while RRH has great wingspan and quickness to take away passing lanes. TNK (the new kid) seems to have a motor and the ability to play anywhere.

      That can be a great mix for Fangio to keep everybody fresh.

  • Hopefully Bullard doesn’t become another JAG ala Ego.

    Was trying to remember that draft. So, looked it up.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2016_NFL_Draft

    Pace didn’t really fuck up given the choices. Doesn’t seem like many gems in that RD (Dak was drafted in the 4rth, but no one was clamoring for him at the time)

    “Fangio fell in love with this kid on day one. Nichol’s got a chance to be a star.” – Jeff sources

    He’s my sneaky pick too. Seems scheme versatile, which Fangio covets. At worst he’s a run stuffing specialist around Goldman tier. Ceiling could be Justin/Aldon Smith.

  • Was digging through the 2016 draft a bit more.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2016_NFL_Draft

    The top 5 are great. Goff, Wentz, Bosa, Zeke, Ramsey.

    The dude we all wanted was Buckner. Thus far he looks better than Floyd. 9 sacks 134 tackles compared to Floyd’s 11.5 sacks and 71 tackles

    The other guy I thought would be a good pick up was S Karl Joseph, but he hasn’t exactly set the world on fire.

    I remember Conklin was also hyped, and he seems to be doing well in TEN.

    Eli Apple went right after Floyd. I guess Pace figured the Gmen wanted Floyd, then settled for Eli, who is good but a basket case

    In other words, outside the top 5, the rest 1st RDers are hovering around Floyd level (or worse).

    3rd yr is make or break to judge draft classes, so we’ll see how that class gets reevaluated after the season.

    • Sactowns#1

      I wanted Irish Terry Conklin but I’m happy with Floyd. I think he will take a big step forward this year.

      • Yeah, I remember Da Blog loving Buckner and Conklin as possibly slipping, but neither did fall.

        And the rest are more or less the same so far. No JJ Watt break outs.

        I’m hoping Floyd does break out this yr. He’s shown he can impact games (like that safety/sack/strip) but my fear with him was always that he would only be a situational pass rusher and not a full RUSH force due to his size. And then he got the concussions.

        Guess we’ll see. Finishing the season healthy would be a nice change, though I suspect the Bears essentially shelved him late since the season was lost anyways.

    • willbest

      That was the year I wanted to stand put at 11 and draft Tunsil

  • Bear nugget. Winston might get suspended the first 3 weeks and not start WK 4. Touchdown Jesus it is!

    “The fact that the Week Three game falls on a Monday will give him one less day to get ready for Week Four, at Chicago. That could make it much harder to avoid a Week Four loss, and it could make the team more tempted to give him a fourth game off, especially if Ryan Fitzpatrick is playing well — and especially since the bye comes in Week Five.”

    • AlbertInTucson

      Tampa Times columnist is calling for the Bucs to dump Winston.

  • So, a streaker in Canada gets destroyed by a player on the field.

    http://theprovince.com/sports/football/cfl/bc-lions/video-lions-db-marcell-young-absolutely-crushes-fan-on-the-field-with-shoulder-check

    Now, said streaker is suing for brain damage! Gotta love it.

    https://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2018/06/21/streaker-hit-by-player-at-cfl-game-hires-lawyer-says-he-was-injured/

    Will, you got a whole new branch of Law to milk!

    • “Modestly” Huge Bears Penis

      Pre existing condition. You got to have brain damage to run out onto a field.

      • willbest

        Voluntary consent. But I think we are going to need to check with canadabear. Tackling a streaker probably violates some politeness law that carries some serious fines and maybe even jail time.

        • I’m 100% positive the tackler was american

          • willbest

            Interesting. Do Canadian laws of politeness only apply to Canadian citizens?

          • CanadaBear

            They apply until they don’t! That guy got him good! Loved it!

  • “Modestly” Huge Bears Penis

    DaBears Twit: “I get the argument that people don’t come to DBB for politics. Totally fair. Except sometimes babies go in cages and a sports blogger should say FUCK NO!!!!”

    Whats wrong with baby cages? I had one growing up. I turned out fine.

    • willbest

      Nobody ever looks at the positives. These people are fleeing the worst of the worst conditions imaginable. A cage, clean water and food is a massive step up.

      • Oh, so you’re finally admitting the babies aren’t MS13 midgets?

        • willbest

          If they are, then its a good thing they are in a cage.

          • AlbertInTucson

            Touche’.

          • Too bad your Lord ended it, or you could’ve traveled down and locked them up yourself.

          • willbest

            You think the Holy spirit worked its magic? Having read the EO, I remain unconvinced. But it was amusing to watch the Literally Hitler crowd demand trump violate the will of Congress, no matter how stupid that will is.

            It was seen as doing something though, and perception is more important to reality. The outrage sheep will need to be herded elsewhere to be politically useful.

    • Sactowns#1

      Yeah. All those “stick to sports” people just dont want you pointing out their evil asses.
      Trumps border battle really does cut to the core of republicanism, which is generally “I’ve got mine, screw you!” Such lofty goals and aspirations from that crowd.

  • Malice Halice

    I know I’m late, n we talking about da defensive Line n yea it’s a popularity contest but DAMN Jordan Howard nor Kyle Fuller made the Top 100?! Thats just disrespectful to Jordan, i feel that given the lack of offense his yards got more significance, like more to it than just that yard cuz he was going against stacked D’s all game (I’m not crying). Like how a used police car got 90k miles on it but you know it’s been in idle it’s whole life so it’s like 130k miles. I can’t WAIT to fuck our opponents up this year.

    • willbest

      How many RBs and CBs appeared on the top 100?

      And where would you rank each at their respective position?

      • Malice Halice

        It was quite a few, jordan n Kyle should’ve been top 40. Kyle was the best CB this year, no flashy INTS but his coverage was the best in the nfl

  • Hey, GP, SpaceForce now has a theme song. Boom

  • Irish Sweetness

    Godammit, Jim Kelly’s cancer is back. Somebody leave that guy alone. He can barely talk.

    http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap3000000937991/article/bills-legend-jim-kelly-undergoing-more-surgery

    • AlbertInTucson

      Not good when it comes back.

      Was he a smokeless tobacco user?

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