92 Comments

A Short Statement on Jordan Howard

| April 9th, 2018

From the desk of:

Jeff Hughes, Editor-in-Chief

DaBearsBlog

Jordan Howard is Good

Honestly, I was just going to write the headline and leave it there. Because the growing number of Bears fans across social media who, due to trade “rumors”, suddenly believe Howard is not a great running back…is starting to sicken me.

Is Howard great in the passing game? No. Point conceded.

But in two seasons Howard has amassed more than 2400 yards on the ground and 15 touchdowns, averaging 4.6 yards a clip. For the “anyone can do that” crowd, show me another back who HAS while:

  • Running by second and third-string offensive linemen.
  • Running without the luxury of a passing attack.
  • Running hurt for nearly HALF those games.

Just show me another back with similar achievement. I will actually spare the effort of looking. There isn’t anyone close.

(He also has 52 catches in that time. Ezekiel Elliot has 58. )

I like Ryan Pace and am supremely optimistic about Matt Nagy. But if they looked at Howard’s body of work with the Bears and thought, “Yea, we don’t need this guy” then I seriously question both men’s ability to evaluate personnel. Howard may not be a prototypical modern running back but he reminds one of what a Bears tailback used to look like. Back when they were a winning organization.

If I was starting a team tomorrow, I wouldn’t want Jordan Howard. I’d want 53 Jordan Howards. And I’d like my odds in the Sunday street fight.

Tagged:

  • SC Dave

    ‘But if they looked at Howard’s body of work with the Bears and thought, “Yea, we don’t need this guy” then I seriously question both men’s ability to evaluate personnel.’

    Amen.

    • Pace is the same person who thought cutting Slauson and Sitton were good ideas, or got guys like Glennon, Grasu, Cooper, Demps…so he def isn’t infallible.

      • Dis Guy Trublinsky (Johnnywad)

        Slauson just signed with another team. Not sure how his time went post Bears. I didn’t pay attention.

        We don’t know if the Sitton move was a good one or not yet. We Bears fans get way too clingy to some of the vets. He might be done for all we know.

        • Sitton was playing at an PB level by most metrics, and he looked good to me personally.

          Slauson did well in SD. I think they even gave him some award or something.

          But the idea is the same. Keep GOOD vets in place if even for a yr or two before creating more holes on the roster.

          No one had any illusions that either would be on the team in 5 yrs, but for the interim, be good to have while we flesh out the roster for the run.

          Same reason I wouldn’t want Meredith gone. Think the point is to make the roster better, not worse.

          • Dis Guy Trublinsky (Johnnywad)

            Guard play has been pretty strong in general until the last few games of last season. I’m not sure keeping Slauson around would have made much difference in the Win column. I could be wrong.

          • OG has been strong. One of the reasons I’m optimistic.
            But that was with a diff crew and scheme. In spite of everyone lauding the new Oline coach, Tice has tought me to see before believing.

            Also, part of the reason OG playe was good was BECAUSE of Sitton who Pace homered into

            For some inexplicable reason which Puke fans still don’t understand, Sitton was cut and Pace swooped in after creating an OG hole with Slauson gone.

            Sitton was coming off an AP season, so that was a no brainer.

            This time around however, no AP OG fell on Pace’s lap.

            Maybe he gets an OG in the draft. I’m cool with that.

            But if you’re gonna do that, why NOT keep Sitton as an insurance policy (it’s not as if Long can last a season)? Or maybe they can draft that OG Price who tore his pec. Redshirt him while Sitton is here. Or why not keep him and TRADE him and get something in return? It’s not as if our cap is tight.

            I’m sure Pace has a plan, but not that way I’d go about it.

          • Irish Sweetness

            Having a plan is not always a good thing … for everyone else. Everyone has plans. Pace’s haven’t worked out in 3 years. Ditka went to the super bowl. Pace has been failing using any metric you care to use.

        • MrBearsox02 .

          Sitton was so terrible he ended up ranked the # 6 best guard in ALL of the NFL ! Sitton also made the Pro Bowl 2 of last 3 years ! SOOOOO….. done ? Me thinks not !

          • Dis Guy Trublinsky (Johnnywad)

            I didn’t say he was terrible. He’s played well. But he’s also old and ended the season injured.

            He might not have much left in the tank. We won’t know until he puts in another season.

          • MrBearsox02 .

            O linemen typically are not the guys who fall apart at age 30 however as they unlike runners and Wrs do not have the same breakdown due to running ! So they tend to age a tad better and the longevity is stronger . The guy i would have preferred to consider trading is Long ! He is but 2 and 1/2 years younger than Sitton BUT has had way more missed time and way more injuries ! With neck , shoulder ( times 2 ) ankle , Hand , and back injuries he needs to be a spokesman for aleve or tylenol LOL ! Truth is that Long is the guy who has broken down already and would be on my really short list to move on from faster than Sitton was ! BUT they saw if different so let’s hope they are right and Long found the best super glue in the world to hold him together !

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  • That Guy

    Let’s just hope the rumors are just smoke screen and/or stoking fire. You put it out there that you’re willing to trade Howard, and maybe you get a good offer. And a “good offer” means “getting an upgrade,” which would be damned hard to do, because outside of Barkley (gone in early 1st round), there aren’t any RBs that are guaranteed sure-fire better-than-Howard things.

    But maybe some team gets desperate, or misses out on Barkley in the draft, and trades a 2nd+ something else for Howard. That would be a good deal. Though it opens up a new hole in the roster.

    Or again, maybe it’s a smoke screen. Scare a team into thinking the Bears are going to take Barkley, and a RB-hungry team trades up ahead of the Bears and takes Barkley… leading another team to trade up to take one of the QBs… leading Nelson or Chubb to drop to the Bears.

    • Sinclair Phosowiak

      There are no guarantees in anything. There is no guarantee that Howard is not going to blow out his ACL in training camp and miss the season.

      It would not be hard to upgrade *if* the offense being built needs more of a RB with hands that can get a couple yards after the catch. IT is all about fit, strengths and weaknesses.

      And it is NOT going to be plug and play. That is where so many fans miss the boat.
      wrong focus

      • SC Dave

        There is no guarantee that anyone they get to “replace” Howard doesn’t suffer the same injury, so that argument is pointless.

    • SC Dave

      Fournette and Elliot were both “sure-fire” upgrades to Howard. The former was “the best RB since Adrian Peterson” about this time last year.

      • Irish Sweetness

        You’d take either of those guys, what do you mean?

        • SC Dave

          No, I would keep
          Howard.

  • Sinclair Phosowiak

    It is not a question of “need”. You people have the wrong focus. I am not advocating for the trade of the man, now here is the reality….
    Nagy has a vision of what he wants to do offensively. NO ONE is questioning Howard’s ability as a runner. But a runner may not be as good of a fit as a guy that can run AND catch. He does not have great hands. So IF there is a better fit out there, and IF they can get appropriate value for him in a trade, then it makes sense.

    This is not a case of Martz not using TE in his offense so the numbnut HC and numbnut GM give him away for nothing.

    Yes Nagy will incorporate Howard in the offense and he will be successful. That is without question.

    But to sit here and say stupid shit like “looked at his body of work and said don’t need the guy”….it absurd. They see the same body of work as we do. The fact remains his hands are not the greatest…that does not mean he is not a great running back….it just means he has a weakness, and if that weakness is a hindrance to this soon to be offense, AND value can be gotten , and that weakness can be upgraded there is not a goddamned thing wrong with that.

    • Bear Instincts

      If Howard’s hands are a hindrance to this offense then this is not much of an offense to get excited about

    • Big Mike

      Any speculation about trading Howard is fantasy football crap. It’s the expansion of the NFL news cycle into every minute of every day of the year. There is little to nothing noteworthy happening between FA and the Draft. So all the “what ifs” come into play.

      As far as “seeing Howard’s body of work” you’d be surprised the number of pundits at the national scene who have not and simply look at a weakness, what they know about a HC and an offense and draw a conclusion.

      • Irish Sweetness

        Then why did he delete us from his Insta?

        • Big Mike

          Then he put them back up. Who knows. Maybe he wanted some love from Bears fans. Maybe his agent had him do it. This is the silly season of the NFL. Deception, misdirection, are the norm.

          • SC Dave

            Hell, maybe Pace ASKED him to do it.

  • Scharfinator

    Jordan is a fucking boss. Keep Keep Keep Keep Keep!

  • Ronald Raes

    PREACH!

  • If I was running the Bears, I’d operate with the understanding that I’m not giving Howard a 2nd contract. Look for a 3rd RB in the draft (day 3) this year who is better balanced than Cohen or Howard, and if you like what you see from him this year then trade Howard next year. If the draft pick this year doesn’t pan out, try again on day 3 next year but keep Howard through the end of his rookie deal.

    That lets you keep Howard while he still has value thanks to his rookie deal, but gives you 3 shots at finding his well-rounded replacement at a cheap level (3rd shot being a higher pick after Howard’s rookie deal runs out if you’re not sold on the pick this year or next). Get depth and production out of the position without having to invest premium resources in terms of high draft picks or big money.

    • willbest

      i pay howard barring significant injury. Dude has earned it, and the bears aren’t going to easily find better anyway

      • look around the NFL: RBs aren’t getting paid. Especially not RBs who are one-dimensional.

        Howard’s style won’t age well. Use him up for four years, then let somebody else pay for the dropoff. He reminds me a lot of Eddie Lacy, who was great for 2-3 years and then fell off fast.

        • “Modestly” Huge Bears Penis

          Eddie Lacy was “great” for 2-3 years?

          • CanadaBear

            Yeah, I missed that too.

        • willbest

          Bernard signed a 3-year $15 mil deal with Cincy last year. Carlos Hyde just got that from the Browns. I would give that to Howard.

          • Both can catch though.

          • willbest

            2017 Carlos Hyde 5.9 Y/R 67% catch, 3.9 yards per rush
            2017 Howard 5.4 Y/R 72% catch, 4.1 yards per rush

          • yeah, but have you seen Hyde catch?

            They ask more of him on routes, and he looks much more natural doing it.

            I go back the Alfred Morris comp. Or Blount.

            I think that’s how the NFL sees Howard.

            I also think Howard will likely get paid anyways by some team if he hits FA.

            Plenty of teams run a power scheme.

            Just not us.

          • willbest

            How about you give Howard at least a pre-season where he isn’t playing Foxball before we start talking about what he can and can’t do.

            FFS it was branded the most predictable offense in the history of football.

          • Hey, no one hated Fox and that stupid O more than I did, which I wanted him gone before last season.

            But Howard doesn’t look like a natural pass catcher when running his routes. And I’m not even comparing him to guys like Bell, Shady, Zeke but lower rung HBs like Ingram, Hyde.

            I guess he could improve. Maybe he hits the jugs machine. Maybe he learns the intricacies of running routes more.

            Maybe Nagy sends him on routes he’s more comfortable with.

            But that’s a lot of maybes

            It’s the same maybes we hope for with Amos. If only he could catch and INT…

            That doesn’t mean Howard is a bad back. Seems like fans get this either/or mentality when discussing players.

            Just because he’s not Forte at catching doesn’t mean he’s a bad back.

            It’s the same shit when everyone pointed out the obvious, that Forte wasn’t a basher and struggled on short yd situations (which is why guys like Barber were brought in).

            How long were we waiting for Forte to become a tough violent runner between the tackles?

            That was just never his thing, but didn’t mean he was a bad HB

          • ManGod

            Why does J Howard have to become a sensational pass catching RB….everything Nagy does is based on a successful running game?

          • “Modestly” Huge Bears Penis

            before last year Hyde was used pretty much like Howard, 20-30 receptions tops

          • Dis Guy Trublinsky (Johnnywad)

            You’re not going to convince him. Howard will look better as a receiver this year. I believe it’s more a case of “hasn’t” than “can’t”.

          • if Howard is willing to re-sign for that, I’d be happy doing it.

            I’m not going above $4-5M a year though. Really worry about an early cliff with him

          • SC Dave

            I can understand that part, Wood. But categorically saying you would not sign him…

        • Pretty Boy Assassin

          I agree with you on the “don’t pay Howard” argument, but I think his style will age well, barring injury. He isn’t special because he is athletic or fast. If he loses a step, it won’t be a big loss. He’s effective because of his vision and his ability to time and hot holes just as they open. Then his ability to run downhill with punishing power against DBs and LBs unfortunately in his path. His ability to have a feel for his OLine will only improve.

    • John F

      We can’t waste draft picks on yet another RB. We only have a 1, a 2 and two 4’s (5 – 7 are usually special teams fodder at best).

      We need two OLB’s, an ILB, a DE, a LG, and a slot CB just for starters. Then we need a better RT, P, backup safety, at least two WR’s, and better backups at almost every other position.

      It’s crazy how people around here think we are just a couple players away from being able to win consistently (forget about even making the playoffs the next few years)………

      • I’m sick of explaining to you why you’re wrong, so I’m not going to bother responding to your insane negativity anymore.

    • Irish Sweetness

      Even a 2nd rounder is a profit against a depreciating asset.

  • leftcoastdave

    If Jordan Howard were available as a draft pick with his current (cheap) contract in place, where would he be picked? His body of work, his character and his team leadership qualities are all known at this point and all the best, but for the less than top mark for receiving out of the backfield.
    So the question is, does another team see him as more valuable to them than da Bears, who have other needs, and what do da Bears lose if they trade him away?

    We know what we lose with greater certainty than we know what we might gain.

  • Paul R. Heyden Sr.

    In another post I stated; I remember a tight end (Greg Olsen) who didn’t ‘fit’ in a former OC’s system (Martz). Martz is gone and Olsen was traded to Carolina and has been an All Pro numerous times. Plus, the Bears haven’t had a TE SINCE. If they trade Howard who I think is one hellofa back, this might turn out the same. He plays hurt and plays well. No ‘turf toe’ for this kid. Better be very careful.

    • SC Dave

      Paul… all the old regs know I was a big fan of Olsen, but just to be accurate, Greg has never been an All-Pro. He has made three Pro Bowls, which ain’t shabby and were well deserved, but All-Pro is another level.

  • evantonio

    “If I was starting a team tomorrow, I wouldn’t want Jordan Howard. I’d want 53 Jordan Howards.”

    I don’t know how successful you’d be with a 53 Jordan Howards. Your kicking game would probably suffer – i can’t imagine he’s be an adept long snapper. Or punter. Or FG kicker.

    I don’t know that he’d be able to catch a jump ball into double coverage, and I’m guessing he wouldn’t be a great edge rusher. Or quarterback.

    But if we had one Jordan Howard at HB, we’d be pretty alright.

  • CanadaBear

    Looks like the Fudgies have a genius on their hands! FFS, I didn’t think anyone was dumb enough to say shit like this after all these years.

    http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap3000000925561/article/packers-wr-trevor-davis-arrested-on-threat-charge

    • AlbertInTucson

      He’s a wide receiver.

      “The Bomb” and “Explosiveness” mean different things to him.

  • tomburg

    Let’s not make another Greg Olsen mistake here with this guy.

  • “Modestly” Huge Bears Penis

    Trade him.

  • So Cam Meredith is gone? I was out the whole weekend.

    • evantonio

      He signed an offer sheet with the Saints on Friday. 2 years, about $10mm. Bears have until either Tuesday or Wednesday to match.

      I’d hope they do.

      • ah. I wonder if the Bears are slow walking the Saints after critics pointed out they could’ve done that with the Puke.

        Seems unlikely though since Pace has connections with the Saints. Then again, they are trying to steal him away from us, so fuck them.

        Make em wait.

        • willbest

          Maybe Bears are seeing if he will sign a longer deal

          • Can a 3rd team swoop in and sign him to a longer deal?

            Guess so, but I assume it has to be a better deal than the Saint’s.

            Just hope Pace re-signs Cam cuz he’d be a perfect #2 and contingency plan for Robinson.

          • willbest

            I don’t think so. He signed an offer sheet with the Saints. I think the Bears either have to match it or do better.

  • Ironically, I don’t think Pace would even be able to get a 2nd for Howard, and I doubt he trades Howard for anything less than a 3rd, which he may also not get.

    So I think Howard is sticking and serve the Blount role for Nagy.

    Can worry about what a 2 down (rotational/lbeat up?) HB is worth later when his contract comes up.

    However, if Ronald Jones or Keryyon Johnson falls to them in the 2nd, don’t be shocked if Pace nabs either.

    Still think Howard offers value. Him and Amos are tone setters. When defenders see Howard in the backfield, they know they better buckle their chin strap cuz they’re in for a long day.

    And Howard is a tough SOB. That game when he was playing with one shoulder and trying to land on the side when tackled made me respect the shit out of him (I also don’t understand why Fox kept him in, but supposedly Howard didn’t want to come out).

    How can the rest of the team pussy out with a guy like that in the locker room?

    But Waffle didn’t coin Pace Pacebot for nothing.

    He spurns out his calculations and sometimes they’re very different than what we see (esp in the draft)

    • SC Dave

      “How can the rest of the team pussy out with a guy like that in the locker room?”

      This. Wasn’t it Kyle that mentioned how you “really want to block for that guy”?

      • Yeah, and I think he said it after that game. They rallied around him. I seriously didn’t think he would last the season, but after the bye, it seemed Howard improved a bit, but who knows?

        Maybe he was in just as much pain as the start but managed the pain a lil better.

        One tough hombre either way, no doubt.

    • BerwynBomber

      The other thing — no doubt at play here — is that this draft is supposedly loaded with RB talent. In fact, so much so that some are beginning to question whether Barkley is worth a top 10 pick given the value to be had in the later rounds.

      Still don’t think Pace will do it (trade Howard), but I’m guessing the RB value in this draft is a temptation.

      • Yeah, the draft does offer a bunch of RBs, but when I was going through the film, not many of them impressed me.

        Those two HBs Jones and Johnson did because they look like perfect fit for our scheme (which is the whole point of the Howard rumors). The rest of the guys are kinda like Howard.

        Bangers with some hands, but probably better in a power run scheme, not a zone blocking WCO.

        Though I’m sure Pace has a bunch circled for the 4rth and beyond.

        The thing is, the NFL seems to be valuing HBs again. The pendulum has swung back apparntly.

        GMs saw what Hunt/Kamara/Fournette did for their teams (or even when Zeke was out).

        Or other studs like Bell and Dion Lewis. So GMs are now not afraid of drafting HBs high in hopes of the same results.

      • Juan Stone

        Jess, most temptations lead to sickness and I don’t think even Pace is that dumb.

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  • Bob Doll

    While Howard may not be a great pass receiver, he is a stud running back and been verrrry healthy which is an anomaly on the team. I don’t see him being traded…BUT…if you were going to trade him I think it would go down like this…Bears trade Jordan Howard and the #8 pick to the Browns for there #4 pick and a second rounder…the Bears then select Saquon Barkley and fill their pass rush need and OL need in the second round….as stated earlier, this isn’t gonna happen imo but I also don’t think that it is impossible that some sort of trade is out of the question either.

    • You think the Browns are gonna give us THEIR 2nd rounder to trade down with the Bears at #8?

      No way is that ever gonna happen.

      If anything, we’d have to give the Browns our 2nd AND likely 4rth or future 2nd to trade up to #4.

      They could get the Bills two #1s this yr and then some, so I doubt the Bears have enough capital to even entertain trading up to #4 for Barkley (If Barkley even lasts that long).

    • Juan Stone

      This is not only a questionable post, it’s also dumb and sickening. Yuk yuk.

    • Bob Doll

      Note, I said the trade isn’t going to happen…twice! My example was an example of an offer too good to be true, as that is what it would take imo to pry Jordan from the Bears…all trades are on the table still. Most articles I’ve read acknowledge the Bears might trade down…and I agree in this draft but understand that Pace has already trade up 2 of 3 drafts….don’t think this will be the one, but he has shown again and again to go get his guy.

    • Irish Sweetness

      This is what I’m talking about, whatever the love you have for a guy they all have their price. Saquon will be better than Jordan. Probably. And we should have that guy if we can. I agree. No hate for Jordan. Love the guy. I drafted him. It’s just business.

  • Dis Guy Trublinsky (Johnnywad)

    Trading really good, young players that are firmly a part of the core, of a young team on the up, is dumb.

    • Juan Stone

      It’s dumb and sickening! Hee hee

  • willbest
    • “Modestly” Huge Bears Penis

      Other words of wisdom ‘you can’t say lush around a drunk woman over the age 30’

      • KentuckyBearsFan

        The word to use is “sophisticated.”

        Damn it I don’t want a drunk woman at 20. I want a drunk woman at 40.

  • BuddhaJoe

    All this Howard trade talk is just far-fetched offseason bullshit since there’s little else going on. If Nagy can’t fit a guy like Howard into his “scheme” then we should dump the scheme, and probably shouldn’t have hired him in the first place.

    • Irish Sweetness

      But how come the instagram deletions? Something’s up.

      • Dis Guy Trublinsky (Johnnywad)

        Jen probably woke up one morning and realized Instagram is for teenage girls.

  • McPhee is a Redskin. Mouthy bitch

  • KentuckyBearsFan

    What is this, the Chicago Bulls? Let’s trade our best players so we don’t have to pay them later.

  • BerwynBomber

    Southsiders lace up the cleats and play nine innings in winter-like conditions.

    Northside candyasses postpone their home opener under the same conditions.

    #Telling

    • willbest

      Its all about the beer sales

  • Nicodemus

    Put Howard to work on the Juggs machine for while and the problem is likely solved…I recall a Bears DB doing that and suddenly his interceptions interceptions increased dramatically!

    • That was Jennings. He moved from nickle to outside. One yr he hit the jugs hardcore cuz he dropped a bunch of INTs, and it helped him.

      Well, at least for one season. Then, he returned to mediocrity.

  • Russian Hacked Pacebot 2.0

    I have a comment about Howard as well.

    Kwiatowski sucks man. He fucking sucks.

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  • Fisherman695

    Howard needs to practice one hour a day on catching the ball, he isn’t as good catching as he should be, but rest of game good.

  • wvankley

    Howard is a stud. They better get some value, because they would be giving it. I don’t see it happening.

  • Lynchmob#51

    Howard is going to be our franchise RB for at least 8 more years. He fits right into the same mold as one of ‘Da Bears’ exceptional backs. I would say better than a few backs we’ve had over the years. I’m not saying I’m a guru but I’m pretty sure if he retires a Bear in 8-10 yrs (barring any major injuries shhh) he’ll break almost every RB record that stands for the team. And he will get better at catching the ball. I think there’s a couple of WR’s that would love his catch percentage which is ( just a guess) 65 -70%. imho……

  • Derrell Stumpfel

    J. Howard reminds me of Adrian Peterson who also did not excel or participate in Blocking or pass catching ….. Howard may be even better .. as a “Pure ” running Back ….

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