157 Comments

Across The Middle: Pace Still Has His Work Cut Out For Him

| January 17th, 2018

Matt Nagy could be the greatest offensive mind in the history of the league and even he couldn’t have succeeded with the Bears talent this season. A telling quote from Bob McGinn’s annual :All-NFC North team column, polling multiple scouts:

“Personnel people find it hard to believe what the Bears were employing with at WR after Cameron Meredith and, to a much lesser extent, Kevin White, suffered season-ending injuries early. ‘Just a bunch of names, really,’ one scout said.”

In the piece the Bears had four players  — Josh Sitton, Cody Whitehair, Kyle Long and Jordan Howard —  take first-team spots offensively. They also had five starters finish last in their positions and two more were second-to-last.

The Bears have a lot more talent on defense, where seven players finished in the top two at their positions, which is impressive with the All-Pro laden Vikings unit in the division. The Bears’ talent resulted in a top-10 finish and that group still needs help in the pass rush department.

The offense is a huge concern, even when it comes to McGinn’s first-teamers. Long is going to have multiple surgeries this off-season and has been a shell of what he once was the last two seasons due to injury. There seems to be a good chance that Sitton doesn’t return.

Since Nagy was hired, it’s been popular for reporters and bloggers to post stories trying to show how Nagy’s Bears offense will look. But it’s impossible to compare the 2018 Bears to the 2017 Chiefs because the Bears don’t have anywhere near the caliber of player.

Getting Meredith back from a torn ACL should help the offense a lot. He was clearly the best receiver on the team throughout camp and outperformed Alshon Jeffery in 2016. Kevin White is a wildcard who they can’t count on for anything. Other than that, they could — and probably should — have a complete turnover at the receiver position.

The Bears should get improvement from Adam Shaheen and, most importantly, Mitch Trubisky. Both players were trending upward as the season closed and the spread-hybrid offense the Bears figure on running should make the quarterback’s life easy. While there’s no questioning his talent, Bears fans thinking Shaheen is going to be Travis Kelce should learn to manage their expectations.

Other than that, Pace has a lot of work to do.

As exciting as Kansas City’s offense was last year, that really hasn’t been the case for most of the Andy Reid era. While this is the third time they’ve finished in the top 10 in points scored, it’s the first time they’ve been better than 20th in yardage. They have primarily been a ball control offense that runs the ball and a team that relies on its defense. Up until last year, they were the kind of team John Fox wanted to build.

What changed?

Nagy deserves some credit. He got Alex Smith to start taking shots down the field and implemented some spread sets to help maximize their talent. The biggest change, however, was the addition of Kareem Hunt to complement Tyreek Hill and Kelce.

The Bears need impact players.

Howard is one. The Bears hope Meredith and Shaheen can be. Tarik Cohen has shown the ability to change games quickly.

We could see the Bears go after free agents like Albert Wilson or Taylor Gabriel to add speed — something that should open things up for Shaheen, Howard and Cohen. Paul Richardson is another option, although he may end up cashing in at a price the Bears aren’t willing to play. All of those guys would prove to be significant upgrades from the likes of Tanner Gentry and Josh Bellamy, but none are blue chip-level players like Kansas City has in Hill and Kelce.

In all likelihood, the Bears aren’t going to invest major draft assets in the skill positions. Kansas City was able to find their big players in the middle rounds. It’s really too early to speculate on who some of those players might be — this time of year, if there’s a player fans love as a middle-round pick, that player is almost surely going to be drafted higher than they expect.

Ultimately, the Bears will go as far as Trubisky takes them, but it’s too early for us to realistically expect Trubisky to carry the team. The thing lost when talking about the development of Carson Wentz and Jared Goff is the fact that their teams revamped their supporting casts. Now, the Bears must do the same.

It’s too early to talk about the Bears as a possible playoff team like the Eagles and Rams turned out to be, but there’s reason for hope. The reality is, they need to make numerous significant additions to the offense.

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  • Aaron T. Starks

    Losing Cameron Meredith on a (dirty) preseason hit pretty much doomed the Bears from the start. Then wasting 4 games on Glennon, THEN Fox pretty much putting a straight-jacket on the offense.

    • catfish44

      i saw the hit from numerous angles. wasn’t dirty at all.

      • catfish44

        i take that back one angle was clearly dirty. i was lucky enough to see the hit from the colon cam. it is a new camera angle the nfl was testing out where they actually had a camera up meredith’s butt.

        • Irish Sweetness

          Who was the culprit? We need a name for our pain.

    • Irish Sweetness

      I wish we’d played Glennon more now. Just one more loss ….

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  • That Guy

    First, unless the cap room is absolutely needed, and/or he just cannot perform in the new offensive scheme, Sitton needs to be brought back. So what if he’s overpaid? The Bears have a ton of cap space, and a few million more if they return the giraffe to Africa. Why be stingy and create a need where there isn’t one?

    (To Bears fans crying foul over Glennon’s 2017 pay or the possible hit of Sitton’s 2018 paycheck: it’s not your fucking money. If the Bears are under the cap, how much the McCaskey’s pay any mope is of no concern.)

    Retaining Sitton means the big “need” on the offensive line is health: Long’s and the backups. Yes, an actual OT in the draft is a priority, but let’s not add OG to the “need” list by jettisoning Sitton because he’s expensive.

    Second, I have faith in Pace’s ability to find value in the mid-rounds. Howard, Cohen, Jackson… all examples of guys who are huge finds that didn’t cost 1st or 2nd round picks. I don’t know if Pace can pull a #1 Wideout out of his hat in the 4th round (and honestly, if he does, that would be major coup), but with the list of needs this team has, another draft like 2017 could seal the deal.

    • SC Dave

      So right on Sitton.

    • BearDown100393

      I don’t care about the bread maintaining Giraffe.

      I care about Giraffe not doing a damn thing on the field (other than grazing, crapping on it and chewing the upright).

    • Krush12684

      Yeah, we have to keep Sitton. Making MT comfortable will only hasten his improvement.

    • Irish Sweetness

      Apparently the Bears and their trials are of more concern to me than they are to the McCaskeys.

      And it IS of concern to us that Glennon got 18 Million dollars, as it should be to every Bears fan who is not a casual.

      Pace couldn’t pull a #1 receiver out of his hat in the FIRST round, never mind the fourth….

      How does anyone have faith in the man that signs Gummo for $18M??

      How does anyone have faith in the man that gives up picks to get a guy nobody was after? The only stud near the top of that draft was Fournette.

      And you are not NBIT … he who does not roll on the Shabbat. Correct?

  • They absolutely need better talent on offense. But I don’t think they need studs (at least right away), because I don’t think they need a top-shelf offense to be a playoff team. Average offense + top 5-10 D should be a playoff team or close to it.

    Then they need some of the internal guys to develop into studs for the offense to take a leap that allows them to move from playoff contender to SB contender, but even in a best-case scenario that’s not happening this year.

    • Dis Guy Trublinsky (Johnnywad)

      Agreed. My guess is Pace’s Free Agency philosophy will begin to change. I think he’s probably going to lean more on bringing in proven starters with some years left in front of them. I don’t think we’ll see any big, splashy signings. But I also think we’ll see far fewer flyers/rentals on players with upside but battling injury or age.

      They’re a lot closer than they were. But I feel the offensive side of the ball is going to need a little seasoning with some new bodies before it’s “there”.

      D could be scary in 2018.

      Specials need a little work but the core is fine. A quality kicker goes a long way to making that unit solid enough to quit worrying about.

      If Pace is who I think he is, this team pretty much matches your expectations laid out above. We should have some fun this fall.

      • BearDown100393

        Bottom line is Pace better understand his career clock is now ticking after drafting HIS quarterback and HIS head coach. It is HIS job to provide the proper talent for Nagy/MT to either sink or swim.

        • Irish Sweetness

          It started ticking as soon as he paid Mike Glennon 18 Million dollars …. and the ticking became a loud clinging when he give up those picks to draft a guy with 9 starts.

  • ManGod

    “While there’s no questioning his talent, Bears fans thinking Shaheen is going to be Travis Kelce should learn to manage their expectations.” Exactly why should we lower our expectations? What makes you say that Shaheen can’t or won’t develop into a player of Kelce’s talent? Or is it that you simply don’t believe it is possible for a small school athlete to be a blue chip talent in the NFL? And why would the Bear’s want to jettison one of the top OG’s in the NFL to create cap space they actually don’t need? How the hell does this make them better? 2018 will need protection for Trubisky, open running lanes for Howard/Cohen and losing Sitton to injury or over $$$ would be counter-productive to everything. Whitehair, Long and Sitton are the core of this OL, and the weakest link is R Massie at RT followed closely by LT C Leno…..and until the Tackle situation is addressed, this OL will be what it is and nothing more.

    • Dis Guy Trublinsky (Johnnywad)

      Kyle Long was the weakest link of the starters. It’s unfortunate, because he was SO good right out of the gate. But the injuries and the severity of them, likely means he’ll never be the Guard he was.

      • SC Dave

        Truth. Long is a reputation-only player. Sadly, it appears our biggest need on the offensive line is to replace him.

        Unfortunately, our primary guard backup, Eric Kush, is also coming off an injury. Hopefully, he will remain quality depth and we find another starting guard to go along with Sitton and Whitehair in the interior.

        • Bender McLugh

          Kush was looking good too before injury

      • Scharfinator

        Yup. Maybe if we shut him down for 2018 we can get him back to decent playing form. I don’t know if the staff will be that prudent/patient though.

      • KentuckyBearsFan

        What the hell is wrong with the Bears medical staff? Long should have been shut down for the season much earlier.

        • CanadaBear

          Long was willing to play and Fox was doing anything to keep his job. Bad deal for both of them.

          • Bear Instincts

            and Firefox is still considered a players coach even when he is helping you to shorten your career…some kind of father figure he is

          • SC Dave

            I think you can desist with the goofy “Firefox” shit now. He’s gone.

          • leftcoastdave

            And does not get the respect he deserves for bringing along the talent acquired in last year’s draft.

          • BearDown100393

            Fox deserves nothing.

          • evantonio

            If Nessman lives on, why can’t Firefox?

          • BearDown100393

            Fox was the Bears HC not Kyle Long’s father.

            That era is over anyway. Move forward.

          • BearDown100393

            John Fox was not the ultimate word regarding medical decisions.

          • AlbertInTucson

            Bears team physician was once Dr. Ted Fox.

            I believe his nickname was “The Butcher”.

            Butkus eventually sued him.

          • BearDown100393

            Gangs of NY

          • Irish Sweetness

            This is a kill …
            (spears chest with helmet)
            This is a kill …
            (spears liver with helmet)

          • CanadaBear

            I’m pretty sure Gale could have sued him, too. I don’t think Gale did but I remember reading the doc said he wouldn’t do any additional damage playing on it. Uh, no.

          • Allan Birmantas

            That was a different time, and surgery has come a long way since the 60s.

          • CanadaBear

            That a team doctor would have the nickname “The Butcher” should tell you all you need to know. He was working for Halas not the players.

          • Irish Sweetness

            James Woods?

    • Kelce is faster. They’re not the same style of player. I think stylistically Shaheen is more of a Jason Witten type player (not to say he’s going to be that good, just in terms of playing styles).

      Regardless, expecting Shaheen to be a top 2-3 TE in the NFL is asking a lot.

      • SC Dave

        If he turns out as good as Jason Witten, I’d be very happy.

        • I don’t know if he’ll be that good. Probably not. Not many players turn into HOFers.

          I’m just talking stylistically. Like Witten, he’s big and athletic, but not super fast that he runs away from guys. He wins more with excellent use of his large body and good hands.

          Whereas Zach Miller is more of a Kelce-type TE, again stylistically. Kelce is obviously way better than Zach Miller.

      • Irish Sweetness

        Drafting him in the second round kind of requires that of him. Would have much preferred an OT.

    • Irish Sweetness

      You and me ManGod. Not buying that line either. We need a new RT – we always need a new RT – and someone that can relegate Leno to the bench. He’s okay, but not dominant.

      Maybe Harry Houdini can get a tune out of Grasu for this WCO.

  • evantonio

    “For years, DBB was a one (and a half: @reverenddave) man show. Now we have three unique, talented contributors. Wood’s pieces are sports writing unlike anything else you’ll find anywhere.”

    3 writers? What happened to Emily? Why is no one talking about Emily? Was she a one-and-done? What drama and intrigue happened behind the scenes at DBB that we don’t know about??

    • BearDown100393

      Dump Dave. Add Emily.

    • and while I appreciate the kind comments from Jeff, there’s plenty of good statistical analysis out there (much of it better than mine, to be honest). The problem is most of them are not team specific, so they don’t apply it to just Bears like I do. But there are a few other Bears-focused writers who do similar type stuff to me. I know there’s one on Windy City Gridiron, for instance.

    • Irish Sweetness

      And it was never mentioned if Emily was African-American, or Asian American …. which should probably be mentioned …for …. uh …. national security reasons … probably.

      • evantonio

        but now she’s back! is it really her, or Jeff writing in disguise to hide the disgusting truth that is too disgusting to discuss?

  • CanadaBear

    I don’t think Andrew needed to quote anyone about how shitty the Bears WR’s were in 2017. We all know that! He went into the training camp with a #2, a #3, an injury prone ? and a bunch of guys. The #2 went down early along with the injury prone guy which left a #3 and a bunch of guys. If Pace doesn’t completely restock that position, he’s greasing the skids for his run out of town.

    • AlbertInTucson

      Once Meredith went down, my mantra was “The Bears have no wide receivers who scare anybody, except Bear Fans.

      • CanadaBear

        I couldn’t believe they were going into the season with that group and then they started getting injured. Glad to see Pace was trying to sign other WR’s but nobody wanted to come to Chicago.

        • willbest

          When Jeffery decided he didn’t want to play in Chicago, what were their other options?

          After Jeffery you had Gracon and DJax who are both 31, Kenny Britt, Ginn Jr. Robert Woods, Pryor… it wasn’t a great group.

          • CanadaBear

            Seriously under whelming.

          • Dis Guy Trublinsky (Johnnywad)

            Yeah, but still, that damn Pace didn’t bring us any #1 receivers. He totally should have done that. It’s his job you know.

  • BearDown100393

    Damn Adam nailed this one.

    No idea how Kyle Long makes a recognition list for this particular season but whatever.

    • that shows you even the scouts don’t really know WTF they’re talking about and go on name recognition.

  • CanadaBear
  • Bear Instincts

    http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2018/01/17/bears-retain-two-more-assistants-on-defense/
    According to Alex Marvez of the Sporting News, linebackers coach Glenn Pires and assistant defensive backs coach Roy Anderson are returning to the staff

    • I’m assuming most of the D staff will be back. The most important one, IMO, is the secondary coach Ed Donatell.

  • Brad Biggs reported that both Kenny Stills and Ted Ginn took significantly less money than what Chicago offered to go elsewhere last year due to QB uncertainty. Two thoughts:

    1) That won’t be an issue this year, but it explains striking out on WRs
    2) They were going after speed guys already a year ago, and will do so even more now that they’re implementing an offense reliant on that type of player at WR. John Brown, Paul Richardson, Tavon Austin (likely cut by LAR), Taylor Gabriel, Al Wilson. I’m expecting them to sign Wilson + 1 more name from that list.

    • BearDown100393

      Considering the coaching staff change and MT potential, free agents on offense should be far more interested signing with the Bears now.

      • Bender McLugh

        #optimismnow

        • BearDown100393

          Honesty without homerism or bias.

      • Even if it’s not “I wanna go to Chicago,” it’s at least not “I’m taking way less $$ elsewhere to avoid Chicago.”

        As long as they’re at a point where even money gets them consideration (which they should be), they’ll come out of FA with a couple solid WRs.

    • Krush12684

      The speedy WR needs a Meridith/White taking the top off the D though(maybe need is wrong, but it would help tremendously). If we don’t believe in them I hope we make a play at a guy with Josh Gordon speed.

      • Irish Sweetness

        Gordon was visiting with Stipe Miocic at his gym, and Stipe reckons he’s a quality individual.
        Doesn’t seem like a headcase, but I haven’t followed his story.

  • Krush12684

    Look at what great OLines have done for the other teams rebuilding. Eagles….cowboys. Is Wentz and Dak really that good? Or is it just easier for them to operate under those conditions? We got the QB, lets get the line in front of him. For one, keep Sitton! Who cares if he costs $2M extra… Use FA on WRs. And throw the farm at OL. Trade down even from the 1st, and grab a 1st, 2nd, 2nd…fuck even use one of the 4ths on a project! (lol like that’ll happen)

    Howard will be putting up 4.5-5.0! WR’s have .2-.4 more seconds to get open….HUGE! Grab a speedy FA WR to stretch the field. If done right, it won’t be hard. Top 12 Offense right there.

    • BerwynBomber

      Wentz really is that good. Or was before his ACL.

      Dak is solid but has benefitted from all-pro personnel in Zeke and his Oline.

      I would use the draft (1st or 2nd round) and FA on WR. It is by far the weakest position group on the team.

      Not necessarily opposed to Sitton because of the cap space, but proceed damn cautiously with 2nd or 3rd vet contracts. They can quickly become albatrosses/bad money.

    • Irish Sweetness

      Is Dak good?

      A good OL has certainly done wonders for Jared Goff. I hope Hiestand’s connection to Nelson can get him here. If we draft McGlinchey, then that’s good too.

      Q: Would you trade anyone from our team? Who’s worth something that you would trade away?
      I still can’t believe Bellifat traded away his future QB.

  • Bear Instincts

    http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2018/01/17/darrell-bevell-linked-to-bears-opening/
    Darrell Bevell linked to Bears opening. The Bears have a vacancy for a quarterbacks coach, and have talked to former Raiders offensive coordinator Todd Downing and Texans quarterbacks coach Pat O’Hara.

  • Allan Birmantas

    Why would you even mention Gentry? The poor guy was dissed by the head coach despite having a good pre season and the Bears having no established receivers of note.

    • evantonio

      He was great in Tecmo Bowl. Guaranteed to give you 1 return TD a game so long as you weren’t a total putz of a player.

    • John F

      Gentry looked good against preseason scrubs. Once he played with the big boys, he was a non-factor.

  • BerwynBomber

    “DaBearsBlog @dabearsblog Totally agree with not bringing back Todd Haley in Pittsburgh. They only scored 42 points and threw for about 500 yards against what was supposedly a top 2 defense. Gotta can that guy.”

    1) R-berger has never liked him
    2) Haley had two atrocious 4th down calls in their JAX game
    3) He’s a bit of a live wire (think he was busted for his second bar fight this year — this is a middle-aged man, btw) and one can only assume he’s likely problematic to work with
    4) PIT is loaded with O talent, so the thought might be that any OC can be successful with it

    • “Modestly” Huge Bears Penis

      They should hire Shoop, just to see if any OC can be successful.

    • CanadaBear

      The window won’t be open much longer with Big Ben getting towards the end so why keep working with someone who clearly has issues. When I read that about Haley getting in a bar fight recently I was more than a little surprised. FFS he’s 50 and still doing that!

      • BerwynBomber

        Yeah, though I don’t think R-berger is any big fan of Tomlin either.

        Don’t know what to think of Tomlin. On one hand, impressive resume. On the other, can’t help but think he’s a little like Ditka. An emotional coach who is probably not the most calculating gameday HC. Remember when he tried to trip or bump that opposing player headed for a TD?

        • CanadaBear

          I forgot about that. He’s not as much of a clown like Ditka was but you’re right, he has his childish moments (although I gotta say I like how he handled Martavius B.). All 3 guys involved have warts but Haley’s were the genital variety!

          • SC Dave

            Hahaha… i saw what you did there with genitals and Haley. But that was Charles, no?

          • CanadaBear

            I was referring to the 3-headed monster of Tomlin, Big Ben and Haley. Charles Haley was bizarre. When I read that he openly pounded his pud in the locker room, I was always more than a little creeped out by that.

        • “Modestly” Huge Bears Penis

          it’s been reported that some of the minority owners of the Steelers want Tomlin out also. But as minority owners they opinion doesn’t mean crap.

          http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2018/01/16/source-some-steelers-limited-partners-want-a-coaching-change/

        • BearDown100393

          Mike Tomlin should be fired.

          Steelers are wasting their roster core potential with a poor coaching staff.

          • “Modestly” Huge Bears Penis

            is there someone you don’t think should be fired?

          • SC Dave

            Do you still read that version of tuib (this user is blocked)?

        • SC Dave

          Well, Tomlin is lucky Ben is a stud and not glassy like McMahon.

          But even then, I cant imagine he’d be stupid enough to go with a Flutie

    • BearDown100393

      Todd Haley is a bar fighting drunken idiot.

      More than qualified to host at Ditka’s.

    • John F

      Jax defense is WAY over-rated. Made their name beating Colts (2), Texans (2), Bengals, Browns, Steelers (who lost to the Bears), and Ravens (who also lost to the Bears). Pats are gonna be up by 21 after the first quarter this weekend.

      • Krush12684

        #2 defense
        #1 Pass defense…and the next closest is 10% off!

        4 DLmen with 8 sacks
        Bouye and Ramsey with 6 and 4 INTs
        Even Gibson and Church had 4 INTs

        Not to mention Miles Jack and Telvin Smith who had also had 3 INTs.

        Are you counting! Thats one dude not worth mentioning! The 34th pick in the 2007 draft!

  • CanadaBear

    Not sure if you guys talked about this already but I just watched the Ric Flair doc from ESPN. WOW! What a piece of work. By the end, after his son had died, I got the impression the daughter was wrestling mostly to keep Nature Boy in the spotlight (and making some money). Pretty sad shit.

  • SC Dave

    Sure, it’s a highlight video, and we probably need edge more. Yet I could easily imagine taking this guy at #8.

    But he looks to be the very definition of a “Monster of the Midway”. Often *burying* guys, even against the big-boy programs. Seems to delight in brutalizing the man across from him.

    • Scharfinator

      That block at 2:22. Woooo doggy

      • SC Dave

        He does not seem to like the USC Trojans very much. Or the MSU Spartans.

        Should transfer pretty easily to the NFC North, methinks.

    • It seems likely to me at this point in time that the two best players available when the Bears pick at 8 will be a G (Nelson) and an ILB (Raquon Smith from Georgia).

      Both are guys who profile as absolute studs, but at positions that typically don’t get drafted super highly.

      If the top edge and OT are gone, I’d be a-ok with either of them. Get studs when you draft high.

      • Krush12684

        #8 G…..thats lions territory. Trade back, and gain a 2nd.

        • SC Dave

          No. If you have player you think will be top 5 in the league for a decade, you draft him regardless of position.

          Especially if he brings a bad-assedness that infects the whole team.

          • Krush12684

            Look at value then. The VERY best G will not make…and that is to be valued by his club at…over 10M. The best CB/DE/OLB will push 20M. That is because they are worth that, while a G is not.

            One thing I would point to, though, is as you say, “player you think will be top 5”. Maybe they dont’ see another guy that is more valuable to them than a G. Thats fine. But fuck do I hope they value another position more than a G at #8.

          • Irish Sweetness

            Exactly. We trade down, the Niners pick him at #9. I would stake money on it.

            He is worth to us what he provides. Maybe he’s our right tackle.

        • That’s easier said than done.

          Given how this looks to be shaping up right now (based on media speculation/mock drafts, so WTF knows), I would LOVE a trade down.

          But that means somebody will want to trade up. That’s most likely for a QB, but I don’t think that’s likely for Bears. Nobody right behind them needs a QB, so teams won’t have to get to 8 to get their guy if he’s still there.

      • Irish Sweetness

        Are we playing Smith at safety?? 225??

    • Irish Sweetness

      I’m sold.

      Could he play tackle?

  • Bear Instincts

    http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2018/01/17/patriots-on-losing-coordinators-the-culture-is-built/
    Patriots on losing coordinators: “The culture is built”
    “The culture is built,” Patriots safety and team captain Duron Harmonsaid. “The culture is built. This is two decades of winning. A winning franchise. Coach Belichick is going to make sure whoever is in the defensive room is going to be the right guy to display the message and the picture that he wants his defense to play with. That goes through the defensive coordinator, whoever he hires.”

    • BerwynBomber

      Belichick is fucking amazing.

    • BearDown100393

      And then Harmonsaid was called into Belichick and was notified he would be cut at the end of the season.

  • BerwynBomber

    PFF’s final QB grades for the 2017 season. A few skim observations.

    1) Bisky finished 24th, Not bad for a rook with crap WRs.

    2) Cutler finished 35th

    3) McCown and Hoyer finished 22nd and 33rd respectively

    4) Surprised by the Ice and Goff grades

    https://www.profootballfocus.com/news/final-nfl-qb-rankings-by-pff-player-grades-2017

  • willbest

    Shane Toub played Center at Dayton. Interned last year for Lovie Smith, and is now working for the Bears as the offensive quality control coach.

    • Dis Guy Trublinsky (Johnnywad)

      Dave’s boy?

      • yes.

      • SC Dave

        Hopefully Daddy’s skill is genetically mobile.

        • willbest

          Well we know the sperm won the quickest swimmer award.

  • CaponeBot 1.0

    I know Howard is at the top of the rushing list but does anyone get that feeling of amazement like when you watch Kamara, Bell and other dudes who are beasts in and out of the backfield? I don’t.

    • Sactowns#1

      Different style. guess it just depends on what you like. A lot of people never likes Forte because he wasn’t a banger. I always loved the dude and thought he was well rounded (and looked like Common)

      • CaponeBot 1.0

        I loved his versatility but never felt we used Forte correctly. He always seemed like a safety valve instead of a deliberate target in the passing game (except for a handful of plays).
        I like Howard, don’t get me wrong but I think he pales in comparison to a bunch of guys in the league.

        • Sactowns#1

          I love bangers and I love watching them but I don’t want one on my team. The cliff they fall off of is sharp and their shelf life is short.

          • Bender McLugh

            This is the absolute concern with someone like Howard, although he didn’t seem to take huge hits. #edibles

          • SC Dave

            He gives more than he takes I bet.

          • Irish Sweetness

            So be it. We don’t need them to last forever. Assets. Run Jordan into the ground and let him get his retirement fund elsewhere. Draft another one. Cold? Bidniz.

          • GB got four years of high quality play from Eddie Lacy for dirt cheap, then let Seattle overpay for the cliff.

            That’s exactly what the Bears should do with Howard. Two more years.

          • Irish Sweetness

            Earl Campbell? Jim Brown? I’d take either of those for three years. The Lombardi run. Short and sweet.

          • CanadaBear

            Really? You would be OK with a HOF’er or the best RB in NFL history. Wow. Newsflash.

    • Krush12684

      Defenses were afraid of Ben and all his weapons…and of Brees and his QBing ability. What if our offense had more than one guy to be afraid of?

      • Bender McLugh

        If? Already do

    • Bender McLugh

      Bringing back the old Forte argument I see. “But he doesn’t WOW me.” It would be awesome to have a Bell or Kamara, I agree, but that can’t diminish Howard’s accomplishments so far. Can we keep em, pop? Can we??

      • CaponeBot 1.0

        I like him, I just don’t love him. I don’t love how he is used, I didn’t like the predictable -1 and 0 yard runs and I’m hoping we use him correctly moving forward.

        • evantonio

          Blaming him for the predictable 0 and – 1 yard runs into 8 and 9 men boxes is like blaming Jason McKie for running all those fullback dives on 3rd and short. Instead of focusing on those wasted plays, why not revel in the 4 yards gains against the box? The broken tackles leading to first downs?

          Do I wish he could catch? Almost as much as I wish TRX hits $100. But he man is a beast, and the perfect correction of the Langford follies.

        • Bender McLugh

          yeah definitely the predictability is a major issue. I’m excited to see how that will change.

      • KentuckyBearsFan

        uh…wasn’t Forte up there (top 5?) in All-Purpose Yards for a year or two?

        What else does one ask for a running back that doesn’t border on super-human?

        Great runner, great receiver.

        • CanadaBear

          He led the league in yards from scrimmage his first 8 years.

          • KentuckyBearsFan

            This list seems a bit different as far as yards per scrimmage leaders https://www.pro-football-reference.com/leaders/yds_from_scrimmage_year_by_year.htm

            but Forte during his rookie year (wikipedia):

            “His 1,715 yards from scrimmage was third in the NFL, and broke Hall of Famer Gale Sayers’s team record of 1,374 in 1965. Forte led all rookie running backs in total yards and receptions, those 61 receptions also breaking Mike Ditka’s 1961 franchise rookie record.He received one vote for the National Football League Rookie of the Year Award, finishing behind Ryan Clady, Chris Johnson, and Matt Ryan.”

          • CanadaBear

            Over the 8-year span, he led the league in yards from scrimmage. Hope that helps.

    • CanadaBear

      He doesn’t take your breath away but he’s good enough for now. I like the 3 RB’s (don’t give a damn about the FB) the Beloved have. Always looking to improve but not a giant area of need. It will be interesting to see what creative offensive minds can come up with for Cohen.

      • SC Dave

        Howard turns 3 yard plays into 16 yard runs as well, or better, than anyone in the league.

        Last I knew, he had more 10+ yard runs than anyone in the NFL over the past two seasons.

    • I got a lot of that in his rookie year. Not so much this year.

      He’s a downhill runner who is fantastic if you let him build up a head of steam. He didn’t get the chance to do that enough in this offense with all the stacked boxes. I think he’ll look a lot better in a spread offense next year.

    • Dis Guy Trublinsky (Johnnywad)

      He’s fine by me. I think his catch rate will look better next season. After that issue popped up here on the board, he didn’t drop a ball the rest of the season.

      I’m also old school. I like his running style, and I prefer backs to carry the ball and block; maybe catch a pass on occasion.

      But I like them beating the shit out of the Dline. That’s huge in the waning minutes of the game.

      Bell is better out of the backfield for sure. But he’s in a class by himself.

    • BerwynBomber

      Of course. But it’s a bit like having Ryan or Rivers and complaining you don’t have Brady or Brees.

      I get the complaint/criticism but Howard is still damn good/valuable.

    • Irish Sweetness

      Can’t really argue with Jordan as a fifth round pick. He’s the very definition of value.

      But no, he is not the total package, and until we have a Gurley/Bell/Fournette we’re playing with a light deck. And when he gets injured ….. who’s our replacement?

  • BuddhaJoe

    I agree with those who said we need to keep Sitton and Massie. I get the arguments against it but ultimately the Beara have too many holes to fill for them to be creating more. Keep em until there’s a viable replacement.

    • willbest

      If you are moving on, who are you going to? If they are worse, is the money allowing you to buy Calais Campbell. If not, why are you concerned about it.

      • Irish Sweetness

        I wish. The time to buy Calais was when he was up for sale. Pace missed the boat. Again.

    • Irish Sweetness

      Massie has a fan?

  • willbest

    This makes me really sad. You get a notice Saturday morning that you are about to die and you don’t even have a proper woman to fuck one last time.

    http://www.news.com.au/technology/online/social/pornhub-saw-increase-in-traffic-from-hawaii-after-the-ballistic-missile-threat-was-declared-false/news-story/9f7f2d30d27ea284ae12f9d08e0471a4

  • BerwynBomber
    • Irish Sweetness

      How is any aspect of her life even worth 125M?

      • “Modestly” Huge Bears Penis

        go big or go home.

      • willbest

        i can’t imagine urlacher isworth anywhere near that much.

    • willbest

      the theory that reporting statement s made by others would make you liable for those statements would be laughable before current year. These days you will face harassment for such things

    • CanadaBear

      She has a history of being a wonderful mother and person. Oh wait, no she doesn’t. #54 should get Michael Flatley’s lawyer!

  • willbest

    what is the world coming to when you can’t trade movie roles for sex.

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