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Audibles From the Long Snapper: Miller & Hicks Shining This Summer, HoF Commentary, Kitties & More!

| August 7th, 2018

Three Quick Thoughts

  • This entire training camp is becoming about Anthony Miller. The Bears have not had an offensive rookie create this kind of summer buzz, around the entire league, in modern history. And if you think that’s an exaggeration, well, it’s not. When the Bears drafted Miller, a high-ranking personnel man in the league texted me one word: “Fuck.” In Trubisky-to-Miller, the Bears have an opportunity to develop one of those great quarterback/receiver combos all those other teams seem to routinely showcase.
  • Roquan Smith has not yet arrived in Illinois and yet inside linebacker has been one of the team’s strengths thus far due to the emergence of Nick Kwiatkoski as a viable option. But make no mistake about it. Kwik is not Roquan. They are not comparable athletes. And if Kwik is out there trying to cover in Green Bay Week 1, Aaron Rodgers will get Jimmy Graham lined up over him and pick him apart. At some point, the Bears and Roquan just need to suck it up and get this deal done.
  • One player who shouldn’t see a snap this entire preseason: Akiem Hicks. Simply put, he is the most important player on this defensive roster and his health is paramount to their success. And from all reports, he has been a dominant force in Bourbonnais. Why risk his health for the sake of reps he doesn’t need? Hicks was burnt out by the end of 2017 due to overuse and the defense reflected that. Without proven pass rushers on the edge, the Bears should value Hicks every bit as much as they do their young QB. Because he’s that important.

Urlacher Hall of Fame Speech

  • Thought Urlacher did a wonderful job on stage, especially with his lack of comfort when it comes to public speaking. Considering he had to share the stage with Ray Lewis, the Human Bullshit Machine, it was a refreshing to experience actual humility and grace.
  • I’ve never been an Urlacher devotee but I freely admit he’s the finest cover-2 middle linebacker in history and belongs in the Hall. And when I say I’m not a devotee, it doesn’t mean I don’t consider him a great player. I do. But from the Lovie Smith era, I still have him behind Peanut Tillman and Devin Hester.


New Tee Shirt Coming in September!

In September we’ll be partnering with 26 Shirts (their ads run on the right rail) to produce a shirt for the 2018 season. Half of the proceeds will go to benefit Windy Kitty Cafe’s Kitten Corner – a nursery that will save the lives of many young kitties. In the past our charity efforts have benefited the hungry, disadvantaged youth and seniors. This is our first foray into the animal world and we’re thrilled to be helping such a worthy endeavor. Stay tuned!


Links!

  • Mark Potash gives credit to Mark Hatley for being the man who believed in and drafted Brian Urlacher“He believed in me and obviously drafted me from a small school, kind of unsure of the level of competition I played at in college, and he realized I was a good athlete and might become something one year. The first year after I get there, he leaves and goes to Green Bay [in 2001], but he was very instrumental in my development my first couple of years.”
  • Forbes Magazine (yes, that Forbes) breaks down the reasons why the Raiders should trade Khalil Mack. “Mack’s new contract will likely set a benchmark for defensive players in the NFL. Given that the two sides have not talked contract since February, the concern in Northern California is that they’ve already crossed that tipping point. It’s also a clear indication that a world of difference exists between how the Raiders view Mack and what he perceives his value to be.” 
  • Only one relevant item emerged from the Hall of Fame Game: the new helmet rule is an absolute mess and the league better get hold of it quickly. (Narrator’s voice: They won’t.) “If anything, the NFL’s well-meaning attempt at a broad fix represents the league acknowledging (in a roundabout manner) that violence is fundamental to the sport. If it wants to truly improve player safety, refs will be instructed to strictly enforce this rule in all instances. This would result in choppy games with tons of penalties and delays. Fans would hate it, as would many players, but the game would be safer. We’ll soon see whether that’s the NFL’s goal, or if the flags are flying just because it’s preseason.”

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  • Irish Sweetness

    First to say ….

    …. Trekkers …… Picard is coming back.

    … and …. Nick Kwiatkoski is NOT a viable option. At. All.

    • SC Dave

      Kwiatkoski will start next to Trevathan if Smith doesn’t show up.
      Or next to Smith if he outplays Trevathan.

      He’s the #3 LB on the team.

      • Irish Sweetness

        No Viablo.

    • Yeeeeeah boooi

      “The captain can’t be bald!” Some Hollywood hack when Sir Stewart was auditioning for Next Gen.

      Somewhere there’s a tupee they made him wear that I wanna buy.
      When asked , ” wouldn’t we have cured baldness by the 24rth century?”

      Stewart answered , ” in the future , it won’t matter if you’re bald”

  • SC Dave

    “Considering he had to share the stage with Ray Lewis, the Human Bullshit
    Machine, it was a refreshing to experience actual humility and grace.”

    Considering nothing else, it was refreshing to experience actual humility and grace, although I, get the point.

    “But from the Lovie Smith era, I still have him behind Peanut Tillman and Devin Hester.”

    While it’s really hard to not love Peanut, we’ll agree to disagree on Tilman. No doubt the major body of opinion about football players favor Urlacher. Probably more than ever given that speech.

    Hester was the most exciting Bear since Gayle Sayers, so on him it’s a bit hard to decide. Clearly, Urlacher was more important, and was great for a decade rather than three or four seasons. But damnit Hester was exciting.

    • Scharfinator

      Hester was a better KR/PR than Urlacher was an MLB. Which says a lot, but I still stand by that.

      • SC Dave

        I’ll give you PR, but not KR

    • Peanut took a while to become good. He didn’t win DROY or DPOY either.

      He never dominated even at his prime, not like Lach

      • BenderMcLugh

        Megatron might have an opinion on that

        • John F

          And every player who got stripped by the “punch”…..

        • He did great vs Mega ( and bigger WRs in general).

          Luckily for him Steve Smith wasn’t in the division.

          I like Peanut, but like Forte, Hall of Good

  • ButtonShoes

    If the Raiders decide to trade Khalil Mack, I don’t care what it takes: the Bears need to trade for him. I don’t care what it costs. They shouldn’t, either. Get him. NOW.

    • Irish Sweetness

      Yes.

    • Worth a 1st, 2nd and $20M/yr?

      • SC Dave

        No

      • ButtonShoes

        It would be to me.

    • Carlos Pendleton

      This defense would be elite if we had Mack!!!

  • Irish Sweetness

    I know, I know. Brian’s HOF is done, but I came across this 9 minute film that was just great.

    It shows that even if Roquan is great, he’ll never be able to do some of the things that Lac did. Lovie always said that what made the Chicago 2 different from the Tampa 2 was Urlacher dropping back as a safety. But seeing the closing speed on his Vick tackle, just touching ball-carriers as he passed them on his burst and watching them fall to the ground. Always knowing exactly where to be. Irreplacable.

    • Scharfinator

      Good link, thanks.

    • Aren’t we playing the Bills? They now have a 6’4 250 MLB who’s only 19 and ran a 4.4.

      Heck, he’s even signed!

      So might see shades of Lach there

      • SC Dave

        We play the AFC East this year all in a row after our (early) bye.

        • We can win those games (outside Pats)
          Bills and Jets should be interesting. Bills may start Josh Allen, and Jets Darnold by then.

          Too bad Jay couldn’t stay hired in MIA. THAT would’ve been fun.

    • BenderMcLugh

      Mussberger after Lach sacks Charlie frickin’ Batch — “….and you can just sense that he’ll be a fixture at linebacker for the Bears for many years.”

    • John F

      Lovie always said that what made the Chicago 2 different from the Tampa 2 was Urlacher dropping back as a safety.

      What made the Chicago Cover 2 different was the fact that 54 could fake an A-gap blitz and still get back and cover the middle. I don’t know if I have ever seen any other linebacker be able to do that.

  • Scharfinator

    “And if Kwik is out there trying to cover in Green Bay Week 1, Aaron Rodgers will get Jimmy Graham lined up over him and pick him apart”

    I agree they need to get the deal done, but Roquan is going to get picked apart too. A rookie in week one against one of the greatest QB’s of all time? Woof.

    • ButtonShoes

      Better Roquan than Kwit. At least Roquan can learn and grow from it. Kwit isn’t going to be anything more than what he is, which isn’t much at all.

      • Scharfinator

        Fair.

        • SC Dave

          Maybe fair, but wrong.

          • Scharfinator

            Are we in win now mode then?

      • By this point I doubt Roq can catch up to start over Kwit by week 1.

        Sucks. Many prognosticators had him winning DROY.

        Missing 2 weeks or more will deprive him of that

        • SC Dave

          I still worry that Edmunds is going to ultimately be the real choice. At least in this interview, he says the right things:

          https://www.buffalobills.com/video/tremaine-edmunds-i-m-up-for-responsibility-of-calling-plays-on-defense

          • No secret that’s who I wanted this past draft. Just turned 20. One of the first to sign.

            Only question was his instincts, but he’s so young. With good coaching, could be great.

            I thought Roq was too undersized and weak at the POA, but in our division, he’s going to be covering a lot more than shedding OGs. If he ever decides to sign, that is….

          • SC Dave

            Yeah, me too. I think you and I were the biggest lobbyists.

            Jeff was very big on Roquan; ultimately, only time will tell who ends up the better choice.

          • Irish Sweetness

            He’s a freak no doubt, but without a brain it’s not going to work. Does he have the brain? If he did I guess we would have drafted him.

    • Irish Sweetness

      Kwiatkowski is not a starter. Memories of Hunter Hillenmeyer …

  • Nate

    I’m assuming you haven’t since you didn’t post anything about it but have you heard if there’s been any movement on the Roquan front or still sitting at a “stalemate” as Nagy described it?

    Thanks for your insight.

    • Nate

      Should clarify, when I say “you didn’t post anything about it” I meant with regards to the specific contract discussions. Obviously, I saw the quick blurb above in the Three Quick Thoughts. Sorry for any confusion.

      • SC Dave

        Don’t apologize around here… the jackals will sense weakness and close in for the kill.

        • “Modestly” Huge Bears Penis

          Don’t scare him. There are no jackals around here….

          • SC Dave

            Hyenas then. In fact, probably should have used that description first – they are way scarier than jackals.

    • Sactowns#1

      This aint no Q and A forum Nathan. This is Da Blog.
      As for news, there is no news. But my guess is by next Tuesday a deal is done and Quan is in camp.

  • Sactowns#1

    What kind of cap space do we have and how much cash can we throw at Mack?

    • Glennon $ would be the start.
      Right now we have Trub for cheap, so I think we can frontload the shit out of it, but Mack will also cost a 1st and maybe 2nd or 3rd along w that $20m/yr

      • Carlos Pendleton

        He’s worth every bit of 20mil and will make this defense a top 3 defense, but it may make signing Goldman hard and Amos, but the Bears did it for Peppers!!

        • Sactowns#1

          Ooof… not sure you want to use Peppers as an example.

          • SC Dave

            Peppers was excellent for the Bears. Didn’t miss a game in four seasons, First Team All-Pro the year we got him, and two more Pro-Bowls after that. 37.5 sacks,
            3 Int, 18 passes defensed, 10 FF, and 139 tackles + 36 assists in four seasons.

            Best DE stuff since the first half of Dent’s career.

        • Irish Sweetness

          A superbowl defense needs a stud or two. Smith’s a rookie and hasn’t played a down. We absolutely need another piece on defense. The offense is set.

      • AlbertInTucson

        I see that kind of money for a D guy and all i can think of is Albert Haynesworth and NDamkong Suh.

    • SC Dave

      “This aint no Q and A forum…” Sac.

    • John F

      This is actually a really good site with cap info:

      https://overthecap.com/salary-cap/chicago-bears

  • I rewatched the HOF game last night cuz my friend recorded it for me on his Direct.

    Few thoughts on 2nd watch

    Timu needs to be cut.
    He moves like a 50s sci-fi robot. There’s no point to rostering limited athletes. Do what SEA does. Bust out the SPARQ and mold a football player

    Irving looked better than Fitts. He’s the hope opposite Floyd.

    Fitts didn’t look shabby, but I still expect him and Lynch to be on INJ reserve sooner or later.

    Should drop Fowler like he drops balls

    Since Roq is still unsigned, can we trade for Correa on the Ravens? He looked like a stud to me.

    • “Modestly” Huge Bears Penis

      I am a little worried about you. I think we may need to have an intervention because there is no reason to rewatch the HOF game. Seriously the only people that should be rewatching that is the coaches and players during a film review.

      • It was late and I got tired of watching the same ole. Was trying to knock out, and it worked.

        Who needs ambient when you got the PS games

        • “Modestly” Huge Bears Penis

          I will let it slide this time at least you have a pretty good reason.

        • SC Dave

          On gamepass, the whole thing takes about 30-35 minutes on Condensed, and the best thing is that 85% of the diarrhea ozzing from Collinsworth’s mouth is edited out.

          The +10 seconds let me skip all the play when The Obstructor was talking too.

    • SC Dave

      Some conclusions for me after rewatching, in addition to yours with which I agree.

      Leno and Massie are definitely our OTs; backups need Heistand like there’s no tomorrow.

      Wims looks a lock to make the team. Showed more in a preseason game than White’s whole career. Waiting eagerly to see him play with the 1s, or 2s, soon.

      Ayers did a pretty good job on kick returns.

      Edit: Oh, and Butch, don’t feed it.

      • “Modestly” Huge Bears Penis

        WTF! You too!

      • Yup on Wims.
        Ayers had an under the radar good game (5 catches?)

        Even that fumble, he looked to be getting YAC w his return skills.

    • Personally I thought Irving and Fitts were both bad.

      They both had the flashy sack, but did absolutely nothing on any play where they didn’t win around the edge with speed. They didn’t show a single move in a single rep capable of beating a backup NFL OT besides just running around them. A capable starting OT will shut that down 100% of the time.

      • They both rely on speed rush, but sometimes that can be enough. Not every OT fares well vs speed rushes (Massie for example).

        One play that impressed me was when Irving sacked RG3.

        He looped around full speed, but RG3 made a move.

        Irving adjusted, didn’t whiff, closed in and sacked him.

        That showed me a lot of speed AND body control. Lot of others would’ve been juked and RG3 would’ve broke contain and gained yards.

        Neither Fitts nor Irving are anywhere near consistent edge rushers, but if they keep flashing, then that’s something to build on.

        Our entire LB corp seems to now be based on speed. Floyd, Roq, Fitts, Irving, Acho…

        If a team decides to ground and pound, better hope those big boys in front of them can keep em clean.

        • SC Dave

          That’s what Kwitkoski is for

        • Acho is most definitely not a speed player. I think he’s actually the best OLB from a technical perspective, but he’s not athletic for the position. If he had Fitts’ or Irving’s athletic ability he’d be a beast.

      • Nate

        Saying both were “bad” is an over-statement to me. Need to see more to say they’ll contribute anything this fall but they weren’t bad IMO.

      • Irish Sweetness

        Woodsy, how the hell can you look at Irving’s performance and say it was bad. He balled.

        Winning around the edge with speed? That’s a BAD THING? And the last sentence is just ridiculous – a capable OT will NOT shut that down 100%, nobody does. Most OTs have nightmares with speed off the edge, they’re large slow men.. Stick to the numbers, man.

        • I need a guy to show more than just speed. He had one impact play in the half of football he played. I saw him try other moves and get stoned by scrub OTs every time.

          If you have nothing but running upfield and trying to get around tackles to the QB, NFL teams will figure that out in a hurry, and you’ll be ineffective. I need to see a greater variety of moves and ways to make an impact out of Fitts and Irving.

    • BenderMcLugh

      I’m not convinced they were trying that hard.

      • They better have been. None of the core starters played at all. Most of those guys outside the 1st QTR are gonna be cut.

      • Irish Sweetness

        Then they should be cut.

  • AlbertInTucson

    “One player who shouldn’t see a snap this entire preseason: Akiem Hicks.”

    Yes.

    • SC Dave

      Depends on whether he wants any, I would say.

  • “Modestly” Huge Bears Penis

    MLB would be a lot more fun to watch if things like this happened in the majors.

    https://deadspin.com/angry-baseball-guy-brings-trash-can-onto-field-tells-u-1828166387

  • willbest

    To answer Sac’s question, the Bears will have about $18 million or so after they sign Smith in cap. So they could afford Mack. They are in a pretty good cap place the next couple years too, although they do have to make a decision on Eddie Goldman and Massie, but they should be able to fit those two and Mack without having to borrow against the future.

    One of the articles I have read is that with the move to Vegas, Davis just might not have the tens of millions he would need to place in escrow to sign Mack to a longer term deal and fit inside the their cap.

    • PFT mentioned the trade would begin with one 1st, and if the team is good (like the Pats) two 1st RDers.

      I just don’t see Pace handicapping his new HC/QB like that going forward.

      Naturally, if Floyd became a thing, then we would be talking about extending him to that big contract without having to give up draft capital.

      I’m a bit surprised they’re willing to trade him this off-season. Most teams who are all-in already have made their big moves (Suh, Mo, etc), so no cap

      Unless they’re trying to milk the Browns or something.

      Most likely scenario, they keep him. Tag him next yr.

    • AlbertInTucson

      It’s my understanding that The Raiders are currently strapped for cash.

      • willbest

        Well this year, they only have 5 mil in cap. But they have 40 mil next year (I don’t know who they have to sign). But Cap and how much the paper billionaire has in liquid form to pay out bonuses with are two different things

  • AlbertInTucson

    “I still have him behind Peanut Tillman and Devin Hester.”

    Surprise. We disagree.

    • This is the contrarian syndrome. Like fans liking Fencik over Singetary or Sweetness.

      • AlbertInTucson

        I’ll take Rosey Taylor over Fencik.

        I’ll take Urlacher over Sammurai.

        Sweetness stands alone.

        • SC Dave

          Sayers was pretty good.

          And I’ll take Butkus over any of them.

          It’s a shame they had a butcher for team doctor. Although ti be a little fair, techniques and tools today ain’t what they used to be.

          • AlbertInTucson

            There is no denying the absolute shooting star that Sayers was for his first 50 or so games.

            It’s obvious how I feel about Butkus..

            He and Urlacher both had 22 picks but Dick played 4 fewer seasons.

          • SC Dave

            And had they kept stats on FF, I bet Butkus would be Bears career leader, and on a per season basis, probably #1 all time.

          • AlbertInTucson

            FF= Fear Fumble.

      • “Modestly” Huge Bears Penis

        I am pretty sure it just means Jeff despises Lach.

    • BerwynBomber

      Yeah, that is flat-out nuts. But it’s also a fanboy blindness. I’m sure Jeff has Cutler way overranked too.

      Btw, I’m not sure Peanut was better than Briggs. In fact, I’d lean Briggs, however slighty.

  • AlbertInTucson

    DaBearsBlog
    @dabearsblog
    “I think people often don’t realize how hard it is for rookie WRs. Jerry Rice only had 49 catches his first season in the most brilliantly-designed pass offense ever created. Steve Smith, a decent Miller comp, started one game and caught 10 balls.”

    Yes.

    Rice played all 16 games his rookie season but, according to Pro Football Reference, he only started 4.

    And early on, Rice was being called a bust because he had a case of the drops.

    That was with Joe Montana throwing football to him.

    • SC Dave

      The Montana mythology always humors me. He was as much made by Jerry Rice as vice versa.

      • AlbertInTucson

        Really?

        Because he won two Super Bowls before Rice, or Even Taylor, was on the team.

        • SC Dave

          Ok, so my memory is bad. What I remember most about Montana was being the first guy to chuck the ball in the stands rather than take a sack or force a bad pass.

      • “Modestly” Huge Bears Penis

        The only reason Rice could catch was because of stickum.

      • Irish Sweetness

        Bollocks, Dave.

        They won a Lombardi in ’82 without him. Joe was the greatest QB I ever saw, to this day.

      • BerwynBomber

        Huh? As Irish pointed out, Montana won an SB before Rice was even out of college.

  • AlbertInTucson

    R.I.P. Blackhawk great, Stan Mikita.

    There goes another piece of my childhood.

    • Russian Hacked Pacebot 2.0

      ugh , that just sucks.

      • AlbertInTucson

        It may be a blessing. He was suffering from Dementia.

        His wife confided that his “mind is completely gone.”.

        http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/hockey/blackhawks/ct-stan-mikita-blackhawks-spt-0615-20150614-story.html

        • Johnnywad

          On my list of things, this is second only to losing a child. Terrible.

          • John F

            It’s like they are gone, but still here. I have seen it from afar, luckily have not had to deal with it day-to-day up close. Not sure I could handle it …….

          • Johnnywad

            I was in my teens when my Great Grandmother went through it. Now my Mother In Law. It’s brutal.

        • Russian Hacked Pacebot 2.0

          agreed

    • SC Dave

      I remember Mikita being an excellent player, but not this good!

      “Stan Mikita spent all of his 22 years in the NHL with the Hawks and is the franchise’s all-time leading scorer with 1,467 points and is second to Hull in goals with 541.

      The native of Sokolce, Czechoslovakia, won the Hart Trophy as the NHL’s most valuable player in 1967 and 1968, the Art Ross Trophy as the league’s leading scorer in 1964, 1965, 1967 and 1968 and the Lady Byng Trophy for gentlemanly play in 1967 and 1968, making him the only player in league history to win the Triple Crown of awards in the same season — and he did it twice.

      The center was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1983.”

      Happy trails, Stan.

      • AlbertInTucson

        He went from being one of the most penalized players in the league to one of the best after he figured out you can’t score from the penalty box.

      • AlbertInTucson

        He was the first Hawk I remember wearing a helmet. I remember the night. It was a road game game on WGN (back when Channel 9 carried all the Hawks’ road games ) and Toronto defenseman, Bobby Braun, damn near took Stan’s right ear off with a slash. He never played without a helmet again.

      • AlbertInTucson

        Not a bad legacy for anybody, let alone an orphan from Czechoslovakia.

  • Russian Hacked Pacebot 2.0

    Roq fucking signed!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    oh, sorry, I meant Jimmy Roque , a 5’9 175 kick returner from the arena league.

  • BuddhaJoe

    Cats are a tool of the devil. Find a dog charity and I’m in.

  • SC Dave

    We look at heroes in the NFL limelight, and think about how cool it would be/have been to be among the greatrs. Then, you read something like this, and realize we’re all in this together.

    http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap3000000944106/article/steve-smith-sr-my-personal-battle-with-depression

    • AlbertInTucson

      Depression is a bitch.

    • BuddhaJoe

      Thanks for the link, that was a great read.

      Still pissed at him about that playoff game though. Dude singlehandedly fucking buried the beloved.

      • AlbertInTucson

        Not Peanut’s best night.

    • Irish Sweetness

      (shrugs)

      It’s a whole lot easier having depression and millions of dollars, versus having depression and not having a bean in the bank. Depression with a financial sword hanging over your head and children to worry about, different story. Different fucking universe.

      • BerwynBomber

        Agreed.

  • SC Dave

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