64 Comments

Audibles: Heavy Sun-Times Edition!

| June 4th, 2018

Quick Three

  • For those people, myself included, who think this anthem protest stuff doesn’t matter…we’re wrong. I spent Memorial Day weekend down the Jersey Shore in a somewhat conservative area. I wore a Bears hat one day. It was enough to spark several conversations and the anthem protest decision by the NFL was all anyone wanted to discuss. This decision by Goodell and the ownership has managed to do the impossible: it’s infuriated folks on both sides. And NFL fans should be prepared for this issue to absolutely dominate the coverage come September because it will become a major political talking point in the lead-up to the midterms.
  • The last time I thought the Bears had a chance to make the postseason was 2014 – the most embarrassing season in the history of the franchise. Coming off an entertaining 8-8 in Marc Trestman’s first year it just felt like the team had enough on offense to sneak their way into a wildcard spot. (Unlike many others, I never believed they could compete for a title with that defense.) They completely flamed out. But there’s a good chance I’m going to pick the Bears to make the postseason again this season. There’s only two things that I can see keeping this club from double-digit victories: injuries and Mitch Trubisky struggling. Can’t predict the former. Don’t expect the latter.
  • Don’t sleep on Adam Shaheen. Folks I talk to around the Bears say the kid has looked dynamic in these early practice days and Nagy/Helfrich are using him in ways the Fox/Loggains regime never considered. Quote from a Bears source: “With Burton there, the Bears won’t ask Shaheen to do much more than get open and catch touchdowns. And he’s going to do both a bunch.”


Jahns on Fitts

From a defensively-focused piece in the Sun-Times:

The Bears see Kylie Fitts as a sixth-round selection with a high ceiling — a player who might earn an early role if he continues to impress.

“We had a lot higher grade on him than where he was drafted,” outside linebackers coach Brandon Staley said.

The Bears are searching for pass-rush help within the roster, but Staley said Fitts also can help in pass coverage and set the edge against the run.

“He does a little bit of everything well,” Staley said.

It helps that Fitts has the right physical makeup.

“He’s a shade under 6-4, but he’s 263 [pounds],” Staley said. “So he’s a big guy. He can run. And then he did 31 reps on the bench press. So this guy’s got a lot of the tools that you’re looking for.”

Fangio said Fitts showed “some ability along the way” during the offseason program, but padded practices in camp will carry more weight. The Bears are counting on either Isaiah Irving or Fitts to contribute.

He’s a late-round draft pick so nothing should be expected of Fitts. But if he contributes in a meaningful way, the Bears have an opportunity to be scary on defense.


Potsy on a Local Kid

Mark Potash is always looking for stories in OTAs and training camp. The underdogs. The overachievers. And in Matt Fleming he has a little bit of everything. More from the Sun-Times:

Matt Fleming was ready to get on with his life when he got The Text.

“I was actually walking to my car, about to leave [Halas Hall] after the last practice,” the former Simeon football and track star said. “They kind of said, ‘See you later, everybody.’ I was saying goodbye to all the coaches, thanking them for allowing me to come.

“And as I was walking to the car, I got a message, ‘Come upstairs.’ And I’m like, ‘Whoa.’ Because everybody else was leaving. So I’m thinking as I was going back [to Halas Hall] that something was going on.”

Indeed, something was. Fleming’s dream — at least Phase One of the dream — was about to become a reality. The 6-0, 180-pound wide receiver from Benedictine University of Lisle via the South Side turned a rookie minicamp tryout into a spot on the 90-man roster.


Funny Pic Tweet


Trey Burton Interview


Links!

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  • The Yes Guy

    YES.

  • That Guy

    Read the piece on Gabriel and had a thought.

    Line up Gabriel and White split wide on the same side. CB is on White (outside), slot/nickel CB/S is on Gabriel (inside). They both take off running a fly/jet/post, then about 15 yards deep, Gabriel cuts for the post, White just keeps running straight on the fly. High safety has to pick his poison–Gabriel or White to double. And he’ll have to pick one, because these guys are both so fast you can’t count on a CB to run with him. Maybe the CB covering white is faster than the slot/nickel CB/S on Gabriel, so the safety shades to double the post. Leaving a guy open streaking down the field.

    In other words, these two guys have elite speed. If the pocket holds up, putting them both on the field at the same time is a recipe for open receivers downfield. Not to mention Cohen’s speed. I think there’s a whole lot of potential for these speed demons to rip the top off of opposing defenses.

    Just as long as Trubisky’s protection holds up.

    • SC Dave

      And Trubisky throws the ball to the right place.

      So far, the MT phenomenon is a lot of talk. We’ll see how the sophomore season goes. *If* he’s the real deal, we could be in for a surprisingly good season.

      • BenderMcLugh

        “a lot of talk”. smfh Dave

        • SC Dave

          Are you of the opinion that Trubisky’s on-field performance matches the hype over him?

          • BenderMcLugh

            nope, not yet, and I’m not counting him out. maybe I read into your statement a bit too much.

      • I’m with you Dave. When Trub hits 62%, looks poised in the pocket, takes less unnecassary sacks, hits some go routes and wins some games in the crunch, then I’ll get my hopes up.

        Till then…reserved optimism…mmm. quite…

        • John F

          When Trub hits 62%, looks poised in the pocket, takes less unnecassary
          sacks, hits some go routes and wins some games in the crunch, then I’ll
          get my hopes up.

          You might be waiting a while ………..

          • I’ll tell you this much, my fuse is much shorter these days. I’m not about to wait another 6-7 yrs like w Cutty.

        • evantonio

          You mean 62% of his passes that travel 30+ yards in the air, right? Because Bisky’s going 98% on all passes shorter than that, and the only reason it’s not 100% is because Howard drops a few passes in the flats.

          • Dont forget him rushing for 1,000 and drop kicking a few FGs in OT.

          • “Modestly” Huge Bears Penis

            I don’t think drop kicking is legal anymore.

          • evantonio

            I didn’t think he’d be kicking FGs since I’m presuming he’s returning the OT kickoffs for TDs.

    • I think that metal rod sapped all of White’s explosion and speed.
      Gault jumped off the screen. As did Hester and Cohen.

      White looked like another Sanzenbacher.

      Hopefully that changes.

      Gabriel otoh looked legit in KC.

      No doubt Nagy wants as many ‘twitchy’ ballers as possible, guys who can turn screens and slants into 60 yd TDs.

      Burton, Gabriel and Cohen fit that bill

      And maybe even Miller.

      I see Robinson as more of a traditional all around WR . I think i read somewhere that he had the most deep routes in the league in that year he blew up. If Trub becomes more accurate esp w go routes to Robinson, that’ll make room for everyone else underneath, including Howard

      • CanadaBear

        The only reason I have any hope for KW this year is 3 or 4 of the local press have all mentioned how fast/explosive he looked in the OTA’s. Like everyone, they are all in the show me category but they all were impressed. Hope it works out.

        • Yeah, i dont know how metal rods affect bodies. If it’s case by case, or what. Much more familiar w other INJs like achilles, acl,, etc

          Eddie Jackson has a metal rod, and he looked ok, but totally diff position.

          To me i feel like White has a confidence problem. That was one of the knocks on him coming out of college. He’s gotta find his schwag again like Rocky.

          Maybe White does return to form. But at this point it’s almost a sunk cost. I agree w Data, even if he does look good, how can Pace trust him going forward?

          But, cross that bridge…

          Hope he becomes the Julio Jones he was comped to be.

          • CanadaBear

            All I know is replacement knees beat the shit out of severely arthritic knees!

          • Are they? They dont hurt in the cold? Can you still use the microwave?

          • CanadaBear

            They don’t hurt at all. It feels like 10 lbs of shit stuffed into a 5 lb bucket but it doesn’t hurt. Not sure about brutal cold (living on Vancouver Island the low temp is around 15-20 degrees F). I haven’t had any desire to go to a cold weather climate in the winter!!!!!!!!!!!

    • evantonio

      999 Seams in Sports Talk Football was a guaranteed touchdown every time. Hoping it’s the same for us this season.

  • leftcoastdave

    Here is a good humor article which mirrors the game by game picks I posted a couple of weeks ago, albeit done a bit more crudely and with more ‘tude.

    http://bearsbarroom.com/nfc-north-champs-im-betting-on-it/

  • KentuckyBearsFan

    Burton seemed like he tensed up (just a bit) when asked about Trubisky….but not about Nagy.

    Well he seemed more relaxed talking about the coach anyway.

    (He seemed happiest joking about his contract though.)

  • “Modestly” Huge Bears Penis
    • CanadaBear

      Good PR move and a nice gesture by the team. He’s never going to play in the NFL again.

      • The contract guarantees him just under $500k, even though he’ll be on IR by day 1 of training camp. More importantly, it gives him access to the best care for free as he continues to try and rehabilitate.

        • John F

          Yes, this seems to be a medical/rehab based decision by the Bears

        • evantonio

          they did the same for Johnny Knox. it was clear he wasn’t going to play, but they signed him to a deal that ensured he’d continue to get medical care as he made his way back from his shoulders touching his anus.

    • Joecashflow

      Class move. His contract ended last year. First good thing I’ve said about McCaskeys in long time. Things are looking up. Zach is such an advocate for the Bears. To have him on the sidelines, not active of course, would be a great thing.

      • CanadaBear

        You must have missed the story where George went down to NO and stayed for a few days. They also flew Miller’s family down there and back. Along with a bunch of stuff since Zach has been back in Chicago. The McCaskey’s aren’t bad people, just clueless when it comes to running the Bears.

        • SC Dave

          And as mentioned earlier, the Johnny Knox thing.

        • beninnorcal

          I think you meant to type ruining instead of running, Canada.

          • CanadaBear

            Duly noted!

    • SC Dave

      Seems like a good investment from a player attitude point of view. Assuming, of course, they sign guys like Goldman, Amos, and (next year) Howard.

  • Russian Hacked Pacebot 2.0

    Things I’m excited about:
    Nagy use of Cohen, Trubisky, Gabriel, Robinson, the rookie WR and the Tight Ends.
    Nagy running a creative and aggressive offense.
    Using the run game in a more common sense manner to reduce the sheer volume of -1 yard runs.
    Things I’m not excited about:
    Amos
    Our Outside Linebackers
    Goldman’s first leg injury of the year and his eventual street signing replacement with jersey number in the 70’s.
    Our corner depth

    • “Modestly” Huge Bears Penis

      Wasn’t Amos rated as one of the best safeties last year by PFF?

      • Yeah, but are we gonna get last year’s Amos, or the two before that?
        Jackson is going to have to ball out if Bears want to create TOs.

        Im much more excited about him. Amos is like Alex Brown. Solid if unspectacular. Not even sure if he’s that much better than Daniel Manning in his prime.

        But not everyone can be a star. Fuller will also have to step up. If He or Jackson dont (or get INJ), dont expect much from our secondary.

      • Russian Hacked Pacebot 2.0

        Amos is a great safety….in 1997.

    • Maybe Cohen has a little brother.

      #ClubBouncer

    • For the first time in Pace’s tenure, I’m not that worried about the Dline. I was hoping for Poe last offseason to provide depth, but instead Pace gambled on an INJ Jaye Howard.

      But this yr he drafted Nichols. Talk about manmountain. 6’4 306 w 33″ arms.

      Think he can rotate in for Goldman and Bullard and RRH.

      I’m also excited to see if RRH can take it to the next level. He seems more dominant than Bullard.

      I still would have liked another big boy, but i guess at some point Pace has to trust his scouts.

  • Sactowns#1
    • I dont see how he would win. Isnt the Bears (common sense) policy equivilent to a store requiring shoes and shirts to enter premise?

      Though telling an employee like say a liquor store clerk he must stand and listen to an anthem before each shift would seem unconstitutional to me.

      What if 7-11 Forced all their employees to the same for the Indian anthem?

      • Sactowns#1

        I think they are leaning heavily on the public park aspect. I know numerous teams have restrictions on what you can wear in certain sections

        • “Modestly” Huge Bears Penis

          Public Park aspect should not matter. You can usually “rent” out an area of most all public parks. You then can admit whoever you want based on whatever rules you want. The Bears are essentially renting out Soldier Field.

      • KentuckyBearsFan

        Jana Gana Mana – National Anthem

        I hear echoes of The Little Drummer Boy…

  • I’m really pulling for 2 legit to Fitts. For one, he desperately fills a need. And for another, he’s an underdog and a local (socal) dude.

    But he’s had an extensive INJ history if I remember correctly.
    Might be another Hardin.

    • EnderWiggin

      Great fantasy name, too!

    • Hardin would have been an acceptable 6th round pick.

      And unlike Hardin, Fitts actually played well in college when healthy.

    • Irish Sweetness

      He has a girl’s name. An indefensible, girl’s-only girly name. That is all.

  • SC Dave

    John McKay, first coach of the Bucs, was asked about his team’s execution.

    “A good idea”

    Or some such

  • AlbertInTucson

    Former 49er and receiver-of “The Catch”, Dwight Clark, gone at 61.

    A.L.S.

    Sad.

    • John F

      Clark got drafted by the 49ers because the Niners were scouting Steve Fuller (backup QB of ’85 Bears fame) of Clemson and Fuller asked his roommate Clark (a WR at Clemson) if he would come out to the field to catch passes. Then Bill Walsh watched tape of him and decided to draft him in the 10th round of the 1979 draft – Fuller went to KC as their second pick of the first round.

  • AlbertInTucson

    “Audibles: Heavy Sun-Times Edition!”

    I commuted to college.

    Never used to get on the train without a Sun-Times.

  • John F

    Wow ….. Nagy is ALL in as far as being part of Chicago ……..

    https://twitter.com/adamjahns/status/1003694050736771074

  • Irish Sweetness

    Welcome back Zach!

    Nice one Bears. All we need to do is line him up for one play on the goal-line… and push his wheelchair towards the endzone. Payment.

  • Malice Halice

    This team is finna be AMAZING this year! Mitchell, a RB, WR n Def/ST will be on my FF squad dis year easily!

  • So, Trump cancelled the Eagle’s SB visit to WH because many of the stars were skipping it.

    https://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2018/06/04/president-trump-cancels-eagles-visit-to-white-house/

    This feels a lot like spanky throwing another temper tantrum, and kinda unfair for those who were planning on going, though I’m sure he’ll ship them Trump steak knives to compensate.

    I’ve come up w a brilliant compromise. The players must indeed stand for the national anthem, but it’s gotta be this one

    #artofthedeal

    https://youtu.be/z6Y7blEFjBM

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