Back-to-Back Audibles: Finley on the DL, Nagy Inspires the Cubs, Bennie Fowler, Links!

| April 16th, 2018

Finley on the Defensive Line

From Patrick Finley and the Sun-Times – who now finally have a readable website thanks to the fine folks at WordPress:

If Pace is able to sign Goldman to a contract extension before the final year of his rookie deal — the Bears are trying — he could have two stellar talents locked up for the next four years, when Hicks’ deal expires.

The Bears, of course, have three starting defensive line positions.

Their interest in drafting someone to develop alongside Hicks and Goldman depends on how vital they view that third spot to be. The Bears typically rotate defensive linemen, lessening the need for an every-down end opposite Hicks, who played about 85 percent of the team’s snaps last year. In nickel and dime packages, Bears defensive coordinator Vic Fangio often replaces an end with a linebacker in hopes of creating pass-rush mismatches.

The Bears never settled on an end to start alongside Hicks last year. Jonathan Bullard, who Pace drafted in the third round in 2016, played 40 percent of the Bears’ defensive snaps, veteran Mitch Unrein 37 percent and former undrafted free agent Roy Robertson-Harris 20 percent. At the end of the season, Pace singled out Bullard and Robertson-Harris as players who made significant leaps during the year.

Perhaps as a result, the Bears didn’t add anyone to replace Unrein when he signed a three-year, $10.5 million deal with the Buccaneers last month.

My personal belief is the Bears don’t put a tremendous value in this third defensive lineman position. They will continue to get production there from low-risk veterans and late draft picks.

Also, I have it on good authority that both Ryan Pace and Vic Fangio believe Jon Bullard can be a top player in the league. Not just good. Top. Has he shown that potential? No. At least not in the game tape. But they believe they’ve seen flashes.

Nagy Revives the Cubs

Bennie “Don’t Call Me Rickie” Fowler


  • Podcast link: “Morrissey and Telander also talk with Charlie Wonderlic, the president of Wonderlic, Inc., which administers the famous test given to top NFL prospects each year. How does the Wonderlic work? And what do the results really mean?”
  • The Bears’ decision to wear orange jerseys this season started an actual Twitter debate. People debated laundry. I can’t imagine caring for a single second what the team I root for is wearing, barring some kind of prejudicial commentary ON the uniform itself. If it means they’re going to win, the Bears can wear green and yellow for all I care.
  • Bill Nack is one of the greatest sportswriters to ever live. And like most of the legendary sportswriters he was at his best penning the ponies. Read about Bill’s life and work through his Newsday obit but then spend some time watching him discuss his favorite horse, Secretariat.
  • Bill Zimmerman’s conversation with Cam Meredith, after learning the Bears would not be bringing him back, is well worth your time.
  • The schedule will be released Thursday (I believe). Sporting News does a nice breakdown of what to expect. I will be posting the thoughts before and after the release, Thursday and Friday. As many of you know, I like the schedule release WAY more than the draft.

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  • The Yes Guy


    • KentuckyBearsFan

      Holy shit.

      Compared to to WR core last year.

  • SC Dave

    I read Nack’s story on AJ Foyt. Good stuff also.

  • KentuckyBearsFan


    “Last season the Michigan State product had 29 catches for 350 yards and three touchdowns.”

    Were the Broncos not targeting the guy? He looks like he could have had 100 catches easy.

    He looks like a young Brandon Marshall.

    It’s going to be a Trubisky party every damn game day.

    • Cam Meredith >/= Jerry Rice

      Man. You must know something I don’t. My first thought was, “Wonder if he beats out whatever UDFAs Pace brings in.”

    • evantonio

      Nice thing about a guy with only 29 catches is it makes making the highlight tape an easy endeavor.

      “Should we include this catch?”

      “It was a 2 yard out. He was wide open, bobbled it, then fell to the ground without being touched.”

      “Yeah, but we need to fill another two-and-a-half minutes.”

      “Put it in. Then replay it in slow motion from two different angles.”

      “You got it, boss.”

      • At that point they probably include other stuff in the highlights, like when he hit the bullseye at the bar, or that epic fuzbol goal at Dave and Busters…

        • evantonio

          maybe some pre-game stretching, too. nothing says success like some loose hammies.

    • The total DEN offense last year had about 3500 passing yards, which came from a poo-poo platter of Trevor Siemian, Brock Osweiler, and Paxton Lynch. Fowler finished 3rd on the team in targets, 4th in catches, 3rd in yards, and 2nd in TD (with a whopping 3). He was their WR3.

      A smart Denver fan I know through Twitter had this to say about Fowler:
      -always worked slot for DEN.
      -Great size, good but not potentially what he could be in RZ,
      -does drop passes from time to time,
      -very good blocker.
      -average route running.
      -he does also play ST and is above average there for sure.

      Overall: Positives are size, physicality and RZ target but negative is he does drop passes. If he could improve there he is an upside #3 guy or average to slightly below average #2.

      Basically he sounds similar to Bellamy IMO. I think those two could compete for one roster spot as STer/depth WR, or maybe they both stick.

      • SC Dave

        -very good blocker.

        Well that is good if nothing else is.

  • “Modestly” Huge Bears Penis

    Stands look pretty empty for a Cubs game.

    • BenderMcLugh

      25mph winds while raining at 40 degrees. most people were surprised they didn’t call the game

      • “Modestly” Huge Bears Penis

        Sounds like a bunch of pussies.

        • CanadaBear

          Down 10-2 in the bottom of the 7th in those conditions, yeah I’d be a pussy too.

          • “Modestly” Huge Bears Penis

            Fair weather fans. SMH!

          • CanadaBear

            It’s been a fucker this Spring, that’s for sure!

          • willbest

            In Chicago we get 4 seasons, sometimes all in the same week.

          • CanadaBear

            It’s been a crazy one this year.

          • I thought LA fans were fickle!
            On that note, what’s everyone’s greatest comeback witnessed in person?

            I think mines was the dodgers coming back from 7 or something vs the Pirates.

            And yeah, most left by the 7th trying to beat traffic.

            The best part is knowing all those wankers will be kicking themselves for bolting early

          • CanadaBear

            My brother-in-law and I went to a Cubs double dip and they got killed in the first game and got whipped in the second game until the 9th inning when Dave Rader hit a grand salami to walk off. We got so excited we hopped on the L and went to the Sox game. They got killed and we were completely bombed. My best comeback for the Bears is literally the only game they won when I attended. You might remember this one (at least on YT).

          • You saw that run live!? Fans mustve gone nuts.
            Sadly, he’d get suspended now for that run.

          • CanadaBear

            They were down 17-0 at half and we were all talking about leaving early (we drove 3 hours to get there) and beat the traffic. We stayed and it was a game for the ages. Final 28-27 Bears!

          • SC Dave

            The next thing on the list… ?

  • UCF Bears Fan

    If Shaqum Griffin is available is the late rounds, it would be great if the Bears give him a shot. Of course I am biased, but if its the late rounds, not much to lose.

    • “Modestly” Huge Bears Penis

      Not sure, I watched some of his highlights. Seems to me he is just missing something. I mean hands down he had an impressive combine so I will give him 2 thumbs up on that. I just can’t quite get a handle on it.

      • UCF Bears Fan

        He is one of those guys that people say that about, so he is out to prove himself. And from watching him, he always delivers.

        • “Modestly” Huge Bears Penis

          Just an off the cuff thought, I want a LB to be able to single handedly take over a game. I just don’t see it from him. I have a feeling that he will leave our D short-handed more often than not.

          But if we do give him a shot by drafting him, I really hope he proves me wrong. I would gladly give him a hand if he does.

          • CanadaBear

            You do know you’re going to hell!!!!!!!!

          • “Modestly” Huge Bears Penis

            Yes. I have known for a long time.

          • SC Dave

            That explains a few things. More than a few, actually.

          • BenderMcLugh

            oy vey

          • Cam Meredith >/= Jerry Rice


          • UCF Bears Fan

            for a guy with one hand….he outplays a lot of 2 handed people

          • “Modestly” Huge Bears Penis

            You do realize I am making fun of the fact that he only has one hand.

          • UCF Bears Fan

            that was more than obvious

      • I seriously wonder if the NFL will ban robotic hands and limbs in our lifetime.

  • CanadaBear

    I took the Wonderlic test for a job interview years ago and scored in the upper 20’s. Basically a general knowledge test. I’m sure if you were preparing for it with a tutor it wouldn’t be that difficult to get a pretty good score.

    • KentuckyBearsFan

      I thought the Wonderlic score was invertly correlated to ability.

      (like my SAT scores)

      • CanadaBear

        I have no idea what you just said.

        • KentuckyBearsFan

          Some of the best athletes have bad Wonderlic scores.

          I had good SAT scores but really knew pretty much shit at 17. 1480. I improved 3 times taking the test. But really no practical skills.

          I was trying to improve my math score but increased my verbal instead.

          But they were increasing the curve on the entire test back then because the population was getting dumber.

          • I think it depends on the position. For instance, Dlinemen dont need to be smart. In fact, coaches prolly prefer them more feral than intellectual

            QB however is another matter. Would prefer them to be smart.

            But there’s diff types of smarts.

            Marino scored low, but i bet he could design a play from memory, and was football genius,

            Look at lach. Not gonna win the Nobel anytime soon, but football general.

            The problem comes when a QB already has questions about his football acumen AND intelligence like Lamar Jackson.

            That low wonderlic then can hurt stock

          • willbest

            Supposedly the best leaders aren’t all that much smarter than the people they lead. The communication gap can’t be too great

          • SC Dave

            A fascinating supposition. But perhaps the leader need only give the appearance of not being that much smarter.

          • Exactly. A good leader knows HOW to speak to diff ppl.
            Doubt Wallace was speaking Latin to his Scottish rabble, but came in handy when talking to aristocracy.

            Well, at least according to Braveheart!

          • John F

            IMHO, the best leaders are great communicators and have the ability to motivate different people using different methods. Raw intelligence doesn’t seem to be nearly as important.

          • Irish Sweetness

            “The world is run by C students.” – harry s. Truman
            …and Harry was one average human.

          • willbest

            A professor of mine opened his class with “Grades are important. In this class, my A students go on to become professors, my B students go on to become judges, and my C students get filthy rich”

            Still waiting on my judgeship.

          • willbest

            I suspect at some point you start over thinking the situation rather than going on instinct.

        • KentuckyBearsFan

          the only decent standardized test I’ve ever seen is the military’s ASVAB.

          Never taken it it but I flipped through a book about it and thought holy crap I can’t pass this without studying. Because the knowledge required to pass it was practical.

          • I did the navy and army one ( was deciding ). The recruiter said I scored high enough to be anything except spy and nuclear engineer.
            I knew i bombed the math portion but the recruiters told me dont even worry about that part as long as u forrest gump the rest, but if i knew being a spy was an option, i wouldve def studied!
            Apparently James Bond has to be math profecient, which i guess makes sense, but when ur 17, dont think about that stuff, and all the recruiters want is another boot.

          • Irish Sweetness

            I know a guy who got through nuke school in the navy. He’s over here. He was ‘ writing reports’ in the middle east. And i guess he’s doing the same here. He said they gave you homework that was impossible to do, to see what the smart ones would do. They’d give you way too much and then gauge your response. The kobayashi naru basically.

          • RenoBear

            I made it halfway through nuke school… I was 18 w a fake ID and took way too much of an interest in alcohol and girls… especially being 2000 miles from home. They kicked me out to the Fleet for having a 2.7 on a 4.0 grade scale essentially. Looking back, really wish I wouldn’t have been such a little dipshit, I have friends who made it through, and they essentially right their own tickets in their respect careers. I didn’t realize the importance and the weight that graduating the navy nuclear program holds in the civilian world. Apparently it’s up there with MIT. I know I came across some of my notebooks from nuke school (they were supposed to be destroyed since their classified documents haha) and as. Read through I was blown away that I ever knew that stuff… half of the physics and calculus looked like hieroglyphics! Yeah man, wish I had been a bit more mature and applied myself

          • KentuckyBearsFan

            MIT is overrated outside of a few departments.

            There’s a lot of propaganda in the sciences.

            And they don’t mention the patents the military confiscated from private individuals which actually would mean that the world could have been a much better place now.

            Don’t trust a science school that requires taking mediocre gym classes to graduate.

          • I often wonder if an MIT or Cal Tech student just posted free energy formula on Youtube if it can be taken down.

          • RenoBear

            Right, I understand. Just using an example as the amount of info they try to cram into your head in a two year period. It’s friggin insane. They essentially try to shove a 4 yr physics and nuclear science degree at a prestigious university into your head in two years, because in the govt’s eyes were useless until we get to the nuclear Fleet. Still wish I had applied myself a bit more haha

          • Irish Sweetness

            It didn’t sound like fun. You’d get 200 problems for homework or whatever, undo-able. Trying to do them all would get you booted?

          • RenoBear

            I don’t recall the overwhelming number of problems per se, but class was from approximately 0700 to 1630 daily with a required 2-4 hrs of logged study time nightly. Of course, weekend study hours as well. Eventually the study hours were dependent upon your grade. I have to say, one of my main detriments aside from alcohol and girls was I had the worlds largest punk for our leading PO… I’ll never forget his bitch ‘leadership’ tactics. He was a great lesson in how not to lead in the real world.

          • SC Dave

            When did you go to high school? Just curious.

          • KentuckyBearsFan

            up until 1997

    • W the millions on the line, think one would study

      • CanadaBear

        If you’re at the top of the first round it doesn’t matter a whole lot but it certainly can’t hurt to get a decent score. From what I remember it had some really easy stuff and some insanely hard stuff and most of it was in the middle. When someone gets a really high score on the Wonderlic, they are good at math. I’m OK at it but there were 2 or 3 questions where I read them and thought “not gonna waste any time on this one”. Good thing because I ran out of time before I got to the last couple of questions.

        • Irish Sweetness

          I’m not particularly good at math and I got a 48. It’s not an IQ test, more like a very basic version of one. There’s nothing hard, they just measure how quickly you do it. How marino navigates ….

          • CanadaBear

            I’ll take your word for it.

  • I have a vague positive association w the orange jerseys, like Hester balled in it or something, but dont could be wrong.

    • CanadaBear

      Nate Vasher ran back a FG attempt 108 yds.

      • Ah yeah. The Interceptor!

      • evantonio

        still don’t know why those plays don’t count as official return TDs

        • SC Dave

          It makes no sense. It’s a kick, and it is returned.

          Makes no sense at all.

          BTW, I remeber them saying Hester passed Sanders in return TDs, but I must ne missing something.

          Sanders had 9 INT, 1 fumble, 6 punt, and 3 KO for 19 total.

          Hester had 14 punt and 5 KO for 19. Looks like a tie. But we all know Hester had the FG return vs. NYG so winner.

          Unofficially, that is.

          • “Modestly” Huge Bears Penis

            Don’t forget the TD in the SB.
            Playoff stats are in a separate section

          • And I don’t exactly recall if teams pooched away from Sanders like they with Hester.

            Hester def could’ve got more if given the chance.

            I seem to remember the Vikings being esp stupid and punting to him more often than not.

            And the announcers baffled, “Why are they still kicking to him?”

          • Irish Sweetness

            Isn’t Brian Mitchell the main guy against Devin?

          • CanadaBear

            For total yardage. Deion for most TD’s.

  • “Modestly” Huge Bears Penis

    So the Saints signed Cam away from us. I have to wonder why we did not go after Willie Snead, who the Saints also put a low tender on.

    • Cam Meredith >/= Jerry Rice

      Probably because he’s down on the corner, leaning against the lamppost, flipping a quarter and having a smoke in his bomber jacket lookin all shady. That Willie Snead is a real card.

      • “Modestly” Huge Bears Penis

        I would have still signed him to an offer sheet just to fuck with them.

    • Because his knees are healthy?

  • That Guy

    Look at Jahns’ mock draft. I think I’d be pretty happy with it panning out like that. The guys he’s mocked to the Bears all sound good. Though I’d rather have Edmunds than Smith in the 1st.

  • Irish Sweetness
    • KentuckyBearsFan

      That guy had some great games. But Denver seems to have a history of plug-and-play running backs who always perform.

    • I dont know why he wanted to sign him. Dude is avg at best. I think Fox wanted him, which is a good reminder how coaches influence personnel as much as GMs

    • ButtonShoes

      Another FA bust on the part of Pace.

  • AlbertInTucson

    NIGHT COURT is adjourned.

    R.I.P., Harry Anderson.


    At 65?


    • KentuckyBearsFan

      damn I loved that show.

      The character was made a judge because it was a holiday and he was the only one who answered his phone.

      • haha. yeah, I liked that show too. A bit zany.

        • CanadaBear

          Markie Post in the Haloween episode!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • He’s only 65? For some reason I thought he would be older.

  • Irish Sweetness

    “My personal belief is the Bears don’t put a tremendous value in this third defensive lineman position.”

    Agreed. But for ‘Bears’ read ‘Fangio’ … and Fangio isn’t interested in 1/3 of our D-line.

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