96 Comments

Five Questions as the Bears Begin Training Camp Practices This Weekend

| July 20th, 2018

In this clandestine modern NFL, there’s something to remember: very little NFL teams show the fans or the media, prior to the start of the regular season, is all that valuable. “Open” training camp practices and preseason games exist to drain every possible nickel out of loyal fanbases. Might you catch a glimpse of a gimmick play or two? Sure. But that’s it.

What is valuable is that which is done in the Cone of Silence, behind a shroud of secrecy, in the shadows even Adam Jahns dare not show up with his 4″ x 8″ notebook. And I have questions about what the Bears will be up to in the darkness.


Question #1: Who is where on the interior of the offensive line?

For years, ever since the arrival of Kyle Long, this space has argued against the organization’s lack of consistency when it came to aligning the offensive line. This team, this summer, needs to select positions for Long, Cody Whitehair and rookie James Daniels and leave them there. Daniels will inevitably struggle early no matter where he starts because Daniels is a rookie and rookies struggle. Put em. Leave em.


Question #2: What’s the answer opposite Leonard Floyd?

If you go to the Chicago Bears’ roster page, you’ll get confused when it comes to the linebacker position. Danny Trevathan is correctedly listed at ILB. Roquan Smith is listed at just LB. Nick Kwiatkoski, rumored to be getting run on the outside, is listed at ILB. Aaron Lynch, expected to be a pass rushing option, just LB.

The Bears don’t need a star to emerge opposite Floyd. And based on their current roster, they don’t really have to worry about it. But with opposing offensive coordinators certain to game plan for Floyd’s potential impact, the team must find pass rush production on the other side from a combination of Kwik, Lynch, Sam Acho, Kylie Fitts…etc. Fans should get a good sense in the coming weeks as to where Vic Fangio and his staff are leaning from a personnel perspective.


Question #3: Are there any sneaky positional battles?

Yes, I’m looking at you, Pat O’Donnell. Pitt’s Ryan Winslow is not an elite punting prospect but one hopes the Bears are not going to give P.O.D. the free pass he’s been given in previous summers.

Where else might one’s eyes drift?

I’m told the Bears (and specifically Harry Hiestand) believe they have some young talent to supplant Bobby Massie at right tackle as early as this summer. Will it happen? Unlikely. But expect a fire lit under Massie’s ass to perform every single day in practice.


Question #4: Can Anthony Miller make it impossible to keep him on the bench?

Ryan Pace did an excellent job rebuilding the Bears’ weakest position from 2017. But it’s Miller – not the pricey Allen Robinson or the speedy Taylor Gabriel – that has exhilarated fans. Miller isn’t going to be a humble rookie, quietly carrying veteran pads to the locker room. He’s brash and vocal; the comparisons to Steve Smith transcend the football field. And he has a good chance to be the breakout star of Bourbonnais. It’ll all come down to his relationship with the quarterback.


Question #5: How long will it all take on offense?

The answer to this question could very well be the difference between a season in the middle of the pack or relevant ballgames in December. If the Bears don’t hit their offensive stride until mid-season it is hard to see them challenging the top of the conference for a playoff position. But if things click this summer and the offense looks good in Green Bay on that opening Sunday night, why not think big?

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  • That Guy

    I haven’t been this excited for preseason since Trestman. Oh, wait…

    • Ososfan

      Don’t be that guy….lol

  • ButtonShoes

    The answer opposite Floyd? There isn’t one on this roster. How long will it take on offense? It’s a new, complicated system with a bunch of new pieces, so…long. Why not think big? It’s the Bears. Thinking big doesn’t work when it comes to them. You just pray they don’t embarrass themselves or you. And then they go ahead and do just that.

    Best to reserve any enthusiasm for actual progress on the field…aka WINS.

    • Russian Hacked Pacebot 2.0

      Please don’t take this the wrong way….but STFU.

      • leftcoastdave

        Your response to “this user blocked” appears to be directly on point, whatever it is he chose to blurt out this time.

      • ButtonShoes

        How considerate. Let me also ask that you don’t take this the wrong way: if you want someone to STFU, you should take a good long look in the mirror and then feel free to GFY.

        • Russian Hacked Pacebot 2.0

          with all due respect….STFU

      • “Modestly” Huge Bears Penis

        I think he took it the wrong way…

    • CanadaBear

      Not sure how the Bears can embarrass me. If they suck it’s on them, not me.

      • Johnnywad

        I think you’re wired a little different than this cat.

        • CanadaBear

          Nothing against BS. Different strokes and all that. The old guys on here definitely understand not going all in during the off season but when the off season developments are going in the right direction I don’t think it’s unreasonable to be somewhat positive. I definitely felt like BS last off season with Foxy still at the helm.

          • Johnnywad

            BS. LOL. That’s perfect in so many ways.

          • SC Dave

            Post of the preseason.

            And so easy.

      • Ososfan

        Why did I laugh so hard at this comment! I feel the same way… kinda haha

      • True, but losing to Hundley coming off a bye was pretty embarrassing.

        Bears fans should be used to making backups look like Montana, but it never fails to embarrass and infuriate

        • Johnnywad

          That was terrible. I don’t know about personally embarrassing. But it sucked.

    • “Modestly” Huge Bears Penis
  • Malice Halice

    Sup fellas, that Isiah Nall kid looks like a albino Howard. Hope he pans out cuz that guy runs like he’s PISSED! No tape with him blocking tho, that’s y we got Harry H.

  • What young talent do they have at OT to push Massie? There’s not a single tackle on the roster that they’ve drafted besides Leno.

    • Here are the backup OTs on the roster:

      Bradley Sowell: journeyman who’s older than Massie by a year and is the likely swing tackle
      Matt McCants: journeyman who’s 28, the same age as Massie
      Dejon Allen: UDFA from Hawaii. Projected by most to be an interior OL due to lack of length. He’s 6’2″ and 290 pounds, so I don’t think he’ll be pushing Massie to start this year.

      • ButtonShoes

        Maybe they’re converting Jordan Morgan from OG to OT?

        • That’s what I’m thinking
          And like I said in the previous thread, if HH can do that, he really is good

          • Ososfan

            My exact thoughts! Yes

          • Rooting for a lil white WR or big fat dude to become a thing at OT is a DBB PS tradition

          • “Modestly” Huge Bears Penis

            Just PS??? Rooting for BRAVERMAN was a year round thing for me, till them BASTARDS cut him! At least they signed Ryan Nall.

          • SC Dave

            Nall is going to the pro bowl in 2020

          • John F

            Did he already buy tickets? I didn’t think you could buy tickets that far in advance.

      • leftcoastdave

        Leno and Massie have been dissed year in and year out, but the line as a whole, even with the injury problems and rotations of last year, were still able to put Howard Jordan in the top three in running yards for the last two years. Also realize Massie has been most impacted by the loss of Kyle Long anchoring next to him. Leno has steadily improved to become an above average LT in this league. Now we have plug and play James Daniels as well as Kush back to combine with Whitehair in his third year and the ever experienced Kyle Long so I do not see the OL as any sort of problem. Add to that the experience of MT in the pocket and Cunningham whose ability to block or leak out in to a screen.

        This is an OL which I expect to gel. While it continues to be a topic of conversation, it looks to me to again be less of an issue this year than it has been in many years.

        • willbest

          Leno doesn’t get dissed. He is a top 12 LT. The only negative about him, and it has nothing to do with him, is he is Phil Emery’s greatest contribution to the Bears. Massie isn’t a top 12 RT, if he were Arizona would never have let him walk. He is a competent starter, who will serve the team well, but you should always be looking to upgrade your O-line. Especially when Massie might decide to go to FA. With the Bears needing to tag Goldman.

          • leftcoastdave

            Leno was getting heat on this board, or should I say Pace was being criticized for extending Leno as recently as a year ago. Now most are appreciating his value. As to Massie, sure, he’s the weakest link but not something Pace chose to throw money at, yet. I say let Harry do his magic and we shall see how the unit as a whole produces.

          • Leno and Massie’s greatest ability are their durabilty

            Needless to say, if Leno goes down…

          • SC Dave

            On the money, will

        • SC Dave

          Howard is that good.

      • Ososfan

        Maybe they push that 6th round tackle we got last year to RT? I forgot his name. Smh

        • leftcoastdave

          That would be Jordan Morgan. The rap is not “athletic” enough and not long enough.

          • SC Dave

            He’s a guard

          • leftcoastdave

            Played T in college, but not though to have the length to do it in the NFL.

          • Morgan actually played LT in college, but it was vs Div II.

            He’s big enough for RT (6’3 320) and his arms are long (34″), but apparently he’s not nimble enough for pass blocking. His mirroring is subpar (in other words, a cheaper Massie)

            http://www.nfl.com/draft/2017/profiles/jordan-morgan?id=2558190

            The stock is there. If HH is as good as they say, maybe he can mold Morgan into a RT, but quick feet are one of those things you either have or don’t.

            Dunno.

            Maybe he can play some Bball or soccer or something to improve his cement feet.

    • “Modestly” Huge Bears Penis

      Maybe Brandon Greene or Morgan?
      Bears have Greene listed as an OG but Rotoworld list him as a T.

      http://www.rotoworld.com/player/nfl/13016/brandon-greene

      Both played T in college, not sure how their measurables stack up.

  • leftcoastdave

    Would you believe not even my shoe phone could dial out of the cone of silence?

    Missed it by that much.

    • SC Dave

      Sad thing is I know all the references from the very first set of reruns

  • Bob Doll

    good points, all of them. OL staying in one position is really important early in a players career…hopefully, we have players that can grow and become multi-positional…hopefully our young players are earning their jobs…money and internal politics influence those things often…I am hopeful and really expecting the teams leadership/coaches to make the players earn it…don’t care as a fan if your the first round pick or an udfa.

    Opposite of Floyd? Good question but with opportunity comes a chance to see that player that has been right there…or maybe one of the young, unproven players…I’d like to better staffed, but I’m not stewing over it…if the team stays healthy, I think we will be pleased with the front 7. A strength will emerge.

    Robinson is a beast and I think we’re gonna like him…my hope is Gabriel doesn’t disappoint and yes, I think Miller is going to do very well, maybe become a fan favorite. My real desire is to see Kevin White stay healthy and become the player we though he was…so much potential. For this team to really do well this season, the Bears have to become a serious threat in the passing game…if that doesn’t happen, the box will be stacked and the Bears will have an improved record, but not be particularly good. If all the stars line up and the passing attack becomes a real threat towards the top quartile unit in the league…we’re gonna like it!

    Yes, many things have to line up for the Bears to leap to be dominant, but to be competitive, not so much…just stay healthy, execute on defense (hold onto int opportunities) and be above average on offense. One thing that plays on my mind is that our hopes around the passing game are so high…I think the Bears will still have a balanced, maybe even run heavy, offense. Hopefully, what we will see is more big splash plays on both sides of the ball, especially in key moments towards the end of the game…and just stay reasonably healthy,

  • CanadaBear

    Nothing earth-shattering here but MT says all the right things.

    https://www.si.com/nfl/2018/07/20/mitchell-trubisky-chicago-bears-rookie-season

    • I find it interesting that in a previous article Trub’s model was Tim Duncan.

      That reveals a lot about his psychology and how he views himself as a player

      • SC Dave

        Gawd, if he could only be the Tim Duncan of the NFL….

        • BenderMcLugh

          I read that article too, gotta hand it to him he is really going for it

        • Wow, Pops said that about Duncan?
          I don’t think I’ve heard ANY coach in my life (and I’ve had many) ever say that about any player.

          Highest praise imaginable.

    • leftcoastdave

      Ok, if not training wheels, then baby steps?

    • I love what he said about the Minny game. He recognized he was too aggressive, didn’t take down and distance/situation into account, and how fast the secondary can be.

      Also, he was forcing it to Miller cuz he was the only player who could get any sort of separation.

      He repeats the throwing it away mantra, which is music to my ears.

      He ate too many sacks, but that’s expected as a rook (esp under Fox)

      – On a sidenote, he says that Fangio’s D tests him. Didn’t really think about that, but those CB/WRs battles are gonna only make them better.

      Fuller/Prince/Callahan are excellent CBs to battle our new WRs. That would be the position I would watch in camp.

  • catfish44

    QUARTERBACK MITCHELL TRUBISKY, CHICAGO BEARS
    Mitchell Trubisky, Chicago Bears, Training Camp

    Thrown into the fire after a four-week stint of holding the clipboard behind Mike Glennon, Trubisky’s leash was kept tight while under center for much of the season, but when he was hot, his show glimpses of what could be.

    Trubisky earned sub-50.0 overall grades in four of his 12 starts but made up for his lows with 70.0-plus game grades in six of his starts that included a 90.0 overall game grade in Week 14. Down the stretch (Weeks 14-17), Chicago showed more faith in their young signal-caller’s arm talent and opened up the offense quite a bit, leading to three games above 73.0 down the stretch.

    Though not without its low moments, Trubisky’s performance working within an aggressive, high-flying offense late in the season shed light on his potential as a quarterback capable of winning outside of a game manager role. While much is expected under the control of new head coach Matt Nagy, Trubisky still was the league’s highest-graded quarterback on a per dropback basis in the first quarter last season. All signs point toward a breakout year for the former Tar Heel.———https://www.profootballfocus.com/news/pro-2017-first-rounders-ready-for-big-year-2?utm_content=buffer73378&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=nfl

    • catfish44

      endless wishful thinking, articles, predictions about the schedule, predicted won-lost records, blah, blah. all that ever matters is actually playing the game.

  • willbest

    “very little NFL teams show the fans or the media, prior to the start of the regular season, is all that valuable.” – Jeff

    With Mitch Trubisky no longer a rookie, Jeff resorts back to his normal stance on the pre-season. There is too much at stake for the Coaches and GM’s not to use all the time available to them via the CBA. Granted they aren’t going to show you their exotic plays, but you are still going to end up seeing about 50% of what they plan on doing during the season week in and week out.

    • SC Dave

      Shouldn’t that be “very few”?

      I thought Jeff wss going to start writing awesome sentences.

  • AlbertInTucson

    July 20, 1969.

    “One small step for man…”

    • “Modestly” Huge Bears Penis

      Fake News!

    • SC Dave

      Shit, forgot all about it.

      “One giant leap”

      • The funny part is that the famous quote as it stands is redundant

        One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind

        He swears that the “a” was omitted from the transmission (a man) but honestly, it sounds better the way it came out, logic or no.

        • SC Dave

          He *meant* to say “… a man…” but blew it. The enormity of the moment and the achievement of so many exposes the humble fallibility of the individual human.

          Yes, it was so much better that way!

  • Ososfan

    Man, I love this site. Already having a pre-season scrum in the comments section by passionate fans who ultimately just want us to have a winning/playoff team, this is hilarious. Opposite Floyd? Fitts, maybe Lynch from old comes and dominates, I lost is last year that we didn’t draft an OLB and kinda had a similar but more reserved reaction to that position this year… in Fangio we trust, I guess/hope. I like the OL position battles, Daniels is 20yrs old and was borderline dominant in whatever position he played, supposedly, so I think he could do well a a G and have Whitehair stay put. Interesting take on the HH comment regarding Massie, Massie seemed to play a little bit better at the second half of the season so we shall see. And in regards to MILLER “that boy look good!”

    • I fear our pass rush will be shit by mid NOV, but I won’t harp on it. When
      Pace drafted Daniels over Landry he chose his method of winning. Score points.
      Maybe it’s not the traditional Chicago way of dominant D, but fuck it. If it works it works.

      Good enough D+ ascending O can win games.

      Plus, maybe a pass rusher can emerge to surprise us out of nowhere.

      Last one was Mark Anderson. IF Fitts and Lynch can remain healthy, maybe they have a shot.

      If not, get ready for death by a thousand papercuts as the QBs in our div will methodically slice and dice.

      Gotta score points. That’s the team ID going forward (much like under Trestman)

      • Addendum. If rush really does go to shit, Shane Ray is a guy Pace might trade for b4 deadline kinda like last yr when he realized that Deonte Thompson wasn’t enough to win games and traded for that Chargers WR.

        • Addendum addendum. Was interested in seeing a successful team draft philo vs ours when it comes to interior Olinemen

          You know when was the last time the Pats drafted a C/OG in the first two rounds?

          The 2005 draft. Logan Mankins. Pick #32

          You know how many times the Bears have drafted a C/OG in the first two RDs in that span?

          2nd Daniels
          2nd Whitehair
          1st Long

          That’s also not counting Grasu (early 3rd) or Carmi (1st who ended up at OG b4 washing out).

          Maybe if I’m really bored I’ll check out how many AP C/OGs are drafted in the first 2 RDs.

          Norwell was a UFDA, but guys like DeCastro, Zach Martin were first rounders, so maybe AP interior Oline are like any other position, the higher the draft pick, the better

          (which begs another question. Maybe you don’t need a high draftee AP C/OG to win, as Billichick has shown)

          • “Modestly” Huge Bears Penis

            Belichick cheats.

          • Without 1st-2nd rd C/OGs

          • CanadaBear

            The best coach and QB combo in the league cover up a myriad of mistakes.

      • Johnnywad

        You’ll get your pass rusher next year. Pace needed to put pieces around Trubisky THIS season. So that was the main focus.

        He could have taken a speed rusher instead of Smith, but Smith seems the smarter long term choice there. (Provided his size doesn’t ultimately queer the deal. I was skeptical pre-draft, but like what I’ve learned of him since.)

        We all know it’s about Trubisky, but he’s got everything he needs now. I expect defense to be the primary focus next year. But I’m guessing we’ll be picking significantly later than we just did. So that blue chip stud might not be there.

        • I get it. He’s trying to get a jump on the O as fast as possible.

          I would’ve done it diff. Kept Sitton for one (an AP OG) OR paid for Norwell , drafted Landry and found out if Kush or Morgan can become a thing, and if not, draft a C/OG next season.

          But this model can work as long as the O gels fast.

          If not, as Jeff says, it’s gonna be rough.

          In the long run, the smarter HCs and QBs win games regardless of personnel, so Pace is staking his job on those

          • Johnnywad

            He has been since the moment he picked up the phone and called Lynch about that #2.

          • leftcoastdave

            Also Daniels ranked much higher on the board than any OLB out there. The kid’s 20 and out of the O lineman factory of the University of Iowa under Kirk Ferentz. Also think back to the Buddy Ryan issue. Last year the D carried the team. I like that, but at some point do you want to balance things out to keep the D happy? We’ve now got two great young studs in the middle and we’ll see if Morgan pans out as number three. Leno is set and plays every snap of every game with Massie being the weak link as “average.”
            Give Lynch and Fitts a chance.

          • Actually, Harold Landry was rated higher across the board unamously (or close to it).

            For instance, Nfl.com graded him a 6.15 while Daniels 6.03, and that’s just one source

            https://www.nfl.com/prospects/harold-landry?id=32462018-0002-5599-235e-089f5c1b4e99

            https://www.nfl.com/prospects/james-daniels?id=32462018-0002-5600-48e1-4044bbc76ad1

            A lot of scouts thought Landry was the 2nd best pure pass rusher behind Chubb. And he fell almost literally on Pace’s lap in the 2nd RD when all we had going out there was Acho.

            Here’s my gripe.

            I bitched about letting Sitton walk. Thought Pace created an unnecassry hole. Do I think he’s a 10 yr starter? No, but he had a good 2-3 yrs, and in the meanwhile HH could’ve groomed or scouted a good replacement.

            OR, if OG is so important, sign Norwell or another top OG in FA. There’s always 1-2 available every FA.

            You know how many times a top pass rusher hits FA? I think the last one was Peppers.

            That’s my gripe. We could’ve had Sitton (already on the team) AND Landry. Imagine that.

            Now, I have nothing against Daniels. He and Landry were graded closely. But, let’s say Daniels turns out to be another Whitehair, while Landry turns out to be another Vic Beasly, which of those two is harder to find, and which makes a bigger impact?

            Behind QB, pass rusher has the most value in the modern NFL, and THAT’s why I wanted to take a chance on Landry.

            But he did have some medical flag, so I’m willing to suspend disbelief and HOPE Pace, after creating an unecassry Oline hole, drafted correctly.

            Cuz if Landry racks up 8+ sacks this season, I’m gonna lose my shit!!

            (Prediction. Think Landry will be as good as Floyd this yr)

          • leftcoastdave

            One of my favorite lines, “I just play one on tv.” I use it often.

            I think the HH factor was big in this. Developing a good quick line is what they want to do and Daniels is amazingly quick for his size. I was looking for some tape I saw to post but could not find it. He gets off the ball (even snapping), gets his angle and then moves on to the second level. I would not be surprised to hear that he has become the competition for Massie. While his arms are only 33 3/4″, his wingspan is 80″. With his quickness this will be fun to watch.

          • What impressed me most about Daniels was the mirror drill. He looked like a LB doing them. And for a big man, he can def acc to the second level

            Apparently he’s not “country strong” and maybe a lil undersized, but he didn’t look like Grasu.

            I’m intrigued by Morgan. He’s my fatboy PS watch.

            He’s 6’3 320. He played LT. He has 35″ arms. That’s prototypical RT dimensions.

            From the negatives I have read, lunging, leverage, balancing and mirroring (the initial kick out I’m guessing) were issues for him, so he got put inside.

            But those are issues which can be coached. It doesn’t seem like he would fit into this new scheme on the inside, so if HH can coach him up, esp vs speed rushers, at RT, he could possibly replace Massie or at the very least become that all important swing OT/OG.

          • SC Dave

            Either way, Butch, starting the O towards gelling asap seems the best plan to me.

            When Howard, Cihen, Shaheen, Miller, and Trubisky are kids. And shit Robinson aint old…

      • SC Dave

        Howard for 150 against the division every game. Keep Vadgers, Staffless, and Cuntsins off the field.

        • leftcoastdave

          I believe the simplest key to this offense is Mr. Biscuit’s ability to hit that hot read on the RPO to empty the box. If he can get that done, JoHo will run wild.

  • AlbertInTucson

    5 Questions and none is “How long does Roquan Smith hold out?”?

    • willbest

      I suppose that depends on how long he wants to live at his mom’s house.

  • CanadaBear

    I was never embarrassed, just pissed.

    • John F

      It’s embarrassing when you tell someone you are a Bears fan and they give you that sympathetic look like your whole family just died in a fire ……..

      • haha, so true. My step-dad is a Broncos fan, and every season he marvels that I still root for the Bears.

        He views it like we would view some tribal ritual where the entire village canes you while you walk through burning coals…which is pretty much every Bears season outside 2006 and 85….

        Go Bears!

      • CanadaBear

        I don’t know anyone that nice.

  • “Modestly” Huge Bears Penis

    Cubs having a bad day against the Cards today. Last 3 innings they had position player pitching.18-4 in the 8th inning.

    • Russian Hacked Pacebot 2.0

      Can’t waste others pitchers with a big double header tomorrow. C’mon playa, you know this.

      • CanadaBear

        If this follows a predictable pattern, the Cards will have trouble scoring today.

  • Malice Halice

    This entire LB situation just ain’t right. Too many negative intangibles. Danny hurt already, R.Smith ain’t showing good signs of character with dis holdout , no help for Floyd on the other side.

    • “Modestly” Huge Bears Penis

      SMH, so a player that is risking his health playing one of the most violent sports out there has character issues for trying to make sure he gets the best deal possible.

      • Malice Halice

        Yes! This doesn’t even make since to me. Le’Veon has all da right to holdout but a rookie tho?! Roquan better be worth the hassle

        • BenderMcLugh

          Hassle. You slay me

    • CanadaBear

      Chill MalHal. Danny has a tweaked hamstring and they didn’t want him on a wet field. Not a biggie. If Smith isn’t in camp by next weekend, it might be cause for concern but it’s not much of a thing right now.

  • Wow. Holy fuck. “Gattica” foreals. I think I read something about how eingineering your kids to not be dwarfs will be a real ethical dilemma in the near future.

    https://www.broadinstitute.org/research-highlights-crispr

    They an not only get rid of harmful dna, but add “beneficial” ones.

    Is there a gene for Stand-Fucking?

  • Irish Sweetness

    Five questions and no Mitch?

    It’s the only question this season. How will the boy do? That’s the be all and end all.

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