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Five Things The Bears Can Learn From the Eagles: Part I

| January 24th, 2018

The following is the beginning of a series breaking down what the Bears can learn from the two Super Bowl teams. Andrew will take on the Philadelphia Eagles. Emily will handle the Pats.


5. Make Sure You Have a Decent Backup QB

Nick Foles isn’t great. He probably isn’t even good; at least not good enough to be a starting quarterback in the league. But prior to Sunday’s game, he showed the ability to have some success in the NFL. That was key.

Foles was calm and able to make big throws under pressure against the Vikings. While there’s no arguing he had a lot of help (more on that later), his success shouldn’t be a complete shock because we’ve seen him play well in a similar situation. His career playoff passer rating is now 116.1 and he hasn’t thrown an interception in any of his 96 attempts.

Really, this is a lesson the Bears should already know. They have had potential Super Bowl seasons derailed by incompetent backups more than probably any other team over the last three decades. Had they had a competent backup quarterback in either 2010 or 2011, Lovie Smith might still be the coach. (I might never forgive them for allowing Todd Collins to enter the NFC Championship Game.)

What I’d look for is a player who has starting experience and has had success. You know who fits the bill land might be really interesting: Mark Sanchez.

I don’t buy that Sanchez can’t play anymore. I saw him in camp last year when he moved and threw the ball better than Mike Glennon. He’s only 31 and has a ton of experience. He played in an offense that was similar to what the 2018 Bears are likely going to run in 2014 and 2015 and he was fine.

Another guy I’d like to keep tabs on is Blake Bortles. Jacksonville could cut him and, while he’s may be a shitty starter, he’s also probably a top tier backup. In the right system with the right players around him, I think he could get the job done. The Bears are trying to build that system (again, more on that later).


4. Don’t Forget The Power

If you’re going to win in Chicago in January, you better be able to bring the boom.

My first wow moment in last week’s game came when LeGarrette Blount pounded through the Vikings defense for an 11-yard touchdown, giving the Eagles a 14-7 lead. The Eagles came at the Vikings with two power backs and it made them that much more difficult to defend.

Ideally, opponents would play the Eagles small, with their nickel or dime defense on the field, but that doesn’t work so well when the defensive backs have to square up with Blount or Jay Ajayi.

The Bears have the power back in Jordan Howard. I’d like to see them add a competent backup, someone who can get five or six carries and punish the defense on every single one of them.

Stay tuned for more…

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  • That Guy

    Um, that’s two things.

    • BearDown100393

      Andrew is keeping us in suspense.

  • SC Dave

    I’m not sure on the power back-up. Do we want a roster spot for that? What would be nice is to figure out how to have a FB run effectively (or at least punishingly) that handful of times per game and save the roster spot. On the other hand, maybe there will be no fullbacks going forward.

    It *will* be interesting whatever happens.

    • leftcoastdave

      “Give me a one armed economist.”

      HST

  • BearDown100393

    “I don’t love Shurmur with the NY media…”

    To hell with the media.

  • leftcoastdave

    The meme that it is a copycat league lives, but that does not mean we scuttle that which we have and works, (Benny the Jet Cunningham) for some idyllic notion of “two power backs.” Benny has been great on protection and screens and will likely be used with more variety this coming season. Dude’s got great hands and a depth of experience.

    • CanadaBear

      I was very pleasantly surprised by Benny this year (other than the pylon dive).

  • leftcoastdave
    • Big Mike

      About damn time.

    • SC Dave

      It is certainly an area in need of improvement.

    • SC Dave

      “With parity in our league, injuries play a big factor in our results,” general manager Ryan Pace said recently. “It’s something we have to get on top of and that’s my job. There’s going to be studies into why are these teams the healthiest, why are these teams not, and are there some commonalities? But we have to get that fixed because it’s affecting our results.”

  • willbest

    Look Nick Foles is certainly a step up from dead Peyton and Oz but the lesson here is make life easy on your backup QB by having an elite D.

    • Jessie

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  • CanadaBear

    If they want to shit can the FB for a banger, OK. Other than that, I like the RB trio. Lots of ways to get there,

    • willbest

      Can’t the FB double as a banger?

      • CanadaBear

        Not the one from last year.

        • willbest

          Sure, it just seems like the FB does so little (he is only out there for like 10 snaps) that he probably should have a couple more uses than just taking out a linebacker.

          • CanadaBear

            I only remember the FB getting the ball a couple of times on dive plays and he wasn’t exactly Earl Campbell.

          • SC Dave

            Earl was a HB, Just sayin’.

            I’d take a Matt Suhey and/or Brad Muster type.

          • CanadaBear

            Earl was listed as a HB but he was bigger than both those guys. Just sayin’.

          • evantonio

            He wasn’t even Jason McKie

          • CanadaBear

            Not even close.

      • SC Dave

        That was exactly my point/question.

  • “I’d like to see them add a competent backup, someone who can get five or six carries and punish the defense on every single one of them.”

    That sure sounds to me like Ka’Deem Carey (when healthy). And Carey provides ST value. I’d be happy with him back in camp fighting for a roster spot.

    • leftcoastdave

      I thought I saw where he was signed to a futures deal but cannot find in on the web. Given his ST value, I agree he might make a nice addition and the right age if we drop the fullback. I do not remember whether he was good with catches out of the backfield but that is a top priority and hopefully Howard is working on that as a top priority this off season.

  • leftcoastdave

    Eric Lambert documenting almost landing Bouye last year. This suggests to me we will see a wild and crazy signing frenzy in FA accompanied by multiple cuts. We could have over 100m in cap space.

    http://sportsmockery.com/2018/01/chicago-bears-nearly-landed-pro-bowl-cornerback-march/

    • SC Dave

      Is Lambert a relative?

    • BearDown100393

      Almost means nothing.

    • CanadaBear

      Always good to get a quote.

  • KentuckyBearsFan

    “at least not good enough to be a starting quarterback in the league.”

    Name me THIRTY-TWO QUARTERBACKS who are better than Nick Foles playing right now!

    Starts getting tougher and tougher past the 15-25 range, doesn’t it !!?

    (thinking of a team in a league that signed and started GIRAFFE last year with no one being declared criminally insane)

    Future generations of Philadelphians will honor The Backup Who Would Be King with annual celebrations greasing their light poles with lard.

    Go towards the light!

    Go towards the lard!

  • SC Dave
  • CanadaBear

    New post!

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