The Positional Quick 3: Special Teams

| June 29th, 2018

I’m traveling in Dingle, Ireland years ago and I’m exhausted. This was my first day ever in Europe and I couldn’t keep my eyes open at 4:30 in the afternoon. My uncle turns to me and says, “Have a quick three. You’ll be fine.” I drank three Guinness in the span of a half hour. Seven hours later I’m dancing to a shitty Irish house DJ with Jenny Pye, a local lass who dreamed of being an EMT in New York City.

I’m very tired of this 2018 off-season. And incredibly eager for the season to begin. So I’m taking the quick three approach to each position group as we head into the summer. Not grading the groups or anything. Just making some points.


  • One could argue – with relative ease – that Ryan Pace has not botched any position on the roster worse than kicker. The Bears did not just jettison Robbie Gould too early. They WANTED Connor Barth, a player who has never been any good. Credit Pace for acknowledging that mistake and targeting kicker this off-season. Cody Parkey is a damn good kicker.
  • I’ve given Pat O’Donnell every opportunity to wow me but the fact is he’s not a great punter and never will be. Here’s hoping the Bears give Ryan Winslow, the rookie out of Pitt, every opportunity to win the starting job this summer.
  • It would be surprising if the Bears used anybody but Tarik Cohen on returns this season. Matt Nagy and Mark Helfrich will find interesting ways to involve him on offense but returns are guaranteed ways to get the ball in his hands. They won’t pass that up.

Thank you.

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  • SC Dave

    I could see Cunningham sharing kickoff return duties. Or, of course…


    • That Guy

      Canton is already making space for Nall, right next to Braverman.

  • evantonio

    Didn’t it take Gould more than a full season after we cut him to re-find his game?

    • willbest


      • SC Dave

        Gould signed with the Giants in time for the 7th game of the 2016 season, and went 10 for 10 on field goals, following that up with 39 of 41 in 2017 with SF.


        So nowhere close to a full season.

        • CanadaBear

          If I remember correctly he missed a few extra points in that same time frame!!!!!! I liked Robbie as much as anyone on the blog other than you. He really was in a funk with the Beloved and it was understandable why they cut him loose.

          • AlbertInTucson

            Gould admitted that he changed his kicking AFTER the Bears let him go.

        • willbest

          He missed 3 extra points and of those 10 his longest was 47

  • Bob Doll

    Gould is an interesting case in that he did decline and I’ve come to believe his eroding level of play was a result of his own complacency. He got a shot of motivation when the Bears let him go and he resurrected his career….not sure he would have done that if he had stayed a Bear. As such, moving on from him isn’t the error many think it is imo but signing and staying with is replacement, Barth, was a colossal mistake that took waaay too long to fix. A kicker will win/lose games every year for most teams and I have never understood to lack of importance on the position…often times the leading scorer on many teams.
    O’Donnell has been a disappointment though any punter drafted comes with high expectations and I believe he is serviceable, average but definitely exposed in terms of being replaceable so yes, welcome the competition but just be right about making a change….O’Donnell is not a bad punter, just not a real good one. And yes, why would you have anybody but your best return man fielding kicks and punts? Cohen and now Gabriel need to be “the man” doing the returning…given the new kick off rules…maybe you can put Cody Whitehair returning kicks…or just fair catching them anyways!

  • Tress Way plain beat Odonell in the PS.

    But since Odonell was drafted, he stuck.

    Think that set up a bad precedent. I’ve always preferred the Petey-Bill credo.

    Start whoever played best regardless of draft, salary or age.

    And let’s not forget Odonell showed up in a McClaren last PS. Should be illegal for Punters to drive those. They should all be forced to drive beige volvos or yugos

    • SC Dave

      Or Trabbies, if they can find one.

  • EnderWiggin

    Guys I think will share return duties with Cohen: Fleming(if he makes the team), Fowler, Mizzell, Miller, and LeBlanc(of course). I wouldn’t mind giving Jackson a turn also.

  • Hey, for you guys looking for a series to watch, just ran across “Churchill’s Secret Agents” on Netflix. It’s an interesting series as it “recruits” brits from real life and puts them through the 1940s SOE (Original James Bond shit) training.

    It’s not quite reality tv as no one is slapping each other, but it reveals quite a bit about the training and what they went through, from psych, physical and mechanical tests, obstacles, gun training, demolition (*spoiler alert – exploding rats!) and hand to hand “gutter” combat (to the nuts!).

    It’s a fun series esp if you’re into WW2 or spy shit like me.

    And I like the fact that they recruit ppl from real life cuz that’s how the SOE originally did it. Real estate agent, chemist, math teacher, woman, handicap, sp ops, whatever.

    And the person becoming an SOE agent is not the one you may expect.

    Good stuff.

  • willbest

    “Some football fan: “They peacefully protested! Fuck them! I’m burning my jerseys!”

    Same football fan Week 4: “Go Jameis!”” – Jeff

    Disagree. Mainly, because there haven’t been any Bucs fans in a decade.

  • Sactowns#1

    34 days, 3 hours and 2 minutes until the Bears play their first preseason game.

  • I wonder if we should’ve signed King as P. Only 29. Ranked 6th in net avg last yr. Yeah, he dances like a bozo, but 6th in net.

    Coquitt was also available this offseason. Older at 36, but still effective.

    • “Modestly” Huge Bears Penis

      It doesn’t matter, we won’t be punting.

      • SC Dave


  • Was west of United Center in area that is fairly rough.

    Guy on the corner lookin like Latrell Sprewell with dreads and gold teeth openly holding a Glock in one hand with long shorts, sandals and… And…

    A Bears away Cutler Jersey on.

    Really? Cutler?

    Seemed off

    • Chilling down the block
      Long shorts, dread-locks,
      gold-plaited glock
      Crackers passing by, trying not to stare
      Rocking my Cutler J cuz I dooooon’t careee

      • SC Dave


      • Russian Hacked Pacebot 2.0

        Not bad

    • BenderMcLugh

      Seems legit

    • willbest

      A friend of mine bought a $650k condo about 5 blocks east of the United center not long ago and I paid $14 for a burger at some new eatery around there while visiting him. Place is hopping with 20-30 something professionals. Shit be gentrifying fast out there.

    • Russian Hacked Pacebot 2.0

      I witnessed one of the coldest of the cold blooded moves a few years back on the west side.
      Was at a stoplight and watched the tail end of a real intense tussle. Dude landed a clean overhand right which knocked the other drunk dude clean out. He then took two deliberate steps like a high diver approaching the end of the board and soared into the air and came down on this dude’s head with both feet.

      Needless to say, it looked like attempted murder….and 3 cops rolled up and fucking trounced the dude. Wonder whatever happened to that guy.

      Good times. West side times.

      • BerwynBomber

        Hey, my neck of the woods!

        But yeah the West side is one tough place. Maybe even rougher than parts of the Southside anymore.

        • Russian Hacked Pacebot 2.0

          they should have a world cup of terrible cities/neighborhoods.

          • CanadaBear

            Not that it’s all that dangerous but I’d nominate Sioux City, Iowa as a terrible city. After living there for a few years I was willing to give up a great job, a nice house and move to a foreign country to get out of there!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • Maybe he joined the high dive team.

  • My theory on specialists is this: kickers matter a lot, but punters are basically interchangeable. I go cheap on punter looking for a solid guy on a rookie deal. I splurge on a good kicker.

    • There’s been TONS of times when it was a 1 score game, our O stalled by midfield, and Odonnell had to pin them inside the 10 to have a chance to win.

      We all know what happened. Ball sailed into the endzone. They got the ball on the 25 or whatever. They milked the clock. Got a FG. Game over.

      We’re nowhere near cap strapped. Should’ve signed King, front loaded, then one less way to lose a game for the next 10 yrs.

      • On a punt, a touchback is to the 20. That means a team has to go 45 yards to get to the 35 and be in scoring range.

        If your defense can’t get that stop, that’s on them, not the punter.

        • CanadaBear

          Good point but it’s still a pisser every time POD can’t manage a sideline kick.

  • BenderMcLugh

    Woodsy, you sly dog you, captivating writers with your numbers. Patti says she wrote this after reading your bit here, good on ya


  • willbest
    • “Modestly” Huge Bears Penis

      Sex dungeon… GENIUS!!! To think I have spent all this time using my dungeon just for torture. My eyes are open now.

      • beninnorcal

        Mine is, at least, is a masturbation dungeon. Basically, a sadder and somehow creepier version of a sex dungeon.

        • Better than a porn cubicle?

          • beninnorcal

            Nothing is better than a porn cubicle, Butch, lol.

        • AlbertInTucson

          Except nobody dies.

    • AlbertInTucson

      Pity the poor paramedics who had to answer THAT call.

      • AlbertInTucson

        Of course, it being La La Land, they’ve probably seen it all before.

        • CanadaBear

          I’m guessing those types of rooms are more common than either one of us would ever imagine. I don’t get it but fortunately I don’t have to.

          • AlbertInTucson

            Another of Nature’s little ways of saying “You have too much in the way discentionary funds.”.

  • leftcoastdave

    El Jeffe finally making sense in a tweet:

    “I think I’m picking the Bears to win the NFC North this season –
    something I haven’t done in a long time. Need to see a bit this summer
    but just like so much of what’s transpiring in and around this club.”

    • Is he on or off the wagon right now? Hard to tell.

      • EnderWiggin

        He’s off the wagon… Right after his ‘quick three’.

      • Johnnywad

        The wagon sucks

        • “Modestly” Huge Bears Penis
          • Johnnywad

            It’s a nice wagon. Too bad it’s filled with piss

          • “Modestly” Huge Bears Penis

            now you are just whining. is nothing ever good enough for you? lol

          • SC Dave

            Pot… kettle… black?

          • CanadaBear


          • CanadaBear

            Saw the Clydesdales in their stalls at Grant’s Farm in St Louis back in the day. Magnificent beasts!

          • AlbertInTucson

            We had a live remote opening day at the Pima County Fair in April.The team and wagon made an appearance. I could have reached out touched them as it rolled past.Magnificent indeed.

          • CanadaBear

            Most of the horses in the stalls at Grant’s Farm were facing the other way so all I saw on most of them were their big butts. I’m super short but those big butts were way over my head. The one horse that was facing me was so much taller than me it was scary!!!!!!!

          • SC Dave

            Here you go Canada… as gentle as a summer’s wind.

          • KentuckyBearsFan

            I was so afraid to click on that link. But it was a nice photo.

          • SC Dave

            It would be nicer if they put some beer on that wagon.

        • Sure does buddy

  • SC Dave

    Great day for the underdog in Russia. Messi and Ronaldo go home, neither having yet scored in a knockout round game (amazingly enough).

    • Johnnywad

      Doesn’t surprise me. Games are decided at 1-0. Or 2-1. Or you can even advance with a 0-0 tie.

      They have somehow managed to make a game with a 24’ wide goal impossible to score in.

      • SC Dave

        France 4, Argentina 3
        Uruguay 2, Portugal 1

        Think of goals like TDs. Well, like before they changed all the rules to make passing so easy in the NFL.

        • Johnnywad

          I’ve always felt if they simply removed the off sides rule, the game would be far more enjoyable to watch for the casual fan. The scoring would surely increase. To me, it just looks like a bunch of ducking around with very few chances sprinkled in along the way.

          • I wouldn’t remove offsides, but I would change it. Something like what hockey has would be better, IMO. Having somebody be offsides by a few inches on a pass coming from the sidelines near the goal is absurd.

          • AlbertInTucson

            Paint a line, already.

            The subjectivity of the current rule is bad news.

            A line wouldn’t eliminate offside call controversies, but it WOULD cut them down, mightily.

      • I like the low scores. Think it builds tension. Nearly every other sport has tons of points. I mean, that SB was a joke. They scored on nearly every possession. That wasn’t fun to me.

        0-0 is brutal, but it does build drama, cuz one minor mistake, one minor slip, one minor spin of the ball, and it’s another 4 yrs for another chance, if that.

        Most at this level score though, so it’s cool for me.

    • Rigged!
      Urguay looks good. Calvini looks like the real star. But he left tgge game.
      France looks real fast and agressive.
      And of course the usual suspects are still game. Brazil, England ect

      My under dog picks are Croatia and Mexico. Croatia esp looks sharp

      • SC Dave

        Agreed. Croatia has been the best team in the tournament IMO.

        Mexico has to play Brazil. If they dont play out of their minds, El Tri is going home. But I am beyond a doubt rooting for our neighbors.

        Told a bunch of Russians that.

        Edit: and on the ‘usual suspects’, Germany, Argentina are out, and Italy didn’t even get in.

        • Yeah, Brazil is no joke. Trial by fire.
          I think Croatia has scored on 7 of 9 attempts. That’s lethal effeciency.
          Any good Russian Vodkas we never heard of?

          • SC Dave


  • Russian Hacked Pacebot 2.0

    got approached last night at a bbq with some Bears talk, i silently tried to remember how long it was until the preseason and politely declined.
    I think that deep down inside, even though i’d like this year to be the turnaround, I feel like we’re still a year or two away. I think not addressing Edge in the draft or in FA in a meaningful way is really going to hurt us.

    It will manifest itself in our DBs giving up a bunch of conversions to move the chains but the truth will be revealed that we can’t get to the QB. I hope i’m so fucking wrong that it hurts but i just can’t shake the feeling like we’re about to watch some really mediocre sack and pressure totals.

    Sorry for being a boner killer.

    • CanadaBear

      They were 7th in sacks last year. Yeah, a lot of them were coverage sacks but I don’t think it’s going to be the issue you do. Roquan is fast as hell and if he shows a knack for rushing the passer from the inside, who knows? Fangio loves to subtly disguise the D. I’m still predicting 8-8 so it’s not like I’m all in this year. I think they will be much improved but still blow a couple of games.

      • “Modestly” Huge Bears Penis

        We are winning 48 games this year. The slaughter will be so great that each victory will be counted as 3 wins each.

        • CanadaBear

          Easy man, don’t peak too soon. It’s a long season (when it starts).

    • I’m w you and why I wanted Landry who some thought was the 2nd best pass rusher behind Chubb.

      Now we’re stuck w Acho and a fragile Floyd who hasn’t finished two seasons.

      Fitts will have to be find or else like you said, Rodgers and gang are going to methodically carve up our D and suck up TOP

      6 wins…

  • “Modestly” Huge Bears Penis

    Happy Canada Day, C-Bear!

    • CanadaBear

      Thanks man! I’ve been up here for quite a while now. Gotta say it really suits me. Almost no real winter (cold and wet as fuck with not a lot of sun) but the other 7+ months are pretty nice. As a bonus, most people on the Island are really chill.

  • Gooooo Croatia! what a game.
    And I don’t know how Putin can rig our election AND beat Spain! He’s having a helluva run.
    Tmr. Brazil and Mexico, and I think Bud is offering free beer to Angelenos if Mex wins.

    To the bathroom every two mins!

    • SC Dave

      The Croatia-Denmark finish was unreal.

      And I’m glad Spain went out after passing the ball around in a circle for 80 minutes.

      • That’s the first shoot out where the goalies blocked more than they allowed. Nuts.

        I couldn’t believe that Croat missed the earlier one in regulation. Wow. Talk about dodging a bullet.

        Tmrw, Mexico! They would have to play the game of their lives.

        That Germany win doesn’t look as impressive after S Kor whooped em.

  • CanadaBear

    This stunning statement sums up the Foxy era.

    “Can new head coach Matt Nagy do what John Fox couldn’t and win when
    favored? Fans in Chicago hope so, as the team lost outright in seven of
    its eight games as a favorite during the Fox era.”

    • Think the Hundley win was the last straw for many fans.
      Don’t know why it took so long to sniff the shit. Pace should’ve fired him in Nov in 16 and got the ball rolling with McVay/Phillips/Trub.

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