The Bears are in the position most NFL franchises want to be in February. They don’t need to spend the next three months searching for starters. They’re looking for complementary pieces to fortify a championship run. And there are several places they should look.
WINGSPAN OUT WIDE
Mitch Trubisky has a miss, especially when he’s throwing deep left. The miss is high. When he gets too pumped up – much like a starting pitcher – the miss is high. There’s no guarantee he’ll continue having this miss as I’m in the camp the Trubisky of September 2019 will bare little resemblance to the Trubisky of September 2018. But in the meantime, why not put a bit more size on the outside? The Bears have a star number one in Allen Robinson and tons of speed around him. But they’ve got no reach.
So why not look for a power forward – a big man to post up at the sticks on third-and-six and catch the ball in traffic? Could that be someone like Kelvin Benjamin or Michael Floyd? Sure, if the money is right. Is the answer possibly in-house, with someone like Javon Wims stepping up in 2019? It’s possible but I’m always wary of depending on players who struggle to even crack the 53 in their rookie season, especially at a position that saw multiple injuries.
The Bears need to add a different kind of player to this group. Someone with size and physicality.
EXPLOSION AT RUNNING BACK
Emily made a thorough argument against the Bears signing Kareem Hunt.
I made the case, as best I could, for the Bears pursuing the troubled running back.
Andrew explained why this Matt Nagy offense needs Kareem Hunt.
Nagy can’t run his offense without an every-down running back who threatens the opposing defense in the passing game.
If the #Bears don’t sign Hunt, their best bet is Howard returning next year. And, let’s be clear, that isn’t a BAD option.
But Howard can’t do this… pic.twitter.com/ymeeOhyGCG
— Andrew Dannehy (@adannehy) February 5, 2019
Even if the Bears don’t acquire Hunt, they need to acquire a player LIKE Hunt.
MORE AT OUTSIDE LINEBACKER
I texted a league source in November with a question I’m fond of asking: “Tell me something about this Bears team I’m not smart enough to see.”
His response: “Leonard Floyd is playing out of his mind.” He went on to break down the many things Floyd was doing in coverage and explained to me how few outside backers – if any – were capable of that.
Do the Bears need another elite pass rusher? No. Everyone would like as many pass rushers as possible but the Bears have plenty in the pass rush department. Couple that with a new defensive coordinator who butters his bread with disguised pressures and you’re looking at a 2019 campaign where Roquan Smith and Danny Trevathan will have just as many quarterback hits as Floyd.
The Bears don’t necessarily need pass rush but they need bodies at outside backer because Floyd is a significant health risk. His stats say he played 17 games in 2018 but anybody who watched him closely knows that number was closer to 12-13. His arm injury, suffered in the summer, severely limited him well into October. The Bears can’t count on Floyd delivering them a full, healthy season. And the team’s off-season agenda must reflect that fact.
ODDS & ENDS
Never settle for good enough. And there are a few positions where the Bears are merely good enough.
- Punter. Full disclosure: ever since Pat O’Donnell did the DBB podcast I’ve had a soft spot for the boy. But he’s never turned into the punter I thought he would. Against the Eagles in January he had his finest games as a Bear. It was a marvel. And then he shanked a punt late, leading to Philly’s go-ahead touchdown. He just never puts it all together.
- Right Guard. From what I’ve been told the Bears expect to bring Kyle Long back in 2019, one way or another. But even if they do, he’s not going to play all sixteen games. He never does. Long is only 30 years old but it’s an old 30. Don’t be surprised if the Bears use one of their earlier picks in this year’s draft on the interior of the offensive line.