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DBB on The Irish Bears Show, Discussing Ryan Pace’s Decided Fate

| January 7th, 2022

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Final Game Preview of the 2021 Chicago Bears Season

| January 6th, 2022


Why Do I Like the Chicago Bears This Week?

I always like the Chicago Bears.

And it’s only one week so why not?


What Positives Can We Take Away From the 2021 Season?

This season was not without promising developments, and some of those developments came at key positions. Let’s take a moment to accentuate the positives.

  • Fields Flashes.
    • All that should have mattered in 2021 was Fields. And we saw plenty that portends a future star in the league. There is still a long way to go for the young quarterback, but that journey could be a fun one for Bears fans.
  • Young Tackles.
    • Can Jenkins and Borom bookend this offensive line for years to come? It’s possible. And that possibility is incredibly exciting.
  • David Montgomery/Khalil Herbert/Darnell Mooney/Cole Kmet.
    • The Bears still need explosive weapons on the offensive side of the ball, but the pieces are falling into place. (And for those super critical of Kmet, ease up. He’s a kid. And in a productive offense he’s going to be a productive piece.)
  • Robert Quinn’s Dominance.
    • The Bears enter the 2022 season with one of the sport’s best pass rushes, barring a trade. (And the only way the Bears should trade Quinn or Khalil Mack is if they’re getting significant return.)
  • Jaylon Johnson.
    • Johnson has not only emerged as a top corner but his comments late in the season, questioning the integrity of the folks around him, show he possesses the leadership qualities this secondary desperately needs. But Johnson won’t realize his full potential until a second corner emerges on the other side.
  • Roquan.
    • This is – simply stated – one of the best defensive players in the league and the kind of talent you build a defensive roster around.

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Week 17 Thoughts from Around the NFL

| January 4th, 2022


The Bears may not be playing meaningful games down the stretch, but it seems that just about every other game has some relevance.

  • Another big Colts game, another big Colts loss. And once again, it rests squarely on the shoulders of Carson Wentz, an awful player who cost the team, and their much-ballyhooed GM, a first-round pick. But if you’re hoping to find a national journalist critical of Chris Ballard, good luck. It won’t happen. Ballard is a good talent evaluator and he’s built a good roster. But he’s saddled that roster with a total liability at the most important position in sports and that gives the club a definitive ceiling.
  • Giving interim coaches the full-time gig rarely works but Rich Bisaccia is making a good case in Vegas. That team has been laden with adversity, and they just keep winning. Ed Graney’s lede in the Las Vegas Review-Journal: “The man has gone from not understanding how to operate a headset to making the most important decision of a Raiders season. Rich Bisaccia sure is taking this whole interim head coach label to another level. Someone alert Hollywood. The Raiders are one win from needing a screenplay.” 
    • The job Bisaccia is doing has some Bruce Arians in Indy vibes. The Jags, Bears, etc. should all add him to their interview list.
  • A famous coach maxim was always “you can’t coach accuracy at quarterback”. Well, the Eagles should spend the off-season trying to do it. Because Jalen Hurts has every intangible you’d want at the position. But man, he couldn’t hit a strip club in Tampa.
  • Joe Judge gave a nearly 12-minute answer at his postgame presser, attempting to defend his record with the Giants. Something happens to these New England assistants. They seem to think they have something to do with the program’s success. They don’t. (Except one. See two points below.)
  • People who care about Antonio Brown need to get him help. This kind of behavior is headed towards a tragic end. He’s not well and he needs treatment.
  • The difference between Mac Jones and the other rookies (Wilson, Lawrence, Fields) is coaching. The latter three have been out there fending for themselves. Jones is executing a meticulously detailed game plan that fits his game to perfection. Josh McDaniels has been the assistant coach of the year in the NFL.

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What Do You Write When There’s Nothing to Write About?

| January 3rd, 2022


You see them sprouting up across the internet.

“Five Things the Bears Can Learn from Their Game with the Giants.”

“Which Bears Have Something to Prove Sunday?”

“Why Bears vs. Vikings Matters.”

There is nothing to learn.

Nobody is proving anything.

It doesn’t matter.

These are the sad facts of playing out the string, down the stretch of an NFL season, especially when there’s major organizational change coming in the off-season. It was nice to see the Bears put on a fun show for their fans Sunday at Soldier Field, harassing a Giants offense that would politely be described as sub-professional. Matt Nagy’s team has not quit, and the schedule has presented them with some beatable opponents, keeping the season from being an embarrassment.

But while we all want to find value in each of the 17 games we are given to watch each year, the truth is there’s little to be found in these contests. And there is a certain disingenuousness to writing about them with any level of seriousness. (Star Trib columnist Jim Souhan actually used a game quarterbacked by Sean Mannion as “final proof” that Mike Zimmer should be fired in Minnesota.) There is rarely any correlation between how a team finishes one season and how they begin the next one. There are simply too many variables, too much turnover.

And a week from today, Monday January 10th, a new era will begin for the Chicago Bears. Coach Nagy will be fired; a very good man who just never developed into a very good coach. GM Ryan Pace likely will too; a solid talent evaluator paying the price for whiffing on his two most important decisions. All focus will shift to finding their replacements. The final games of this season will be completely forgotten.

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Giants at Bears Game Preview, Volume II: The Dinner that Wasn’t with JD, Giants Can’t Score, Two in a Row?!?!

| December 31st, 2021


Why Do I Like the Chicago Bears This Week?

I always like the Chicago Bears.

And why not? There are only two game left. Might as well enjoy them.


On the Passing of Jeff Dickerson

So…true story.

A few years ago, when the Bears were in NJ to play the Giants, I told Jahns I would book a dinner. A good steakhouse downtown. I also told him to invite the other beats. (As long as Haugh wasn’t on that list, I knew it was fine.) I have good relationships with Fishbain, Finley, etc. so I didn’t think we’d have an issue. We’d eat good food, drink a bunch, and bitch about the Bears. Maybe I’d even pick up the tab for the pricks.

I get a text from Adam a few days before the planned dinner. It more or less said, “What did you write about JD?”

Dickerson, when hearing of my involvement, balked at the idea. Apparently, he did not take kindly to some of the things I had written about his work over the years and viewed me as a toxic figure. (I mean, I am toxic, but that’s just because my blood is about 3% Coors Banquet.) I couldn’t find the things I had written, and neither could Adam, but I also didn’t challenge the notion. When the bulk of Bears media went to the digital realm, this space became a sort of ombudsman for them. It was no longer about calling a radio station or sending a letter to complain a column. I could copy and paste large chunks of text and directly refute ideas. Some didn’t mind. Some really did. (I’ve stopped doing that primarily because I’ve stopped reading just about everyone but Jahns.)

Anyway, I made it easy on Jahns and extricated myself from the situation. I didn’t want anyone to be uncomfortable.

Later that night, Adam brought a few of the boys down to Josie Woods to watch Northwestern play the Big Ten title game. A good time was had by all, except JD. He didn’t come.

After reading the beautiful remembrances of his life this week, I wish that week had gone differently. I wish I’d reached out to him and apologized for whatever upset him and I wish we could have split the candied bacon at Strip House. I think he would have liked me. I know I would have liked it.

____________________

The GoFundMe started for his poor son, a kid who has lost both parents to cancer in two years, is now (through the incredible work of Adam Schefter) approaching nearly a million dollars in donations. If you can give a few bucks, do so.


The Only New York Giant Stat/Fact That Matters

They can’t score.

Their last six games: 10 points vs. Tampa, 13 vs. Philly, 9 vs. Miami, 21 (!) for Los Angeles Chargers, 6 vs. Dallas and 10 vs. Philly. They are averaging 11.5 points a game over this period and some of these points actually came in garbage time. (I know, I’ve been gambling against them weekly.) Over these six weeks the Giants are three point worse than the Jags have been all season.

On the road, against this Bears pass rush, with the combination of Glennon and Fromm at quarterback, the Giants aren’t likely to improve upon these numbers.

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