While the League Zigs, the Bears Will Zag in 2020

| April 28th, 2020

“When They Zig, You Zag”

-Siimon Reynolds

The Zag.

As the rest of the National Football League tries to get faster, the Chicago Bears added a 260-pound tight end with their first pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. Then they raved about his potential as a blocker.

The Bears are doing something very different in 2020.

According to Sharp Football, the Bears ran ’12’ personnel – one RB, two TEs and WRs – on just 13 percent of their snaps in 2019 and 17 percent in 2018. The drafting of Cole Kmet with the 43rd pick was a clear indication that the Bears are going to use the second tight end more. Way more.

After making the pick, GM Ryan Pace raved about Kmet’s all-around ability. He spoke about his size, hands and ability to “post up” and get position. But where Pace really got excited was talking about run blocking. “He’s got the frame and the size, the temperament and the demeanor where we think he’s going to get a lot better as a blocker,” Pace said.

In many ways, the drafting of Kmet was a commitment to a different style of offense, one that will surely feature running back David Montgomery more.

Playing Big.

The Bears didn’t play big in 2019 because they couldn’t succeed that way.

They didn’t have a single, good tight end.

The team passer rating in ’12’ personnel was below 70 and they averaged fewer than four yards per carry. The hope is that Kmet’s ability as a blocker and a receiver makes ’12’ personnel package dangerous.

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ATM: Draft Moves Bears Should Make (But Won’t)

| April 15th, 2020

When it comes to predicting what will happen in the NFL draft, nobody should ever speak (or write) in certainties. Crazy stuff happens. That said, there are a few moves the Bears should definitely consider, but very likely will not.

The reasoning varies from move-to-move, but one thing we have learned in free agency is that the Bears fully intend on winning a lot of games in 2020-21. Publicly, they’ll say their intent is to win a Super Bowl – and there surely is some truth to that – but the reality is Ryan Pace needs to put a winner on the field to keep his job.

The draft is typically used for future needs and Pace has often talked about taking the best player available – even if his practice in doing so is a little hit and miss.

With two second round picks, the Bears are in a position to do some interesting things, it just seems unlikely that they’ll pull the trigger.

Draft Akiem Hicks’ eventual replacement

Why they should: We saw last year how much the Bears struggled in all areas up front once Hicks was injured and, unfortunately, there is no guarantee that Hicks is going to be the player we’re used to seeing.

Forget about the elbow injury that cost Hicks most of the 2019 season. Before that ever happened he missed a game because of a knee ailment. He didn’t suffer a specific injury to his knee, and Matt Nagy described it as wear and tear. It doesn’t take a doctor to tell you that a soon-to-be 31-year-old who is having to miss time due to wear and tear is concerning.

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