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If They Make 2021 About Andy Dalton, the Chicago Bears – Collectively – Have Lost Their Minds

| April 1st, 2021


Andy Dalton is a middle of the road quarterback.

Ryan Pace knows Dalton is a middle of the road quarterback.

Matt Nagy knows Dalton is a middle of the road quarterback.

George McCaskey and Ted Phillips know Dalton is a middle of the road quarterback.

And that is why none of these men can possibly believe Dalton is a pathway out of the mediocrity of the last two seasons. None of these men can possibly think Dalton – even replacing the ineptitude of “the former guy” – is the missing piece in a Super Bowl puzzle. And in the cases of Pace, Nagy and perhaps even Phillips, they can’t possibly imagine Dalton is worth risking their tenures within the organization.

To believe any of that nonsense would show that everyone in a position of authority at Halas Hall has lost their collective minds. And if that’s case, what hope do any of us have?

So we must believe Pace, Nagy, Phillips and McCaskey have not lost their minds. We must believe they understand the Bears must still solve the most important position in team sports. We must believe they know there are only two ways to inspire this fanbase for the coming season: Russell Wilson or a first-round (or very early second-round) quarterback.

Bears fans have grown impatient, and with every right. But until we know if either Wilson or a top prospect are achieved, there is no reason to be decisive about this Bears off-season. That time, however, is rapidly approaching.

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234 Comments

Wednesday Lynx Package

| March 24th, 2021


Barring a blockbuster QB trade, it’s unlikely much will happen around the Bears – with the exception of the schedule release – before the NFL Draft. So here are some links.

  • There have been various articles detailing the salary cap situation facing the Chicago Bears, but Data’s Twitter thread on the situation is certainly the most negative I’ve seen. Here’s the thing about the Bears and the cap: it actually doesn’t matter. This franchise will continue to tread water – with cap space or without – until they settle the quarterback position.
  • Think the Dolphins are the landing spot for Deshaun Watson? Well articles are now starting to appear locally urging Miami to wait until Watson’s legal woes are resolved. Watson is going to play in the league again. He’s going to play well in the league. And he’s not going to do that for the Houston Texans. The Bears should stay in this conversation.
  • Mock drafts are now projecting Mac Jones falling to the Bears at 20, per this piece from BearsWire, which includes a quote from mocker Doug Farrar. “Why would be drop to 20? Because the modern NFL requires quarterbacks to display mobility and second-reaction ability, and Jones has not shown much of that at all. But he’s a great pocket mover (the combination of liability and asset is why so many mock him to the Patriots), and perhaps he can be developed into a league-average mover on boots and scramble drills. From Day 1, though, he’s an improvement over what the Bears are hauling out there at the position.”
  • ACTUAL BEAR NEWS. China has now opened a “Polar Bear Hotel”. It is completely booked for the foreseeable future but animal rights activists are not pleased. (Honestly, I’m surprised animal rights activists still monitor China.)
  • Adam Hoge thinks the ceiling for Andy Dalton 2021 is Alex Smith 2017 and his excellent piece for NBC Sports details that comparison.

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193 Comments

Unpopular Opinion: Bears Can Win With Dalton

| March 23rd, 2021

Putting all your hopes into Andy Dalton isn’t the best spot. But it certainly isn’t the worst.

At this point, we know what Dalton is, which is good and bad. He can go through progressions and make easy plays. He won’t beat teams with his athleticism or his arm, but he also won’t beat his own team by regularly throwing interceptions in the end zone like both of the Bears quarterbacks did last year. Dalton is securely in the lower-third of starting quarterbacks. That’s not good enough. But it’s the best the Bears could do for now.

The other options weren’t all that appealing. Jameis Winston and Ryan Fitzpatrick have made careers out of wowing teams with great plays, but ultimately turning the ball over too much to make a difference. The best Winston could do with a Super Bowl-ready roster was go 7-9.

Dalton is similar to Nick Foles in that they’re both limited, but their limitations are different. Foles throws a better deep ball. Dalton is better on intermediate routes and moves better. Foles’ immobility proved especially problematic last year, as he played with a decimated OL for most of his time, and he just couldn’t handle any amount of pressure.

Perhaps the biggest reason the Bears signed Dalton is because if there’s one thing Foles has proven in his NFL career, it’s that he can’t stay healthy.

So, Dalton it is.

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Torn: How to Handle QB Position Between Now and September

| March 18th, 2021


This is one of the more bizarre off-seasons in Bears history.

It began with a year-end presser that sent Chicago sports radio into a tizzy and made the word “collaboration” a punchline. (The reaction to this presser was quintessential Chicago media. I’ve never heard so much unwarranted weeping into handkerchiefs.)

It then became about two star quarterbacks on the market: Deshaun Watson and Russell Willson. The excitement around the former has been muted by his evil organization’s reluctance to answer their landlines and the lawsuits now developing around the quarterback. (If you don’t think Watson’s legal troubles originate inside the Texans, you’re not paying attention. These are bad people.)

The excitement around the latter came to a crashing halt on Tuesday, with the Seahawks balking at a deal that had been negotiated for weeks and Andy Dalton signing in Chicago.

But is the Wilson deal dead? Adam Schefter sure doesn’t think so and any conversation about how the Bears need to approach quarterback between now and opening day starts with that question.



Until the Seahawks and Wilson make a public commitment to each other and the 2021 season, such a commitment does not exist. What we know:

  • Russell Wilson doesn’t want to be on the Seahawks any longer.
  • GM John Schneider was willing to let the quarterback leave.
  • Head coach Pete Carroll was not.

The Bears should keep calling, and keep increasing their offer, until that commitment is made or until the weekend of the draft.  At the same time, the team should not lose sight of Watson.

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250 Comments

Happy St. Patrick’s Day: The Andy Dalton Signing Makes No Sense

| March 17th, 2021


Andy Dalton isn’t any good.

He’s pitched a quarterback rating over 90 twice is his entire NFL career.

He doesn’t throw enough touchdown passes. He throws too many interceptions.

He’s a more-than-capable backup in the league and probably could fill a role like that for years to come. But the Bears are giving him $10 million. (And they hope more!) That’s not what you pay a backup. That’s what you pay a quarterback you’ve identified as your starter of choice.

Ryan Pace and the club made a valiant attempt to acquire Russell Wilson, offering what Ian Rapoport referred to as “a lot” for one of the game’s best players. As someone close to the organization said to me, “Pace and the Seahawks were speaking almost daily for a month.” In the end Seattle decided they were not ready to rebuild. Pete Carroll decided not to relinquish his most lethal weapon because, quite frankly, he’s getting too old for this shit.

So the Bears, with an old white statue of a quarterback currently on the roster at double-digit millions, decided to add another. One has to assume Nick Foles will not be on this roster come September but based on how this leadership has handled the quarterback position, how can one assume anything?

Instead all attention will now turn the draft next month where the GM who has done nothing but get the quarterback spot wrong will get another opportunity.

Oh, and say the Bears trade up for Trey Lance. Does anyone think Lance is gonna play a down as a rookie? What would this mean for Pace/Nagy? Would they still have pressure to win in 2021 after being responsible for choosing for the QB for 2022 and beyond?

This is a bleak moment for the franchise.

Angela’s Ashes bleak.

Never have the Bears faithful on social media seemed so unanimously convinced the coming season was hopeless. The organization’s fatal flaw in 2019 and 2020 was the quarterback position. Today, it’s impossible to argue they’ve improved it.

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155 Comments

ATM: Bears 2020 Quarterback Power Rankings

| March 10th, 2020

With the off-season set to begin, and the Chicago Bears seeking veteran competition, here is a ranking of the realistic options. For the sake of this argument, we’re assuming Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Teddy Bridgewater, Dak Prescott, Cam Newton and Phil Rivers get starting gigs elsewhere.


1. Derek Carr, Raiders

Likely price: 2020 second round pick, three years of $20 million cap hits.

Carr is the best option. It isn’t even close.

While the Raiders haven’t won a lot of games in Carr’s time as the quarterback, they have regularly been in the top half of the league in passing yardage and touchdowns. Carr isn’t Patrick Mahomes, but he’s a good quarterback who may only become available because Jon Gruden’s favorite quarterback is always the one he doesn’t have on the roster.

The Raiders will likely only trade Carr if they’re able to sign someone to replace him.


2. Nick Foles, Jaguars

Likely price: cap hits of $16-$22 million for three years.

There are three very huge selling points with Foles.

  • We know he can win a Super Bowl.
  • He knows the offense and the coaches.
  • Trading for him might bring an asset back.

There is a general thought that if the Jaguars want to trade Foles, they’re going to have to sweeten the pot with a day two draft pick. The downside, of course, is that he’s going to get paid like a starter for at least one year with $12.5 million dead cap after 2020, should the team move on.

Foles’ other big downside is that he has struggled to stay healthy throughout his career. He’s definitely better suited to be a high-end backup than a 16-game starter. If he wins the job, could the Bears be confident turning back to Trubisky should Foles be injured?

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ATM: QB Market Begins to Take Shape

| November 19th, 2019


As the Chicago Bears once again prepare to dive into the market for a quarterback, the list of players who are going to be available is becoming clear. Which direction the Bears go depends on what, exactly, they are looking to find.

If the Bears are looking for a clear-cut new starter, there should be several options.

If they’re merely looking for competition, there are some good options there too.

If they’re looking for a new franchise-type quarterback, that’s unlikely. But last week may have opened an option there too.

Here is a quick look:


Trade Targets

When Ian Rapoport goes on TV and specifically mentions the Bears as a team Cam Newton would be interested in, there’s a reason for it.

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203 Comments

Data Responds: Bears at Bengals

| December 10th, 2017

Is this real life?

The Bears dominated on both sides of the ball, scored 30 points for the first time in over two years, and generally rolled over the dormant Cincinnati Bengals.

I know Cincinnati is bad and banged up, but so are the Bears, and this was a lot of fun. More importantly, this as led largely by young players for the Bears, which bodes well for the future. Let’s take a look at what happened.

Offense

  • The Bears came out and threw it on their first 2 plays! The first resulted in an awful Jordan Howard drop (drink), while the second was a beautiful play action rollout to Josh Bellamy for a 1st down. This unsurprisingly caught the Bengals’ defense off guard, and they backed off the defense into standard 7 man boxes instead of loading 8-9 up. As a result, the Bears ran it the next two plays for about 40 yards and a touchdown. That marked the first time this season that the offense scored a touchdown on their first possession of the game.
  • Before I get too down on Howard, how about giving it up for a great game from Chicago’s stud running back? He had his 12th 100 yard rushing game in 26 career starts and passed the 1,000 yard mark for the 2nd year in a row, making him the first running back in Chicago history to start his career that way. That’s pretty remarkable when you think of the great running backs who have played in Chicago.

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226 Comments

Week 14: Bears at Bengals Game Preview

| December 7th, 2017

We have received hundreds of dollars in donations for the holiday drive above. Hopefully that will continue. $2 buys a composition book and with AREENA matching, it actually buys two. You can donate HERE.


Why Do I Like the Chicago Bears This Week?

I always like the Chicago Bears. And with the USMNT out of the World Cup, I don’t have another team to root for. But hey, Tiger Woods may be back.


Poem

i hear the fox whisper, whisper to me

i hear the fox whisper, behind the oak tree

come help me he says, with anxious dismay

i’ve lost, oh i’ve lost, oh i’ve lost my damn way

—–

once i could run

now i can not

once i defended

myself from this lot

once all my plans and ideas seemed to work

now here i stand, an omnivorous jerk

—–

his whispers receded, he wandered away

where he was headed, no one could say

i’ll always remember, this time with the fox

but now there may be less than eight in the box


Five Thoughts on Bears / Bengals

  • Andy Dalton isn’t a great quarterback (by any means) but it won’t take great quarterbacking to beat this current crop of Bears defenders. Their best pass rusher is an overworked defensive tackle and the Bengals will stick two offensive linemen on Hicks and give Dalton all day to throw. How much time do you think A.J. Green needs to find holes in this secondary? Answer: Not as much as he’ll have Sunday. Green’s line: 11 catches, 165 yards, 2 TDs.

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