I always like the Chicago Bears…
…but this is a team in complete freefall.
This blog started in 2005. But 2006 was the first year things were taken seriously around here and that coincided with a magical run to the Super Bowl. From that season until Jay Cutler’s injury in the middle of 2011, it was a pleasure writing about the Chicago Bears daily. They weren’t perfect, by any means, but they were interesting.
But from then until now – with the exception of the 2018 mirage – it has been exhausting. Just think about all the mistakes this franchise has made:
Mistake after mistake after mistake. Exhausting.
I’m in Christmas mode. (And I have no interest in writing a breakdown of Texans v. Bears. Honestly, who cares?) Here are some fun performances of great Christmas songs. I’ll add a few more to this list over the next few weeks.
Santa Claus Wants Some Lovin, A Very Murray Christmas
The question I’ve been asked most since getting to Chicago: “Do you think Trubisky will be a positive when looking for a new coach?” My answer each time has been a definitive yes because I truly believe it will.
But I decided that, instead of leaning on my gut, to poll my two pals in the league on the question, factoring in all of the potentially-available gigs and their quarterback situation. I’ve grouped the teams into categories.
(I’ll be referring to my friends as AFC GUY & NFC GUY.)
They get their own category because think of the waters GM Chris Ballard has to navigate. When he’s looking to hire a coach in January he may not be able to tell the candidates whether Andrew Luck, their franchise quarterback, will require an additional surgery sidelining him six months or more. He won’t be able to tell the candidates if they have a franchise quarterback in 2018 or not.
NFC GUY: “Chris is going to have to sell that job. And every potential coach will want to know if they’re considering drafting a quarterback early.”
These are two jobs that, should they come open, will come open with a quarterback in-place. But…do you want them?
Last time I guessed what the Bears draft board looks like, I didn’t think a quarterback was on it. Now, not only do I think a QB is on it, I think it revolves around the position.
The more I thought about it, the more quarterback made sense for the Bears. It’s the biggest need on the team and there are players who are absolutely worth the third pick (especially if Jared Goff was worth the first pick last year). The signing of Mike Glennon buys them time and, if Glennon plays well, they won’t have trouble trading him for a first round pick next offseason.
Which QB the Bears may like is anybody’s guess. And people have guessed everybody. Within the span of five days, Eric Galko of Sporting News went from writing that Deshaun Watson was their favorite to tweeting that they preferred Patrick Mahomes. The next day it was reported that the Cleveland Browns were convinced the Bears were going to take Mitchell Trubisky. Nobody knows and anybody who says they do is full of it.
When you really think about the things that make quarterbacks great, you end up pinpointing traits Clemson’s DeShaun Watson has already displayed.
Being great in college doesn’t mean a player will be great in the NFL, but it’s the closest league we have to an apples-to-apples comparison and Watson was the single best player in that league last year.
Alabama was supposed to have one of the greatest defenses in the history of college football each of the last two years. They couldn’t stop Watson. His performance in the National Championship Game two years ago was impressive. And it pissed Alabama off. With one of the greatest defensive minds in the sport designing their game plan and a roster full of future NFL stars, Alabama was determined to stop Watson last year.
The NFL’s annual meat market kicks off this week and here are a few things to watch for:
In case you haven’t noticed around here, this off-season is about one thing: finding a quarterback. This week is going to be the Bears first real chance to sit down and talk football with the top four guys: Deshaun Watson, DeShone Kizer, Mitch Trubisky and Pat Mahomes.
The Bears know who Brian Hoyer is, have a good feeling about Jimmy Garoppolo and are at least relatively familiar with all of the other veteran options. Their pro personnel department has done their work. They don’t know the quarterbacks in the draft simply because they haven’t had the opportunity to study them beyond their game tape.
Does Watson have enough meat on his bones? What does Kizer attribute his inconsistency to? Is Trubisky really short? Does Mahomes have any clue when it comes to reading coverage? These are some of the questions the Bears need to ask.
The most important part is going to be the interview process. The Bears need to find out what makes these guys tick. They won’t publicly broadcast that information, but we’ll hear the buzz. The Bears could fall in love with a quarterback here and that could change everything.
There are three players in tonight’s national title game between Clemson and Alabama worth paying special attention to from a Bears perspective.
By the time the draft arrives, Allen will be the consensus pick to the Bears…if he makes it that far. Daniel Jeremiah is in love with Allen, well-reported in his piece for NFL.com:
I reached out to five NFL personnel executives to find out who Allen reminds them of at the NFL level. Here’s a look at their responses.
Executive 1: Richard Seymour
“Allen isn’t as long or as tall as Seymour, but I see him as the same type of player. He’s very talented.”
Executive 2: Sheldon Richardson
“This is a tough one. He reminds me a little of Sheldon Richardson. Similar size. However, Richardson had more juice and Allen is stronger.”
Executive 3: Ndamukong Suh
“I haven’t come up with a great comparison for him. I do see some similarities to Suh when he was at Nebraska.”
Executive 4: Brandon Graham
“He is a really good player but I don’t view him the same as some of the top interior guys like (Geno) Atkins and (Aaron) Donald. He’s a tweener, similar to Brandon Graham when he was coming out of Michigan. Good player, not an elite player.”
Executive 5: Gerald McCoy
“He’s a tougher, grittier version of Gerald McCoy.”
Summary: That’s one vote apiece for Graham, McCoy, Richardson, Seymour and Suh.
Conclusion: I’ve struggled to come up with my own comparison for Allen. I compared him to Jurrell Casey after studying him this summer, but I no longer think it fits. He’s more powerful than Casey and I think he’s more versatile, too. In my opinion, he dominates college games similar to the way Suh dominated games at Nebraska. However, I think Suh had rare strength and power. I don’t put Allen in that class. I look forward to watching the rest of Allen’s season and hopefully I’ll be able to settle on a comparison with more time to study him leading up to the 2017 NFL Draft.
A defensive line of Allen, Goldman and Hicks in 2017 would make the Bears front an absolute force. Not the flashiest bunch by any means but strong, tough and borderline immovable.
You know who Mike Williams reminds me of? Mike Williams. Seriously, can we stop with all these wide receivers named Mike Williams? It’s confusing.