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Thanksgiving in Detroit Presents Bears with Opportunity for a Season (Or Why Losing for “Better” Draft Picks is Ridiculous)

| November 25th, 2014

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Here is something I don’t want to hear. Or read. Or listen to. Or find in my fortune cookie.

Bears should lose games for a better draft pick.

Research project for those espousing this ideology.

Prove that the number 8 selection in the NFL Draft has more success historically than the number 18 selection. Prove that number 5 selection has more success historically than the number 25 selection. Unless you are in the market for generational talents, specifically at the quarterback and pass rush positions, draft position has little to do with an organization’s success in the draft. You know what does matter? Talent evaluation.

Do you think Chance Warmack and DJ Fluker and Jonathan Cooper would still be taken before Kyle Long? Do you think Trent Richardson would be taken before Doug Martin? Do you think Matt Kalil would go a round earlier than Cordy Glenn? Would Dee Milliner or Morris Claiborne get drafted? Go look at the horror show that is the top of 2013 draft. Go look at the 13-17th selections in the 2014 draft.

And isn’t it odd how certain franchises retain their positions at the top of the sport? New England, Green Bay, Baltimore, New Orleans…etc. continue to be in contention for postseason berths every year while none of them ever select in the top ten come April. How is that possible? Oh, that’s right. They choose the right players when they are on the clock.

I know why fans act the way they do. Fans invest emotionally in a team they believe can make the postseason or win a championship. That emotional investment means feeling pain should the team lose. Nobody wants to feel pain. Pain kinda stinks. Once a fan can check out, or at least say they’ve checked out, they can divest emotionally from the occurrences over the three hours of their favorite team’s game. “Lose for draft picks” is another way of saying “if I expect or hell, even WANT, my team to lose I will not feel sad about them losing”. These fans are what doctors commonly refer to as full of shit.

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Audibles From the Long Snapper: Jackasses Badger Trestman’s Daughters, Gabriel & More!

| November 11th, 2014

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If you abuse one of Marc Trestman’s Daughters Because He’s Lost Some Football Games, You Don’t Deserve to Be Part of the Human Race

Deadspin reported the story on Monday about Bears fans harassing the daughters of Marc Trestman because, you know, he’s struggling as a football coach. The article’s author, Samer Kalaf, summed the entire ordeal up perfectly: “The Bears suck, but these people suck more.”

Sports are fun. They are life’s great escape. And I don’t judge anyone emotionally investing in a football or any other team because it is the one element of life where a human can be completely unselfish. We have nothing to do with these outcomes, even though we often blame the sandwich we ate or where we sat or what jersey we wore.

You’d hope these assholes harassing the Trestman girls are teenagers but unfortunately they are not. They are useless non-entities unhappy with their own existence who’ve put too much of their self worth on the wins and losses of football team. To any of those individuals who might come across this site I encourage you to grow up and get a fucking life. Marc Trestman may not last as the coach of the Bears but he’s achieved more in his last two years on this earth than you’ll achieve in all of yours.

It is people like these pricks starting fights in parking lots and giving sports fans a bad name all these years and I’m tired of it.

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Audibles From the Long Snapper: Emery Interview Tactics, Mills to Guard, Stats!

| November 5th, 2014

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PHIL EMERY DID WHAT?

Bruce Arians is a cool guy, a terrific hat wearer and his personality would have been a perfect match for the city of Chicago. (Look at how “beer and a shot Maddon” was universally beloved by Chicago media Monday.) To assume, however, that his not being hired by Phil Emery was some kind of administrative debacle is second-guessing of the worst kind. Yes, Arians won Coach of the Year. But he won that award less because of his work and more because his head coach that season was sidelined due to intense cancer treatments and he was put in charge of Andrew Luck. You know who else is going to win a lot of games as a head coach of Andrew Luck? Every single head coach with the luxury of having Andrew Luck as his quarterback.

Bruce Arians would not be any guarantee to make Cutler and this offense better. And his defensive coordinator of choice, Todd Bowles, would be no more successful with this absence of defensive talent.

Less his final decision, Emery’s approach to hiring the head coach has come under scrutiny recently and seems to have been something of a masterclass in weirdness. Think that’s too harsh? Let’s look at the two major elements revealed in various reports:

  • Arians was asked to do a mock press conference less than a month removed from doing multiple press conferences almost every single week of the 2012 season. I can understand a general manager wanting to evaluate the media savvy of a potential big market head coach but it wouldn’t take longer than nineteen seconds with Arians to understand he’d be just fine.
  • Arians is quoted as stating it was “awkward” being told he’d need to keep certain assistant coaches (including Rod Marinelli, who didn’t stay) and said in no uncertain terms it was not going to happen. Why would Emery insist on a head coach keeping a defensive coordinator who had yet to commit to the organization for the following season? Maybe before telling Bruce that Rod would be his defensive coordinator he should have asked Rod? The whole thing is, just, weird.

Also, was Marc Trestman so desperate to be an NFL head coach he would have accepted any terms? Does a man so desperate for his shot have it in his system to take over the leadership of a locker room?

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Audibles From the Long Snapper: Briggs Couldn’t Lead a Conga Line, Jones a Nogo…

| October 22nd, 2014

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IS LANCE BRIGGS OVER YET?

Per a Patrick Finley report in the Sun-Times (and many other reports), Lance Briggs left the Bears locker room during Brandon Marshall’s tirade after the team’s humiliating loss to the Dolphins:

“I just left because I could see where things were kinda going,” he said on his weekly Comcast Sports Net show, which airs Tuesday night. “And I knew that when you get emotional there are moments when, you get in an argument and both people are emotional, you’re not going to get anywhere, continuing to argue.”

So let me get this straight. Lance Briggs is the team’s most veteran presence and supposedly leader of an entire side of the ball. Instead of sharing his views with Marshall and the team or, you know, leading…he LEFT THE LOCKER ROOM?! Has any player revealed themselves to have less character over these past two seasons than Lance Briggs? From his Twitter outbursts regarding the team moving on from veterans to his refusal to speak with media for much of 2013, Briggs has become a player whose brilliant prime in Chicago is starting to fill like a distant memory.

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Biggest Expectation for the 2014 Bears: Progress

| August 29th, 2014

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These things are called duckies.

When a city boy is going whitewater rafting in the Rocky Mountains he expects to be in a large raft with several other individuals and have minimal influence on the proceedings. Sure he’s happy to drop a well-timed refrain of Pocahontas’ Just Around the River Bend or lightly tap somebody on the ass with his oar. But he really doesn’t want a major role in the maneuvering of the watercraft.

Not in a ducky. A ducky, pictured above, is more an inflatable kayak. I piloted one of these devices, if you’d like to call what I did piloting, down the Roaring Fork Valley. Because I was terrible at this and managed to hit every rock available for contact, I spent much of my journey with the kayaked guide at the rear of the field. (If this were a race I would have been the guy receiving thunderous applause for merely finishing.) The guide, called Ryan because everybody in the Aspen area seemed to be named Ryan, was a die hard Denver Broncos fan. We had time to speak.

The Denver Broncos broke offensive records a year ago. They were the most exciting team in the sport by a significant margin. They won the AFC seemingly uncontested. Then they botched a snap in front of the world’s largest television audience and the happiness kite drifted from the young child’s hand into the cloud-lined sky, never to be seen again. To hear this shaggy marijuana machine in a kayak talk of his beloved team’s 2013 campaign, you’d think they shamed the state of Colorado and all members of the Elway family with a 3-13 record.

They finished second in the NFL. Better than thirty other franchises. Only worse than one. And that’s the harsh reality of the NFL. Only one team, only one city, only one fan base leaves the season firmly satisfied. Nobody derides the club that loses the World Series or Stanley Cup Finals or NBA Finals (unless LeBron James is on that team). They give large trophies to the runners-up at golf and tennis major championships and grand slams. Supporters of the English Premiere League’s second-place side don’t pout in kayaks.

The loneliest loser in all of professional sports is the team failing on Super Bowl Sunday. So how does one set fair expectations for an NFL season?

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Who are McClellin and Bostic?

| August 21st, 2014

As the Chicago Bears prepare for their third preseason game they’re still trying to figure out if two of General Manager Phil Emery’s highest draft picks can play.

Although they’re both still young, there wasn’t much evidence at all that either Shea McClellin or Jon Bostic were going to be good football players. But last week’s game against Jacksonville was interesting and was enough to once again raise the question: Who are these guys?

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Some Random Thoughts on the Comings and Goings of Bears Camp

| August 6th, 2014

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Presented live!

  • If there is starting to be a position of concern (not  called safety) it might be right tackle. Jordan Mills left practice Wednesday with pain in the same foot operated upon earlier in the year. His projected backup Eben Britton is sidelined with a hamstring pull and has spent most of his career battling injuries. Kyle Long and Mills taking the next step on the right side of the line was a huge part of the belief this Bears offense is about to take the next step to dominance. Will be interesting to see how Mills handles the balky hoof.
  • Two of my Tweets from yesterday regarding the Martellus Bennett suspension:

Way Bears are expertly handling Martellus Bennett is why I thought troubled player like Will Hill would have found perfect home in Chicago.

Emery/Trestman exude authority, project confidence and lead with genuine compassion. Rare in sports.

  • What Emery and Trestman need to do now is win. (Side note: I’d expect Martellus Bennett reinstated no later than middle of next week.)

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A Look at the Potential Fifty-Three on Memorial Day Weekend

| May 25th, 2014

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UPDATE: SOMEHOW I DIDN’T COPY OVER MY FULLBACK COLUMN WHEN POSTING. THIS IS NOW DONE.

Here is the breakdown of the 2013 Chicago Bears roster as they broke August and headed for the regular season:

Quarterbacks (2): Jay CutlerJosh McCown

Running backs (3): Michael Bush, Michael Ford, Matt Forte

Fullbacks (1): Tony Fiammetta

Wide receivers (6): Joe AndersonEarl BennettAlshon JefferyBrandon MarshallEric Weems, Marquess Wilson

Tight ends (3): Kyle Adams, Martellus Bennett, Steve Maneri

Offensive linemen (9): Taylor Boggs, Eben Britton, James Brown, Jermon BushrodRoberto Garza, Kyle Long, Jordan Mills, Jonathan Scott, Matt Slauson

Defensive linemen (9): Nate CollinsShea McClellinHenry Melton, Zach Minter, Cheta Ozougwu,Stephen PaeaJulius Peppers, Cornelius Washington, Corey Wootton

Linebackers (6): James Anderson, Jon Bostic, Lance BriggsBlake Costanzo, Khaseem Greene, D.J. Williams.

Cornerbacks (6): Zackary Bowman, Isaiah FreyTim JenningsSherrick McManisCharles Tillman, C.J. Wilson

Safeties (4): Chris Conte, Craig Steltz, Anthony Walters, Major Wright

Specialists (4): Robbie GouldDevin HesterPatrick MannellyAdam Podlesh

Understanding how much can change over the next three months, let’s try and project  what this year’s 53 might look like and identify what camp battles might truly exist in Bourbonnais. One thing that’ll surprise you? There are very few questions.

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Thoughts on Entirety of the Chicago Bears Draft

| May 11th, 2014

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Congrats to Scott Vandermoon, winner of the DBB draft weekend ticket contest. He’ll receive a pair of tickets to a Bears home game this year.

The Bears drafted eight players over three days. They were Kyle Fuller (CB, Va Tech), Ego Ferguson (DT, LSU),Will Sutton (DT, Arizona State), Ka’Deem Carey (RB, Arizona), Brock Vereen (FS, Minnesota), David Fales (QB, San Jose State), Pat O’Donnell (P,Miami) and Charles Leno Jr. (OT, Boise State).

They also signed as undrafted free agents: Jordan Lynch (QB?, Northern Illinois), James Dunbar (OT, TCU), Christian Jones (LB, FSU), Brandon Dunn (DT, Louisville), DeDe Lattimore (LB, South Florida), Tana Patrick (LB, Bama), Lee Pegues (DT, East Carolina), Cody Booth (TE, Temple) and Ryan Groy (OG, Wisconsin).

There is a lot to discuss when it comes to this bounty of players. I, of course, am starting with the punter.

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Quick Thoughts on the Decision to Draft Kyle Fuller

| May 9th, 2014

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Note: As far as I can tell, three people accurately predicted Kyle Fuller as the Bears first round draft pick: Austin Augsburger, Brian, Scott Vandermoon. Each of those three individuals should drop me an email today to confirm ownership of that account (jeff@dabearsblog.com) and then be sure to get their position selections in for tonight. You can’t win this contest if you don’t make it to tomorrow!

CONTEST PICKS SHOULD BE MADE ON THIS POST. THE NEXT UPDATE TO THE SITE WILL BE AFTER THE BEARS SECOND ROUND SELECTION.

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I received many emails and Tweets last night asking me the same question: why would Phil Emery pass on the position of desperation (safety) and select a cornerback? Why would the Bears not grab the ballyhooed Clinton-Dix or Pryor when they already have their two starting corners for 2014 on the roster?

Here are my answers to that and some other things:

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