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Training Camp Thoughts, Volume I: Jaylon’s Quote, Reiff’s Arrival & More.

| July 28th, 2022


As training camp progresses, there are a myriad of outlets to find information on the comings and goings at practice, specifically those paid to attend and report on the practices. What I’ll try to do is add some color to the proceedings here. Sometimes that will be in the form a longer post and sometimes – like today – just bullet points.

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  • Adam Hoge was the first place I saw this telling quote from Jaylon Johnson, re: the new staff: “The way they hold us accountable is crazy, compared to what we’re used to.” At the end of the Nagy era, this became a major issue with ownership. They could not understand why Allen Robinson was continually given playing time while obviously having no interest in playing. They could not understand why Mario Edwards was continually given reps, mindless penalty after mindless penalty. One text from someone close to ownership wondered if the football team “lacked integrity”. They did.
    • And I am going to do my best to ensure that is the last mention of the previous regime. At some point you have to move on. The Bears did that in January. Bears fans have to follow suit.
  • The signings of Riley Reiff and Michael Schofield are interesting, but I’m still interested in how the Bears intend to deploy Teven Jenkins. Several folks inside the building believe Reiff will start at left tackle and Jenkins best path to playing time is at right guard. (They’re paying Reiff to start. They’re paying Schofield zero guaranteed dollars.)
    • This could set the stage for a camp battle between Braxton Jones and Larry Borom at right tackle. But the Bears sincerely like Jones.
  • Conditioning alert! Every Bear passed what is notoriously a pretty rigorous test. Roquan Smith has opened on the PUP list, suffering from what most economists call “light bank balance”.
  • Schofield’s press conference was terrific. The guy seemed genuinely thrilled to be playing for his hometown team. He also admitted he wanted to be a receiver when younger because of Marty Booker.
  • DBB appeared on Wednesday’s edition of The Irish Bears Show. You can see the entire appearance by CLICKING HERE.

Oh, and the Loch Ness Monster could be a real thing.

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308 Comments

Bears Fall to 4-9 at Lambeau.

| December 13th, 2021


Late night. More to come later today.

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219 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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Audibles From the Long Snapper: Enthusiasm, Pass Rush & Much More on the Gambling Front!

| May 21st, 2018

Some General Bears Thoughts

  • The first year of Trestman came with a lot of enthusiasm around the offense but nobody foresaw the defense plummeting to the bottom of the league. (There was also a segment of the fan base that refused to be excited about anything involving Jay Cutler.) This year there is just as much enthusiasm around the offense with an expected top-ten unit on the other side of the ball. There is real excitement around this club right now. They better win games.
  • When DBB started there were like two other Bears bloggers. Now there are about 100. And I honestly don’t follow or read what 99% of them do. But I’d love to see the out-and-out lying stop. Stop pretending you have sources. Stop pretending you’re “told” things. Stop linking the team every seemingly-available player in the league so you can get ten more clicks. It took ten years of me grinding before anybody associated with the Bears (or the league) would even answer an email. Sadly, the lying shit reflects poorly on this site because we got the fucking word “blog” in our title.
  • Nobody should underestimate how little this team has in the pass rush department. It will keep them from being a dominant defense. Leonard Floyd is their only reliable rusher on the roster and he’s (a) inconsistent and (b) averaging 11 games played over his first two seasons. What happens to this defense if Floyd misses five games in 2018?

Finley: Defense Believes in Offense

From his piece this week in the Sun-Times, profiling Prince Amukamara’s decision to return to the Bears:

“I want to win a championship, and having Mitch here, that’s always the start,” he said after the Bears’ second organized-team-activity practice Wednesday. “The quarterback’s always the start, and just having Mitch and seeing his improvement and his effort . . . I’m sure some people saw, but even when Mitch was the backup, Mitch was staying after practice and always working hard. And you love seeing that in a quarterback, especially a backup.

‘‘I’ve always just saw greatness in him ever since then. I think this year he gets to really show it.”

Amukamara isn’t alone. Receivers Allen Robinson and Taylor Gabriel, who signed this offseason, hope Trubisky can get them a “third contract, or help them get their first ring,” Amukamara said.

“I think if guys came here to win, then, yeah, the quarterback should definitely be the first thing that you look at,” he said.

NFL players want to do two things: make a lot of money and win. And the hierarchy of those two things is a player-by-player thing. For wide receivers choosing where to land in free agency, the quarterback can enable both. That’s why Robinson and Gabriel chose Chicago.

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After an Exhausting 2017 Season, Some Thoughts on Football Media – Chicago & Beyond

| February 19th, 2018


(1) Everything I thought about David Haugh was confirmed when I watched him order a Blue Moon from Marco at The Billy Goat Tavern. Everything.


(2) Jason La Canfora continues to embarrass himself nationally. ESPN has Schefter and Mort. Fox has Glazer. NFL Network has RapSheet. And yet CBS, one of the league’s preeminent partners, continues to march this Human Misinformation Machine onto their New York City set every Sunday to be wrong. When JLC reported the Bears were bringing in Bill Polian last year, my source inside the Bears responded with this text: “Hahahaha.” JLC makes things up. There’s no other way to say it.


(3) For the first time in my twelve years writing DBB, I dabbled in the the “breaking news” game and I have to admit it was a shitload of fun. There is something genuinely thrilling about having information before everybody else, even when that information is as trivial as who the next offensive line coach of the Bears will be.

But sadly, “breaking news cache” seems to be all football fans care about anymore. A decent opinion doesn’t register. A good sentence or two? Fuck that! I’ve been doing the same crap on Twitter for years and I basically doubled my following because I knew Mark Helfrich would be the next offensive coordinator before Brad Biggs. And the sad part is I didn’t do anything for that information outside of have a friend. The sentences are the hard part!


(4) Is Adam Jahns my pal? Yes. But we became friendly (initially) out of mutual respect for each other’s work. Jahns tackles Bears issues with objectivity and intelligence and – most importantly – style. He can write! He is a pleasure to read! He’s the best the Bears beat has to offer day-to-day.


(5) Brad Biggs has lost his fastball. He was the best Bears beat writer for a decade, and his Monday Ten Things was the only must read of the week. Neither of those things is remotely true any more. One thing you should know: the organization hated that Phil Emery leaked so profusely to Biggs. They love that Pace does not. There are people in the building who actively root against Biggs getting stories.

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Audibles From the Long Snapper: Rare Friday Edition!

| December 29th, 2017

No podcast this week, as travel got in the way. We’ll have the 2017 season wrap-up pod in the next week or so if I can get Jahns to answer his cell.


Ted Phillips the Boogeyman!

Ever since Ian Rapoport reported Ted Phillips was “making phone calls” to gauge availability of head coaching candidates, Bears Twitter – including our own Andrew Dannehy – have been obsessed with Phillips’ role in the coaching search. Now Rap’s former bench mate, Albert Breer, had this dandy in his “Black Monday” column:

Chicago Bears: The writing has been on the wall here for a while. The expectation is that John Fox will be gone. What’s less certain is whether or not general manager Ryan Pace gets to pick the next coach, and whether or not the coaches pursued by the Bears dictate Pace’s fate.

(1) Ryan Pace is 100% picking the next head coach.

(2) The NFL sends each organization a list of prospective head coaches. Those coaches don’t always know they’re on that list. What teams do is call agents and ask if their clients are interested in becoming head coaches so that once the decision to fire the head coach is officially made, interviews can be lined up immediately. This is called due diligence. Teams also call agents of college coaches to gauge if they’re interested in coming to the NFL.

(3) Ownership, which Ted represents, can do this reconnaissance work while another coach is under contract. For a GM it is strictly verboten. The GM is a partner with the head coach, especially in an organizational structure where they both report to ownership.

(4) If this story was “George McCaskey is making calls” nobody would have cared. But McCaskey doesn’t make calls. That’s why he pays Ted Phillips and why Phillips is incredibly well-respected in the league.

(5) Do I think the Bears would want to know if Ron Rivera may become available? Of course. They want to know every good coach that is going to be available. But the apple of their eye is Stanford coach David Shaw.


Jahns on Shaheen

From AJ After Dark’s column in the Sun-Times:

But the Bears do feel good about Shaheen’s development. Loggains said he’s had a solid rookie season. Most of Shaheen’s 12 catches were either contested or diving grabs (two for touchdowns).

In time, the team believes that Shaheen will do more. The Bears still only have six packages for him.  All of his catches also have come when he is a prototypical in-line tight end.

“We know that he’s going to be a good, all-around tight end because of his size, speed, his athleticism,” Loggains said. “In the offseason, the biggest jump he is going to have to take is in the run game. But he came in and affected the game in his opportunities in the red area the way we thought he would.”

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Three Thoughts on the Bears Beating the Hell Out of the Bengals

| December 11th, 2017

Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

(1) I simply didn’t see it coming. I pride myself on having a good feel as to how the Bears will play on a week-to-week basis and I thought the stage was set Sunday for an overwhelming Bengals victory. Instead the Bears, with a lame duck coach, undermanned offense and injury-plagued defense, delivered their best performance of the season. They were simply great in all three phases and that is a credit to John Fox.


(2) Trubisky. Cohen. Howard. Shaheen. Whitehair. Jackson. If you want to know why Ryan Pace isn’t going to be fired, watch the tape of this game. The GM is building a young nucleus through the draft; something the Bears have not done in nearly twenty years. This job will be the best open gig in the NFL come January.


(3) Mitch Trubisky’s last two games. 37-47 (79% completed), 373 yards, 2 TDs, 0 INTs and quarterback rating around 115.

Okay, so I’m not going to overreact to these two games. I didn’t overreact to some of his struggles so I’m not going to overreact to his terrific play the last two weeks. But the thing that should excite Bears fans is the number of players on this roster who are quick to tell media, immediately post-game, how great a leader Trubisky is. Folks, that’s not normal. Rookies don’t command huddles very often. Rookies don’t impress veterans with their attitude and composure very often. This kid has all the intangibles of a great quarterback.

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Audibles From the Long Snapper: Jahns, Hoge, Trubisky & Coats!

| October 24th, 2017

A Few Jahns Takeaways

AJ After Dark knocked out his 14 Takeaways Monday afternoon and the final three stood out to me:

12. I also only counted two play-action plays — one being Trubisky’s overturned touchdown run and the other resulting in a sack in the third quarter.

Bears have to throw on early downs. It doesn’t matter how they do it but they can’t keep running into run looks and expecting better results.

13. Running back Tarik Cohen was on the field for only seven offensive snaps. He dropped two passes to go with his 70-yard reception and a 10-yard catch that was negated by a penalty.

If Bears are not going to play Kendall Wright, Cohen has to become the centerpiece of the outside passing game. Treat him like a wide receiver if you must. But keep him on the field.

14. Despite the offensive struggles, there is a positive vibe around the Bears. Players know Trubisky will get better; defense can be special.

I do worry how much Mitch Trubisky will develop and improve if he’s not given a chance to take part the game outside of special occasions.


Gameday Tweet That Cracked Me Up


Trubisky “Embarrassed”?

Adam Hoge of WGN writes about Trubisky’s response to only throwing seven passes, even while the team registered a second straight win:

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