— Adam Hoge (@AdamHoge) January 3, 2022
If your instinct is to doubt Justin Fields after this game, keep in mind he went on the road with two rookie OTs, was pressured on 54.3% of his dropbacks, played through a ribs injury that caused him pain on every throw & needed X-rays on his non-throwing hand after the game.
— Adam Hoge (@AdamHoge) December 13, 2021
Late night. More to come later today.
“I don’t think he was that bad.”
“The coach didn’t have a good game plan for him.”
“Where were the screens?”
Nope, not a Bears fan.
My brother-in-law (Packer fan) talking about Jordan Love’s first start.
— Adam Hoge (@AdamHoge) November 13, 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.
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.
(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.
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.
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.
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.”
(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.
#Bears right tackle Bobby Massie on if he senses Mitchell Trubisky’s command:
“Oh, hell yeah. Mitch will tell us, ‘Shut the f*** up’ in the huddle. Mitch has got some balls. He’s going to be a good quarterback.”
— Adam Hoge (@AdamHoge) December 10, 2017
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.
Well, at least I get to tell my great-grandkids that I once lost a bet against an NFL team that had 4 completions.
— Bill Simmons (@BillSimmons) October 22, 2017
Adam Hoge of WGN writes about Trubisky’s response to only throwing seven passes, even while the team registered a second straight win:
Adam Hoge is not an alarmist. So when he opens a column with Kevin White’s early “struggles” there is reason to pay attention.
“He’s not where I want him to be or where we need him to be,” Bears wide receivers coach Zach Azzanni admitted Monday. “He’s a work in progress. He’s had a good three days. Good first day, OK second day, much better today.”
Azzanni was just referring to the three days since pads went on and Sunday’s quiet practice prompted the wide receivers coach to pull out some of White’s tape from West Virginia.
“He forgets about (West Virginia) sometimes because of the battle he’s had the last two years,” Azzanni said. “I wanted him to see how he used to go up and just grab that ball out of the air and he’s starting to do that again. I know he had a drop in one-on-ones the other day. The other thing is, he’s a prideful kid and he lets that beat him up and you cannot do that.”
White needs two things: (a) sustained game action and (b) success. And I’m a believer that achieving a will directly lead to be b. But tentativity from a player like White is understandable when he must be thinking that every cut in the middle of the field could be the one that ends his season. White’s not going to be confident and explosive on Day 3 in Bourbonnais. The Bears need to hope he is both of those things come Week 8 in New Orleans.
There’s a new trend developing with camp coverage across the league. Because media is limited to both what they’re allowed to see and what they’re allowed to cover – Pat Finley has resorted to drawing plays on what seems to be napkins – writers are turning in copy wherein they draw major conclusions from minor moments. Rich Campbell did so yesterday in the Trib, writing about singular moments from Glennon and Trubisky.