All Gas No Brakes — Sharing The Most Recklessly Positive 2024 Chicago Bears Theories Possible

| June 13th, 2024

Traditionally, the Bear With Us podcast is a grounded, analysis-focused take on the Chicago Bears.

That’s great for the middle of the season, but right now it’s June. Theoretically we could always talk more about OTAs, or maybe talk about the Haason Reddick and Aaron Rodgers drama, but now that we’re into the dead of the offseason I had a better idea — for one week, Nick and I allowed ourselves to be as recklessly positive as we felt like. The episode that resulted is an absolute firecracker.

Tune into this week’s episode for:

  • My theory on how the Bears may be coincidentally positioned to catch the NFL in a 2-3 year downswing
  • Nick’s theory on Caleb Williams’ potential 2024 season results
  • A short discussion on whether Rome Odunze will end his career holding Chicago’s career WR yardage record… as well as whether he’ll be the first current Bear to claim it
  • And much, much more…

Your Turn: How are you feeling about the 2024 Chicago Bears?

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Catching Up On The Weekend’s Audio

| April 8th, 2024

Last Friday saw the latest Bear With Us launch, covering Caleb Williams and the #9 overall pick…

And then over the weekend, Jeff and I caught up on what he’s hearing about #9 overall (plus a full mock of the craziness that may lead up to Chicago’s pick.

More Nine at #9 tomorrow.

Your Turn: Does the draft still feel far away? Or does it finally feel around the corner?

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Bear With Us: Vegas Win Totals, Poles Owners Meeting Presser, & Caleb Williams Expectations

| March 26th, 2024

It’s been a busy week for me in real life, so thanks for putting up with two audio posts back to back. Hoping to dig into some film by the end of the week.

Nick and I had a blast recording this last one — we talk through…

  • Where Vegas has the Bears’ current Over/Under (8.5 wins) and what we think about that
  • Caleb Williams’ Pro Day
  • The Keenan Allen addition & how he fits into the Bears’ puzzle
  • What to do at #9 Overall
  • What to expect from Caleb Williams as a rookie
  • And much, much more

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Reviewing The Combine’s Best Potential Chicago Bears

| March 4th, 2024

The latest episode of Bear With Us is out — give it a listen below!

In it, we talk through:

  • Standout performances from throughout the 2024 NFL Scouting Combine
  • Which players do (and don’t) fit the Bears? Why?
  • Robert’s reasoning for why either Rome Odunze or Malik Nabers will be available at #9 Overall
  • Thoughts on Caleb Williams’ medical info decision, general impressions from the weekend
  • And much, much more

Check it out and let me know what you think!

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How Does the NFL’s Increased Salary Cap Affect Chicago? Plus, NFL Scouting Combine Rumors

| February 29th, 2024

The latest episode of Bear With Us is out — give it a listen below!

In it, we talk through:

  • The effects of the 2024 NFL Salary Cap’s ~$13 Million rise over expectations
  • What the NFL Scouting Combine’s rumor mill does (and doesn’t) mean for the Bears
  • Takeaways from Ryan Poles’ Combine press conference
  • Comparing & contrasting Caleb Williams, Drake Maye, Justin Fields, and the rest of the Bears’ QB options
  • Which defenders we’re most excited to see run, jump, and drill in this weekend’s events
  • And much, much more

Your Turn: Who are you excited to watch in this weekend’s drills?

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Grading Chicago’s Final Exam: Nobody Passed

| January 8th, 2024

If the Bears’ visit to Green Bay was intended to represent a benchmark for their 2023 season’s progress, they failed their final exam quite emphatically.

Chicago’s report cards are currently under review and will be returned to our students throughout the next week. Until then, let’s review yesterday’s season finale one last time.

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

The Good:

  • The Silver Lining… is that there is no Silver Lining. There’s no easy excuse for why Chicago lost — after all, the ball bounced the Bears’ way early and often:
    • Packers’ K Anders Carlson missed an early Field Goal
    • Green Bay’s rookies allowed the clock to run out on the 1st half before picking up extra points
    • Packers’ WR Bo Melton dropped a sizzling TD pass that hit him in the hands
    • A Packers’ DB dropped an end-zone INT as Chicago rallied
    • And then on 4th & 1 I thought the officials credited Chicago with a first down they may not have actually gotten.
  • Still, despite all of this, Chicago lost an emphatic 9-17 game. George McCaskey, Ryan Poles, and Kevin Warren are going to have to look this loss in the eye — they have no one to blame for it but the players in the locker room and the coaches that lead them. Do they think this plan would’ve worked if the team had more talent on it? Do they think this Quarterback gives them their best chance at success going forward? These questions felt easier to answer last week than they do now… and that’s likely for the better. If they can’t beat Green Bay, what’s the point?
  • Tyrique Stevenson, have a day. The Bears’ 2nd round pick felt like the only reason the game remained close during the first half of yesterday’s game — his pass deflection in the endzone robbed Green Bay of 7 points, then he stole another 3 points just before the first half ended. As if that wasn’t enough, he created the game’s only turnover as well by dislodging the ball from Jordan Love’s grasp in the mid-3rd quarter — He came to play.
    • On a day where Chicago’s DBs struggled to compete with Green Bay’s receivers, Stevenson stole downs back for the Bears throughout the game and I loved watching him do it. Hopefully the All-22 paints as rosy a picture of his performance as watching the game seemed to.

The Bad

  • Same song, different verse. Chicago opened the season with a game-plan in mind: stop the run with our front 4, play Cover 2 & Cover 3 behind them, and make opponents grind their way down the field. Early in the year, that’s exactly what opponents did.
    • Then, as the defense delivered one underperformance after another, the defense pivoted to running more Man Coverage defenses paired with blitzes up front — this worked, shutting down the offenses in the middle of the Bears’ schedule. As Chicago dominated lesser offenses, they rode this mix of Man Blitzes and Zone-Drop looks to becoming the NFL’s leader in Interceptions.
    • But then, for reasons I cannot explain, it is as if Matt Eberflus grew tired of the risk involved with his pressure packages and reverted back to his early-season game plans — after all, the media was so mean to him about Justin Jones dropping into coverage that one time, how could he possibly call plays like that again?
    • Thus, the door opened for Green Bay to exploit holes in soft zones with a quick-hitting pass game paired with a wide-hitting run game and, unsurprisingly, Matt LaFleur had no issues walking through that door. The vaunted Bears defense gave up 400+ yards, including a 6-minute backbreaker of a drive that closed the game, as Matt Eberflus’ best-laid plans unwound in front of his eyes.
  • Luke, I think it’s over. A Week 18 performance with less than 200 yards of offense feels like it should seal Getsy’s fate in Chicago. His tenure has been mired by poor communication across the offense, an inability to adjust to mid-game defensive changes, and a seemingly frayed relationship with the Bears’ signal caller… but at least we got a few nice opening game scripts.
  • Coffee is for closers only. Maybe I’m writing this out of frustration, maybe I have a point, honestly it’s hard to tell. But yesterday would’ve been a great day for Justin Fields to make a statement with his play in the 4th quarter. Instead, his two final drives resulted in a would-be interception and the final punt of the season.

The Ugly

  • The future seems far too uncertain. It’s easy for me, a writer, to write pretty words about the failings of Chicago’s head coach, but do George McCaskey, Kevin Warren, and Ryan Poles see things that way? Surely they can’t be satisfied with verdicts against quality teams always seeming to break away from them, but with Eberflus’ recent string of victories I can’t help but wonder if the front office is willing to move on. It feels like the perfect time to make a change to me, but I’m not the one signing the org’s checks. We’ll see what Black Monday brings.
    • With a new Quarterback likely waiting in the wings and a reset coming at both defensive and offensive coordinator, this feels like the perfect time for the Bears to pick a new direction at HC — either Jim Harbaugh, Bobby Slowik, Ben Johnson, or whoever else you may have in mind would then have the opportunity to customize the team to their needs via Free Agency before drafting a Quarterback that, theoretically, would become the best QB in Chicago’s history given the environment Ryan Poles may craft for him using free agent money and draft capital. But is the front office willing to fire Eberflus ‘one year early’ rather than ‘one year late’? Only time will tell.

Postgame Podcast:

Nick and I recorded a podcast where we talked through the ups, the downs, the ins, and the outs of Chicago’s latest loss here:

Your Turn: How do you feel about yesterday’s game?

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Previewing Chicago’s Final Exam…

| January 4th, 2024

Why would the year end any other way?

At this point, all that’s left is to see how the chips fall.

Nick & I take you through the matchups, the stakes, the ins, and the outs of what promises to be a massive Bears season finale in Lambeau on the latest episode of Bear With Us — check it out below.

Your Turn: How are you feeling about this weekend’s game?

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My New Year’s Resolution? Beat The Atlanta Falcons

| December 28th, 2023

Matt Eberflus continues his final stand this Sunday as he takes on an Atlanta Falcons team that finds itself in a similar position to your Chicago Bears — neither team controls their playoff destiny despite playing in lackluster divisions, both offenses added weapons in the offseason and have subsequently underperformed, but the play of each team’s defense has kept each team alive despite the turmoil on the other side of the ball.

Neither team can make the playoffs with a win this weekend… but both teams will likely be eliminated from contention with a loss. Thus, for both Matt Eberflus & Arthur Smith, this New Years’ Day matchup is do-or-die. That sets the stage for a riveting football game.

Nick and I dove deep into this matchup (and the current state of the Bears) within the latest episode of Bear With Us, including discussion topics like…

  • What went well against the Cardinals on offense? How did they score so easily early? What did Arizona do to curb the offense in the 2nd half?
  • Who played well on defense last week? Who played poorly?
  • Where do the Bears match up well with Atlanta on defense? What weak links in the Falcons’ offense can they exploit?
  • How does Chicago’s offense match up with Atlanta’s defense? What kind of day will this be for Chicago?
  • Holiday chatter & game score predictions
  • And much, much more…

It’s one of our best episodes yet — check it out and let me know what you think!

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