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Caleb Williams, A Draft Big Board, And More Waiting

| April 15th, 2024

We’ve got a few scouting reports coming later this week, but for today I’ve got a pair of Caleb Williams clips:

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279 Comments

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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6-Time Pro Bowler Keenan Allen is Now a Chicago Bear

| March 15th, 2024

Late last night, the Chicago Bears acquired Chargers all-star WR Keenan Allen for their 4th round pick (#110) in the 2024 NFL Draft. I’ve got some quick thoughts on the move:

  • Turns out that hole in the Bears’ cap created from Jaylon Johnson & D’Andre Swift’s deals had a purpose
  • Obviously this is a move focused on 2024, but I don’t mind the emphasis on next season. 2024 is a massive year for the entire Bears’ organization — in all likelihood, they’ll attempt to develop a rookie QB while competing for a playoff spot. If, therefore, the biggest critique of this move is that Chicago paid too much draft capital & 2024 salary dollars for an offensive leader that should spur the rookie’s development, I think we’ll all survive. Frankly, I think it’s refreshing to see the Bears over-address the young QB’s supporting cast for once.
  • Regardless of which Quarterback ultimately starts for the Bears next year, Keenan Allen should be a stabilizing force in the Bears’ down-to-down passing offense. He specializes in option routes, short-yardage routes, and playing within structure — all of which Caleb Williams and Justin Fields struggle with, meaning Allen could provide a strong guiding hand.
    • If we’re splitting hairs, I think timing routes will likely remain an issue for Justin Fields whereas Caleb Williams’ college tape shows signs of inconsistency more than an outright inability to play within structure, but this isn’t a Caleb Williams breakdown. Regardless of starter, Keenan should help sharpen a short-passing blade that was quite dull throughout 2023.

My overall grade? I like it. The fun factor is ~10/10. I’ve also already assumed that Matt Eberflus begged Poles to let him draft a 1st round defender anyways, so if this move is Poles’ way of making sure Chicago has weapons for a key 2024 season? I dig it.

This does make me wonder what the Bears’ plan is at WR going forward, but we can cross that bridge later. I’d love to draft a 2nd or 3rd round WR to develop throughout the year (Keon Coleman, Roman Wilson, Ricky Pearsall, etc), but I don’t know that the Bears will prioritize that. Also, is Keenan getting extended past 2024? I could see it, but he’ll be 33 next season. We’ll have to wait and see.

For now… Chicago added a 6-time Pro Bowler that’s a god amongst chain-moving WRs. He pairs perfectly with DJ Moore’s ability to threaten all levels of the field as well — those two should be monsters in 12-personnel.

I’m excited to see how this plays out — what an exciting time to be a Bears fan! What will Poles do from here? We’re just going to have to wait and see,

Bonus: Breaking Down Keenan Allen’s Route Running

Below I threw in some of my favorite clips from a light film study last night — check it out and let me know what you think.

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Reviewing The Tape: Drake Maye & Caleb Williams

| February 27th, 2024

A few months ago I walked through Caleb Williams’ Notre Dame game & Drake Maye’s Georgia Tech game — it’s a great stream if you’re looking for a review of the presumed top 2 QBs in the 2024 NFL Draft Class.

I’m working on a few draft breakdowns this week, so we’ll be back with more content tomorrow. In the meantime, check this out if you missed it.

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95 Comments

All Kinds of Time: Caleb Williams, Justin Fields, and the Importance of Time To Throw

| February 26th, 2024

I’m happy to host this piece by Kyle Morris, a football statistician and a personal friend of mine, as he explores the differences between Caleb Williams, Justin Fields, Drake Maye, and how Time To Throw affects each Quarterback’s play on the football field.

If you’re a football fan who loves data, this is the article for you. If you aren’t a football fan who loves data, this article is still well worth your time — the insights held within it are core in discussing the ever-raging Bears’ QB debate, and Kyle does a great job numerically illustrating what I think the tape shows about each QB mentioned.

Kyle also has a podcast, which I’ll link right here. Enjoy the article, and let me know what you think in the comments below.


For the last six years I have attempted to determine how to best evaluate and project college quarterbacks to the NFL using advanced analytics.

For decades most NFL evaluators have adopted a fairly dismissive attitude toward college statistics, and for understandable reasons. Tim Tebow’s sparkling 66% college completion rate hid what became one of the NFL’s least accurate passers in recent memory. Josh Allen’s pedestrian numbers made him an enemy of most box score scouts, but actual scouts crowed about Allen’s physical tools. Even then, Josh is an outlier — he is a rare example of the NFL’s coaches improving a poor college passer, and the graveyard of prospects like Jake Locker and Kyle Boller demonstrate just how rare a story like that can be.

Ignoring a prospect’s college production carries as much (or more) risk as box score scouting. I’ve therefore spent a great deal of time trying to compile as many statistics as I can on every available college QB prospect, comparing them to each other, comparing them to their historical peers, figuring out what metrics might actually predict NFL success or failure, and which ones are just noise. Each year I look at what I got right or wrong, and I peel the layers back even further, trying to find out what I might have missed.

This leads me to today’s topic: Justin Fields, Caleb Williams, and the importance of Time To Throw.

If you’re unfamiliar with Time to Throw as a statistic, it’s pretty basic: it’s how much time after the snap a quarterback takes, on average, to throw the football. As basic this sounds, the factors that actually go into time to throw can be somewhat complicated — is a guy taking forever because he can’t read the defense and process information quickly? Is he getting rid of the ball too quickly, passing up options down the field and checking down immediately to avoid getting hit, thus passing up big plays in the process? Or is he doing the opposite of that and passing up wide open outlet throws (thus taking an extra second) to try and force an ill-advised throw downfield?

Given all this, how do we determine what factors into each individual quarterback’s time to throw?

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For Sanity’s Sake, Here’s Hoping this is My Last Justin Fields Column

| February 23rd, 2024


When the Bears drafted Cade McNown in 1999, I didn’t care.

But do you remember the first game of the 2000 season? Against a very good Vikings team, McNown opened 27-41-290-2 and 10 carries, 81 yards and a TD on the ground. From my lounger at the now defunct ESPN Zone in Times Square, I got excited.

When the Bears drafted Rex Grossman in 2003, I didn’t care.

Reverend Dave and I watched that selection, thoroughly intoxicated with some British Browns fans, at a sports pub in Piccadilly Circus. It was a surreal and hysterical experience, but nobody celebrated anything. Yet by early in the 2006 season, there were few doubting Rex could be a top player at the professional level. 

When the Bears drafted Mitch Trubisky in 2017, I didn’t care.

Well, I cared a little, as this was the first real scoop I had been given and was able to break on Twitter. I also won quite a bit of cash off the skeptical patrons of Mother Hubbard’s. (That ripped us off that night and I never returned.) I picked the Bears to go to the Super Bowl in 2019 specifically because of Mitch’s final drive against the Eagles in the Cody Parkey game; a drive I watched in the building. 

When the Bears drafted Justin Fields in 2021, I didn’t care.

While the Robert Mays’s of the world got giddy on their podcasts (why is he always so damn giggly), I hadn’t been impressed by the two college games I’d seen Fields play and saw no reason for ecstasy. But there were clearly moments in his tenure I found genuinely thrilling, most of which were documented on this site. Fields is not a bad quarterback. He’s a limited one. 

When the Bears take their next starting quarterback in April, I won’t care.

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World’s Smallest Caleb Williams Breakdown

| January 17th, 2024

It’s draft season and Caleb Williams is on my mind — I’ll have a longer, more thorough breakdown out later this offseason, but today I wanted to highlight his play from within the pocket. Specifically, whenever I watch him I see the following:

  • Quick, natural release
  • Throws with consistent anticipation when targeting his first read (if open)
  • Patient within clean pockets, works through progressions naturally
  • Strong pocket footwork that creates problems for opposing EDGE rushers’ angles
  • Arm talent that can naturally push the ball down the field on command

Couple that with his tendency to keep his eyes downfield while scrambling, even when under duress, and you’ve got a very dangerous modern passer that looks like he’d fit right in on NFL Playoff Weekend after a bit of refinement in 2024.

One more I just found: the QB in Wisconsin has made plays like this famous over the last few weeks. Here’s the same throw under pressure made against one of the best defenses in college football.

Editor’s Note: My son has been sick with stomach flu over the last few days, so I appreciate your patience within website content. It’s draft season, so I’ll see what I can whip up as I prep to head out to the Senior Bowl in a few weeks.

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238 Comments

Checking the Tape: Just How Good Are These Top 2 Quarterbacks?

| December 5th, 2023

Last night I dove deep into the All-22 tape from both Caleb Williams & Drake Maye’s 2023 season to see what all the hype is about — throughout the stream I talked through:

  • Where is Caleb Williams winning? Where is he losing?
  • Where is Drake Maye winning? Where is he losing?
  • How does each QB’s offensive scheme support them? How well do they play within it?
  • When plays break down, how does each player attempt to control the chaos?
  • Rants & ravings about the future of the Bears
  • And much, much more

Check it out and let me know what you think!

Your Turn: Do you even want the Bears to draft a new QB? Do you have a preference on who?

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187 Comments

Bears Currently Winning Race For First Overall Pick

| November 13th, 2023

With the Arizona Cardinals looking more than functional in a big win over Atlanta, your Chicago Bears are once again in possession of the #1 overall pick.

In a season that’s seen nearly everything go wrong for Chicago, a positive like the Carolina Panthers’ 2023 implosion is not one to be taken for granted. Without Ryan Poles’ move to pick DJ Moore, the potential 2024 #1 overall pick, and even more draft assets from the Panthers’ pockets, Bears fans would be left discussing whether or not a win like last Thursday’s had sabotaged their future — instead, they can bask in the glory of a pair of Top 5 draft picks and a very reasonable chance at a franchise-changing Top 2 pick in 2024 (more on that another day).

No win is guaranteed in the NFL, but if we take a look at the Panthers’ upcoming schedule they’ve got quite a few doozies ahead.

Specifically…

  • Playing a great defense like Dallas is never easy for a young QB, plus Dak and the Cowboys’ offense always seem to shine against poor opponents
  • The Panthers’ division rivals (Atlanta, Tampa Bay, and New Orleans) have each lost winnable games recently & should be motivated to ‘get right’ against Carolina
    • Also, with the Bucs currently sitting at 4-5 after yesterday’s win, there’s a very reasonable chance that the Buccaneers will carry playoff hopes into their Week 18 contest
  • Tennessee & Jacksonville each host the Panthers, only adding to those games’ difficulty
  • And then there’s the Packers, but with Carolina facing Green Bay so late it’s worth wondering whether the Packers will finally see their injured defenders (Jaire Alexander, Quay Walker) return & bolster a struggling unit. Those additions may tip the balance.

I couldn’t be more biased — I want the Bears to pick at #1 again, after all — but there’s a very reasonable chance the Panthers win 1 game or less going forward. If that’s all they manage to win, they currently hold Strength of Schedule tiebreakers over the Giants, Cardinals, and Patriots and would ultimately deliver the first pick in the 2024 draft to Chicago. An exciting thought.

Their trip to Tennessee should be a pivot game — if Will Levis and DeAndre Hopkins can overcome the post-bye Panthers, Carolina won’t have much runway left on the schedule. But we’ll have to wait and see.

Your Turn: What, if anything, has you upbeat about the Bears right now?

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