Jeff Hughes | June 29th, 2018
I’m traveling in Dingle, Ireland years ago and I’m exhausted. This was my first day ever in Europe and I couldn’t keep my eyes open at 4:30 in the afternoon. My uncle turns to me and says, “Have a quick three. You’ll be fine.” I drank three Guinness in the span of a half hour. Seven hours later I’m dancing to a shitty Irish house DJ with Jenny Pye, a local lass who dreamed of being an EMT in New York City.
I’m very tired of this 2018 off-season. And incredibly eager for the season to begin. So I’m taking the quick three approach to each position group as we head into the summer. Not grading the groups or anything. Just making some points.
- One could argue – with relative ease – that Ryan Pace has not botched any position on the roster worse than kicker. The Bears did not just jettison Robbie Gould too early. They WANTED Connor Barth, a player who has never been any good. Credit Pace for acknowledging that mistake and targeting kicker this off-season. Cody Parkey is a damn good kicker.
- I’ve given Pat O’Donnell every opportunity to wow me but the fact is he’s not a great punter and never will be. Here’s hoping the Bears give Ryan Winslow, the rookie out of Pitt, every opportunity to win the starting job this summer.
- It would be surprising if the Bears used anybody but Tarik Cohen on returns this season. Matt Nagy and Mark Helfrich will find interesting ways to involve him on offense but returns are guaranteed ways to get the ball in his hands. They won’t pass that up.
Tagged: Cody Parkey, Connor Barth, Pat O'Donnell, Ryan Winslow
Jeff Hughes | November 20th, 2017
(1) Mitch Trubisky is starting to show signs that he’s going to be a very good quarterback in this league for a long time. Improving weekly. Learning from mistakes. Scrambling in key spots. Throwing receivers open. Leading. But I thought his comment post-game was so telling.
How many quarterbacks have to say something like “what coach Fox is allowing us to do on offense”? Get the feeling Trubisky won’t be heartbroken when Fox is let go.
(2) Connor Barth is terrible. He’s not shaky or inconsistent. He is legitimately the worst kicker in the league. And for a team with such a small margin for error to employ him is inexcusable. If he’s on the roster Tuesday, fans should boycott the team next weekend. Read More …
Tagged: Connor Barth, John Fox, Leonard Floyd, Mitch Trubisky
Johnathan Wood | November 19th, 2017
Chicago’s offense had their best game of the year, but their defense played possibly their worst game of the year. All in all, that evened out, but the Bears ended up falling to 3-7 because their kicker is terrible.
- Now that’s more like it. The offense was finally run like an NFL offense, mixing things up and keeping the defense off its feet, and unsurprisingly it led to good things happening. Chicago stayed run-heavy in the game, but mixed up how they were running instead of making it so predictable, and thus the run game really took off. As a result, the offense scored more than 17 points in regulation for the 1st time all year.
- This also helped the passing game open up a bit as well, since the Bears didn’t routinely end up in 3rd and long. This was a nice change from how their offense has functioned most of the year.
- Another nice wrinkle we saw on offense was a number of read-option looks for quarterback Mitchell Trubisky. He kept it several times (though there was at least one more where he should have) and made Detroit’s defense pay for crashing down on the running backs.
- After ignoring Tarik Cohen on offense for several weeks, the Bears made a point of getting him involved early and often. He had 8 carries and 3 pass targets in the 1st half alone after getting 8 total touches in the previous 3 games.
- Another nice wrinkle was lining Jordan Howard up as a fullback, with Tarik Cohen at tailback. This set Howard up with a few nice runs as he could spring through the line quickly and the linebackers had to worry about Cohen.
Read More …
Tagged: Benny Cunningham, Bryce Callahan, Chicago Bears, Christian Jones, Connor Barth, Cre'Von LeBlanc, Data, Data Entry, Detroit Lions, DJ Hayden, Dontrelle Inman, Isaiah Irving, John Fox, John Timu, johnathan wood, Josh Bellamy, Kendall Wright, Kyle Long, Leonard Floyd, Marcus Cooper, Matthew Stafford, Mitchell Trubisky, Nick Kwiatkoski, Pernell McPhee, Prince Amukamara, Sherrick McManis, Vic Fangio
Johnathan Wood | November 12th, 2017
Chicago came out of the bye flat, acting like nobody actually wanted to play a football game against their biggest rival. Their terrible kicker was good, but nobody else really was. The only thing that kept this game somewhat close was the fact that Green Bay is terrible, but they still won fairly comfortably on the road.
Let’s break down this embarrassing effort.
- The first drive was simply awful. After two weeks to prepare, they ran into a loaded box on 1st down and lost a yard. After a nice pass picked up a first down, they again ran into a stacked box and lost a yard. The next play was both an illegal formation and a hold, setting Chicago up in 2nd and 21. At that point, the drive was over thanks to a combination of poor play calling and dumb penalties.
- Rookie quarterback Mitchell Trubisky actually had a pretty good start to the game. He made good throws and got the ball to players in space. That changed as the game wore on and Green Bay dialed up the pressure. Trubisky got happy feet and starting pulling his eyes down from scanning the field too quickly. He also refused to throw the ball away, making him completely inept under any sort of pressure.
- Green Bay’s five sacks weren’t all on the offensive line, but they were bad today too. Hroniss Grasu, making a start at center and shifting Cody Whitehair to right guard with Kyle Long out, was routinely pushed back into the backfield. The unit also picked up way too many penalties, with a nice mixture of pre-snap, during the play, and after the play mixed in.
Read More …
Tagged: Adam Shaheen, Benny Cunningham, Brett Hundley, Chicago Bears, Cody Whitehair, Connor Barth, Data, Data Entry, Dontrelle Inman, Green Bay Packers, Hroniss Grasu, John Fox, johnathan wood, Jordy Nelson, Josh Bellamy, Kyle Fuller, Kyle Long, Mitchell Trubisky, Tanner Gentry, Tre McBride, Ty Montgomery, Vic Fangio
Jeff Hughes | November 2nd, 2017
The DBB team is evaluating the entire organization at this well-placed, exactly midseason bye week. The catch? Each of us is limited to ONE SENTENCE for each position group. Today we switch to special teams.
Jeff: Yes, the cupboard is bare at wide receiver due to injury but it’s been at kicker (and Mike Glennon) where the Bears have displayed their most glaring evaluative weakness.
Andrew: Barth just isn’t getting the job done.
Data: Connor Barth is terrible, but that’s something we’ve known since before he signed with the Bears 15 months ago.
DBB Grade: D
Jeff: Yes, I spend way too much time thinking about and studying punters but POD has improved his directional kicking, hang time and placement in 2017.
Andrew: Pat O’Donnell just might be having the best year of his career.
Read More …
Tagged: Connor Barth, Jeff Rodgers, Midseason Marks, Pat O'Donnell, Special Teams, Tarik Cohen
Johnathan Wood | October 29th, 2017
The Bears played pretty evenly with the NFC South-leading New Orleans Saints on the road, but a series of missed opportunities (helped by one atrocious call by the officials) cost them the chance to enter the bye at 4-4.
Perhaps most important to Chicago going forward, the loss was a costly one for the Bears. Four starters left the game with injuries and did not return, including guard Kyle Long (hand), center Cody Whitehair (arm), cornerback Bryce Callahan (knee), and tight end Zach Miller (leg). We’ll wait to see how serious the injuries are, though I can say fairly confidently that Miller’s gruesome leg injury means his season (and likely his career) is finished.
Still, the best news to me from the game was that they kept fighting. When they went down 17-6 early in the 4th quarter, I expected them to roll over and quit, but from that point on the defense forced two turnovers, the offense scored a touchdown, and the special teams picked up a big return to keep Chicago in the game. The attitude on the team is changing, and the importance of that can’t be overstated.
- The Bears were forced to ask for a bit more from rookie quarterback Mitchell Trubisky this week, and we saw some of both good and bad, as should be expected from a young quarterback. We saw the talent leading to some big plays, and we saw the rookie mistakes leading to missed opportunities and/or negative plays. The overall stat line (14/32, 164 yards, 0 TD, 1 INT, 46.9 rating) looks ugly, but his performance was not that bad. Notably, Trubisky threw 2 touchdowns, but one of them was taken away by a terrible officiating call and one of them was inexplicably dropped by a wide open Jordan Howard.
Read More …
Tagged: Adam Shaheen, Akiem Hicks, Chicago Bears, Christian Jones, Connor Barth, Daniel Brown, Data, Dion Sims, Dontrelle Inman, John Fox, Johnathan Bullard, johnathan wood, Jordan Howard, Leonard Floyd, Mitchell Trubisky, New Orleans Saints, Tanner Gentry, Tarik Cohen, Tre McBride, Zach Miller
Johnathan Wood | October 22nd, 2017
Well that was fun.
Chicago’s defense scored not one but two touchdowns and shut Carolina’s offense down, staking the Bears with an early lead that held up for the entire game. Even though the offense never really got anything going, this was the Bears’ easiest win in a long time.
- The Bears were up 14 points before the offense was really asked to do anything. That shifted an already conservative game plan even farther to the safe side, making them even more predictable. As a result, they went three and out with regularity, picking up only 153 yards and 5 first downs on the game. This forced the defense to spend too much time on the field and get tired; credit them for holding up under those conditions.
- Credit to the coaching staff for not sitting on a 14-3 lead with just over 3:00 left before halftime, like we all expected after watching their conservative approach this season. They came out and let Mitchell Trubisky throw deep to Tarik Cohen on 1st down, resulting in 70 yards and 1st and goal from the 5 yard line. They were unable to finish for the touchdown, but a field goal (plus a little rest for the defense) on that drive was key.
- The second half offense was just plain offensive. Prior to the final drive that ran out the clock, the Bears had the ball 5 times, picked up 3 total yards, and went 3 and out five times. At least they didn’t turn the ball over, I guess, and they were able to run out the last 3:36 of clock with two 1st downs on the ground. Read More …
Tagged: Akiem Hicks, Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers, Chicago Bears, Connor Barth, Danny Trevathan, Data, Eddie Goldman, Eddie Jackson, John Fox, johnathan wood, Kyle Fuller, Leonard Floyd, Marcus Cooper, Mitch Unrein, Mitchell Trubisky, Roy Robertson-Harris, Tarik Cohen, Vic Fangio
Andrew Dannehy | October 4th, 2017
I grew up on Bears vs. Packers.
As most DBB readers already know, I grew up in Wisconsin, right near the Minnesota border, and had to sit on the sidelines while Packers and Vikings fans battled it out. But the two times a year the Bears played the Packers were the best two weeks of the season. They were my Super Bowl simply because I knew the Bears had no shot of getting to the actual Super Bowl.
I’ll admit there were times when I cried after the Bears lost to the Packers. One of the happiest days of my life was the Walter Payton game. The 2010 NFC Championship was one of the worst. The Bears beating the Packers meant everything to me.
Last Thursday’s game meant nothing. I didn’t have any hope. Something wasn’t right in my Bearsmosphere and I’m damn glad they fixed it.
Read More …
Tagged: Chicago Bears, Connor Barth, Jay Cutler, Mike Glennon, Mitch Trubisky, Robbie Gould
Johnathan Wood | September 24th, 2017
- Bears win! It’s been so long I’ve forgotten what that looked like. Hell, I had forgotten what it looked like for them to have a lead, as this was the first game that happened at any point since the first half of week 15 last year.
- Good teams find ways to win close games, and bad teams find ways to lose them. Despite trying their best to throw this one away with a litany of stupid plays, the Bears still found a way to win. Hopefully they can build off of this going forward.
- We’ll start with the good and focus on all three running backs, starting with a monster day by sophomore Jordan Howard, who looked like his rookie self for the first time this year. He ran hard, was decisive, and finished runs with power. Holes were there better than they’ve been so far this year, but credit Howard for playing better as well to take advantage of it. Howard did have a 3rd quarter fumble (though on replay it looked like he was down) that let the Steelers back in the game, and he had to leave the game twice with his injured shoulder in the 2nd half. Still, he came back and finished the game in OT, and finished with 138 rushing yards and 2 touchdowns. Just for good measure, Howard also led the Bears with 26 receiving yards.
- Tarik Cohen rebounded from a poor week 2 effort as well. He made a big play in the first half and a huge play in OT that jump-started the Bears’ offense and should have won the game (he was incorrectly ruled out of bounds, costing him a tochdown). His electricity showed up in limited touches (though 16 is still too many). Perhaps equally important, the Bears finally started using him properly. His small size means that he can’t sustain as many touches as he’s been getting, so this week they started using fakes to him to open things up for others. They ran him around on a fake reverse several times, and this helped open up the running game for Howard.
- While we’re talking about running backs, Benny Cunningham was back from an ankle sprain today and made a few nice plays on 3rd down. Twice he caught checkdown passes way short of the sticks and turned them into a new set of downs for the Bears.
- Now for the quarterback, which is a lot less fun to talk about: it’s been 3 weeks and 3 bad games for Mike Glennon, who completed 5 passes (none of them to wide receivers) on 8 pass attempts for 31 yards in the first half. Despite this incompetence, the Bears still held a ten point halftime lead; just imagine how good this team could be if their quarterback wasn’t completely terrible. It stunts their entire offense, from the play calling to the run game.
Read More …
Tagged: Bears, Ben Roethlisberger, Bryce Callahan, Connor Barth, Data, Data Entry, Eddie Jackson, johnathan wood, Jordan Howard, Kyle Fuller, Marcus Cooper, Mike Glennon, Pittsburgh Steelers, Prince Amukamara, Quintin Demps, rapid reaction, Sherrick McManis, Steelers, Tarik Cohen, Vic Fangio
Jeff Hughes | December 5th, 2016
You will hear it across Chicago today: “…but the Niners suck.” And there’s no denying that fact. The Niners do, in fact, suck. They are probably the league’s worst team. (I don’t consider Cleveland a team.) But good teams beat sucky teams convincingly. Good teams play meaningless fourth quarters against sucky teams. And the Bears, with their third or fourth-string quarterback, looked an awful lot like a good team yesterday.
- I’ve been using #barkleytime as something of a joke but, you know, I’m starting to think it might not be. As impressive as Barkley was against the Titans a week ago, he was ten times more impressive in the conditions at Soldier Field yesterday. And if het got a little more help from his receivers, he might have been staring down a gaudy stat line. Nevertheless, a near-100 quarterback rating in the slush when the opposing quarterbacks looked like Abbot & Costello Meet the Snow, is exemplary. (More on Barkley coming later today/tomorrow.)
- I can’t remember seeing a two-win team play with the emotion the Bears played with yesterday. Defensively, offensively, everything. They were fired up from the opening whistle. Seeing that makes me want to slap all the “they should lose” people across their faces.
- Jordan Howard. That is all. No, that’s not all. His five-yard touchdown run may be my favorite play of the season. The Niners weren’t keeping him out of the end zone with 18 defenders.
- Say this about Josh Bellamy: he gets open! And I give the Bears coaching staff/QB credit for sticking with him after the second big drop. I would have sat him on the bench and left him there. They didn’t and they were handsomely rewarded for it.
- Noah Spence is having a terrific year in Tampa and Joey Bosa is terrific but Leonard Floyd may now be the front-runner (as predicted here) for defensive rookie of the year. If Floyd can get his sack total into double digits, I’m not sure they can keep the award away from him.
Read More …
Tagged: Connor Barth, Dowell Loggains, Jordan Howard, Josh Bellamy, Leonard Floyd, Matt Barkley, Nick Kwiatkoski, Niners, Pat O'Donnell, Powell Loggains
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