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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Why This Matt Barkley Shit is Upsetting People

| December 20th, 2016

Since creating America’s favorite hashtag – #Barkleytime – nearly a month ago, the conversation surrounding the future of the Bears at quarterback has changed. Punches have been thrown. Followers have been blocked on Twitter. Marriages have ended up in front of a mediator.

The framed, autographed Dick Butkus jersey…?

He can have that.

Matt Barkley arrived at Soldier Field.

He played three quarters against the Tennessee Titans that left fans clamoring for the days of Jonathan Quinn, Medicine Woman and CFL legend Henry Burris. He looked ill suited to the speed and difficulty level of the league. He was every bit the non-professional folks like me said he would be.

Then, something changed. Barkley put together a dynamic and rousing fourth quarter. He threw the ball effortlessly through the Titans zone and when the Titans left zone, relatively quickly, he required little more effort.

Three more games have been played and aside from the start of the third quarter against Green Bay this past Sunday, Barkley has looked every bit like an NFL starter. So why, why, why are fans and media types so reluctant to acknowledge what is happening on the field? Why has Barkley’s performance caused so much debate in Bears circles?

The answers are not simple.

Answer #1. “He’s Matt Barkley. We Know What He Is.”

Problem is, we don’t. Nobody does. John Fox: “He’s probably turned a lot of peoples heads.”

Barkley was drafted by Chip Kelly at Philadelphia, in the fourth round, into a system he had zero chance of fitting. Chip canned. Barkley gone after seeing a few mop-up snaps in losing efforts.

Bruce Arians brought Barkley to Arizona and Barkley struggled to find consistency in the preseason. Arians, this summer:

Have you seen progression with Barkley?

“Up and down. He’s like a yo-yo.”

Arians is not a young coach and the Cardinals (with someone else around here) believed they were title contenders this season. He was never carrying three QBs on Sundays and Drew Stanton is one of the game’a most reliable backups.

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DBB Weekend Show – Week 15 [AUDIO]

| December 15th, 2016


  • Jeff challenges Greg Gabriel’s belief that Matt Barkley is not a professional-caliber quarterback, using quotes from Gabriel’s own column.
  • A clip from the classic L.A. Story.
  • Reverend Dave believes Josh Bellamy is the Andie MacDowell of the 2016 Chicago Bears. (He get it there, trust me.)
  • Prediction. Bear weather. And the team that’s better at running it (Bears) and stopping the run (Bears) wins in -20 wind chill. 13-10!

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Across The Middle: Quick Q&A with Greg Gabriel

| March 31st, 2016

You’d be hard-pressed to fine anyone who deserves the title of NFL Draft Expert more than former Chicago Bears Director of College Scouting Greg Gabriel, who agreed to do a quick Question and Answer about the upcoming NFL Draft with DBB.

While Gabriel was in charge of the Bears college scouting, they drafted players such as Lance Briggs, Tommie Harris, Devin Hester, Johnny Knox and Nathan Vasher. Gabriel worked in the NFL for 30 years and currently lends his expertise to National Football Post and 670 The Score. In other words, he knows his shit.

Q: I know every organization is different, but with free agency, the combine and most of the pro days already in the books, can you explain what the final month before the draft was like for the front offices you worked for?

A: The final month is mostly draft prep. Many of the allowable 30 visits come in then. (They can come in until a week before the draft). Depending on the club, the scouts come in for final meetings and setting the board. That could be anywhere from two to three weeks before the draft. The scouts are also making calls to perspective UDFA’s just trying to recruit. If the GM feels they might need a little more info on a kid, then he may send out a coach or scout for a private workout. We also make a lot of calls to gather as much info as possible as to where certain guys may get drafted.

Q: One of the things I’ve noticed about the Bears is how much they value length. In Vic Fangio’s time with the 49ers and John Fox’s time with the Broncos, they drafted 13 defensive linemen and edge players, all with arms longer than 33 inches. Can you explain why length is so important for pass-rushers, specifically?

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Audibles From the Long Snapper: Martellus Moves to Boston & New Long Snapper Alert!

| March 16th, 2016


Few things of note worth weighing in on.

  • Martellus Bennett is now a Patriot. This should thrill a player who cares about one thing: money. Ryan Pace doesn’t hesitate to dump players who don’t fit the culture. But I will reiterate what I’ve said for months. Bears should have spent entire offseason convincing Marty to buy-in. They’re worse without him.
  • Bears signed former Broncos snapper Aaron Brewer to a one-year deal. Most interesting thought on the signing comes from the Twitter feed of former Bears scout Greg Gabriel: “Don’t think for a minute the Bears signing a new snapper wasn’t all about Gould’s misses last year. That’s ALL it was about.” Do I buy the snapper being to blame for Robbie blowing games? No. Do I doubt the team considers it a factor? No.
  • Per Jimmy Shapiro at Bovada the Besrs have gone from 50/1 to 40/1 to win the Super Bowl this year. Have to say that’s a substantial jump considering the lack of sexiness surrounding their free agent haul. Vegas clearly understands the Bears are better today than they were ten days ago.
  • Based on CJ Anderson’s comments (re: chasing more money to Chicago) one has to assume the Bears had interest in the Broncos back. My only question is…why?  Anderson is an okay back but can’t you find a bunch of him in the middle of the draft? And why would the Bears want to put money into a position there they could potentially have a young star at cost?
  • Zach Miller was always coming back to Chicago, barring a huge divide in compensation. I don’t play the source game but here’s something I know: Cutler lobbied Miller aggressively to return. Don’t be surprised if Miller isn’t rewarded on the stat sheet next season.

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Audibles From the Long Snapper: Jackasses Badger Trestman’s Daughters, Gabriel & More!

| November 11th, 2014


If you abuse one of Marc Trestman’s Daughters Because He’s Lost Some Football Games, You Don’t Deserve to Be Part of the Human Race

Deadspin reported the story on Monday about Bears fans harassing the daughters of Marc Trestman because, you know, he’s struggling as a football coach. The article’s author, Samer Kalaf, summed the entire ordeal up perfectly: “The Bears suck, but these people suck more.”

Sports are fun. They are life’s great escape. And I don’t judge anyone emotionally investing in a football or any other team because it is the one element of life where a human can be completely unselfish. We have nothing to do with these outcomes, even though we often blame the sandwich we ate or where we sat or what jersey we wore.

You’d hope these assholes harassing the Trestman girls are teenagers but unfortunately they are not. They are useless non-entities unhappy with their own existence who’ve put too much of their self worth on the wins and losses of football team. To any of those individuals who might come across this site I encourage you to grow up and get a fucking life. Marc Trestman may not last as the coach of the Bears but he’s achieved more in his last two years on this earth than you’ll achieve in all of yours.

It is people like these pricks starting fights in parking lots and giving sports fans a bad name all these years and I’m tired of it.

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