Jeff Hughes | June 21st, 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.
- Akiem Hicks and Eddie Goldman are the core of everything this defense wants to do. When they’re on the field, they become the focal point of opposing offensive coordinators because they are both capable of ruining a game. Hicks is the flashier talent but Goldman is just as valuable. They Bears can’t be an elite defense without both.
- There is cautious optimism inside the building that a light went on for Jonathan Bullard at the end of last season. But I’d warn fans against sharing that optimism. Coaches ALWAYS believe they can get through. They never believe a player is incapable of taking the leap. Bullard flashed down the stretch in 2017 but can he be a disruptive force for sixteen games? We shall see.
- Roy Robertson-Harris and Bilal Nichols will play and play an awful lot if Bullard does not impress this summer. Nichols is the player to keep an eye on. From a source inside the organization: “Fangio fell in love with this kid on day one. He’s got a chance to be a star.”
Tagged: Akiem Hicks, Bilal Nichols, Eddie Goldman, Jonathan Bullard, Roy Robertson-Harris
Johnathan Wood | April 10th, 2018
Now that Ryan Pace has been here a while, it’s possible to look at his past drafts to see what lessons can be learned from his approach. This can help us cautiously look ahead to the 2018 draft to see what he might be thinking.
With that goal in mind, I’m going to spend three weeks looking at how Pace has approached the three days of the draft, and then applying that approach to 2018 to see what players are likely being considered for the Bears this year. I looked at day 1 last week, so today will be day 2 (rounds 2-3).
2015: Eddie Goldman, DT, 39th pick; Hroniss Grasu, C, 71st pick
2016: Cody Whitehair, OL, 56th pick (after 2 trade downs); Jonathan Bullard, DL, 72nd pick
2017: Adam Shaheen, TE, 45th pick (after trading down)
Trend 1: Trade Down
Ryan Pace has been a big fan of trading down for extra picks in round 2. He did it twice before selecting Cody Whitehair in 2016 and once before taking Adam Shaheen in 2017. Given that the Bears are short a third round pick this year, I think he will be working the phones looking to do that again in round 2. Read More …
Tagged: Adam Shaheen, Brian O'Neill, Cody Whitehair, Eddie Goldman, Hroniss Grasu, Jonathan Bullard, Josh Sweat, Kolton Miller, Lorenzo Carter, Ryan Pace, Sam Hubbard, Uchenna Nwosu
Johnathan Wood | December 10th, 2017
Is this real life?
The Bears dominated on both sides of the ball, scored 30 points for the first time in over two years, and generally rolled over the dormant Cincinnati Bengals.
I know Cincinnati is bad and banged up, but so are the Bears, and this was a lot of fun. More importantly, this as led largely by young players for the Bears, which bodes well for the future. Let’s take a look at what happened.
- The Bears came out and threw it on their first 2 plays! The first resulted in an awful Jordan Howard drop (drink), while the second was a beautiful play action rollout to Josh Bellamy for a 1st down. This unsurprisingly caught the Bengals’ defense off guard, and they backed off the defense into standard 7 man boxes instead of loading 8-9 up. As a result, the Bears ran it the next two plays for about 40 yards and a touchdown. That marked the first time this season that the offense scored a touchdown on their first possession of the game.
- Before I get too down on Howard, how about giving it up for a great game from Chicago’s stud running back? He had his 12th 100 yard rushing game in 26 career starts and passed the 1,000 yard mark for the 2nd year in a row, making him the first running back in Chicago history to start his career that way. That’s pretty remarkable when you think of the great running backs who have played in Chicago.
Read More …
Tagged: Adam Shaheen, AJ Green, Andy Dalton, Bryce Callahan, Chicago Bears, Chris Prosinski, Christian Jones, Cincinnati Bengals, Daniel Brown, Data, Deon Bush, Dowell Loggains, Eddie Jackson, John Fox, johnathan wood, Jonathan Bullard, Jordan Howard, Josh Bellamy, Kendall Wright, Kyle Fuller, Lamarr Houston, Mitchell Trubisky, Nick Kwiatkoski, Prince Amukamara, Roy Robertson-Harris, Tarik Cohen, Tom Compton
Johnathan Wood | November 26th, 2017
Well that was ugly. This one felt like a few drubbings the 2014 Bears received after the Bears had quit on Marc Trestman. The John Fox era is officially over, though we almost certainly still have to endure 5 more games before it becomes official. Hopefully those games aren’t all this ugly.
The Bears were never going to win on the road against the best team in the NFL, but they looked completely unprepared in every possible way. They picked up penalties, had zero creativity or imagination anywhere, and were generally outschemed, outcoached, and out-executed.
I’m not going to focus much on coaching, because this staff is obviously finished, but one particular atrocity deserves special attention. Facing 3rd and 17 from their own 1 yard line, the Bears called time out to save half a yard from a delay of game penalty. That’s bad enough, but the worst is the offense had only 10 men on the field after an injury time out gave them more than 2 minutes to prepare. That’s a team with comically inept coaching.
I’m going to focus most of my specific observations on the first half, because quite honestly I didn’t pay as much attention after that. The 24-0 halftime deficit meant the game was over by then anyway (honestly, it was over well before halftime).
- Mitchell Trubisky threw an early INT on an inaccurate throw, and it caused the coaching staff to turtle back into their worst habits. It was a long time before they let him throw past the line of scrimmage again, and even then that only came on 3rd and long. Instead, they chose to repeatedly run out of heavy sets into loaded boxes. You might be surprised to learn this was not an effective strategy.
Read More …
Tagged: Adam Shaheen, Adrian Amos, Carson Wentz, Chicago Bears, Data, Dion Sims, Dontrelle Inman, Eddie Jackson, John Fox, johnathan wood, Jonathan Bullard, LeGarrette Blount, Marc Trestman, Marcus Cooper, Mitch Unrein, Mitchell Trubisky, Nelson Agholor, Pat O'Donnell, Philadelphia Eagles, Tarik Cohen, Tracy Porter, Tre McBride
Andrew Dannehy | May 8th, 2017
While they didn’t attack that side of the ball the way many people thought they should in the draft, the Bears defense should still be significantly improved in 2017.
Just last week the Bears made a significant addition to their front seven adding Jaye Howard from Kansas City. Howard is a bull against the run and has shown some ability to rush the passer, finishing with 5.5 sacks in 2015. He missed half of the 2016 season, but passed a physical and appears to be ready to go. Howard will start for the Bears and has the ability to play in their nickel packages, rotating with Eddie Goldman and Akiem Hicks, representing a significant upgrade over Mitch Unrein.
Howard will also push second-year player Jonathan Bullard. Bullard has the potential to be a stud but was terrible as a rookie. If the Bears — with one of the best defensive line coaches in the league in Jay Rodgers — can develop Bullard, they might have the best front seven in the league.
Read More …
Tagged: Akiem Hicks, Chicago Bears, Defense, Eddie Goldman, Jaye Howard, Jonathan Bullard, Pernell McPhee
Jeff Hughes | December 29th, 2016
In only four days, it ends.
WHO COULD USE A SOLID SUNDAY?
- Matt Barkley. #Barkleytime has something. Call it moxie. Call it guts. Call it chutzpah. Does he have the physical tools of an Aaron Rodgers or Jay Cutler? No. But he’s certainly shown over his first five starts that he has enough to make it as a quarterback in the NFL. Barkley can go a long way towards cementing his inarguably successful 2016 by rebounding from his poor performance a week ago. And it would be hard to see him not playing a prominent role in Bourbonnais if he played well Sunday in Minnesota.
- John Fox. Don’t think there’s any chance of his being fired because injuries (especially at QB) and suspensions (to 2 of the Bears 5 best players) will give him a free pass into 2017. But neither Fox nor Ryan Pace want to see the head coach finish this season being walloped twice. While not winning, the Bears fought almost every single week and kept most games close. Fox needs to show his team still, even as the season concludes, wants to fight for him.
- Jonathan Bullard. Let’s be honest, Bullard has had a nothing rookie season. When the coaching staff is playing Mitch Unrein instead of you, it probably means you’re Mitch Ungood. But Bullard flashed against Washington – his first flashes all year – and a second consecutive decent performance could help the rookie’s confidence as he heads into a pivotal offseason for his development.
- Charles Leno. The Bears starting left tackle received a glowing endorsement from Pace last offseason and has performed well overall in 2016. But he had unquestionably his worst performance of the season against Washington, allowing Preston Smith to walk around him as he carved the man’s bust for Canton. If Leno wants to hold onto his starting role in 2017 he might not want to leave Pace with the taste of two howlers to close out the campaign.
- Adrian Amos. Injuries have been the biggest disappointment of 2016. Amos is the runner-up. The safety was never expected to display dominant ball skills but his struggles in run support (poor angling, inefficient tackling…etc.) have left many believing the Bears need two new players at the position in 2017 to become an elite defensive unit.
Tagged: Adrian Amos, Charles Leno, John Fox, Jonathan Bullard, Matt Barkley
Jeff Hughes | December 25th, 2016
Merry Christmas and Happy Chanukah to you all. Thanks for another wonderful year at DBB. I hope I can keep improving this place for years to come.
Bad game yesterday. Very bad. Here are some quick thoughts.
- That was a full meltdown from Matt Barkley and quite frankly, I half expected it. I knew yesterday was not going to be an “on the bubble” performance. It was going to be definitive. How Barkley responds next week, on the road, at a division rival, will have a huge say in his role with the organization moving forward.
- Bombs to Josh Bellamy when he’s triple covered?
- Would I pay Alshon Jeffery $17 million a year? No. will anybody in the league pay him that? I don’t think so. Bears need to get a deal done, even if they slightly overpay this guy. Jeffery may not be a weekly ten-catch guy but he is always capable of the spectacular and there’s distinct value to that.
- Cam Meredith is going to be the third receiver next season.
- Don’t want to get ahead of myself here but Jordan Howard is starting to look like one of the best Bears draft picks ever. If they held the 2016 draft today, Howard is going in the middle of the first round.
Read More …
Tagged: Alshon Jeffery, Cam Meredith, John Fox, Jonathan Bullard, Matt Barkley, Redskins, Tracy Porter
Jeff Hughes | May 1st, 2016
(1) The Leonard Floyd pick will be the most heavily scrutinized moving forward but he will actually have little pressure on him in 2016. With Houston, Young and McPhee already situated at OLB, Floyd will be able to assimilate into Vic Fangio’s defense by doing what he does best: getting after the quarterback.
(2) Cody Whitehair is ready to play right now and the Bears should start him at left guard immediately. What does this mean? It means the team should follow the old offensive line maxim and play their best five. Leno. Whitehair. Slauson at center. Long. Massie.
(3) No, I’m not confident Hroniss Grasu is the future at center for the Bears. And that’s fine. You’re allowed to swing and miss in the name of athleticism. Giving him another season to develop, with Slauson at center, is probably the best thing for him.
(4) I like Pat O’Donnell. I really do. But North Dakota State’s Ben LeCompte – who accepted the Bears invite to camp – is a special player and a special kid. Don’t be surprised to see an actual competition emerge this summer. (The Bears didn’t go out and invite the best punter in the land to camp for no reason.) Read this piece on one of the best punting performances I’ve ever seen.
(5) I won’t be surprised to see Jonathan Bullard have a more productive Bears career thanFloyd and that’s not knocking Floyd. Bullard is a grinder. Staying away from all the draftspeak, Bullard just made life horrible for offensive linemen and he went up against some terrific ones in the SEC.
Read More …
Tagged: Ben Braunecker, Ben LeCompte, Brian Hoyer, Cody Whitehair, Don Cherry, Hroniss Grasu, Jonathan Bullard, Leonard Floyd, Nick Kwiatkoski, Pat O'Donnell
Andrew Dannehy | April 30th, 2016
In the third round the Bears picked one of the most athletic defensive linemen in the draft in Bullard.
According to Mock Draftable, Bullard’s most comparable current NFL player is Sheldon Richardson. He fits the physical profiles they look for at 6’3″, 285 pounds, running the 40-yard dash in under five seconds and a 10-yard split of 1.65 seconds, among the best at his position in the draft. Oh, and his arms are nearly 34 inches long.
Read More …
Tagged: Chicago Bears, Jonathan Bullard, NFL Draft