Reviewing Nate Davis, Andrew Billings

| August 16th, 2023

With the Bears’ first preseason game in the books and no practice news to speak of, the only noteworthy thing that happened in Chicago football over the last few days was Nate Davis returning to practice.

From what I understand, Nate Davis has been nursing a legitimate injury (as opposed to skipping practice) so it’s great to see him back on the field. He should be a major help to Darnell Wright as a consistent pass-protector that does a great job handling his own business and helping his Tackle when needed. Davis is known for being a mauler in the run game, so get to know his pass pro abilities while you still have the chance — if he’s fully healthy by Week 1, they should show out against a tough GB front.

Speaking of tough fronts, is there anybody on the Bears’ DL that can back up Andrew Billings?

Billings looked like the clear largest defensive lineman on the Bears last Saturday, but we saw a few examples of the burst & power he can bring to the Bears’ interior line once the Titans fought their way to the goal line — if Billings can capably take on double-teams in the run game and emphatically win his single-block opportunities, he may change the calculus for a Bears’ run defense that sorely needs a space-eater in the middle.

It’s a big year for the former Baylor Bear — if he shows out in Chicago, he may finally get the multi-year deal I imagine he’s been chasing since 2019.

Your Turn: How are you feeling about Davis and Billings so far this offseason?

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Fields in Focus (4/8): Fields Under Pressure

| May 8th, 2023

Today is the fourth of eight articles taking a closer look at Justin Fields’ 2022 season.

All data comes from Pro Football Focus (PFF) unless otherwise noted, and Fields’ per-snap stats are only from Week 5 on, as was explained in part one of this series. (Volume stats are still season-long for an easy comparison to other QBs.)

Pressure Frequency

Like we saw in his rookie season, Fields was under heavy pressure in 2022. PFF had him pressured on 45% of drop backs, the worst rate of 33 qualified QBs and 12% higher than the NFL average. Pro Football Reference, which is more selective with what they consider a pressure, had him at a 27% pressure rate, the 3rd worst mark in the NFL (range from 13% to 29%, with an average of 21%, quick side note that this is full season, not just from week 5 on).

The table below shows how frequently PFF blamed pressure on each position. Fields’ stat is provided, and his rank compared to the other 33 QBs, as well as the range of the other qualifying QBs.  Cells where Fields ranked in the top 25% are highlighted in green, while cells where Fields ranked in the bottom 25% are highlighted in red.

A few thoughts:

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Dannehy: Quick Thoughts on the Early Moves

| March 16th, 2023

For the first time since he became the GM, Ryan Poles is showing aggressiveness and his plans for the team are becoming clear.

In a vacuum, it’s hard to argue with trading the first overall pick to the Carolina Panthers for the ninth pick, their 2024 first and, perhaps most importantly, DJ Moore, amongst other pieces. That trade values Moore as a first-round pick, which makes sense when you compare his production to others who have been traded in recent years. Furthermore, getting Moore in the trade will make the Panthers worse in 2024 and 2025, thus improving the draft picks the Bears will receive in those years as part of the trade.

Moore doesn’t just give the Bears an actual Number One wide receiver, he goes them a WR1 who fits their quarterback. His average depth of target (ADOT) — 13.1 — was second amongst players with 100 or more targets. Justin Fields throws a great deep ball and with Moore, Darnell Mooney and Chase Claypool, the Bears will have three wide receivers who can be on the receiving ends of those bombs.

Edwards+Edmunds+2nd rounder > Roquan

Nobody who is qualified to speak on the subject will tell you the Bears upgraded from Roquan Smith, but they clearly upgraded the linebacker position with a series of strategic moves.

There was a clear, steep drop off once the Bears traded Smith for a second-round pick last year. As much as fans liked Jack Sanborn, the Bears clearly didn’t evaluate the UDFA out of Wisconsin the same way. On Monday, we learned of the team’s intentions to sign Philadelphia’s TJ Edwards and Buffalo’s Tremaine Edmunds — the latter to a rather large deal.

Both are quality starting linebackers who fill not only a position of need, but a position of great importance in the Matt Eberflus defense. The bonus is that, combined, they cost less than Smith and Nick Morrow would’ve in 2023 and the Bears still have a second-round pick from trading Smith.

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