ATM: Bears Need Roquan Smith On the Field Right Now

| August 15th, 2018

The Bears will need Roquan Smith against Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers.

Finally the camp-long nightmare has come to an end. The eighth overall selection in the 2018 NFL Draft has signed his contract with the Bears after a nearly 30-day holdout. Missing nearly all of training camp would typically be enough to rule out a rookie from making an impact in Week One, but don’t be surprised if that’s not the case on the evening of September 9th. While the situation has been far from ideal, a player of Smith’s caliber and skill set should still figure into the Bears’ immediate plans.

Rodgers’ ability to move and make pinpoint throws in the middle of the field make having an athletic inside linebacker a must. It’s why Rodgers calls Brian Urlacher the best defender he ever faced, it’s why Smith was the pick and it’s why they double-dipped taking Joel Iyiegubuniwe in the fourth round.

The plan was for Smith to start Week One. That should still be in play but it’s hard to see the team giving the rookie the nod over Nick Kwiatkoski after the third-year linebacker has, by most accounts, played well in camp. It was to the point that the Bears didn’t even play Kwiatkoski in the first preseason game and he saw very limited action in the second. A bigger issue is that they can’t sell the first few weeks of camp as actually being important if a guy who has never played in the NFL doesn’t need them to be ready to face Rodgers.

Regardless of how well he has played in practice, Kwiatkoski has significant flaws. While many have pointed to his training camp interceptions, anyone who has spent too much time watching camp clips on Twitter has also seen several times in which the Bears got the better of Kwiatkoski. They’ve attacked him in practice, just as opposing teams did in games last year. The Bears actually took him off the field on passing downs in favor of Christian Jones late in the season. Maybe Kwiatkoski has improved in coverage, but it’s unlikely he’s going to cease being a liability there and Roquan figures to be among the elite coverage backers in the entire league.

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Offense Blows Home Opener: Rapid Fire Responses to a Terrible Loss

| September 8th, 2014

No picture. Nothing fun. Let’s get right to the thoughts…

  • Don’t blame the defense for this one. The Bears should never lose a game at home wherein they allow 20 points in regulation.
  • Jay Cutler was exhausting and terrible, I don’t care how many yards and touchdown passes he throws. (1) The interception to Kevin Williams is inexcusable. You don’t throw a pass halfway across the field, across your body, into traffic, when you need ONE YARD! You simply don’t do it if you’re a championship level quarterback. (2) The way he managed the end of regulation was deplorable. Why on 2nd and 1 from the Buffalo 19 is he throwing jump balls to covered receivers? Move the ball closer. Get the clock stopped. Give yourself three solid chances in the end zone. Instead he played like there was a twenty-five foot stone wall erected at the Bills 19. (3) He should have had 2-3 more interceptions over the course of the game.

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