Your Morning Bears Bullets

Good morning! PhilEmeryConfused

A look at the development of Alshon Jeffery is coming this afternoon. In the meantime, I wanted to tell a quick story about why I hate Christmas shopping: I used to do all of it on Christmas Eve, which was normally a quiet night for it since the average, reasonable person finishes their shopping long before then. Lately I’ve taken to shopping online, which normally works even better; except for that in my small Indiana town, we don’t have home delivery. Everything gets shipped to the post office, and you have to go in and pick it up. Also not normally a problem. Except for tonight, when I opened the package locker to pick up my two Amazon shipments and there was only one package inside. It was addressed to a woman named Marjorie. So, now I have to go back tomorrow and hope that MY packages are actually there. I should have just stuck to Christmas Eve.

  • In an expansive, wide-ranging chat held on the Bears official website, general manager Phil Emery covered everything from the coaching decisions Sunday to Jay Cutler’s contract situation. He touched on so many different subjects that I’m loathe to try to pick and choose which ones to mention here, and if you’re curious at all as to the front office’s philosophy in terms of player acquisitions, the use of analytics, field turf at Soldier Field, or general (albeit fairly vague) opinions of certain players, I’d highly recommend reading through it. He’s obviously a thoughtful, contemplative guy, and I like that he seems like a new school football mind. Any glimpse into their process fascinates me.
  • Regarding the potential use of the franchise tag Emery noted that for quarterbacks, if you can’t reach a long-term agreement after the tag is applied, it becomes a real hindrance to the salary cap for next season. I take that to mean that if Cutler is tagged, it won’t be for a one-year experiment, it will be with an eye on signing him to a long-term deal. In my opinion this season was that experiment, and I have to believe Cutler has passed that test. But we won’t know for sure until the season is over.
  • Yet another thoughtful piece examining Marc Trestman’s unfortunate decision to kick on second down, this time from Grantland’s Bill Barnwell. In his (normally) weekly Thank You for Not Coaching column, which is always an informative look at the analytical merits of various coaching decisions, Barnwell names Trestman’s choice as the worst coaching decision of the week. Barnwell points out that based on Trestman’s comments, it seems like he may have been treating field goal range as a binary concept; that is, he’s in range or he isn’t. I think that’s partially true, but I don’t think Trestman believes a 47-yard kick is as equally easy as a 30-yard kick. I honestly believe that he was going to kick on third down, but the two Vikings plays (Peterson losing yards on a rushing play designed to get Minnesota closer, followed by a personal foul on a field goal attempt) spooked him into sending Robbie Gould out on second down.
  • Bleacher Report’s Will Carroll understands sports injuries better than just about anyone without a medical degree, and his weekly injury review is a great resource for fantasy football players. His section on Jay Cutler’s recovery is enlightening, in that he feels as though if Cutler could return, he’d be an instant upgrade over McCown regardless of potentially limited mobility. (He also notes that there are not ten fantasy quarterbacks better than Cutler right now, and I agree; before the injury, I thought he was playing at an incredibly high level. That combined with regression from some typical stalwart quarterbacks meant he was solidly in the top ten.)
  • A player who will return for Monday night’s game? Linebacker Sean Lee of the Cowboys, who has recovered from a recent hamstring injury. That’s a big boost for the Dallas defense, which has rivaled the Bears of late in terms of gross ineptitude. Also of note from that piece: Jerry Jones has a twice-weekly radio show in Dallas. Of course he does.
  • A lighter note to end on: Devin Hester raced against a cheetah for Big Cat Week on Nat Geo Wild. Video and GIF included on that page. Chris Johnson of the Titans also raced a cheetah. Spoilers: Devin actually won, although it wasn’t exactly a strict scientific experiment. Still, pretty cool to watch. Of course, Big Cat Week would be even better if it was a week dedicated to this guy.


Jay Rigdon is the editor and lead writer at Bleacher Nation Bears, and can also be found @BearsBN on Twitter.

16 responses to “Your Morning Bears Bullets”

  1. ISU Birds

    Why don’t you want to play poker in the jungle??????

    Because there’s cheetahs in there.

  2. Adam

    According to Dave Kaplan, the Bears have already decided that they will give Cutler a 5 year extension this offseason. I’m ok with the move if the guaranteed money isn’t ridiculous. Fans that are anti-extention should consider the fact that NFL contracts are non-guranateed. The Bears could potentially save about $6-7 million in cap space for next season if they sign Cutler long-term instead of applying the tag. If he doesn’t work out, they could end up cutting him before the deal is up which could cost somewhere in the range of $4 million of dead money if the contract is structured correctly. If he does play well, you probably get Jay at a discount by signing him now. That additional cap space could be huge in terms of overhauling this defense.

  3. Funn Dave

    Hmm, I hadn’t thought about how Minnesota’s failures on their drive might have influenced Trestman’s decision-making. Interesting point to ponder (QB pun inadvertent yet acknowledged). Then again, his statement that went something along the lines of, “once we cross the thirty, we’re kicking,” makes it sound like he would have made the same decision regardless of the previous action. Then again again, his statement did come after the fact, so who knows? It’s tough to get inside the mind of a Trestman.

  4. NBT

    Love the new site! I hope it grows to be as successful as the parent site. As for Cutler’s injury, Bill Barnwell over at hypothesizes that whether a QB can effectively play with a high ankle sprain depends on whether the injured leg is the QB’s plant leg when throwing (which would a a right handed QB’s left leg). He uses the example of Ben Roethlisberger’s high ankle sprain from a few years ago and it’s effect on his play. Unfortunately, Jay injured his left (plant) leg, and that may explain how particularly cautious the Bears have been with him.

    Grantland article:

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    […] a heartwarming ending, I received my nearly-lost Amazon shipments. Hopefully Marjorie has been reunited with her package as well. For a few minutes, I entertained a […]

  6. Myles

    If it were up to me, I’d draft a QB this year, franchise Cutler, and develop a backup to eventually take Cutty’s place. If Cutler torches the league in 2014, have a great backup that you can trade a la Kolb isn’t a bad thing, but I also don’t want to invest long-term in an asset that’s been just above average when healthy (and he isn’t healthy all that often).

    1. On The Farm

      As much as I hate to say it, get a guy like Aaron Rodgers, someone you can stick behind Cutty, until you feel comfortable that he is “your guy”.

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