On Hiatus For Now

Because it would be just too cheesy to say that the Bears page is hibernating …

As you all have likely noticed, the Bears page has not been home to new content for a little while now. As I mentioned at the outset of the Bears dalliance, this was something of an experiment to see how it would work. For now, you can consider the Bears page to be on hiatus. There is no ETA on a return, and I can’t offer you much in the way of an explanation other than to say that doing something like this right isn’t easy, and there tend to be hiccups along the way.

Thanks to Jay for his great work thus far at the Bears page, and I’ll let you know as soon as there’s something to share regarding the future of the page.

UPDATE: All of that above applies once again.

Brett Taylor is the editor and lead writer at Bleacher Nation, and can also be found as Bleacher Nation on Twitter and on Facebook.

535 responses to “On Hiatus For Now”

  1. mdavis

    Kiper’s most recent draft: Gilbert to the Bears. Donald, Dennard, Clinton-Dix off the board.

    1. frank

      Gilbert would be a good pick, though I think they’re more likely to take Pryor. That is, unless they’re going to play Gilbert at safety for a year–or they’re planning another move at safety. I don’t think it’s a great idea to go into camp with the safeties they have–still a weak group, even with the upgrades.

      1. mdavis

        for sure. you know’ve ive been on the gilbert train for months so i got a little jacked up haha. my thinking, is the safety class is pretty deep, to the point they may pass on a Pryor. That being said, I also really like the corner class too. Gilbert also gives you immediate impact in the return game. They;ve done extensive evaluation on the 2-3 rounder DTs. Kind of makes me think they’ll look at the DBs with that first pick. but could just be planning for Donald to be gone by then. Course, what do we really know? nothing haha.

        1. frank

          Maybe–I think it depends on how much they like Bucannon and whether they think they can get him in round 2–but if they do that, I think it’s a DT in round 1–depending on who’s on the board of course.

          1. mdavis

            agreed. Then again, there’s going to be some talent at DT in round 3. Sutton, Reid, Easley possibly. Urban.

            1. mdavis

              if it ended up, 1. Gilbert 2. Bucannon 3. Easley/Reid/Urban. I wouldn’t hate that. or 1. Pryor 2. McGill 3. same.

              1. frank

                I wouldn’t mind those scenarios either, but I wonder about the chances of picking DBs in each of the first two rounds.

                1. mdavis

                  I’d say minimal. but looking at the def I’d say those two spots are the greatest needs. the DT isn’t as poor as we ma think. Ratliff, Collins, Paea plus you have to assume Houston is going to bump inside on nickel situations with Young coming into DE. So how major of a need is it? I don’t think one where we *have* to pick a DT round 1 or 2. If they get a Reid, Urban, Easley, etc. someone who can be in the rotation for a year and learn, I think that’s a quality move. Assuming the best players in round 1 and 2 avail are DBs

  2. frank

    Shaun King’s mock has Pryor going to the Bears. Donald to Oakland at #5, Clinton-Dix to the Rams at 13, Dennard to the Lions at 10, & Mosley to Minnesota at 8. Other interesting picks: Bridgewater to Cleveland at 4, Nix to Pittsburgh at 15, Jernigan to Dallas at 16, Beckham to gb at 21 –and Houston, with the first pick–take Khalil Mack.

    1. mdavis

      I’m actually not going to make fun of Mack at #1…he’s a special talent, and atually may pair up better with Watt than Clowney. Donald at 5 seems a bit high, but with his rise i wouldnt be shocked. Kiper actually had Beckham going at 10 to Detroit, so i woulnd’t be shocked. but Nix at 15, no. Bridgewater at 4, definitely no. Even Jernigan, I’m a little weery of. After Floyd’s drop last year, and Idk they seem similar types…1 more week though. then we can spend 3 months talking about all of em haha

      1. frank

        He may be–it’s just that I don’t think I’ve seen a mock yet, at least until this one, that has had him go first. I certainly don’t see Bridgewater going 4th, especially after his less than impressive pro days. That’s the thing, isn’t it? Talk about the possibilities up til the draft, talk about the picks after the draft, and then camp starts . . . The NFL has something all the time . . . probably why it’s a $9 billion+ business.

        1. mdavis

          Very true. I want to say 1 of Kiper’s he was bold and said Mack #1. And yeah Bridgewater has fallen big time. I’m just not that sold on him myself. Kind of reminds me of an Alex Smith/ Andy Dalton type. Ok athletic ability, good passer but…is he a guy you want to lead you on the game winning drive?

          1. frank

            That’s the thing–admittedly, he probably felt some pressure on his pro day, but those things are designed to eliminate as much pressure as possible–and if you can’t impress under the ideal conditions of a pro day, what are you going to do when the pressure’s on in a game?

            1. mdavis

              exactly. i really cant recall a top flight qb having such a poor day at a pro day before. everything is scripted. they’re his receivers. he’s been throwing those routes for weeks training. just a real bad time.

              another thing that bothers me, and i dont know, maybe it shouldnt. but the $5 mil insurance policy if he falls out of the top 10, or the first round (i’ve read both so, unclear). I do not have a problem with guys insuring themselves when they choose to go back to school and insure themselves against injury. perfectly understandable. but for falling out of a round? that just bugs me. i dont know why haha

              1. frank

                At least now we know he has the foresight to cover possibilities others may not have thought about.

  3. mdavis

    Emery just had a presser. Highlights:

    -still harps on Offense being stronger
    -doesn’t view this draft strong at safety, looking at all lengthy corners as possible safeties (Gilbert, SJB, McGill I’d assume)
    -M. Wilson is at or a little more than 200 lbs (that’s outstanding, as long as its good weight)
    -gotten calls about moving back to stockpile picks (of course he’d say this true or not)
    -hopes 3 qbs are drafted ahead of them to push players down to them
    -narrowed it to 6 players they’d take with the 14th pick.

    1. mdavis

      and apparently someone brought up to him all the mocks have the bears taking Donald, and he said “i wouldnt count on that one” could just be the game. who knows.

      1. frank

        Of course, if I were him I’d harp on the offense too–there hasn’t been a better-than-average offense here since Jim McMahon was QB.
        If they can play Gilbert at safety for a year, then switch him to corner and draft a good safety next year, that would be well worth it, I think.
        If Wilson has been working out with Marshall and Jeffery, it’s probably good weight–and he needed it.
        I wouldn’t disagree with trading down to get more picks if this draft is as deep as most say it is. I wouldn’t want to go too far back though. Later in the first round should still land a contributor. I find it odd that he’d admit to having the list down to 6 though. That leaves a lot of play, especially if those QBs aren’t picked early. And you never know what’s real and what’s a smokescreen, especially this close to draft day, and especially when it comes to individual players. But another week of this? I wouldn’t mind if they moved the draft up a week or so from where it is now.

        1. mdavis

          agree on Wilson’s weight. I’m pretty excited about him this year. He had talent that far exceeded his 7th round slot. and you line up 6’4″ Marshall, 6’3″ Jeffrey on the outside, 6’6″ Bennett and 6’3″ wilson on the inside….good luck. Oh, and then Forte is coming out of the backfield.

          I think that’s certainly a possiblity with a Gilbert, McGill, etc. If they have the mental ability to bounce between the two, which all accounts Gilbert is a smart player and McGill is a converted safety, that’d be fine, and then draft a safety next year.

          Another interesting thing, is the fact he pointed out the drop off after top tier Safeties…if that’s the case, maybe they are targeting Clinton-Dix or Pryor. instead of finding a corner to convert. And with all of the work they’ve been doing on those 2-3rd rounder DTs I almost believe him when he’s saying they won’t be looking at Donald. but again, its the game. and I’m with ya, if the draft was tonight I think that’s plenty late enough. and now they want to move it to 4 days? good lord.

          1. frank

            And guess what? Another mock! This one has the Bears taking Mosley–calling him an immediate starter at MLB and maybe the next Luke Kuechly. Donald, Clinton-Dix and Gilbert (going to Detroit) were off the board. Of course, if Mosley = Kuechly — can’t complain about that.

            I wouldn’t be surprised at all with a DB in round 1, given the depth at DT and the fact that they have Houston (who Hub Arkush called probably the best 3 technique in the NFL right now), and Ratliff, Paea, and Collins coming back.

            With that height in the WR corps, no defensive backfield could compete, except maybe Seattle. But Seattle’s backfield looked better because they could rush the passer with the front 4. Hopefully, the Bears will be able to do that too.

            4 days would be — bad. 3 days is bad enough.

            1. mdavis

              I know they like Williams, but he is 32. And I may be wrong…but I thought his contract was not guaranteed. So if Mosley is the pick, you let him compete and try and take the job. If he does, great, if not, you’re set still for a year until he is ready. If donald, Clinton-Dix, Gilbert are all gone, he may be the top player. Unless Pryor is the pick. I suyggest checkin out Michael Wright’s article on espnchicago, but a good quote from Emery, and I’m paraphrasing. He said that even if other guys are selected ahead or behind a certain player throughout the draft, they dont push him up the board. So if Easley is marked at 22 in round 2, they arent taking him at 12 because the value doesnt match. (just spit balling). or that’s how i read it anyways. and I agree. 4 days would be brutal.

              1. frank

                I did take a look at the article–and that’s pretty much how I read it as well. They stick pretty much to the value at which they had assigned the player. Interesting that he also left open the possibility of an offensive player at 14–especially since he sees the greatest depth and value in the draft on the offensive side of the ball. Also interesting that they develop their own mock based on positional history in the draft and not merely on player ability.

                1. mdavis

                  yeah that historical mock was interesting. not sure i fully understand? was he saying, historically the top 3 DTs in round 1 turned out like this, and in round 2 that. or what? And i found that interesting also, about possibly going offense. If they draft a WR, you have to wonder what it means for Marshall as he goes into the final year. maybe a T if they aren’t sold with Mills? Otherwise, Ebron at TE, is really the only guy that would fill *somewhat* of a need as a #2 TE.

                  1. frank

                    I think they’re trying to get a handle on the distribution of draft picks at the various positions, which helps them assign value to a particular position or pick. I can’t see them drafting a receiver at 14–but if they do, it could speak to what they think it’ll cost to re-sign Marshall or even Jeffery down the road, or the depth that they believe they have. They may go T if they can get an upgrade there. Mills was an upgrade, but he was pretty much an average player last year.

                    1. mdavis

                      I got ya. Yeah WR is probably the last position to look at in round 1. Ebron is really the only offesnive player I could see them even considering at that spot. So, Kiper had Gilbert to the Bears in his last mock. Then last night Kiper/McShay did a dual mock 3 rounder, alternating picks. Round 1. Kiper picked Pryor (Clinton-Dix, Gilbert both on the board) 2. McShay took Stanley Jean-Baptiste, (McGill, Ford, Desir, Easley, Nix, on the board) 3. Kiper picked Dri Archer, (Urban, Reid, Crichton, Sutton on the board)

                      I know I harped that DT isn’t a huge need, and I believe that, but I do think we’ll see one first 3 rounds, before a guy like Archer, who’s an explosive “gadget” back, as I call em, but other than that I think you wait until rounds 4, 5, 6 to find those types. Otherwise, I don’t have a problem with the top 2 picks. A day 1 starter in Pryor, an heir to Tillman.

  4. frank

    So in one mock, he says Gilbert to the Bears, and in another, with Gilbert on the board, he picks Pryor for the Bears. Interesting. I don’t think I’d have a problem with 2 DBs in the first 2 rounds, given what they’ve already done on the DL. But I don’t see a RB happening in rd 3 when DT depth may be an issue. Of course, if they’re planning to move Houston inside more or less permanently–and they might be if they really like Bass or Washington (or one of the guys we think are camp bodies, like Lane or Scott)–then something like that might happen.

  5. frank

    Interesting comment by Emery–(paraphrase) not one long term starter at QB has been drafted after the 3rd round since 2006–so if you’re going to draft a QB, you have to draft one high. So–if that can be taken at face value (big “if” but less so if the stat is true), it doesn’t look like they’ll draft a QB this year; at least not with the idea of grooming him to be an eventual starter. And he did say he likes Jarrod Johnson as a developmental QB, for what that’s worth.

    1. mdavis

      Yeah i saw that too, very interesting…but at this point, since after round 1 rookies only get 3-4 year deals, what if you’re drafting a guy to develop as JUST a #2? So you’re not out there paying $4 mil to Jason Campbell. its a thought.

      I thought that was strange too. Especially since in that mock, Pryor was on the board. I’d be ok with the 2 dbs also, but like i said i just don’t see a gadget player like Archer being taken in the 3rd. Bucky Brooks did a 4 round mock.

      1. Pryor S
      2. Desir CB
      3. Sims RB
      4. Crockrell CB

      so once again another draft not seeing them take a DT. which is interesting. I wonder if these guys are starting to hear from other people hey, the Bears feel comfortable with their front. Pryor i like, Desir is a small school guy but has good size and great athletic ability, could be Tillman 2.0 and learn from him as well (McGill and Amaro, whom Emery likes alot, on the board). Sims is very similar to Forte, so at least he’s more of a complete back then an Archer type, and Forte is 28. Crockrell, I have no clue about. Out of Duke, standard size at 6’0″ 200, that’s really all I’ve got.

      1. frank

        I’ve heard they really like Desir, but I know nothing about him, except the things that you’ve already mentioned.

        We have to wonder how much of what we hear now is all, well, crap. The smokescreens are heavy and thick right before the draft anyway, and this year there’s been even more time to let it fly. Of course, if they move Houston inside, they have Houston, Ratliffe, Paea, and Collins inside and Allen, Young, Bass, Lane, Scott, and Washington outside. I’m not thrilled with that DE rotation, but if you add Houston and swing him between the two positions, it could work–especially if someone like Bass steps it up.

        1. mdavis

          yeah from what i’ve read Desir is a talent, had something like 25 Ints, lengthy, athletic, etc. Certainly someone who needs a year. and i think in the base set you go Houston/Allen on the ends, Ratliff and Collins/Paeae inside. Nickel or obvious passing siatuions, Houston bumps inside, Young comes in. So really you’re looking for maybe 1 of those other DE’s to step up to play 15-20 snaps a game.

          1. frank

            If that does turn out to be the case with the line–then DBs with the first 2 picks is a real possibility.

  6. frank

    Another thought–if Mosley is available, they could draft him and start him at MLB and move Williams to the outside, which I believe he also played in Denver, giving Bostic and McClellin more time to develop.

    1. mdavis

      they could. I just wonder how much athletic ability is still in the tank at 32 coming off a few years of injury. but if he’s playing sam, he’s only in there 30-45% of the time anyways, so not bad. could work

  7. frank

    Some picks of note from the latest mock I saw–

    Bears get Gilbert in rd 1, Bucannon in rd 2 —
    Dennard (Tenn), Donald (NYG) and Clinton-Dix (St. Louis) off the board

    Manziel 4 to Cleveland; Bortles 8 to MN; Ebron 10 to Det; Pryor 17 to Balt; Mosley 19 to Miami; Shazier 21 to gb; Hageman 29 to NE

    Bridgewater 33 to Houston; Ward 34 to Wash; Nix 44 to St. Louis; Joyner 45 to Det.

    Still don’t see Manziel as worth the #4, no matter how many times I see it. And I still don’t think Ward is a great value so early in rd 2.

    1. mdavis

      that really may be the best situatiuon for the bears. get the top corner. and 3rd best safety, whos kind of a blend between ballhawk and lumber layer. and i agree. Manziel, just no. please.

      1. frank

        I don’t think that would be a bad couple of rounds, given the upgrades on the line and the needs in the secondary . . .

  8. Ed

    Brett,

    Not telling you how to run your site, but please do NOT bring Jay back! He is way to inconsistent in his writing and obviously is not dedicated to this site.

  9. Ryan

    Can we get a better explanation then the same post reposted… So stupid. If Jay (BN writer) is brought back again I will lose my f’in mind!

  10. mdavis

    any news about getting this side of the site fired back up Brett? I suppose no rush until training camp starts end of July. Just curious if there has been any movement at all.

  11. Jerry

    I miss Jay and his measured, thoughtful, insightful, passionate and well written posts!! Bring back Jay!!

  12. frank

    Yeah, I’d like to see Brett do that too. C’mon, Brett!

    Well, 7-9 is better. Maybe even not so bad if it’s a “competitive” 7-9 and not the brutal assault on our football sensibilities that we saw last year.

  13. frank

    Not that that would be good–but a two game improvement is at least an improvement.

    1. mdavis

      right, and if they are playing good football, and come out at 7-9, i think i’d be ok. some pieces would be in place, with more coming next year (hopefully)

      1. frank

        That’s the thing. After last year, I just want to see some good football, and have some hope for the future.

        1. mdavis

          agreed. if you’re going to lose to Green Bay, lets not be down, what 42-0 at half? If they’re competitive, then ok. This team is partially built to win, but also has gotten some long term assets this off season. They have a gauntlet of a schedule this season. so, let the chips fall, but be competitive.

          1. frank

            Amen. If that defense is once again as bad as it was the last two years, I — I don’t know what I’ll do . . .

  14. frank

    Nice story–in 1998 while playing for Minn, Randy Moss became friends with a 4 year old girl fighting leukemia. The girl’s father died a few years later, and in 2013, the girl herself was diagnosed with a brain tumor. The girl graduated from high school on Friday, and Randy Moss flew to the small town in which she lives to hand her her high school diploma.

  15. frank

    Ray McDonald arrested again on charges of domestic violence and child endangerment.

  16. frank

    Bears have released McDonald. Gave him a chance–and he blew it.

    1. mdavis

      Ridiculous. A really uneccesary risk to sign him in the first place, and now McCaskey and Pace look like clowns because of it. At least they acted quickly, but still, pretty embarrassing for the organization on this one. Moves Jenkins (Ferguson?) into the starting line up at the 5 tech, with probably Ratliff on the opposite side. Loved Kyle Long’s tweet right after it happed: “Good riddance”.

  17. frank

    Organizationally, yes–it was an unnecessary risk, especially for a player who is not a real difference maker. The organization looks bad–especially because this wasn’t a second chance–it was more like a third or fourth. Plus, they did not really do their homework–Fangio vouched for him, but coaches want players who will, in this case, make a transition easier and upgrade the existing talent, if only even a bit. Pace probably should not have been put in this position in the first place. And McCaskey looks like an idiot because he said flat out that he discounted what the victim said because victims are biased (as if coaches aren’t). It was troublesome then, and it is more so now.

    Football-wise, they lose nothing–the only thing they’ve paid him is his per diem during practices. Unless the NFL starts to punish this kind of risk taking though, these kinds of signings will continue. Problem is, if they start to punish these kinds of signings, say with the loss of a draft pick as has been suggested, teams might be more likely to circle the wagons and protect the player rather than just cut him–and the better the player, the harder they’ll defend him.

    On top of all this, it’s possible he didn’t do anything this time either–this was the same woman who was involved in the first episode for which he eventually was not charged. But does it make a difference? In my view, no. Again, he put himself in a bad position and made a bad decision when all he had to do was stay out of trouble. And in my view, hitting a woman is inexcusable (especially so if you’re a 280 lb football player)–and when she’s holding a baby? Are you kidding? You’d think he would learn when he has pretty much everything to lose–imagine how he might act if he had nothing to lose.

    1. mdavis

      Agreed. On the “brand” front, they got mud on their face. The contract was non guaranteed so they paid him nothing, and the guy is probably not going to be the NFL ever again at this point. I can see both sides of the coin, in terms of punishing teams….we’ll just have to see. I’m sure itll be something continually discussed around the league though. And I agree with you, whether it’s legit or not or whatever…..continuosly puts himself in the situations…3 times in less than a year? Come on.

      1. frank

        Yeah, I can’t see another team signing him; not with his track record. I think this is, as you said, 3 times in less than a year and 4 times in 17 months. As you know, the better you are, the more chances you get–but he’s not a game changer so he’s likely out of chances. In terms of punishing teams, I can see that a hard punishment might be the only way to really stop this kind of thing but that’d be hard–the rules would have to be very tight and pretty complicated, I’d think, to try to account for the different possibilities. And they’d have to be pretty comprehensive as well because teams have to be able to determine what the possible penalties would be.

  18. frank

    The one thing they do lose on the football side is depth–McDonald was penciled in as the starter at one end position, and now it’ll have to be Ego or Jenkins I’d think. I thought the line depth was a bit thin anyway. They’re going to have to find someone now, and at this point, there’s not an awful lot out there. Maybe they can pick up a decent player after camp cuts.

    I am interested about Long’s response–is the “good riddance” solely because they don’t want someone of that character on the team (and that’s enough–I wouldn’t be comfortable around someone who thinks it’s ok to abuse women), and/or because he was a jackass on top of it?

    1. mdavis

      Yeah, I think Jenkins maybe moves into that starting line up, with Ego rotating in perhaps. As you said, maybe a camp cut gets brought in. They oculd look at Allen, or Houston putting their hand in the dirt. But with as much mixing and matching as Fangio does, I think they can piece it together.

      1. frank

        I think so too–it’s just that they did have to be in this situation in the first place.

  19. frank

    Aaaannnnndd–Colin Kaepernick shows his good sense again by making an inappropriate comment after the storms in Houston.

    1. mdavis

      Yeah, please, no part of that guy. Holding out for one of the young guns next season.

      1. frank

        Agreed.

  20. mdavis

    Forte, despite wanting a new deal, is at OTAs and will be at training camp. good on him. Bennett, still a no show. He has 2 years left….really has no leverage here.

    1. frank

      Yeah, I’m not exactly sure of what Bennett (or his agent) thinks he’s going to accomplish, especially with two years left on the deal. If he does it again, they might be inclined to give him new paper with a year left, but not now.

      1. mdavis

        Yeah, exactly. If he comes in, and continues to play at a Pro Bowl level, he will get paid next offseason. Not sure what he thinks he’s going to accomplish. Probably hurting himself by not being there and learning the system and getting to know this new staff.

        On the flip side, this gives the staff a good chance to evaluate these other 7(!) guys, see if there i a #2 in there that can be a weapon.

        1. frank

          True–the pickings for the #2 TE seem pretty slim right now, despite the numbers.

  21. frank

    Aaaaaaannnnndddd—Ray McDonald was arrested again. This time for violating the restraining order associated with the last incident for which he was arrested.

    1. mdavis

      Pretty unreal. At this point, its just sad. The guy clearly needs help. Read an article yesterday where his mother said “he knows he shouldn’t of been there”…..well, looks like he didn’t if he was “there” again. But truly, career is over, but this guy is in need of some help.

      1. frank

        Yeah–maybe if the NFL did dock teams draft picks for taking these kinds of risks, it would force the teams into getting help for guys that need it. And the story is that he knocked down a door to get in–some real issues, especially if that’s true.

  22. mdavis

    Interested to see if we get some story lines out of OTAs this week. Few things I’m interested in hearing about:

    -of course, how #1 pick Kevin White looks. I expect him to be opposite of Jeffery from day 1, with Royal in the slot. If White makes the jump….this could be a fun group with each guy bringing some different traits

    -do one of the TE’s emerge as a legit #2? they had interest in Green from Denver this offseason, because they wanted 2 TE receiving threats…does Zach Miller finally stay healhty and make a push? Is there another unknown that can push for PT?

    -LB rotation. Who’s taking the reps inside to start? I’d expect Foster….but then is it Bostic, or Jones? We know McPhee is one of the OLB, and I’d expect Allen the other currently. Where are Houston and Young at in the rehab process?

    -Jeremy Langford. I’m really intrigued with his skill set, and I think he can do more things than Carey can. How quickly he picks up the playbook and more importantly, his protection assignments will be important.

    -the DBs. At first glance, I’d start Fuller (of course) and Ball, with Jennings running at the nickel. But is Jennings starting in the base, and then bumping inside in the nickel? How do the young development guys look? And at safety, I expect we’ll see Mundy-Rolle to start…but does Amos get any run with the1s….does Vereen?

    1. frank

      Those are all great things to look for. I’d love to get some ideas about the schemes, but that won’t come till later. In addition to trying to learn anything at all about what the defense will look like, I’m interested in what’s going on at RT as well–is it Mills or will someone else emerge? My guess is Montgomery starts at C, but how long before Grasu gets in there? Might he even start this year?

      1. mdavis

        Very good points along the O-Line. I’m pretty excited about Grasu, and hope he gets a chance to compete, but Montgomery is a good saftey balnket and/or transition guy. Great point at RT. Is Mills back to being fully healthy? I think the foot injury lingered all of last season. Does last year’s late rounder, Leno, get a look? How bout the massive tackle from this years draft, Fabuluje? And of course, the consistent question of if Kyle Long gets a look at T (I doubt it), but if he does, perhaps Ryan Groy gets a chance to crack the starting line up. But if Long doesn’t get bumped out, then I’d like to see a 3 way competition with Mills-Leno-Fabuluje….see if one of those guys can emerge and lock down that RT spot for now and into the future.

        1. frank

          I really think that ultimately, if the line gets shuffled and Long moves to T, he’ll end up at LT, Bushrod will be at RT and the battle will be for the RG spot–that move may be a year away though, and assumes Long wants to move to T. If one of the guys you mentioned really steps up, and if Long doesn’t want to move to T and I think he’s said he does not want to move), it may stave off that move even longer. But I’d think, just because tackles get paid more than guards he’d want to make the move eventually. After all, he came into the league a little late and is already 26. Bushed will be 31 by the time the season starts and although he’s been pretty good, he’ll soon be getting to the point where he’d be more effective on the right side, I think–if he isn’t there already.

  23. frank

    Here’s a shocker–a report on Yardbarker says that Bears coaches, including Fox and Fangio are really high on — Shea McLellin. Right now, he’s handling the defensive play calling! Could it be that he CAN be a football player? The article notes that he was a MLB in college–maybe now he’s where he should be? If he can actually play, that would be a pleasant surprise.

    1. mdavis

      I’m not sure I can buy into it haha. It seems every year that they move him is the year he’s going to be a good fit somewhere. Hard to take much from being in shorts and helmets. If he can turn into a legit player, that would be great. But I think the #s are stacked against him being a starter. He has the size, and is a good athlete, but he seems to lack that football awareness. We’ll see this fall if he has finally figured it out.

      According to JD over at ESPN, Cutler still hasn’t lost the elite arm strength….makes a few good points, at age 32, and taking all of the hits that he’s taken (primarily in a Bears uniform) you start to wonder when that arm strength starts to get sapped a little. Not yet, apparently. That being said, I wouldn’t be surprised if thats why they have 5 QBs on the roster currently. Try and take a couple of throws of his shoulder, keep him as fresh as they can. Don’t have to say its a make or break year for Cutler, I think we know that. But even past his Bears future, if he flames out again this season….is there a team out there that would view him as a viable starter? I think so, but maybe not as cut and dry as we thought in the past.

      1. frank

        I know what you mean–but I don’t recall anyone ever having him call plays before. That really caught my eye. Who knows? Every player has a bad game every once in a while–maybe McLellin just got them all out of the way in the first 3 (?) years of his career and it’s smooth sailing from here on out . . . (ha!)

        I can see that. With the quarterbacking in the league as bad as it is overall, I can see another team thinking he will be an upgrade if nothing else. The contract will have a lot to say about that as well, and it gets much less onerous after this year.

        1. mdavis

          That is true, perhaps this staff has unlocked the keys. Listed at 6’3″ 245, which is terrific in the middle, we’ll see how he looks. maybe he shocks us all.

          Yeah, it’ll be interesting to see how it goes for him this year. Regardless, the Bears need to start getting that next guy ready after this season. And I could be wrong.,…but I want to say Cutler has off-set language in his contract. So, if they cut him end of the season, whatever he signs for, will at least make the burden of what the Bears have to pay him a little lighter.

          1. frank

            I could be wrong, but I thought that after this year–or is it next year?– the contract becomes, in effect, a series of team options.

            A Yardbarker article has short write ups on possible Cutler replacements after this year–including one I hadn’t seen before–Gunner Kiel.

            1. mdavis

              I believe the first 3 years, is when the guaranteed money was to be paid out. So next season he has something like $10m in guarantees.

              Kiel, interesting name. Obviously, like the size at 6’4″ 210. He can spin it. The completion % is a little low at 59.7%. But 3254 yards, 31TD 13INT are good numbers. I do question a bit his competitiveness, and maturity. He’s coming from the spread, so have to take that into account. If he puts up some strong numbers this year, I could see him as a potential day 2 option.

              1. mdavis

                Looking into his #’s a bit more, looks like he started out hot in the first month, 65.7% completion, 1041, 14/2. Tailed off a bit. His numbers against Ohio State look good 21-32 352 4-0…but I think most of that damage was done after OSU had the big lead (bucks won 50-24). Other than that, looks like he did his damage against lesser squads. But still, it was his first year playing college ball, so he’s an interesting prospect to keep an eye on.

                1. frank

                  From what I’ve read, Kiel has talent. But what he does have in talent, he loses with lack of maturity. Cincy is what? His 3rd school? Didn’t get what he wanted so he transferred out . . .

                  1. mdavis

                    Yeah, he definitely has ability. But that would be my concern. Ok, I won’t hold it against an 18 year old kid, who backed out of LSU because he wanted to stay closer to home….but it seems he runs from competition. Doesn’t want to compete for the gig. That I don’t like. I believe he has 2 more years of eligibilty, so he may not even come out. But we will see, I’m interested to look at how the tiers of potential QB draft picks shakes out.

                    1. frank

                      Well, he backed out of Notre Dame first because he wasn’t guaranteed to start as I remember, then LSU–so yeah, he does seem to run from competition.

  24. mdavis

    I’m wracking my brain, and I want to say he committed to Indiana….then backed out, gave a committment to LSU…..then backed out, enrolled at ND, Golson became the starter, Kiel then transferred to Cincy. Sat out a year (NCAA rules, which, don’t get me started), and then last year was his first of eligibibilty for Cincy. But yeah….that’s a lot.

    As it stands, Goff, Cook, Hackenberg, Jones is that first tier (preseason of course), Kessler, Boykin, Wentz, Kiel, Golson (?) might be that 2nd tier. Of course those will thin out once the season goes on, guys go back to school, etc. But just a few names to keep an eye on.

    1. frank

      Yeah, the NCAA has some – interesting – rules. If I remember correctly, this particular rule is meant to discourage one program from trying to poach another program’s recruits. If they have to sit a year, the programs would be less likely to go after a kid from another school. Of course, if things aren’t working out and the kid wants to leave, then his or her choices are limited.

      1. mdavis

        Yeah, unfortunately the NCAA rules and regulations are less geared towards helping the student athlete than anything. A coach can sit in your living room, pitch you his whole vision and scheme and what not. And then leave 2 months later for a better situation. But, I digress.

        1. frank

          You may be digressing, but it is true.

  25. frank

    Jeff Dickerson of ESPN gives Adrian Amos an edge over Brock Vereen due to his versatility and coverage skills. Well, they’ve needed a good cover guy in that backfield for a long time, so I wouldn’t be surprised if this turns out to be the case.

    1. mdavis

      My only concern, is the knock on Amos right now is he’s a poor tackler. Where have I heard this story before? Played corner in college…moved to safety…ballhawk….good cover….lacks in the tackling dept….oh right, Chris Conte. Now, Amos is certainly more solid than Conte, (6′ 218, to 6’2″ 200), which you’d hope protects him from injury and makes him more willing to stick his nose in there, but we’ll see if he develops that aspect of his game. If he can become an adequate tackler, he could be that ballhawk the Bears have lacked for so long.

      1. frank

        I’ve read some of that as well, but thought it was more in run support then anything else–which is bad enough. Seems he fails to wrap up–maybe that can be fixed. I hope it can, because I’d hate to think they drafted a safety who’s afraid to make a tackle. Of course, that’s what Vereen looks like sometimes too.

        1. mdavis

          Yeah hopefully its a technique thing, and not a “willingness” type of thing. I still have high hopes for him. And the issue, I think, for Vereen is size. At 5’11” 200, not the biggest guy out there. I’d almost want them to take a look at him in the nickel, because that may be where he’s best suited. But we’ll see, he may end up just being a core special teamer, and that’s ok too.

          1. frank

            Agreed. Looks like Jennings will be at the nickel for the time being though, so if they do look at Vereen there, it’d be as a backup–at least for now. And ST were SO bad last year they need some good core guys.

            1. mdavis

              Yeah I would hope Jennings stays inside, think he’s better suited there. With the contract Ball has, I think he’s a starter. Hurst is probably the #2 nickel, and Louis-Jean could be the next in line outside guy. They have some youngsters that I’d like to see in preseason.

              1. frank

                Agreed.

                Read that Fales had minor shoulder surgery that would not limit his availability. I wonder though, how “minor” any kind of shoulder surgery can be for an NFL QB.

                1. mdavis

                  Feel like he’s already behind the 8 ball a bit. Shane Carden is this FO’s guy (in terms of a back up development type). And if he wasn’t ready to play in week 17 last year, then eh.

  26. frank

    Read that Christian Jones has been bulking up for his IL role. He’s put on about 10 lbs of muscle and now weighs in the low 250s.

    1. mdavis

      I like that, as long as he moves well with it. He has the frame to support it. I think I’d like to see him team up with Foster inside. And I still think Bostic has some potential, his speed, run and hit ability, but we will see. I could see a scenario where Bostic comes in as the Will in the sub packages, but won’t really know until those pads come on.

      JD on ESPN ha ssaid Slauson has really stepped up in a leadership role. I think Long has carved that role out as well, but Slauson being an 8-9 year vet, you like seeing that. Need him to be healthy this year, to help solidify that interior. Also read Mills says the foot issues are behind him. Interested to see who they give the chance to battle it out for that RT spot.

      1. frank

        Yeah, but Bostic just seems lost most of the time. I don’t know whether that’s coaching, or if he just doesn’t know what’s going on–whether that’s due to bad instincts, inability to learn a system, or something else.

        Leadership, I think, was lacking last year, so Slauson stepping up is a good sign. RT will be interesting–one of the few unsettled spots on the line.