Using the Saints Blueprint, Wanting More from the QBs, Hicks Wants $10M Annually, and Other Bullets

And. Here. We. Go.

Training camp is officially under way with the first practice of the year, and the Bears are already providing bits of intrigue for the third year of the John Fox Experience.

First, Fox told us that this is the most competitive team the Bears have fielded in his time in Chicago. Then, both he and his boss, GM Ryan Pace, relayed their optimism about a healthy start to camp after an injury plagued 2016. And then what happened? Well, outside linebacker Pernell McPhee was put on the physically unable to perform list late last night as he continues to recover from knee surgery.

Other than that? A quiet start in Bourbonnais:

  • Three years in to the Ryan Pace Era, Adam Jahns of the Chicago Sun-Times writes the team is being built in the image of the New Orleans Saints – who happen to be Pace’s former employer. Even though New Orleans is coming off three straight 7-9 seasons and have just one playoff appearance since 2012, the Saints represent an example of how a functional team can be built. From 2009 to 2013, the Saints made the playoffs four out of five times, while winning a Super Bowl, and fielding one of the most potent offenses in the game. For the Bears to mimic that kind of rebuild, they will need Trubisky, tight end Adam Shaheen, running back Tarik Cohen, and wide receiver Kevin White (among others) to reach their potential – and sooner, rather than later.
  • Akiem Hicks seems to be happy playing with the Bears and even offered up the idea of ending his career in Chicago. And if Hicks is to continue his career with the Bears, it’s going to come with quite the pay raise. Brad Biggs hears that Hicks is seeking $10 million per season, which seems to be a fair price to ask for when taking into consideration some of the other recent extensions signed by defensive linemen. If all else fails, the Bears could slap Hicks with the franchise tag in the offseason, and the cost (based on last year’s number) won’t be that much higher than his current asking price. Hicks’ 85.5 rating at Pro Football Focus put him 12th among interior defenders in 2016.
  • Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune writes that Fox wants more out of the passing game in 2017. Don’t we all? Last year, the Bears used three different starting quarterbacks and finished 19th in completion percentage, 25th in quarterback rating, tied for 24th in touchdowns, and threw the fourth most interceptions. All in all, it was a miserable year if you had to line up under center and sling the pigskin for the Bears in 2016. No wonder a complete overhaul of the position was necessary. Getting the offense up to par is one of the biggest challenges the Bears face in camp, and not just because of the uncertainty at quarterback with Mike Glennon not having started since 2014. The Bears have many new faces on the offensive side of the ball, including six new receivers, three new running backs, two new tight ends, and new position coaches at running backreceiver, and offensive line.
  • In case you missed it, Pace reiterated that Glennon will enter the year as the starter (Adam Hoge), and that Mark Sanchez will open camp as the No. 2 quarterback (JJ Stankevitz) with Mitch Trubisky providing the competition behind him. This leaves the possibility of Trubisky moving into the backup role in an out-of-this-world best-case scenario. Fox already hinted at how he planned on splitting the reps between three quarterbacks before changing course and mentioning the team had four quarterbacks in camp.
  • As if the Bears didn’t have a cluttered wide receivers room, Pro Football Talk reports the Bears were interested in signing free agent Lucky Whitehead before the New York Jets snagged him in a waiver claim. Whitehead was waived by the Cowboys after a warrant was issued for his arrest and a missed arraignment … but it turns out the cops had the wrong guy. Dallas didn’t wait for things to unfold before cutting Whitehead, allowing him to get a fresh start with the Jets.
  • In other Bears representation news, Jaye Howard – who signed a one-year deal after being let go by the Chiefs in the offseason – has changed agents and hired David Canter, according to Brad Biggs.
  • After seeing how Mitch Trubisky reacted to his Madden rating, I would be curious to see how Jordan Howard felt about where he ranked in this year’s version of the iconic video game. Howard’s 85 overall rating put him in a tie with six other running backs, according to Bryan Wiedey of the Sporting News. Only five players at the position earned a 90 rating or better, led by Le’Veon Bell’s 97. Ezekiel Elliott, who Howard hopes to topple in the race for the rushing crown, earned a 90 rating.
  • written by

    Luis C. Medina, who you can find on Twitter at lcm1986, has been covering the Chicago Bears at Bleacher Nation since 2017. Since then, he has written about 3 head coaches, 5 play-callers, and 11 starting quarterbacks. Previously, Luis wrote about the Cubs and MLB at BN (2015-16) and worked in the Chicago Tribune sports department (2011-16). He also co-hosted a Cubs postgame show, Outside the Ivy, in 2019.

    more bears news

    Bears Countdown Continues, Kreutz, Sanborn, Jaylon, Caleb, and Other Bears Bullets

    A Saturday brunch edition of BN Bears Bullets follows this sentence, which I am using as an intro because I don't have much else to say here at this time. The Chicago Bears will host their first open training camp...

    I Have A Good Feeling About Teven Jenkins

    This is a big year for Chicago Bears offensive lineman Teven Jenkins. So, as you might expect, the 26-year-old left guard is going to extra lengths to prepare for the 2024 NFL season. FOX Sports NFL reporter Carmen Vitali shares...

    This is Caleb Williams’ Favorite Play

    My second favorite thing about HBO's offseason version of "Hard Knocks" featuring the New York Giants has been how often the Chicago Bears have been tangentially connected. We are two episodes into the off-shoot that gives us a behind-the-scenes look...

    Around the NFL: Dak Prescott on Ankle Boot and Contract Talks: Nothing to See, Adams to Tennessee, Goodell on CBS Deal, More

    NFL NOTES — Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott has stated that there is "absolutely nothing" wrong with his right ankle despite being seen wearing a walking boot on his right foot recently. Dak Prescott on Ankle Boot and Contract Talks:...

    Darnell Has the Wright Stuff For a Breakout (And Other Bears Bullets)

    My apologies for a tardy set of BN Bears Bullets. Every once in a while I wake up with a pounding headache and it really throws my day off. Today is one of those days, so bear with me. Please?...

    Defensive Coaching Legend Monte Kiffin is Dead at 84

    Monte Kiffin, one of the greatest defensive minds in football history, has passed away at age 84. https://twitter.com/OleMissFB/status/1811530014678212689 Kiffin's coaching career began in 1966 as a Nebraska graduate assistant and included stops throughout college and professional football before coming to...

    How Devin Hester and a Lil’ Wayne Song Fueled Rome Odunze’s Bears Fandom

    The second installment of the Chicago Bears' "Meet the Rookies" YouTube series stars Rome Odunze. This wide-ranging episode includes all stories from former coaches, anecdotes from a family with a proud Nigerian heritage, and tales from Rome himself. Once again,...

    Jaylon Johnson is All-in on Caleb Williams

    Back in March, about one month before the Chicago Bears chose Caleb Williams with the first pick in the 2024 NFL Draft, cornerback Jaylon Johnson made some comments about "Hollywood stuff" surrounding quarterback prospects coming into the league. At the...

    Bill Belichick is Making the Jump to TV

    It still boggles my mind that Bill Belichick didn't get a head coaching job this offseason. But it's not as if Belichick will be unemployed for long. The eight-time Super Bowl champion coach is taking his talents to the television...

    Invisible String Connects Swift and Moore, NFL Top 100 Countdown, and Other Bears Bullets

    My therapist and I discussed the playful banter we have here in the writer-reader relationship at BN Bears. And I think that if we continue to keep it fun, this will be a good year for all of us on...

    Latest News

    Seattle Storm vs. Atlanta Dream: Start Time, Streaming Live, TV Channel, How to Watch

    The Atlanta Dream (7-15) will attempt to break a six-game losing streak when they visit the Seattle Storm (15-8) on Sunday, July 14, 2024 at Climate Pledge Arena. The matchup airs at 6:00 PM ET on FOX13+, Prime Video, and...

    Where to Watch Argentina vs. Colombia: Copa America 2024 TV Channel, Start Time and Live Stream

    The 2024 Copa America final is set for 8:00 PM ET on July 14, with Argentina going head to head against Colombia at Hard Rock Stadium. Argentina eliminated Canada in its semifinal game, while Colombia grabbed the win against Uruguay.You'll...

    Dodgers vs. Tigers: Free Live Stream, TV Channel, How to Watch

    The Los Angeles Dodgers (56-40), led by Shohei Ohtani, visit Riley Greene and the Detroit Tigers (46-50) at 1:40 PM ET on Sunday.The article below will provide you with everything you need to watch Los Angeles take on Detroit.When is...

    Storm vs Dream: Best Bets, Player Props & Computer Picks – July 14

    The Atlanta Dream (7-15) will hope to break a four-game road slide when taking on the Seattle Storm (15-8) on Sunday, July 14, 2024 at Climate Pledge Arena, airing at 6:00 PM ET.If you are trying to gain an edge...

    Giants vs. Twins: Injury Report, Updates & Probable Starters – July 14

    On Sunday, the Minnesota Twins (54-41) are visiting the San Francisco Giants (46-50), at 4:05 PM ET, in the final game of a three-game set.Curious about who's playing for the Giants and the Twins? Keep scrolling to get full injury...

    Braves vs. Padres: Injury Report, Updates & Probable Starters – July 14

    In the final game of a three-game set at PETCO Park, the Atlanta Braves (52-42) play the San Diego Padres (50-48), Sunday at 4:10 PM ET.Looking to see who's available to play for the Braves and the Padres? Keep reading...

    Orioles vs. Yankees Probable Starting Pitchers – July 14

    The Baltimore Orioles (57-38) look to end to a five-game skid as they host the New York Yankees (58-39) on Sunday at 11:35 AM ET.The Orioles will give the nod to Dean Kremer (4-5) against the Yankees and Carlos Rodon...

    Storm vs Dream Prediction: Picks, Live Odds & Moneyline – July 14

    The Atlanta Dream (7-15) will look to turn around a six-game losing streak when they visit the Seattle Storm (15-8) on Sunday, July 14, 2024 at Climate Pledge Arena. The game airs at 6:00 PM ET on FOX13+, Prime Video,...

    Diamondbacks vs. Blue Jays: Start Time, Streaming Live, TV Channel, How to Watch

    Ketel Marte and the Arizona Diamondbacks (48-47) host Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and the Toronto Blue Jays (43-51) on Sunday, with first pitch at 4:10 PM ET.See how to watch the Arizona-Toronto matchup below.When is Diamondbacks vs. Blue Jays and when...

    How to Watch Hall of Fame Open 2024: TV Schedule, Live Stream Links – Monday, July 15

    The menu at the Hall of Fame Open on July 15 includes eight matches in the round of 32, including Mackenzie McDonald (ranked No. 96) against Rinky Hijikata (No. 77). How to watch, you ask? Go to ESPN for the...

    more bears news