Bears GM Ryan Pace Visits Michigan-Ohio State Game and Other Bullets

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Bears GM Ryan Pace Visits Michigan-Ohio State Game and Other Bullets

Chicago Bears

Something to think about while we kill time watching college football as we await tomorrow’s Bears-Eagles game:

  • Someone is going to emerge from college ranks as a difference-maker. A few players will because they always do. It. Still, Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller believes each position group — save for running back and safety — is lacking a top-tier player who stands out above the rest. And considering the Bears seem set at both those positions, that seems a bit troubling. Miller’s latest big board has three quarterbacks in the top 10, but his top-rated player is Penn State running back Saquon Barkley.
  • From a Bears perspective, the good news is there is still time for elite talents who have yet to break out to do so. Things will look better for Chicago’s front office if an edge rusher like LSU’s Arden Key or offensive tackle like Connor Williams heal up from their injuries and flash before their respective seasons come to an end. Better late than never, I suppose.
  • Dane Brugler pieced together his first mock draft of the year, but doesn’t have the Bears going with an obvious choice on the offensive side of the ball. Brugler’s mock has the team taking Auburn cornerback Carlton Davis. Citing the Bears need for defensive playmakers on the outside, Brugler suggests Davis has the size, athleticism, and skill to be the kind of cornerback this defense needs. So while Mitch Trubisky could use all the help he can get on offense, the Bears are at risk of losing a pair of cornerbacks in free agency.  In any case, the list of needs continues to grow.
  • The Bears’ presence at today’s Ohio State-Michigan game is strong:

  • Before Leonard Floyd’s untimely season-ending injury, I’ll admit to having dreams of the Bears drafting a pass rusher to line up on the opposite side of the field and give quarterbacks no easy escape from a relentless pass rush. Those dreams haven’t been put on hold, but they’ll need to be put into perspective at a later time. Alas, Pro Football Focus has some inside-the-numbers goodness regarding Floyd’s second season. His PFF grade improved from what he posted as a rookie and he produced the most quarterback pressures on the team. Floyd also grew enough to rank among the 10 best 3-4 outside linebackers in PFF’s pass rush productivity grade. It stings seeing the Bears best pass rusher go down, but it’s reassuring that he took forward steps in his development as he established himself as a building block on defense.
  • Kyle Long’s return to the lineup wasn’t quite smooth sailing in Week 11 against the Lions. Pro Football Talk reports Long was fined $9,115 for his unnecessary roughness penalty that came after a 15-yard Trubisky scramble. Trubisky’s fumble on the next play from scrimmage was returned for a touchdown, putting the Lions on the comeback trail. Long also took an illegal man downfield penalty on a screen pass. Hopefully, he’ll clean up those minor issues ahead of Sunday’s game against the Philadelphia Eagles.
  • Not to be left out, the NFL also fined Lions linebacker Tamir Whitehead $9,115 for stepping on the leg of Bears left tackle Charles Leno Jr. Whitehead’s wife came to the defense of her husband on Twitter the other day, but that didn’t stop the league from handing down what it believed to be a necessary fine.
  • In preparation for Sunday’s game, the Bears went the extra mile to simulate some game action by bringing in a left-footed punter for a tryout. Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune tweets Jeff Locke was at Halas Hall to help the Bears get a look at what punts might look like off the foot of lefty punter Donnie Jones.
  • At least it sounds like Akiem Hicks will be a full-go on Sunday, as he’s used this week of missed practices as maintenance days to ensure his health and preparedness to face the Eagles.


Author: Luis Medina

Luis Medina is a Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at@lcm1986.