NFL.com analyst Gregg Rosenthal is excited to see the Chicago Bears’ new-look offense.
“New coach Matt Nagy’s expected[ly] aggressive offensive philosophy was quickly matched in free agency by GM Ryan Pace’s fervor in acquiring Nagy some toys,” Rosenthal writes. “If the John Fox Bears were in the dark ages in terms of watchability, Nagy should bring them into the light, safe for national television again.”
If only the Bears had a top-32 quarterback who could take advantage of all these new additions …
- There’s something about a player getting a fresh start that really grabs my attention. Aaron Lynch’s new beginnings aren’t completely new, seeing that he’s familiar with the Bears defensive coordinator, Vic Fangio. However, Lynch sounds like someone whose NFL career has been born-again upon his reunion with that man. Lynch tells the Chicago Sun-Times he has been humbled by his experience in San Francisco, particularly with how it ended as he was benched for four of the Niners’ last six games. “I was pretty down and out, what was going on as far as not playing as much and whatnot,” Lynch said. “Who wouldn’t be? … I was just down and out a little bit I was frustrated. … But that’s why I moved on and found a great spot with the Chicago Bears.”
- Lynch has a little bit of a prospect pedigree in him. He was a freshman All-American at Notre Dame who transferred to South Florida, then turned pro after his redshirt sophomore season. Lynch found success early in his NFL career, coming up with 12.5 sacks in his first two years, but things started going south in Year 3 and didn’t get any better in Year 4. Just viewing this situation on the surface makes it clear that a change of scenery was needed for this player to turn it around. Ideally, Fangio knows how to turn Lynch’s career around and he’ll be chasing down quarterbacks in no time.
- Speaking of fresh starts, the Bears’ kicking game gets one in the form of Cody Parkey, who wants to replicate Robbie Gould’s success in Chicago. “It’s clearly possible to be a great kicker here,” Parkey said, via Patrick Finley of the Chicago Sun-Times. “I’m up for the challenge, and I’m up to go out there and do my best.” For the record, Parkey’s best is really, really good. Parkey was a Pro Bowler as a rookie when he made 32 of 36 kicks with the Philadelphia Eagles. And last year, Parkey made 91.3 percent of his attempts while with the Miami Dolphins. Parkey’s career success rate is 86.4 percent, which is on par with Gould’s 85.4 percent connection rate over the course of his 11-year career in Chicago. Some strong kicking with the Giants and 49ers has helped boost Gould’s overall numbers, bringing his career field goal percentage to a quite nice 86.9 percent.
- And if Parkey wants some insight on what worked for Gould in Chicago, a good place to start might be Chris Tabor, the team’s new special teams coach. Tabor served as an assistant under Dave Toub from 2008-10 when Gould made 86.2 percent of his attempted field goals. As we’ve discussed before, Tabor and Parkey were together with the Browns in 2016.
- Chase Daniel threw a grand total of nine passes during his four years with the New Orleans Saints that spanned two different stints with the team. Still, that wasn’t going to stop Drew Brees from dropping some praise on his former backup. “I’ve loved my time with Chase,” Brees said, via a tweet from Josh Katzenstein of the New Orleans Times-Picayune. “He’s a great quarterback to have in the room. When he gets his opportunity, I think he’s going to be a very productive quarterback.”
- Here’s the thing about Daniel, he hasn’t had much of an opportunity because he’s spent some time behind quality quarterbacks in New Orleans (Brees), Kansas City (Alex Smith), and Philadelphia (Carson Wentz). And if all goes well in Chicago, Daniel won’t see any significant snaps, because Mitch Trubisky will be doing big things with the offense. Still, it says something about what Daniel means to a quarterback room when someone of Brees’ caliber weighs in. Hopefully, Brees is right about Daniel being a productive quarterback when he gets his chance. We’re just hoping it doesn’t come in a meaningful stretch while in Chicago.
- Tyler Bray, a.k.a. The Other Backup Quarterback signed by the Bears last week, apparently drew interest from the Chiefs regarding a return. The Chiefs were thought to be in the running to bring back Bray or Daniel, but were unable to land either. The quarterbacks room in Kansas City is undergoing some pretty significant change with Alex Smith gone to Washington, Patrick Mahomes taking over, and no backup currently on the roster. I wouldn’t weep for the Chiefs, who still have Andy Reid calling the shots. He’ll surely find a desirable backup or developmental quarterback (or both!) to slot into the rotation.
- Details have emerged in the signing of tight end Daniel Brown, whose one-year deal is reportedly worth $925,000 with a signing bonus of $70,000.
- The Detroit Lions have a new feature back in LeGarrette Blount. But how did the Lions land the punishing rusher? Well, having former Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia on board as the team’s head coach certainly helped matters. “My relationship with Matt has always been a great one,” Blount told the Detroit Lions’ official website. “Anytime I ever saw him in any part of the building … anytime he walked past or anytime we were around each other, it was always laughs and jokes. Obviously, we get serious when it’s time to do the job, but for the most part we laughed and joked and clowned around and we enjoyed each other, and it got to a point where we had gotten really close.” It feels as if the Lions have been in the market for a lead back since Barry Sanders retired and perhaps a two-time Super Bowl champion will fit right in with Detroit.