— Brad Biggs (@BradBiggs) October 14, 2018
The Miami heat and humidity can take its toll on players, so this could be a day where the Bears’ depth will be tested. There has been much focus on the players Chicago has added and placed into starting roles making an impact, but secondary pieces such as cornerback Kevin Toliver II, linebacker Nick Kwiatkoski, and defensive linemen Roy Robertson-Harris and Bilal Nichols need to be ready and productive at a moment’s notice.
It’s shaping up to be an all-hands-on-deck kind of game out in Florida, but the Bears look better prepared because of the depth they have accumulated over the last few years.
- If this doesn’t get you going today, nothing will:
- Because we kicked off Bullets with thoughts on the value of depth on defense, it’s only fair to point out its importance on offense – primarily in the backfield. The Bears aren’t in a running back by committee phase just yet, but Sunday’s game against the Dolphins could be one of those games where everyone needs to contribute. And yes, that includes third-stringer Benny Cunningham, who has played on just 3.69 percent of the team’s total offensive snaps.
- The bulk of the rushing load is going to be carried by Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen. It’s been a tough week for the narrative surrounding Howard, who didn’t talk to the media at Soldier Field after the team’s Week 4 win and was the subject of trade rumors earlier in the week. Still, Bears Offensive Coordinator Mark Helfrich told Patrick Finley of the Sun-Times that Howard was still a valuable member of the offense … and it goes beyond his role as being a “hammer” of a running back.
- Those are encouraging thoughts from Helfrich, but here’s the money quote: “The difference people see in Tarik, Jordan and maybe Benny [Cunningham], everyone just goes to the extremes of, ‘Well, this guy is better at A, B or C; the other guy must stink.’ That isn’t the case.” That every player has a role in the offense feels like a step in the right direction compared to previous Bears offenses.
- The breakdown of this concept tree is neat:
#Bears — Matt Nagy can create defined reads and open voids in the coverage for QB Mitchell Trubisky…Breaking down the Post-Wheel and Flood “Opposite” concepts in the Chicago offense. @NFLMatchup pic.twitter.com/D1dB3e4ydl
— Matt Bowen (@MattBowen41) October 14, 2018
- Here’s a fun tidbit to think about: the Bears defense gets to go up against their last two offensive coordinators with Dolphins Head Coach Adam Gase and Offensive Coordinator Dowell Loggains on the opposite sideline. Both Gase and Loggains should have a good feel for what Vic Fangio’s defenses do because they practiced against them. That’s what makes this particular cat-and-mouse game a bit more intriguing than it usually would be.
- Not only does Miami’s offensive brain trust have familiarity with Fangio, Gase believes he learned from his time working against the highly-touted defensive coordinator. “The amount of conversations that we had the year I was there probably helped me grow a lot as to how I looked at things from an offensive perspective,” Gase said, via Mark Potash of the Chicago Sun-Times. “I really appreciated the amount of time he would spend if I asked him a question about what he thought.” Now, Bears Head Coach Matt Nagy gets to be the benefactor of Fangio’s defensive perspective.
- Loggains didn’t have much to say about his time with the Bears during his time with the media leading up to Sunday’s game, via Jason Lieser of the Palm Beach Post. The ex-Bears OC called the seasons enjoyable and liked coaching under John Fox. However, that doesn’t feel right … does it? Back in September, Loggains discussed the disconnect and “tense moments” he had with Fox during his time as OC in a piece by The Ringer’s Kevin Clark. There were times that disconnect was evident, too. Like when Loggains and Fox publicly shared their differences in how they wanted to develop Mitch Trubisky. We felt as if that relationship (and their future together in Chicago) was doomed well before that, but I can’t help but think that was one of those things that put the nail in the coffin.
- This one took me back:
Sounds familiar. pic.twitter.com/JipPxTcN1F
— Bleacher Nation Bears (@BN_Bears) October 12, 2018
- Feels like a good time for Fangio to break out the revenge game playbook for putting his defenses in tough spots the last few years. Right?