Strength at Running Back Starts with the Offensive Line and Other Bullets

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Strength at Running Back Starts with the Offensive Line and Other Bullets

Chicago Bears News

My dad planned on celebrating his birthday by sleeping in today, but a friend called him at 6 a.m. with celebratory greetings. As a reminder, it won’t be pretty if any of my friends do that to me in July. Consider this fair warning.

  • Bloopers make the world go around:

  • The only bloopers I don’t love: Dropped passes, fumbles, and double-doinked field goals. Other than that, bring ’em on!
  • Based on how Head Coach Matt Nagy used Taquan Mizzell Sr. and how the team has addressed Kareem Hunt’s situation, the running back position is an under-the-radar need for the Bears in 2019. And yet, the tandem of Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen was quite productive last season:

  • There is plenty to love about what the Bears’ backfield did in 2018. Unfortunately, looking back at the season in review makes me wish those two were more involved with things in the playoff game. For all the good things Nagy did as a head coach in his first season en route to winning the NFL’s Coach of the Year, there are some play-calling things I’d like to see tighten up in 2019.
  • This thunder-lightning tag team has a fair share pros and very few cons, but there’s nothing wrong with adding a third element to the group. That’s why it was interesting to see Benny Snell Jr. show up as a potential choice for the Bears in a recent mock draft. Howard has just one year left on his deal and Cohen is under contract for two more seasons. At some point, the Bears will need to address that position – specifically with a young and inexpensive player as the team presses up against the cap.
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
  • One reason the Bears’ running backs were productive in 2018 was due to the offensive line in front of them clearing running lanes. Chris Emma of 670 The Score says that the Bears believe the line will be a strength moving forward, especially with all five starters from 2018 slated to return. And while that might be the case, the team could still stand to bolster its depth pieces. Reserves Eric Kush and Bryan Witzmann could walk away as free agents. And even though neither blew the doors off the competition, both players were serviceable starters for the times they were needed. Don’t underestimate the value of starting caliber depth on the offensive line.
  • A pair of studs on the Bears’ defensive line have been turned into cartoons:

  • Perhaps we’re overthinking why things went well for the Bears in 2018. This isn’t to say improved scheme, teamed with developing players producing big things, and better luck in the health department weren’t important factors. It’s just that sometimes the answers to the most challenging football questions are in the most obvious places. Games are often won in the trenches and the Bears had a decisive advantage along the offensive and defensive lines. They sent two starting offensive linemen to the Pro Bowl and had their stud defensive end join them in Orlando. The team’s fifth-round pick grew into one of the best draft values from the class of 2018, and the nose tackle continued to play great despite flying under the national radar. If you can win at the line of scrimmage, you’re going to give yourself a great chance to win elsewhere on the gridiron.
  • Should the Bears maintain the strangle-hold at the line of scrimmage, then I already know what your answer to this will be:

  • Not only do the Bears’ have their sights aimed at winning Super Bowl LIV, their Twitter account is on the cusp of having the top spot in its arena:

  • I can vibe with this, Akiem:

  • Here’s a good reminder of why defense matters:

  • Ugh. Leave it to a Packers fan to ruin it for everyone:


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Luis Medina

Luis is the Lead Writer at Bleacher Nation Bears, and you can find him on Twitter at @lcm1986.