I’m living out a dream by taking in the first two days of March Madness in Las Vegas. There is no shortage of sweet deals and I’m looking forward to taking in each one I can. Good luck to all our teams in the dance.
- Here is something I want to keep in the back of my mind util games of consequence are on our schedule again:
During the past 10 regular seasons, 7 defenders carried the ball from the opponent's 1 yard line: Dontari Poe (2), Sheldon Richardson (2), Akiem Hicks, BJ Raji, Kyle Williams, Melvin Ingram and Shaun Smith.
The 7 big dudes scored 8 TDs on their 9 combined attempts.
— Mike Clay (@MikeClayNFL) March 20, 2019
- I’d love to see more big-guy rushing touchdowns in 2019. Wouldn’t you? Better yet, let’s expand our horizons and figure out different ways to get the Bears’ big boys incorporated into the offense.
- Besides being large defensive forces for their respective teams, Akiem Hicks and Dontari Poe have in common is that Matt Nagy has had both in his locker room. Hicks did it all for the Bears last year, but I can’t help but wonder if the big man wants another bite of the offensive apple. He probably will if he sees how Andy Reid used defensive lineman/large human Dontari Poe in goal line situations:
— uSTADIUM (@uSTADIUM) November 23, 2015
— FOX4 News (@fox4kc) December 26, 2016
Did that Travis Kelce touchdown seem familiar, @Chiefs fans?
— NFL Throwback (@nflthrowback) October 2, 2018
- Maybe it’s because I’m in a gambling mood, but I’d like to set the over/under of Akiem Hicks touchdown passes in 2019 at 0.5 and root hard as heck for the OVER to come in.
- Remember when Prince Amukamara was in on the offensive fun? It was a brief moment, and he was mostly used as a decoy, but his defensive excellence in 2018 merits a shot at some glory on the offensive side of the ball. Because while the Bears’ secondary was showered with praise throughout the 2018 season, Amukamara was the one player who flew under the radar and was overlooked. Based on his PFF grades, he shouldn’t be an afterthought:
Prince Amukamara finished as the league's 12th-highest graded CB in 2018 pic.twitter.com/mOkmlcQLjH
— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) March 21, 2019
- Earning the 12th best cornerback grade is no small feat. Not in an NFL where high-end cornerback play is necessary for contending teams. Amukamara played his way toward the 16th best coverage grade, but earned a huge boost with the site’s third best run-defense grade. There were only four cornerbacks who played at least 900 snaps who earned a grade of 90 or better as a run defender and Amukamara was one of them. And of the four who did it, Amukamara’s overall grade was the best. Let’s not sleep on No. 20 because he is doing fine work across the field from Kyle Fuller and deserves some kudos.
- Speaking of Bears cornerbacks, I have a bad feeling that there will be points where Bryce Callahan is truly missed:
— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) March 20, 2019
- Seeing Callahan, Stephon Gilmore, and Malcolm Butler on the same graphic reminds me the Bears were in on the free-agency bidding for Gilmore and Butler before both players chose other destinations. Maybe the Bears have a good scout’s eye for cornerbacks. Between signing Amukamara, plucking Callahan and Cre’von LeBlanc off the scrap heap, targeting Gilmore and Butler, and retaining Kyle Fuller, maybe there’s something here that’s tangible.
- Speaking of Callahan, details regarding his contract with the Broncos are coming to the surface:
Details on Bryce Callahan's 3-yr, $21M deal:
2019: $4M sign bonus; $2.5M base (full guar), $500K roster. Total: $7M
2020: $3M base; $3.5M roster bonus (guar skill/injury, not cap); $500K per/game roster. Total: $7M
2021: $6.5M base; $500K p/g bonus. Total: $7M#9sports
— Mike Klis (@MikeKlis) March 20, 2019
- In short, the Broncos are paying $12.5 million in base salary with the rest coming in bonuses. Considering how much time Callahan has missed over the years due to injuries, this makes sense. Here’s hoping he earns his way toward getting the max out of this contract.
- Elsewhere in the world of contracts going to ex-Bears, Kevin White’s deal with the Cardinals is worth $1.5 million, could max out at $2.5 million, and included a signing bonus of $400,000. It’s probably not what White envisioned out of a second contract when he was a top-10 pick in 2015, but he’ll get a chance to prove himself all over again with a clean slate and fresh start in Arizona.
- Whenever I take a basketball break today, I’m going to give Zack and Aaron’s podcast a listen:
On the latest Bear Report podcast from @Zack_Pearson & @AaronLemingNFL:
– Wave 2 of Free Agency
– NDSU RB Bruce Anderson joins the show to talk about his pre-draft process.
– @Playlikeajet1 breaks down what the #Bears are getting in Buster Skrinehttps://t.co/auiMyGtnEq
— Bear Report (@BearReport) March 20, 2019
- Elsewhere in the NFL, I’m glad to see this: