Winning at the Line of Scrimmage, Playing Smart, Ravens Flock to Fry, and Other Bullets

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Winning at the Line of Scrimmage, Playing Smart, Ravens Flock to Fry, and Other Bullets

Chicago Bears

Hating the fantasy football team I drafted is a tradition unlike any other, and this year was no exception:

For what it’s worth, I hate this team less now than I did when I first drafted it because I’m starting to realize how much upside it has at running back and wide receiver. Having the top two tight ends is neat, too. My major weakness is at quarterback, where I was targeting Mitch Trubisky and Kyler Murray late, but that proved to be a mistake. Perhaps Josh Allen (who was the top-scoring fantasy quarterback over the final six weeks) puts up top-12 numbers against a whack AFC East (save for the Patriots) and a third-place schedule.

  • This Andrew Luck related tidbit really got me thinking about the Bears’ offensive line situation:

  • I didn’t share the tweet above to pile on former Colts GM Ryan Grigson, who’s already being dragged throughout social media for how he drafted around Luck. Instead, I wanted to provide perspective with what the Bears have done to build their offensive line. Bears GM Ryan Pace hit a home run with Cody Whitehair (a second-round pick who was a Week 1 starter as a rookie and grew into a Pro Bowl center) and James Daniels (who was brought along slowly, but took off once he joined the starters). If the Bears are to continue to keep their window of contention open, they’ll need to continue using the early portion of the draft to build a winning combination at the line of scrimmage.
  • This isn’t to say there is something wrong with late-round fliers along the offensive line, it’s just that your quarterback’s hope to get proper protection shouldn’t be pinned on too many late round picks. Guys like Charles Leno Jr. don’t come around every draft. And even when they do, it takes years for them to develop.
  • That brings me to how this ties to the Bears, who just claimed Northwestern product Tommy Doles off waivers to beef up their reserve linemen. One area of concern that popped up this preseason is the lack of solid depth among the reserve tackles. Tayo Fabuluje (6th round, 2015) and Jordan Morgan (5th round, 2017) should have had those spots on lock down, but neither made it past their first year with the team. It says a lot about Pace’s drafting that we have to dig this deep to find a place that has been problematic. And yet, the issue remains.
  • Perhaps the Bears have a solution in undrafted rookie free agent Alex Bars. JJ Stankevitz (NBC Sports Chicago) digs into his past as a Notre Dame reporter to discuss Bars as an answer to the trouble at swing tackle. I have long been intrigued by Bars, who would have been a middle-round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft had a season-ending ACL/MCL injury not shortened his season. Bears Offensive Line Coach Harry Hiestand had an eye for talent in the trenches while with the Fighting Irish and had first-hand experience working with Bars. There were times Bars stood out for the right reasons at camp, so it wouldn’t surprise me if he has taken enough steps to merit consideration for a spot on the 53-man roster. Bars has mostly played guard this summer, but if can prove to be an adequate tackle, it would go a long way toward securing his spot on the roster.
  • Alright, so what do the Ravens know about Elliott Fry that the Bears do not:

  • The Ravens signed Fry to replace Kaare Vedvik (who didn’t look great in his Vikings debut) as the guy who takes the preseason kicks in order to ensure Justin Tucker’s health heading into the regular season. Fry won’t last long on the Ravens, but because Baltimore has a lengthy history of finding and developing kicking talent, I can’t help but shake the idea that they think highly of their new camp leg.
  • Hey, maybe the Vikings will trade a fourth-round pick to get Fry!
  • Chuck Pagano is pure class:

  • Smart football:

  • What an image:

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What goes up… must come down in @jhorsted's hands.

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  • I hope he got that sandwich:

Author: Luis Medina

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