Chicago's Disciplinary Problems, Old Friends Thriving, and Other Bears Bullets

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Chicago’s Disciplinary Problems, Old Friends Thriving, and Other Bears Bullets

Chicago Bears

Today is a good day to open all the windows in the house and let it breathe. I reckon we won’t see 70 degrees again in Chicago until March.

•   As if we needed another layer to the Javon Wims-Chauncey Gardner-Johnson fiasco, here it is:

•   So not only did the Bears know not to get into it with Gardner-Johnson, one player did it anyway. And while I understand stuff happens in the heat of the moment, it takes real strength to rise above the noise. Wims didn’t. It cost his team some yards and momentum in a game it ultimately lost in overtime. Twisting the knife further, it also cost Wims two game-checks. And what happens if Riley Ridley shines in his brief opportunity on the active roster in Wims’ place? All because he didn’t heed his coach’s warning. Ugh. This stinks.

•   Things aren’t as bad as they were in the Marc Trestman era, when the team was bad, undisciplined, and played selfishly. However, I’m seeing warning signs. To be clear, these aren’t full-blown sirens at this point. Instead, stuff to keep tabs on for future reference. The Bears’ 63 penalties are the most in football, per the Football Database. This isn’t to say your team can’t be competitive solely because it is committing penalties. Playoff-caliber teams such as the Cardinals (62), Bills (59), Chiefs (56), and Buccaneers (54) are among the 10 most-penalized teams. In other words, it’s possible to overcome your team’s mistakes. But being at the top of this list is far from ideal.

•   And what do the Cardinals, Bills, Chiefs, and Buccaneers have in common? Quarterbacks talented enough to play their way out from messes created by others. A high tide raises all ships, and that’s what a good quarterback does. They hide deficiencies elsewhere and get things back on the right track when derailed. Wouldn’t it be nice to have one of those?

•   An old friend is thriving in a new scene:

•   Admittedly, it’s a small sample of snaps. But seeing that former Bears reserve tackle Cornelius Lucas has allowed no hurries, hits, pressures, or sacks in 74 pass-blocking snaps is eye-opening. And that he hasn’t committed a penalty in those snaps is also impressive. Moreover, it goes to show how good the depth was for Chicago’s offensive line last season. Losing Lucas didn’t sting so much when it happened. But not replacing the depth he provided was a mistake the Bears are paying for right now.

•   The 2018 Bears had reserve offensive linemen Eric Kush, Bradley Sowell, and Bryan Witzmann who had ample league experience before the start of that season. Sowell started 23 of the 84 games he played from 2012-17. Kush made 18 appearances (including six starts) from 2013-16). Witzmann played 27 games with 13 starts in 2016-17. These were seasoned vets ready to step in at a moment’s notice. This year’s reserve corps doesn’t have what that group had, which goes a long way toward explaining what’s up with the backups.

•   #FeedMingo:

https://twitter.com/thecheckdown/status/1325513152969072640

•   Dropped passes were problematic last year. This year? Not so much:

https://twitter.com/PFF/status/1325951563588907013

 

•   Watching Cam Newton play football is fun:

https://twitter.com/BN_Bears/status/1326005141854687232?s=20

•   What in the world has happened to Carson Wentz?

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•   Here comes basketball:

https://twitter.com/BN_Bulls/status/1326189913906286592

•   The hiring of Tony La Russa takes another unfortunate turn for the White Sox:



Author: Luis Medina

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