McMahon Flashbacks, Return of the Backs, HBD Dazz, and Other Bears Notes

Today feels like a chocolate chip pancakes at brunch kind of day.

•   We got some decent feedback to yesterday’s Twitter question regarding Frank Gore’s Hall of Fame candidacy. And it led me to create this poll:

There’s still time to chime in if you read through the rest of this set of notes in good time.

•   A smooth transition into something I’m looking forward to this year — a new-look Bears running game.

•   Maybe I say this every year, but this Bears backfield has a little bit everything for everyone. Perhaps I say it because it is true. David Montgomery brings a traditional workhorse RB mentality to the room. Khalil Herbert could play that role in a pinch if given the opportunity. But so long as Monty is healthy, Herbert slides into that change-of-pace role that is low key valuable. Can Trestan Ebner operate in the Tarik Cohen multi-purpose back spot? Where does Darrynton Evans fit in the mix? Oh, hey, the Bears have a fullback now. It’ll be fun to see how that gets re-incorporated into Chicago football.

•   Don’t get it twisted. I’m all for modernizing this Bears offense. There isn’t anything in my soul that wants to see Chicago’s football team play “3 yards and a cloud of dust” in 2022. But using the running game to strike a balance could make this offense far more interesting than it had been the last two seasons. To be clear, it wouldn’t make them GOOD — but entertaining would represent a significant upgrade.

•   I can’t help but wonder if the game-plan will be to air out out with the help of play action. Justin Fields was slinging it in play action while at Ohio State, going 57/77 for 907 yards, 9 TD, and 1 INT. Punch those numbers into a passer rating calculator and it comes out to a 146.4 passer rating. The 11.69 TD% is nice, 1.29 INT% is nifty, and 11.78 yards per attempt is downright dreamy.

•   During the winter, Da Bears Blog’s Johnathan Wood spent time exploring Fields’ play action potential. And the takeaways were eye-opening:

⇒   “Considering Fields was better at completing passes, gaining yards, making big time throws, and avoiding turnover-worthy plays in play action, you might expect that an offense featuring Fields would heavily feature play action. But this happened on only 24% of Fields’ dropbacks, which was the 28th highest rate out of the 39 QBs (median mark was 26%). There is no way to describe this as anything other than coaching malpractice.”

⇒   “Already as a rookie, Justin Fields was one of the best play action passers in the NFL. This is a clear strength that new offensive coordinator Luke Getsy has to build on. Chicago’s offense should be extremely play-action heavy.”

⇒   “Chicago’s new offense needs to utilize play action heavily, because Justin Fields was a borderline elite play action QB as a rookie.”

Yeah, you should give this a read if you already haven’t done so.

•   I appreciate this perspective:

•   No, we can’t really do an apples-to-apples comparison between the two squads. But I can vibe with the premise that a new coaching staff and different schemes can be helpful in efforts not to repeat last year’s catastrophic campaign.

•   This tweet definitely got some engagement:

•   I hate one-for-one comps when we’re comparing a fresh out of college rookie and an established All-Pro. However, I’ll say this: Because the receivers room feels mostly up for grabs, there should be ample opportunity for Velus Jones Jr. to earn a chunk of targets and touches. The receiver position is one where – with good coaching and scheme – we can see strong contributors pop out of nowhere. It is a position that sees gadget players grow from bit roles into big ones. It could be fun to see how this all shakes out.

•   Love that these Bears rookies have non-football talents:

•   Y’all should see the smile on my face when I see the Bears players mentioning they can throw down in the kitchen. It warms my heart. Because you know *I* love getting down with cooking, baking, grilling, and more. Where is the BN Bears x Bears collaboration that the people need?

•   Cool to see Jim McMahon share this on his Twitter page:

•   That guy was built different. It’s a shame that injuries took a toll on him and never allowed him to be the player he could be with any consistency.

•   Dazz Newsome celebrates a birthday today, which reminds me that there was some real buzz around this selection:

•   During this offseason, the Bears have brought in a handful of receivers and returns who appear to have pushed him Newsome down the depth chart. That makes Newsome somewhat of a forgotten man in this receiver/returner mix. I imagine that helps grow a chip on your shoulder. This is someone to keep tabs on at training camp (presuming the Bears don’t continue to turnover the bottom third of that roster at the rate that they’re currently doing so).

•   I’m back to obsessing over prospect dingers:

written by

Luis C. Medina, who you can find on Twitter at lcm1986, has been covering the Chicago Bears at Bleacher Nation since 2017. Since then, he has written about 3 head coaches, 5 play-callers, and 11 starting quarterbacks. Previously, Luis wrote about the Cubs and MLB at BN (2015-16) and worked in the Chicago Tribune sports department (2011-16). He also co-hosted a Cubs postgame show, Outside the Ivy, in 2019.

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