How to Help Fields Flourish, Get Velus Going, Revitalize the Run Game, and Other Bears Bullets

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How to Help Fields Flourish, Get Velus Going, Revitalize the Run Game, and Other Bears Bullets

Chicago Bears

When you make spaghetti and meatballs and have leftover meatballs, they make for a great meatball sub the next day. At least, that’s my assumption. What does it say about me that I’m already looking forward to lunch?

  • When discussing it publicly, Bears Head Coach Matt Eberflus makes it seem as if the team put its extra time between games to good use:
  • To be clear, sending Ihmir Smith-Marsette packing as part of roster shuffling shouldn’t be the big deal. However, it is a start. It marks a moment in which accountability is evident. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not throwing a parade for the Bears doing the right thing in waiving a player who didn’t cash in on their opportunities to climb the depth chart. But we’re also not too far removed from Javon Wins and Anthony Miller making the same mistakes over and over again with no repercussions. At minimum, the IMS cut should put the rest of the roster on notice.
  • Jason Lieser (Sun-Times) writes the corrections that should be a top priority have to do with quarterback Justin Fields. To this point of the season, Fields is on a 17-game pace to go 178/326 (54.8%), for 2,462 yards, 11 TD, and 14 INT. Those numbers also come with a relatively impressive 17-game projection of 153 rushes and 799 ground yards. Ultimately, the Bears need more from Fields and the passing game. How they get it is anyone’s guess. You’d like to see Fields string together quality performances, but as we saw last week, there are moments when he looks like he just isn’t ready to do it. But then there are other moments in which he is on the cusp of doing, only to be thwarted by his surroundings. All in all, it has made it difficult to evaluate what this team has at QB1. And there isn’t a long enough mini-bye that can fully diagnose the situation.
  • It looks like ESPN analyst Matt Bowen has an idea on how to tweak things to get the most out of Fields:
  • Small sample alert! If you extrapolate the numbers from Fields’ last three starts over a full 17-game schedule, it comes out to this: 227/397 (57.1%), 3,241 yards, 11 TD, 6 INT, 87.3 passer rating; 153 rushes, 1,060 yards. Given no context or notes, a season with those numbers wouldn’t be the worst when considering the situation. But being on pace to take 74 sacks is jarring on so many levels.
  • One way to get Fields going could be to get the ball into Velus Jones Jr.’s hands more often. The rookie receiver was brought in to be a difference-maker on the offense and special teams. Unfortunately, the only difference-making Jones has done as a special teamer has been no darn good for the Bears. Two muffed punts have left a bad taste in all of our mouths. But maybe it wouldn’t sting so much if he had more than 15 total offensive snaps in three games.

It is understandable to want his speed involved in the punt return game, but that experiment has failed with gusto. Jones brings a dimension to the offense – speed – that doesn’t currently exist. Oh, he’s struggling with the playbook? Adjust the playbook! You’re telling me Jones is incapable of running 3-4 go routes a game to take the top off the defense? You’re telling me he can’t consistently motion as a decoy? He’s the only player on this roster capable of turning a bubble screen into a 25-yard gain. Play him and commit to getting him five touches a game.

  • For me, it isn’t just about touches. Jones should be playing more than the 17 percent snap share he was given last week. Maybe these are unfair comps since rookie wideouts like Alec Pierce, George Pickens, and Romeo Doubs have been healthy all year. But each of those wideouts has been working a steady load in their respective offenses. That the Bears’ rookie wideout isn’t at that level yet is a bit concerning. Pickens hasn’t played on less than 70 percent of the Steelers’ offensive snaps all year. Pierce has been in on at least 51 percent of the offensive plays in three of five games — including a season-high 53 snaps in Week 6. Romeo Doubs has played on at least 86 percent of offensive snaps since Week 3. TL;DR — Let the kids play!
  • Here’s a troubling sign: It seems as if opposing defenses have figured out how to slow down the Bears’ ground game. And if that is truly the case, then the Bears might need a double mini-bye to figure out how to dig out from that hole:
  • Things aren’t getting any easier…
  • I’m so close to being all in on obsessive prospect watching. With that in mind, I can appreciate the perspective Greg Gabriel gives Windy City Gridiron as a former College Scouting Director in terms of how teams scout prospects:
  • If it’s not one thing with this league, it’s something else:
  • It sounds like the Bears and Blackhawks are cornering the market on cap space in their respective leagues:
  • There are a whole lotta old friends in the NLCS, with Kyle Schwarber and Yu Darvish headlining the bunch:
  • I enjoy watching James Harden chuck bricks:


Author: Luis Medina

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