More Claypool, Alan Williams Weighs In on Fields' Resurgence, Madden Thanksgiving Tribute, and Other Bears Bullets

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More Claypool, Alan Williams Weighs In on Fields’ Resurgence, Madden Thanksgiving Tribute, and Other Bears Bullets

Chicago Bears

I’m taking a day trip to St. Louis for a Friendsgiving event I haven’t been able to attend in years. Yours truly is bringing a tray of mac-and-cheese *AND* a bunch of chocolate chip cookies. And, of course, all the Justin Fields propaganda a gathering of friends could ever need.

  • Here is the most encouraging thing to come from Bears Head Coach Matt Eberflus’ media availability on Friday:
  • It sure sounds like we’re about to get more Chase Claypool this week. That’s good news for Justin Fields, Luke Getsy, the Bears offense, and fans ready to see the new No. 10 take this offense to another level. And it’s bad news for a Lions defense that flat-out stinks. Claypool was limited to just 26 offensive snaps, which represented just 35 percent of the Bears’ total offensive plays run. Let’s get that number north of 50 percent this week, eh? Maybe get him involved in some more deep patterns. Perhaps get him the ball on some jet sweeps. The meatball in me wants to see someone with Claypool’s 6-4, nearly 240-pound frame chip in as a run-blocker. Who knows, maybe he can draw a pass interference penalty from officials who are paying attention.
  • For as excited as I am about Claypool’s uptick in snaps, I am as worried about the state of the Bears’ secondary. Cornerback Kindle Vildor is OUT with an ankle injury. Fellow corner Jaylon Johnson is questionable due to an oblique issue. We knew the talent on Chicago’s defense was short on high-end talent after the Roquan Smith and Robert Quinn trades, but having a solid secondary figured to soften the blow a little. However, that group is in trouble if it is down two starters.
  • This tweet is not for the faint of heart:
  • Here’s something for the suggestion box: Give DeAndre Houston-Carson some more snaps. DHC was in on a career-best 50 percent of the Bears’ defensive snaps last year. Not only did we see DHC’s positional versatility pay off, but he was also still contributing as a special teams ace. But to this point of the year, Houston-Carson has played on just 19 defensive snaps. Feels like a waste of an able-bodied defender.
  • Let the record show that the secondary won’t be a total disaster if CB1 can’t give it a go. Safety Jaquan Brisker makes PFF’s Midseason All-Rookie Team. “Brisker has been the same tone-setter we saw at Penn State. He’s racked up 13 stops for the Bears defense, including three sacks for a 69.5 overall grade so far,” writes Michael Renner. “Now he needs to clean up the missed tackles after missing 11 of his 62 attempts this season.” Brisker has been a solid starter from the start of the season. There is still work to do and he is far from a finished product. But the high floor is there.
  • On the one hand, I don’t want to spend too much time second-guessing Ryan Poles’ first draft. However, offensive tackle Abraham Lucas (Round 3, Pick 72), offensive guard/tackle Zach Tom (Round 4, Pick 140), and cornerback Tariq Woolen (Round 5, Pick 153) are impact rookies who were taken after third-round receiver Velus Jones Jr. was chosen by the Bears. I’m still holding out hope that Jones can be the type of contributor who makes us forget who was chosen after he went off the board. But Jones has been riding the struggle bus as a rookie. More on that later.
  • Maybe it’ll all be OK because the Bears have Fields. There’s been a lot to love about his recent play. And there isn’t a more drool-worthy matchup than Fields against a Lions defense that is absolutely washed. More from PFF’s Brad Spielberger, who highlights why it could be a long day at the office for Detroit’s defense:
  • It’s not just a media thing, either. Field Yates (ESPN) notes that JF1 has gone from being available in 52 percent of fantasy leagues when the week began to just 20 percent of leagues after the first wave of waiver adds. So if you don’t have Fields yet, you probably missed your window. But if he happens to still be available in your league, go get him and thank us later.
  • No, I hadn’t been thinking about what Bears Defensive Coordinator Alan Williams was thinking about Fields’ emergence as a second-year quarterback. But this is good perspective to get:

“Love everything about it,” defensive coordinator Alan Williams said Thursday, via NBC Sports Chicago. “And you know what, I would say outside of the building, people would go, ‘that’s a surprise.’ Inside the building, we would go, ‘nope.’ If you see the way he works, the way he goes about his business, you see what he does in practice. You go, ‘that’s to be expected.’

“It was just a matter of time before it showed. We would just say that the last thing you see is a profit. That was coming. Everybody in the building knew that was coming. Just a matter of when.”

  • Could Fields and the Bears have found success had an offensive-leaning head coach been hired? Sure. But there is something valuable about the perspective a defensive-leaning staff can provide to round out the developmental process.
  • I love analytics:
  • No, Jerry Tillery hasn’t lived up to his first-round billing. But the Bears could use as much help along the defensive line as they can get. And Tillery could be a change of scenery candidate. With the Bears being where they are near the top of the waiver wire, this situation might be worth monitoring:
  • At minimum, exploring a Tillery waiver claim would make sense as GM Ryan Poles continues to stockpile Notre Dame products. No team is better suited to welcome a former Golden Domer than one with Claypool, Cole Kmet, Sam Mustipher, and Equanimeous St. Brown.
  • Speaking of which, I’m rooting for an Equanimeous bounce back on Sunday:
  • I’m loving news of the John Madden tribute the NFL is putting forth starting on this Thanksgiving. If it’s in the game, it’s in the game:
  • Oh, to be a fly on the wall in the room of whomever is reading this feedback:
  • The Bears have a game TOMORROW. And yet, part of me wonders who’s going to be quarterbacking their next opponent the following Sunday. Richard Sherman, who had praise for Fields after his performance last week, chimes in on a messy Atlanta QB situation:
  • I’ll say this as a Kyle Pitts fantasy owner, but do you remember when the Falcons drafted a tight end instead of Justin Fields? Whew. Thanks, guys.
  • I can’t believe they can fine you for that, especially when refs give fans the bird all the time with their atrocious calls:
  • Xander Bogaerts isn’t my first choice to be the Cubs’ opening-day shortstop in 2023, but I wouldn’t say no. Michael explores the possibility of the Cubs kicking the tires on the Red Sox free agent:

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Author: Luis Medina

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