The Alternative Paths of Team Building and Other Bears Bullets

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The Alternative Paths of Team Building and Other Bears Bullets

Chicago Bears

Over the years, sneaker heads haven’t been all too fond of the Air Jordan 2. But I had never owned a pair until this year and was looking forward to trying ‘em out for myself. They were surprisingly comfortable and easy to walk in. I’d rock them more often if they weren’t white (or if I had more green in my wardrobe).

  • The more I think about this offseason, the more I find myself thinking about GM Ryan Poles doing a good job in filling in the blind spots on this roster. And it’s not just those high-profile signings. Although, signing Tremaine Edmunds, TJ Edwards is helpful to their overall goal. The Bears have done well in building depth with signings such as TE Robert Tonyan, DT Andrew Billings, and RB D’Onta Foreman. These aren’t game-breakers. But they represent solid veteran depth with a high floor — which is something this team was lacking last year. Better yet, it is something that good teams tend to have. If the Bears are going to beat expectations, they’ll need contributions from unexpected areas. All hands on deck. 
  • Reading through BN’s Cubs coverage had me stopping and reading through this multiple times:
  • No, I didn’t get the 1-for-1 comparison for the Bears and Cubs that I was hoping to snag. Instead, I came away thinking about how the two teams are taking relatable alternative paths when it comes to team building. Because where the Cubs have focused on bolstering the defense and pitching, I see similarities in the Bears spending to upgrade at linebacker. And I’m chuckling quietly to myself while thinking about it.
  • There are parallels to the Bears signing two LBs at the top of their game and still in the prime of their careers to strengthen the middle of the defense and the Cubs throwing bags of cash at Dansby Swanson (fortifying the up-the-middle defense) and Jameson Taillon (strengthening the rotation). In both situations, it seems as if Ryan Poles and Jed Hoyer are trying to build their respective teams by getting the best players available who fit what they want their team to look like when they are as competitive as we (as fans) want them to be. It might not be a direct path to championship glory, but it is one I’m willing to travel with each team.
  • Think about it. When the Bears are battling competitively, they’re going to want athletic linebackers with range, coverage skills, and tackling ability. Why not get them now while they’re available instead of waiting to enter a competitive window? Heck, why not carve out your own competitive window by being progressive with your free agent spending? All in all, what the Bears do with their cap flexibility will be fascinating to follow. What they’ve done to this point is a good start.
  • And to think, more spending could be on the way:

  • Because my focus has been on the Bears addressing obvious needs in that first free agency wave, I hadn’t really thought about teams making cuts that second push. Maybe there are players here the Bears can swoop in on and sign. This is where patience comes into play. Chicago’s football team is in a place where it can absorb a big deal that another team might want to trade before cutting. And the Bears could be in a position to aggressively pursue players who get cut because of their ample cap space. Again, this is a storyline that we’ll want to keep tabs on as the NFL’s never-ending roster churn continues.
  • No, I can’t see the Bears being in on Ezekiel Elliott. But that won’t stop others from seeing a fit:

  • The Bears appear to have the makings of a suitable running back committee. It might not look the best, but it should be competitive. Khalil Herbert and D’Onta Foreman can split that 1A/1B role at the top of the depth chart. Travis Homer figures to get a shot at being the passing down back. And it looks like Trestan Ebner will need to claw his way up the depth chart in order to carve out a role for himself. It wouldn’t surprise me if the Bears were to use a late-round pick or UDFA signing to create a RB4 competition. If that is how the cookie crumbles, it should make for a fascinating training camp follow.
  • But also, I’d like to see Herbert become proficient at picking up blitzes and catching passes out of the backfield. Do simple better (as Joe Maddon would say) in those areas, then watch your opportunities to make plays with the ball in your hands increase.

  • You’ve gotta love seeing the Bears out and about:

  • Building that team chemistry brick by brick.
  • Tab’s got eyes on college hockey today:

Author: Luis Medina

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