Football Verbiage, Ground Excellence, Where is the Blocking? And Other Bears Bullets

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Football Verbiage, Ground Excellence, Where is the Blocking? And Other Bears Bullets

Chicago Bears

Of course, it came down to Shohei Ohtani against Mike Trout — the two best players in MLB — to decide the winner of the World Baseball Classic. Now imagine if both of those guys were on the same team…

  • Call me a homer if you’d like, but I feel as if the Khalil Herbert-D’Onta Foreman tandem deserves consideration here:

  • Herbert’s 5.7 yards/carry was the most among running backs who qualified for the rushing crown. This put him ahead of Franchise Tagged running backs Tony Pollard (5.2), Josh Jacobs (4.9), and Saquon Barkley (4.4). Heck, Foreman’s 4.5 yards/carry had him on par with Austin Ekeler (4.5) and Jonathan Taylor (4.5) and ahead of the human embodiment of a runaway freight train (Derrick Henry – 4.4) and free agent signings such as Jamaal Williams (4.1), David Montgomery (4.0), and James Robinson (3.9). Throw quarterback Justin Fields into the discussion and you won’t find a better ground game trio than what Chicago boasts.
  • There is no doubt the Bears’ run-blocking levels up the running game, too. Using Pro Football Focus’ grading as our guide, this offensive line features the 11th best run-blocking tackle (Braxton Jones), the 3rd (Teven Jenkins) and 13th (Nate Davis) best guards. That is a strong foundation for the ground game. If the pass blocking can hit another gear, then Chicago’s offense would be cooking with fire.
  • They still have holes on the offensive line, but I don’t think Jonah Williams is the answer. Nevertheless, I find it interesting that NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport reports there has been interest from around the league in the Bengals tackle who recently requested a trade:

  • RapSheet doesn’t name names, but it would be surprising if the Bears made serious inquiries. Again, that right tackle hole is a gaping one. And if Williams was willing to make the switch, then maybe I’d re-consider my stance. However, if Williams was willing to flip from left to right, then why would he request a trade out of Cincy? Perhaps there is some buy low potential here on a player who underperformed and will have a full offseason to recover from injuries that slowed him down in 2022. But there isn’t much interest on my end in terms of cutting a deal right now.
  • In theory, GM Ryan Poles could trade precious draft capital to acquire Williams on the fifth-year option of his rookie deal. Or Poles could leverage some of that remaining cap space on players who might be a better fit. Tackles such as Isaiah Wynn, Cameron Fleming, George Fant, and Billy Turner make sense as stop-gap options who can hold down the fort while draft-picks-to-be-named-later develop.
  • OK, so this group needs some work:

  • You never know where your next great offensive lineman is coming from. After all, starting left tackle Braxton Jones was a fifth-round pick from Southern Utah. With that in mind, Cody Mauch (North Dakota State) and McClendon Curtis (Chattanooga) are offensive linemen on Trevor Sikkema’s list of small-school prospects who are considered to be sleepers in the upcoming NFL Draft. (PFF)
  • A good catch by Shayne Marsaw’s listening ear:

  • Hypotheticals are fun, but the reality of what the Bears received for the first overall pick is more fun. A tip of the cap to Ryan Poles for knowing what he was looking for and getting it.
  • Even though the Bears addressed their receiver needs at the top of the depth chart with the D.J. Moore trade, I wouldn’t be opposed to drafting Jaxon Smith-Njigba. Especially if he turns out to be the highest-ranking player on the Bears’ board when they go on the clock:

  • Sure, that might go down as a luxury pick. But it could also be an insurance pick by the Poles regime. Keep in mind that Darnell Mooney and Chase Claypool are going to be free agents after this season. Perhaps the Bears will see value in giving JSN a shot at developing behind the Moore-Mooney-Claypool (they sound like a law firm!) before elevating him as a second-year player in 2024. Or maybe I just like the idea of the Bears being able to spread opposing defenses with four capable wide receivers.
  • Jeff Hughes (Da Bears Blog) offers up an interesting conversation about how we talk about football. As in the words and language we use in discussing a variety of things. Words matter. And after reading Hughes’ piece, I feel as if we (present company included) should be more cognizant of what we use.
  • The Houston Texans have been BUSY. (BN NFL)
  • This is a pleasant surprise:

  • Are the Bulls back?
  • After losing Willson Contreras to the Cardinals in free agency, the math ain’t mathin’ at catcher for the Cubs:

  • Keeping eyes on Blackhawks prospects as teams skate onward to the Frozen Four:

Author: Luis Medina

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