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Everything posted by dll2000

  1. Happy Quarantine Everyone! Or unhappy one perhaps. Actually I am going in to work today for a bit. I have essential’ work to do. Some anyway. Everyone is praying for health and that is wonderful, but I am also praying for our posters financial health and provision as economy really ramps down. Going to be some hard times ahead for many who lose work or non-salaried people (I fall in later category). Who do you think will start at QB week one? I think it depends on what summer/spring practice schedule is like. If virus scare dies down and OTAs happen, I would think that gives Foles a major leg up over rehabilitating MT. I also think Bears have kind of thought about who they want to start already and that guy has major leg up at beginning. Not sure who that is though. Maybe Nagy wants Foles and Pace wants MT even. Who knows for sure? But I think those guys communicate well and don’t hide thoughts from each other. So I believe they may disagree, but have decided to be on same page to start. In Foles we have kind of the most wide swing of results in a QB ever. They said good Rex/bad Rex about Grossman, but Grossman didn’t swing nearly as wide as Foles. Foles is both best ever and absolutely terrible and just mediocre. Kinda crazy. There are a lot of names on Bears roster right now who I have no idea who they are. Spot trac has us with 4 centers, 1 tackle, two right tackles and a guard. Way too early predictions for 2020: 1) C. Patterson plays a much larger role in O than last year, but still not that big of one. 2) Our young guys who underperformed last year; Daniels, Smith, Nichols, have a bounce back year. 3) Tolliver wins starting CB job opposite Fuller. 4) TEs are Harris, Graham, Burton, Horstead and Holtz who doubles as FB so they keep 5. 5) Shaheen plays a ton of preseason and how he does will determine if he makes the team. 6) Bush wins SS job unless Bears draft a S in 2nd and maybe even then. 7) Bars makes 53 and if Bears don’t draft an OL in 2nd, starts at least one game in regular season (on offense). 8) sad prediction: Trevathan is hurt and out by game 9 and Miller hurts his shoulder again or is hampered by it. 9) If Graham and Burton get hurt then Horstead gets U job and may keep it for foreseeable future. 10) Bears make playoffs. Pre season for Bears will be about 100x more interesting this year as there will be many real position battles at stake unlike last year.
  2. Glass Half Full 2020

    So in 2019 I was super positive on Bears. I made a case all offseason that they were SB contenders. Not favorites, but contenders with a shot. That was if everything went right. I had a series of bullet points. Almost none of them, except Robinson being improved, hit. BUT, they all could have. They were not ridiculous or just wishy washy points. A lot of problems were human caused and could have gone either direction if a butterfly had not been killed in January in Taiwan. After attending a camp practice, my internal opinion really soured. They just were not hitting on any cylinders offensively and it carried into season. Obviously I was dead wrong on most of my points. Now after 2019 most people are down on Bears. Opposite of last year. But I don't like pessimism. I was going to say, I am not a pessimistic person, but that would probably be a lie. At least partially. I can be very pessimistic, I just don't like to be. So here is why Bears can be better than the poor expectations they are getting in 2020 and can actually be quite good: QB: I think whoever wins QB competition in 2020 is going to be better than the QB play we had in 2019. But Dan, it could be MT and he is same guy that sucked in 2019! Nobody is same year to year. If MT, against the odds, wins the competition it means Nagy thinks he is better than Foles and has improved enough to keep the job. He would be staking his own future on a guy that stunk in 2019 and that would speak volumes. If Foles wins the job, it is a defacto improvement over MT because Foles won the job over MT. Presumably a somewhat improved MT too. Either way the QB position should be an improvement over what we saw last year and likely an improvement over 2018 QB play as well. OL: A large reason the QB play was so bad last year was poor line and TE play. I don't know or care what analytics say about how well or poorly the O line did, I can see that they missed way too many assignments, got flat beat often and did not create adequate running lanes for run game. I include TE in that mix. I think Ifedi at RG will be an upgrade over a broken Long, Larson, or the inexperienced 2019 Coward (its not impossible Coward wins RG job with a hard working offseason - but likely it goes to Ifedi). I think Daniels will be light years better than he was in 2019. I think Whitehair will be better than he was in 2019. Leno and Massie, I don't have a ton of faith in. They lack talent of the other 3, but, I think or more accurately hope, they won't be worse than 2019. So that is 3 of 5 that should be better. Just eliminating mistakes alone would be a huge improvement. I think they will do that. Maybe not in terms of penalties, especially not with adding Ifedi who has a bad rep for penalties, but in terms of assignment mistakes. I will say that Foles needs a good pocket to show his deep accuracy. That is a serious worry. But this is a glass half full post. RB: As O Line goes so goes the RBs. Montgomery and Cohen should look much improved if O line is playing better. I think they are both talented football players, although Cohen had a down year in 2019. WR: Robinson showed what I was saying in last years offseason. This guy is low key one of better WRs in the league when healthy. He is still just starting his prime and has never had good QB play. We may not have seen the best Robinson yet. Miller has been victimized by bad throws eliminating his big plays (which he would feed on) and also his multiple shoulder injuries. I think he is an emotional player that has been a bit beaten down by the lack of success he desires and envisioned for himself coming into he league. If we can get him going I think whole league may be surprised by how good he can actually be. On other hand, if he keeps getting setbacks he may fall off. He could be largest beneficiary of improved downfield accuracy. Having Ginn I think at least makes teams keep someone deep at all times when he is on the field. I would have to go back and look, but it seems teams stopped respecting Gabriel last season as a serious deep threat to get behind them. I don't know if it was him or because they didn't fear MT's deep ball, the O lines ability to protect or a little of each. TE: Say what you want about Graham being over paid or over the hill he is still an upgrade at U or Y over anything Bears have had last 3 years. Harris appears to be a modest upgrade at Y. And Kmet is a promising high level rookie athlete at Y as well. Holtz came in late and performed okay, and least brought something. Horstead showed flashes to me in both preseason and in season that he can be a legit talent in this league as an exciting receiving TE. My hope is they don't ignore his development. TE position isn't wowing you at this time, but it IS an improvement. A significant one, over 2019. DL: Obviously loss of Hicks was a huge blow. Williams performed really well to start, but kind of tapered off. Bilal regressed some with his injured hand after his promising rookie season. Goldman played too many snaps while banged up throughout year to be as effective as he would like. A healthier Bilil and Goldman and having Hicks back brings the DL up to near elite status once again. At least while they remain healthy. RRH can make dynamic plays on occasion too, but needs more consistency. We need Abdullah or Jenkins to step up bring something to table this year. Abdullah has looked good at every opportunity in preseason games, Williams just looked a bit better and kept him down. Lets hope he grabs his shot this year. Edge: If Quinn can play in a 3-4 like he played in Dallas last season and Mack is Mack then Edge just improved a great deal. A great deal. Bears have not had 2 great edge rushers in years. In 2018 it was Hicks and Mack. The legit question is are Bears going to let Quinn play with his hand in dirt off edge like he likes. And if he doesn't can he be as effective? If yes, the Floyd/Quinn swap is potentially, low key, largest upgrade on the team and underrated in terms of team impact. Back ups are back ups and I am not expecting much from them except to spell the starters here. ILB: Trevathan and Smith on paper are best ILBs duo in the league. But Smith was up and down last year because of his 'personal issues' and Trevathan is somewhat injury prone. Glass half full, they dominate, because they have talent to do so. CB: Losing Prince is big, but they drafted, by all accounts, a highly talented replacement. Toliver has not shown a large drop off in play from Prince when he is in there and Burns is an elite athlete that has not found his grove in league yet. 2018 Prince may be better than whoever starts in his spot in 2020, but the younger guys this season may have beaten him out regardless if he was here. Fuller needs to keep playing at level he is at and hopefully improves. Skrine played well enough last year at NCB to be satisfactory. S: Jackson regressed a little in 2019 not having the defined simple role in Pagano's backfield that he had in Fangio's. Hopefully he gets back to elite playmaking that has marked his career and Pagano lets him do what he does best. Gipson should give about same as what HHCD did and I think Bush can start in this league as a SS given opportunity. Coaching: Nagy says he screwed up in 2019. He says they should have played preseason and he messed up in other ways too he didn't want to be specific on. That to me is good news. That this guy is self evaluating and trying to fix past mistakes in team preparation. He says they are going to compete at positions and play the preseason and use it to get better. That could mean more injuries, but obviously it is something that needs to be done to see where guys are legitimately at against live competition. Rather than finding out on game day. I think it helps that he has added more of HIS guys to staff now. Guys he doesn't have to teach or get on same page with. Guys he has history with and with shared mentors. That will make a large difference. Heistand has an amazing rep in O line circles, but last year was a horribly coached unit. No way around that. You have to believe O line coaching will be an upgrade. Coach will not be saddled with a broken Long all offseason and into beginning of year either. Pagano is a smart defensive coach and he has now had a full year and offseason with these guys. I think that familiarity will pay dividends. I think it also helps that he has had a year with Nagy now and probably has his trust and can be more free and relaxed and outspoken on various matters and add his voice as a former HC. Go Bears!
  3. Glass Half Full 2020

    I haven’t watched safety Gipson much. I head an interview of him where he describes himself as more a free safety than a box safety. Edge rookie Gipson I think is a project. Who knows though. Maybe he will surprise. Pace seems to always be able to pull a mid round surprise. Maybe it’s him.
  4. Random Thoughts - Quarantine Edition

    I appreciate the concern brother in all seriousness. Love you too. Death comes for us all. When my time comes I am ready.
  5. You can. Some teams like Rams run mostly off OZ. In any offense you have to have a core of base plays. Then you have another set that looks like those plays to defense, but aren’t. Jabs to set up big punches. If you’re base plays are ineffective it is really hard to land the big punches because nobody is overplaying the jab. Hence, why Bears lack explosive plays. Nagy likes to use IZ to set up RPOs and play action and jet sweep out of same look. He hasn’t been able to run IZ effectively so nothing else works. I realize PFF currently says you can still run play action just as effectively without having an effective run game - that goes against conventional football wisdom. Perhaps, regardless, it still seems Bears can’t pull it off.
  6. Does more need to be done?

    I would say Ledarius is about 500-1 to make the team and about 50-1 to even make practice squad. Only reason they keep him on practice squad would be as a favor to Mack.
  7. Random Thoughts - Quarantine Edition

    Down in Alabama. Been here for a bit. Quarantine is lifted no masks. Everyone is cool. No one is worried. It’s like a different planet from Illinois.
  8. No. He has to call base set up plays. Nothing works otherwise. When base plays don’t work you are SOL.
  9. IZ Lock is a term I am not familiar with. I can guess what you mean though. Zone is funny it is supposed to be this super simple concept that addresses stunts and all the different things a defense can do to screw up man blocking - and it is. But many coaches teach it differently with spacing and technique and steps and emphasis and their O lines look completely different. Some really like the doubles, others don’t. My preference in both zone blocking and zone coverage on defense is I want man blocking or coverage. We just use zone as a crutch in case they do something funky or to address stacked defenders or WRs for that matter. So in coverage I am technically in zone, but as soon as a man comes into my zone I am locked on him in man. Saban calls it being ‘in phase’. Standing in grass by yourself isn’t particularly helpful. Same with blocking. I am in zone in case a guy goes way over there. No point in chasing him someone else is coming to replace him shortly. Otherwise I am locking on this dude who is closest to me and in my chest and calling a day. To me the goal is always a hat on a hat. I don’t want double teams and a zero team on another guy.
  10. Nagy has tried IZ every which way you can run it. He is a knowledgeable coach. The way I described is his preferred variation. I can feel his pain. He is searching hard for answers in season. What if we did this way, what if we did it that way. I have seen him completely change run plays week to week trying hard to make it work. The problem isn’t scheme it is execution. He needs to practice different and be able to recognize in practice when some guys aren’t cutting it and make changes. Or fix the guys who are doing poorly. Too many modern coaches run through all their plays on grass real fast and then ***** in meetings watching tape. The delay there matters. When I watched practice that was Bears. They run a terrible play and then they are on to next rep like nothing happened. A thousand reps done bad doesn’t help much. You need quality reps. Take some time on grass and fix it then. Then reinforce it in film.
  11. Bears specifically have sucked running under Nagy because of their inability to run IZ. 1) Problem is Nagy like to run it with a wham or trap blocking TE responsible for EMLOS on one side or other. I haven’t charted this play, but we miss that block A LOT more than we make it. And the play is often ruined as a result. 2) Our guys often don’t climb or get beat. On sooo many plays one guy just completely screws up and it ruins the play. And that is all it takes. One guy. He gets swum, or blocks the wrong guy or never comes off his double or wrong guy climbs. Or, and I am not kidding, falls down. I have seen all this happen on IZ for Bears in last 2 years under Nagy. It is infuriating.
  12. RBs were always a little overvalued and OLs undervalued. But scheme matters. The rise of the Run and shoot which turned into spread offenses and the accompanying single back sets and also zone blocking schemes - primarily Mike Shanahan and his pal Alex Gibbs who really devalued the RBs. RBs still mattered. Honestly the best ones are still probably best all around athletes on the team. But in zone systems that dominate now it isn’t about amazing ability so much as intelligence and patience. OJ Simpson and Jim Brown may or may not have been great zone backs. Because they just sprinted right to the hole and then juked or ran people over after that. In a zone scheme you kind of jog to a spot, a target, a marker, then you make a decision based on a position of a defender or sometimes a blockers butt. A hole will appear magically if you read it correctly. Its why Gibbs and Shanahan liked late rounders. They could be taught without ego. It was more about coaching and the O line than the player. By combining it with 3 or more WRs and getting rid of FB you have lightened the box and simplified the Combo calculations. Before it was always we are going to pull a linemen or two and send a fullback ahead. Who can out smash who. Who is bigger, stronger and faster. Or you ran option schemes and made them play assignment football rather than all running to the ball. A good fake is worth two blocks has long been a coaching adage. This is when RB was king. Close to QB as most important guy on the field. The zone reads added an option the spread. Plus you can still run veer and speed option of our spread as well. Now defenses have caught up some. DL and LB can read zone blocks better. DL can work to prevent the climbing to LB that makes the zone block work so well. Its a lot of cat and mouse. One side gets an advantage then the other side adjusts and then you have to do something a little different and so on. But bottom line is a great RB is great, but generally speaking, the O line makes the RB not the other way around. QBs make WRs more so than WRs make QBs. DL makes LBs more so than LBs make DL. Why so many of us are down on Pace for not doing better with O line.
  13. Still wondering when Covid stuff stops and people can interact again. Nagy said they spent last week training players and coaches on video coaching. Look at https://www.ourlads.com/nfldepthcharts/depthchart/CHI The TE line is hilarious. Never seen all the boxes filled in a row on our lads before. Probably had same at K last year, but I never looked. We (presumably) have starting position battles at: QB TE RG W3 CB2 and 3 and SS DT playing time. That is a LOT for starting jobs and there are roster and back up battles all over the place. And it includes QB which always becomes a thing. Guys are getting cut this year if they play bad in practice/preseason. There were almost no battles last year and we coasted through offseason practices laughing and joking. August will not be a good career time to get an injury in Chicago. On paper - our defense is bringing everyone back except 3 guys: Replacing Floyd with Quinn. HHCD with Bush (probably). Prince with Johnson, Burns or Toliver. (Odds should be on Johnson - but keep in mind he is recovering from surgery and Bears will likely hold him out of early practices). Quinn is a clear upgrade overall, but a downgrade on plays where they drop him. Bush is more physical than HHCD, but not as good in coverage. I think whoever starts at corner is probably a downgrade from Prince in 2020. But not a giant one. I think the Quinn addition is such an upgrade that overall on paper its still better even with 2 of 3 downgrades. And when everyone was healthy the defense was pretty scary. Only lasted a few games, but you could still see how good they were. Offense did nothing to help. Offense is replacing (presumably as of April 2020): 1. Foles for MT 2. Ifedi for Long/Coward 3. Graham and Kmet/Harris for what was initially Shaheen/Braunecker and Burton and eventually turned into Holtz and Horstead. This is a total position remake. 4. WR 3 remains to be seen. Probably a committee position. I think Miller and Robinson get bulk of snaps. When asked about O line issues Pace said another addition besides players was the O line coach. So they think it wasn’t just a talent problem that made them stink. I am not sure it was all or mostly coaches fault, I think decisions on who played when, how players prepared in offseason and how Bears practiced made a huge difference in their 2019 keystone cops performance. I don’t think this makes them tons better and they were awful. But I can’t see them being nearly as bad as last season. I think if they don’t settle on a QB early in process they very well could be though. I think Chicago fans and media will not accept coaches saying MT has won job unless he lights up a preseason game for all to see. It scares me a lot that Foles looked really awful early in season in last season with Philly and he was getting all the reps with Wentz hurt and the team was absolutely loaded at that time in year. It is also scary that NFC playoff contenders are not standing pat on talent. Going to be a tough road. Bears do have an elite defense, but one without quality depth at edge, DL, ILB, S and maybe CB. They have to stay healthy. I think the biggest down thing is at their best the O line as a group is average. The WR as a group is average unless Miller takes a big step up, then they can be good. The TEs as a group may be below average still, at best they are average. RB is good, but not explosive - so average. QB is probably average and might be below average. So if everything goes right we can hope to be average offensively it looks like right now. We still have to win games with great defense, special teams and smart offense. We’ll see. It’s been done before.
  14. Well some of 'mistakes' aren't just blocking 'wrong' guy. It's also not coming off the double and leaving the LB unblocked to make the play. It's also bad communication on a combo resulting in blocking wrong guy. Or the initial line call was wrong and you slid opposite of way they actually were coming. Its never going to be 100%. WRs are always going to make some mistakes because it isn't all just running 8 yards and breaking this way or that way. They have reads on some routes based on positions of defenders or whether they are in man or zone. It is easy to get that wrong sometimes or read it differently on fly than the QB. Sometimes its I am going to give the DB this one more move to get open and QB lets fly and ball is over thrown because he didn't expect that extra stutter step and necessary reacceleration. All that being said, the execution in 2019 was still embarrassing for an NFL team. Especially at beginning of the season.
  15. 2020 Roster Speculations

    Bears carried 5 CBs on 53 last year. Fuller, Johnson, Skrine and Vildor are locks (5th rounders don't get cut in year one). That's 4 locks. So he is competing with Artie Burns who is much closer to a lock than Roberson is, OurLads is projecting Burns as the starter on our depth chart right now. He could be with Johnson recovering from surgery all offseason and into start of camp. Toliver who has started games for Bears and played well. And last years draft picks in Shelley and Denmark. I doubt they want to completely walk away from Shelley this quickly. They were all super high praise on him last OTAs. For just one, or perhaps two, open roster spots. I would say he has his work cut out for him to make the team.
  16. 2020 Roster Speculations

    So its still a 53 man roster, but you can have 55 by elevating practice squad players. But catch I think is you can't keep elevating same guys or they become permanent active players. It's all kind of confusing. It is best explained here with a quick search: https://www.ninersnation.com/2020/5/3/21245216/explaining-the-roster-sizes-and-practice-squad-rules-under-the-new-cba So for now I will speculatively create 53 slots and 12 PS slots and the 12 PS players will get moved around strategically by Pace and Nagy throughout season. This is first one - May 7, 2020 QB 1. Foles 2. MT RB 3. Montgomery 4. Cohen 5. Some vet not on team right now - I don't think they go with Nall as back up RB. FB 6. Holtz OL 7. Leno 8. Daniels 9. Whitehair 10. Ifedi 11. Massie 12. Bars 13. Spriggs 14. Coward 15. Levin WR 16. Robinson 17. Miller 18. Ginn 19. Ridley 20. Patterson 21. Mooney TE 22. Graham 23. Kmet 24. Harris 25. Horstead DL 26. Hicks 27. Goldman 28. Nichols 29. Anderson 30. RRH Edge 31. Mack 32. Quinn 33. Mingo 34. Gipson ILB 35. Smith 36. Trevathan 37. Woods 38. Iyiegbuniwe CB 39. Fuller 40. Skrine 41. Johnson 42. Shelley 43. Vildor 44. Tolliver 45. Burns S 46. Jackson 47. Gipson 48. Bush 49. Lucas 50. McManis ST 51. Pat 52. Eddie 53. Scales PS - Aside from late round draft picks of last two years I have no idea who they will want on PS. I could be wrong on this because I don't know all current rules on veterans. 1. Bray - QB 2. Hambright -OL 3 Simmons - OL 4. Mustipher OL 5. Wims - WR 6. Nall - RB 7. Denmark - CB/S 8. Roberson - CB 9. Vaughters - Edge 10. Jenkins - DL 11. Urban - DL 12. ??????
  17. I think it was personnel and execution. They couldn't execute their base plays that set everything else up so that led to flailing about trying to get SOMETHING/ANYTHING to work. It had to have been incredibly frustrating. Like a boxer or fighter that can't jab or base kick. Then his big shots don't work or miss because they aren't set up properly and are expected and countered. Then he has no choice but to start trying to do crazy stuff because that is only way he has a chance to win. But crazy stuff makes you look like an idiot most of time. All that started in way they all prepared for the season and personnel decisions that they made or didn't make. Once they were in it, there was no way out. But it wasn't bad play calling. IMO.
  18. Post Draft Big Picture Bears Thoughts

    Similar to 2018 or 19?
  19. As you all, or most of you, know It is being reported or leaked that 35 is on the table and they are arguing over 4 vs 5 years. So I think 35 is now the floor like it or not and perhaps the ceiling as well from Cowboys point of view. Now if he plays on tag for a year or holds out all bets are off. So many things can happen then that may change things. Also if they cancel games or limit crowds. That could change future caps.
  20. Post Draft Big Picture Bears Thoughts

    Except you know the NFL is supposed to be kind of a graduate level class. But hey if we were playing high school defenses. Dead.
  21. Post Draft Big Picture Bears Thoughts

    It was pure. This year we are a better zoom team than other teams.
  22. Random Bears THOTs

    Pardon bad language, but I found this very funny:
  23. Random Bears THOTs

    It's a mystery.
  24. I am curious. So after 109 pages discussing his worth, what should Dak's top contract number/years be? Assuming he signs in 2020 before season. In other words, what is top dollar most ardent supporters are willing to pay or see paid, but not one dollar more? Also, what is top dollar figure that is acceptable to detractors?