Brad Biggs at the Chicago Tribune answers yet another question. He points out that the Bears gave permission for wide receivers coach Mike Groh to interview for a job with the Rams which he eventually took:
“Why did the Bears let wide receivers coach Mike Groh walk away to join the Rams? Was he out of contract or doesn’t he need permission to join another staff? Please explain when coaches can leave and when their wish can be denied. — Benedikt G., Bonn, Germany, from email “
“With the title of passing game coordinator, Groh gets a slight elevation with the Rams (passing game coordinator) where he’s almost a co-offensive coordinator with Rob Boras, the former Bears tight ends coach under Lovie Smith.”
“In Groh’s case, he had hoped to switch from receivers to quarterbacks after Dowell Loggains was promoted to offensive coordinator. Groh was a former college quarterback and moving from receivers to quarterbacks would be a natural progression in a goal to becoming a coordinator. The Bears hired Dave Ragone, who has a working history with Loggains, to coach quarterbacks and then this opportunity materialized for Groh.
“It’s a loss for the Bears’ staff because Groh did fine work with Alshon Jeffery in his time at Halas Hall and also helped bring along Marquess Wilson. The new wide receivers coach will have to refine the game of Kevin White this coming year.”
Bears head coach John Fox is really rolling the dice and going all in with Loggains. As I’ve pointed out before, Loggains is a guy who apparently talks a good game but who has no practical record of achievement in the league before coming to the Bears. Like Loggains before last year where he was paired up with Adam Gase, Ragone has never coached a quarterback to a state where he performed noticeably above his talent level.
For a guy who himself claims that the NFL is a production-based league, Fox is taking an awful risk by exchanging two coaches with nothing on their resume for a coach that got good performance from his players with two coaching staffs (Marc Trestman and Fox) for the Bears.
Brad Biggs at the Chicago Tribune answers more of your questions:
“Do Bears a have conditional pick on Jared Allen? What are conditions? Does it go up if Panthers make the Super Bowl? — @JonGlck
“No conditions on the pick the Bears received from the Panthers in that September trade. The Bears will receive the Panthers’ sixth-round pick which will be the 32nd or 31st pick in the round depending on whether or not Carolina wins Super Bowl 50.”
The Bears have been taking a lot of flack for the Greg Olsen trade to Carolina in recent weeks. So its only fair to acknowledge that, in retrospect, the Allen trade was a heck of a deal for the Bears. Allen was struggling in his role as an outside linebacker and on the surface, trading him to Carolina where he could go back to being an effective pass rusher from the defensive end spot seemed like a good strategy for both teams. But Allen continued to have a miserable year even with the position switch, accumulating only two sacks on the season.
Allen will always rank amongst my favorite NFL players because he was the kind of guy with a big personality who liked to have fun without being the kind of obnoxious jerk that guys like Steve McMichael are. Watching the Bears get a sixth round pick for him at this stage of his career was icing on the cake.
Brad Biggs at the Chicago Tribune answers your questions:
“Do you see the Bears making a push to sign Malik Jackson if Denver does not re-sign him? — @bkelz417″
“[The Broncos] would like to keep Jackson too but there might be only so much money to go around. Jackson has flourished as a full-time starter for the first time in his career and would be attractive to any team looking to solidify its defensive line. I don’t know that he is a Pro Bowl-caliber player. His production dipped a little bit after the midpoint of the season. But he’s very good and would fit in nicely for the Bears. Certainly coach John Fox and defensive line coach Jay Rodgers can answer any questions the front office has about Jackson. He’ll likely command very good money at the start of free agency where there really aren’t any good deals. It could come down to how much the Bears want to pay, again, assuming Jackson doesn’t re-sign with the Broncos. He’s definitely a player to keep in mind at this early juncture.”
One thing to bear in mind: the draft is very, very deep in defensive linemen, especially at the top of the draft. That’s going to affect the market for Jackson. Depending on what kind of ceiling teams feel he has when he’s not paired with guys like Von Miller and Derek Wolfe, Jackson’s market may not be as great as it would be in other years.
The Bears need as much or more help than anyone in the NFL right now with multiple spots in the rotation along the line open. Unlike many teams, it’s unlikely that they’ll be able to fill all of those holes in the draft. They’ll almost certainly be looking to free agency to sign at least one player. I’d say the Bears will certainly take a close look at Jackson as an option to fill a spot as long as they don’t have to over pay too much.