We Forgot What a Good Running Back Looks Like and Other Points of View

  • Hub Arkush at Pro Football Weekly on the current state of the Bears roster:

    “For all the early excitement brought by the arrivals of rookies Mitch Trubisky and Tarik Cohen, it’s hard not to feel a bit letdown after the Bears’ final cuts of the preseason Saturday.”

    “With only five wide receivers – realistically only three you’d want on the field – and five tight ends plus a fullback currently, it’s clear there will be a few more changes to the team’s 53-man roster, most likely prior to the opener against Atlanta.

    “That’s a good thing. Because for the moment, this group leaves you feeling a little flat at best.”

    I have to agree. Way too much of this roster looks exactly like it did last year. Even at positions where there were changes like cornerback I question whether the team is actually any better than last year.

    The Bears are essentially relying on better health and better play from their previous draft picks for improvement. I’m not sure that’s going to be enough to provide significant improvement.

  • Brad Biggs, Rich Campbell and Dan Wiederer at the Chicago Tribune all bemoan the Bears lack of talent as they examine the 53 man roster after the cut downs over the weekend. From Campbell:

    “Defensively, the lack of star power puts a ceiling on what to expect. The Bears remain the only NFL team without a defensive player who has been to a Pro Bowl. The other 31 have a least one defensive Pro Bowler from the last two seasons. In other words, the Bears are trailing in the personnel department, which showed last season in their NFL-record-low 11 takeaways.”

    Of course, I agree. But if you are looking for a bright side I’d say that the Bears do have potential Pro Bowl talent in some of their recent draft picks, namely Leonard Floyd and Eddie Goldman.

    By far the biggest problem that the Bears have is the fact that wide receiver Kevin White hasn’t developed. It’s left them totally bereft of a passing game and, though the running game looks strong, there’s a only so much that you can do against good teams without a legitimate passing threat to go with it.

    You can’t hit on every draft pick. But if anything has doomed the Bears to an – at best – mediocre season, that’s it.

  • Many reports are pointing out the fall that running back Jeremy Langford took over the course of one year. The Bears were looking to him to be their starter this time last year. This year he was cut.The truth is that this isn’t a fall for Langford. The talent at running back is simply so much better that it leaves the average observer wondering, “What were we thinking?”

    Langford is just a guy. We just didn’t recognize it because we forgot what a good running back looks like.

  • Kevin Seifert at ESPN wonders why there have been so many trades this offseason:

    “What’s going on here? Has the NFL embarked on a new era of next-level wheeling and dealing? Or are we overreacting to what history will judge as a bunch of relatively inconsequential moves?”

    “As the ESPN Stats & Information chart shows, NFL teams have made 30 trades since Aug. 1 through late Sunday afternoon. That’s already more trades than we saw between Aug. 1 and the first game of the regular season in each of the previous nine years. The average during that period was 13.3 trades.”

    “Of course, teams have always tried to trade players before releasing or waiving them. So the biggest question to ask here is this: Why are teams giving up draft choices, albeit low-round picks in most cases, for players they could probably have acquired on the open market if they were patient?

    “In some cases, a general manager might feel that the available player is either better or better in his system than the profile of a player he might draft if he holds on to the pick. He might also consider the pick a small price to avoid a bidding war or even a free-agent courtship should he wait for an eventual release.”

    It’s just a guess but the way the salary cap is handled nowadays may have a lot to do with this.

    First, the cap has been rising and many teams probably have more space than usual to work with.

    But, probably more importantly, many of the NFL deals in recent years have been front loaded with guaranteed money to make sure that there’s minimal dead space if the player doesn’t work out.

    That means that there’s less dead guaranteed money accelerating onto the cap when many of the players are being traded. This was, of course, the biggest reason why trades haven’t been that common in the past.

  • I was amused by this prediction from Mark Potash at the Chicago Sun-Times:

    Mitch Trubisky’s first start will come … against the Browns in Week 16. The Bears will stubbornly cling to [Mike] Glennon as their starter throughout the season. Not until they finally are mathematically eliminated from the playoffs will they turn to the future and give Trubisky a shot in a comfortable spot: a home game against the wretched Browns.”

    If the Bears aren’t mathematically eliminated from the playoffs until week 16, I think we’re all going to be reasonably satisfied regardless of when Trubisky finally plays.

  • Kickers have way too much time on their hands:

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