Quick Game Comments: Broncos at Bears 11/22/15

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Offense

  1. The Bears came out trying to run from the start with a triple tight end set. The Broncos were having none of it and did a good job stopping the it. I thought maybe the Bears had slightly more success once they started to spread the Broncos out more in the second quarter. But they still weren’t able to do it well and I’d say the Broncos did a pretty good job overall. this was a big key to the game. The Bears need to run the ball.
  2. The Bears lost the line of scrimmage. Not only could they not run but Jay Cutler was under a fair bit of pressure. It wasn’t a horrible effort. But it needed to be better. Jay Cutler did a marvelous job of moving around in the pocket to avoid pressure.
  3. Cutler found receivers over the middle early on third downs to keep the chains moving. This was apparently a weakness that the Bears identified and tried to take advantage of.
  4. The Broncos had obviously done their homework. They were all over Bears screens that have been a staple in recent weeks.
  5. In addition to taking advantage of the Broncos over the middle, I thought the Bears managed to et in a number of good deep throws against the Broncos, who were likely concentrating on taking away the shorter throws the Bears have been living off of lately.
  6. Martellus Bennett once again didn’t have a good game. He was missing catches that he really should be making. His concentration has been off for some time, now. He did draw three big pass interference calls but the Bears need more from Bennett with Alshon Jeffery not on the field.

Defense

  1. The Broncos came out running the ball very successfully. This set up the play action pass nicely and Brock Osweiler scored their first touchdown by sucking the linebackers in on such a pass.
  2. The Bears flat out lost the line of scrimmage this game against the run.
  3. The Broncos came out and took advantage of their speed and really beat the Bears linebackers in coverage. The Bears weren’t horrible. Just not good enough.
  4. The Bears did get pressure on Osweiler. Sometimes it was rushing straight up but they also brought the blitz with some success. They weren’t fancy blitzes by any stretch but the Broncos didn’t handle them well. Osweiler could have gotten rid of it quicker under pressure but most of the problems weren’t really his fault. His linemen were getting beat.
  5. Osweiler looked reasonably accurate. He does have a habit of staring down receivers that might come back to burn him but he makes good decisions. He’s got a good deep ball. He’s not exactly a young Peyton Manning but he looks like a pretty good pro quarterback to me.
  6. This was what the Broncos want their offense to look like. Osweiler was under center the whole time. There was no compromise as there has been with making Peyton Manning more comfortable at quarterback.
  7. Kudos to the Bears on a few defensive stands that took some back bone to make over the course of the game.

Miscellaneous

  1. Ian Eagle, Dan Fouts and Evan Washburn did a nice job. I really like Fouts, who I think does a good job of breaking down the important plays to let you know exactly what happened and why. Too bad he works for a network that runs commercials mostly for shows targeted at people my parent’s age (that’s pretty old).
  2. Deonte Thompson replaced Marc Mariani as the kick return man. they continued to use Mariani as a punt returner. Omar Bolden made a terrible mistake by letting a kickoff hit the ground in the end zone. It bounced back and dribbled out. The Broncos got the ball at the two yard line. Other than that there weren’t many obvious miscues.
  3. This was a relatively clean game with few penalties for the Broncos and none for the Bears. There was a big thirty yard pass interference call against Brandon Marshall on Martellus Bennett that hurt the Broncos pretty badly in the fourth quarter. Bennett drew two more against Aquib Talib Bradley Roby after that. The Bears were very fortunate not to get a personal foul penalty after both Willie Young and Jarvis Jenkins hit Osweiler after he gave himself up for a sack with two minutes left.
  4. Except for some catches that Martellus Bennett really should have made, I’d say drops weren’t a big part of this game on either side. Jeremy Langford had a drop in the fourth quarter that also didn’t help the Bears offensive effort.
  5. Jay Cutler threw an interception to Danny Trevathan. It’s not a defense but in a way it was understandable. Trevathan, a linebacker, was on a wide receiver in Marquess Wilson. So it’s usually the throw you make. The Broncos got the ball deep in Bears territory. It resulted in no points as the Bears defense came up big and stopped the Broncos on fourth down from the two yard line. Cutler almost threw another one in the fourth quarter to Bradley Roby but Roby dropped it. Then Von Miller stripped the ball from Cutler from behind and Malik Jackson caught it for a second interception.
  6. I thought it was an indication of the progress that the Bears have made that they were competitive in this game. They played well against another team with more talent who was also playing reasonably well. If they had done more offensively with the ball on the Denver side of the field, this could well have been a victory. A very respectable outing overall and, considering the talent gap between the teams, there was a lot to be happy about here.

Revising Expectations for the Bears

Jon Greenberg at ESPN is revising his expectations for the Bears:

“In the beginning … we predicted 6-10 for the Chicago Bears and it seemed just about right.”

“But then Jay Cutler returned [from injury] ahead of schedule and things settled down, and now, weeks after fans stopped watching games between their outstretched fingers, this looks like, knock on Mike Ditka’s pompadour, it could be a wholly respectable team with a longshot chance of making the postseason.”

The Bears are on a hot streak and Cutler is certainly a big part of that. But Cutler or not, I’m sticking with 6-10.

The Bears are 4-5 and at this point in the season, I think that’s great. But let’s not forget that they are the same team that lost to the Lions a month ago. They’ve won two games since then but they’ve gotten a lot of help from two teams that, frankly, played well below their talent level. Such things have a bd habit of evening out and more often than not, given decent coaching and a good environment, teams end up right where their talent level says they should.

I’m not disparaging the Bears here. I think they’re a well-coached team that is making progress every week. But Denver is a much better team that is unlikely to give the game away with poor discipline in the same manner that the Rams did. And I don’t care how badly the Packers are slipping at the moment, I can’t believe that they won’t pull it together and beat the Bears on Thanksgiving. I also see the Vikings as a loss in Minnesota. After that, the Bears are still a team that’s going to be no more than a coin flip against Washington, San Fransisco, Tampa Bay, and Detroit. If they win half of those, that’s two more wins. And that’s where I’m still sitting.

Brock Osweiler in 2016? It’s Not Impossible.

Troy Renck at The Denver Post answers your questions:

“If we don’t re-sign Brock Osweiler by the end of the season, what do you think happens? Go with Trevor Siemian or draft high again?

“— Brooks Lee, Kalamazoo, Mi.

“Brooks: As we sit here today, I expect them to make a strong effort to keep Brock Osweiler. He made strides in the spring and preseason. Any real evaluation will have to wait until a real game, but his progress was encouraging. There’s no denying how highly this coaching staff thinks of Trevor Siemian. I do think it would impact their search for a quarterback if Osweiler were to leave via free agency. They would still look to add depth, but I doubt they would use a high draft pick for the position.”

800px-Brock_Osweiler_2013The Broncos might make a strong effort to keep Osweiler but I can’t imagine he’d sign anywhere, including Denver, unless they guaranteed that he’d be the starter. That’s possible with current starter Peyton Manning showing his age.  But its also possible that if Manning recovers to have a good year, as many think the veteran will, that they’ll wish to stick with him and put their future in to Siemian’s hands.

Osweiler’s likely to be a hot name after the season amongst teams that are desperate for quarterbacks. He’s unproven but if you can’t draft early enough to get a highly touted prospect, you may roll the dice.

We hear all the time when talk of replacing quarterback Jay Cutler comes up – “Who are you going to replace him with?”  There can be little doubt that the Chicago Bears would guarantee him the starting position if the chose to pursue him.  Osweiler has obviously worked closely with both head coach John Fox and offensive coordinator Adam Gase. They would know as well as anyone what his potential is. The Bears will in all likelihood have plenty of cap room even after they sign the few of their own free agents that they’d like to keep.

Bottom line, Osweiler would be a strong candidate to come to the Bears should he hit the free agent market.

Use of the Zone Read Adds a Nice New Wrinkle to the Bears Offense

Bears-Jay-Cutler1One positive from Sunday’s game is highlighted by Brad Biggs at the Chicago Tribune points to offensive coordinator Adam Gase‘s use of the zone read with quarterback Jay Cutler as a positive from Sunday’s game:

“‘We did it the last two years with Peyton [Manning],’ Gase said. ‘Peyton didn’t keep any. But that’s been going on for a long time. That was different stuff (that what we ran with Tim Tebow in Denver). A lot of this stuff we do, everybody is doing it in the league right now. It’s just kind of the decision making. If you watch Philly, even when (Mark) Sanchez was playing, he’d pull it and get 4 and slide. Jay just decided like he felt like dropping the shoulder. He does a good job and does a good job of making the right decisions.'”

I like this for a number of reasons. First it gives the defense another runner to worry about. Despite putting it on tape against the Green Bay Packers the week before, the Cardinals were clearly surprised when Cutler kept the ball and scrambled for a couple of good gains of 10 and 8 yards. Second it takes advantage of Cutler’s underrated mobility and physical toughness. At a time when the offense lacks talent at wide receiver with Alshon Jeffery hurting, Gase is using every weapon in his arsenal to compensate. Cutler’s willingness to run and take a hit when necessary (though they’d rather he slides) could be a big part of that.

Kansas City – Denver: What We Learned

Jan 5, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; General view of the NFL Wild Card logo on the field before a game between the Houston Texans and Cincinnati Bengals during the AFC Wild Card playoff game at Reliant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports ORG XMIT: USATSI-119966 ORIG FILE ID: 20130105_sal_ad1_152.JPG
Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
  1. Peyton Manning‘s arm is shot.Yeah, I know. He threw a dramatic game-winning touchdown. And he also threw a number of other nice passes.  But he also threw quite a number of balloons, especially in the first half. When everything is perfect for Manning and he’s got his feet underneath him with a clean pocket, he’s fine. But he’s no longer the playmaker that can make up for other team deficiencies. Which brings me to the next point.
  2. The Broncos need to adjust to Manning’s obvious physical deficiencies. He’s still a smart, savvy quarterback who is one of the best in the business pre-snap. But he’s not going to be able to completely adjust to head coach Gary Kubiac‘s new offense by continually getting under center and running play action. At least not yet.  Manning was a different quarterback when Kubiac put him into the shotgun more often and/or when he was in the two minute offense. Suddenly Manning was reading the blitz and getting the ball out before the Chiefs could touch him. Kubiac is going to have to shelve some of his offense, at least temporarily, until Manning gets his feet back under him.
  3. The Chiefs have a pair of very good tight ends, at least one of which has come out of nowhere. Travis Kelce I’d at least heard about but James O’Shaughnessy was a complete surprise. Both of these guys are athletic and dangerous. It should be fun watching them this year.
  4. These are two of the best defenses in the NFL – we knew that going in. But, even given that, I’m very concerned about both of these offensive lines, especially Denver’s. The Broncos gave up three sacks and the Chief gave up four. Most significantly, Denver had only a paltry 60 yards rushing. That ‘aint good, folks.Denver did a lot of shuffling alone its offensive line in the offseason and its possible that they will gel as the season goes on. But for now, a bad offensive line combined with a physically limited Peyton Manning isn’t a good mix.
  5. On a related note, someone has to settle the Broncos down as they gave away so many personal foul penalties in the first half that all Kansas City had to do was collect them and, as former Chiefs coach Hank Stram put it, “matriculate” their way down the field. I appreciate physical play but you still have to make them earn it, boys.
  6. Also on a related note, is there any doubt that Denver defensive coordinator Wade Phillips is one of the best in the game? He does nothing but win everywhere he goes. He’s one of those guys who is simply born to be a coordinator instead of a head coach. He won a chess match last night against a great offensive mind.And that brings us to Andy Reid.  I’m beginning to wonder if Reid also isn’t simply a born coordinator. He certainly doesn’t appear to be a big game coach and some of the decisions he made from the sidelines last night were head scratchers. I appreciate aggressiveness but putting the game in the hands of Alex Smith by throwing the ball, especially right before half time, was bad news. Reid may have taken the Chiefs as far as they’ll ever get with him as the coach.
  7. Turnovers kill. Jamall Charles and Alex Smith. Protect football. ’nuff said.

Photos of Jason Pierre-Paul’s Hand Hit the Web. And Other Points of View.

Bears

  • Mark Potash at the Chicago Sun-Times points out that Adrian Amos had a generally solid NFL debut against the NFL’s best quarterback. I was surprised that the Packers didn’t challenge him more. But maybe they had so many other spots to exploit that they couldn’t get to them all.
  • Kevin Fishbain and Arthur Arkush do an exceptionally nice job of breaking down the Bears in this video (which, unfortunately, they won’t let me embed). They quickly hit all of the major problems to be corrected in the coming weeks – red zone offense, downfield passing, getting off the field on third down and getting pressure on the quarterback. Plenty of things to watch for and plenty of room for improvement to look forward to with this team.
  • Sunday’s most significant accomplishment? Probably the play of tight end Zack Miller, who went 1,429 days between appearing in regular-season games.
  • Dan Wiederer at the Chicago Tribune does a nice job of breaking down the Bears problems in the red zone. Look at it here, it appears that the problems were varied and its hard to put it down to one particular thing. Tough there’s no doubt in my mind that they needed to be able to run the ball more down there. Perhaps trying to get the ball to tight end Martellus Bennett, a large red zone target, would have helped as well.
  • Quarterback David Fales was added back on to the practice squad as predicted here.

Elsewhere

  • Those who find their way into MetLife Stadium during a New York Jets game this season can now enjoy a breakfast bagel for the low, low price of $50.img253004201
  • Giants players are sticking up for quarterback Eli Manning after running back Rashad Jennings let it out that Manning had told him not to score in the final drive of their game against the Dallas Cowboys. Manning did not know that the clock wouldn’t start again after a declined penalty within 5 minutes of the end of the game. He therefore assumed that the Giants would be able to run down the clock as long as they kept possession.What really made this maneuver dumb was that had the Giants scored a touchdown, they would have made it a two score game with about a minute left. They should have taken the touchdown under any circumstances where that is the case.
  • If you’ve got a strong stomach you can see photos of Jason Pierre-Paul‘s hand here.

One Final Thought

Peyton Manning‘s teammates are calling the media reports questioning his arm strength “blasphemy”. What can I say?

Quick Comments from Selected Late Sunday NFL Games

Some quick observations on some of the games that I caught late in the day after the Bears game was over.

Broncos – Ravens:

There was a huge question about Peyton Manning‘s arm before their game against the Ravens this weak. Manning has been struggling with his arm strength all preseason and has put up some ugly game tape. Pre-game reports that he’d been putting more zip on the ball after starting to wear a glove on his throwing hand, something he didn’t do in the preseason. However, I’m inclined to attribute more of it to the huge windup he’s developed in an effort to get more behind his throws. He was also much more inaccurate than he has been in the past.

Manning actually didn’t do too badly. But that long release may haunt him all season, as it did on a Jimmy Smith pick six on Manning’s first throw of the second half.

On the other side Denver constantly harassed Joe Flacco with a ferocious pass rush. Both Denver and Baltimore struggled to protect their quarterbacks and I’m now officially concerned about both of these offensive lines.

Finally, Terrell Suggs‘s torn achilles will keep him out for the year. That’s bad news for my Ravens Super Bowl pick.

Titans – Buccaneers:

The Jameis WinstonMarcus Mariota match up looked very much like you’d expect it it.

Mariota looked far more pro-ready, being in command of the offense the entire game against that nice, standard cover-two defense. He threw four touchdowns in the first half alone.

Winston was far more up and down, mostly down, as he was in the preseason. Winston has quit a way to go before he’s going to be a competent NFL quarterback and its going to be a long season for the Bucs.

Another thing to keep an eye on is that Buccaneer running game, which looked very effective. If Winston develops at all, he’s going to get a lot of help from some wonderful running by Doug Martin.

The Bears play the Buccaneers on December 27.

Chargers – Lions:

Preseason reports had people wondering if Chargers first round running back Melvin Gordon was headed towards bust territory. I wouldn’t say that Gordon looked bad so much as he looked disappointingly nondescript. But as expected, the Lions Ameer Abdulla was the guy to watch in this game. His tendency to accelerate through his cuts and continue to gain momentum is rapidly putting him into an upper class of running backs.

There should be concern about that Lions defense without Ndamukong Suh. The Chargers dissected them in the second half both in the running game and with the pass. They made it look far too easy for any Lions fan comfort. Or for the comfort of the Bears, who are going to be visiting San Diego in November.

I’m not entirely sure what was wrong with Matthew Stafford but he looked awful in this game. You might generously say that he wasn’t on the same page with his receivers but his accuracy was very suspect. This is a situation to keep an eye on in the competitive NFC North.

Cardinals – Saints:

The Bears next opponent is the Arizona Cardinals. My initial impression watching them beat up on the New Orleans Saints is that this is a rough, tough team up front on both sides of the ball. If the Bears run on this team like they did on the Packers in the first half, more power to them. I have my doubts.

The Saints looked completely flat. I’m really surprised as offseason reports indicated that they were muscling up to become more physical. If they did, they didn’t show it. Sean Payton didn’t have this team prepared to play in this game. The Saints have to pick it up.

Cowboys – Giants

Tony Romo had ages to throw the ball in this game. That Dallas offensive line is a wall. No one got close. And they road graders blocking the run. Honestly, I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a better offensive line.

The Cowboys are a tough team. Which why I was shocked that the Giants were actually ahead at half. They were badly out played and the statistics were sick – they only had the ball for about 8 minutes of the half. But the Cowboys kept shooting themselves in the foot with turnovers and but you have to give the Giants credit. They hung tough.

The Giants offensive line wasn’t nearly as impressive as the Cowboys but Erik Flowers looks like he’s going to turn out to be a pretty good pick at left tackle. And of course, they have Odell Beckham, who drew a safety rolled to his side all night. I was also impressed by their coverage teams on special teams. But they were out classed you figured that they were eventually going to lose – and they did.  But the Cowboys did everything they could to give it away.

Physical Ability or Veteran Savvy and Intelligence? Peyton Manning Pushes the Edge.

One of the more interesting things to keep an eye on tomorrow will be the performance of Peyton Manning once he hits the field for the Broncos. Chris Wessling at nfl.com takes an in depth look at the issues surrounding Manning’s age and arm strength here.

Doubts about Mannings arm strength have run rampant around the NFL. Albert Breer quoted a number of scouts and executives in his article on the same topic in January:

“From an AFC executive: ‘Saw a lack of velocity, declining arm strength. No juice or zip on throws. Shelf life.’

“One NFC scout said: ‘It’s sad watching him, even more sad how Denver treated one of the greatest. Arm looks shot, sad seeing him look like that, knowing how big a competitor he is.’

“An AFC scout: ‘Missed deep ball, routine throws were getting knocked down because he couldn’t drive the ball, timing was off. Never looked like he could get in a routine. He couldn’t dictate the game like normal because he just couldn’t make the throws that needed to be made.’

“And an NFC exec: ‘Terrible overthrows and incompletions. He may be hurt.'”

Lest you think only those who won’t put their name to the reports are saying these things, Wessling quotes NFL media analyst Brian Balldinger:

“‘When you watch some of these throws, you can’t believe it could possibly be the same guy,’ Baldinger said. ‘… You just (wonder) is it the arm, is it the new offense, is he thinking too much, is that possible? … those plays are lay-ups for Peyton Manning.'”

Peyton_Manning_Broncos_2012In fairness, some NFL veterans, including Manning’s own wide receivers, continue to defend Manning as a quarterback with plenty of zip on the ball. But recent video of the Broncos preseason games tells a different story. Manning can no longer drive the ball down the field and when he’s forced to make some of the tougher NFL throws, you could go get a beer from the fridge and come back and the ball still might not be there, yet.

OK. I could be exaggerating. Maybe.

To me the question is no longer about Manning’s arm. Anyone can see the difference now. The question is whether veteran savvy from one of the most intelligent and most prepared quarterbacks to ever play the game can compensate. Those who look at quarterbacks and favor intelligence over physical prowess will be rooting for Manning to overcome these deficiencies. But Manning is likely to severely test that tendency in anyone who watches.

Brief Impressions: 2015 NFL Draft

  1. Did someone tell the ESPN crew that there was no smiling allowed on the set? I’ve never seen a more somber first round telecast in my life.
  2. There seems to be a belief around the league that second overall pick Marcus Mariota might have been an owners pick. The Titans aren’t supposed to be for sale but the general belief appears to be that they are. There’s a theory that interim president Steve Underwood put pressure on the Titans front office to draft Mariota in order to make the franchise more valuable.
  3. I’m not surprised that the Redskins decided that they didn’t want to draft the consensus best player in the draft, Leonard Williams. But I am surprised that they couldn’t find a way to trade pack. Brandon Scherff adds to an offensive line that general manager Scot McCloughan evidently wants to make tougher as they look to become the kind of ground and pound running team that the Cowboys were last year. But I’m having a hard time believing there was no market for that pick. Scherff has short arms and isn’t considered to be a great offensive line prospect, especially if he’s going to be put at right tackle. The Redskins should have been able to pick up Scherff or another lineman later in the round.
  4. The Browns pick of Cameron Erving at 19 overall as a guard appeared to be a puzzler. Erving was generally considered to be a potential Pro Bowl center but his performance at tackle when he played the position was not considered to be good and he doesn’t necessarily project as a guard long-term. But a look at current center Alex Mack‘s contract clarifies things. His contract is player voidable in 2016 and apparently, like so many other people associated with the Browns organization, he intends to get out as soon as he can.
  5. On the other hand, I’m still having a hard time figuring out the Andrus Peat pick by the Saints. Terron Armstead seems to be a lock at left tackle. Right tackle Zach Strief is entering his 10th season with the Saints. I suppose he could be the future at that spot but I don’t see an immediate need there. The other positions along the offensive line seem to be similarly set. All I can assume is that Peat was the best available on their board and they took him.
  6. I love the Bears’ apparent free agent signing of Shane Carden. Many will remember that I put up a post on Carden questioning why he was considered only a low round prospect. Now we’ll find out first hand how full of it I am.
  7. I thought it was funny that ESPN‘s Ben Goessling‘s opinion of the Vikings draft so closely mirrored my own of the Bears’ saying, “This draft could be tough to judge for several years thanks to the number of talented, yet unrefined, players the Vikings took.”
  8. Many were surprised by the fall of so many pass rushers so far in the draft. I was not. I thought all of the pass rushers after Dante Fowler were being over-rated by the media in large part because, well, they were pass rushers. The only one I thought was worth a top ten pick other than Fowler was Randy Gregory and he blew his chance with off the field issues. It says here that Shane Ray and Vic Beasley, who went right after the Bears pick at number eight to Atlanta, both have bust written all over them. Bud Dupree might be an average starter by the time he’s developed.
  9. Speaking of pass rushers, its going to be interesting to see how things pan out for Fowler in Jacksonville. Fowler thinks he’s going to be the Leo linebacker (the primary pass rusher) but that doesn’t seem to fit his skills as he would be more suited to the Otto role (strong side linebacker who turns into a pass rusher on obvious passing downs). How he develops there may largely depend upon whether they choose the correct way to use him.
  10. One big loser in the draft appears to be former Bears prospect Matt Blanchard. The Packers drafted developmental prospect Brett Hundley. Scott Tolzien is currently entrenched as the back up. Unless Blanchard shows a great deal of potential or the Packers aren’t as committed to Tolzien as they appear to be, Blanchard would seem to be the odd man out.
  11. There’s a big part of me that likes the Rams’ first round pick of Todd Gurley. He’s the kind of runner that will fit in well in St. Louis and there’s no doubt that the Rams are planning to beat the rest of the NFC West by further overpowering it’s best teams. That means a big time running game and with the selection of Gurley followed by two offensive tackles, they may have added the personnel to do it.

    The problem is that head coach Jeff Fisher is under some pressure in St. Louis to start winning now after a string of seasons in which the team has under-performed. And with Gurley coming off of a very bad ACL injury, he might not be ready to contribute right away. Despite good reports on the condition of the knee, Gurley won’t be ready to practice until halfway through training camp, losing valuable reps to learn things like pass protection. Even worse, players with knee injuries have a bad habit of not getting all the way back to where the were before until the second year after the injury. You have to wonder if the Rams wouldn’t have been better off selecting Melvin Gordon, who is very close to Gurley in terms of how the experts had them ranked and who I actually liked better than Gurley anyway.

Bears May Look to Miami as a NFL Draft Trading Partner and Other Points of View.

Bears

  • Will Brinson at CBS Sports rates wide receiver David Terrell as the worst Bears first round draft pick in the last 25 years. I don’t see how he beat out Michael Haynes and Cade McNown but it must have been close.
  • Hub Arkush at chicagofootball.com continues to claim that the Bears have a “screaming need” for a number one receiver. I’m not too sure that they don’t have one in Alshon Jeffery. In fact, I’m going to be mildly disappointed if he’s not. I look around the rest of the league at what other teams have and I’m not too sure the need at receiver is as great as some Bears commentators seem to think it is. Dan Wiederer at the Chicago Tribune agrees here.  Don’t get me wrong – another playmaker would be welcome and you won’t hear any complaints from me if they draft one. But with Marquis Wilson and Eddie Royal, with Martellus Bennett at tight end and Matt Forte at runningback, I think that the Bears have plenty of receiving talent. The “need” might be for depth.
  • Arkush has the Bears selecting runningback Todd Gurley in his latest mock draft. I would hope the Bears would desperately try to trade back if Gurley is their guy.

    Arkush has been pushing runningback as an underrated need for the Bears for quite a while now. He’s got a point but this might be over doing it. The draft has plenty of depth at runningback and Stanford OT Andrus Peat, Iowa OG Brandon Scherff, Michigan State CB Trae Waynes and West Virginia WR Kevin White – picks 9-12 in Arkush’s mock – all look like better picks to me in that spot.

    The guess here is that Arkush is just having a little fun with it and that he doens’t seriously believe that the Bears will take Gurley at seven.

  • The Bears best free agent signing? For my money its linebacker Mason Foster, signed from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (profiled here by Adam L. Jahns at the Chicago Sun-Times). Foster wasn’t a great fit for the cover two but I think he’s perfect for an inside linebacker in a 3-4 defense. Football outsiders points to the Bears struggles at linebacker in coverage as a major problem in 2014, one that they think Foster could help solve. Jon Bostic in particular looked lost in space last year.

Elsewhere

One Final Thought

For those of you wondering what Brit McHenry did to get herself suspended from ESPN, the video of this media darling is below. McHenry’s car was towed by a company that is, by most accounts, pretty shady. Note that she is warned immediately that she is on camera.

I get that she’s upset and I would be, too. But taking it out on the employee at the front desk, especially in this manner, is not a good look.