- Brad Biggs at the Chicago Tribune answers your questions.
“I anticipate the Bears drafting at the top of the draft again next year. If an All-Pro left tackle is available in the draft, do the Bears still take one that high or do they look at other positions now that Leno is signed for the foreseeable future?”
“— Corey S., South Side”
“I wouldn’t be surprised if the Bears were to include offensive tackle among the positions they would consider with a first-round draft pick in 2018 but [Charles] Leno profiles better on the left side than the right side… The Bears have made a solid financial commitment to Leno and I’d be awful surprised if they were to go away from him after one season. They believe he can be entrenched there for several seasons to come. That being said, right tackle Bobby Massie was shaky last year, particularly in the first two months of the season. The Bears made a run at right tackle Ricky Wagner in free agency and that signaled to me they were willing to make a change at that position. Depending on how Massie performs this season, certainly tackle could be a need for the Bears once again.”
I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if the Bears tried to replace Massie this year, yet. Pre-season cuts are coming and if the right guy is released for the right reasons, the Bears might well choose to pick up a player in the same way that they signed Josh Sitton right before the season started last year.
Continuity is an issue in those situations but the Bears obviously aren’t afraid of disrupting that. Their actions with Sitton last year and Kyle Long’s switch from right to left guard and the movement around the line we’ve seen in the preseason with players like Cody Whitehair to close the gap pretty much tell us that getting the five best players on the field supersedes everything there.
- Biggs also doesn’t think everyone’s favorite little engine that could, underdog Daniel Braverman, has much chance to make the roster.
“The team clearly likes Kendall Wright better as a slot receiver right now. I don’t think Braverman has much of a shot to make the 53-man roster and he might not stick around on the practice squad.”
- Dan Wiederer, also at the Chicago Tribune on Roberto Aguayo’s slim chances of making the team.
“Kicker Roberto Aguayo might be running out of time to earn a roster spot.
“Coach John Fox doesn’t often criticize players to the media yet opened Friday’s news conference by highlighting Aguayo’s practice struggles. After the second-year kicker sliced a 49-yard kick wide right against the Cardinals last weekend, he faces an uphill battle to unseat Connor Barth. Fox wasn’t sure how much the Bears could do to help Aguayo get out of his rut.
“‘It’s like working with golfers,’ Fox said. ‘It doesn’t really matter much what they do on the driving range, it matters what’s on the course. … We’re going to mess with him. We don’t have a long look but he’s been very receptive. And that’s an area where we need to improve.’”
Aguayo pretty much blew any chance he had to make the team when he missed the field goal that Wiederer mentions. Which brings us to the real question – why is he still on the roster?
There are two possibilities here.
- As valuable as positions on the 53 man roster are, as Fox mentions, a change in needed at kicker because Barth, as accurate as he is at short range, doesn’t have the leg to kick longer field goals or, more to the point, handle kickoffs effectively. It’s entirely possible that they’re going to keep Aguayo just for that.
- Aguayo could still be placed on a practice squad.
Both possibilities would allow the Bears to continue to try to correct his mechanics and make him a more accurate field goal kicker.
- Wiederer also had some thoughts on Kevin White’s disappointing preseason.
“This is supposed to be a pivotal season for the dynamic receiver. But through two exhibition outings, White has been invisible. Two catches, 2 yards. The Bears passing game needs a spark in a bad way. And White needs some production to build confidence heading into the regular season. On the whole, the Bears’ top receivers have been disappointing this month. In the nine possessions the first-unit offense has had, their receivers have managed only seven catches for 51 yards.”
Mike Glennon is taking some flack for his preseason performances and rightfully so. But when we look as his putrid 4.2 yards per attempt, we have to remember that his receivers are partially responsible. Specifically, that they aren’t getting open deep. that has to change or it isn’t going to matter who is at quarterback.
- There are many, many reasons why the Bears might not be competitive this year and receiver is probably the one that leads the pack. But if you are looking for positive progress, look no farther than the defense. Many members of the media have pointed to the fact that with the offense looking so poor, the defense may have to carry the load..
I agree. To an extent.
I always thought the front seven would be a strength for the Bears if they could keep them all healthy. But I have more doubts than most about the defensive back field.
One thing that absolutely must change is the turnover ratio. The Bears tied an all-time NFL record for fewest takeaways last year with 11 and I’ve seen little evidence during the preseason that this will improve enough to keep the Bears competitive consistently when playing decent teams.
Sunday is probably their last chance to give us some hope in this area. It will be a challenge not just to get the ball away but to continue to show why Bears fans are optimistic about them.
The Titans are an old school smash mouthed run first football team. They added speed to the offense in the offseason in the form of first round wide receiver Corey Davis and they brought in Eric Decker to play the slot. Derrick Henry has also been lining up in the slot in the preseason.
All-in-all there has been a significant effort to diversify the offense and the Bears defense is going to have their toughness and skill tested at every level of the defense.
- There’s a lot of excitement about Mitch Trubisky starting the second half against the Titans and Fox has said that he hopes the Titans keep their starters in.
I really hope that Bears fans aren’t going to be too disappointed if Trubisky doesn’t play well. Two things define Dick LeBeau’s defense: amoeba fronts and complex five-man blitzes on passing downs.
It could get ugly out there for a rookie quarterback who wasn’t even very experienced by college standards.