Bears starting to see Adam Shaheen take the right steps in his development

Bears starting to see Adam Shaheen take the right steps in his development

Sunday was a bit of a showcase game for Adam Shaheen, who until last weekend was mostly a sparingly-used third tight end asked to, primarily, block. But Zach Miller’s season-ending injury and Dion Sims’ absence due to an illness vaulted Shaheen to the top of the Bears’ tight end depth chart, providing a clean slate for the second-round pick to make an impression. 

Shaheen started the game strong, with two catches for 39 yards in the first quarter, and he felt like he could’ve rumbled for more than 31 yards on his longest reception: “I’m just mad I missed the stiff arm by about an inch or I might have been able to make it even longer,” he said. 

But after those two early targets, Shaheen didn’t have a pass thrown his way the rest of the game. Daniel Brown wound up playing more snaps (38) than Shaheen (31). Still, for a guy who was only targeted twice in eight games prior to Sunday, the Bears thought he took a step in the right direction. 

“I thought he played well,” offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains said. “I thought he started fast in the game. The coverage kind of dictated where the ball went with him. He did a good job in a lot of ways.”

Shaheen was harder on himself, saying “anyone could have just run through there” of his wide-open catch that led to that 31-yard gain. He felt like his run blocking was “in and out” and pointed to getting beat badly by Clay Matthews as one of his bigger mistakes. 

But with Miller out of the rest of the year and Sims not practicing again on Wednesday (coach John Fox said Sims is getting better and exercising, though that doesn’t necessarily mean he’ll play this weekend), Shaheen will continue to get more opportunities to grow in the second half of the season. Building off the limited things he did against Green Bay — that were still an overall positive — would be a good start. 

“I hope that I can keep contributing,” Shaheen said. “Once Dion gets back, I’m going to do my role. If that is blocking and getting on a few routes too, then great. But it’s not about me. It’s about helping the team out in any way I possibly can.”

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Who should the Bears sign, Allen Hurns or Cam Meredith?


SportsTalk Live Podcast: Who should the Bears sign, Allen Hurns or Cam Meredith?

On this episode of SportsTalk Live, Patrick Finley (Chicago Sun-Times), Chris Emma (670 The Score) and Ben Finfer join Luke Stuckmeyer on the panel.

Allen Robinson’s former Jaguars teammate is a free agent. Would signing Allen Hurns make sense for the Bears?

Plus, Loyola has traffic problems on the Road to the Final Four and the guys debate the biggest need for the Blackhawks heading into a long offseason.

Listen to the full episode at this link or in the embedded player below:

Kyle Fuller believes he's a Top 5 cornerback in the NFL

USA Today

Kyle Fuller believes he's a Top 5 cornerback in the NFL

Kyle Fuller caused a bit of a panic late Friday afternoon when a report dropped that he signed an offer sheet with the Green Bay Packers. For a few hours, the prospect — even if it was always unlikely — of the Bears losing their best cornerback to their arch rivals to the north loomed over Chicago. 

For Fuller, though, he said he barely had time to think about the possibility of cashing in on his breakout 2017 season with the Packers. The Bears quickly matched the offer sheet, officially announcing the four-year deal Tuesday that makes Fuller one of the highest-paid cornerbacks in the NFL. 

“It was crazy not really knowing what to expect,” Fuller said. “I would have never expected it. But when (the Packers’ offer sheet) came, it was definitely something to consider, just on the business side of it. At the end of the day, how it all played out, I’m definitely happy.”

Fuller sounded like someone who took a more passive role to his quasi-restricted free agency that was set about when the Bears placed the transition tag on him, allowing them to match any offer sheet that he were to sign. Fuller said he didn’t know all the details of what was going on with offer sheets coming in and negotiations with the Bears.

“I kinda was just getting the information from (my agents) and going with the flow of everything and knowing that at the end of the day it would end up working out,” Fuller said. 

The $14 million average annual value of Fuller’s contract ranks fifth among cornerbacks, behind only Washington’s Josh Norman ($15 million), New York’s Trumaine Johnson ($14.5 million) Minnesota’s Xavier Rhodes ($14.02 million) and Arizona’s Patrick Peterson ($14.01 million), according to Spotrac. 

Fuller said he considers himself a top-five cornerback in the league, and he played like someone who could wind up in that discussion in 2017. The 2014 first-round pick was one of four players to break up 20 or more passes last year, and he picked off two passes in December while providing excellent support against the run. 

“We could not be happier to have Kyle under contract for four more years,” general manager Ryan Pace said. “We feel he is an ascending player on our top 10 defense and we look forward to him having many more productive seasons here in Chicago.”