Why Dowell Loggains was pleased with what Mike Glennon did against Atlanta

Why Dowell Loggains was pleased with what Mike Glennon did against Atlanta

Dowell Loggains was quick to point out the No. 1 positive thing Mike Glennon did against the Atlanta Falcons: “We didn’t turn it over.” 

Not only did Glennon not thrown an interception, none of his 40 pass attempts were dangerously close to being picked off. In one sense, Glennon did his job, and had the Bears’ defense not blown a couple coverages in the fourth quarter, he might not have needed that last-ditch drive that ended five yards from the end zone. 

“We talked about it all week, how important it was against that team not to turn the football over, because the way they run to the ball, they swarm,” Loggains said. “But to get it to the two-minute drive, that was our goal the whole time. We felt like we could win it in the end.” 

Loggians was happy with how Glennon executed the offensive gameplan, which saw the Bears only take one shot downfield (an incompletion to Tarik Cohen) and rely more on their running backs than their receivers/tight ends until the final few minutes. Until Mitchell Trubisky is deemed ready, this is probably what the Bears’ offense will look like.

(When Trubisky is ready is a separate topic, with the Bears continuing to praise Glennon’s ability to win at the line of scrimmage — the area in which Trubisky needs the most work — they don’t think he’s there yet.)

While the Bears only scored 17 points, here’s something else to consider: After one week (an admittedly small sample size), Football Outsiders’ DVOA ranks the Bears’ offense 10th. Ahead of them are mostly teams that won’t surprise you, based on Week 1: Kansas City, Oakland, Atlanta, Minnesota, Tennessee, Buffalo, Pittsburgh, Dallas and the Los Angeles Rams. By the advanced numbers, the Bears’ offense was 16 percent better than average, which isn’t a bad place to start a season. 

Even if you aren't an advanced stats fan or don't buy those numbers after just one week, they are worth noting given Loggains' evaluation. 

“Mike managed the clock, managed the game, really managed the game,” Loggains said. “When I say managed the game — sometimes that phrase can be misconstrued — he did exactly what he needed to do to play the game we detailed out to him, how we thought we could win the game and what was best for us and that matchup, that game. He handled all the situations, did a really good job.”

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Hub Arkush (Pro Football Weekly/670 The Score), Mark Grote (670 The Score) and Mark Carman (WGN Radio) join Luke Stuckmeyer on the panel. Quenton Nelson works out at Notre Dame’s pro day. If he’s still on the board at 8, should the Bears take him? Plus the panel talks about the Cubs outfield heading into 2018 and if it’s time to shut down both Jonathan Toews and Lauri Markkanen.

Could Quenton Nelson increase his value by playing tackle?

USA Today

Could Quenton Nelson increase his value by playing tackle?

SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Quenton Nelson hasn’t met with the Bears yet during this pre-draft process, and doesn’t have a local visit scheduled with them. But maybe that’s not too surprising.

Harry Hiestand has better intel on him than anyone else after coaching him for the past four years at Notre Dame, after all. 

“Coach Hiestand, he’s known me since I was an immature freshman that wasn’t good at football, until now being a lot more mature and responsible and doing the right thing and a good football player,” Nelson said. “He knows everything about me.”

Could part of that intel provided by Hiestand be that Nelson has the ability to eventually play tackle?

Nelson might be the closest to a “sure thing” prospect in this year’s draft, with his reams of dominant film and off-the-charts work ethic projecting him as an All-Pro for years to come. But that he plays guard is a stumbling block, given interior positions generally don’t hold as much value as tackles in the NFL.

So here’s a potential scenario for the Bears: They draft Nelson at No. 8 — which is still "high" for a guard — and plug him at left guard in 2018. They then, under the careful watch of Hiestand, slide him to tackle in 2019. 

“I’m pretty convinced that Q could do whatever he sets his mind to,” Mike McGlinchey, a first-round tackle in his own right who's Nelson’s ex-Irish teammate and workout buddy, said. “If that’s what teams want him to play, I’m sure he’ll take that head on and perform to the best of his ability.” 

Nelson, to his credit, is confident he could make the switch to tackle (he was recruited by Hiestand as a tackle, and began his college career backing up Zack Martin at tackle). He said the only team that’s asked him about it so far is the Cincinnati Bengals, though it’s unlikely he’ll still be on the board when they pick at No. 21. 

But maybe the thought of guards being significantly less valuable than tackles is slowly becoming antiquated in today’s NFL. Four of the top 10 highest paid offensive linemen, by total contract value, are interior linemen. Three of the top 10 offensive linemen with the most guaranteed money are guards, led by Andrew Norwell, who inked a five-year, $66.5 million deal with the Jacksonville Jaguars earlier this month with $30 million guaranteed at signing. Only one offensive lineman — Nate Solder, who just signed with the New York Giants — is guaranteed more money. 

Following the money, if teams are willing to splash down loads of cash for the best guards in the league, a team may be willing to spend a top-10 pick on a guard who could immediately be among the best at his position in the NFL. Or the calculation for whatever team drafts him may be this: Would you rather have him as a perennial All-Pro guard or "merely" a solid-to-good tackle? 

Regardless of where he ends up playing, though, Nelson is one of those supremely-talented players who takes the right approach to his craft — in other words, one of those guys you just want to get in your building. And while Nelson said he’d love to play for his hometown New York Giants — who could be interested in him with the No. 2 pick — he said getting to link back up with Hiestand would be an incredible opportunity, too. 

“That would be amazing to play for him,” Nelson said. “He’s the one that made me into the player I am today. I wouldn’t be here without him or be in any conversations in the draft without him, so it would mean a lot to play for him again.”