Bears

Adrian Amos named ‘secret superstar’ by Pro Football Focus for second straight year

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USA TODAY

Adrian Amos named ‘secret superstar’ by Pro Football Focus for second straight year

Adrian Amos isn’t well known outside of Chicago. He’s never made the Pro Bowl or put up big numbers, but he’s been a mainstay of the Bears secondary for the last three years.

Pro Football Focus is changing the perception of the former fifth-round pick. They’ve touted Amos’ ability for more than a year now, and they recognized him once again this week for his consistency.

PFF released their “secret superstars” on both sides of the ball, and Amos made the list for the second straight year.

After they gave him the same title last year, he went on to have his strongest season to date, finishing as their third highest-graded safety in the NFL at 90.9 overall.

It was a bold claim as he started the season on the bench behind Quintin Demps and rookie Eddie Jackson, but once Amos took over, there was no looking back.

His impact isn’t about making plays on the ball. Amos earns high marks from PFF for his consistency in execution — maintaining his assignments in coverage, filling gaps in run defense, and wrapping up as a tackler.

His style of play may not earn him the headlines that more traditional play-making safeties get, but if he can string together consecutive years of excellence, Amos may not be a secret for too much longer.

ESPN thinks two Bears players have good odds of making the NFL Hall of Fame

ESPN thinks two Bears players have good odds of making the NFL Hall of Fame

When ESPN publishes sweeping pieces that compare all 32 NFL teams, it's usually – pardon my expression – bad news for the Bears. 

There were the QB rankings, and the offensive rankings, and the future outlook, and the offseason grades; whatever the topic is, things usually don't end well for Chicago. But not today Bears fans. Not today. 

Today, ESPN's Bill Barnwell published a piece titled 'Projecting future Hall of Famers for all 32 NFL teams.' It's a fun look at every team's best players, and for once, it doesn't have to be a hate-read for Bears fans. 

First up, obviously, is Khalil Mack. Barnwell lists Mack in the 'likely' range, giving the edge rusher a 70-99% chance of heading to Canton: 

He has made five consecutive Pro Bowls and has three first-team All-Pro nods to go with his Defensive Player of the Year trophy from 2016. He has been one of the five best players at the second-most lucrative position in football over the past five years, and the fact that he was traded for two first-round picks and then delivered a wildly successful season with all of that attention in 2018 helps him. He probably needs two more All-Pro seasons to finalize his case.

Fair enough. Next up is Eddie Jackson (!!), who Barnwell says is "in the running" (40% to 69%): 

A starter from Day 1, Jackson was a first-team All-Pro while leading the league in interceptions in 2018. Jackson and teammate Kyle Fuller both slipped last season, but each earned Pro Bowl nods, and that's going to matter more to voters 15 years from now than how either player actually performed in 2019. The reason Jackson is in this section and Fuller's in the next group is that Jackson has made two Pro Bowls in three seasons, while Fuller has two across six years.

The last two cases Barnwell examines are Fuller and Jimmy Graham, with the irony of the later being *chefs kiss.* He ultimately goes against putting Graham in, noting that, "[Graham's] peak is Hall of Fame-worthy -- he has two of the three best seasons in fantasy football history by a tight end -- but it really only lasted four seasons." 

So there you have it. Anytime you read another article about how abysmal the Bears' offense is, just remind yourself that it's happening during an era where the defense has 2-3 Hall Of Fame caliber players! That helps right?

Michael Lombardi: 'Bears have too much to lose in starting Foles'

Michael Lombardi: 'Bears have too much to lose in starting Foles'

Former NFL general manager Michael Lombardi doesn't mince his words when it comes to criticizing the Bears and quarterback Mitch Trubisky. Remember that whole Filene's Basement thing? Yeah, that was rough.

(If you don't remember, Lombardi said last season that he wouldn't buy Trubisky if he was on a discount rack at said Basement.)

Lombardi recently published his thoughts on this summer's quarterback competitions, and his take on the Bears is a hot one, to say the least.

"Everything will be scripted in training camp for Trubisky to have success," Lombardi wrote via The Athletic. "We already see the public relations machine at work, telling us Trubisky looks like a different player in terms of his conditioning. Yet, there has not been one on-the-field workout. Who cares about his conditioning? What matters more than anything is his decision-making, talent and accuracy. The faster he is forced to play, the less capable he becomes.

"The Bears have too much to lose in starting Foles. They will completely lose Trubisky mentally. Plus, Foles has never been an effective opening-day starter. He is better in a relief role, coming off the bench. In his career, Foles has never played or started in all 16 games. Why change it now?"

There's no denying Lombardi is all-in on being out on Trubisky. He's planted his flag on that hill with about as much force as anyone in the opinion-giving game. He's been so outspoken on his disgust for No. 10's ability (or lack of it) that Bears fans experience a Pavlov's dog reaction of triggered rage. 

But this opinion? There's some truth in it.

The Bears were very calculated with their decision to target Foles as Trubisky's competition for the starting job and it's hard to deny that their primary reason for doing so. Foles offers quality starter's upside but also has a non-threatening demeanor that will allow Trubisky to continue to grow as an NFL quarterback even while he's fighting for his job.

Where Lombardi is a bit off-center is in his assessment is the suggestion that the Bears have too much to lose if they start Foles. Ryan Pace and Matt Nagy are teetering closer to the hot seat (if not already on it), so wins matter in 2020. And if Foles is the best option to get Chicago those W's, they'll go with him. Otherwise, they'll lose more than just reputation as talent evaluators; they could lose their jobs.

Lombardi's opinions sting. But there's a kernel of truth (a tiny kernel) in this one. Even if Bears fans don't want to admit it.