Bears

Another day, another reason why Bears won the Khalil Mack trade

mack_bears.jpg
USA TODAY

Another day, another reason why Bears won the Khalil Mack trade

Oh, now this is a doozy.

As if it wasn't obvious enough already, the Bears absolutely won the Khalil Mack trade over the Raiders. Not only did they acquire the 2016 Defensive Player of the Year, but they did so when the rival Green Bay Packers were also interested. Based on a recent revelation from Packers president Mark Murphy, the extent to which the Bears won the trade is greater than we may have realized. 

In an interview with 105.7 The FAN, Murphy revealed a unique reason as to why the Raiders chose the Bears over the Packers.

"Well the whole Khalil Mack thing. It's not that we didn't try," Murphy said on Thursday. "We were aggressive. We wanted to sign him. I think, ironically, the Raiders took the Bears offer because they thought they would be a better draft pick."

As it turned out, the Packers had a higher first-round pick (No. 12 overall) than the Bears (No. 24) in 2019. This very well could change in 2020, but for the time being, let's get this straight.

Not only did the Bears acquire one of the best (if not the best) defensive players in football, but:

-Their trade package was highlighted by what should be two late first round picks (assuming the Bears remain a playoff team in 2019), and
-Acquiring Mack kept him out of Green Bay.

Talk about absolutely winning a deal. In the end, the Bears have a three-time All-Pro (2015-16, 2018) pash rusher entering his age 28 season. The Raiders and Packers surely cannot say the same thing.

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of the Bears.

Remember when folks wanted a free-spending owner like Dan Snyder for the Bears? No, really, they did

daniel-snyder.jpg
USA Today

Remember when folks wanted a free-spending owner like Dan Snyder for the Bears? No, really, they did

Be careful what you wish for – you just might get it. Fortunately, some Bears fans didn’t get their wish.

About this time 20 years ago, Daniel Snyder was taking over as owner of the Washington Redskins. This came several months after then-Chairman Michael McCaskey had made the Bears an NFL laughingstock with the cataclysmic mishandling of hiring Dave McGinnis as head coach (and no, the real story had nothing to do with that premature press release). McCaskey was “demoted” to chairman only and Ted Phillips succeeded him as president.

The two events occasioned some intense civic longing for “an owner like Snyder,” who breezed in and began throwing money around at major free-agency names while Chicago was mucking about after the McGinnis fiasco for several years, making multiple mistakes in free agency and living down to their rep of operating on the cheap.

But those laments of “Chicago needs an owner like Dan Snyder?” Really?

No.

Washington’s record for the Snyder era is 139-182-1, and that includes a 10-6 mark in 1999 when Snyder took over the team after free agency and the draft were already behind them. The Bears during these same 20 years were slightly better – 156-166 – but have authored nothing close to the organizational humiliations wrought by Snyder on Washington.

Those include suing season ticketholders who couldn’t come up with funds during the 2008-09 recession, despite Snyder claiming to have a waiting list of more than 200,000; creating a firestorm around use of “Redskins,” just to cite a couple.

The Bears could feature Virginia McCaskey as the centerpiece of their 100th anniversary fan lovefest. Washington didn’t come into existence until 1932, and then as the Boston Braves (that at least explains the “Redskins” thing a little). But whenever the franchise turns 100, Daniel Snyder may not get an invite.

Both the Bears and Redskins have made the postseason five times over the past 20 years. But Washington has never advanced beyond the divisional round while the Bears at least reached a conference championship (2010) and a Super Bowl (2006).

Matt Nagy is the Bears’ fifth coach since 1999. Jay Gruden is Washington’s eighth. Snyder fired Marty Schottenheimer after one year and Steve Spurrier and Jim Zorn after two years each.

But the allure for some of BearNation was Snyder’s apparent willingness to spend money. The phrase “false god” comes to mind, however, with Snyder missteps having ripple effects in the salary-cap era that the Bears have mercifully avoided.

Snyder signed Deion Sanders in 2000 for $55 million and got one season and four interceptions out of Prime Time, who then retired. Not stopping there, Snyder then signed Jeff George for $19 million over years, which shortened to two after George went 1-7 in his Washington starts.

Continuing in 2000 to binge on big-name, near-the-end veterans, Snyder gave defensive end Bruce Smith a five-year deal topping out at $23 million. Smith, well past his Buffalo Bills prime, was gone in three years.

Snyder’s big strike (in more ways than one) was defensive lineman Albert Haynesworth, signed in 2009 to a seven-year, $100 million contract, with Snyder guaranteeing $41 million. Washington got two years, 20 games, 53 tackles and 6.5 sacks from Haynesworth for the money.

Snyder also lavished capital on safety Adam Archuleta and receiver Brandon Lloyd, but Chicago can’t scoff too hard at those since both became Bears for one years after their abysmal (but brief) stops in Washington.

The capstone – there were so many, both on- and off-field – may have something to do with Snyder essentially empowering quarterback Robert Griffin III in situations with head coach Mike Shanahan, which led to egomania for RGIII and an exit for Shanahan after going from a wild card appearance to last place in Shanahan’s two years with Griffin.

Washington may upset the Bears this weekend. But the good news is that come Tuesday, Daniel Snyder will still be in Washington, not Chicago.

 

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of the Bears.

The Bears' offense is preaching patience, even if that's easier said than done

The Bears' offense is preaching patience, even if that's easier said than done

The Bears aren't trying to hide it.

In fact, they know better than anyone how underwhleming the offense has been through the first two weeks of the season. After failing to get into the end zone against the Packers in Week 1, last Sunday's one-touchdown affair – though a much better result – still left the team, as guard Kyle Long put it, 'back to basics.' 

"I know that it starts up front," Kyle Long said on Wednesday. "There are a lot of things I can do better, a lot of blocks I’m not making, a lot of guys not accounted for. I’ll be on guys at the beginning of the play and then at the end of the play, they’re around the pile. I need to make it my personal goal to not allow my matchup to make the play."

"If we all do that, and I know that everybody strives to do that, I think we’ll have success."

The stats are already well-worn: 28th in passing yards and passing yards per game (164); 29th in total yards (527) and yards per game (263.5); and 30th in points (19) and points per game (9.5). The only two teams with consistently worse results are the Jets (0-2), who have been outscored 40-19, and the Dolphins (0-2), who have been outscored 102-10. You'd hardly blame the offense for feeling a bit frustrated. 

"I wouldn’t say it’s frustration, so to speak," Allen Robinson said. "I would say it’s more so guys wanting to make plays. That’s what it comes down to. There’s many ways you can look at it. In this game, it comes down to a lot of situational stuff. When you look across the league, that’s what it comes down to. It comes down to playing good in crunch time." 

If there's one part of the offense that the Bears have been pleased with through two weeks, it's been the situational play. The Monday after the Broncos win, Matt Nagy talked at length about how the team was pleased with the absence of pre-snap penalties and how the line neutralized star pass-rusher Von Miller:

"We did a good job at that," he said. "That was impressive. We protected the football in a game like that, where field position and low-scoring, we didn’t give them a short field with any interceptions or fumbles. And I think overall in two games, with their being a lot more negatives than positives offensively, we’ve done a good job at protecting the football." 

As is usually the case with negatives, the word patience was thrown around Halas Hall a bunch on Wednesday. Long compared the season to a boxing match, noting that people very rarely land knock-out blows in the early rounds. But when so much more was expected of the fight, is it hard to stay patient in the moment? 

"Absolutely," he said. "You go out there and you’ve got stuff schemed up, dialed in and you run it and it doesn’t work out like you want it to. But that’s what football is all about: sticking to your guns and sticking with what you know." 

The Bears will get a good opportunity to land a clean punch on Monday night, when they head into Landover, MD., to play a defense that's been one of the NFL's worst so far. It's maybe the best opportunity yet to showcase what Nagy 202 can really be. 

"Definitely. We all want the big plays," Robinson added. "We all want all of that. I think that's pretty evident from an offensive standpoint. Each and every week we're going out there trying to put in the work.

It'll come out."

 

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of the Bears.