Bears Mailbag: The Bears' offense vs the Bills' defense will be ... something

Bears Mailbag: The Bears' offense vs the Bills' defense will be ... something

I'm not sure if it was the sugar crash, or Halloween being over, but Bears Twitter was ANGRY today. Maybe seeing an ESPN writer calling Mitchell Trubisky the Blake Bortles of the North had something to do with it? Is it worth arguing that one person's opinion about a given football player is not worthy of a huge tweet rant? It is not. But. We all know the answer to that. To the tweets! 

Rose (The Web) - What can we expect from Trubisky this week considering we are facing a top-10 defense in the Bills?

Not only are the Bills a top-10 defense, but their pass defense ranks 4th in DVOA according to Football Outsiders. In comparison, they're "only" the 12th ranked rushing defense by measure of DVOA. So, I expect a modest game out of Trubisky. The most passing yards they've given up in a game is 311, and that was to Tom Brady last Monday night. It was also the only time any QB has thrown for over 300 yards against them this season. Basically, hammer the over on whatever Vegas sets both Tarik Cohen and Jordan Howards rush attempts at. I'll say 16-25 for 250 yards with 1 TD and 2 INTs. 

Hi (The Web) - Do you see Adam Shaheen playing a bigger role once he get back from his injury? Also do you think Bilal Nichols should get more playing time? 

I don't see much of a role for Shaheen this season. Here's a percentage breakdown of the Bears' personnell set, thanks to the invaluable Sharp Football Stats:

  • 11 personnel - 66% 
  • 12 personnel - 18%
  • 21 personnel - 10%
  • 13 personnel - 2% 
  • 22 personnel - 2%

So, we'll start with the fact that 2 of every 3 plays the Bears run features only one tight end. Those are Trey Burton's snaps to lose. There's *maybe* a chance he could take snaps away from Dion Sims - especially if the Bears want to air it out and have two pass-catching tight ends on the field at the same time. Still, though, even that wouldn't be too frequent. I think the Bears' tight end situation is pretty thoroughly sewn up for 2018. 

Hi (The Web) Next year in fee agency do you see the bears trading Jordan Howard and going after Le'Veon Bell?

Yes and no. Jordan Howard's future in Chicago seems pretty bleak. Tarik Cohen fits better in this offense anyways. As for Le'Veon Bell, I can't think of too many teams less equipped to trade for Bell than the Bears. That trade would look NICE in Madden, though. 

Todd (Oswego, IL) - What’s it going to take for Mitch’s accuracy to improve?? Is it timing, mechanics, or a combination??

I think this question, more than any other Bears question you might stumble upon right now, depends on who you ask. My thoughts: it's a combination. Burton, Taylor Gabriel, and Allen Robinson are all in their first season with Trubisky, who himself only has close to two dozen NFL games under his belt. That's a timing issue through and through. With that said, Trubisky's mechanical issues jump off the screen a handful of times per game. He still falls away from too many throws, and his footwork needs to continue improving. He can be a little too jumpy in the pocket at times, also. I don't think anything's a major red flag yet, and the timing issues will fade with continued reps. 

Under Center Podcast: Checking in on the Lions with ESPN’s Mike Rothstein


Under Center Podcast: Checking in on the Lions with ESPN’s Mike Rothstein

JJ Stankevitz is joined by ESPN Lions reporter Mike Rothstein to dive into how close Detroit is to cleaning house (1:00), expectations for Matthew Stafford (5:50) and T.J. Hockenson (10:00), what new offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell’s scheme looks like (13:45), where the Lions are strongest and weakest on defense (16:50) and if this team actually respects Matt Patricia (22:20).

Plus, Mike discusses the story he co-wrote on the rise and fall of the AAF and what it would take for a spring football league to succeed (26:10).

Listen to the full episode in the embedded player below:

Under Center Podcast


Bears rookie WR Riley Ridley motivated by older brother, family name

USA Today

Bears rookie WR Riley Ridley motivated by older brother, family name

Bears fourth-round pick Riley Ridley knew what to expect coming into the NFL thanks to his older brother Calvin, the Atlanta Falcons wide receiver.

Their family bond kept them close even as they played for rival colleges and now competing professional teams, and they both take a lot of motivation from the name on the back of their jerseys.

The two receivers came together on camera for the Bears’ “Meet the Rookies” series.

“We do what we do, not just for the family, but for our name, our brand,” Riley Ridley said. “We want to take that as far as it can go. That Ridley name is strong, and that’s how we view it.”

Ridley opened up about growing up with his mother raising him and his three brothers. He said he’s going to be his own biggest critic and do everything he can to help his teammates.

His brother Calvin added some color to the image of Riley that’s starting to take shape.

“Very funny, really cool, laid back,” Calvin Ridley said. “He’s a different person on the field. I would say he has a lot of anger on the field — very physical.”

Matt Nagy should find good use for that physicality in the Bears offense, plugging Ridley in a wide receiver group already deep with young talent.

Ridley doesn’t seem like the type of player who will allow himself to get buried on the depth chart.