Bears

Bears nominate Allen Robinson for 2019 Walter Payton Man of the Year

Bears nominate Allen Robinson for 2019 Walter Payton Man of the Year

The Bears have nominated wide receiver Allen Robinson for the 2019 Walter Payton Man of the Year Award, the team announced Thursday. The prestigious award recognizes an NFL player for "outstanding community service activities off the field as well as excellence on the field."

“It’s a tremendous honor to be the Walter Payton Man of the Year nominee for the Chicago Bears this season,” Robinson said in a press release. “This means a lot to me, especially given what the Payton name means to this city, organization and league. Thank you to all of those who have supported me, especially my family, teammates and the Bears.

"Helping the youth in Chicago through my ‘Within Reach Foundation’ will continue to be a priority of mine and I’m excited to see what else we can accomplish.” 

Robinson's "Within Reach Foundation" focuses on providing educational opportunities and resources to low-income and inner-city Chicago students. He hosted his fifth annual "Operation Elf" event this month, visiting 25 kids from Chicago Youth Centers and taking them on a shopping spree.

On the field, Robinson is quarterback Mitchell Trubisky's go-to target. He's caught 76 passes for 898 yards and seven touchdowns this season, all team-highs.

Watch Connie and Brittney Payton — Walter's wife and daughter — present Robinson with his nomination:

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Did fear of Aaron Rodgers lead Bears to vote down change to onside kick rule?

Did fear of Aaron Rodgers lead Bears to vote down change to onside kick rule?

The Chicago Bears have had the unfortunate reality of playing against Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers twice a year since he became the team's starter in 2008. 

In total, the Bears have faced Rodgers 23 times and have an atrocious 5-18 record against him. Simply put, he's owned Chicago, and the last thing the Bears want is for Rodgers, or any quality quarterback, to be given a chance to keep a comeback alive with the proposed (and voted down) change to the onside kick rule.

In case you missed it, the league voted against allowing teams the option of a 4th-and-15 play instead of the onside kick to keep possession of the ball. The proposal failed by a ridiculously close 16-16 vote, and the Bears were one of the teams that voted against it, according to NFL.com's Mike Garafolo.

Garafolo shared some insight as to why the Bears voted it down, even if it was tongue-in-cheek.

"One team said in jest, 'if you have a future Hall of Fame quarterback on your roster, you should be excluded from the conversation.' I'm told the team that joked about it was the Chicago Bears," Garofolo said. "So they were referencing Rodgers. How about that one?"

Unfortunately, the Bears haven't had the benefit of fielding a future Hall of Fame quarterback...ever. And in a season where the team doesn't know who their starter will be, it's no surprise they treated this rule as a competitive disadvantage.

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Expectations continue to be high for Bears running back David Montgomery

Expectations continue to be high for Bears running back David Montgomery

The importance of second-year running back David Montgomery's development in 2020 will be overshadowed (rightfully so) by the Chicago Bears' quarterback competition this summer, but regardless of who opens the season as the starter, they'll need a reliable and steady running game to bring Matt Nagy's offense to Level 202, albeit a year late.

Montgomery flashed a lot to get excited about as a rookie. His 'want to' was undeniable, even when running lanes were few and far between. He was relentless in his effort, even on short gains, which suggests he has the potential to be one of the league's most productive running backs if he gets even a little bit of help from his offensive line.

And that's why he was one of the players identified as a Year 2 breakout candidate by NFL.com.

"[Montgomery] had a solid rookie season (889 rushing yards and seven total touchdowns)," Jeffery Chahida wrote, "but he's capable of so much more with a better offense. The Bears ranked 29th in the NFL in total offense last year, largely because embattled quarterback Mitch Trubisky struggled so mightily. That all could change if Nick Foles wins the job or simply pushes Trubisky to play at a higher level.

"Montgomery now enters this season as the only back on this roster who attempted more than 64 rushes last year, and the Bears didn't add another ball carrier in this draft. In other words, it's time for him to shine."

The Bears are taking a calculated risk betting on Montgomery as much as they have. Ryan Pace has gone all-in on the former third-round pick. If Montgomery fails, there are no realistic options on the roster to replace him. Tarik Cohen is who he is at this point — an offensive weapon who needs touches more than just carries. 

Ryan Nall? Artavis Pierce? Napoleon Maxwell?

Chicago's running back depth reads more like a practice squad roster than a group of players who can legitimately contribute on Sundays.

Assuming Montgomery stays healthy and Chicago doesn't add another running back over the next couple of months, he'll challenge to lead the league in carries in 2020. Last year's league-leader, Derrick Henry, carried the ball 303 times (an average of 19 times per game). Montgomery should easily hit that mark if the Bears are at least competitive this season.

If these numbers come to fruition, Montgomery will be more than just a Year 2 breakout player. He'll be a legitimate candidate to be the NFL's leading rusher.

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