Bears

Eagles tipped Cody Parkey's field goal, not a straight up miss

Eagles tipped Cody Parkey's field goal, not a straight up miss

Bears fans are still reeling from Cody Parkey missing what would be a game-winning field goal in the final seconds of the game.

Fans booed him off the field. The GoFundMe campaign to buy out his contract started circulating again.

But upon closer examination, it looks like Parkey didn't just miss the field goal. Eagles defensive lineman Treyvon Hester got a hand on the kick to change it's trajectory.

The All-22 angle corroborates that Hester got at least a finger on it.

Hester proudly displayed the left hand that kept the Eagles' season alive after the game.

There is some kind of ironic poetry about a special teamer named Hester causing the Bears to exit the playoffs. It's cruel even.

Still, fans might not let Parkey off the hook even with video evidence showing he might not be entirely at fault. Former kicker Jay Feely feels Parkey is still at fault.

Fans won't forget the game against the Lions when Parkey hit the uprights on four different kicks or the kick that hit the upright in Week 17 against the Minnesota Vikings.

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Bears notes: Are James Daniels, Cody Whitehair headed for a position swap?

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USA Today

Bears notes: Are James Daniels, Cody Whitehair headed for a position swap?

PHOENIX — Matt Nagy hinted Tuesday the Bears could have James Daniels and Cody Whitehair swap positions on the interior of their offensive line, moving Daniels to center and Whitehair to left guard. 

It was a noticeable change in tone from Nagy about where both those players may best fit on the offensive line. In the days and weeks after the Bears drafted Daniels in the second round of 2018’s NFL Draft, Nagy was adamant Whitehair would stay at center despite Daniels starring at that position while in college at Iowa. Whitehair, while being a steady presence at center for the last three seasons, began his pro career as a guard before a last-minute switch to center after the Bears signed Josh Sitton a few days before the 2016 season began. 

“We’re kind of in the middle of that right now looking at how they played at those particular positions — not just those two, but everybody,” Nagy said. “And so we’re going to stay open to that and if we feel like it’s going to be better to switch somebody we’ll do that, and if we don’t then we’ll stick with where we’re at.”

If the Bears do execute that switch, it would represent the only change to their starting offensive line from 2018. All five regular starters are returning this year, with Daniels and Whitehair being joined by tackles Charles Leno and Bobby Massie and guard Kyle Long. 

Harry Hiestand’s group was one of the league’s best pass-protecting offensive lines, though the Bears frequently struggled to run the ball with any consistent success. Perhaps swapping Daniels and Whitehair could be a way to help generate improvements on the ground. 

Organized Team Attendance 

Nagy said the Bears expect all their players to show up for the team's offseason program, which begins April 15, and into OTAs in May. Only one player — wide receiver Anthony Miller (shoulder) — who expected to participate in the voluntary shorts-and-helmets practices of OTAs. 

Nagy cited that 100 percent attendance as another sign of the strong culture permeating Halas Hall. 

“They’ll be there,” Nagy said. “Again, that’s who we are. I’m not worried about one guy not showing up.”

Comp Pick USA

The Bears haven’t been awarded a compensatory draft pick — given to teams who, essentially, lose more important players than they sign in free agency — since 2009, but that could change in 2020 with Adrian Amos and Bryce Callahan landing sizable contracts with the Green Bay Packers and Denver Broncos, respectively. 

Part of the Bears’ comp pick drought has been because of an aggressive approach to free agency. The team could’ve, perhaps, received a 2018 comp pick after losing Alshon Jeffery to free agency in 2017, but instead signed Mike Glennon, Prince Amukamara, Markus Wheaton, Dion Sims, Quintin Demps and Kendall Wright, among others. 

The other issue has been, simply, the Bears haven’t had many good players recently. And when their own good players did become free agents, the team’s roster wasn’t healthy enough to let them sign elsewhere, nor was their cap maxed out to prevent them from being brought back. 

That changed in 2018, and the departures of Amos and Callahan, as well as guys like Josh Bellamy, Kevin White, Eric Kush and Bryan Witzmann signing elsewhere, could help trigger an end to that comp pick drought. OverTheCap estimates the Bears could receive fourth- and fifth-round picks for Amos and Callahan, though Pace cautioned that the formula to determine the awarding of those picks is complicated and subject to change. 

Still, as the Bears move forward, the top of their roster — Mitch Trubisky, Eddie Jackson, etc. — will get more expensive. And staying competitive while allocating a significant amount of cap space to a few players is massively helped by drafting well. Adding a few comp picks in the future will give the Bears more spins of the wheel as they look to add cheap, productive talent to their roster. 

“We kind of knew going into free agency that was a possibility,” Pace said. “Now there’s things that take place and they’re even talking about tweaking some of the — the equation’s complicated enough. One of the things I think is those guys have to be on those teams for 10-plus games, for example, so you’re never really set until the season unfolds. 

“But it’s something we’re mindful of. I think a lot of the good clubs, you see the Rams doing it, they figure out a way to take advantage of that system and for us the key is to continue to draft well and we’ll be in a position for these compensatory picks.” 

London Calling

While Nagy said he hasn’t made any decisions yet on the Bears’ travel plans for their game in London against the Oakland Raiders, it sounded like he’s leaning toward having his team have a shorter across the Atlantic Ocean. Nagy cited the Kansas City Chiefs’ trip to London in 2015 — when he was the team’s quarterbacks coach — for which the team left the United States for England on Thursday, held a practice Friday and played the game Sunday. 

Other teams have opted to leave earlier and hold more practices in England. It’s worth noting that Doug Pederson — the Chiefs’ offensive coordinator in 2015 — had the Philadelphia Eagles fly to England the Thursday before their Sunday game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Wembley Stadium in 2018. 

Nagy said he wants to allow his players some time to soak in London, but that certainly won’t be the primary goal of the trip. 

“It'll be 90 percent football and just a sprinkle (of other activities),” Nagy said. “We're over there on a business trip, that's why we're there. But at the same time it's great culture for the guys to see and be a part of and some guys have never been over there. That's a part of life. If you can balance it and make sure you do it the right way, I'm good with that.”

Lastly, the best thing we saw this week...

… By far was Andy Reid’s Bitmoji, which Nagy shared with a group of Chicago-based media during the league’s coaches breakfast Tuesday morning. Specifically, the Bitmojis we saw were of Reid's character in a Tommy Bahama Hawaiian shirt and him chowing down on a sizable stack of pancakes. 

Nagy, too, has a Bitmoji, and lamented the social media platform not having a visor option to put on his avatar, which looks like this:

How the Bears see Mike Davis, Jordan Howard and their running game shaking out in 2019

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USA Today

How the Bears see Mike Davis, Jordan Howard and their running game shaking out in 2019

PHOENIX — Matt Nagy acknowledged Tuesday the trade rumors surrounding Jordan Howard and said the Bears will at least entertain any offers that could make their team better. Whether an offer were to come along that would make the Bears a better team while giving up their three-time leading rusher, though, remains to be seen. 

If the Bears do keep Howard, either out of necessity or lack of interest, Nagy said he can envision a role for the 24-year-old running back. 

“What we believe in is trying to find that mix and that mold of some running backs that we put together when you have a Jordan Howard, a Tarik Cohen, a Mike Davis — they all have different traits,” Nagy said. “Some of it’s protection, some of it’s scatting out of the backfield, some of it’s from empty. You just like to figure out what’s the best way to use them and anytime you can add guys to your position, it’s good.”

Nagy and his coaching staff are in the nascent stages of figuring out what that best way is, a process that’ll begin in earnest when players report to Halas Hall in mid-April. The Bears may not be done adding running backs, either, with Nagy and Pace meeting with and/or working out various draft-eligible running backs (a video recently surfaced of Nagy and Pace working out Ohio State’s Mike Weber, for instance). 

If the Bears do draft a running back, it could create an awkward situation in that room. But general manager Ryan Pace cautioned that wouldn’t necessarily be the case. 

“I know the way Matt is, he likes that kind of by committee approach and using them in different ways, and you know how creative he can be on offense,” Pace said. “And who knows what’s going to happen in the draft. It’s going to be a unique year where we’re picking and it’s still going to be best player available. If it is a running back then we’ll sort through it. And if you happen to have a lot of depth there, then that can be a good thing.” 

As for Davis, the first thing Nagy pointed to when asked what the Bears liked about the ex-Seattle Seahawk was that he “didn’t have a lot of tread on his tires,” a nod to the 234 career rushing attempts with which he comes to Chicago (Howard had 250 in 2018 alone). Beyond that, Davis checked off some of the desired traits Nagy laid out to the public back at the NFL Combine in February: Specifically, good vision and the ability to make defenders miss. 

Plus, while Davis didn’t do much as a pass-catcher in Seattle, Nagy said the Bears are intrigued by his athleticism and how that can translate into a greater receiving role. 

“We thought that would be a good addition to our side of the ball on offense. We’re intrigued to get him in and start learning who he is as a person. From all the research we did on him, we thought it was a great fit.

“… He’s an athlete. And as long as you’re an athlete, you can make it work.”