Bears

Eddie Jackson’s pitch for the Bears hits home with Ha Ha Clinton-Dix: ‘It’s just like Bama’

Eddie Jackson’s pitch for the Bears hits home with Ha Ha Clinton-Dix: ‘It’s just like Bama’

Six years ago, Ha Ha Clinton-Dix recruited a three-star wide receiver recruit named Eddie Jackson to play his college ball at Alabama (Jackson, of course, played for Nick Saban as a safety). In March, it was Jackson who was recruiting Clinton-Dix, this time to play for the Bears. 

He did so with a simple message: “It’s just like ‘Bama.”

And from there, “I was ready to sign,” Clinton-Dix said. 

The friendship between Jackson and Clinton-Dix developed in Tuscaloosa and continued after Clinton-Dix became a first-round pick of the Green Bay Packers in 2014. But Clinton-Dix didn’t decide to sign with the Bears — on a cheap one-year prove-it deal — just because of the opportunity to team up with one of his friends. 

Jackson and quarterback Mitch Trubisky chatted with Clinton-Dix on his visit to Halas Hall back in March and offered another critical pitch centered around coach Matt Nagy. 

“I told him coach Nagy is one of those coaches, he lets us be us, go out there and have fun with swag,” Jackson said. “But he knew it. He was like man, I know, I’m a fan of y’all, I’ve been watching. He was on board.”

Jackson and Clinton-Dix combined for 14 interceptions since the beginning of the 2017 season, though Clinton-Dix left the Green Bay Packers via a midseason trade last year with a reputation for missing tackles (for what it’s worth, Clinton-Dix missed one fewer tackle than Adrian Amos did in 2018, per Pro Football Focus). The Bears see Clinton-Dix’s one-year deal as a win-win for all parties: The Bears get a starting safety with proven past production and playoff experience, while Clinton-Dix slides into one of the league’s most talented defenses with an excellent opportunity to rebuild his value on the free agent market in 2020. 

“I always like to focus on the positives guys have,” safeties coach Sean Desai said. “He’s shown that he’s a highly instinctual player, he’s shown that he’s got good ball skills and good range and those are traits that we’re going to develop.” 

Jackson and Amos forged a strong relationship on the back end of the Bears’ defense the last two years, with good communication between the two helping accentuate each player’s strengths. A thought here is replacing Amos with Clinton-Dix will help ease the transition for Jackson, given his friendship with his new safety mate. But there’s more that goes into a good safety pairing than a strong friendship. 

“They gotta build that communication,” Desai said. “It’s different to speak a personal language off the field and then a football language on the field. So that’s what we’re all building.”

Still, a good off-the-field relationship with Jackson got Clinton-Dix in the door at Halas Hall. And the Bears hope it can be an important part of the league’s best defense in 2018 holding on to that title in 2019. 

“I’m just glad to be on the back end with him, man,” Clinton-Dix said. “This is a special defense and I’m glad to be a part of these guys.” 

Former Bears linebacker Mike Singletary reportedly leaves HS coaching job

Former Bears linebacker Mike Singletary reportedly leaves HS coaching job

Mike Singletary may be one of the best linebackers in NFL history, but his coaching career has not lived up to his playing days.

The Dallas Morning News reports that Singletary has stepped down from a high school coaching job in Texas after he led the team to a 1-21 record over two seasons.

According to the report, Singletary is going to focus on motivational speaking and consulting opportunities, instead of coaching football.

Singletary also coached in the Alliance of American Football for the Memphis Express in 2019, but he didn’t have much more success there. The Express went 2-6 in the lone AAF season.

As a head coach in the NFL, Singletary fared a bit better. His San Francisco 49ers went 18-22 from 2008-2010. He last coached in the NFL as defensive assistant for the Rams in 2016.

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Chicago Bears tabbed 'best value' bets for several NFL futures

Chicago Bears tabbed 'best value' bets for several NFL futures

Even though the Bears have fairly long odds to win the division, they’re being recognized as “best value” bets for several futures.

An overall regression in 2019, coupled with an upcoming quarterback competition between Mitchell Trubisky and Nick Foles, soured oddsmakers on the team.

As things stand on Monday morning, the Bears have the third-longest odds to win the division at +400, putting them behind the Vikings and Packers at +165 and +170, respectively.

But you can find value in picking the Bears to win the division when you look at the win total over/under futures, as well.

Right now, the Bears sit at 7.5 wins, behind the Packers at 9 wins and Vikings at 8.5. With things projected to be so tight from a win total standpoint, the Bears have been recognized as a “best value” pick to win the NFC North since their defense can steal any game on the schedule, adding a win or two and propelling them to a division crown.

Using that same logic, the Bears have also been recognized with a “best value” pick to hit the over on their 7.5 win total.

There’s no reason to think the defense will take a step back from last season-- in fact by all accounts, the squad should improve again with Robert Quinn in the fold, and Akiem Hicks and Khalil Mack fully healthy again.

While things may develop a little more slowly on the offensive side due to the aforementioned QB competition, any uptick in offensive production should help the team improve on their 8-8 record from last season, making it easy to see why taking the over on 7.5 wins feels like a great value bet.

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