Bears

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.”

Bradley Sowell, Taquan Mizzell move to new positions at Bears OTAs

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USA TODAY

Bradley Sowell, Taquan Mizzell move to new positions at Bears OTAs

When the Bears reconvened for their first full team practices of the offseason, two players lined up at new positions on offense with new jersey numbers.

Offensive lineman Bradley Sowell is now wearing 85 and playing tight end, while running back Taquan Mizzell moved to wide receiver and will wear No. 11.

Both players have experience at their new positions from experimenting last season. Sowell actually played more snaps at tight end (30) than offensive line (13) in 2018, according to Pro Football Focus, most notably catching a touchdown pass against the Los Angeles Rams on the play known as “Santa’s Sleigh.”

Mizzell lined up at wide receiver plenty last season too. Out of his 73 total offensive snaps, 33 of them came at a receiver position, according to PFF.

They’re both moving to crowded positions on the depth chart, but the team evidently is confident they’ll make a smooth transition.

Sowell’s move likely clears a spot for converted defensive lineman Rashaad Coward to take over as the third offensive tackle on the depth chart.

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George Halas ranked 37th in the Bears' Top 100

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USA TODAY

George Halas ranked 37th in the Bears' Top 100

Leading into the Bears' 100th anniversary season, they've been releasing parts of a list ranking the top 100 players in franchise history. The players were ranked by a two person panel consisting of Hall of Fame writers Don Pierson and Dan Pompei for the Chicago Bears Centennial Scrapbook.

Here is the list:

26.  Ed Healey
27.  Olin Kreutz
28.  Lance Briggs
29.  Rick Casares
30.  Gary Fencik
31.  Charles Tillman
32.  Paddy Driscoll
33.  George Trafton
34.  Matt Forte
35.  George Musso
36.  Red Grange
37.  George S. Halas
38.  Link Lyman
39.  Harlon Hill
40.  Ken Kavanaugh
41.  Neal Anderson
42.  Richie Petitbon
43.  Wilber Marshall
44.  Johnny Morris
45.  Otis Wilson
46.  Doug Buffone
47.  Dave Duerson
48.  Fred Williams
49.  Ray Bray
50.  Mark Bortz

Perhaps the most shocking name on this portion of the list is the legendary George S. Halas ranked at 37. Halas was the founder, owner, and head coach for the Bears, and the Bears' uniforms bear his initials and his name adorns the practice facility. 

And it is not Halas' son, because the press release very clearly states it is the "founder of the Chicago Bears, George S. Halas."

But one could presume the panel focused strictly on Halas' on-field contributions for this player ranking and had the unenviable task of trying to separate his off the field, broader contributions to the Bears and the NFL.

This segment of the list includes "17 who contributed to a Bears championship (Bortz, Bray, Casares, Driscoll, Duerson, Fencik, Grange, Halas, Kavanaugh, Lyman, Marshall, Morris, Musso, Petitbon, Trafton, Williams and Wilson), seven Hall of Famers (Driscoll, Grange, Halas, Healey, Lyman, Musso and Trafton), 17 All-Pros (Briggs, Casares, Driscoll, Duerson, Fencik, Grange, Healey, Hill, Kavanaugh, Kreutz, Lyman, Marshall, Morris, Petitbon, Tillman, Trafton and Wilson), 16 Pro Bowlers (Anderson, Bortz, Bray, Briggs, Duerson, Fencik, Forte, Hill, Kreutz, Marshall, Morris, Musso, Petitbon, Tillman, Williams and Wilson)."

Also, it looks like Olin Kreutz, who came in at 27th, is going to riot.

But at least he isn't Jay Cutler, who was ranked behind Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery.

The top 25 will be announced on Thursday.

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