Bears

James Daniels' struggle with consistency at center is just another example of how much the Bears' offense needs to fix

James Daniels' struggle with consistency at center is just another example of how much the Bears' offense needs to fix

James Daniels’ rough performance in Sunday’s loss to the Eagles is probably best summed up by this tweet: 

It was, by Pro Football Focus’ grades, Daniels’ worst game of the season. His pass block grade (24.9) was by far his lowest of 2019, and the 4th-worst pass blocking performance by any center in Week 9. No center allowed more pass rushes (4) than Daniels did on Sunday. 

““There’s times that, no matter who you are at center, that that’s going to happen,” Matt Nagy said on Monday. “Fletcher Cox has been doing that for a long time. He’s an all-pro.” 

Halfway through Daniels’ first season as the Bears’ center has seen a mixed bag of results. (For what it’s worth, Whitehair’s also seen a dip in production at guard.) He played poorly in the Eagles game, but was coming off his strongest pass-blocking (84.4 grade) game of the season; Daniels didn’t allow a pass rush, sack, or QB hit against the Chargers. His numbers look relatively similar to last season, but the belief in Halas Hall is that he hasn’t played his best football yet. 

“I think that right now, all in all, he’s learning the position,” Nagy added. “We could all be better… We’re learning with that process. The communication thing is big, we want to keep growing in that area, but he’s working hard.” 

Nagy also mentioned that the play in the tweet above was an unscouted look, but wouldn’t get into what he would have preferred the center to do. It’s play like that – or Mitch Trubisky missing Allen Robinson on 3rd down in part because of how Daniels’ was getting moved at the line – that Nagy knows Daniels wants back. 

“James knows he’s better in certain areas than some of his plays,” he said. “So we’ve just got to stay positive with him and realize that he’s young and that we can keep working with him.”

Line play has continued to be an issue this season, although Rashaad Coward has been an improvement over Kyle Long on the right side. As a team, though, they rank 27th and 22nd – according to PFF – in run blocking and pass blocking, respectively.

“I think all of them — that’s been some of the part there with us,” Nagy said. “A lot of it goes on the running back and the quarterback and the offensive line, it’s to each their own. We’re learning with that process.” 

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Devin Hester one of six specialists to make the NFL 100 All-Time Team

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USA TODAY

Devin Hester one of six specialists to make the NFL 100 All-Time Team

The NFL 100 All-Time Team just got a serious influx of speed and athleticism. Former Bears' legend and arguably the greatest special teams player of all time, Devin Hester, was named to the squad on Friday.

Hester played with the Bears from 2006 to 2013, racking up an incredible 31 return touchdowns (18 on kick returns, 13 on punt returns). Over his 11 season career, Hester collected a total of 11,028 return yards between kick and punt returns. Hester made four Pro Bowls and three All-Pro teams over his career. 

The 2006 No. 57 overall pick out of Miami (FL) dazzled from the start of his NFL career, collecting 1,128 combined punt/kick return yards and 5 touchdowns. 

But just as impressive as his overall effectiveness, was his penchant for rising to the moment. Hester's clutch moments included an 80+ yard punt return for a touchdown against the Arizona Cardinals in the infamous, "They are who we thought they were game".

And, of course, all NFL fans remember how Hester became the first player in NFL history to take the opening kickoff of a Super Bowl back to the house for a touchdown. 

Hester was a shoo-in to make the NFL 100 All-Time Team, as he is the NFL's all-time leader in kick and punt return touchdowns but even, so his game was about so much more than just the numbers. 

Devin Hester's unparalleled combination of speed and creativity in the open field delighted NFL fans in a way that perhaps no other player in history did or ever will. 

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of the Bears.

 

Sports Talk Live Podcast: Bears win again as they trounce the Cowboys

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Sports Talk Live Podcast: Bears win again as they trounce the Cowboys

Sam Panayotovick and Seth Gruen join Kap on the show.

0:00 - The Bears win again as they trounce the Cowboys. So did Mitch Trubisky save his job or was it just one good game?

12:00 - The Bulls look for their third straight win with the Warriors in town. Plus, Sam gives out his best bets for the weekend as the guys preview the college football conference title games.

17:00 - Comedian Steve Rannazzisi joins Kap to talk about the dumpster fire that is his Knicks. Plus Kap thanks his Giants for helping turn the Bears season around.

Listen to the full podcast here r via the embedded player below:

Sports Talk Live Podcast

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