Bears

Matt Nagy won't address the rumors about a James Daniels-Cody Whitehair switch, which is telling in its own way

Matt Nagy won't address the rumors about a James Daniels-Cody Whitehair switch, which is telling in its own way

On Wednesday afternoon, rumors swirled on Twitter that Cody Whitehair was getting first-team reps at center. It was suggested that James Daniels, the Bears’ current center, moved back to left guard, where he played all of last season. 

It’d be a notable decision given that the Whitehair-Daniels switch was made this offseason with both of their long term projections in mind. Whitehair played guard during his final two seasons at Kansas State, and Daniels was a three-year center at Iowa. 

During Wednesday’s press conference, Matt Nagy declined to go into any detail on the rumors. 

“With all due respect, that’s one thing I’m not going to get into, game strategy wise,” Nagy said at Thursday’s press conference. “We’re always looking for solutions though. I’ll leave it at that.”

It’s been a tough first half for both linemen. According to analytics site Pro Football Focus, both have regressed – Whitehair more significantly – in 2019: 

2018 Daniels: 62.9 Overall, 69.9 Pass Blocking, 59.2 Run Blocking 
2019 Daniels: 60.2 Overall, 68.5 Pass Blocking, 54.4 Run Blocking 

2018 Whitehair: 70.4 Overall, 77.2 Pass Blocking, 65.1 Run Blocking
2019 Whitehair: 67.4 Overall, 76.6 Pass Blocking, 59.2 Run Blocking

“It’s something, for us, where we look at the whole thing – not just the parts,” Nagy added. “There’s a lot of different reasons for a lot of different things in this offense right now. At this point right now, it doesn’t benefit us at all to start getting into that. There’s a lot of things that this offense needs to get better at, and it starts with myself.” 

If nothing else, it’s a notable non-answer given how straightforward Nagy’s been about issuing player personnel decisions to the media in the past. He has put to bed – rather adamantly, at times – the idea of a mid-game, or mid-season, QB switch. He was clear about moving on from Kyle Long and the decision-making behind Mike Davis’ lack of snaps. 

Halfway through a season that has all of Chicago reading up on Murphy’s Law, however, the Bears are trying to fix a historically-bad offense in time to save a season that started with Super Bowl plans. As the saying goes, desperate times call for desperate measures. 

“Whenever you’re looking at these position switches, whatever it is, offense, defense, special teams, we’re talking about solutions,” Nagy added. “So if that’s something we decide to do, either at that position or somewhere else, there’s always a why behind it.” 

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Bears' 2020 offseason dates you need to know

Bears' 2020 offseason dates you need to know

The Bears 2020 offseason feels like it's been underway for a while, but the reality is it's just getting started. The fun gets underway in March when unrestricted free agency kicks off, followed by the 2020 NFL Draft – when GM Ryan Pace will try to flip Chicago's two second-round picks into potential starters for a team that isn't that far away from contending for a Super Bowl.

Here are the key dates to bookmark in your calendar for the Bears' offseason:

February 2020

  • Feb. 24-March 1 – NFL Scouting Combine
  • Feb. 25 – Ryan Pace/Matt Nagy meet with media at NFL Combine
     

March 2020

  • Feb. 24 – March 1 – NFL Scouting Combine
  • March 18 – Free agency and new league year begins


April 2020

  • April 7 – Ed Block Courage Award presentation
  • April 20 – Bears may begin offseason workout programs
  • April 21 – Brian Piccolo Awards presented to rookie and veteran
  • April 21 – Ryan Pace will speak with the media ahead of NFL Draft
  • April 23-25 – 2020 NFL Draft in Las Vegas
     

May 2020

  • May 8-10 – Bears rookie minicamp at Halas Hall
  • May 16 – Bears Care Gala at Soldier Field
  • May 27 – May 29 – OTA practices


JUNE 2020

  • June 2-4 – OTA practices
  • June 8 – 11 – OTA practices
  • June 16-18 – Mandatory full-squad minicamp

Saints’ QB Teddy Bridgewater expected to have a hefty price tag in free agency

Saints’ QB Teddy Bridgewater expected to have a hefty price tag in free agency

The NFL offseason is gearing up this winter, with trade and salary rumors running rampant among analysts and fans. Bears GM Ryan Pace has his work cut out for him, with a decently sized to-do list before the 2020 season, including finding competition under center for QB Mitch Trubisky. From Tom Brady to Philip Rivers, there are plenty of quarterback options, but one player may be too expensive for the Bears.

ESPN's Jeremy Fowler reports Saints’ QB Teddy Bridgewater is expected to rake in big money in free agency. With a projected salary to the tune of $30 million per year, Bridgewater could land a lucrative deal.

It makes some sense Bridgewater could come with such a hefty price tag. He earned above-average rankings in adjusted yards per attempt (15th), QB Rating (11th), TD Rate (13th) and completion rate (6th) among 38 QBs to start at least five games in 2019. If Drew Brees decides to keep playing, the Saints will have to choose between Bridgewater and Taysom Hill as their backup.

Fox Sports’ Jay Glazer previously reported if Brees were to retire, the Saints viewed Hill as their new franchise quarterback, leaving Bridgewater free to explore other options.

It has yet to be seen how Brees and the Saints will proceed, but it’s certainly a reality check to see how expensive the QB market will be this offseason. 

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