Bears

Patrick Mahomes gives Matt Nagy ringing endorsement

Patrick Mahomes gives Matt Nagy ringing endorsement

The story of the Bears 2017 NFL Draft is a tale of what could've been. Had GM Ryan Pace decided now-Chiefs superstar Patrick Mahomes was a better quarterback prospect Mitch Trubisky, it's conceivable that Chicago, not Kansas City, would be playing in the Super Bowl on Sunday.

It's a nightmare Bears fans will live through for years and years (and years, and years). And that nightmare isn't limited to the Soldier Field faithful. Coach Matt Nagy has first-hand experience of what life with Mahomes could've been like in Chicago after working with the strong-armed gunslinger as the Chiefs offensive coordinator in 2017.

Mahomes, who sat that season behind veteran Alex Smith, said Nagy was a big influence in his first year as a pro.

‘‘Nagy was amazing with me and my transition into the NFL," Mahomes said this week from Miami, via the Chicago Sun-Times, "being able to relate to me, being able to go out there and let me play fast and be who I am."

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Mahomes attempted just 35 passes that season, but Nagy's role in his jump from Texas Tech to the NFL made a lasting impact.

Unfortunately, the same can't be said for Nagy after two seasons with Trubisky. It isn't necessarily Nagy's fault, although questions about his play-calling ran wild throughout the 2019 season. But Trubisky's physical skill-set isn't (nor will it ever be) comparable to Mahomes'. There's a lot less for Nagy to work with and we may never see his real impact on the quarterback room until the Bears decide to move on from the former second overall pick.

Mahomes will forever haunt Bears fans. But maybe, just maybe, hope remains with Nagy in charge. And maybe, just maybe, he'll have the same Mahomes-effect on whoever QB-next is in Chicago, whether it be Trubisky or a new face in town. 

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Vic Fangio: Draft process will be tested this year

Vic Fangio: Draft process will be tested this year

Former Chicago Bears defensive coordinator and current Denver Broncos head coach Vic Fangio has long been known as an old-school coach who brings a tough and grizzled approach to the locker room.

He's also an old-school talent evaluator who said the disruption to the 2020 NFL Draft process caused by the COVID-19 outbreak will test the scouting adage that suggests a prospect's college tape is the majority of his final grade.

“I think every year you hear people say — scouts and coaches and personnel people — that 90 percent of the evaluation is off the tape,” Fangio said during a conference call with reporters on March 31. “The other 10 percent is the combine and pro days and all the other stuff that goes on with it. This is the year it will really be tested.

“A lot of times you can guess how fast a guy runs generally speaking. It’s more important what the tape is. That’s what everybody says. This will be the year that it is really put to the test."

With team headquarters closed around the league, front offices can't hold prospect visits or workouts at their facility. Similarly, teams can't put prospects through medical re-checks to finalize their 2020 draft grade. There are going to be uncomfortable leaps of faith taken by general managers this year.

But as Fangio said, it's mostly about the tape anyway. At least, that's what the NFL wants you to believe.

Bears weren't alone in their interest for Nick Foles

Bears weren't alone in their interest for Nick Foles

Nick Foles may not have been the first choice among Bears fans who were hoping the team would add competition for Mitch Trubisky this offseason, but he was apparently a popular target in NFL circles as a quarterback who can help a team that's on the brink of the playoffs get over that difficult hump.

The Bears were bidding against several teams, including the Indianapolis Colts, according to The Athletic's Dan Pompei.

"The Jaguars weren’t shopping Foles this year," Pompei wrote, "but the Colts were bidding as well as the Bears. And others were in the mix, from what little birdies say."

Colts general manager Chris Ballard is widely regarded as one of the best (if not the best) GMs in the sport, and while his interest in Foles isn't confirmation that Ryan Pace made the right decision targeting the former backup-turned-Super Bowl winner, it certainly helps ease at least some concerns fans have about Foles.

The Bears confirmed this week that Foles and Trubisky are headed for an open competition for the starting quarterback job. It was an expected result from the trade for Foles that sent the Jaguars a fourth-round pick, a relatively high price to pay for a player destined for the bench.

While Chicago may want Trubisky to be the long-term answer behind center, the fact Pace hasn't committed to the former No. 2 overall pick's fifth-year option is more proof of how disappointing he's been after three years with the Bears.