Bears

Peter King on Bears QBs: 'I'd play Chase Daniel right now'

Peter King on Bears QBs: 'I'd play Chase Daniel right now'

Despite the Bears' brutal start to the 2019 season, which has been lowlighted by an excruciatingly frustrating offense, there remains no quarterback controversy in Chicago. Coach Matt Nagy is doing his best to sell the offense's struggles as belonging to all 11 starters, not just Mitchell Trubisky, and has refused to entertain the thought of a switch under center. 

It's a tough sell, to say the least, and NBC Sports' Peter King isn't buying.

"I'd play Chase Daniel right now," King told Dan Patrick on Wednesday. "You just have to say we're giving Mitch some downtime.

"Mitchell Trubisky, there were times when they locked in on his face (against Philadelphia) where he looked like he was in an oral surgeon's chair without novocaine. This has got to be incredibly uncomfortable for him."

It's been uncomfortable for everyone, including Bears fans who are living with the reality that Trubisky was Ryan Pace's choice over DeShaun Watson and Patrick Mahomes. 

"Imagine you're Mitchell Trubisky," King said. "You're a nice guy, everybody loves you, you go to North Carolina and you play for one year and one year only, and you're pretty good. Who knows how great you are because they haven't seen all that much of you, but a team chooses you high in the first round and it just happens to be in Chicago where all the fans want is for you to be better than Jim McMahon and the next Michael Jordan.  They want a savior at quarterback and when you're drafted No. 2 overall, there are great expectations."

A savior would be fantastic, but at this point, all Bears fans are really hoping for is a consistent quarterback who can complement a potentially Super Bowl-caliber defense. Unfortunately, this isn't anything new in Chicago. Jay Cutler didn't exactly live up to expectations prior to Trubisky's arrival, nor did Rex Grossman (another first-round bust) who despite starting during the last Bears' Super Bowl run in 2006-07 was best known for his fumblitis. 

And while a playoff berth seems highly unlikely after a 3-5 start, King thinks there's still time to turn around what was once a promising season. But in order to do that, Daniel needs to get a shot.

"I don't think that Matt Nagy has to say the words other than we just think this week, right now, Chase Daniel gives us a better chance to win," King said. 

"One more loss, right about now, and I say it's over. But it's not over right now. If they win the next couple of weeks, as unlikey as it sounds, they're still in it. And so, I think you have to do what is the best thing for you to win this game and this game only."

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Matt Nagy: Mitch Trubisky, Nick Foles both doing well in Bears virtual meetings

Matt Nagy: Mitch Trubisky, Nick Foles both doing well in Bears virtual meetings

Give the man some credit: Matt Nagy's consistently terrific at saying a lot without saying anything at all. 

Nagy joined Mike Tirico on NBC Sports' Lunch Talk Live series on Wednesday afternoon and gave something resembling an update on the Bears' ongoing QB battle: 

Well what it does is that I think any time you’re dealing with competitions, with any of these players – we actually have several competitions going on with our offense and defense – and certainly at the quarterback position, every rep you get you want it to be valuable. So we’re losing reps right now in the OTAs. We’ll have to get them back in training camp. We’ll be creative into how we do that as a staff. But we’ll make it work, and Mitch and Nick have been great in the classroom and obviously the competition hasn’t started yet over the internet, but they’re excited and we’re looking forward to it. 

Take that for what you will. Any real update on QB1 probably (definitely) won't come until training camp gets under way, whenever that is. For now, we're left with reading tea leaves from short Zoom calls. Sports! You can watch the entire interview, which features more platitudes along with some cooking analysis from the Bears' coach, below:

Here's who Bears fans picked instead of Kevin White in a 2015 NFL Draft redo

Here's who Bears fans picked instead of Kevin White in a 2015 NFL Draft redo

Former Chicago Bears wide receiver Kevin White was Ryan Pace's first-ever first-round pick as the team's general manager way back in the 2015 NFL Draft. It was a selection met with excitement by Bears fans after White dazzled college football in 2014 with a spectacular senior season.

White finished his senior year with the Mountaineers totaling 1,447 yards and 10 touchdowns. He played like a blend of Larry Fitzgerald and Dez Bryant and jockeyed with now-Cowboys wideout Amari Cooper throughout the 2015 draft cycle to be the first wide receiver drafted. That distinction ultimately went to Cooper, who was selected with the fourth overall pick by the Las Vegas (formerly Oakland) Raiders. Pace chose White three picks later at No. 7 overall.

After four injury-riddled seasons that failed to produce a single regular-season touchdown, the Bears moved on from White in 2019. He later signed with the Cardinals, who released him last August. White is currently out of football. At this point, it's safe to say he is one of the biggest draft busts in franchise history.

NBC Sports Chicago's JJ Stankevitz had an in-depth conversation with White about that bust label. It's a must-read for Bears fans.

It's natural for fans to look back at who their favorite team could've drafted anytime a first-round pick fails to deliver. In the case of the Bears and the 2015 draft, there were several quality players who were picked within 10 selections of White that could've produced at a high level for Chicago had Pace went in another direction.

We decided to run a poll on Twitter asking which of the following players -- who were drafted in the 10 picks after White -- Bears fans would've preferred: Todd Gurley, Anrdus Peat, Marcus Peters or Arik Armstead. The results were pretty surprising:

After nearly 1,400 votes, fans would've preferred Gurley at No. 7 overall.

It's an interesting outcome considering Gurley was available in free agency this year after the Rams released him following two injury-plagued seasons. There was little if any call among Bears fans to sign him. Sure, Gurley enjoyed a pretty remarkable start to his career, but like White, it looks like injuries will impact his long-term sustainability. 

Peters finished second in this poll, but it's surprising he wasn't the first choice. Peters is a two-time All-Pro at one of the most critically important positions in the sport. He's had five or more interceptions in four of his five seasons in the league and would've paired with Kyle Fuller to create one of the most dominant cornerback tandems in the NFL. Peters would've been Pace's best first-round pick as GM and it wouldn't be close.

And how about Peat coming in last by a pretty wide margin? With all the criticism the Bears' offensive line has received this offseason, having a player like Peat entrenched in the starting lineup would certainly be a plus. Peat, a two-time Pro Bowler, has evolved into one of the better interior players in the league.

Surprisingly, Titans edge rusher Vic Beasley, who was chosen by the Falcons one pick after White, received a few votes in the replies. I'm not sure why.

Beasley had a dominant second season in the league when he registered 15.5 sacks in 2016, but he's been an otherwise ineffective player along the lines of Leonard Floyd in every other year of his career. Beasley had a respectable eight sacks in 2019, but that's pretty much his ceiling at this point. And like Gurley, Beasley was available in free agency this year. The Bears, essentially, passed on him twice. And both times, they were right.

Unfortunately, the Bears were wrong with White. Maybe it's more accurate to say injuries prevented White from proving whether Pace was right with his assessment of his upside.