Bears

Philadelphia Daily News trolls Bears kicker Cody Parkey after Eagles loss to Saints

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USA TODAY

Philadelphia Daily News trolls Bears kicker Cody Parkey after Eagles loss to Saints

It’s going to be a long offseason for Cody Parkey.

His missed field goal in the Bears wildcard game against the Philadelphia Eagles went viral, and he’s been in the national spotlight ever since.

Parkey’s appearance on The Today Show may not have helped, because the Philadelphia media is right back to trolling him, a week after his miss.

After the Eagles lost to the New Orleans Saints on Sunday, the Philadelphia Daily News was left longing for the Bears kicker.

The Eagles loss instead came at the hands of former Bears wide receiver Alshon Jeffery, who had Nick Foles’ pass go through his fingers and into the arms of a waiting Saints defender for a critical interception.

The Daily News saw the low-hanging fruit with Parkey still on everyone’s mind, and his name will likely continue to come up throughout the postseason as field goal kickers take the field.

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Do the Bears plan to line up Cordarrelle Patterson at running back more in 2020?

Do the Bears plan to line up Cordarrelle Patterson at running back more in 2020?

The Bears' running game is a mess. They know it, I know it, you know it, David Montgomery probably knows it. Kyle Long definitely knows it. 

So what happened? Why didn't Montgomery click like the Bears thought when they traded up to get him? ("Could we have helped him last year by getting him the ball more? Yes, absolutely," Nagy said from the combine on Tuesday.) And why did Tarik Cohen set career-lows in rushing yards (213), yards per attempt (3.3) and touchdowns (0!)? 

"It’s hard to put one thing on that," Ryan Pace added. "I know [Cohen's] mindset is to come out and have a strong upcoming season. It’s hard because there’s a lot of players that feel like they need to be better. Me as a GM, us as coaches, we all need to be better, and I know Cohen will be motivated." 

So what's one answer? Cordarrelle Patterson, come on down! The Bears brought in Patterson to be a swiss army knife, and in the first season of his two-year contract, only used him to open their letters. The plan for 2020, apparently, is a little more multi-faceted. Can fans expect to see more Cordarrelle Patterson: Bears' Running Back when the team opens camp in late July?

"Yeah, that’s a guy Matt and I have talked about just making sure we’re maximizing his talent," Pace said. "Obviously he’s an explosive, talented player. That can be at running back, receiver, returner. We’re going to make sure we’re getting the most out to that player because he’s too talented not to."

Patterson was used sparingly as a runner in 2019, finishing the year with 17 rushes for 103 yards. There is *some* precedent for a heavier on-ground workload, though, as Patterson ran the ball much more frequently (48 times) and a tad more successfully (228 yards) while with New England in 2018. Pace pointed to that versatility when asked about the team's running back plans for this winter. 

"We’re comfortable there," he said. "We’re always looking to get better in every room but I think they all bring different things to the table, they all have different flavors and styles. That’s a well balanced room.

"We like the group we have right now. I think Tarik when he's rolling it gives us a scatback, we call it a Joker back. And then David with his ability to break tackles and run with power and then as we talked about you know maybe sprinkling in Cordarrelle Patterson some and his explosiveness. So, and Ryan Nall, we like Ryan Nall a lot. We like our running backs, that doesn't mean we can't continue to add to the room but I think right now we have a lot of different flavors there that all feed off each other."

Atlanta Falcons allowing TE Austin Hooper to test free agency

Atlanta Falcons allowing TE Austin Hooper to test free agency

Buckle up, Bears fans. One of the top free agents at Chicago's biggest area of need will, in fact, be available this March.

Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff confirmed on Tuesday from the NFL Combine in Indianapolis that Austin Hooper will be given the chance to test the open market. He's expected to be the most coveted free agent at his position and despite the hefty investment Ryan Pace made in Trey Burton in 2018's free agent period, Hooper qualifies as a must-add.

Hooper was one of the NFL's most productive pass-catching tight ends through the first half of the 2019 regular season before injuries slowed him down. He ended the year with 75 catches for 787 yards and six touchdowns in 13 games (10 starts). He was one of quarterback Matt Ryan's most important targets in the passing game. 

Compare Hooper's production with the Bears' tight end group, which was led by Trey Burton's 14 catches and 84 yards. Not good.

Hooper's projected market value, per Spotrac, will approach $10 million per season. And while that seems like a steep price to pay when there's already a tight end making $8 million per year on the roster, Pace may have no choice but to bite the bullet and give Matt Nagy the chesspiece his offense needs.