What you need to know from Bears-Vikings: Bears proved John Fox and Dowell Loggains correct


What you need to know from Bears-Vikings: Bears proved John Fox and Dowell Loggains correct

While Mike Glennon was slogging through his four ineffective starts, the message from John Fox — as to why he wasn’t going to make a quarterback change — was that the entire team needed to play better. After the Bears made the switch to Mitchell Trubisky, offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains said the rookie quarterback wasn’t a “magic wand” who could fix all the other problems plaguing the offense.

On Monday, both the Bears coach and offensive coordinator were proven right with sloppy play from the supporting cast around Trubisky, as well as the quarterback himself. Trubisky made a catastrophic decision late in the fourth quarter when he threw across his body toward Zach Miller, who was blanketed by All-Pro safety Harrison Smith. Smith picked the pass off at the Bears’ 22-yard line, setting up Kai Forbath’s game-winning field goal.

Trubisky was solid in the first quarter, then slogged through the second and third periods without much success. But a tipped pass into the hands of Zach Miller — and the mesmerizing two-point conversion that followed — re-invigorated the Bears, and the crowd at Soldier Field.

The Bears’ offense, especially early and late in the game, looked more dynamic with Trubisky under center. Trubisky routinely did things that weren’t asked of Glennon, like rolling out and throwing on a bootleg or running play action on a fake zone read. Trubisky clicked through his progressions and for the most part made good decisions — at least until that fourth quarter interception — though not necessarily good throws.

But consider this: On the Bears’ six possessions in the first half, they committed a penalty on four and fumbled on another (when Charles Leno was beat by Everson Griffen, leading to a sack-strip that set up Minnesota’s go-ahead field goal). Dion Sims dropped two passes and Trubisky’s accuracy escaped him for stretches, too.

Trubisky started the game with seven completions on nine attempts in the first quarter; he went 5/16 after the first 15 minutes.

It took Pat O’Donnell — yes, the punter — throwing a 38-yard touchdown to Benny Cunningham on a fake for the Bears to get in the end zone for the first time. That was a strong point in favor of coaching, but the Bears had to burn too many timeouts, including one early in the fourth quarter that meant the offense didn’t have even a slim chance to win the game after Forbath’s field goal.

Worth noting on defense: The Bears lost inside linebacker John Timu during the game, meaning they were down four players at that position (Timu, Jerrell Freeman, Nick Kwiatkoski and Danny Trevathan), and it showed on Jerrick McKinnon’s 58-yard touchdown. Timu, notably, was given defensive play-calling duties for this game.

The over-arching point for the Bears, though: They now have a regular-season data point on which to begin evaluating Trubisky. Where he is when the season ends Dec. 31 — against the Vikings — will be the most important storyline to follow in 2017. The interception he threw was a bad mistake, but it’s now a teaching point for Loggains and Dave Ragone.

Predicting the value of Roquan Smith's rookie contract with Bears

Predicting the value of Roquan Smith's rookie contract with Bears

Chicago Bears first-round pick Roquan Smith remains unsigned, a situation that prior to the rookie wage scale would've been cause for concern. With contracts now based on slotting, or where a first-round pick is selected, there's little reason or room for agents to haggle over terms. A holdout isn't expected.

There have been some exceptions to this general principle, however. Joey Bosa, who was selected with the third pick by the Chargers in 2016, held out until August 29 over offset language and his signing bonus. So, while a holdout for Smith is unlikely, it's not impossible.

Assuming he agrees to a contract on time, here's what the terms of his deal should look like, according to CBS Sports:

2018 Cap Number: $3,349,485
Signing Bonus: $11,517,940
Four-year value: $18,477,168

If the numbers are correct, Smith will have the 17th-highest cap hit for the Bears in 2018, according to Spotrac. By comparison, Danny Trevathan has a $7.15 million cap hit this season.

Drafting well is critical for long-term success. If a general manager misses on first-round picks, the cap consequences mount over time. Consider Kevin White, the seventh-overall pick in 2015. He has zero touchdowns in his pro career but has a $5.27 million cap hit this year. Leonard Floyd, the team's first-rounder in 2016, has a $4.30 million cap hit and Mitch Trubisky, last year's second pick overall, is $6.59 million. Pace's four first-round picks, when counting Smith's expected deal, are four of the top-17 paid players on the payroll even though none of them have the production to back it up.

Smith, however, is as close to a bust-free prospect as the Bears have drafted in Pace's tenure. He was considered one of the best pure football players in the entire 2018 draft class and will start immediately alongside Trevathan as a rookie, assuming he's under contract in time to contribute in Week 1.

Which Bears have the highest player rating in Madden 19?

Which Bears have the highest player rating in Madden 19?

The time has come to start counting down to the release of Madden 19. The most popular football video game franchise of all-time is set to release in early August and as is a tradition with the weeks leading up to the game appearing on store shelves, leaks about features and player ratings have started.

Here are the highest rated Bears players in this year's edition:

Adrian Amos leads the way with an 88 rating, followed by Akiem Hicks (85) and Allen Robinson (85). 

Chicago's offense received a 75 overall rating, which should result in a significant challenge for Bears fans trying to score virtual points later this summer. The defense, however, will be stout, coming in with an overall rating of 81. Amos and Hicks have a lot to do with that.

Ratings are subject to change due to injury. Madden 19 is scheduled for release on August 10.