Bears

All those questions? Answers coming

972797.png

All those questions? Answers coming

Phil Emery?Youre up.The Bears' general manager probably knows already what changes he wants to make - or not make from the coaching staff to the roster now that hes had almost a full year under his belt to see what exactly he has. His team became just the second since the playoffs expanded to six teams per conference in 1990 to start 7-1 and fail to make the playoffs. Its the fifth time in six years that Lovie Smiths club has failed to make the postseason. Hes seen the respect the head coach holds in the locker room, but also the consistent failings on the offensive side of the ball that werent any different in Smiths ninth year than the previous eight. That after locking up his star running back and acquiring a top-notch receiver.So does he show the door to the coach of a 10-6 team, or does he give him a last chance with the one year remaining on his contract? Does Smith agree to come back as a lame duck, without the extension, knowing his uncertain future will be a daily question, from mini-camp, and throughout the 2013 season? If thats not good enough for Smith, in which direction does Emery go? If Smith stays, does everyone else on his staff especially the offensive side? Or does Emery keep the status quo, extend no one, and work on simply improving the quality of the roster?What does he do about Brian Urlacher? Is it a different approach if Smith stays, and is Urlacher open to a one-year extension? Or is it now time to search for his successor in this franchises rich tradition at middle linebacker?Like Urlacher, Devin Hesters provided many highlights and thrills for Bears fans. Is that era over? Should it be?Can Jay Cutler find the long-awaited "next level" behind the incentive of playing for another contract next season? Or would the lack of personal long-term security turn into a locker room (and on-field) distraction?When the schedule got tough, the Bears couldnt keep going. Injuries played a part, yes. But when they could regain momentum and deliver knockout punches to the likes of Seattle and Minnesota, they turned into the first blows that eventually knocked these Bears from the playoffs once again.Since this team began sliding down their slippery slope on November 11, these and other questions were asked more frequently, and more loudly. Emery didnt have to answer them until the book finally closed on these 2012 Bears.
It has now.
And the answers will start coming. Some may not be very popular, depending on which side of the arguments youre on. The tough decisions now begin, and well begin to learn more about the man who replaced Jerry Angelo, who so many fans were happy to see shown the door a year ago.

NFL will reportedly cut 2020 preseason in half; will drop Weeks 1 and 4

NFL will reportedly cut 2020 preseason in half; will drop Weeks 1 and 4

It's long been rumored, but on Wednesday things became a bit more official: the NFL will reportedly cut the 2020 preseason in half: 

Shortening the preseason has been a topic of conversation around the league for a while now, but a new urgency has been attached to the idea because of the ongoing the COVID-19 pandemic. As states continue struggling with rising infection rates, beginning the season on time looks more and more unlikely. The NFL has already altered their season schedule to accomodate for a delayed start or early-season interruption. 

It's especially bad news for the Bears, who were planning on using all four preseason games to determine whether Nick Foles or Mitch Trubisky would win the starting quarterback job. Without half their preseason games (they'd lose games against Cleveland and Tennessee), things obviously become much trickier. 

Bears rookie pass rusher Trevis Gipson has talent to contribute quickly

Bears rookie pass rusher Trevis Gipson has talent to contribute quickly

In talking to various trusted football minds around the NFL recently, two common thoughts come up when discussing Bears rookie pass rusher Trevis Gipson:


1. He should have been drafted in the fourth round.
2. He was playing out of position at Tulsa.


It’s very possible that the latter impacted the former. The Bears traded up in the fifth round to draft Gipson at No. 155 overall and they’ve been very decisive with their plan for him – he’s going to be a 3-4 outside linebacker in Chicago.

Click to download the MyTeams App for the latest Bears news and analysis.


Many of the “tweener” pass rush prospects in the NFL Draft play in different fronts in college than they do when they transition to the NFL. In Gipson’s case, he played in a three-man front at Tulsa, but was used more as a five-technique on the line of scrimmage. With the Bears, he’ll be in a base 3-4 defense, but playing a different position on the edge.
You don’t have to watch a lot of tape to understand why Bears general manager Ryan Pace and defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano want to use Gipson on the edge. At 6’6 ⅜” and 261 pounds, he has an 81 ¼” wing span that can’t be taught and his lengthy frame doesn’t give him a lot of leverage when he lines up in tight spaces on the line. He’s better off using that length on the edge and, in my opinion, his best college tape came when he was lined up wide.


Realistic rookie expectations: Gipson is a bit of a project because he’s switching positions and he certainly hasn’t been helped by COVID-19 shutting down offseason practices. But the Bears aren’t asking him to start right away. They have Khalil Mack and Robert Quinn to rush the passer. Gipson has the talent to contribute as a rotational player and perhaps he can provide an occasional spark off the bench. His college production doesn’t lie. Gipson had 12 sacks and 24 tackles for loss in his final two seasons at Tulsa.

RELATED: Bears' Cole Kmet might have huge rookie year for this reason

SUBSCRIBE TO THE UNDER CENTER PODCAST FOR FREE.