Bears

Bears bulk up 3-4 middle, draft Florida State DT Goldman

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Bears bulk up 3-4 middle, draft Florida State DT Goldman

When Florida State defensive tackle Eddie Goldman was a high school standout in Washington, D.C., he had ample occasions to see the Dallas Cowboys play his hometown Redskins. One Cowboys player in particular became the player he sees as his model.

Fittingly perhaps, after the Bears selected him with the No. 7 pick, 39th overall, of the 2015 draft’s second round on Friday, he is now on the same NFL roster as that player — nose tackle Jeremiah Ratliff.

“I know you haven’t seen him lately, but I still remember the days he was with the Cowboys,” Goldman said at this year’s NFL Scouting Combine.

[MORE: For Kevin White, move to Bears, Chicago just another transition]

“[Ratliff] hardnosed. He’s so physical. I believe one time he was mic’d up in a game and one thing he kept saying is ‘they aren’t going to win the physical part of the game.’ That’s a thing I try to pride myself on, is being physical. He came up in big moments, too.

“That’s one thing I noticed about him. He’d get sacks in tight fourth-quarter games, that stood out to me.”

Goldman now projects to compete directly with Ratliff and a handful of applicants for work at nose tackle in the Bears’ emerging 3-4. At 6-4, 334 pounds, Goldman immediately becomes the biggest Bears defensive lineman and a prototypical nose tackle, something the Bears currently do not have. Ratliff is 34, missed five games last season with different injuries and has not played all 16 games in any of the last three seasons.

Coach John Fox laid out the expectations for his nose tackles during this week’s minicamp:

“Obviously hold the point,” Fox said. “You’re good on defense when you’re good up the middle. I think we’ve got some good candidates there… Basically a block-eater inside that’s tough and doesn’t get knocked off the ball.”

The defense rotated multiple players in at the nose-tackle spot during this week’s veteran minicamp but none with the mass and force of Goldman.

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The Bears want more than a block-eater in the middle and Goldman had six sacks over Florida State’s last two seasons.

“I can give you a little finesse now and again,” Goldman said, laughing. “But for the main part, I’m a tough, hard-nosed type of guy.”

He doesn’t take offense at being characterized as a run-stuffer. Just the opposite, in fact.

“It’s accurate and I like it,” Goldman said. “I’m a good pass rusher as well. I can stuff the run and then on third-and-long I can get after the passer.”

 

Bears Season in Review: Adam Shaheen

Bears Season in Review: Adam Shaheen

The Chicago Bears 2019 season was a lesson in disappointment in almost every way possible, from the quarterback to the offensive line and even the vaunted pass rush. But no position underwhelmed more than tight end, and Adam Shaheen was a big reason why.

The former second-round pick of the 2017 NFL draft failed to make any impact whatsoever. And that's not hyperbole. He appeared in just eight games, registering nine catches for 74 yards and zero touchdowns. Believe it or not, his stat line was an improvement over 2018 when he had just five catches for 48 yards in six games.

Shaheen's career narrative has been defined by injury, and it continued last season. He was placed on injured reserve in late-November with an apparent foot injury, marking the second-straight season that his year came to an early end.

It's been a remarkably disappointing career for Shaheen so far, who was viewed as a Rob Gronkowski-lite coming out of Ashland University. His jump from the small-school ranks to the NFL was expected to include a steep learning curve, but after three forgettable seasons, it's safe to say Shaheen's failed in almost every way possible.

The Bears are expected to bring Shaheen back for 2020 and he'll likely be in a training-camp battle for a roster spot. Chicago is going to add more talent to the position via either free agency or the NFL Draft and it wouldn't be a surprise if Shaheen begins the offseason schedule last on the depth chart.

It's been an unfortunate outcome for a draft pick that seemed so promising in 2017. Instead of growing into a fixture in the Bears' lineup, Shaheen will be left to fight for his NFL future this summer.

Kirk Cousins on John DeFilippo: 'He’s going to add a lot to Bears' staff'

Kirk Cousins on John DeFilippo: 'He’s going to add a lot to Bears' staff'

Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins spoke with Chicago Sun-Times reporter Patrick Finley at the 2020 Pro Bowl and offered a glowing review of Bears quarterback coach, John DeFilippo, whose addition to Chicago's coaching staff is expected to bring the best out of Mitch Trubisky, the Bears' incumbent starter who's entering a make-or-break offseason with the team.

“He’ll be outstanding,” Cousins said. “He’s a great coach. He’s been around this league for a long time. I think it says a lot when someone like Matt Nagy, who knows quarterbacks so well, hires him. I think that says a lot about ‘Flip.’

“When you look at what he did with Carson Wentz as a young player, I think there’s a lot to like there. And he’s going to add a lot to that staff. It’s going to be to my detriment, because we’re in his division. But he’s a great coach.”

DeFilippo was the Eagles quarterback coach for two seasons (2016-17) and played an integral part in Wentz's development between his rookie and second seasons. Under DeFilippo's tutelage, Wentz went from a solid rookie season to an MVP-worthy campaign in 2017. It's also noteworthy that DeFilippo managed to get the best out of veteran Nick Foles, who replaced Wentz after a season-ending injury. Foles went on to enjoy a miraculous Super Bowl run.

DeFilippo certainly has his work cut out for him with Trubisky. The former second-overall pick has looked like an average starter (at best) through 41 regular-season starts and regressed mightily in 2019. Blame for his regression has been shared among the offensive line and play-calling, but he deserves much of the criticism too. His mechanics were sloppy, his accuracy was lacking and he just didn't play with the kind of downfield killer instinct Nagy wants from his starter.

Nagy's end-of-year comments about Trubisky needing to learn how to identify coverages didn't create much confidence in his near-term trajectory, either.

But that's why DeFilippo is in town. And if Cousins' comments prove to be true, then we may be on the precipice of a breakout season from Trubisky.

Or maybe DeFilippo will be the tie-breaking voice that allows the Bears to move on if Trubisky's struggles continue.