Bears

Bears Free Agency Notes: Mike Glennon signing puts Dowell Loggains in the spotlight

Bears Free Agency Notes: Mike Glennon signing puts Dowell Loggains in the spotlight

The most important member of the John Fox coaching staff just became offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains, with quarterbacks coach Dave Ragone a strong second. Period.
 
The move to bring in Mike Glennon from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers is the centerpiece of Bears free agency, regardless of what else plays out. A very strong case could have been made for staying with Brian Hoyer after his brief but highly productive stint last season, but general manager Ryan Pace very clearly viewed Glennon as a potential upgrade with upside, one worth the extra $10 million a year that Hoyer would've cost. Glennon had pedestrian results in his limited play with the Buccaneers but was solid at ball security and flashed in a couple of instances, enough to convince Pace, from the pro-personnel side of scouting, that there was potentially more here than just a bridge quarterback.
 
The other shoe at the position will come in the draft, with Pace expected to give his organization a second shot at something special. Which round isn't necessarily important; as with Glennon, the development is.
 
Loggains/Ragone made something out of Matt Barkley and had Hoyer playing some of the best football in his career. Both quarterbacks happen to now be members of the San Francisco 49ers.
 
Glennon. A draft choice. And Connor Shaw. All in development. Dowell Loggains, you're on.

Bears add another DB

After signing a safety but staying out of the spiraling bidding for cornerback help on Day 1 of free agency, the Bears moved on Friday to address their critical need at cornerback with the signing of Prince Amukamara, the 2011 first-round pick of the New York Giants who played last year for the Jacksonville Jaguars.
 
The Bears explored the market for corners as free agency opened but stepped away from situations that saw Stephon Gilmore leave the Buffalo Bills for the New England Patriots and $65 million over five years, and A.J. Bouye go from the Houston Texans to the Jaguars for $67.5 million over five years.
 
Instead, the Bears got agreement on a one-year deal with Amukamara, the 19th player taken in the same draft that saw the Bears take Gabe Carimi at No. 29. Amukamara was hampered by injuries during his five Giants seasons, missing 25 games. He missed the first two last year with a hamstring strain before playing the final 14, starting 12. Amukamara has 7 career interceptions and has the size (6-foot-1, 201 pounds) and ability to play physical man-to-man preferred by Bears defensive coaches.

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Safety first

The Bears had a very clear mission statement and standard for judging their third offseason under Pace.

"I think if we look back," Pace said last week during the NFL Scouting Combine, "and we say we've addressed some of our critical needs."
 
Pace took a step toward one of those critical needs with the Quintin Demps signing, although Demps, whose football odyssey since being a Philadelphia Eagles draft choice in 2008 included a year (2010) with the Hartford Colonials of the United Football League, is far from the end of what the Bears are seeking to do in the secondary this offseason.
 
The Bears made plays for a number of other defensive backs, both cornerbacks and safeties, but were not able to bring in some of their No. 1 targets.

Remember those guys?

With the exit of wide receiver Alshon Jeffery and the release of quarterback Jay Cutler, the Bears are without any of the skill-position players that were part of their franchise-record (6,109 yards) offense of 2013. And the Bears aren’t the only ones letting members of that group go.
 
Brandon Marshall was traded away to the New York Jets, who cut him last week and who opted to stay in New York (Giants) to advance his media career. Martellus Bennett was dealt to the Patriots and tweeted goodbye to the Pats this week after they sent him a message in the form of a trade for Indianapolis Colts tight end Dwayne Allen.
 
Matt Forte wasn't re-signed after 2015, joined Marshall with the Jets but finished a career-low rushing season (813 yards) on IR with a knee injury. He is still in the Jets’ plans (a guaranteed $4 million for 2017 will do that) for now.

Chris Simms says Bears are a dangerous team entering Week 15

Chris Simms says Bears are a dangerous team entering Week 15

The Chicago Bears have completely flipped the narrative of their 2019 season over the last three weeks, thanks in large part to Matt Nagy's offense finally resembling the 202-level that was promised last summer.

It may have taken quarterback Mitch Trubisky a little longer than expected to arrive this year, but if his last two games are an indication of his development in his second season under Nagy's tutelage, the Bears have a bonafide quarterback. And it's been a while since that could be said.

"Mitchell Trubisky is hot, there's no doubt about it," NBC Sports NFL analyst Chris Simms said Thursday. "He seems so much more comfortable. Decisive. He's accurate with the football. Running around at the proper time. I don't think it was all Mitchell Trubisky's fault with the struggles of the offense, either."

Those struggles spanned the first half of 2019 when Chicago seemed incapable of sustaining drives or scoring points. It began with Week 1's three-point output against the Packers and continued through Thanksgiving Day when Trubisky finally got his mojo back, throwing for 338 yards and three touchdowns.

With Trubisky clicking, and the running game receiving a jolt from rookie David Montgomery's productive back-to-back weeks in which he's averaged more than four yards per carry in successive games for the first time all year, the Bears appear capable of beating just about anyone. 

They'll need to. If Chicago wants to keep their weak playoff pulse going, they have to win-out. And that includes games against the Packers, Chiefs and Vikings. 

The odds seem stacked against them, and it's their own fault. It took way too long to get the offense going, but it's better late than never. 

According to Simms, the Bears are that team no one wants to play.

"They're a dangerous team right now. They really are."

Bears QB Big Board, 6.0: It's Mitch Trubisky's job to lose

Bears QB Big Board, 6.0: It's Mitch Trubisky's job to lose

Just when it appeared like Bears quarterback Mitch Trubisky was entering his final half-season as the team's unquestioned starting quarterback, the last month happened.

Trubisky's play has steadily improved over the last five games and reached what may have been his watermark moment in Week 14 against the Cowboys. He completed 74% of his passes for 244 yards and three passing touchdowns while adding a season-high 63 rushing yards and a score on the ground. It marked the second week in a row that Trubisky's completed over 74% of his passes; he connected on 76% of his throws a week earlier against the Lions.

Trubisky's recent success is a far cry from the mentally broken player he was after the first month of the season. He has his confidence back. In fact, he's playing with more confidence than he's ever shown as a pro. His recent success is a direct and obvious result of his evolution between the ears.

The Bears were circled as a team that was likely to be in the quarterback market this offseason because of how terrible Trubisky looked early in 2019. And there's still a chance that GM Ryan Pace will look to add some healthy competition to the roster, but if Trubisky continues to play well, that competition will be for the backup job. 

It's also worth noting that one of the more appealing quarterback targets this offseason probably won't make it to the open market. Titans starter Ryan Tannehill continues to enjoy a remarkable comeback season and appears destined to sign a long-term extension with Tennessee sooner than later. After Tannehill, the discount quarterback rack includes names like Andy Dalton and Marcus Mariota, players who a month ago would've been viewed as marked upgrades over Trubisky.

It doesn't feel like that's the case anymore.

Barring a massive regression from Trubisky over the next three games, it's starting to feel like he's winning back Chicago's confidence one game at a time. 

With all that in mind, here's the updated Bears QB Big Board entering Week 15:

Bears QB Big Board (Dec. 12, 2019)

1. Mitch Trubisky (Bears)
previous: 2 (Dec. 3)

2. Andy Dalton (Bengals)
previous: 1 (Dec. 3)

3. Ryan Tannehill (Titans)
previous: 3  (Dec. 3)

4. Jalen Hurts (Oklahoma)
previous: 4 (Dec. 3)

5. Marcus Mariota (Titans)
previous: 5 (Dec. 3)

6. Teddy Bridgewater (Saints)
previous: 6 (Dec. 3)

Outside looking in (list cut down to three)...

-Jake Fromm (Georgia)
previous: outside looking in (Dec. 3)

-Jameis Winston (Buccaneers)
previous: outside looking in (Dec. 3)

- Cam Newton (Panthers)
previous: outside looking in (Dec. 3)

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