Bears Grades: Linebackers struggle to defend Broncos' run D


Bears Grades: Linebackers struggle to defend Broncos' run D

The Denver Broncos came in with a first-time starter at quarterback (Brock Osweiler) and a run game averaging 86 yards per game. They left with a win on the strength of 170 rushing yards (4.7 yards per carry vs. 3.8 prior, 27th in the NFL). The Bears knew the Denver plan was to run and the Bears were able to do less than nothing about it.

"They came down with a plan to run the ball down our throat and they ran the ball down our throat,” said linebacker Pernell McPhee. “We have to do a better job of preparing ourselves to stop the run.”


Linebackers were slow closing in run support early and overmatched in pass coverage, leaving too many receivers open underneath when linebackers’ primary job was to drop into coverage underneath. The Broncos exploited Bears pursuit and reactions in the fourth quarter on a drive that produced a decisive touchdown, and linebackers too often appeared to hit wrong gaps, giving the defense two players in one gap and none in another.

“I don't think we laid down,” McPhee said. “I think they did a lot of good schemed-up things that a lot of young guys on our defense hasn't seen and they took advantage of it."

Shea McClellin blitzed to force a throwaway by Osweiler that was arguable intentional grounding in the end zone. Christian Jones closed on a fourth-and-goal run by Ronnie Hillman to keep the Broncos from going up by two scores in the third quarter.

[SHOP: Gear up Bears fans!]

But Jones, who led the Bears with 8 tackles, was out of his gap and slow to react to a 15-yard run by C.J. Anderson in the fourth quarter, and none of the linebackers reacted to a tight-end screen to Vernon Davis that netted 18 yards, also on the fourth quarter.

“We knew they were going to come in running the ball,” McClellin said, “and they just got the better of us.”

Moon's Grade: D

Is Matt Forte pushing for a coaching job with the Bears?

Is Matt Forte pushing for a coaching job with the Bears?

Is former Bears star Matt Forte going to be the team’s new running backs coach?

For now, that’s Charles London’s job, who was hired to head coach Matt Nagy’s staff earlier this year.

But on Tuesday night, Forte tweeted that he would like a coaching spot with Chicago sometime in the near future.

Serving as evidence, the now-retired running back responded to a tweet from ESPN’s Adam Schefter, which announced the Broncos’ hiring of former linebacker Demarcus Ware as a “pass-rush consultant on a part-time basis.” Forte tweeted at the Bears, saying that he is “available” to take on a similar role to Ware’s new Denver gig.

Forte’s tweet was relatively cryptic, and he never specified exactly what type of job he would want with the Bears. After finishing up a storied career this past season and solidifying his name as a Bears legend, Forte has proven that he could easily coach young running backs or even wide receivers at some point.

But isn’t this all just a joke?

Forte silenced the doubters by tweeting “I wasn’t joking” as a response to an article saying that his desire for a new occupation with the Bears was simply a gag. The former workhorse was also intrigued by a fan’s tweet asking “Coach Forte??”

The mere thought of having Forte back in Chicago with the Bears’ coaching staff sent fans on Twitter into a frenzy. In April, Forte came back to Halas Hall to ink his name on a one-day contract, successfully allowing him to retire as a Bear. Now, Forte wants a lengthier stay in the Windy City.

Ware’s role with Denver is not extensive by any means and, according to Schefter, he will work a pretty scattered schedule with Broncos players. What Forte’s role would look like with the Bears is completely unknown if his plan to coach becomes a reality.

Forte has the running back credentials to take on a coaching position. In eight seasons with the Bears, Forte racked up a combined 8,602 rushing yards, second to only the great Walter Payton. Forte’s 4,116 receiving yards as a running back, 12,718 yards from scrimmage, 24 games with 100 rushing yards and 25 games with at least 150 yards from scrimmage also ranks second behind Payton.

Maybe this will be a new development in Chicago’s offseason plans, but there is no real talk of bringing one of the team’s all-time leading rushers back to the team as of right now.

Last month, NBC Sports Chicago announced Forte will be joining the network as a Bears game day studio analyst for the upcoming 2018 NFL season. And we're not joking about that.

Prince Amukamara and CDW surprise teens at MSI event


Prince Amukamara and CDW surprise teens at MSI event

This past Saturday, Prince Amukamara provided a great surprise when he showed up during a graduation ceremony to honor high school seniors who had been a part of the Museum of Science and Industry's (MSI) "Welcome to Science" initiative.

Students listened to brief speeches from CDW Vice President of Networking, Digital Workspace and Security Solutions, Bob Rossi, a number of Bears employees and Amukamara. 

Students engaged in open discussions on how they can further their dreams with science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).  And through a donation from CDW’s Tech Fore! Kids program, students got perhaps the biggest surpise of all, as they were provided new laptops. CDW continues to help enable the MSI the opportunity to work with youth and further their interaction with STEM.

CDW Tech Fore! has done previous work with Chicago Bulls College Prep, and other schools and Boys and Girls clubs over time. The MSI's program looks to provide a diverse array of teens the chance to dive deeper into what it takes to have a career in science. On top of this, students are able to collect service leearning hours while simultaneously furthering their leadership and public speaking skills.