Bears

Bears, Mike Glennon extensively scouted, picked each other apart

Bears, Mike Glennon extensively scouted, picked each other apart

Before the Bears locked onto Mike Glennon as their No. 1 target in free agency, with a commitment of $18.5 million of guaranteed money contained in a three-year contract topping out at $45 million, the Bears got into the minutiae of the now-former Tampa Bay Buccaneer quarterback.
 
And while they were scrutinizing Glennon from behind the glass, turns out he was doing the same to them from the other side.
 
Glennon on Friday revealed that he was "scouting" his prospective options in free agency, providing a first clue to the nature of his attention to detail in film study and preparation.
 
"I spent a lot of time over these last few months watching various teams in situations that may possibly need a quarterback," Glennon said. "When I watched the Bears' film, I saw a great offensive line, I saw a great running game and I saw playmakers on the outside. I saw a system that I felt fit my skill set. When I saw that, I thought if that was a place I would open up at the quarterback position, that was a place where I wanted to go."

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Once he signed, he gave another informal glimpse as to his idea of what represents preparation:
 
"The first question he asked is right away, 'Hey, so when I get in, obviously I want to get the playbook, can I get all the tape downloaded on an IPad?’" said GM Ryan Pace. "He [also] asked, 'Can I have pictures of everybody in the building I'm going to interact with, with their names, everybody in the building? Can I have the cell phones of every single player on offense and certain guys on defense so right away?’"
 
Glennon, like fellow signees safety Quinton Demps, tight end Dion Sims and receiver Markus Wheaton, sought opinions on the organization from current and even former players. If the narrative around the NFL is that no one wants to play for the down-spiralling Bears, apparently the memo didn’t get all the way around the league.
 
Wheaton got an immediate enthusiastic call from former Oregon State teammate Rashaad Reynolds, a cornerback signed late last season to the Bears practice squad and to a reserve/futures contract in early January. Glennon heard from receiver Eddie Royal, a college teammate of his brother, as well as cornerback Johnthan Banks, signed last December by the Bears and the Bucs’ second-round pick in 2013, one round before they drafted Glennon.
 
For their part, the Bears turned Glennon’s relative lack of playing time (18 starts, 630 total passes — roughly the average annual attempts by Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford for the past six years) into a slight positive: They were able to evaluate Glennon on every snap taken over his entire career.
 
"I think you look back to how he performed in college, you know he was highly successful player in college and then you just evaluate every single snap that he's taken the entire time in the NFL," Pace said. "On a player like this you're evaluating all his college tape, every single game he's played in the NFL including the preseason and then you're going off of that."
 
And the guy under the microscope has been looking right back at them the whole time.

Ryan Pace ranked among bottom-third of NFL general managers

Ryan Pace ranked among bottom-third of NFL general managers

Chicago Bears GM Ryan Pace is having what many believe is his best offseason since taking the job in 2015, but after three seasons and only 14 wins, he needs a big year in 2018 to justify the confidence ownership has in him. 

According to a recent breakdown of all 32 general managers, Pace ranks among the worst decision-makers in the league.

No. 23: Ryan Pace, Chicago Bears

There’s only so much you can accomplish in one spring. The problem is that Pace let himself accumulate so many needs to begin with. He needs Trubisky and Nagy to springboard a fourth-year turnaround. 

The rankings didn't include six new GM hires, which makes Pace's positioning even more troubling.

Even though the Bears haven't seen wins on the field, Pace has done a solid job through three draft classes and appears to have the right coaching staff in place. His first hire, John Fox, was a calculated move by a rookie general manager to have an experienced football guy to lean on. Now, several offseasons later, the team is starting to take on his identity.

Despite all the talent Pace has added through the draft and the slow but steady transformation of the team's overall culture, it's a win-now business and if his blueprint doesn't start producing more wins than losses, it will be hard to justify more time and patience for his plan to develop.

Is Danny Trevathan's Bears' future in doubt after NFL Draft? 'It depends on how you look at it'

Is Danny Trevathan's Bears' future in doubt after NFL Draft? 'It depends on how you look at it'

The NFL Draft is a necessary evil if you’re a veteran player, especially if your team just drafted two players at the position you play and your contract doesn’t provide much job security beyond the upcoming season. 

That’s the spot Danny Trevathan is in now. The Bears nabbed Roquan Smith with the eighth overall pick in April's NFL Draft, then used their fourth-round selection on Joel Iyiegbuniwe. Both players are inside linebackers; the Bears could net $6.4 million in cap savings if they release Trevathan following the 2018 season. 

Trevathan, though, isn’t approaching 2018 like the writing is on the wall for it to be his final year in Chicago. 

“It depends on how you look at it,” Trevathan said. “For me, it is what it is, (Smith’s) a good player and he’s going to help us out on defense. You just want to go ahead and do your job and keep working. He’s a good player, just like we’ve all got some good players out here. But he’s … we got the right guy to fit our defense. He’s working his tail off and he fits in with our linebacker group.”

That Trevathan answered a question about the decision to draft Smith, specifically, in that manner isn’t surprising. The 28-year-old is one of the most respected leaders in the Bears locker room, the kind of guy who sets the tone for the rest of the defense (in other words: Exactly what you want out of a veteran inside linebacker). Trevathan offered plenty of praise for Smith not only as a player, but for how he’s approached his first few practices wearing a Bears helmet. 

“He's quick, instinctive, learns well,” Trevathan said. “He's just out here trying to get better. That's what I like about him. He's calling the call sheets out. He's learning the plays. That's what you want in him. You want him to come out here and be humble. You want him to work hard. I see that in his eyes, coming out here. It's a lot of lights on him. It's a lot of attention on him. But he's finding himself out here, coming out here and trying to make some plays.”

The reality, though, is that Smith may not be the one to take Trevathan’s job, if it comes to that. The best-case outlook for Iyiegbuniwe would appear to be that the Bears found a fourth-round steal who can pair with Smith as Vic Fangio’s long-term inside linebacking tandem. If “Iggy” proves to be that guy, then Trevathan could indeed find his place in Chicago in jeopardy. 

And, too, even if Iyiegbuniwe doesn’t quickly develop into a starting-caliber player, the Bears could still decide to cut ties with Trevathan if Smith proves to be elite. 

The best way for Trevathan to make sure he’s still here in a year, though, is to play a full 16-game season — something he hasn’t done since 2013, and he's missed 11 games since signing a four-year deal in 2016. 

But when Trevathan is on the field, his speed and physicality are a critical component to the Bears’ success. That won't change in 2018, at the least. 

"(He has) that veteran experience," coach Matt Nagy said. "We went against Danny when I was in Kansas City and he was at Denver so we always knew what kind of player he was. He has the demeanor to him, a focus, he's very serious when he's out there on the field and he'll have a great mentorship, he'll be a great mentor for Roquan."