Bears rookies letting things come to them in first game action


Bears rookies letting things come to them in first game action

Everybody always talks about how much faster the NFL is compared to college football.

But for rookies, that point is never truly driven home until they actually get out on the field and experience it themselves.

Such was the case for the Bears rookies in the preseason opener, a 27-10 win over the Miami Dolphins at Soldier Field Thursday.

"It's fast," defensive lineman and second-round pick Eddie Goldman said, repeating the phrase one more time for emphasis. "But it's preseason and I know it's gonna speed up even more."

[RELATED - Fox Era begins for Bears with preseason win over Dolphins]

Goldman rotated in with the first-team defense at nose tackle and was credited with only one tackle, but got into the backfield several times, disrupting the Dolphins' flow.

The Florida State product said he spent a lot of time studying up on plays and what he should do in situations before just letting instinct and his reactions take over once the ball was snapped.

"When you're playing, you can't really think, you gotta react," Goldman said. "But at the same time, you gotta be conscious of the technique. You're not supposed to think; you're supposed to react.

"But pre-play when you're in your stance and the QB's set up, you gotta play the play in your mind and think about what you're gonna do. And then when the ball is snapped, that's when the thinking stops."

Goldman acknowledges that he has plenty of work to do - especially after the experiece of his first preseason game - but he thinks he can be a playmaker in the Bears defense.

But that doesn't mean he expects to be a starter from Day 1 of the regular season.

"I've learned to play my part and play my role and things will come," he said. "There are a lot of veterans here and I realize that I need to take advantage of that and soak up all the knowledge that they have, learning everything I can from the guys around me and playing my role.

"It will all eventually come."

On the offensive side, first-round pick Kevin White didn't play - as expected - but third-round center Hroniss Grasu helped spark the running game with the second and third unit as the Bears finished with 166 yards on the ground.

[NBC SHOP: Gear up for the season, Bears fans]

Rookie running back Jeremy Langford - the Bears' fourth-round draft pick out of Michigan State - got some playing time in the second quarter, but struggled with only one yard in four rushing attempts. He did have 16 receiving yards on two catches.

"It felt good [to play]," Langford said. "Really, just learning the speed of the game and how everything goes. I felt good really getting my feet wet."

Langford admitted the speed and tempo is up a notch from practice and scrimmage, but he understood what to expect after talking to his teammates before the game.

The Bears' running back depth chart is pretty secure at the top with veterans Matt Forte and Jacquizz Rodgers locking down the first two spots.

Langford is competing against several options - including second-year back Ka'Deem Carey - but the Michigan State product's ability on special teams is a tipping point.

Langford said he relishes the chance to tackle guys while playing special teams, something he did for all four years in college.

"I feel like every day is working for a job," he said. "I'm gonna do my best on special teams. That's where it's gonna start. I'm all for special efforts and I'm giving my best effort out there.

"After that, it's really learning the plays and bringing that blue-collar aspect at running back."

The amount of money you'll need to get into Bears-Patriots will make your head hurt

The amount of money you'll need to get into Bears-Patriots will make your head hurt

It costs a lot of money to see the GOAT, apparently. 

According to TickPick, a secondary-market ticket site, the get-in price for Sunday's Bears-Patriots matchup is currently sitting at a nice, plump $356. 

That price is, according to this article in the Chicago Sun-Times, more expensive than a ticket to No. 3 Clemson vs. No. 16 North Carolina State ($161) and No. 5 LSU vs. No. 22 Mississippi State (39$??) combined. It's also over 100 percent (116, to be precise) higher than the Bears' following game against the New York Jets. 

This is on top of what is, according to CNBC, already the most expensive gameday experience in the NFL. Soldier's average beer costs $9.50, coming in as the 2nd-most expensive cup of Bud Light Foam, behind only San Fransisco. 

Honestly though, it's not even that cold yet. Who needs heat/electricity when you can have nosebleed seats and *one* beer instead! 

Putting Bill Belichick’s complimentary comments about the Bears in context


Putting Bill Belichick’s complimentary comments about the Bears in context

Bill Belichick had plenty of good things to say about Matt Nagy and the 2018 Bears during a conference call with reporters on Wednesday. Some of the highlights:


On the Bears’ season as a whole:


“The Bears have lost two games, one on a game when they were in control of the game and another one they lost in overtime. This really looks like a 5-0 team to me, if you change one or two plays. You can say that about a lot of teams, but that’s the league we’re in.”


On Mitch Trubisky:


“I think he’s done a good job of getting ball to the players that are open or in space and letting them be playmakers. He has a lot of them. That’s the quarterback’s job is to deliver the ball to the playmakers and let them go. I think he’s done a good job of that. He’s a tough kid, which I respect. That’s what we would ask our quarterbacks to do, to make plays to help our team win, to get the ball to the players that are open and in space. It’s not about stats. It’s about doing what you need to do to win.”


On Tarik Cohen’s usage:


“He plays about a little bit less than 50 percent of the time and he’s in a lot of different places, he’s hard to find. He’s a dynamic player that can run, catch, really threaten every yard of the field from sideline to sideline, up the middle, deep. You can throw it to him, you can hand it to him and he’s elusive with the ball and he’s elusive to be able to get open so the quarterback can get him the ball. Those are great skills to have. Any one of those is good and he’s got several of them.


“He’s very hard to tackle. But they do a great job mixing him, not just putting him in the game but who he’s in the game with, what the combinations are and then where they locate him and so forth. There are a lot of multiples. It’s hard. Coach Nagy does a good job with that and he’s a special player that you gotta know where he is at all times.”


On Trubisky’s 54-yard bomb to Taylor Gabriel on Sunday:


“That’s about as good a throw and catch as I’ve seen all year. The execution on that was like 99 out of 100. It was a great, great throw, great route, great catch. There was like a few inches to get the ball in there 50 yards downfield and that’s where it was.”


On Akiem Hicks’ impact, who played for the Patriots in 2015:


“He’s hard to block. It doesn’t make any difference what the play is, you can run to him and he’s hard to block. You can run away from him, and he makes tackles for loss on the back side. He’s quick and can get around those blocks when there’s more space back there because everybody is going to the front side. He can power rush. He can rush the edges with his quickness. He’s a very, very disruptive player. He’s hard to block on everything.


“I appreciate all of the plays he makes. He makes plays on all three downs, against all types of plays, whether it’s reading screen passes or power rushing the pocket to help the ends, to help (Leonard) Floyd and Mack and (Aaron) Lynch rush on the edge. He’s a powerful, disruptive guy. (Eddie) Goldman has done a good job of that. (Bilal) Nichols has done a good job of that too. They have some really powerful guys inside that are hard to block, and they change the line of scrimmage in the running game and the passing game. It really creates a problem, frees up the linebackers in the running game and helps the ends because the quarterback can’t step up in the pocket in the passing game.”


On Matt Nagy:


“Obviously he's done a great job, as has Ryan with building the team. They have a lot of good players. They have a really experienced staff and they do a great job in all three areas of the game. They're good in the kicking game, they're good on defense they're good on offense. They have highly-skilled players in all three areas.


“It's a well-balanced football team that does a lot of things well. Run the ball. Stop the run. Throw the ball. Rush the passer. Intercept passes. Return kicks. Cover kicks. Cover punts. They're at the top of the league in all those categories. Turnovers. Points off turnovers. It doesn't really matter what area you want to talk about, they're pretty good at all of them. That's why they're a good football team.


“Coach Nagy and his staff certainly deserve a lot of credit. It's not a one-man band. They're all doing a good job. It's a good football team. I'm sure there will be a lot of energy in the stadium this week. It will be a great test for us to go into Chicago and be competitive against them.”


While listening to Belichick rave about the Bears, this missive from former Patriots general manager Michael Lombardi stands out:


“Whenever Belichick tells the media on Mondays or Tuesdays that he has already moved on to the next game, trust me, he’s not lying. I worked with Bill for five years in Cleveland, and then during the 2014 and 2015 seasons in New England. Belichick treats every game like a Super Bowl; no detail is too small, no possible scenario or situation goes overlooked. I have heard Belichick break down a bumbling Jaguars team as if it was the reigning two-time Super Bowl winner and treat Blake Bortles like he’s the second coming of Aaron Rodgers. Belichick does it with tape to back up his claims, only showing his team the opponent’s greatest strengths. (With Bortles, I swear, he must have used George Lucas to doctor the video.) No Patriots opponent is underestimated or taken lightly — EVER.”


One of the myriad things that make Belichick the best coach in the NFL — and maybe the best coach in NFL history — is how he never takes an opponent lightly, and then how he’s so successful at scheming against what an opponent does best.


The Bears are undoubtedly better in 2018 than they were in the John Fox era, or when these two teams last met in 2014 (when New England waxed a moribund Marc Trestman side, 51-23). And a lot of Belichick’s points are valid – that throw Trubisky made to Gabriel was outstanding, for example.


But Belichick talks this way about every team he faces. And that, again, is part of what makes him the best at what he does.