Bears

Bennett's 'drop rate' tops in the NFL

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Bennett's 'drop rate' tops in the NFL

Jay Cutler and Earl Bennett have had on-the-field chemistry dating back to their days in Vanderbilt, and again when Cutler was traded to the Bears before the 2009 season.
That chemistry has made for one of the most efficient quarterback-wide receiver duos in the league, according to Pro Football Focus.
PFF continued its off-season coverage by looking at the best and worst wide receiver "drop rates" in the league over the last three seasons (best meaning the lowest percentage). And sitting atop the list, just above Arizona's Larry Fitzgerald, was Bennett, who has dropped just four passes the last three seasons.
Counting the 127 catchable balls Bennett has seen since 2009, his "drop rate" stands at a remarkable 3.15 percent. Fitzgerald's rate was second with a 3.27 percent drop rate, although he has seen 275 catchable balls in that same span.
And while Bennett has the smallest sample size of any of the top 15 receivers on the list, it's an impressive number nonetheless.
On the other end, Brandon Marshall has had some of the shakiest hands in the league.
The newly acquired Bear ranks fifth in targets with 419, and third in catchable passes with 303. But Marshall, who spent the last three seasons in Miami with quarterbacks Chad Henne and Matt Moore, has the most drops of any player (35) over the last three seasons.
Marshall's 35 drops in 303 attempts gives him a drop rate of 11.55, the 10th worst mark of qualified receivers the last three years.
Also on that list were Roy E. Williams, who had the worst drop rate of any receiver (14.62). Williams spent two of those seasons in Dallas, and had 37 receptions in his one season in Chicago last year.
Devin Hester also appeared on the list at No. 15, with 14 drops out of 136 catchable balls (10.29).
Cutler has never finished better than 13th in completion percentage in his five years in the league, but perhaps this shows there is more to the story...whenever he isn't throwing to Bennett.

Anthony Miller sports Bears uniform at NFLPA Rookie Premiere

Anthony Miller sports Bears uniform at NFLPA Rookie Premiere

Anthony Miller has quickly become a fan favorite on social media. He has the confidence and swagger found in most top wide receivers and it comes through on his Twitter and Instagram accounts.

Miller was one of 40 players in attendance at the 2018 NFLPA Rookie Premiere where he not only learned about the business and marketing side of football, but also suited up in his Bears gameday uniform for the first time. Of course, he shared the moment on Twitter:

Panini America, a sports collectible company, snapped a picture of Miller with fellow rookie receiver Calvin Ridley (Falcons) and quarterback Mason Rudolph (Steelers):

Miller has become something of a standout for the Bears despite not playing a single snap. He's expected to have a big role in an offense that has several new pieces and roles that are up for grabs.

Miller will compete with former first-round pick Kevin White and free-agent addition Taylor Gabriel for reps opposite Allen Robinson. Miller has the necessary skill set to play as both an outside receiver and in the slot which should give him an even greater opportunity to be on the field quite a bit.

The Bears first three draft picks are all vying for starting jobs in 2018. Roquan Smith (first round) is a lock to start next to Danny Trevathan and James Daniels (second round) will start at guard. Miller should make it three-for-three in a draft class that could end up the best of Ryan Pace's tenure.

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.