Bears

Is Bill Polian the answer for Bears?

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Is Bill Polian the answer for Bears?

It seems strange to say, but Jerry Angelo is not the Bears GM.

After years of banging the pots and pans in the streets clamoring for the team to fire Angelo, now Bears fans have to shift their energy to who they actually want to replace him at his old desk.

Of course the decision will ultimately be made by the McCaskeys and not the fans, but that doesnt mean campaigning for a new GM should be frowned upon.

Since the Colts fired Bill Polian and his son Chris on Monday, lets see if they would be a good fit in Chicago.

The elder Polian helped build championship caliber teams in Buffalo, Carolina and Indianapolis over the past few decades. After spending 14 years with the Colts, owner Jim Irsay said the team needed to move on.

Would the 69-year-old Polian want to continue his career in another NFL front office? Would his son be along for the ride? CSNChicago.com's John Mullin says immediate speculation has centered on Polian.

Two very important questions that would need to be answered before the Bears can even make an offer.

The Daily Herald made a great comparison with how the Blackhawks brought in Scotty and Stan Bowman to run the show.

Sustained success is hard to duplicate, but Polian has a history of repeatedly doing well at the NFL Draft. He has built solid organizations from top to bottom, which is exactly what the Bears need.

Polian would have to be able work around the fact that Lovie Smith is staying put as head coach, similar to how Angelo operated his first year with Dick Jauron entrenched in 2001.

If the McCaskeys are looking for an individual who helped build winners in a variety of different ways, Polian may be the perfect pick.

From 1986-1993 Polian was the draft wizard who assembled a Bills team that reached the Super Bowl in four consecutive seasons. In 1994 he moved on to become the key cog for the expansion Carolina Panthers, an organization that arguably had the greatest meteoric rise in NFL history by reaching the NFC Championship game in only its second year of existence.

After four years in Carolina, Polian was tasked with turning the 3-13 Colts into a winner. Enter Peyton Manning. Polians first draft pick in 1998 was surrounded by talent year after year and the team would shortly turn into a perennial powerhouse. Reggie Wayne, Edgerrin James, Dwight Freeney, Bob Sanders and Robert Mathis are just a few of the many draft gems Polian polished off during his 14 years in Indianapolis.

The Bears have more talent in place than any one of Polians previous three stops. In Chicago the Bears have used free agency and trades to form most of its nucleus. Brian Urlacher, Lance Briggs and Charles Tillman are among the very few draft success stories that still remain intact.

Elite stars Julius Peppers and Jay Cutler have been brought to Chicago to win now. The big problem is that they were supposed to be a quick fix to cover up the fact that a solid foundation wasnt built by the front office.

Now the Bears must bring in an experienced contractor to help support the cracked foundation that lies beneath millions of dollars of investments on the top floors of the Chicago Bears estate. If Polian is the guy for the job he will start by doing what hes always done best, drafting instant impact players in April.

Pro Football Focus: Khalil Mack is NFL’s most valuable edge rusher

Pro Football Focus: Khalil Mack is NFL’s most valuable edge rusher

It didn’t take the Bears long to see how valuable Khalil Mack is to their defense, elevating the group from the moment he first stepped on the field.

He’s been among the league’s best outside linebackers since he first broke out in 2015, and the analytics back up the eye test.

He was the highest edge defender on Pro Football Focus’ list of the top 50 players in the NFL, and their “wins above replacement” metric shows why.

It’s Mack and Von Miller, then everyone else.

“Foremost, Mack is a slightly more complete player than Miller when it comes to defending the run,” PFF’s Ben Linsey wrote. “Yes, run defense is significantly less important than an edge rusher’s ability to disrupt the quarterback, but with so little difference between the players, everything gets put under the magnifying glass.”

Over the past four seasons, both players have exactly 49 sacks, although Mack missed two games over that span. The Bears outside linebacker has the edge in interceptions, forced fumbles and tackles for loss, most coming with a lower quality defense around him than what Miller has had in Denver.

It’s no surprise Ryan Pace was willing to trade multiple first-round picks to make Mack the highest-paid defensive player in NFL history. He’s the best in the league.

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Projected lineups for Eddie Jackson’s charity softball game

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USA Today

Projected lineups for Eddie Jackson’s charity softball game

Eddie Jackson is hosting a charity softball game this Saturday, June 15th at Schamburg Boomers stadium at 5:05pm. It’ll be offense vs defense so let’s take an early look at what these lineups might look like for both teams.

Defense

1. Eddie Jackson

Has home run hitting ability in the leadoff spot and a flair for the dramatic. This rising star puts the pressure on the opposing pitcher from the very first pitch. Plus it’s his game, so of course he’s batting first.

2. Kyle Fuller

Tied for the NFL interception lead in 2018, Fuller’s combination of speed, instincts and film study  at the top of the lineup helps set the table for the big bats.

3. Akiem Hicks

As Ed O’Bradovich said at the 100 year celebration this past weekend, Khalil Mack “is a man-eater, but (Akiem Hicks) is the man who makes it happen.” It’s long been said you put your most important hitter in the 3-hole.

4. Khalil Mack

The quintessential cleanup hitter. Who else would you want in this spot?

5. Danny Trevathan

Provides world champion protection behind Mack in the likely event that the opponent tries to pitch around #52.

6. Roquan Smith

Just when an opponent think they’ve gotten thru the heart of the lineup, the 2018 rookie who came up just shy of Brian Urlacher’s franchise tackling mark is there to “break a man,” as he said right after his Bears intro press conference.

7. Ha-Ha Clinton Dix

Sliding this new addition into the 7-hole takes some of the pressure off of him to make an immediate impact, while also trapping pitchers into thinking they might get a break against a guy who has shown big play ability in the past.

8. Bilal Nichols

One of the most underrated players in the entire league is perfectly fine lurking at the bottom of the order. A second cleanup hitter, he’s happy consistently performing and making his teammates better. Everyone in this lineup knows how valuable he is.

9. Leonard Floyd

Still in a bit of a prove it spot, but if he consistently plays the way he’s shown shown flashes of, he could not only be dangerous in this spot, but he could climb up the lineup pretty quickly.

10. Prince Amukamara

Veteran who knows he’s there to do a job and turn the lineup over. His speed and ball skills make him a threat.

11. Buster Skrine

Another newcomer, let’s see what he’s got at the bottom of the order.

Offense

1. Taylor Gabriel   *Anthony Miller

We can all agree there’s no reason for Miller, a guy who dislocated his shoulder multiple times to be swinging a bat amiright?? Miller has the Willie Mayes Hayes swag you want from the leadoff man when healthy tho.

As for ‘Turbo’ Taylor Gabriel, of course you’re putting a guy who’s been clocked at 23 mph at the top of the lineup.

2. Tarik Cohen

Perfect spot for the swiss army knife of the offense. Could lay down a bunt and beat it out, move the runner, or even hit one to the gap and clear the bases.

3. Mitch Trubisky

The obvious spot for the leader of the offense and Akiem Hicks’ pick (outside himself) to win the home run derby part of this event. Let’s just hope he breaks out the punky QB headband and sunglasses look again this weekend.

4. Kyle Long

The most veteran member of the offensive line is there to protect the QB. Whether or not he’s even in the lineup, if anyone goes high and tight on # 10, better believe they’ll answer to #75.

5. Cody Whitehair

Some more muscle in the middle of the order. Has made it clear he’s good with moving around the lineup if the coaches think it’s best for the team.

6. Allen Robinson

Based on what we saw in the playoff game, he could be on his way to putting up big numbers anywhere in the batting order. Definitely a guy you want up late with the game on the line.

7. Charles Leno

Flies under the radar at one of the most important positions in football. If a pitcher thinks he’s in the clear after getting past Robinson, Leno will be there to throw a big block into that thinking.

8. Trey Burton / Adam Shaheen

When healthy, they provide some pop towards the bottom of the lineup. Let’s have Anthony Miller ready as the designated runner if these guys can get on base.

9. Bobby Massie

The ultimate team guy as he showed by signing a team friendly deal to stay in Chicago much earlier in the offseason than he had to.

10. James Daniels

As the new man in the middle on the offensive line, the burden falls on him to turn the lineup over and set the table for the speedy top of the order.

11. Mike Davis

Good spot to start for this new addition. Could easily see him towards the top of the lineup if he produces the way Matt Nagy & company thinks he can.

The defense has been ahead of the offense for pretty much the entire Pace/Nagy regime. But if Matt Nagy is involved, there’s sure to be no shortage of hidden ball tricks, squeezes and other trick plays with awesome names, so I might have to give a slight edge to the offense in this game.