When Greg Blache was defensive coordinator under Dick Jauron, he had a low-level incentive program that allowed his players to earn rifle bullets for big hits and exceptional plays, not pegged to injuries.
Blache subsequently served as defensive-line coach when Gregg Williams was the Washington Redskins defensive coordinator and allegedly ran a more sinister bounty system that paid for hits resulting in injuries to players.
That system has come to light, with yet-unannounced punishments for Williams and possibly others within the New Orleans Saints organization. In the wake of that, disclosures by former Washington players pointed to something of the sort under Williams and, by extension, Blache.
But Blache told Jason Reid at the Washington Post that then-head coach Joe Gibbs had no knowledge of the scheme being operated by Williams.
If he had known, he would have put a stop to it, Blache said.
Jauron in fact did end the Blache bullet system with the Bears, which was first revealed by former players.
The Bears 2020 offseason feels like it's been underway for a while, but the reality is it's just getting started. The fun gets underway in March when unrestricted free agency kicks off, followed by the 2020 NFL Draft – when GM Ryan Pace will try to flip Chicago's two second-round picks into potential starters for a team that isn't that far away from contending for a Super Bowl.
Here are the key dates to bookmark in your calendar for the Bears' offseason:
- Feb. 24-March 1 – NFL Scouting Combine
- Feb. 25 – Ryan Pace/Matt Nagy meet with media at NFL Combine
- Feb. 24 – March 1 – NFL Scouting Combine
- March 18 – Free agency and new league year begins
- April 7 – Ed Block Courage Award presentation
- April 20 – Bears may begin offseason workout programs
- April 21 – Brian Piccolo Awards presented to rookie and veteran
- April 21 – Ryan Pace will speak with the media ahead of NFL Draft
- April 23-25 – 2020 NFL Draft in Las Vegas
- May 8-10 – Bears rookie minicamp at Halas Hall
- May 16 – Bears Care Gala at Soldier Field
- May 27 – May 29 – OTA practices
- June 2-4 – OTA practices
- June 8 – 11 – OTA practices
- June 16-18 – Mandatory full-squad minicamp
The NFL offseason is gearing up this winter, with trade and salary rumors running rampant among analysts and fans. Bears GM Ryan Pace has his work cut out for him, with a decently sized to-do list before the 2020 season, including finding competition under center for QB Mitch Trubisky. From Tom Brady to Philip Rivers, there are plenty of quarterback options, but one player may be too expensive for the Bears.
ESPN's Jeremy Fowler reports Saints’ QB Teddy Bridgewater is expected to rake in big money in free agency. With a projected salary to the tune of $30 million per year, Bridgewater could land a lucrative deal.
It makes some sense Bridgewater could come with such a hefty price tag. He earned above-average rankings in adjusted yards per attempt (15th), QB Rating (11th), TD Rate (13th) and completion rate (6th) among 38 QBs to start at least five games in 2019. If Drew Brees decides to keep playing, the Saints will have to choose between Bridgewater and Taysom Hill as their backup.
Fox Sports’ Jay Glazer previously reported if Brees were to retire, the Saints viewed Hill as their new franchise quarterback, leaving Bridgewater free to explore other options.
It has yet to be seen how Brees and the Saints will proceed, but it’s certainly a reality check to see how expensive the QB market will be this offseason.
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