Bears

Kyle Long provides peek into Bears' voluntary workouts

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Kyle Long provides peek into Bears' voluntary workouts

It appears the main reason Bears guard Kyle Long was asked to phone in to yesterday's "Rich Eisen Show" was to talk about former Oregon Ducks, from Marcus Mariota's leadership and charisma to the culture Chip Kelly instills in his teams. The methods to Kelly's madness is an ongoing national topic now that he's blown up and pieced the Philadelphia Eagles back together despite back-to-back 10-6 seasons. 

But we here in Chicago are more concerned about what's going on at Halas Hall, now that this week marked the start of voluntary, off-field workouts under the new coaching regime. Through most accounts by hearsay, attendance is strong despite the absence of running back Matt Forte, who appears to be making whatever statement he can about working out elsewhere as he enters the final year of a four-year contract. The training facilities are open to veterans under contract for supervised weight training, and rehabbing injured players get to work with the training and medical staffs. Perhaps most importantly of all, the new coaching staff gets a fixed amount of daily classroom time with the players about the schemes they're implementing.

[MORE BEARS: Kyle Long's tweets perfectly capture Roberto Garza's lasting impact on Bears]

It's certainly safe to call Long a long-term cornerstone to this offense, no matter how and where he'll be implemented. And while being careful to respect the previous regime that brought him to Chicago, the two-time Pro Bowl guard further fueled optimism when sharing the culture change in the building.

"The guys we're playing for now are just older versions of us," Long told Eisen. "They understand what we're going through ... They do a great job of balancing work and your life outside of football, and they're also football guys. They're crazy about it and John Fox is hitting biceps curls next to me, talking smack, telling me to put weight on the bar. I think we got the right guys in the building.

"They're a bunch of 'men's men' upstairs. They love football and everything that comes about with football. That's apparent here."

[SHOP: Gear up Bears fans]

To be fair, Marc Trestman promoted that balance between work and life outside of football, but the execution of that concept was never fully realized, and the on-field execution crumbled with each passing week. 

"We need to score more points than the other team, and defensively we need to allow less points than we're scoring," Long said. "If we can't play defense, if we can't play offense or special teams, good things aren't going to happen. I feel we have the right people in the building to achieve that. It's been very evident the past two days it's a different culture here."

The Bears have the top-ranked defense in Madden 20, plus other takeaways from today's ratings reveal

The Bears have the top-ranked defense in Madden 20, plus other takeaways from today's ratings reveal

A boatload of Madden ratings dropped on Monday, and with it, more content than you could shake a stick at. 

The Bears, predictably, got a fair bit of love on the defensive side of the ball and were largely ignored on offense. 

No Fangio, No Problem

For a wide variety of reasons, it's trendy to point out that the Bears' defense is headed for some regression this season. Madden disagrees, though, rating the Bears defense (88) as the best in football. They did also give the Houston Texans' defense an 88 as well, but never let the details get in the way of a good story. Here's what they said: 

For Chicago, the unit is fronted by 99 Club member, LOLB Khalil Mack. FS Eddie Jackson (91 OVR) is a Superstar X-Factor like his teammate, Mack. That’s a scary combination for any opposing quarterback. Toss in CB Kyle Fuller (89 OVR) and you can see why this Bears unit should roar out of the gate in Madden 20. 

Year 2 Mitch Doesn't Get Any Love 

Trubisky was rated as the 24th best QB, which is already being debated passionately, regardless of how debatable it actually is. What's lowkey worse is that Chase Daniel, the 9-year NFL vet, got the same rating as Dax Raymond, the undrafted free agent. 

May We Remind You That Khalil Mack Is A Terrific Football Player 

Earlier in the month, Mack was revealed as one of the 4 players who received the infamous 99 rating. That means he's also the top-ranked LOLB, two points ahead of Denver's Von Miller and 16 points ahead of any NFC North LOLB. Enjoy those draft picks, Oakland! 

Akiem Hicks Gets Snubbed And Frankly We've Just About Had It 

Hicks was ranked as the 19th-best defensive lineman, which is just objectively untrue. In some alternate universe, there may be 18 better defensive linemen than Akiem Hicks, but that is just simply inaccurate in this one. He was heated about his rating, and we cannot blame him. 

The Lowest Ranked Bears Player Was ... 

Patrick Scales. Sorry Patrick Scales.

Akiem Hicks not happy with Madden 20 ratings: ‘Tell them to come see me’

Akiem Hicks not happy with Madden 20 ratings: ‘Tell them to come see me’

EA Sports released the full Madden 20 player ratings for every team in the NFL, and not everyone was happy with the numbers they received.

The Bears shared a video of backup quarterback Chase Daniel revealing ratings to his teammates, and defensive lineman Akiem Hicks seemed the most upset of the group.

“Bring some of the scouts out here doing the madden ratings,” Hicks said. “Tell them to come see me.”

Hicks received an overall rating of 87, tied for fourth-highest on the team and 10th-highest among defensive ends.

He has the same rating as Green Bay Packers DE Mike Daniels and Detroit Lions DE Trey Flowers.

In the video, running back Tarik Cohen was disappointed with his 92 speed, which is tied for third-fastest on the team behind wide receivers Taylor Gabriel and Emanuel Hall.

Cohen does lead the Bears with 97 agility and 92 elusiveness, but he thought his throwing power stat should be higher than 51 after his two career passing touchdowns.