Bears

McCown already "in charge"

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McCown already "in charge"

Josh McCown has only been running the Chicago offense officially for about a week now, with his first couple of weeks with the Bears spent watching Caleb Hanie take the reps with the No. 1 offense.

But he was running the offense well before the announced decision this week on him succeeding Hanie.

Kahlil Bell, running with that No. 1 unit and expected since Wednesday to start with Marion Barber not practicing with a calf injury, was impressed even before McCown was installed at the starter for Green Bay.

He was only here for a week or two, but he was coming up and coaching me up on some things that I had done a pass route or something like that, Bell said. He was coaching me up two weeks after not even being in this offense for a while. Im sure he remembers most of it with his days with coach Martz back in the day.

Hes going to be on his stuff this week, study, know his assignments, his reads and stuff.

Knox is teammates Christmas gift
One of the worst annoyances now for wide receiver Johnny Knox is watching some TV in his hospital room, perhaps a little NFL programming, and all of a sudden, up will pop a replay of the hit that sent him into back surgery.

But he is expected to be out of the hospital and home for Christmas, and what teammates are seeing is the one of the bright spots of their own holiday times.

Hes started to get back to himself, cracking jokes, laughing and stuff, said Devin Hester. When you see that from someone like Johnny, the situation hes in, it makes you happy.

Chris Conte manages a smile despite the cast on his lower right leg and the crutches he needs for getting around, the result of a ligament injury suffered in the Seattle game.

Ill be back, make a full recovery and be back for next year, Conte said. Im not too worried about it.

There was some worry at the moment the injury happened. Contes foot got caught awkwardly in the ground and a lineman fell on it. Im lucky I didnt break my leg, Conte said. It looks really bad on film.

Akiem Hicks reveals what makes him so good against the run

Akiem Hicks reveals what makes him so good against the run

Akiem Hicks finally earned the recognition he deserved in 2018 with his first trip to the Pro Bowl, and playing on the NFL’s No. 1 defense provided the national attention he should have received in his first two years with the Bears.

He’s a solid interior pass rusher, but where he dominates is in run defense, leading the NFL in run stops last season according to Pro Football Focus.

When Hicks beats an offensive lineman at the line of scrimmage to make a big tackle in the backfield, it’s a work of art, and he revealed the secret to those flashy plays on NFL Game Pass.

He broke down the film of a play against the Green Bay Packers where he beats center Corey Linsley because he knew right guard Jordan McCray was going to pull to the left.

“I read it before the snap happens. I know that McCray is going to pull just based off his stance,” Hicks said. “I know his stance for every play that he’s going to do. I’m going to be at least 75 percent right.”

Hicks looks at how much weight an offensive lineman is putting on his hand, how far apart his legs are and how much bend is in his hips.

“If you do your due-diligence as a defensive lineman and prepare like a professional during the week, you’re going to know,” Hicks said.

Any little deviation from a normal stance is an indicator to Hicks of what the play is going to be, and that pre-snap knowledge keeps him a step ahead of the blocker in front of him.

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Vegas sets Mitchell Trubisky’s pass TD total at 26.5

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USA TODAY

Vegas sets Mitchell Trubisky’s pass TD total at 26.5

If Mitchell Trubisky has the kind of break out year in his second season under Matt Nagy that Bears fans are hoping for, he should have no problem cashing an OVER 26.5 passing TDs ticket for bettors who want to back him.

Per Bet Chicago, Caesars is rolling out division props and they set Trubisky’s touchdown pass total for 2019 at 26.5 and his pass yard total at 3,744.5.

While both those marks would be career highs for Trubisky, this number will surely be seen as a slight by the hometown fans and continue to add to the polarizing nature of the quarterback formerly known as the Pretty Boy Assassin.

In Chicago, and if you’re team Mitch, this number is ridiculously low and you’re probably already pounding the over.

Outside of Chicago, and with some analytical support, there’s a lot of doubt about Trubisky’s future as a viable option as an NFL starter, so I’d guess the Pro Football Focus crowd is probably gonna take the under.

We rolled out some props of our own on the Under Center podcast last week including:

Will Mitch Trubisky pass for 10 or more touchdowns than Craig Kimbrel has saves? (Including playoffs for both)

26.5 regular season passing touchdowns probably gives Kimbrel the edge, but it’s right in range. 

And that Trubisky – Kimbrel prop prompted this bold response from our own Bears insider JJ Stankevitz:

I don’t think I’m in the 40 club with my guy JJ, but the OVER certainly feels like the move here. At least it better be if the Bears are gonna make any sort of NFC North title defense.