Bears

Mike Glennon by the numbers: Statistically looking at the Bears' next QB

Mike Glennon by the numbers: Statistically looking at the Bears' next QB

With Mike Glennon officially signed to a three-year contract, here are nine key numbers about the Bears' newest quarterback:
 
79 (Glennon's height in inches): At 6-foot-7, Glennon isn't the tallest quarterback in NFL history, but he's close (former Seattle Seahawks backup Dan McGwire and for-now Cleveland Browns quarterback Brock Osweiler hold that record at 6-foot-8). Glennon is joined by two other active quarterbacks standing at 6-foot-7 or taller in Osweiler and Denver's Paxton Lynch. Lynch remains an unknown after just one year as a backup with the Broncos. Osweiler signed a four-year, $72 million deal last offseason and stunningly was dealt to the Browns on Thursday.
 
84.6 (Glennon's passer rating): He's a tick better than Baltimore's Joe Flacco (84.5), and ahead of the likes of Brad Johnson (82.5) and Boomer Esiason (81.1) in his career. In NFL history, Glennon's 84.6 passer rating ranks 42nd, sandwiched between Brian Hoyer (84.8) and Flacco, Sam Bradford and Kyle Orton (84.5).
 
2.4 (Glennon's interception percentage): If what the Bears wanted in their next quarterback is someone who can protect the ball, Glennon fits in that thinking. Among quarterbacks with at least 600 pass attempts in the last decade, Glennon's interception rate is tied for 18th lowest, while Jay Cutler's 3.25 percent interception rate is the 18th highest. 
 
630 (Glennon's pass attempts): While Glennon has been somewhat effective -- at least by passer rating and interception rate -- he doesn't have an especially large sample size of throws. Hoyer has thrown nearly double the passes Glennon has while Flacco's 4,742 passes are seven and a half times more than Glennon's career total. And it's worth noting that only Glennon has only thrown 11 passes since the end of the 2014 season.
 
59.4 (Glennon's completion percentage): Glennon is tied for 57th among the 81 quarterbacks with at least 600 passing attempts since 2006 in completion percentage. But Glennon didn't have much help in Tampa: ostensible No. 1 target Vincent Jackson tied for fourth in the league with nine drops in 2013, and Murphy dropped six of his 56 targets in 2014, for example.
 
56 (Number of times Glennon was sacked): Despite his career starting in 2013 and only playing in 21 games, Glennon is one of 49 players to be sacked more than 50 times in the last five years. On average, Glennon was sacked 2.67 times per game, and in his rookie year, he was dropped a little more than three times per game. This fits with Glennon not having much help around him -- Football Outsiders ranked Tampa Bay's offensive line 21st and 29th in pass protection in 2013 and 2014.
 
13 (Number of games the Bucs lost in which Glennon started): The other side of this is the Bucs only winning five of Glennon's 18 starts. Both Ryan Pace and John Fox talked up, in reference to the NFL Draft, wanting a quarterback who made everyone around him better. Maybe the talent wasn't there in Tampa Bay, but even going back to his career at N.C. State -- generally a mediocre ACC program -- his teams went 8-5 and 7-6. A year before Glennon took over as the Wolfpack's starter, N.C. State won nine games (its second-best win total in program history) with Russell Wilson as its quarterback. 
 
3 (Number of fourth quarter comebacks with which Glennon which has been credited): That's not many (it's the same number credited to J.P. Losman and JaMarcus Russell, for example), though Glennon's performance also doesn't markedly differ in the fourth quarter than in the first three. His completion percentage is about a percent lower, and 25 of the 56 times he was sacked came in the fourth quarter. But he only threw three fourth quarter interceptions with Tampa Bay, compared to 12 in the first, second and third quarters.
 
23 (The number of quarterbacks who made a higher average annual salary in 2016, according to OverTheCap.com): The reported $45 million owed to Glennon over three years may seem like a steep price for a guy who hasn't started a game since 2014, but in the context of the rest of the league, it makes sense. Glennon will make less in 2017 than Osweiler, Colin Kaepernick, Andy Dalton and Tyrod Taylor did in 2016. And the $18.5 million guaranteed to Glennon is about half of what Osweiler received from the Texans, who traded a second round pick and a sixth round pick to the Browns along with Osweiler to get out from under his contract (and only received fourth round pick in return). And Glennon’s guaranteed money, like his average annual salary, is on the lower end among quarterbacks, too. 

Even without practicing, Allen Robinson is making a strong first impression with the Bears

Even without practicing, Allen Robinson is making a strong first impression with the Bears

Before Bears wide receivers coach Mike Furrey met with the media on Wednesday, Allen Robinson was curious what his position coach would say about him in public. 

“I just told him, I don’t know you,” Furrey quipped. “Who’s Allen Robinson?”

Furrey, of course, knows who Robinson is. But the point behind that joke is that Furrey, the Bears’ court wide receivers coach in four years, is still getting to know all of his receivers — let alone the one who hasn’t participated in a practice yet. For all the positivity that's easy to find around Halas Hall these days, the Bears' biggest offseason acquisition hasn't taken a rep yet. 

The good news for the Bears, of course, is that Robinson’s past play speaks for itself. He combined for 153 catches, 2,883 yards and 20 touchdowns in 2015 and 2016, and has been adamant he’ll return to that high level of play when he’s cleared to practice. The Bears were confident enough in Robinson’s medicals to guarantee him a little over $25 million in March, per Spotrac, about a month before they let Cameron Meredith sign with the New Orleans Saints largely over medical concerns (Meredith’s torn ACL was viewed as more serious than Robinson’s, in short). 

So the getting-to-know-you phase for Furrey and Robinson is largely taking place off the field in the meeting rooms of Halas Hall. 

“What a great young man,” Furrey said. “He’s come in here, obviously, rehabbing and doing all those things. But he’s alert, he comes to meetings, he’s ready to go. Really, really smart, you can tell that from the beginning and he’s a professional.”

What Furrey, in particular, likes about Robinson is that he’s an “alpha,” but is far more than all talk and no action. 

“And a lot of times that alpha talks a lot and they don’t really put it out there,” Furrey said. “He kind of has that alpha quietness to him. He understands what’s going on, you can look at him and you just kind of get that feel of he has a great understanding of how to approach this game at this level. Obviously he’s been highly successful for a couple years with some big numbers, but he doesn’t act like that. He’s still hungry, he wants to learn, and I think he’s got a chip on his shoulder, which is a good trait to have too. So we’re excited about that.”

The expectation all along has been for Robinson to be cleared to fully participate in training camp practices. So while coach Matt Nagy said last week Robinson is “ahead of the game,” that may not mean he takes part in the final round of OTAs next week or veteran minicamp the first week of June. 

But while Robinson can’t prove himself to his new coaches on the field yet, he’s doing the right things off the field to make a positive first impression. 

“He knows you gotta come in early, he knows you gotta be the last one to leave, he knows you gotta study,” Furrey said. “It doesn’t matter five years in, six years in, you gotta take notes. It doesn’t matter if you hear it 10 times, you just gotta keep taking notes. He’s been really good at that, and I’ve been really impressed with that. I’ve been able to get on the field with him a little bit, just kind of throwing some balls to him, and I didn’t know he was that big. But obviously we’re excited for it to happen out there.” 

Protection Issues: Bears O-line ranked 21st in NFL

Protection Issues: Bears O-line ranked 21st in NFL

Mitch Trubisky has been set up for a huge season in 2018 with all the firepower the Chicago Bears added on offense. Allen Robinson, Taylor Gabriel, Anthony Miller and Trey Burton will give the second-year quarterback a variety of explosive targets to generate points in bunches.

None of the headline-grabbing moves will matter, however, if the offensive line doesn't do its job. 

According to Numberfire.com, the Bears' starting five could be the offense's Achilles heel. They were ranked 21st in the NFL and described as poor in pass protection.

Last year, the Bears ranked 26th in Sack NEP per drop back and 23rd in sack rate. These issues were especially apparent after Trubisky took over. In the games that [Kyle] Long played, their sack rate was 8.2%. It was actually 7.2% in the games that he missed. They struggled even when Long was healthy.

The Bears added Iowa's James Daniels in the second round of April's draft and he's expected to start at guard alongside Long. Cody Whitehair will resume his role as the starting center, with Charles Leno, Jr. and Bobby Massie at offensive tackle.

If Long comes back healthy and Daniels lives up to his draft cost, they should be a good run-blocking team from the jump. But Long has played just 18 games the past two years and is entering his age-30 season, so that's far from a lock. On top of that, the pass blocking was suspect last year and remains a mystery entering 2018.

The biggest addition to the offensive line is Harry Hiestand, the accomplished position coach who returns to Chicago after once serving in the same role under Lovie Smith from 2005-2009. He most recently coached at Notre Dame and helped develop multiple first-round picks. He's going to have a huge impact.

The good news for the Bears is they weren't the lowest-ranked offensive line in the NFC North. The Vikings came in at No. 25. The Packers checked-in at No. 13, while the Lions were 16th.