Bears

Ray McDonald blame belongs one place, and it’s not with Fangio

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Ray McDonald blame belongs one place, and it’s not with Fangio

The Bears organization was hosed down with criticism after the signing of Ray McDonald in March given the defensive tackle’s background that include domestic violence incidents. The ridicule went super-nova in May when McDonald was involved in another episode, whereupon the Bears released him.

At the time of the signing, Chairman George McCaskey detailed the vetting process. The decision was made to give McDonald another chance, which he squandered.

The decision also was made with considerable weight given to the positive recommendation of Vic Fangio, now the Bears’ defensive coordinator but previously McDonald’s coordinator with the San Francisco 49ers. Fangio effective vouched for McDonald.

On Friday, Fangio confirmed that he’d made the recommendation, didn’t second-guess himself for the simple reason that it seemed like the right thing to do at the time.

“Obviously I was disappointed, for everybody involved: Ray, us, the people on the other side out there in California,” Fangio said. “I don't regret trying to vouch for him, at the time I believed it was the right thing to do.”

[MORE: Rookie Kevin White getting started a little early]

Fangio showed a trace of irritation at the scalding that McCaskey, GM Ryan Pace and coach John Fox took for the second chance: “The only thing that I regret is that because it didn't work out, and the club put their faith in my recommendation, and George and Ryan and John took some hits from you [media] guys and you really should've been hitting me and not them. So that's the only part I regret. Is that the guys above me took the hits for it.”

Since the media was not permitted to speak with Fangio for the last three months – since prior to McDonald’s release – Fangio’s admonishment of the media was mis-directed.

More to a bigger point, Fangio shouldn’t have been hammered any more than the Bears for making a wrong second-chance call. And the very simple fact is that the Bears promptly cut ties with McDonald after the latest incident. Action, reaction.

Second-guessing the organization, Fangio or anyone else is missing that bigger point. Fangio or McCaskey or Pace or Fox didn’t foul up.

That honor belongs to Ray McDonald. Period.

[MORE: Shea McClellin succeeding at a familiar position]

If there was any question how high or where the bar is being set by the John Fox coaching staff, there shouldn’t be after an amusing but very telling comment by Vic Fangio on Friday.

The defensive coordinator had encouraging things to say about young linemen Ego Ferguson and Eddie Goldman, both spending more and more time with the No. 1 defense. But those who knew Fangio from his San Francisco 49ers tenure were very clear that Fangio is nothing if not blunt and forthright, and he proceeded to be just that with his defensive line.

Fangio stated that right now the Bears have only one really good defensive lineman – Jeremiah Ratliff. The problem as Fangio sees it is that the Bears are playing a 3-4, not a 1-5-5 or whatever, so “we need three of them.” Meaning: To Fangio, where Ratliff lines up – the eye test says it will be one of the five-techniques – doesn’t particularly matter big-picture if there aren’t three of him or comparables. As strong as Ferguson and Goldman have been, they’re not “really good,” and that’s what “really good” defenses require.

No false-positives from Fangio. Which makes the very upbeat comments on the play of Shea McClellin carry a strong ring of honest appraisal. And since Fangio, as well as John Fox, have the results to give their critiques ample cred.

Trey Burton, Adrian Amos earn Bears’ top grades from Pro Football Focus for Week 7

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USA TODAY

Trey Burton, Adrian Amos earn Bears’ top grades from Pro Football Focus for Week 7

The Bears were not at their best against the New England Patriots on Sunday. They made plenty of mistakes on all three phases and gave Tom Brady too many opportunities to control the game.

It wasn’t all bad from Chicago, though. Trey Burton emerged as a new favorite weapon of Mitchell Trubisky, and the tight end was the Bears’ highest-graded player in the game by Pro Football Focus.

Burton had a career high 11 targets, nine catches and 126 yards with a touchdown, giving Trubisky a 144.7 passer rating when targeting his top tight end.

Seven of Burton’s targets and six of his catches traveled 10 or more yards in the air, according to PFF.

Defensively, safety Adrian Amos led the pack with a 74.6 overall grade. He did not miss a tackle after missing a career-high five last week, and he allowed only one catch for eight yards against the Patriots.

On the bottom of the scale, outside linebacker Leonard Floyd received the second-lowest grade of his career (38.9 overall) for his performance. He did not record any pressure on the quarterback in 13 pass rushing snaps, and he allowed two catches for 13 yards and a touchdown in coverage against running back James White.

Wide receiver Allen Robinson had a career-low grade as well at 44.9 overall. He was clearly limited by his groin injury, targeted five times with one catch for four yards and a dropped pass.

Overall, the Bears were able to stick with one of the top teams in the AFC while also leaving a lot of room for improvement. It’s a step in the right direction from where Chicago was in recent seasons.

NFL Power Rankings Week 8: Jags, Eagles, Bears all see stock fall

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USA Today

NFL Power Rankings Week 8: Jags, Eagles, Bears all see stock fall

Take a look over the NFC landscape and try to find me a team that can compete with the Rams. 

Packers? Held back by Rodgers' knee and Rodgers' coach. Saints? Might not even win their own division. Washington? Does Alex Smith really scare anyone in the playoffs? 

The Rams have one of the easier paths to the Championship Round/Super Bowl that we've seen in some time. Will it likely stay that way? Probably not. But there's a difference between parity and mediocrity and right now the NFC is toeing the line HARD. 

Outside the NFC's "elite", how did your team do this week? 

You can take a look here and see where they landed.