Bears

Special teams could tip No. 2 RB job to Jeremy Langford

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Special teams could tip No. 2 RB job to Jeremy Langford

Not that long ago the Bears made an annual dip into free agency for a veteran backup to running back Matt Forte. Now the search for Forte understudies appears to be settling into the draft.

For the second straight year the Bears used a fourth-round pick on a running back, selecting Jeremy Langford from Michigan State with the 106th-overall pick.

[MORE: Bears NFL Draft Profile: RB Jeremy Langford]

Last year it was Ka’Deem Carey out of Arizona. Carey got just 36 carries in his rookie season, had difficulty mastering the offense, according to sources, and now faces a very stiff battle for a roster spot. Carey did nothing on special teams last season while Langford was a proven contributor on special teams before taking over as Michigan State’s No. 1 tailback.

Langford, 6-1, 208 pounds, succeeded Le’Veon Bell as the Spartans’ featured back in 2013 and 1,422 yards and 18 touchdowns in his first year as a starter. He followed that with 1,522 yards and 22 touchdowns last season.

He and Bell became and still are friends. Langford made a specific point of studying how Bell did what he did.

“When he left, I watched his previous games,” Langford said. “I learned a lot. How he ran the ball, his patience…that’s what he does a good job of, not being worried about people’s criticism of him being a big back and being too patient. He runs the same way all the time; he’s very patient.”

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Notably in the roster competition he’ll have with Carey, Langford, who played some wide receiver and cornerback early in his time at East Lansing, lettered on special teams as a freshman and sophomore.

As he did from Bell, Langford will apprentice under one of the NFL’s elite backs in Forte, who is someone Langford already has done homework on.

“I watched Matt Forte a lot,” Langford said. “I feel like he does it all — catches the ball out of the backfield very well, blocks linebackers very well… . I feel like he’s the whole package.”

Report: Bears have ‘been in touch’ with Bengals about Andy Dalton trade

Report: Bears have ‘been in touch’ with Bengals about Andy Dalton trade

As the Bears look to acquire a veteran quarterback to push Mitch Trubisky, one name that’s been thrown around is Andy Dalton.

According to The Athletic’s Paul Dehner Jr., the Bears have “been in touch” with the Bengals regarding a potential Dalton trade.

Dalton comes with a hefty cap hit ($17.5 million) and is only under contract through 2020, but Trubisky being on his rookie deal would help the Bears stomach his salary. The 32-year-old threw for 3,494 yards with 16 touchdowns and 14 interceptions last season, sporting 78.3 passer rating.

Adding Dalton would give the Bears insurance in case Trubisky’s 2019 struggles persist next season. Dalton is an established veteran who is familiar with Bears offensive coordinator Bill Lazor. The two worked together from 2016-18, when Lazor was Cincinnati’s quarterbacks coach (2016) and OC (2017-18).

Dehner’s report doesn't offer any specific packages the Bears and Bengals have discussed. However, barring a surprise, Cincinnati will select LSU quarterback Joe Burrow No. 1 overall in the NFL draft in two months. Considering Burrow is set to become the Bengals’ quarterback of the future, trading Dalton will give him the chance to play elsewhere.

The Bears have made it clear Trubisky is entering 2020 as their starter. However, someone like Dalton could usurp him if the former No. 2 overall pick can’t find his footing this season.

Black History Month: The courage to be a black quarterback

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USA TODAY

Black History Month: The courage to be a black quarterback

NBCS Chicago is celebrating Black History Month with special episodes to discuss the impact of the black athlete in sports. In the final episode of the series, Laurence Holmes is joined by his "Football Aftershow" teammate and former Chicago Bear Alex Brown to discuss, making coaching in the NFL more diverse, is the Rooney Rule helping, and the common practice of moving black quarterbacks to other positions.

(4:20) - Alex Brown on being pushed to not play quarterback in high school

(9:15) - Jalen Hurts asked would he be willing to change positions in the NFL

(17:03) - Alex Brown on playing in a Super Bowl that featured 2 black head coaches

(22:12) - Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy not being mentioned for a head coaching job

(26:00) - Does the Rooney Rule work?

(40:35) - Overcoming unfairness

(44:28) - Watching a NFL where there are successful black quarterbacks

Listen to the full podcast here or via the embedded player  below:

Under Center Podcast

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