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


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.”

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

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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.