Bears

Sports Business Minute: How Ray McDonald signifies stability with NFL

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Sports Business Minute: How Ray McDonald signifies stability with NFL

Does Ray McDonald actually signal stability for the NFL?

CSN's Sports Business Insider Rick Horrow believes the handling on McDonald is just another example of how the NFL is decisively trying to protect its brand.

When McDonald was arrested again, the Bears immediately released him, not even waiting to find out whether the charges would stick or not.

[RELATED - Ray of concern over public perception with McDonald?]

Couple that with Roger Goodell's actions regarding Tom Brady, Ray Rice and other such matters and Horrow believes it's all proof the policies and the process seems to be important to the league.

Horrow feels this could create stability in the NFL and maybe, as a consequence, in all major sports.

Check out all of Horrow's thoughts in the Sports Business Minute above.

 

 

Lamar Jackson has more rushing yards than the Chicago Bears in 2019

Lamar Jackson has more rushing yards than the Chicago Bears in 2019

The focus following the Chicago Bears' Week 7 loss to the New Orleans Saints will once again be on quarterback Mitchell Trubisky, and for good reason. Despite a solid final stat line (34-54, 251 yards, two TDs), most of his production was the result of garbage time against a prevent defense protecting a three-score lead.

And while Trubisky deserves most of the blame, the lack of a rushing attack can't be ignored.

The Bears, once again, ignored the ground game. Literally. Matt Nagy called just seven rushing plays, two of which went to wide receivers, and totaled just 17 yards on the ground. Rookie David Montgomery had just two carries for six yards. His biggest play was a bad one; a lost fumble.

This isn't a one-game anomaly either. This is a problem that has plagued the Bears all season. It's been so bad, in fact, that Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson has outrushed the Bears' entire team so far in 2019.

Jackson, through seven games played, has 576 rushing yards. The Bears, as a team, have run for just 437. Even if you eliminate the one extra game Jackson has over Chicago because of the bye week, he's still more productive, by himself, than the stable of Bears runners.

Sure, Jackson is a potentially generational talent as a running quarterback. But the Bears entered Week 7 with one of the league's worst three rushing attacks. They're certain to drop even lower now.

As coach Matt Nagy said after the game, something's gotta change. Whether it's the offensive line, the play calling or the players who are actually carrying the ball, the Bears won't win many more games if they can't develop an identity on the ground.

The Bears' blowout loss to New Orleans was a bad sign. Their lack of answers, and options, going forward may be worse.

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USA Today

The Bears' blowout loss to New Orleans was a bad sign. Their lack of answers, and options, going forward may be worse.

Matt Nagy’s postgame press conference, held in Soldier Field’s concrete belly after an embarrassing 36-25 loss to New Orleans, featured a little bit of everything. 

There were thousand-yard stares, a half-dozen abandoned statements, platitudes galore, and even a monologue on the media’s role in the Bears' lackluster start to the season. 

What wasn’t given, notably, was a reason for the Bears’ continued offensive struggles. Coming out of the bye and supposedly armed with a brand-new lease on running the ball, the Bears finished with 252 yards of total offense – much of it coming in garbage time. 

“I really thought our run game would be better,” Nagy said. “... early on, there just was not a lot there. So then you go to throw the ball a little bit and got a little bit going. The start of the third quarter, we had a fumble.

“You can say it’s one of those days, but for us, it’s been one of those weeks.” 

Nagy noted the lack of early running success as a reason for going so pass-heavy in the first half. They called runs on three consecutive first downs, for a combined three yards, to open the game.  After that, they would only hand the ball off four more times the rest of the afternoon. The seven total rushes set a franchise record for fewest ever. 

“It’s really simple math,” he said. “As a play caller, when it’s 2nd-and-9, 2nd-and-8, and you’re moving the ball throwing it, getting first downs throwing it – that’s what the objective is, getting first downs. I don’t care if I have to throw the ball 60 times a game if that’s what’s going to help us win a game. If I have to run it 60 times, I don’t care. I want productive plays.” 

Both Nagy and Mitch Trubisky admitted that going away from the run so drastically shot the team’s offensive rhythm in the foot. After trading up for David Montgomery back in April, the rookie has yet to come close to a 100-yard performance. He had two carries for six yards and a fumble on Sunday – perhaps his most underwhelming game in a season full of them. When asked about Montgomery's performance, Nagy gave one of the more cryptic answers of his Bears’ tenure.

“You guys sensing a theme here?” he asked. “I’m with you. I’m with you.” 

Now that it’s clear that the Bye Week Reckoning that took place after their London loss didn’t have its intended effect, the Bears will have to bail out water while paddling at the same time. Nagy wouldn’t offer much in terms of a QB evaluation – that comes tomorrow – but was adamant that Trubisky will keep his job. He did, however, leave a bit more room for interpretation when it came to his own game day duties. 

“I’m not going to get into all that,” Nagy said when asked if he’d consider changing play callers. “If I did, no one here will know.” 

Tomorrow, the Bears will report to Halas Hall as a 3-3 team – albeit one with vastly different vibes than last year's squad of the same record. With a substantial lack of encouraging game tape to study and all three divisional road games still to play, the path to a second straight playoff berth, ironically enough, feels farther away than it did last year. 

“I don’t know what to tell you,” Nagy said. “We’ve got to stay positive.” 

“We’ve got to regroup. We’ll recognize this loss, we’ll sit in it tonight, and then we’ve got to get better next week.”

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