Bears

Tebow the bully?

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Tebow the bully?

Tim Tebow is a bully. In all the nicest NFL ways. He picks on the little people.

Hell try to punk the smaller people, said Bears safety Major Wright, a Florida teammate of Tebows and who was occasionally a Tebow punkee at Gators practices.

His big thing is trying to stay in bounds. When hes going against a DB, he tries to run them over.

Tebow does more than try. He is averaging 5.7 yards per carry, highest of any player with the qualifying minimum of rushes, and that is with a longest run of a modest 32 yards. He already has netted more rushing yards (46) in 12 games than any of the previous four franchise highs for quarterbacks (all by John Elway) in 16 games.

Meaning: Tebow is punking a lot more than just DBs. And the reason is because at this point of his NFL development, he is as much a running quarterback who will throw as a passer who will run, much as Michael Vick was early in his career.

I would say hes a runner at heart, Wright said. He wants to beat you with his feet. If hes scrambling, we feel like hes scrambling to run the ball, like Vick used to do.

Dangerous assumption

But in life one is always better served to overestimate rather than underestimate ones enemies. The suspicion is that the Minnesota Vikings did a little of that, categorizing Tebow as a running threat, not a passing one.

And why not? Tebow has completed only 47.5 percent of his passes and thats with a 10-for-15 game at Minnesota in which he posted a passer rating of 149.3, second-highest in the NFL this season by a quarterback with at least 15 attempts.

He gets better as the game goes along passing the ball lately, said defensive end Corey Wootton.

Indeed, Tebow is the NFLs No. 3-rated passer in fourth quarters, which shouldnt be all that surprising given that he has engineered five fourth-quarter comebacks, tying the record for a quarterback in his first 10 starts.

Therein lies Tebows real danger.

He has good quickness and speed, not as much as Michael Vick, Wootton said, but his strength and ability to win a game, youve seen that for five weeks.

Nasty attitude

If Tebow seems to be running with some malice aforethought if not in his heart, then in his legs then doubters have no one to blame but themselves.

With naysayers, I want to prove them wrong and it fires me up a little, Tebow admitted. And the people that support me, I want to prove them right. Im not going to lie and say that doesnt fire me up, people saying Im not an NFL quarterback.

Thats been my dream since Ive been a little boy and I want to have fun living my dream.

Wright said Tebow was having exactly that, fun, when they were playing at Florida.

And hes really a good guy off the field, humble, definitely a good teammate, Wright said.

Even if youre a smaller people.

What do the Bears have in their running backs? They’re about to find out

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USA Today

What do the Bears have in their running backs? They’re about to find out

The Bears were pleased with what they saw from their overhauled running back room during non-padded OTA and minicamp practices during the spring, but consider that an incomplete evaluation. 

David Montgomery, in particular, impressed with his quickness, athleticism and route running. Nothing Mike Davis showed dissuaded the team from believing in the free agent signing’s untapped potential. Positive things were said about seventh-round pick Kerrith Whyte Jr. and second-year undrafted free agent Ryan Nall. 

The only running back returning from 2018’s unit is Tarik Cohen. But while Ryan Pace, Matt Nagy and the Bears’ talent evaluators did their homework on their new players, they won’t really get to see what they have until the pads come on in Bourbonnais (Nagy expects the first padded practice of training camp to be Sunday). 

“I know (Montgomery) kept asking coach, ‘when do we put the pads on?” Pace said. “And so we’re to that point. One of his greatest strengths is his contact balance and his ability to break tackles, and now we’re at a point where that can be showcased.”

It’s one thing for a rookie to stand out during OTAs and minicamp. Tight end Adam Shaheen did two years ago, bodying up NFL-caliber defenders to make some impressive plays in those non-padded practices. But he faded when pads came on in training camp and didn’t play a significant role in 2017’s dour offense. 

The Bears believe Montgomery’s ability to break tackles — he forced the most missed tackles among FBS running backs in 2018 with 99, per Pro Football Focus — will translate to the NFL, giving their ground game a dimension it didn’t have in 2018. Jordan Howard avoided 22 tackles on rushing attempts last year, 28th in the NFL and nearly half the total of Kareem Hunt. Hunt appeared in 11 games (five fewer than Howard) before the Kansas City Chiefs released him after video surfaced of him pushing and kicking a woman; Montgomery’s style of play has favorably been compared to Hunt’s.  

As for Davis, Pace said: “I think I feel like he’s a little bit under the radar right now. Mike’s had a great offseason and we’re fortunate to have him. That’s a strong room — we talk about the receivers, we feel the same way about the running back room. And Mike Davis is a real important part of that.”

The Bears feel like Montgomery, Davis and Cohen leading their running back room will allow them to be less predictable and more efficient on offense. Last year, Howard carried the ball two-thirds of the time he was on the field, while he was targeted with a pass on just six percent of his plays. Yet no skill position player (except Mitch Trubisky, of course) was more involved in the Bears’ offense last year — 33 percent of the Bears’ total plays involved Howard. 

All three of the Bears’ top running backs in 2019 will be expected to catch passes out of the backfield as well as running the ball with a blend of efficiency and explosiveness. We’ll begin to find out this week in Bourbonnais if Pace’s overhaul of that corner of his depth chart will produce the results the Bears’ offense needs. 

Confirmed: Vic Fangio is still grumpy as hell

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USA Today

Confirmed: Vic Fangio is still grumpy as hell

Former Bears defensive coordinator Vic Fangio is starting his first (overdue) season as an NFL head coach. 

It's his first time running the show, making the rules, etc. One particularly important rule that Fangio has emphasized to start the year? Music has no place on the football field! 

Fangio won't be playing music during practice because, as noted Grump Bill Belichick can attest to, if you're having fun, you're not getting better. Here's his rationalization: 

"There's no music in games. And when it comes to the point where we need to simulate crowd noise in practice, which we will do, it will be noise. It won't be music," said Fangio, via NFL Network's James Palmer. "Noise, by definition, sounds annoying. Music sounds nice."

He's not wrong - music DOES sound nice. That's about where he stops making much sense, though. 

Vic Fangio: still kinda grumpy!