Bears

Former Bulls player Orlando Woolridge dies

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Former Bulls player Orlando Woolridge dies

Former NBA player Orlando Woolridge has died after suffering from a long battle with heart disease, according to the Shreveport Times. He was 52.

Woolridge spent 13 years in the NBA and was the No. 6 overall pick by the Bulls in 1981. He spent his first five years in the league with Chicago and averaged 22 points per game in 1985.

Woolridge also played for the Nets, Lakers, Nuggets, Pistons, Bucks, and 76ers. He struggled with substance abuse for much of the 1988-89 season, but returned to the league the following year. After the conclusion of his NBA career in 1994, he spent time playing in Europe.

After his retirement, Woodlridge coached the Los Angeles Sparks of the WNBA in 1998 and 1999.

Expectations continue to be high for Bears running back David Montgomery

Expectations continue to be high for Bears running back David Montgomery

The importance of second-year running back David Montgomery's development in 2020 will be overshadowed (rightfully so) by the Chicago Bears' quarterback competition this summer, but regardless of who opens the season as the starter, they'll need a reliable and steady running game to bring Matt Nagy's offense to Level 202, albeit a year late.

Montgomery flashed a lot to get excited about as a rookie. His 'want to' was undeniable, even when running lanes were few and far between. He was relentless in his effort, even on short gains, which suggests he has the potential to be one of the league's most productive running backs if he gets even a little bit of help from his offensive line.

And that's why he was one of the players identified as a Year 2 breakout candidate by NFL.com.

"[Montgomery] had a solid rookie season (889 rushing yards and seven total touchdowns)," Jeffery Chahida wrote, "but he's capable of so much more with a better offense. The Bears ranked 29th in the NFL in total offense last year, largely because embattled quarterback Mitch Trubisky struggled so mightily. That all could change if Nick Foles wins the job or simply pushes Trubisky to play at a higher level.

"Montgomery now enters this season as the only back on this roster who attempted more than 64 rushes last year, and the Bears didn't add another ball carrier in this draft. In other words, it's time for him to shine."

The Bears are taking a calculated risk betting on Montgomery as much as they have. Ryan Pace has gone all-in on the former third-round pick. If Montgomery fails, there are no realistic options on the roster to replace him. Tarik Cohen is who he is at this point — an offensive weapon who needs touches more than just carries. 

Ryan Nall? Artavis Pierce? Napoleon Maxwell?

Chicago's running back depth reads more like a practice squad roster than a group of players who can legitimately contribute on Sundays.

Assuming Montgomery stays healthy and Chicago doesn't add another running back over the next couple of months, he'll challenge to lead the league in carries in 2020. Last year's league-leader, Derrick Henry, carried the ball 303 times (an average of 19 times per game). Montgomery should easily hit that mark if the Bears are at least competitive this season.

If these numbers come to fruition, Montgomery will be more than just a Year 2 breakout player. He'll be a legitimate candidate to be the NFL's leading rusher.

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Bears' quarterback depth chart ranked near bottom of NFL

Bears' quarterback depth chart ranked near bottom of NFL

The Chicago Bears' fast approaching quarterback competition between Mitch Trubisky and Nick Foles will be the headline story throughout training camp, but does it matter all that much who wins the job?  Whether it's Foles or Trubisky, there isn't much excitement for the Bears around the league regardless of who lines up behind center.

This sentiment is painfully obvious in a recent ranking of every team's quarterback depth chart. The combination of Trubisky and Foles ranked near the bottom of the NFL at No. 28.

The Chicago Bears seemed to finally admit their Mitchell Trubisky mistake, though they did so in a roundabout way, by acquiring Nick Foles from the Jacksonville Jaguars.

But Chicago smartly couldn't go with Trubisky and nothing else again. Last year, Trubisky completed 63.2 percent of his passes with just 17 touchdowns over 15 games as the Bears regressed from 12 wins to 8-8. He also posted a bottom-three QBR at 39.5.

The oddity is Foles as the solution. While he has past experience with quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo and some obvious postseason success, he's only completed 61.9 percent of his passes in his career, hasn't handled a full-time starting gig since 2015 and played in just four games last year.

The stats confirm a painful reality: aside from one miraculous Super Bowl season in Philadelphia, Foles, for the most part, has been Trubisky-like as a starting quarterback. Furthermore, Trubisky offers a more exciting skill set than Foles as a runner, which means if all things are equal as passers and game managers, shouldn't Trubiusky get the nod?

The winner of the Bears' quarterback competition won't have a long leash, no matter who it is. If Trubisky or Foles gets off to a slow start, it's conceivable they can be benched by Week 2. And then the worst-case-scenario unfolds in Chicago: a weekly quarterback controversy centered around two players who aren't good enough to lead the Bears to the promised land.

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