Bears

Ryan Dempster visits Flyers

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Ryan Dempster visits Flyers

You won't see Ryan Dempster on the moundin PhiladelphiaSunday,but he did spend some time with another Philly team. Before the Cubs take on the Phillies, Dempsterhung outat the Wells Fargo Center for Flyers pracitce. "It's nice to sit here and watch these guys," Dempster told CSNPhilly's Sarah Baicker. "I have such admiration for what they can do on the ice."Sorry Blackhawks, not only did Dempster grow up a Vancouver Canucks fan, team No. 2 resides in Philly. "I was a big Pelle Lindbergh fan," he told Baicker. "I don't know why I took to goalies, I just remember watching him and watching the Flyers in the late '80s with Ron Hextall and stuff like that. Lots of good memories."Beinga big hockey fan, Dempster will also be present for the Eastern Conference Semifinals against the New Jersey Devils Sunday night. Find out more about the visit at CSNPhilly.com.

Under Center Podcast: How Mitchell Trubisky’s shoulder changes Bears-Lions

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USA TODAY

Under Center Podcast: How Mitchell Trubisky’s shoulder changes Bears-Lions

JJ Stankevitz and John “Moon” Mullin look at how Mitchell Trubisky’s shoulder injury could change the outlook for Thanksgiving’s date with the Lions and what Chase Daniel could bring to the table if he does play. Plus, could this be a letdown game for the Bears?

0:40: So there’s a possibility Trubisky will not play against the Lions, huh?

2:10: Matt Nagy said Trubisky’s situation is similar to the Khalil Mack/Allen Robinson one, but how similar is it really?

3:10: What should we expect if Chase Daniel plays?

5:05: Hear from Daniel, who spoke to the media Tuesday, on his readiness to play if Trubisky can’t go

8:15: Daniel knows the offense well, but does he know it at game speed?

10:20: If Trubisky does play, how might the shoulder affect his play?

13:10: What’s your gut – does Trubisky play on Thursday?

17:15: Why the Bears need to take the Lions seriously

21:00: If the Bears win, why it’d be an outstanding coaching job by Nagy

23:00: Kerryon Johnson not playing will be a big factor

25:00: Reactions to Monday night’s Chiefs-Rams thriller, and what it means for the Bears

Listen to the full episode at this link or in the embedded player below:

Under Center Podcast

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Why the Bears are confident in Chase Daniel if Mitch Trubisky can't play against Detroit

Why the Bears are confident in Chase Daniel if Mitch Trubisky can't play against Detroit

While Matt Nagy said he’s “cautiously optimistic” Mitch Trubisky will be able to play through a shoulder injury on Thanksgiving against the Detroit Lions, the possibility does exist the Bears will have to turn to backup Chase Daniel for the first time in 2018. 

The Bears signed Daniel to a two-year, $10 million deal to be Trubisky’s backup in March, with the thought he could not only aid in the development of the 2017 No. 2 pick but capably fill in if need be. And “need be” could be as soon as Thursday at Ford Field. 

If the Bears do need to turn to the longtime NFL backup, though, what will they be getting? 

The first point: A quarterback with extensive knowledge of, and a firm grasp on, Nagy’s offense. 

“This is why you have a guy like Chase,” coach Matt Nagy said. “You feel very comfortable with him. Chase understands — he’s the oldest guy on our team, so he’s got experience. Chase and I have a relationship, a coach-player relationship going back three years in Kansas City. I know Chase inside-out; he knows me inside-out.”

The Bears believe what Daniel lacks in actual game experience -- he's only attempted 78 passes in his career -- he makes up for in extensive knowledge of Nagy's offense. He spent three years with the Kansas City Chiefs from 2013-2015, when Nagy was the quarterbacks coach, and followed then-Chiefs offensive coordinator Doug Pederson to Philadelphia in 2016 to back up Carson Wentz and run a version of Andy Reid's offense. His other years in the league were spent with the New Orleans Saints behind Drew Brees. 

"I know the offense like the back of my hand," Daniel said. "It’s my fifth or sixth year in the league in this offense, so there’s a very good comfort level there."

The Bears expect Daniel to aptly operate the offense they've been running, even if there are a few things that need to be tweaked to fit his skillset versus Trubisky's. Perhaps that means fewer scrambles or deep heaves but more quicker crossing routes. But at its core, this will be the same offense whether Trubisky or Daniel is running it. 

"This offense is all based around our playmakers," Daniel said. It’s based around the quarterback getting the ball to the playmakers in space, in the open field and letting them make plays so that’s what we try to do every single week, we try to find matchups that we can take advantage of week in and week out."

Offensive coordinator Mark Helfrich drove that point home, too. 

"Certainly, you’re going to tailor things to one person or another, absolutely, but within the same structure," Helfrich said. "We’re not going to change the offense if something happens. You can’t. You can’t do that. But certainly there are nuances to whoever is in there."

Daniel was a hugely successful quarterback during his four years at Missouri, throwing for over 4,300 yards in each of his final two years in Columbia and finishing as a Heisman Trophy finalist in 2007. But that was a decade ago; since then, most of his time on an NFL field has been during preseason games. 

But there's a reason why Daniel has managed to stick in the NFL for 10 years despite rarely playing on Sundays. His football I.Q. and quarterbacking knowledge is widely respected, and he and Nagy forged a strong relationship five years ago in Kansas City. 

And if the Bears do have to ride with Daniel against the Lions, they believe in his ability to lead a first-place team to a win. 

"He's extremely confident in how he plays because he's so smart," Nagy said. "The game is not fast to him when he plays. The other thing with Chase that I've always appreciated is the fact that he prepares every game like he's the starter (so) if his time does come, he doesn't blink. 

"... The confidence factor that he has, he's been with a lot of good quarterbacks. He has experience and you have trust."

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