We’ve all seen the “Hot Takes” from the last weekend’s games all over the net.
In this series, I’m letting some time pass, and after reviewing the game tape a couple of times, I’m going to share some “Cold Takes.” about the Bears crazy battle against the Jets. These are just a series of my thoughts and observations about the game as well as the Bears in general up until this point, presented in no particular order.
- My game ball goes to Bryce Callahan again. Dear Ryan Pace, let’s find a way to get that Callahan contract extended, m’kay?
- Matt Nagy did a great job in getting Mitchell Trubisky in a position to succeed in the second half. Great play calling, great overall coaching. Nagy’s made some rookie mistakes but he’s certainly the best coach we’ve had since Lovie Smith.
- I’ve asked several people who were at the game how windy it was at field level, and have gotten different answers from each one, ranging from “about normal” to “crazy windy”. I was wondering how much the win affected both quarterbacks and both kickers. Well, the truth is I don’t know, because the answers I got were too varied. Anybody reading this who was at the game near field level, please comment on your thoughts about the wind strength where you were.
- The New York Jets are pretty bad on offense, but their defense is still legit.
- I liked Jamal Adams in the draft, and I STILL like him. He’s a Pro Bowl type player now and will be an All Pro one of these days. Love the guy’s game, and I’m glad he’s having a good career so far.
- Kyle Long, man that injury is a real buzzkill.
- Still, in a next man up league, we could do worse than Bryan Witzmann. The Bears signed Witzmann in October, he started for nearly a full season at left guard in Kansas City and he was “adequate”. Honestly, he was better than 4 of Minnesota’s starting 5, and I was surprised the Vikings hadn’t scooped him up when he was available. I’m not a fan of PFF rankings but I can tell you (for those of you who are) that Witzmann is rated higher than Eric Kush’s career average, and his last year’s rating was pretty close to Kyle Long’s (Long’s was slightly higher). He’s a replacement level player, but that’s just fine in a backup.
- The Bears are looking for ways to get Jordan Howard going, and I think Howard’s role is about to grow in this offense. I believe what we saw in the Jets game is what we are going to be seeing more over, an emphasis on getting Howard the rock in his hands. The Bears passing game
may beis a bit erratic, but it’s also good enough to keep people from stacking 9 in the box on every play.
- Tarik Cohen is just fun to watch, and frankly I’m surprised that it took until week 7 for either him or Taylor Gabriel to break a short screen pass off for a TD. That is a bread-and-butter play for this offense, and we should see more of it in the future.
- Despite really missing badly on several throws, Mitchell Trubisky put up another week of good stats... but to me, the most important stat is the “zero turnovers” line. Moving the offense well enough to score 27 points (yes, 27, I’m looking at YOU Cody Parkey) and not turning the ball over will win Chicago a LOT of games with this defense.
- Kevin White is still a bust, but he’s a bust who’s actually playing well in many aspects of the game. He’s a solid #4 WR. Of course, that’s not what you expect out of a top 10 draft pick, but still, it’s better than nothing. I actually hope we sign the guy and bring him back on a one-year prove-it next year, because he already knows the offense, he’s catching passes and has turned into one hell of a downfield blocker, which is a big deal for a #4 WR. When you are option 5 or 6 on a play, you are basically a downfield blocker... something we’ve relied on and had some great success with (Alshon Jeffery and Brandon Marshall were both amazing downfield blockers).
- Speaking of Brandon Marshall, he’s available (at the time of this writing) again.
- Guys who have earned a contract extension on the Bears (assuming they stay healthy): Bryce Callahan, Roy Robertson-Harris, Aaron Lynch, Zach Miller (as an assistant coach, not a player), Cody Whitehair (preemptively after the season, when he is eligible), Adrian Amos.
- Guys who have not earned a contract extension or guys who can be cut to save money no big deal: Jonathan Bullard (not that he’s horrible, but there are better options on the team), Dion Sims and Marcus Cooper.
- Guys who are playing well but may be cap casualties (of a sort): Bobby Massie & Danny Trevathan. Of the two I would be very, very surprised if Danny Trevathan is released, he’s playing at a very high level. Massie isn’t technically a cap casualty because he’s a free agent at the end of the season, but he’s playing well and that salary savings of may be needed to sign guys like Callahan and Amos. Cutting Trevathan would save $5.9M in space, with little dead money, but the way he’s playing? He’s worth more than we are paying him.
- Perspective: We are paying Dion Sims more than Danny Trevathan. We are paying Dion Sims more than Bobby Massie. Yeah, I know, obscene, right?
- One thing to keep in mind, we are going to have a very small draft cap hit next year because we don’t have a first or second rounder. That will clear up money for signing some of our own.
- “There ain’t no such-a-thang as an ugly win. A win is a win is a win.”
BONUS COLD TAKES
Due to a technical problem, my Patriots Cold Takes were not published last week. I was able to recover part of my list, so I’m going to throw these in as a bonus about our frustrating loss to New England a week ago. The following are all about the New England / Chicago game:
- My Game Ball goes to Cody Whitehair, who (whether you noticed it or not) has been playing Pro-Bowl level ball this season (minus a couple of iffy snaps early).
- Charles Leno Jr. is also playing at a high level... perhaps not Pro-Bowl but certainly top 10.
- The Bears scored 31 points. That SHOULD be enough.
- Mitchell Trubisky had 414 yards on offense, and scored 3 TD’s, which should be good enough to win a game.
- Mitchell Trubisky played poorly, and had 2 turnovers.
- Both of the previous two statements are true.
- Khalil Mack injured is not good.
- Jon Gruden is still an idiot.
- Trey Burton is worth the money.
- Kevin White did a thing. Heck, Kevin White did two things in the passing game. He’s also one heck of a good blocker in the run game. Kevin White is still a bust, mind you, but at least he isn’t a COMPLETE bust... just a regular old fashioned bust.
- I saw a lot of Bears fans getting on Cody Parkey because one of his kickoffs didn’t go for a touchback. Really? Missed game winning field goals? Yes, legit outrage... but expecting a 100 percent touchback percentage is a bit much.
- Cody Parkey is fourth best in the league with a touchdown percentage of 77.78 percent. Last year the Bears touchback percentage was 46.67 percent.
- Blocked punts drive me nuts, when it’s us getting blocked.
- We were one yard away from overtime with last year’s AFC Super Bowl team when the clock ran out... and the only reason we were behind was two special teams TD’s. That’s just really, really annoying.
- I wonder if a witch has put a “forgetful” spell on our defense, causing the men on that side of the ball to entirely forget how to tackle.
- Mitch’s runs were things of beauty.
- Bilal Nichols... I’m officially declaring him a “Ryan Pace 5th Round Steal” of this last year’s draft. Nichols had 4 tackles, one tackle-for-loss, a forced fumble and fumble recovery. Moar, rook... moar...
- I think Ryan Pace’s worst returning veteran move this offseason was not cutting Dion Sims before his payday hit. Sims was terrible yet again, had a bad drop, and was invisible in the second half (if he was even out there... I don’t remember seeing him, at all).
So what do you think Bears fans? Spill the beans!