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Bears Mailbag: Allen Robinson’s contract, Danny Trevathan looking a step slower and Robert Quinn’s status

The Chicago Bears won their first Week 1 matchup in seven seasons and head back home at (1-0). What can we expect to see moving forward? All of that and more in this week’s mailbag.

NFL: Chicago Bears at Detroit Lions Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

Football season is back in full swing as the Chicago Bears move into their Week 2 match-up against the New York Giants on Sunday afternoon. For the first time since 2013, the Bears will head into Week 2 with a (1-0) record, albeit, a very fortunate win to say the least. Even so, they find themselves in a good position to go 2-0 for the first time in seven years.

Despite the Week 1 win and a favorable schedule ahead, there’s still plenty of questions surrounding this team, including what appears to be a brewing contract stalemate between receiver Allen Robinson and the Bears, is Danny Trevathan really a step slower this year and just how much different did this offense look last Sunday?

We’ll cover all of your burning questions and more. So let’s dive in!

Despite what Robinson has said about his tweets and all together frustration on social media over the last month or so, it’s clear that an impending extension with the Bears is not very close. Because of that, it’s natural for fans to get concerned, especially when you’re only seeing Robinson’s side of the negotiations or lack-there-of.

I think it’s important to remember a few things here:

  • Robinson is under contract this season at $15 million.
  • The Bears have the franchise tag they can use in 2021, if need be.
  • While the cap will be tight over the next few years, the Bears will have room, but they may need some help with players taking back-loaded deals to make things happen.

All in all, I think it’s important to keep a level head as a Bears fan right now. Does it look bad and like it is heading to a messy divorce? Sure, sometimes a player’s best negotiating tool is through social media. I have no doubt the Bears want to keep Robinson, but right now it could come down to money disbursement over guarantees or average annual value.

Let’s just give this some time.

While I’m aware there’s a lot of new emotions coming up with Robinson’s Instagram actions and now players lobbying for him to be extended, but even if he does walk, I don’t think that happens until 2022 after the team tags him.

It’s possible they could decide to let him walk if both Darnell Mooney and Anthony Miller play big parts as the season progresses, but I think, at least with Mooney, they are taking a long-term outlook in terms of projecting his importance and overall role. If that were to happen, I would guess they’ll look toward the draft the fill that hole. Regardless, IF Robinson were to leave, they’d be relying more on Miller, Mooney, maybe a veteran free agent and likely a high round draft pick.

With all of that said, I don’t think it’s even close to that point yet.

NFL: Chicago Bears at Denver Broncos Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

In Week 1, Akiem Hicks played 55/78 snaps, which equaled out to right around (71%). There are a few conclusions to draw here with one of them being a snap count for the entire season, but I don’t think that’s the case.

When looking at the rest of the snap counts as a whole, just nine players in total played (100%) of the snaps, with six of those being the offensive line and quarterback. On a deeper dive into the defensive line, Hicks did play the most out of any interior defensive lineman. Bilal Nichols played (53%) and Roy Robertson-Harris came in at (47%).

In essence, Hicks still played far more than any other interior defensive linemen, but I think it’s also worth noting that it was Week 1, and more importantly, they had four weeks of practice with no training camp. It’s going to take a bit for the bigger players to ramp up and until that point, their snaps on a game-to-game basis will be lower than normal.

I don’t think Hicks will be on any sort of snap count, but I do think the Bears would be wise to keep his usage right around (80-85%) on the season to keep him fresh. That will obviously rely on health and their depth playing well enough to make that happen, but I actually like what the Bears are doing in trying to keep players fresh and more importantly, healthy.

I wouldn’t put a ton of stock into Week 1 snap counts. Let’s see where he’s at in a few weeks because my guess is, it’ll be closer to that (85%) mark.

That’s a good question and one worth monitoring moving forward. The good news is that the team is likely to keep both of them for the year in some capacity. That may just mean that one of them stays on the practice squad and is protected each with one of the four “protection picks” each week.

My guess is that if Cairo Santos continues to look good, they’ll stay with the “hot leg”. When looking around the league at Week 1 games and the kicking situations, the Bears were one of the few teams not impacted by a missed kick in some fashion.

I’m still pro Eddy Pineiro at this point, but Santos is just 28-years-old, and if healthy he can still boot the ball pretty good. He’s got at least two more games to either help or hurt himself. That’ll play a big role in that decision, I’m sure.

In the first 28 minutes of the game, I thought the Bears defense played pretty well overall, outside of no sacks on quarterback Matthew Stafford. As the game went on, the defense started giving up more and more. Luckily, they were able to bear down (pun intended) and close out the game for the win, after an incredible 17-point comeback by the offense.

As far as individual players went, I thought Tashaun Gipson was pretty solid for the most part. Some may hold the touchdown against him, but simply put, he got boxed out by a bigger and stronger player in the end zone on a very favorable offensive play call from the Lions.

With Trevathan, he looked a step or two slower than I’ve ever seen him before. He was getting cooked in coverage throughout the game, but I think his worst play came on the final drive of the game where he gave up a big pass over the middle to Danny Amendola and then followed that by getting burned by D’Andre Swift. Thankful for Trevathan, Swift dropped the game winning touchdown or else his play would probably be the biggest story-line of the week.

I’m not going to sound the alarm quite yet on Trevathan, though. Much like Hicks and the rest of the league, no one had a preseason and all in all, the NFL as a whole had a pretty short camp. It’s worth noting that multiple linebackers and defensive players around the league looked a step slower. So, the good news is that it wasn’t just Trevathan that looked that way. If this continues to be an issue three-to-four games down the line, then I’ll be concerned, but I’ll stay away from drawing too many conclusions for the time being.

Earlier Tuesday morning, a somewhat out of context tweet was floating around Twitter that was basically saying that there was some sort of inside source on ESPN 1000 that was saying Robert Quinn may not play this year. Since that point, that tweet was clarified and it was nothing more than speculation and overall conversation for a radio show.

So in short, yes. I think Quinn plays this year and I think he has a good chance of playing Sunday. The team opted not to put him on Injured Reserve, which tells me they expect him to play before Week 3.

I’m not sure the Bears are going to go out and starting signing a bunch of players right now, especially with them not sustaining any major injuries from Week 1. With that being said, it should be worth noting that any contract signed from the point until the end of the season will be non-guaranteed. That means if they chose to sign someone like Prince Amukamara and ultimately thought he was physically done a few weeks later, they’d only be on the hook for those weeks he was on the roster, not a fully guaranteed season.

More than anything, I think those types of moves you are referring to will come as the team gets more games under its belt. Remember, they basically had four weeks of practice before having to make roster decisions and start the decision. I’m sure the coaching staff is still in the process of evaluating the roster and that could take some time. Plus, of course, injuries play a role as well.

At least for the meantime though, I wouldn’t expected any major signings like Damon Harrison Sr., etc.

On average, the Bears more than doubled their use of 12 personnel in Week 1 than 2019. Could that have been match-up based or is it because the team actually means what they say when they said they like their tight end room? My guess is more of the latter, which means good things for this offense.

Now, of course we’ll need to see how this goes from a week-to-week standpoint, but there was plenty of changes to the offense as a whole. Here’s a few that I’ve noticed:

  • Much more outside zone running.
  • Much more usage of 12 personnel.
  • A lot more shots down the field (Trubisky ranked fifth in air yards per attempt in Week 1).
  • More creative play calling as a whole, especially in the run department.

The Bears made plenty of changes to the coaching staff on the offensive side of the ball. None being more important than offensive line coach Juan Castillo for a multitude of different reasons.

They also added three tight ends, a pair of receivers and seem to have transitioned Cordarrelle Patterson into more of a running back.

All in all, I expect the Bears to be more of a run first team this year. Now, that doesn’t mean they’ll run the ball more than pass, but I do believe they’ll truly use the run to set up the pass. That takes more pressure off of Trubisky. I expect another good day running the ball against the Giants on Sunday.