If Zach Miller can out-perform Martellus Bennett in 2017, it would be a major coup for a Chicago Bears offense that needs as much help as it can get.
PFF overall grades for starting TEs in the NFC North last season. pic.twitter.com/IYs3BhWSDV
— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) April 22, 2017
When healthy, Miller can be a very productive tight end, especially in the passing game. Miller’s 81.7 grade was the eighth best by Pro Football Focus’ grading scale, and that came despite Miller playing only 511 snaps – the third fewest among tight ends in the top-10. His 77.2 run block grade was a pleasant surprise, ranking fifth. And if he would have played enough snaps, his 71.2 pass block grade would have graded 11th among tight ends.
- One place the Bears won’t rank favorably is in the quarterback department. Hence, the Bears could still be in the market for one in the draft. Over at The Athletic, Dan Durkin writes there is plenty of room for the Bears to add a quarterback to the mix of Mike Glennon, Mark Sanchez, and Connor Shaw. The commitments to Glennon and Sanchez, whether they are financial or performance-based, won’t tie the Bears’ hands if they feel like they can grab a quality quarterback with upside in this draft. In fairness, that is arguably the best way to go about filling this position right now. Ideally, it’s filled by an up-and-comer you can surround with pieces as he grows. But putting someone on the field who can start, while simultaneously not hindering potential growth at the position is a good path to take.
- Another crowded room at Halas Hall will feature Bears running backs. Jordan Howard will resume the role of feature back after a 1,300-yard season that culminated with a Pro Bowl appearance, while backup Jeremy Langford – who entered 2016 as the starter – provides a change-of-pace option. But as Matt Eurich of 247 Sports points out, the rest of the backfield is a bit cluttered and will eventually be trimmed this summer. Ka’Deem Carey has grown into a special teams standout, while Benny Cunningham is expected to challenge Deonte Thompson for a job as a return specialist. There are others in the mix fighting for a roster spot, including Bralon Addison and David Cobb. It’s only April, but the battle for the spots behind Howard and Langford will be worth watching come summer.
- The Bears revealed their schedule on Thursday, and I’m going to be honest when I say a tough road lies ahead. HOWEVER, there is a path to avoiding a third straight losing season under John Fox. Then there is Tim Baffoe over at CBS Chicago figuring out a way for the Bears to have a perfect season. Anything can happen right?
- And if you’re really inspired, single-game tickets go on sale Monday.
- I guess we can see why the interior of the offensive line projects to be good:
— Kyle (@Ky1eLong) April 21, 2017
- On a somber note: Eddie Macon, who became the first African American player to suit up for the Bears in franchise history back in 1952, passed away on Wednesday. Larry Mayer’s perspective on Macon is a unique one, with background stories including tales of discrimination on the road, as well as inviting Macon to meet with head coach Lovie Smith, as well as star players Charles Tillman and Devin Hester.