Daniel Brown is keeping his eye on the prize as OTAs continue:
Brown is a forgotten man in the Chicago Bears’ tight end mix, but he played the second most snaps (261) of anyone who lined up at the position last year. With Zach Miller, Dion Sims, and Adam Shaheen ahead of him on the depth chart, the James Madison product will have his work cut out for him this summer as he tries to make the roster.
- But perhaps Brown can squeeze his way into a role, as apparently, size matters. Well, at least that’s what the Bears are hoping. Over at 247 Sports, Matt Eurich unearths a trend in the Bears’ offseason plan that shows the team has bulked up with its new additions. Eurich cites a story from The Ringer, which highlights the NFL’s growing trend of going big on offense to counter defenses loading up on smaller, faster players. To that end, the Bears have added some big boys to help aid their offense, specifically at tight end with second-round draft pick Adam Shaheen (listed at 6-6, 277 pounds) and free agent Dion Sims (6-4, 271) to go along with returning starter Zach Miller (6-5, 243). And the Bears look to be taking it a step further by bringing in two fullbacks (Freddie Stevenson, 6-1, 241; Michael Burton, 6-0, 247) to battle for a roster spot. Considering where the Bears ranked offensively in 2016, any new direction that could yield positive results should at least be on the table.
- There isn’t much margin for error for the 2017 Bears, and Bleacher Report’s Chris Roling highlights the four factors that could easily tank the team’s season. To be fair, injuries will wreck the season of any team with limited depth, but it’s not the only thing that could sink this team’s ship. Major question marks along the defensive line and wide receiver will need to be answered again this season. The defensive line suffered with injuries and sub-par play by replacement players, while injuries, inexperience, and drops played a role in hindering an already limited offense. Couple the team’s potential woes at defensive line with uncertainty in the defensive secondary, and things could go south for the Bears season quickly – especially when considering the teams they’ll face to start the year.
- We really can’t ignore the elephant in the room, as the Bears’ quarterback situation could be something that could trip up the team at a moment’s notice. Mike Glennon hasn’t started a game since 2014, Mark Sanchez has made only 10 starts since the end of the 2012 season, and Mitch Trubisky has started only 13 games since his senior year of high school. With that in mind, Scott Kacsmar, who is Football Outsiders’ assistant editor, believes Colin Kaepernick is a better starting option than any of the Bears’ starting quarterbacks:
Kaepernick is better than the QBs on the Jets, Browns, Texans, Jaguars, Broncos, Bears, Eagles, Rams, 49ers.
— Scott Kacsmar (@FO_ScottKacsmar) June 7, 2017
- Kacsmar might have a point. Kaepernick has more of a track record than Glennon, and has been successful more recently than Sanchez. As we discussed, the Bears’ quarterback situation isn’t viewed as great – but the position’s grades in the future will depend on how Trubisky develops.
- Brad Biggs’ mailbag at the Chicago Tribune always features interesting tidbits, and his recent offering is no different. This particular mailbag seems heavy on questions regarding the Bears’ group of wide receivers. Biggs sees a scenario where Victor Cruz and Kendall Wright make the team, while also noting that Markus Wheaton could be the guy starting on the outside – where he has been more productive in his career. However, don’t expect Jeremy Maclin to come and save the day, as Biggs expresses doubt in the Bears’ ability to land the recently released receiver.
- Israel Idonije played nine seasons with the Bears, racking up 28.5 sacks in 134 games from 2004 to 2012. With his football career in the rearview mirror, Idonije is moving on and keeping his mind sharp in the process. He recently visited with WGN-AM’s Justin Kaufman where he discussed life after football, which has included the creation of a children’s book series.
- Former Bears cornerback Tracy Porter was given a career-worst grade by Pro Football Focus for his performance in 2016. But perhaps this explains his struggles:
These four cornerbacks tracked number one receivers more than anyone else in the NFL last year.
We see you @P2
— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) June 7, 2017