If you’re a Chicago Bears rookie in search of guidance and advice, there aren’t too many better people to look to than some of the team’s most distinguished alumni:
It’s easy to flock to Brian Urlacher – a future Hall of Famer, who was the centerpiece of the last Bears’ Super Bowl team and had a storied career with eight Pro Bowls, four first-team All Pro nominations, and countless highlight-reel plays – but James “Big Cat” Williams, Marty Booker, and Jay Hilgenberg have also made successful climbs up the NFL ladder.
Here’s hoping the Bears’ rookie class can follow a similar path.
- Senior analyst Gil Brandt shared a list of what he believes to be the greatest cornerbacks in NFL history, but there seems to be an omission that stands out from the bunch. Charles “Peanut” Tillman probably deserves to slide onto Brandt’s list – which doesn’t feature any Bears, mind you. Tillman will never be confused with the type of lock-down cover-corner you would expect to make the list, but he was a turnover-creating machine. During his 13-year NFL career, in which Tillman played 12 years in Chicago, the two-time Pro Bowler came up with 38 interceptions, forced 44 fumbles, and scored nine defensive touchdowns – three categories in which he is the team’s all-time leader. That should be enough to crack Brandt’s list, should he re-think some of his decisions.
- There’s no doubt the Bears have taken a nosedive since Lovie Smith was fired, but don’t think some curse is behind the team’s recent struggles. Over at FanRag Sports, John McMullen highlights the lowlights since Smith’s departure and ties the Bears’ problems to the lack of talent acquired and added to the roster. While McMullen seems to place the issues on Ryan Pace’s shoulders, many of the Bears’ problems date back to Phil Emery’s three-year run of poor drafting, leaving the cupboard bare for Pace, who replaced him three years ago.
- Emery’s drafts were mostly fruitless, but questionable drafting isn’t limited to his tenure with the Bears. The Sporting News recently dug through the history books in an attempt to find each team’s worst draft pick, and there aren’t going to be too many worse than when the Bears chose Curtis Enis with the fifth overall pick in 1999. Enis ran for 1,497 yards in his three-year career, a number Jordan Howard needs 184 yards to surpass.
- Speaking of former Bears draft busts, tight end Evan Rodriguez hopes playing in the professional flag football league that features multiple ex-NFL players will help him get back into the league. Rodriguez was a fourth-round pick in 2012, but played just 12 games in his one season with the Bears – and just eight more games in two seasons since leaving Chicago.
- I’m almost curious to wonder how many fantasy football drafts were ruined by Enis, who never lived up to the hype after a productive career at Penn State. Here’s hoping you can avoid your own draft day miscues. With that in mind, here is a recently updated mock draft for PPR leagues. And for those curious about where Howard projects to go, he went in the second round with the 14th overall pick – making him a fringe first-round candidate. And if Howard can improve on his pass-catching abilities, you could make the case for taking him at the end of the first round.
- Vic Fanio’s defenses have done a commendable job limiting receivers from gaining yards after the catch:
Vic Fangio's defenses have a knack for limiting YAC pic.twitter.com/sGiKrTielr
— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) July 5, 2017