The Chicago Bears will take four days off before returning to work in preparation for their Week 10 contest against the Aaron Rodgers-less Green Bay Packers. In the meantime, we can enjoy some highlights from the first half:
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) November 2, 2017
- The Bears were quiet during the NFL’s trade deadline, but John Mullin of NBC Sports Chicago believes the team made a statement with their silence. Indeed, not dealing guard Josh Sitton, despite multiple phone calls from teams interested in boosting their offensive line, spoke volumes. While the Bears would have liked to add draft capital, the team wasn’t going to make a move for the sake of making a move.
- Additionally, I imagine it would be tough for GM Ryan Pace to pull the trigger on a deal that would weaken an already beat up offensive line in front of a rookie quarterback. And because the Bears are rebuilding, they couldn’t necessarily swing the kind of deal the Seattle Seahawks made to acquire Houston Texans Pro Bowl left tackle Duane Brown. Seattle sent a third-round pick in 2018 with a second-rounder in 2019 to protect Russell Wilson’s blind side. While the Bears could use help at tackle, there simply wasn’t a trade to make that would help them now (and in the future) that wouldn’t come with significant sacrifices.
- It’s not as if the Bears didn’t do anything, though. We can’t forget about the trade to acquire Dontrelle Inman from the Los Angeles Chargers. The Bears see Inman as an ideal fit for their offense once their second half gets underway, writes JJ Stankevitz of NBC Sports Chicago. Comparisons to injured Bears receiver Cameron Meredith are unavoidable, yet, understandable. Both are in the range of 6-foot-3, 200 pounds. And both were undrafted free agents who scratched and clawed their way up the depth chart to being a trusted top target for their respective quarterbacks. Inman should provide a different element to the offense with an ability to stretch the field vertically and possibly grab some 50-50 balls. The only other receiver on the active roster who is listed as taller than 6-feet is Tanner Gentry, who has played more than 91 percent of the team’s offensive snaps in the last three weeks. Considering Mitch Trubisky’s penchant for throwing the ball deep, the Bears could use that kind of weapon moving forward.
- Bears tight ends will soon get a workout with Zach Miller’s unfortunate injury clearing the way for Adam Shaheen, Dion Sims, and even Daniel Brown to see an up-tick in targets from Trubisky. Still, I can’t completely shake the NFL robbing Miller’s touchdown and having the nerve to publicly defend it without the kind of concrete evidence that is usually needed to overturn a call on the field. Add ESPN’s Kevin Seifert to the list of those expressing their belief that the NFL got the call right on the field and wrong upon further review. Seifert writes Miller completed the process of a catch and was robbed of a touchdown on what might have been the last play of his professional career. Seifert was holding out hope that Alberto Riveron’s crew would unearth another angle that backed the league’s claim, but that’s not quite what happened.
- Mike Mulligan of the Chicago Tribune attempts to take a look into the Bears’ future at cornerback, a position that will have more questions than answers when the calendar turns to 2018. Marcus Cooper signed a three-year deal in the offseason, but is just Pro Football Focus’ 80th ranked cornerback. Meanwhile, Prince Amukamara and Kyle Fuller – both of whom are free agents at season’s end – have been two of the Bears’ better cornerbacks according to PFF’s grading scale. Fuller is having a bit of a re-emergence in 2017, one year after his inability to recover from a knee injury cost him an entire season. But his play (and Bears career as a whole) can be best described as enigmatic, and the kind of deal he would get as a free agent is still to be determined. Earlier, we discussed Amukamara’s top-notch play and wondered if he was worthy of a contract extension.
- Remember when the Bears were loaded in the slot with Bryce Callahan and Cre’von LeBlanc? Callahan (who put forth the most notable performance from a nickel corner in 2016) has played well and could make a case for being the team’s second best corner this season. However, LeBlanc (who had a standout performance as a rookie last year) has played more snaps on special teams (93) than on defense (38). Perhaps he can step into an increased role if Amukamara or Fuller depart in free agency, but he hasn’t had much of an opportunity to show what he can do on the defensive side of the ball.