How many current (and former) Bears can you spot in the 2018 edition of Bad Lip Reading of the NFL:
- The NFL’s rumor season is starting to warm up, but let it be known that David Amerson isn’t the only cornerback who could interest the Bears this offseason. Vinnie Iyer of the Sporting News handicaps the market for the teams who could need Malcolm Butler of the Patriots the most. The Bears, Buccaneers, Raiders, Seahawks, and 49ers are the five best fits for Butler as Iyer sees it. Butler infamously played just one snap in the Super Bowl, and it was on special teams. Did I mention that the former Pro Bowler and one-time Super Bowl hero was benched in a game where Eagles quarterback Nick Foles threw for more than 300 yards and three touchdowns?
- NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport reports Butler’s benching was due to a “perfect storm of issues” including a minor curfew-related rules violation, illness, and a tough week at practice. The New York Post alleges something a little worse than just a missed curfew, citing a social media post from former teammate Brandon Browner. We won’t dive too deep into these allegations until more details on the situation arise and further investigation is warranted.
- Over at Bleacher Report, Gary Davenport analyzes the NFL’s offseason trade market and offers up what he believes to be a realistic trade that could improve the Bears’ offense and immediately upgrade the team’s receiver corps. The idea of trading a conditional fifth-round pick to the Oakland Raiders in exchange for Michael Crabtree is interesting on the surface. Crabtree is set to make $7.75 million in 2018 and could end up as a cap casualty because of his lofty price tag. He had a down year in 2017, but Crabtree has a pair of 1,000-yard receiving seasons under his belt and has scored 25 touchdowns over the last three seasons. Still, his 58 catches, 618 yards, and 10.7 yards per catch average represent his lowest output since 2014, which was his last year in San Francisco. Perhaps a change of scenery could put Crabtree back on track.
- Patrick Finley of the Chicago Sun-Times writes about the Bears’ hiring of Brad Childress as an offensive consultant. As Finley points out, Matt Nagy referred to Childress as his “partner in crime” during his introductory press conference in January. So it should come as no surprise that Childress ended his brief retirement to assist in the process of Nagy’s first job as a head coach. Still, that’s an impressive pull by Nagy to make it happen. That Childress, an old-school coach with head coaching experience, is joining the staff in any capacity says a lot about how he feels about Nagy’s future as a coach.
- The Indianapolis Colts made the hiring of Josh McDaniels as their head coach. With that move, there are no head coach openings available. Here is a rundown of who went where:
The rundown of official NFL head coaching hires in 2018:
Bears: Matt Nagy
Cardinals: Steve Wilks
Colts: Josh McDaniels
Giants: Pat Shurmur
Lions: Matt Patricia
Raiders: Jon Gruden
Titans: Mike Vrabel
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) February 6, 2018
- All things considered, it feels like the Bears did well in 1) striking early with Matt Nagy, 2) putting together a diverse coaching staff, and 3) finding the kind of candidate that fits the program moving forward. We don’t know if any of it will translate into wins on the football field, but every other team has the same questions the Bears do … with the possible exception of the Oakland Raiders.
- The re-shaping of the Bears’ coaching staff continues with the addition of another coach with a mind geared toward improving the offense. NFL insider Adam Caplan tweets the Bears are expected to hire Brian Ginn as an offensive assistant. Ginn coached in a variety of roles at Delaware, where both he and Nagy played their college ball. Ginn was an offensive coordinator and passing game coordinator who also coached quarterbacks, wide receivers, and tight ends at Delaware for nearly two decades. Every little bit helps, I suppose.
- Alex Marvez of the Sporting News reports Ben Wilkerson is leaving for the New York Giants to serve as an assistant offensive line coach on Pat Shurmur’s staff. Wilkerson has coached in a similar capacity the last three years with the Bears under John Fox. It’s not a surprise to see the turnover on the offensive side of the ball, especially at offensive line where Harry Hiestand has taken over.
- It’s not rare to see a long-time coach call it a career at age 59, but the reasons pushing Mike Tice to do so seem to stand out. Tice tells Dan Barreiro is considering calling it quits because players no longer want to be coached. Tice has served as a head coach for the Vikings and an offensive coordinator for the Bears among his jobs over the course of his 35-year career in the NFL, but this revelation comes after wrapping up a three-year run as the Raiders’ Offensive Line Coach.