— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) April 9, 2018
Who ordered Bear Weather in April? Because yesterday was something else. As for today, it feels a little more like spring I can dig it.
- It hasn’t been top of mind just yet (seriously, it’s April) but visualizing how this offense will perform in less-than-ideal weather has popped up in conversations with friends. Again, it’s April, and how the Bears might go about attacking a defense in December (and January, perhaps?) isn’t in focus when the NFL Draft is staring us right in the face. But it’s worth talking about, even if it’s in passing. Passing offenses sometimes don’t do well in the elements, especially when the wind is whipping off the lake while rain and snow are pouring down from above. With that being said, it sure would be nice to have Jordan Howard, who is averaging 4.6 yards per carry in 10 games played after December 1. Howard has shown a nose for the end zone late in the season, with eight scores in nine December contests in his first two seasons.
- In case you needed a reminder of how good Howard has been in his two seasons with Chicago, Jeff Hughes of Da Bears Blog offers up some perspective explaining how well the Bears’ load-carrying back has played despite so many things not going his way. Let’s not let Howard become underrated in this town. He’s not perfect, but he is a valuable piece to this offense and could continue to be that for at least the next two seasons.
- The idea of Howard pounding away at defenses late in the season warms my heart on an chilly April day. Especially if the Bears can build a sizable lead with their passing offense. New wide receiver Allen Robinson is pumped about learning an offense that figures to be much more potent than anything the team has trotted out onto the field in recent years. Robinson expressed his excitement to work with quarterback Mitch Trubisky in learning their new offense to the team’s official website. “We both have been born into this on the same page as far as learning a new system. I think that’s special in itself because we can just talk about certain things as we go,” Robinson said. “He’s a young guy and I think that’s really good as well. For me being 24 years old, we both kind of have that eager energy as far as coming into this situation and learning the system.”
- Hope springs eternal at Halas Hall, especially on the offensive side of the ball. Robinson is expected to get a bunch of looks from Trubisky this season after headlining this class of free agents. With Robinson in the mix, big things are expected (some might even say projected) for the offense in 2018.
- Over the years, one constant during tough times (at least, as far as weather is concerned) has been defenses persevering in rough climates. The Bears had a top-10 defense in 2017, but still need to add pieces in order to reach their potential. ESPN’s Jeff Dickerson sees North Carolina State pass rusher Bradley Chubb as the ideal target for a team that wants to move ahead in its timeline and get to winning now. And because GM Ryan Pace has never been shy to move up in the draft for a player he wants (see: Trubisky, Mitchell; Floyd, Leonard for details) I wouldn’t rule out the possibility of the Bears maneuvering and sliding up a few spots in order to draft the draft’s best pass-rushing prospect – even if they don’t have a second-round pick to dangle as trade bait. It seems more likely the Bears use one of their fourth-round picks to move up into the third round after trading that selection to San Francisco in the Trubisky deal.
- Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle tweets the Bears will use one of their top-30 visits to meet with Oregon State running back Ryan Nall. Projected to be a seventh-round pick or someone who is a priority undrafted free agent, Nall is a powerful runner who might be best used as a short-yardage back. He could also be converted into a fullback or H-back, depending on where he fits in the offensive scheme. Bears OC Mark Helfrich probably had a good look at Nall when he was Oregon’s head coach. Nall was Oregon’s Prep Football Player of the Year in 2013 who excelled as a running back and at linebacker.