3 bold opinions about the Chicago Bears

Discussion in 'Chicago Bears' started by The Benjamin, Jul 24, 2014.

  1. The Benjamin

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    • By Michael C. Wright | July 24, 2014 8:00:34 AM PDT
    BOURBONNAIS, Ill. -- Chicago Bears general manager Phil Emery and head coach Marc Trestman spent nearly an hour Wednesday addressing the media for the start of training camp at Olivet Nazarene University, and touched on a variety of topics.

    Here are three things we think after listening to them as well as quarterback Jay Cutler, who met with the media shortly after reporting to camp:

    [​IMG]
    WilsonMichael C. Wright

    If healthy, Adrian Wilson is a starter. Yes, he’s 34 and coming off an injury which forced him to miss the entire 2013 season. But some within the organization are downright giddy about what Wilson could potentially bring to the table in terms of adding a level of physicality at the safety position. In laying out a case for him, one member of the organization pointed out that many of today’s best defenses feature an intimidating presence on the back end; teams such as Seattle and San Francisco. The truth is the Bears don’t know whether Wilson has anything left in the tank. But if Wilson remains fully healthy throughout camp, I think he leaves Bourbonnais with a starting job.

    “He sets a tone,” general manager Phil Emery said. “Talk about a guy that [will] come down in the box and whack you, and whack you in space. That’s what he’s done.”

    Sounds good, doesn’t it?

    Offense isn’t quite as good as everyone thinks. Not yet. That’s not to take away from the group’s accomplishments last season, because it definitely improved. But there seems to be an assumption the Bears will automatically light up opponents this season based on what they did in 2013. Chicago’s offense hasn’t arrived by any means. There’s still plenty of room for growth. That’s part of why Bears coach Marc Trestman constantly laments yardage and points they “left on the field” in 2013, and why a major part of the coach’s message to the team at camp is to “ignore the noise”; the noise being the optimism surrounding the team from outsiders.
    [​IMG]
    AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh
    Jay Cutler and the Bears offense still has a lot of work to do if they want to become elite.
    Cutler even cautioned against overconfidence.

    “You’ve got to be careful with that. Everyone in the NFL is confident right now,” Cutler said. “Everyone likes what they have on paper. Everyone likes their roster. That includes us. But that doesn’t guarantee us anything. We’ve still got to go out there and perform.”

    The Bears certainly won’t be sneaking up on opponents this season given what the offense did in 2013. Opposing defenses will be ready. The Bears need to be, too.

    Jimmy Clausen will overtake Jordan Palmer for the No. 2 job. Emery raved about Clausen’s workouts, and it seems Cutler has taken to the former Notre Dame standout too. Emery said that upon Clausen’s arrival, he “got Jay on the phone right away. Jay reached him, and they reached out to each other,” and the quarterbacks “spent the whole weekend together learning the playbook so that [Clausen] had the best opportunity to stick with the team post the veteran minicamp. That determination, the literal picture is he squared his jaw and got to work. That is what I like about him. He’s got a certain mental toughness and intelligence, and he showed accuracy.”

    To me, it seems the Bears want Clausen to win the job, and Palmer certainly didn’t help his cause by missing practice time during the offseason due to an injury only to return with a couple of shaky workouts.

    The team likes how Clausen handled his lack of success and the drafting of Cam Newton in Carolina, and believes the quarterback has displayed plenty of mental toughness in recent years. It also helps that he’s got plenty of NFL experience, which will be a huge advantage in the competition with Palmer.

    Jeff Dickerson

    Competition not just lip service with Trestman. Genuine training camp competitions under Lovie Smith were few and far between. Most everything was predetermined on the depth chart under Smith, but legitimate battles are expected to take place this preseason at safety, linebacker, No. 3 wide receiver (although Marquess Wilson is the favorite), No. 2 quarterback, No. 2 running back, and for the reserve spots on the offensive and defensive lines. Too often NFL players fall into the trap of feeling comfortable and secure once they’ve established themselves. Emery has removed that security blanket. Read between the lines on Wednesday: notable veteran players are in jeopardy of being cut at the end of the summer if they fail to perform at an acceptable level at camp and in the preseason games. Emery also said on Wednesday the Bears will continue to monitor the waiver wire and free agent market to improve the club, if necessary. Unless a player has a lucrative contract, he is not safe from a roster standpoint.
    [​IMG]
    ClausenClausen will overtake Palmer for the No. 2 job. Jordan Palmer might open practice on Friday as the No. 2 quarterback, but Jimmy Clausen has closed the gap in the QB race considerably. The Bears have done nothing but praise Clausen since he joined the club on June 5, lauding everything from Clausen’s arm, intelligence, commitment and desire to prove people wrong following a disappointing stint in Carolina. Emery called Clausen’s free agent workout “the best quarterback workout” he’s seen since arriving in Chicago in the winter of 2012. Clausen has also apparently clicked with Cutler over the last six weeks. Emery has final say over the roster, but Cutler’s opinion does matter when it comes to selecting his backup. Clausen has the most experience of the bunch (10 starts) and the most natural talent. We all see where this is headed.

    Kyle Long's expected absence concerning. Training camp is where offensive linemen hone their technique. While Kyle Long made the Pro Bowl in 2013 as a rookie, he is still considered somewhat raw. The news that Long will be sidelined indefinitely due to a viral infection is concerning. A bad viral infection can keep a player out for an extended period of time. We don’t know the severity of Long’s illness, other than he’s scheduled to be re-evaluated next week. Hopefully, Long returns to the field in short order. He needs the reps. And the last thing the Bears need is to once again be forced to move bodies around on the offensive line. We all know how that usually ends up. Right tackle Jordan Mills (foot) and left guard Matt Slauson (shoulder) receiving full medical clearance to practice on Friday is encouraging news, but forgive me for holding my breath until Long gets over the illness and is back on the field.
     
  2. dachuckster

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    I am concerned about Long. If it were just a simple virus based cold or something, he would not be on the PUP list.

    I suspect that if you are on the PUP list, there is an expectation that you will miss some time (more than a couple of days).
     
  3. shark86x

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    Is he on the PUP? I can't seem to find an official statement that he is. I thought he was just out a week or so.
     
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  4. dachuckster

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    That is what I heard on the radio (Mully and Hanley) this morning. I thought it was in a discussion with Brad Biggs but not sure.
     
  5. The Benjamin

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    They (and ZZ) seemed to indicate that it was just precautionary same with Conte
     
  6. shark86x

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    The PUP statement seems to be attributed to Phil Emery during his presser by one or two "reporters". I listened to Emery's comments about Long, and he only said he was unavailable this weekend and would be re-evaluated next week. He did not mention anything about PUP'ing him. Unless it was in a different part of the presser....

    http://www.csnchicago.com/bears/bears-rg-kyle-long-miss-start-camp-viral-infection
     
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  7. RochBear

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    I'm thinking some of the A Wilson talk is just to have something to talk about before camp and he is a recent signing. BUT, Wilson signed for the veteran minimum in late June. That suggests nobody was all that sold on his ability to play anything like the Adrian Wilson of old. I would just luv to be wrong about this.

    The Clausen talk, on the other hand I more or less buy. Clausen was a first round talent who absolutely sucked his rookie year. Palmer was a 6th (or so) rounds talent who has never stuck with a team for a full season except when the weird Mike Brown of the Bengals kept him, probably to try to keep Carson Palmer sweet. To me, that means Palmer has proven to a number of NFL teams that he isn't a good NFL backup QB. I too expect Clauson to win the competition.
     
  8. soulman

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    I listened to Emery's presser and while he opened with Conte being on the PUP as expected if he said the same about Long I didn't hear it. All I heard is that he's out for the weekend and will be re-evaluated on Monday. No, it wouldn't be a good thing if it's expended but as it stands we have nothing solid that says it will. It's not time to worry until it's time to worry.
     
  9. soulman

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    As per Wilson I'm not reading all that much into his still being out there in June. There are actually a lot of formerly talented players out there still looking for work with the right team and in the right situation. We looked around at where we stood at Safety and gave him a try out which he apparently passed with flying colors. Guys like that aren't brought in for a look see just to be another body in camp.

    Wilson had to feel like he had a shot at making the team and at a starters spot too or I doubt even he would have been willing to come in just to have his tires kicked in case someone needed him later in the year. Even for a vet minimum we have nearly a mil invested in the guy if he makes the roster and they wouldn't spend that on a 34 year old backup who doesn't play STeams when they could spend half that on a younger player who does.

    I seriously believe he has not only a good shot at making the roster but also a shot at starting. With Conte's status still up in the air he's got a chance to gain some ground.

    I can buy the Clausen thing too and also Cutler taking a liking to the guy. They aren't all that much different in certain ways. Both came into the NFL a little on the cocky side although in Clausen's case I'd say it was probably more than just a little. Both have also been humbled a bit by not living up to expectations but Clausen's miss is far greater than Cutlers. Seem to me that Jimmy Clausen would be just the kind of guy Cutler could take under his wing whereas he won't be able to do that with Palmer.

    If we look at it only from the perspective Phil Emery provided prior to the draft what we see is two 6th round picks (Palmer and Fales) who, according to Phil, have very little chance of ever becoming top NFL starting QBs and may not even make the grade as the first class #2 every team wants and needs. Clausen is a former 2nd round pick who had 1st round credential but was a bit of an attitude problem and that along with his crappy showing his rookie year cooked his goose in Carolina.

    I doubt any of Clausen's skills as a passer have diminished and he's only 26 so he still has plenty of years left to develop his game and contribute. Overall and in the long haul he has to be the better prospect for that #2 spot and has the ability to become that 1st class #2 for several years that Palmer probably lacks. With his past history it's also not likely he'd complain about being Cutler's second. I think he grateful just to get another shot at playing in the NFL.
     
  10. RochBear

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    Wilson's motivation for signing could well be as you say, he figures to start in Chicago. That doesn't mean that is the Bears motive of course. Emery might figure Wilson would be fine competition plus insurance against either Pre-cut-down day injury, (including the small possibility of Conte not being 'right' following that surgery), or Veneen regressing to being just a rookie who you really don't want on the field in critical games. The Bears have only Mundy, Conte, and Veenen are plausible starters and going into the year with only that depth is risky (see, DT-2013). You know all this, of course, I think we just have somewhat different assessments of the probabilities. I do think Wilson will only count as 570K cap dollars since at least on Rotoworld he is listed as $955,000 the actual 10+ year minimum not a plus $1 amount allowing earlier re-negotiation.

    Regardless, I am happy to have Wilson on the Bears, especially given the news that he seems not to have had a full achilles tear. Fingers crossed that he has some strong echo of his former all-pro self.
     

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