NFL 'helping' Bears coaching search

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NFL 'helping' Bears coaching search

NFL teams rarely take actions that materially benefit their other league competitors, whether it is divulging competitive information or something like, say, the Green Bay Packers defeating a division rival like, say, the Minnesota Vikings so that a team like, say, the Chicago Bears could slip into the playoffs (just being hypothetical there, of course).

But every so often a confluence of unrelated events can provide a substantial benefit to, say, the Chicago Bears.

As Phil Emery grinds through his candidate list, including offensive coordinators Darrell Bevell of Seattle on Saturday and Indianapolis Bruce Arians on Sunday, other teams are doing Emery and the Bears unintended favors.

The Buffalo Bills hired Doug Marrone from Syracuse. Kansas City quickly snapped up Andy Reid. And the Cleveland Browns grabbed Rob Chudzinski after a short search.

Those hirings took three (out of eight) potential job opportunities off the market and were done involving three individuals not on the Bears list. That means fewer prospects for Arians, Bevell, Marc Trestman, Mike Sullivan or Rick Dennison, prospects that could drive the price up if two teams target the same single finalist.

The Philadelphia Eagles have interviewed Trestman. The San Diego Chargers are expected to have conversations with Arians, who is also on the Eagles list.

But Arians and Trestman had been under consideration in Cleveland, which has now put out the No help wanted sign. And San Diego, which is expected to interview Lovie Smith, has looked more at defensive coaches.

All of which work in favor of the Bears and their plans.

Bears' rationale for drafting Floyd says as much about Pace as it does Floyd

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Bears' rationale for drafting Floyd says as much about Pace as it does Floyd

Hidden in all Bears GM Ryan Pace’s descriptors of the skills belonging to No. 1 draft pick Leonard Floyd was one even more revealing about Pace himself.

Four times within the span of about 10 minutes Pace referred to “tape” when discussing Floyd, while specifically referencing that while workouts are important, they factor into evaluations far, far less than what a player shows up doing in games, not drills.

Where former GM Phil Emery spoke constantly about measurables, Pace has brought the conversation back to what he, scouts and coaches saw on film – on more than one occasion.

Re. Floyd’s lack of big sack numbers at Georgia:

“You know when you watch the tape: They move him all over. He’s such a versatile athlete, so he playing inside linebacker one snap and the next snap he’s in nickel running down the field with a slot receiver. And then he’s rushing. You see him at all these different positions.”

Re. Floyd failing to bench press at his Pro Day:

“I think at his Pro Day he had a stomach virus. But I’m telling you: When you see this guy on tape… .”

Re. Floyd not finishing or doing every Combine test:

“For some guys, workouts are important and you can see their speed, change of directions, hips. But some guys, the athleticism is so evident on tape. The workouts matter but you’ve just got to be careful with it.”

Re. Floyd’s apparent lack of bulk and strength:

“You see it on tape: You don’t see guys getting into him. Guys that I think struggle against the run, they let offensive linemen get into their chest and get engulfed by blocks. He doesn’t do that. He plays with such great separation, he keeps that from happening.”

Indeed, the tape and not the measurable or even the stats has served the Bears very well. In the 2004 draft the Bears used the No. 14 pick to select Tommie Harris. The Oklahoma defensive tackle was the 2003 Lombardi Trophy winner as the nation’s best defensive lineman or linebacker with a resume of four sacks (Floyd had 4.5 last season) and 34 tackles that season.

Harris became the Bears’ most dominant defensive lineman of the decade and three-time Pro Bowl selection before his career succumbed to knee issues.

Sounding suspiciously like Pace, ''if you watch film, you'll see that I'm disruptive,'' Harris told the Athens Banner-Herald, ''All people care about is statistics. I've never been about stats.''

Evidently, neither is Pace.

Jonathan Bullard Chicago Bears NFL Draft Profile

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Jonathan Bullard Chicago Bears NFL Draft Profile

As part of our coverage leading up to the 2016 NFL Draft we will provide profiles of more than 150 prospects, including a scouting report and video interviews with each player.

Jonathan Bullard (DL), Florida

6’3” | 285 lbs.

2015 stats:

63 tackles, 18 TFL, 6.5 sacks, 2 PD

Selection:

3rd Round, 72nd overall to Chicago Bears

Scouting Report:

"Where He Wins: Bullard tested like a great athlete, which was a bit surprising. I love his ability to win as a defensive end against the run and impact passing downs when lining up inside. Bullard can win with power immediately or can win with length to shed and make the tackle." - Josh Norris, Rotoworld.com

Video analysis provided by NBC Sports and Rotoworld NFL Draft expert Josh Norris.

Bears shore up offensive line, select Kansas State's Cody Whitehair

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Bears shore up offensive line, select Kansas State's Cody Whitehair

Happy Birthday, Jay Cutler.

On the day that the Bears’ quarterback turned 33, the Bears used a second-round pick on a QB protector, trading down twice before selecting Kansas State offensive lineman Cody Whitehair with the 56th pick of the draft.

Whitehair, 6-foot-4, 305 pounds, was a four-year starter who has played both right and left tackle, starting all 13 games in 2014 at left tackle and performing well enough to earn first-team All-Big 12 honors as a senior.

The Bears have sounded pleased with Charles Leno at left tackle, backed up by Nick Becton, and signed Bobby Massie in free agency to settle at right tackle, backed up by 2015 sixth-round pick Tayo Fabuluje.

With Whitehair, Massie and signings of guard/centers Ted Lawson and Manny Ramirez, the Bears have set up the potential for nothing short of furious competition for two of the three interior-line positions on offense. Kyle Long has appeared set at right guard but center Hroniss Grasu and left guard Matt Slauson face major position battles, barring a shift of Long or Whitehair to tackle and inflaming the competition there.