Bears select Idaho QB Enderle in Round 5

458782.jpg

Bears select Idaho QB Enderle in Round 5

Saturday, April 30, 2011
Posted: 2:29 p.m. Updated: 3:50 p.m.
By John MullinCSNChicago.com

Nathan Enderle draft capsule

Complete NFL Draft Coverage

The never-ending Bears quest for help at quarterback added the name of Idahos Nathan Enderle to the list Saturday as the Bears went (again) for depth behind Jay Cutler and Caleb Hanie.

The Bears were disappointed last draft when they invested a sixth-round pick on a young quarterback, Dan LeFevour from Central Michigan. He was thrust into a preseason cauldron too soon because of a shoulder injury to Hanie.

The Cincinnati Bengals signed LeFevour to their roster after he was released in preseason cuts by the Bears, who were forced to then add veteran Todd Collins in the hunt for a viable depth chart at the games most important single position.

Bears offensive coordinator Mike Martz personally worked Enderle out, a key factor since Martz has not been overly high on Hanie since coming to the Bears.

Enderle is 6-4, 240 pounds, and is described by Pro Football Weekly draft analyst Nolan Nawrocki as too analytical on the field overthinks the game. That should make him very close to the kind of individual Martz wants with his offensive schemes.

Hes got a very strong arm and is very intelligent, said player personnel director Tim Ruskell.

Enderle has dealt successfully with books more complex than even a Martz playbook. I was a pre-med major when I started, and then I went into art and architecture, Enderle said. So I graduated in the college of art and architecture.

Intellectual excellence does not automatically translate into mastery of playbooks or defenses for that matter. Craig Krenzel was a molecular biology major at Ohio State and has gone on to his chosen field after abysmal flops on Soldier Field in 2004.

Enderles production fell off somewhat in his senior season and he completed less than 55 percent of his passes for his career. But the Bears believe his slip was due on large part to players graduating and leaving the Idaho program.

The Bears are scheduled now to open training camp on July 22 and could bring in a fourth quarterback for camp. In any case, for the regular season, the desire is always to go with three, Ruskell said.

Enderles NFL orientation should receive a nice boost from former Idaho teammate Eddie Williams, a running back on the Bears reservefuture roster.

I am very close with Eddie, Enderle said. We were roommates back in college and really good friends. I try not to ask him about football because I figure he gets enough of that as is. He is more than happy with the organization, they know what they are doing and he says they are just spot on with their training and things like that.

John "Moon" Mullin is CSNChicago.com's Bears Insider, and appears regularly on Bears Postgame Live and Chicago Tribune Live. Follow Moon on Twitter for up-to-the-minute Bears information.

Bears numbers don't indicate 3-13, yet still lie

Bears numbers don't indicate 3-13, yet still lie

In doing some post-season wrapping up of my Nerdy NFL Notebook as we begin turning the page to the 2017 season, part of it involves compiling where each team finished in big-picture team offensive and defensive categories: overall ranking (total yards), as well as team rushing and passing ranks on both sides of the ball.

So if the Bears wound up ranked 15th overall in total yards gained and allowed, they should've finished…oh, 8-8, right? It adds to the deception of some of the deeper issues that focus on a lack of playmakers, which tied into their inability to make plays when it matters most. In John Fox's 9-23 start, 18 of those games have been decided by six points or less. They've won just six of those games. 

Offensively, the Bears ranked higher in total offense than five playoff teams: Kansas City (20), Detroit (21), Miami (24), New York Giants (25) and Houston (29). They wound up 17th in rushing offense, better than four teams who advanced: Seattle (25), Green Bay (26), New York Giants (29) and Detroit (30). And their 14th-ranked passing offense ranked better than the Giants (17), Kansas City (19), Dallas (23), Miami (26), Houston (29).

On the other side of the ball, they'd be even better off before allowing 109 points over the final three losses. Their total defense ranked better than Detroit (18), Green Bay (22), Kansas City (24), Atlanta (25), Oakland (26) and Miami (29). After being gashed for 558 rushing yards the last three games, they fell to 27th in the NFL against the run (better than only 30th-ranked Miami). But the seventh-ranked pass defense, despite collecting a measly eight interceptions (among only 11 turnovers), was better than nine playoff teams: Miami (15), Pittsburgh (16), Kansas City (18), Detroit (19), the Giants (23), Oakland (24), Dallas (26), Atlanta (28) and Green Bay (31).

[SHOP: Gear up Bears fans!]

What do all the hollow numbers indicate? A lack of complementary, opportunistic football, playmakers on both sides of the ball, a minus-20 turnover ratio, and a lack of quality and continuity at the quarterback position — to name a few. All of those playoff teams have more impact players (or kept more of their impact players healthy) than the Bears in 2016.

While some of the numbers aren't that bad to look at, and some even raise an eyebrow, there's still a deep climb from the most significant numbers: 3-13.

Bears' best rookies will have another learning curve

Bears' best rookies will have another learning curve

There's a sense of irony and, to a certain degree, concern about what changes the Bears' coaching staff has undergone.

Think of the best of Ryan Pace's 2016 rookie class: Leonard Floyd, Cody Whitehair, and Jordan Howard. They were brought along under the position group tutelage of outside linebackers coach Clint Hurtt, offensive line coach Dave Magazu and running backs coach Stan Drayton. The latter was the first to depart, shortly after the season ended, to return to the collegiate ranks on Texas' new staff.

He's been replaced with former 49ers and Bills offensive coordinator Curtis Modkins (also serving as that position coach in Detroit, Buffalo, Arizona and Kansas City). Howard certainly adapted to the NFL game well, more than anyone expected, as the NFL's second-leading rusher. One would think Drayton played a part in that.

Longtime John Fox assistant Magazu was also let go after the season despite the impressive move of second-round pick Whitehair to center the week of the season opener after Josh Sitton was signed following his release by Green Bay. Whitehair was sold as a "quick study" following his selection out of Kansas State, where he was a four-year starter at three different positions (but not center).

[SHOP: Gear up Bears fans!]

Like Howard, he wound up making the All-Rookie team, but whether he remains in the middle of the line or not, he'll be getting his orders now from Jeremiah Washburn.

Rounding out the trio of All-Rookie selections was Floyd, who was brought along by Hurtt. He impressed Fox enough to be kept around from Marc Trestman's staff, and moved from defensive line to outside linebackers.

That's where he assisted Willie Young in morphing to a foreign role, yet still managing 14 sacks over the last two seasons. The Bears have yet to name a replacement for Hurtt, who's joined the Seahawks in taking over one of their strengths in recent years, the defensive line.

These three were already good, and the jewels of last year's draft. But if they're to grow and ascend into impact contributors if and when this team becomes a regular playoff contender, it'll come from new faces, new voices in their respective classrooms and position groups.