Is Bill Polian the answer for Bears?

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Is Bill Polian the answer for Bears?

It seems strange to say, but Jerry Angelo is not the Bears GM.

After years of banging the pots and pans in the streets clamoring for the team to fire Angelo, now Bears fans have to shift their energy to who they actually want to replace him at his old desk.

Of course the decision will ultimately be made by the McCaskeys and not the fans, but that doesnt mean campaigning for a new GM should be frowned upon.

Since the Colts fired Bill Polian and his son Chris on Monday, lets see if they would be a good fit in Chicago.

The elder Polian helped build championship caliber teams in Buffalo, Carolina and Indianapolis over the past few decades. After spending 14 years with the Colts, owner Jim Irsay said the team needed to move on.

Would the 69-year-old Polian want to continue his career in another NFL front office? Would his son be along for the ride? CSNChicago.com's John Mullin says immediate speculation has centered on Polian.

Two very important questions that would need to be answered before the Bears can even make an offer.

The Daily Herald made a great comparison with how the Blackhawks brought in Scotty and Stan Bowman to run the show.

Sustained success is hard to duplicate, but Polian has a history of repeatedly doing well at the NFL Draft. He has built solid organizations from top to bottom, which is exactly what the Bears need.

Polian would have to be able work around the fact that Lovie Smith is staying put as head coach, similar to how Angelo operated his first year with Dick Jauron entrenched in 2001.

If the McCaskeys are looking for an individual who helped build winners in a variety of different ways, Polian may be the perfect pick.

From 1986-1993 Polian was the draft wizard who assembled a Bills team that reached the Super Bowl in four consecutive seasons. In 1994 he moved on to become the key cog for the expansion Carolina Panthers, an organization that arguably had the greatest meteoric rise in NFL history by reaching the NFC Championship game in only its second year of existence.

After four years in Carolina, Polian was tasked with turning the 3-13 Colts into a winner. Enter Peyton Manning. Polians first draft pick in 1998 was surrounded by talent year after year and the team would shortly turn into a perennial powerhouse. Reggie Wayne, Edgerrin James, Dwight Freeney, Bob Sanders and Robert Mathis are just a few of the many draft gems Polian polished off during his 14 years in Indianapolis.

The Bears have more talent in place than any one of Polians previous three stops. In Chicago the Bears have used free agency and trades to form most of its nucleus. Brian Urlacher, Lance Briggs and Charles Tillman are among the very few draft success stories that still remain intact.

Elite stars Julius Peppers and Jay Cutler have been brought to Chicago to win now. The big problem is that they were supposed to be a quick fix to cover up the fact that a solid foundation wasnt built by the front office.

Now the Bears must bring in an experienced contractor to help support the cracked foundation that lies beneath millions of dollars of investments on the top floors of the Chicago Bears estate. If Polian is the guy for the job he will start by doing what hes always done best, drafting instant impact players in April.

Bears Talk Podcast: Breaking down camp competition at wide receiver

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Bears Talk Podcast: Breaking down camp competition at wide receiver

On this week’s Bears Talk Podcast, we hear from Markus Wheaton as Chris Boden and JJ Stankevitz discuss the training camp competition at slot receiver.

Boden and Stankevitz also weigh in on PFF ranking the Bears’ starting lineup 18th in the NFL, answer listener questions and add another layer of Aaron Rodgers envy.

Listen to the latest Bears Talk Podcast right here:

Can Leonard Floyd break out in 2017? The Bears like the early signs

Can Leonard Floyd break out in 2017? The Bears like the early signs

The Bears believe Leonard Floyd will make the leap from being a promising rookie to a breakout second-year player, the kind who can be a centerpiece of a defense as soon as this fall.  

The Bears in 2016 totaled 37 sacks —12th in the NFL — despite dealing with a rash of injuries and not having a standout player in terms of getting to the quarterback. Willie Young led the team with 7 1/2 sacks, which tied him for 31st in the league last year, while Floyd and Akiem Hicks each had seven. 

Sixteen players recorded double-digit sacks last year. That’s not the end-all benchmark for Floyd in 2017, but for a former top-10 pick with elite skills and, as his coaches and teammate said, the right mentality, it’s not out of the question. 

“With most players, you go from your freshman year to sophomore or rookie to second year, … it slows down, they understand it, they're not thinking, they're reacting,” coach John Fox said. “And so I'd expect that and I've seen that already even in the off-season.”

Floyd, earlier this month, talked about how much more comfortable he feels after a full year of practicing and playing at the NFL level. 

“Everything was just fast when I got here last year,” Floyd said. “This year’s it’s way slower and I feel like I’m doing pretty good this year.”

There are two issues with Floyd that won’t go away until he proves they’re not problems in the regular season, though: His weight and his concussions. 

The weight issue is one Floyd has heard for a while, joking with reporters during veteran minicamp that he was surprised it wasn’t the first thing he was asked during his session with the media. He said he “definitely gained some weight” without revealing how much he’s put on, only saying he feels like he’s in much better shape now than he was as a rookie.

“It’s like night and day compared to last year,” Floyd said. 

The concessions are a far more serious — and scary — issue given it took Floyd two months to fully recover from the second concussion he suffered in 2016. 

The Bears believe Floyd’s concussion issues are correctable, though, given they were the product of poor tackling form made worse by collisions with Hicks. The crown of Floyd’s helmet was too low, so he and defensive coordinator Vic Fangio worked with tackling dummies and sled machines in an effort to fix that issue. 

The hope is that Floyd can stay healthy and marry his skills with a better knowledge of the game to put together a breakout year in 2017. His teammates sounded confident during the offseason program that everything was falling into place for the former ninth overall pick. 

“He’s a great competitor,” Hicks said. “Great energy, fast, athletic, he’s everything you want in an outside linebacker, right? Nonstop motor — I can give you all the cliche terms, but I just feel like as far as the defensive line or an outside linebacker, another year under his belt is only going to make him better.”

Added linebacker Jerrell Freeman: “That guy is going to be good for a while.”