Friday, November 13th
Maybe I am just a glass is half full kind of guy! Because, if you look closely at Jay's performance tonight, he hit 12 different receivers. That is some serious distribution of the football and spreading the wealth. Unfortunately, seven targets were on the Bears roster and five others played for the 49ers.
You cannot sugercoat Jay's performance one bit. He needed to be the difference maker for the Bears, not SAN FRAN! The game was set up for Jay coming into Thursday night. Running the football was going to be difficult as the 49ers were fourth overall in the NFL at stopping the run. Furthermore, the Bears should have featured the passing game due to the 49ers losing their star cornerback, Nate Clements, for six weeks to injury. It was not to be and Bear faithful are left wondering how their prized franchise QB now leads the league in interceptions. Is Chicago where QB's come to die?
All of Jay's miscues are correctable and some the fault of others. But when you blow Red Zone scoring opportunities with as much frequency as the Bears, it is now must be considered a trend. The first and last interceptions are without a doubt the most alarming. We have witnessed three games this year where Jay has demonstrated poor decision making in the Red Zone that has cost the Bears football games. The first interception by Nose Tackle Abrayo Franklin of the 49ers is inexcusable. There was no passing lane! Never going to be a passing lane to complete that football! Three other 49ers had TE Greg Olsen blanketed in the Endzone making it way to risky of a throw. THROW THE BALL AWAY! Go back to my Atlanta Blog. Take the three points. You are on the road in a MUST WIN game scenario. The bigger picture needs to sink in and Lovie Smith needs to hammer it home to his starting franchise QB. Time for a trip to the principles office for a chat because Jay's poor decisions are now putting Lovie's livelihood in harms way.
Jay's carelessness displayed throwing the football makes it difficult for everyone moving forward. It certainly affects Offensive Coordinator Ron Turner's ability to call a game. Jay will not say it publicly, but his confidence is shaken. You do not apologize to your teammates after the game if you are not questioning yourself inside. Tommie Harris dealt with it last week and now Jay has to get back to work. Ron has to stress the fundamentals. Poor footwork and technique are killing Jay's production. It is not the time to let Jay off the hook after a so called "bad day at the office". This has been brewing for quite some time, when it should have been addressed in the first place.
As part of our coverage leading up to the 2017 NFL Draft we will provide profiles of more than 100 prospects, including a scouting report and video interviews with each player.
Derek Barnett, OLB, Tennessee
6'3" | 259 lbs.
56 tackles, 19 TFL, 13 sacks, INT, 5 PD, 2 FF
"Strong edge presence with NFL-caliber hand usage and play strength. Barnett is one of the most productive defensive linemen to come out of the SEC in quite some time despite lacking the length and twitch that teams usually look for off the edge. His awareness and play traits should keep him near the action and he has the talent to step into a starting base end spot right away. There could be coordinators who view him as an early down, outside backer in a 3-4 with the ability to put his hand in the ground on sub packages." — Lance Zierlein, NFL.com
Video analysis provided by Rotoworld and NBC Sports NFL Draft expert Josh Norris.
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PHOENIX — When the 2014 season concluded, with all its drama, poor play and internal dysfunction, Bears Chairman George McCaskey passed along the unvarnished mood of Bears matriarch and owner Virginia McCaskey:
"She's pissed off," George McCaskey declared.
The 2016 season ended worse record-wise (3-13) than 2014 (5-11) but Bears ownership sees arrows pointing up, not down as they appeared after 2014, occasioning the jettisoning of the general manager and coaching staff.
"[Virginia] sees the progress, but like any Bears fan, she wants results," George McCaskey said, chuckling at the recollection of relaying his mother's mood. "That's the quote that won't go away."
"Progress" and "results" are vague terms, and sometimes relative. But Bears ownership is not setting a public fail-safe point for either general manager Ryan Pace or head coach John Fox to remain in place, although no scenario could presumably consider four wins actual "progress" from three.
"We want to continue to see progress, see the building blocks but there isn't any sort of particular threshold," McCaskey confirmed. "We're not on any particular timetable that somebody else is wanting to set for us. We're wanting to see continued progress toward our goal of sustained success."
"Sustained success" is not beyond the scope of possibility, assuming that a talent core can be established and includes a quarterback, which the personnel department under Pace believe it is on the brink of putting in place, whether around Mike Glennon, Mark Sanchez or a player to be drafted or traded for later.
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GM Phil Emery adopted the buzz phrase of "multiple championships," but current leadership does sound less grandiose and more grounded. And where Emery drafts proved disastrous, the Pace administration has had clear hits, injuries notwithstanding, as recently as the 2016 class, which McCaskey mentioned in the context of Pace building the roster exactly the way ownership prefers.
"We have confidence in Ryan and John," McCaskey said. "We want to build through the draft. Ryan said that in his interview when he said he was interested in coming to the Bears and we like how he's stuck to that plan. We saw it last year when we had three rookies on the Pro Football Writers of America all-rookie team; Cody Whitehair, Leonard Floyd and Jordan Howard.
"And that's what we need to keep doing; keep building through the draft. I told Ryan he should get ripped this time of year every year for not being more active in free agency and that's because we're developing our own guys and rewarding our own guys."
McCaskey supported the actions, or lack of same, by Pace in the pursuit of max-dollar free agents this offseason. The Bears dropped out of sweepstakes for cornerback Stephon Gilmore and safety Tony Jefferson, among others, when prices spiked far beyond the parameters set by the Pace staff.
"I've been very impressed with [Pace] as a leader, as an evaluator of talent," McCaskey said. "And one of the things I've been most impressed by with him is the discipline he's shown just as recently as this free agency period. He didn't want to overpay guys. Too often, I think, you overpay guys who don't come through for you and then you have a big hole in your salary cap and you're behind the 8-ball. So I like the discipline he has shown, the restraint he has shown in free agency."