Talking/Arguing/Vomiting about the Offensive Line

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Re: Talking/Arguing/Vomiting about the Offensive Line

Tue Jan 28, 2020 9:54 am

He only played 4 games prior to the injury and he was hurt very early in the Oakland game. So I don't think you can really make any claim either way on him. I think we were all probably guilty of super high expectations and thinking that every play on defense would be a sack or a turnover.

He's been so good for us, and the decline in our D after his injury last year was so evident, that I don't see any possible way we would let this guy go. His cap number isn't even all that bad, it's less than Floyd's 5th year option and comparing those two just isn't even close.

To Drone's point about his knees....he basically got a year off last year, which should really help his knees.
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Re: Talking/Arguing/Vomiting about the Offensive Line

Tue Jan 28, 2020 10:51 am

Hicks has to be accounted for when he's on the field. My issue going into 2019 was how much weight he gained. Ballooning up to 355 obviously had an impact.
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Re: Talking/Arguing/Vomiting about the Offensive Line

Tue Jan 28, 2020 10:59 am

wab wrote:
Tue Jan 28, 2020 10:51 am
Hicks has to be accounted for when he's on the field. My issue going into 2019 was how much weight he gained. Ballooning up to 355 obviously had an impact.
I find Hicks' 2019 hard to assess due to how much time he missed.

That said, I think Aaron Lynch gained about as much weight himself.
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Re: Potential Target: TE Eric Ebron

Tue Jan 28, 2020 11:02 am

HisRoyalSweetness wrote:
Fri Jan 24, 2020 9:00 pm
dplank wrote:
Fri Jan 24, 2020 10:31 am
Anyone else excited about the possibility of adding Trent Williams for only a 4.9M up spend on the OL position for 2020? Then, when you have to re sign him next year, you have the freedom to dump Massie's contract which opens your cap back up?
You propose a creative scenario for Williams's affordability. However, there a number of factors here:

1. Williams was unhappy with the way Washington handled his medical condition, but there's now been a clear out of those he held responsible so he may yet remain with the team.

2. He's under contract for another year at $12.5m, but with no guaranteed money. Are you banking on him being cut or expecting to have to trade for him. Your comment about re-signing him next year implies the latter. If so then what should the Bears be prepared to give up to get him? They're already short on picks. Are you prepared for Williams to walk away a year later if another team offers him a better contract having sacrificed draft capital to get him? Do the Bears sign him to an immediate extension and if so then at what level? Would you use the franchise tag to prevent him from leaving?

3. If Washington were to cut him because a trade market doesn't materialise (which seems unlikely) then what would the Bears have to pay to lure him to Chicago? It's likely to be a multi-year deal with an annual amount at least matching what he's getting now, probably significantly more, and it's unlikely that there won't be competition for his services. One rival could be the Browns; they could use the help at tackle and his old o-line coach is in Cleveland.

If Williams really wants out and Washington hire a first-time GM then maybe Pace could sucker him into a straight swap with Leno! :lol:
If the Skins want a R2 pick--we have 2 of those--what if we trade them one and then immediately (which we've arranged with his agent beforehand) renegotiate his contract for a bare minimum cap hit this year with significant $$$ including guarantees starting in year 2. The minimum cap hit this year allows us to dump one of our OTs to balance out the dead cap hit in 2020.

Just an idea.
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Re: Talking/Arguing/Vomiting about the Offensive Line

Tue Jan 28, 2020 12:30 pm

The Cooler King wrote:
Tue Jan 28, 2020 9:48 am
IE wrote:
Tue Jan 28, 2020 9:41 am


That makes sense. I think some of that money would be going to keeping Nick Williams (who is 30 too, but low mileage) and Nicols (who is super young with upside) plus maybe a draft pick if the right guy is there. If not, FA depth.

I am wondering if anyone else saw and thought was I saw with Hicks last year. He just didn't look like 2018 Hicks to me. He had a flash or two against the Pack, and then beyond that was kinda JAG and injured. He's a really good dude so I hope I'm wrong about that. But it stood out to me.
Well if that's the plan, we experienced a severe drop off from 2018 and I'd think about blowing it up. Rolling the dice on 2020 again for me is predicated on 2018 Hicks being in reach still. Or if there's a comparable replacement on the FA market, go that route.
Wasn't the D pretty good this past year? Even without Hicks and turnovers for the most part? I think what we saw with him out was pretty good, consider the LB injuries and over-shooting mean reversion on turnovers.
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Re: Talking/Arguing/Vomiting about the Offensive Line

Tue Jan 28, 2020 12:42 pm

Our rushing yards given up per game almost doubled once Hicks was injured against the Raiders.
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Re: Talking/Arguing/Vomiting about the Offensive Line

Tue Jan 28, 2020 12:53 pm

AZ_Bearfan wrote:
Tue Jan 28, 2020 12:42 pm
Our rushing yards given up per game almost doubled once Hicks was injured against the Raiders.
The Bears were 4th in YPC against this past year and 9th in total rushing yardage. That is Top 5 in both categories. And they're also Top 5 in scoring defense.

They were 18th in rush attempts against... which, if you look at the stats typically correlates with how bad teams are (people just conservatively run against them, and aren't frantically passing). They had more runs against them than 14 teams, and still ended in the top 5. It's kind of impressive?

I know Hicks is damn good when he's good. But again the performance overall with him being out most of the season... was actually pretty good.

It isn't like he's super expensive, really. But if people are really interested in looking at ways to regain cap space while minimizing risk, the numbers are kinda there. Aren't they?
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Re: Talking/Arguing/Vomiting about the Offensive Line

Tue Jan 28, 2020 12:53 pm

duplicate sorry
Last edited by IE on Tue Jan 28, 2020 2:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Talking/Arguing/Vomiting about the Offensive Line

Tue Jan 28, 2020 12:57 pm

I'm definitely for keeping Hicks IF his knee med reports indicate a few more good seasons.

In 2018, he made several impact plays and made the players around him better.
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Re: Potential Target: TE Eric Ebron

Tue Jan 28, 2020 1:00 pm

Mikefive wrote:
Tue Jan 28, 2020 11:02 am
HisRoyalSweetness wrote:
Fri Jan 24, 2020 9:00 pm

You propose a creative scenario for Williams's affordability. However, there a number of factors here:

1. Williams was unhappy with the way Washington handled his medical condition, but there's now been a clear out of those he held responsible so he may yet remain with the team.

2. He's under contract for another year at $12.5m, but with no guaranteed money. Are you banking on him being cut or expecting to have to trade for him. Your comment about re-signing him next year implies the latter. If so then what should the Bears be prepared to give up to get him? They're already short on picks. Are you prepared for Williams to walk away a year later if another team offers him a better contract having sacrificed draft capital to get him? Do the Bears sign him to an immediate extension and if so then at what level? Would you use the franchise tag to prevent him from leaving?

3. If Washington were to cut him because a trade market doesn't materialise (which seems unlikely) then what would the Bears have to pay to lure him to Chicago? It's likely to be a multi-year deal with an annual amount at least matching what he's getting now, probably significantly more, and it's unlikely that there won't be competition for his services. One rival could be the Browns; they could use the help at tackle and his old o-line coach is in Cleveland.

If Williams really wants out and Washington hire a first-time GM then maybe Pace could sucker him into a straight swap with Leno! :lol:
If the Skins want a R2 pick--we have 2 of those--what if we trade them one and then immediately (which we've arranged with his agent beforehand) renegotiate his contract for a bare minimum cap hit this year with significant $$$ including guarantees starting in year 2. The minimum cap hit this year allows us to dump one of our OTs to balance out the dead cap hit in 2020.

Just an idea.
It would have to be Leno, because he's not playing on the right and you aren't trading for Williams to put him on the right. And Leno has a metric shit ton of dead cap for 2020.

If you trade for Williams (in a hypothetical universe) then you are conceding Leno as a 10 million dollar swing tackle.
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Re: Talking/Arguing/Vomiting about the Offensive Line

Tue Jan 28, 2020 1:06 pm

I’m not trying to shit on Hicks. I’m really not.

That being said,

He’s on the wrong side of 30.
He was overweight last year.
He’s coming off an injury.
We have a potential rotation on the DL if he gets released.

Most importantly, I want to see what we can do with the OL. I feel that $10M on the OL helps more than having Hicks. If we can establish a running game and do a better job of protecting Mitch that does more good for the overall team than having Hicks.

If there’s a way to put more money into the OL while keeping guys like Kwit, etc. without doing this I’m all ears.
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Re: Talking/Arguing/Vomiting about the Offensive Line

Tue Jan 28, 2020 1:08 pm

I want the o-line to be a focus for sure, but not at the detriment of the d-line. They are both equally important IMO.
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Re: Talking/Arguing/Vomiting about the Offensive Line

Tue Jan 28, 2020 1:08 pm

I would agree that the defense after Hicks went out was still "pretty good". But, a "pretty good" defense paired with anything other than a "great" offense isn't winning a super bowl. One part of your team has to be great to have a chance to win a Super Bowl, and even then double doinks can happen.

I don't see us getting to "great" on offense anytime soon, certainly not in 2020. We are closest to greatness on the defensive side of the ball, so I think that you have to be better than "pretty good" there to win it all. Big part of my unhappiness with Pagano that I don't need to rehash. Hicks staying healthy and playing at 2018 level will help us get back to "great" on that side of the ball. Without him, well, now you have a new hole to fill. Big one.
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Re: Talking/Arguing/Vomiting about the Offensive Line

Tue Jan 28, 2020 1:13 pm

The Marshall Plan wrote:
Tue Jan 28, 2020 1:06 pm
I’m not trying to shit on Hicks. I’m really not.

That being said,

He’s on the wrong side of 30.
He was overweight last year.
He’s coming off an injury.
We have a potential rotation on the DL if he gets released.

Most importantly, I want to see what we can do with the OL. I feel that $10M on the OL helps more than having Hicks. If we can establish a running game and do a better job of protecting Mitch that does more good for the overall team than having Hicks.

If there’s a way to put more money into the OL while keeping guys like Kwit, etc. without doing this I’m all ears.
I posted it elsewhere, but we could add Trent Williams and his 12.5M salary right now and only be upspending by ~5M on the OL. Kyle Long money is off the books and we wouldn't need to resign Lucas at 2M or whatever he'll cost. If we wanted to, we could cut Leno too which would free up another 3M (with 7M dead cap). It's totally achievable without cutting a pro bowl talent like Hicks.
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Re: Talking/Arguing/Vomiting about the Offensive Line

Tue Jan 28, 2020 1:15 pm

IE wrote:
Tue Jan 28, 2020 12:30 pm
The Cooler King wrote:
Tue Jan 28, 2020 9:48 am

Well if that's the plan, we experienced a severe drop off from 2018 and I'd think about blowing it up. Rolling the dice on 2020 again for me is predicated on 2018 Hicks being in reach still. Or if there's a comparable replacement on the FA market, go that route.
Wasn't the D pretty good this past year? Even without Hicks and turnovers for the most part? I think what we saw with him out was pretty good, consider the LB injuries and over-shooting mean reversion on turnovers.
This D wasn't designed to win with a pretty good D. It was designed to win with an elite D. I don't see route that this teams O is good enough to contend with a team thats closer to 2019 than closer to 2018.
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Re: Talking/Arguing/Vomiting about the Offensive Line

Tue Jan 28, 2020 1:17 pm

The Marshall Plan wrote:
Tue Jan 28, 2020 1:06 pm
I’m not trying to shit on Hicks. I’m really not.

That being said,

He’s on the wrong side of 30.
He was overweight last year.
He’s coming off an injury.
We have a potential rotation on the DL if he gets released.

Most importantly, I want to see what we can do with the OL. I feel that $10M on the OL helps more than having Hicks. If we can establish a running game and do a better job of protecting Mitch that does more good for the overall team than having Hicks.

If there’s a way to put more money into the OL while keeping guys like Kwit, etc. without doing this I’m all ears.
In reality, they need to re-sign Williams and he earned himself a decent paycheck. How much I don't know, given he's 30. But I'll guess he can get $3-4mm at least for one year deals as a hired gun somewhere. If that was true, losing Hicks would be really only bring ~$5-6MM to the cap pool. Plus some number for a draft pick or 2018 Nick Williams deal. So assume $4-5MM for letting Hicks go?

Nothing to sneeze at, given those top ten stats lines and the fact that Pace is pretty good at finding good under the radar defensive players (including Hicks himself).
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Re: Talking/Arguing/Vomiting about the Offensive Line

Tue Jan 28, 2020 1:29 pm

The Cooler King wrote:
Tue Jan 28, 2020 1:15 pm
IE wrote:
Tue Jan 28, 2020 12:30 pm


Wasn't the D pretty good this past year? Even without Hicks and turnovers for the most part? I think what we saw with him out was pretty good, consider the LB injuries and over-shooting mean reversion on turnovers.
This D wasn't designed to win with a pretty good D. It was designed to win with an elite D. I don't see route that this teams O is good enough to contend with a team thats closer to 2019 than closer to 2018.
My saying "pretty good" was intentional understatement. They were very good - Top 5-10 in almost all categories. My take is if a team can't win with a Top 4, 5, 9 D in key measures (both run and pass), the offense deserves more scrutiny than the D. If the design is to have virtually zero offense it is simply a bad design, and not something to be defended. Right?

What I'm trying to do here is find "safe" dollars for the "We need Oline Upgrades" folks. Trying to help here. It is generally accepted that Prince will be gone, and that it is safe for that to happen. And what I'm showing is that *seems* to be the case with Hicks as well. Not emotionally but based on the stats.

Caution: If you look at these stats a lot, it can result in major questions about the quality of defenses where #10 "flashed". The exception is the Cowboys, and that is one heck of an interesting home/away thing they had going this past season.
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Re: Talking/Arguing/Vomiting about the Offensive Line

Tue Jan 28, 2020 2:04 pm

If we just retain Floyd at 8M instead of 13M, we have everything we need to address the OL. Kyle Long's money coming off already cleared a bunch of space, and we could remove the need to sign a swing T at 2M also. Add those three things up, just those 3 things, and we pay for Trent Williams. Or if you prefer, just cutting Prince coupled with Kyle and the removal of swing T spending also pays for Trent Williams. It's totally achievable without cutting one of our best players.
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Re: Talking/Arguing/Vomiting about the Offensive Line

Tue Jan 28, 2020 2:20 pm

I won't repeat it all, but there sure seems to be a lot of evidence Hicks might be expendable. So the "needs to be accounted for" and "best players" labels, while completely true in the past, didn't appear to be the case this year and may not really be the case in 2020.

Thanks for mentioning the weight, wab. I thought it was really conspicuous how different he was in 2019. I'm not saying I liked it - I just noticed it. Maybe the knee is persistent and is slowing him down and hurting his conditioning and bringing on the weight. I didn't see the 2018 burst from him this past season when he was in there. I would imagine the team is going to want to watch him in the off-season to see what happens.

So even if a big upgrade to T could happen without moving on from Hicks... IF the D is top 5-10 without Hicks and potentially even upgrading (over Prince, Haha, Floyd)... what about a more sure-thing OG FA instead of rolling the dice on a draft pick. Or picking up Kareem Hunt - who would almost certainly start over 32, even though they would split time.
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Re: Talking/Arguing/Vomiting about the Offensive Line

Tue Jan 28, 2020 2:25 pm

I don't think Hunt comes within two states of the Bears. He already admitted he'd fail a drug test right now.
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Re: Talking/Arguing/Vomiting about the Offensive Line

Tue Jan 28, 2020 2:35 pm

I think it's a MASSIVE reach to say that Hicks is a declining player when he only played 4 games last year. If he hurt his knee again I might be more concerned, but it was a fluke elbow thing that shouldn't impact him at all next year. Add in the fact that it's completely unnecessary (there's plenty of easier cuts to make cap room with) and his replacement cost will be high, and it's a non starter. JMO.

And yea, Hunt isn't coming here or anywhere I'm guessing. He needed to stay clear of the law and didn't. I advocated for him last off season and was clearly wrong about it (CoolerKing was right on that one, but do I still credit him if he's not Bill anymore?) lmao.....
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Re: Talking/Arguing/Vomiting about the Offensive Line

Tue Jan 28, 2020 4:27 pm

wab wrote:
Tue Jan 28, 2020 2:25 pm
I don't think Hunt comes within two states of the Bears. He already admitted he'd fail a drug test right now.
I did not hear that. Well scratch that. Or smoke that. Or whatever. lol

Just an example. Outside of the Oline, where would you invest an additional $5MM on offense?
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Re: Talking/Arguing/Vomiting about the Offensive Line

Tue Jan 28, 2020 4:31 pm

IE wrote:
Tue Jan 28, 2020 4:27 pm
wab wrote:
Tue Jan 28, 2020 2:25 pm
I don't think Hunt comes within two states of the Bears. He already admitted he'd fail a drug test right now.
I did not hear that. Well scratch that. Or smoke that. Or whatever. lol

Just an example. Outside of the Oline, where would you invest an additional $5MM on offense?
I'd give it to Robinson.
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Re: Talking/Arguing/Vomiting about the Offensive Line

Tue Jan 28, 2020 4:40 pm

wab wrote:
Tue Jan 28, 2020 4:31 pm
IE wrote:
Tue Jan 28, 2020 4:27 pm


I did not hear that. Well scratch that. Or smoke that. Or whatever. lol

Just an example. Outside of the Oline, where would you invest an additional $5MM on offense?
I'd give it to Robinson.
A Robinson extension could very conceivably lower his cap hit, conveniently enough.
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Re: Talking/Arguing/Vomiting about the Offensive Line

Tue Jan 28, 2020 6:21 pm

That guy has earned it
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Re: Talking/Arguing/Vomiting about the Offensive Line

Tue Jan 28, 2020 7:47 pm

IE wrote:
Tue Jan 28, 2020 2:20 pm
I won't repeat it all, but there sure seems to be a lot of evidence Hicks might be expendable. So the "needs to be accounted for" and "best players" labels, while completely true in the past, didn't appear to be the case this year and may not really be the case in 2020.

Thanks for mentioning the weight, wab. I thought it was really conspicuous how different he was in 2019. I'm not saying I liked it - I just noticed it. Maybe the knee is persistent and is slowing him down and hurting his conditioning and bringing on the weight. I didn't see the 2018 burst from him this past season when he was in there. I would imagine the team is going to want to watch him in the off-season to see what happens.

So even if a big upgrade to T could happen without moving on from Hicks... IF the D is top 5-10 without Hicks and potentially even upgrading (over Prince, Haha, Floyd)... what about a more sure-thing OG FA instead of rolling the dice on a draft pick. Or picking up Kareem Hunt - who would almost certainly start over 32, even though they would split time.
A few observations:

1. Hicks is probably the largest human being I've ever met. The guy is huge!

2. He only missed one game because of the knee injury. The day before the Raiders game the Bears were happy enough to have him on his feet signing autographs and having his picture taken with fans for an hour or so. That may sound trivial, but there were doubts about whether he would be healthy enough to play in that game. If his knee was a big concern wouldn't they have had him rest up as much as possible beforehand? They could have chosen another player to accompany Clinton-Dix to the meet-and-greet.

3. All those 'top 10' stats include the first three games of the season when Hicks was healthy and the defense wasn't just good, it was dominant. Here's the rushing stats with and without those 3 games when Hicks was playing and healthy:

First 3 games
Yards Per Game: 69
Yards Per Carry: 3.1

Remaining 13 games
Yards Per Game: 110
Yards Per Carry: 4.1

So without a healthy Hicks the defense gave up 41 more yards a game and a full yard more per carry.

The figures for games 4 through 16 would have ranked the Bears 14th in yards per game and 12th in yards per carry.

It's a small sample and opposition makes a difference but here's how those first 3 teams fared running the ball for the season compared to against the Bears with Hicks:

Green Bay
Season: 110 yards per game, 4.4 ypc
Bears (Game 1): 47 yards, 2.1 ypc

Denver
Season:: 104 yards per game, 4.1 ypc
Bears (Game 2): 90 yards, 3.8 ypc

Washington
Season: 99 yards per game, 4.4 ypc
Bears (Game 3): 69 yards, 3.3 ypc

I don't think we can conclude Hicks is expendable just by looking at the overall season figures, not when you look at those numbers above.

Furthermore, look how much less effective Mack was after Hicks went down. He was awesome through the first few games, but rarely made an impact play as the season wore on. He had 3 sacks, 3 forced fumbles, a pass defensed and 9 solo tackles in the first 3 games. The rest of the way he had 5.5. sacks, 2 forced fumbles. 3 passes defensed and 31 solo tackles (and 1.5 of those sacks and one of the forced fumbles came in Game 4 against the Vikings).

I'm all for bolstering the offensive line, but cutting Hicks makes no sense to me. We should be wanting Pace to maintain the strengths the team has and to address its weaknesses, not to improve one position group whilst deliberately weakening another.
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Re: Talking/Arguing/Vomiting about the Offensive Line

Wed Jan 29, 2020 5:15 am

You can't possibly credit Hicks injury for the yardage. There's so much more that goes into that.
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Re: Talking/Arguing/Vomiting about the Offensive Line

Wed Jan 29, 2020 9:43 am

The Marshall Plan wrote:
Wed Jan 29, 2020 5:15 am
You can't possibly credit Hicks injury for the yardage. There's so much more that goes into that.
Small samples are bad, and even within them the circumstances are so different it is apples/oranges. No doubt they all played hard against GB the first game, and Hicks was part of that (although again -noticeably fatter and slower). Nagy lost that game. Similarly, Denver had Flacco throw 50 times when they were actually running the ball OK. Washington was behind and chucking it.

By far, the best run defense game of the season was without Hicks (or Smith). Holding Cook and Matteson to 40 yards.... god-like.

Hicks played against GB the second time too. Only slightly limited snaps for him, but he was clearly in pain but playing hard & all over the place. About the same result as their season average of 3.9 ypc allowed.

I think the more you look at the stats, the less important Hicks (or Smith or Trevathan) look. Wild. We have to credit the rest of the guys for holding it together. Pretty impressive.
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Re: Talking/Arguing/Vomiting about the Offensive Line

Wed Jan 29, 2020 9:47 am

I think we can all agree that Hicks provides more to this defense than just run stopping stats.
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Re: Talking/Arguing/Vomiting about the Offensive Line

Wed Jan 29, 2020 9:51 am

wab wrote:
Wed Jan 29, 2020 9:47 am
I think we can all agree that Hicks provides more to this defense than just run stopping stats.
It's debatable that Trevathan brings as many intangibles to the defense that Hicks does.

Regardless, if the Bears have a shit 2020 season and the defense is falling apart, Hicks and Trevathan won't be long for the roster after that anyway. But that's an entirely separate hypothetical conversation that we can have if the team dissolves into liquid shit in a few months.
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