Offensive Line and Winning

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Heinz D.
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dplank wrote: Fri Jun 24, 2022 1:18 pm To this discussion, there is no sane argument that suggests you can allow protection breakdowns like the Cleveland game without negatively impacting your QB.
Well, even within that season the Bears didn't have another game that terrible, correct? Seems weird to harp on that one. And Wilkinson started at RT, and Mustipher at C...two problems we won't have to worry about any more. And some of the blame for that Cleveland debacle falls squarely at the feet of Fields himself. He's already shown improvement since then, and should get even better with a reasonable coaching staff in place.
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Heinz D. wrote: Fri Jun 24, 2022 2:40 pm
dplank wrote: Fri Jun 24, 2022 1:18 pm To this discussion, there is no sane argument that suggests you can allow protection breakdowns like the Cleveland game without negatively impacting your QB.
Well, even within that season the Bears didn't have another game that terrible, correct? Seems weird to harp on that one. And Wilkinson started at RT, and Mustipher at C...two problems we won't have to worry about any more. And some of the blame for that Cleveland debacle falls squarely at the feet of Fields himself. He's already shown improvement since then, and should get even better with a reasonable coaching staff in place.
Correct they didn’t, although a few came close and the year prior the Tennessee game was about as bad. And yes, Fields played a part in his first ever start, but mainly the problem was the OL which got whooped in microseconds all game long. Dalton took a career high sacks in the finale against Minny, and his season sack rate was worst of his career - so it’s not just QB. It does not take a trained eye to see free runners or guys getting beat right off the snap and know the OL isn’t doing their job. And unfortunately, we don’t have Rodgers or Brady or even Burrow back there to compensate, nor do we have a Chase / Evan’s / Godwin / etc.

The OL was really bad in pass protection all year long, they improved their ranking by being semi competent at run blocking. Pass protection must improve as well as the play calling, and the QB play. I feel confident that the latter two will improve, I’m not confident that the OL will.
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dplank wrote: Fri Jun 24, 2022 3:24 pm The OL was really bad in pass protection all year long, they improved their ranking by being semi competent at run blocking. Pass protection must improve as well as the play calling, and the QB play. I feel confident that the latter two will improve, I’m not confident that the OL will.
And that's fair enough. You're deliberately ducking a lot of stuff (from me and others) that has been sent your way--but, nonetheless, skepticism about the line is not an outlandish position to take.

But to stress my earlier point again, you're calling out Poles as failing, right out of the gate.

What would you have done, if you were in Poles' position?
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I laid that out in detail before.

I would have signed one additional free agent (or trade if necessary), starter grade player and don’t care where on the line it was. I would have done this early in free agency and instead of the OGun signing. I listed 7-options in another thread for who they would be. Armstead was just one option. Bates falls into this category as well, and what Id have done differently there is I’d have offered him much more than Poles did. If none of this panned out, I’d have drafted an OL with one of my Rd2 or 3 picks. If it did work out, I’d have been happy with the trade down low pick thing Poles did because we’d have our starters in place and therefore less immediate pressure / more time to develop those lte picks. I would not have wasted money on Dozier or Davenport. I like the Lucas signing like everyone else. I agree letting Daniel’s go at that number and have no issues seeing Ifedi and Peters gone (Peters simply can’t play in this scheme).

As I’ve said repeatedly, Poles is basically just one move away from me being happy with his first offseason. Why you keep dragging me as some Poles hater is beyond me - this is a mild criticism. Just one starter grade OL and Id be good. Maybe he will still do it , I’m hoping so.

But at a 30,000 foot strategic level, I would have made absolutely sure that we had better protection for Fields - no excuses. This means OL would be my PRIORITY. If that meant not signing Morrow or Pringle or Muhammad - so be it. If that meant not drafting Gordon or Brisker or Jones, so be it. I wouldn’t allow any other position group take precedence over protecting Fields.
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dplank wrote: Fri Jun 24, 2022 6:46 pm As I’ve said repeatedly, Poles is basically just one move away from me being happy with his first offseason. Why you keep dragging me as some Poles hater is beyond me - this is a mild criticism. Just one starter grade OL and Id be good. Maybe he will still do it , I’m hoping so.
If you have "said" that "repeatedly", then my apologies, as I've totally missed that.

As far as the "Poles hater" bit goes...you've claimed the line is garbage. You've also claimed the line is one injury away from being a complete disaster.

If that's not an utter condemnation of Poles' work thus far, I don't know what would actually qualify as one.

Yet again, we can all read what you post. And what we read, we take to be your point of view.
dplank wrote: Fri Jun 24, 2022 6:46 pm But at a 30,000 foot strategic level, I would have made absolutely sure that we had better protection for Fields - no excuses. This means OL would be my PRIORITY. If that meant not signing Morrow or Pringle or Muhammad - so be it. If that meant not drafting Gordon or Brisker or Jones, so be it. I wouldn’t allow any other position group take precedence over protecting Fields.
You can't field a team that way, buddy.

You simply can't.

I would think that you'd know that?
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You can’t field a team just because you sign one extra OL and one less DE? What? I don’t have patience for grade school arguments, bye.
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This is the modern NFL. Teams win with offensive firepower and being able to bring pressure on opposing QBs. It may not be as sexy as adding highly priced FA WRs but the Bears need to get the OL right as a first step.
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wab wrote: Fri Jun 24, 2022 2:28 pm Rich is correct though in that Fields has a history of taking sacks and has a history of holding the ball too long. That’s related to the OL discussion as far as how they are perceived.

And not every game was like the Cleveland game.
Correct.

The sack that haunts me was actually from the preseason. It was all on Fields - though it looks like a free rusher - but he didn't see it and it was a play where its 100% the QBs guy/read. And it was Football 101.

It just showed how far and how much he needs to grow.
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dplank wrote: Fri Jun 24, 2022 11:09 pm You can’t field a team just because you sign one extra OL and one less DE? What? I don’t have patience for grade school arguments, bye.
Dplank
He still hasn't figured out the comp pick stuff and that we can't tender Pringle after the season - so this is par for the course
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dplank wrote: Fri Jun 24, 2022 3:24 pm
Heinz D. wrote: Fri Jun 24, 2022 2:40 pm

Well, even within that season the Bears didn't have another game that terrible, correct? Seems weird to harp on that one. And Wilkinson started at RT, and Mustipher at C...two problems we won't have to worry about any more. And some of the blame for that Cleveland debacle falls squarely at the feet of Fields himself. He's already shown improvement since then, and should get even better with a reasonable coaching staff in place.

Dalton took a career high sacks in the finale against Minny, and his season sack rate was worst of his career - so it’s not just QB.
This is simply factual untrue. Untrue.

False.
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RichH55 wrote: Sat Jun 25, 2022 11:48 am
dplank wrote: Fri Jun 24, 2022 3:24 pm


Dalton took a career high sacks in the finale against Minny, and his season sack rate was worst of his career - so it’s not just QB.
This is simply factual untrue. Untrue.

False.
And to put a finer point on it.

Dalton's Sack % last year was 7.1 %

In Dallas the year before - with "Supposedly" Good line* - it was 6.7 % (and better WR - Dplank puts alot of stock into the Part - so that should be mentioned)

That is a difference - but not the difference one needs it to be - to lay everything (mostly everything at least) at the hands of the OL.

*Dallas's OL is overrated - they aren't a disaster either - but they are overrated
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Heinz D. wrote: Fri Jun 24, 2022 10:17 pm
dplank wrote: Fri Jun 24, 2022 6:46 pm As I’ve said repeatedly, Poles is basically just one move away from me being happy with his first offseason. Why you keep dragging me as some Poles hater is beyond me - this is a mild criticism. Just one starter grade OL and Id be good. Maybe he will still do it , I’m hoping so.
If you have "said" that "repeatedly", then my apologies, as I've totally missed that.

As far as the "Poles hater" bit goes...you've claimed the line is garbage. You've also claimed the line is one injury away from being a complete disaster.

If that's not an utter condemnation of Poles' work thus far, I don't know what would actually qualify as one.

Yet again, we can all read what you post. And what we read, we take to be your point of view.
dplank wrote: Fri Jun 24, 2022 6:46 pm But at a 30,000 foot strategic level, I would have made absolutely sure that we had better protection for Fields - no excuses. This means OL would be my PRIORITY. If that meant not signing Morrow or Pringle or Muhammad - so be it. If that meant not drafting Gordon or Brisker or Jones, so be it. I wouldn’t allow any other position group take precedence over protecting Fields.
You can't field a team that way, buddy.

You simply can't.

I would think that you'd know that?

I don't believe Dplank - in any way - is being a Poles hater or holding him to some standard he wouldn't others.


Dplank -can be lets say overly passionate (Think Sonny rather than Michael) - But he has always consistently been a proponent of Build the Lines (and in fairness OL being the Line he wants built first)

Hell - I don't even thinking hes putting it all on Poles - he does note the hand he was dealt and that its only 1 season so far.

BUT have to defend Dplank in terms if people saying he is just anti-Poles. That is not the case
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dplank wrote: Fri Jun 24, 2022 11:09 pm You can’t field a team just because you sign one extra OL and one less DE? What? I don’t have patience for grade school arguments, bye.
Huh? "One extra OL and one less DE?"

Not at all what you said, above.
Grizzled wrote: Sat Jun 25, 2022 8:29 am This is the modern NFL. Teams win with offensive firepower and being able to bring pressure on opposing QBs. It may not be as sexy as adding highly priced FA WRs but the Bears need to get the OL right as a first step.
It certainly should be a priority, yeah. But, as you point out, they needed some other stuff, too. And they've made some strides to get where they need to be. As to the line--like I said earlier, we'll see how it turns out. Hopefully it's close to being good enough, as is, but there's a lot riding on how some very young players do. I'm still holding out hope that Poles adds another veteran down the road.
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There wasn't a lot of premium OL talent out there this offseason. A couple of pretty good IOL. Armstead at OT but he has that injury history. Tretter's still available at C, he's good; past 30, hasn't practiced much due to a beat-up body but played every game. Poles took 2 big stabs at the D in the draft and with his non-premium free agents. He totally missed on bringing in any free agent OL, which I think was a mistake. He brought in non-premium free agent WRs and took a minor stab at one in the draft. We'll just have to have patience now to see how his moves on offense work out.
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I think Poles and Flus have taken a look at the Bears before coming in and evaluated the organisation.

We had no cap space
We had an ageing roster
We had a lot of gaps and a lack of talent
We had reduced picks - no first rounder.

So all those things need addressing and it’s not possible to do it all at once.
-Cap space is very good now.
-2023 Draft picks have been retained/increased
- The roster is a lot younger now.

So we still have gaps, we may still have a slight talent dearth. However, in Brisker and Gordon we have significantly upgraded our secondary. Flus has a history of getting players to perform better as a team than the sum of their individual attributes. Indeed a few of the day 3 picks might work out too.

The bears will surprise some people this season but we’ll preserve our 2023 draft picks and we’ll have a truck load of cap space.
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RichH55 wrote: Sat Jun 25, 2022 11:48 am
dplank wrote: Fri Jun 24, 2022 3:24 pm


Dalton took a career high sacks in the finale against Minny, and his season sack rate was worst of his career - so it’s not just QB.
This is simply factual untrue. Untrue.

False.
True but only off by one on both accounts...illustrates the same point and honestly I was being lazy and didn't feel like typing out all the caveats.
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Ditka’s dictaphone wrote: Sat Jun 25, 2022 5:00 pm I think Poles and Flus have taken a look at the Bears before coming in and evaluated the organisation.

We had no cap space
Please, please, please stop saying this.

It is untrue.
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dplank wrote: Sat Jun 25, 2022 5:10 pm
RichH55 wrote: Sat Jun 25, 2022 11:48 am

This is simply factual untrue. Untrue.

False.
True but only off by one on both accounts...illustrates the same point and honestly I was being lazy and didn't feel like typing out all the caveats.
It was his 3rd highest in his career - not 2nd. So that is still wrong.

And the difference between like 7.1 and 6.7 isn't monstrous. Which is basically where Dalton has been at for the last half decade give or take


So using Dalton's sack rate doesn't get you to where you want to go - In fairness nothing can because the Line wasn't a Dumpster Fire - it was merely ho-hum below average though not the worst by a long shot
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RichH55 wrote: Sat Jun 25, 2022 5:34 pm
Ditka’s dictaphone wrote: Sat Jun 25, 2022 5:00 pm I think Poles and Flus have taken a look at the Bears before coming in and evaluated the organisation.

We had no cap space
Please, please, please stop saying this.

It is untrue.
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RichH55 wrote: Sat Jun 25, 2022 11:57 am
Heinz D. wrote: Fri Jun 24, 2022 10:17 pm
If you have "said" that "repeatedly", then my apologies, as I've totally missed that.

As far as the "Poles hater" bit goes...you've claimed the line is garbage. You've also claimed the line is one injury away from being a complete disaster.

If that's not an utter condemnation of Poles' work thus far, I don't know what would actually qualify as one.

Yet again, we can all read what you post. And what we read, we take to be your point of view.


You can't field a team that way, buddy.

You simply can't.

I would think that you'd know that?

I don't believe Dplank - in any way - is being a Poles hater or holding him to some standard he wouldn't others.


Dplank -can be lets say overly passionate (Think Sonny rather than Michael) - But he has always consistently been a proponent of Build the Lines (and in fairness OL being the Line he wants built first)

Hell - I don't even thinking hes putting it all on Poles - he does note the hand he was dealt and that its only 1 season so far.

BUT have to defend Dplank in terms if people saying he is just anti-Poles. That is not the case
True thx, I do not hate Poles.
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RichH55 wrote: Sat Jun 25, 2022 5:34 pm
Ditka’s dictaphone wrote: Sat Jun 25, 2022 5:00 pm I think Poles and Flus have taken a look at the Bears before coming in and evaluated the organisation.

We had no cap space
Please, please, please stop saying this.

It is untrue.
The Bears didn't have an opportunity to add significant salary in major FA deals without cutting into future cap totals. When inheriting an old roster with some big price tags, job #1 is to get your cap right.


While you are technically correct that Poles could have made splash investments by basically borrowing against future cap space, that wasn't the wise thing to do with the team he took over and so he didn't.
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The Bears aren't going to tank on purpose this season. So will Poles/Eberflus evaluate the OL for at least the first 2 weeks and, if they don't see the answers at OT and RG, then sign free agents?
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thunderspirit wrote: Sat Jun 25, 2022 11:12 pm
RichH55 wrote: Sat Jun 25, 2022 5:34 pm

Please, please, please stop saying this.

It is untrue.
The Bears didn't have an opportunity to add significant salary in major FA deals without cutting into future cap totals. When inheriting an old roster with some big price tags, job #1 is to get your cap right.


While you are technically correct that Poles could have made splash investments by basically borrowing against future cap space, that wasn't the wise thing to do with the team he took over and so he didn't.
What do you call the OGun signing then?
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Grizzled wrote: Sat Jun 25, 2022 3:50 pm There wasn't a lot of premium OL talent out there this offseason. A couple of pretty good IOL. Armstead at OT but he has that injury history. Tretter's still available at C, he's good; past 30, hasn't practiced much due to a beat-up body but played every game. Poles took 2 big stabs at the D in the draft and with his non-premium free agents. He totally missed on bringing in any free agent OL, which I think was a mistake. He brought in non-premium free agent WRs and took a minor stab at one in the draft. We'll just have to have patience now to see how his moves on offense work out.
A lot of the free agent offensive linemen in last off-season's crop were really expensive dudes, so it's easy to see why Poles shied away from them. Some of the cheaper guys STILL aren't signed...so that does remain an option.

I've maintained all along that the draft broke in a weird way, and Poles was expecting one or two linemen to be available in the second (probably at #48), and was surprised when they weren't. Based on most predictions, some offensive linemen rose, and some defensive backs and wide receivers fell. And he was probably thinking he'd go WR in the third all along, so that's when he decided to go nuts and just spam O-line picks in the hope he'd get some keepers.
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dplank wrote: Sun Jun 26, 2022 9:09 am
thunderspirit wrote: Sat Jun 25, 2022 11:12 pm

The Bears didn't have an opportunity to add significant salary in major FA deals without cutting into future cap totals. When inheriting an old roster with some big price tags, job #1 is to get your cap right.


While you are technically correct that Poles could have made splash investments by basically borrowing against future cap space, that wasn't the wise thing to do with the team he took over and so he didn't.
What do you call the OGun signing then?
I call it them targeting the one player they thought might be able to outperform the contract value. YMMV.
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thunderspirit wrote: Sun Jun 26, 2022 10:19 am
dplank wrote: Sun Jun 26, 2022 9:09 am

What do you call the OGun signing then?
I call it them targeting the one player they thought might be able to outperform the contract value. YMMV.
Nice side shimmy, but the point here is that the OGun signing is clear evidence that the Bears did have money to spend in Free Agency and go after a big contract somewhere. So saying we didn't have money to sign an OL player is patently false, we did. 3 yrs 40M is not a small contract, he was going to be a ~14M cap hit this year. You can put that contract on a whole bunch of FA OL that went this year and they'd be a Bear.

You are arguing he made a value based decision - that's fine but that's a completely different discussion. There is no factual basis, given the OGun signing, that says we didn't have the money to sign a big FA OL if we wanted to. We absolutely did. He just chose OGun instead for whatever reasons he had, good bad or otherwise.
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Okay.
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thunderspirit wrote: Sat Jun 25, 2022 11:12 pm
RichH55 wrote: Sat Jun 25, 2022 5:34 pm

Please, please, please stop saying this.

It is untrue.
The Bears didn't have an opportunity to add significant salary in major FA deals without cutting into future cap totals. When inheriting an old roster with some big price tags, job #1 is to get your cap right.


While you are technically correct that Poles could have made splash investments by basically borrowing against future cap space, that wasn't the wise thing to do with the team he took over and so he didn't.
That first sentence applies to every FA contract signing ever. That's what multiyear deals do.

The second sentence, you can cut dead weight while signing good players at the same time. We had the cap room to eat dead cap if necessary and to sign players.

Why wasn't signing FAs the wise thing to do? It's a key method to improving your team.
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Teddy KGB wrote: Fri Jun 24, 2022 12:40 pm
The Marshall Plan wrote: Wed Jun 22, 2022 11:20 am

By your logic then nobody should sign a FA ever. You must’ve gotten that from the losers at ChiCitySports.

Great players hit the market all the time.

Armstead
Jensen
Scherff
Trent Williams
Orlando Brown via trade

Just off the top of my head. No I’m not doing yet again another Google search only for you to dismiss it anecdotally without any proof.
It's funny you bring up the garbage heap that is ChyCitysports, when you are behaving exactly as one of their trolls, moving to personal attacks when someone disagrees with your opinion. 😱


Let's see if you can calm down and have a rational discussion.

You can get good players from free agency. The ones you deem high quality likely would not be the ones I deem high quality. You only on rare occasion pick up pro bowlers in free agency.

However there are plenty of decent players but you have to be careful not to overspend otherwise you end up like the 1990s Snyder Redskins who were always spending out their ass on free agents and ending up with a bad team and in cap hell.

There's a time and a place to use free agency and it's best uses are usually in the second and third waves after the spending craze has died down. You can get a lot of very serviceable and very productive players who can help contribute in those rounds of free agency.

But if you are looking for a highly valuable and highly expensive free agent, that free agent better be the final piece you need for a Super bowl because usually there are some severe cap ramifications that come with it.

The Bears are nowhere near that.

Situationally speaking, it makes zero sense for the Bears to go out and spend like crazy this off season. They had a draft. Everyone's getting used to the new system. Matt Nagy was so incompetent that a proper assessment likely could not be completely done so you may end up wasting money on a position that's redundant if you were to spend this off season, and so on and so forth.

Next year will be more interesting and very much a very unique year for the Bears.

I believe they will have far and away the most cap space of any team. They will have a year under this new system to be able to evaluate and see exactly what they need.

So I wouldn't be surprised in an abnormal year where all the players have been evaluated during the 2022 season against what Poles and Flus are trying to do, if the Bears did spend a bit more and front loaded a lot of contracts to fill in some holes going into the 2023 season.

Beyond that we will see. The Bears aren't going anywhere in 2022 anyway. So to get all worked up over what they are doing is stupid. They had their draft and they are going to use this year to evaluate everything.


Have a little patience for a change.
I've been patient since I was a little kid in 1985.

The problem is that there's a Chicken vs The Egg argument going on.

In That Corner: The Bears are going to suck this year there's no point in spending money in FA.

In This Corner: One of the reasons why we're going to suck is because we aren't spending money in FA.

Here's the situation as I see it:

1) Potential franchise QB on a rookie deal which translates into about $30M in cap savings before an extension is given.
2) Next year our cap space is stratospheric. As of now it's $88M. If get rid of both Quinn and EJax it is $106M.
3) Two starting OL on rookie deals. Maybe 3.

If we weren't in the position to go shopping this offseason then we'll never be.

We were in a position to add 1 or 2 high profile FAs. My overwhelming preference would've been OL.

I personally think there's a really good chance we're not going to be as bad as everybody makes us out to be. A Cover-2 defense is an easy one to learn and allows you to play fast. We've got a defensive minded coach and we still have talent on defense.

Under McNagy we effectively conceded the offensive side of the ball for three years. All we need is an offense that shows up to work and does even an average job.

In order to do that though we need players. I would start with the offensive line. We had the cap space. There were players out there. Poles chose to do nothing.
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GAME. BLOUSES.
artbest01
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IMO, the Cleveland game was mostly, but not exclusively, on the oline and Matt Nagy's game plan - WAY too many 5 man protections against an outstanding front with a rookie QB who had no clue what he was doing. The best we can say about Fields related to Browns debacle is that he didn't seem to be seeing ghosts the following week.

Fields showed some improvement as the season wore on - the line had similar struggles against the 49ers but Fields showed elite elusiveness - something that was absent in Cleveland. That said, he still took sacks he had no business taking all the way up to his final game.

The Bear oline, as of today, on paper, isn't good. That doesn't mean that players can't or wont' emerge, but there appear to be potential gaping holes everywhere save for center and LG. Hopefully, Jenkins is the goods and Borom ascends...and at least one of the rookies surprises. Either way, Justin will need to use his elite athleticism often and must make quicker decisions.
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