Looking for help to rush the QB

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Moriarty
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HisRoyalSweetness wrote: Wed Jul 10, 2024 8:31 am
You can never have enough good pass rushers and I would be much happier spending high draft picks next year on a reportedly deep group than having to spend one on an OG.
I wouldn't look at it as an either or, at least not in terms of DE and G.

Starting G you can reasonably draft in R2-4.
Good starter-potential DEs will be gone by somewhere around 30-50.
Not very much overlap where you might consider both.
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HisRoyalSweetness wrote: Wed Jul 10, 2024 8:31 am
RichH55 wrote: Wed Jul 10, 2024 12:27 am

I'd put Wright and Jones right up there with Jenkins as a complete OL. Poles was also in Kansas City - and as that roster currently stands - Jenkins would be their 4th best Interior OL

Jenkins has more holes than people want to admit. They act like he's an All-Pro when he is not.
If you believe Wright and Jones are in Jenkins' class right now then you simply haven't watched enough film of any of those linemen.

As for KC, the idea that Trey Smith is better than Jenkins is laughable. They also stumped up a 5-year $80m contract for Thuney and that was 3 years ago. They're a team that realised the importance of the interior O-line and were willing to pay big for a top-end player.

Players of Jenkins' quality are not easy to find and if you have one then it's best to hold on to him if you can regardless of position (assuming they stay healthy and don't miss too many games).

The Bears DL is not as strong as any of us would like but the defense ranked 1st against the run and 5th for yards per rushing attempt last year and that was despite only having Sweat for half the season. It's the pass rush that needs an obvious upgrade. If Sweat plays a whole season then he'll provide that to a degree. In just 9 games he was third on team with 21 total pressures, just 1 behind both Jones and Walker, and led the team with 6 sacks. Dexter took a notable step forward after Sweat's arrival too and started to find his feet at the NFL level during the second half of the season. Despite playing only 40% of the defensive snaps he was fourth on the team with 17 pressures. If he continues to improve then the pass rush might not look as weak as it does at the moment. Dexter's transformed his physique in the offseason so he's definitely one to keep an eye on.

You can never have enough good pass rushers and I would be much happier spending high draft picks next year on a reportedly deep group than having to spend one on an OG.
I absolutely do on Jones and Wright - Jones even missed Jenkins level of games last year! And I flat out think that Wright is as good in the Run Game as Jenkins. - and thats Jenkins calling card Jenkins is simply NOT elite at Pass Pro.

Laughable? On Trey Smith? And I'm the one not watching enough game film?

Trey Smith was higher on PFFs Guard list, higher on their FA list, Higher on Athletic's FA list (Randy Mueller), etc

https://chiefswire.usatoday.com/2023/12 ... all-focus/

He was one of the better Guards I've watched at the Senior Bowl - He fell in the draft due to medical (And Guard only)

So no it's not laughable that I think the better player is better.




Re: Thuney
Chiefs also trusted two rookies to play at Interior positions - one of whom was a 6th Rounder (Granted they were ABSOLUTELY right on both accounts - but bears mentioning - referring to Smith and Creeds rookie year)

People are just overrating Jenkins (Shades of Allen Robinson at his Peak here). It's a Bears Board so that happens - we are fans and want our guys to be THE GUYS. He's Very Good in the Run Game. He's Solid in Pass Pro - He is inconsistent though. Even when he's been on the field, he's been Good, NOT All-Pro.
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Jenkins has that finisher mentality - Which fans (and OL coaches) LOVE. With good reason mind you to some degree!

BUT those splash plays and finisher mentality tend to overrate OL in Fans minds. THEY CAN SEE IT! WATCH HIM DESTROY!!!! (And again we aren't watching Prime Quentin Nelson or John Hannah tape here either)

OL play is often marked by consistency and cerebral play - these are not Hallmarks of Jenkins play. He's also not Mr. Technique. Splash plays, pancakes, winning a rep and then going that extra bit to finish the guy at the whistle? All very nice - generally overrated though

Like the video (that I watched AND enjoyed the heck out of) on Jenkins essentially bullying guys - One of the first clips is Jenkins and the Right Tackle blocking a DE together in Pass Pro - at the end when the DE makes his last ditch attempt to beat the Tackle - Jenkins is there for him and finishes him off - Puts him on the Ground.

Fun stuff. But its also a 2 on 1 - The OL should win that rep like all of the time . Winning the Rep is key.


My comparison is always Devon White v. Jim Edmonds here.

Fans always thought Jim Edmonds was fantastic defensively. He made splash defensive plays - LOTS of diving! Effort! I can see it! So much diving!

Meanwhile Devon White was faster and got better reads on the ball - So he was getting to more balls and covering more ground. Deceptively simple to the Fan. Alot of the balls that Edmonds would dive for - White would just catch as a matter of course.
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Moriarty wrote: Wed Jul 10, 2024 9:36 am
HisRoyalSweetness wrote: Wed Jul 10, 2024 8:31 am
You can never have enough good pass rushers and I would be much happier spending high draft picks next year on a reportedly deep group than having to spend one on an OG.
I wouldn't look at it as an either or, at least not in terms of DE and G.

Starting G you can reasonably draft in R2-4.
Good starter-potential DEs will be gone by somewhere around 30-50.
Not very much overlap where you might consider both.


This is a good take too.

When evaluating guys - You should take into account other options potentially available. Ease of replacement, etc.

I should also note in my Jenkins discourse - I think he's good!! I don't want him to walk no matter what! There are plenty of price points I am happy to keep him at!

I don't overlook the issues in his game though - I don't want the pendulum to swing to the extreme on him - and I don't want to pay him near the Top of the Guard Scale.
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More Trey Smith is really good stuff

ESPN 2023
https://www.espn.com/nfl/story/_/id/383 ... teams#pbwr
4th in Interior Pass Block Win Rate

(Trey Smith was also 4th in 2022)

Jenkins 19th (and not even the top Jenkins on the list) - 19th IS GOOD BTW! It's not bad!

They do have Jenkins 4th in Run Block win rate! (BTW Braxton Jones is 6th for OT - COMPARABLE!)

(They only did Run Block win rate to 10 players Interior FYI ). And Jenkins double team percentage was a bit higher than most on the Top 10 list - but that's not necessarily a player thing. Jenkins was not listed for 2022.



Trey Smith is really good. Was it unfair to me to pick KC with arguably the best group of Interior OL (Tackles very different story) to ding Jenkins? MAYBE!

Does it mean Trey Smith isn't really good? No. No it does not.
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Arkansasbear wrote: Wed Jul 10, 2024 9:32 am
wab wrote: Wed Jul 10, 2024 9:12 am Not to turn this into a thread about Jenkins or the OL, but I think Trey Smith is better than Jenkins is right now.
I think Jenkins is much more dominate in the run blocking game (maybe I shouldn't use "much" but he's at least better IMO), Smith gets the edge in pass blocking. So there skill set is close to a wash. But given the NFL is a passing league, one can argue Smith should be the higher rated player based on skill.

However, when you factor in Jenkins injury history, it gives a clear edge to Smith. I'm hopeful Jenkins has some improvement in pass blocking and doesn't miss any games. If that happens, think the scales tip in his favor.
Pass pro is a whole lot easier when you are surrounded by high calibre teammates and have the best QB in the league. It also helps when you stay in the same OL spot and don't keep getting shunted around.

I also think RichH55 is giving too much credit to Ryan Poles for that KC O-line. We really don't know how much those signings were due to Poles. There are a lot of voices in a draft room; people just assume Poles was the one pounding the table for Smith and Humphrey because he used to play OL himself. He has yet to prove he's any kind of OL guru with the Bears. It's early days though; this season should reveal a lot.

Ultimately Poles has found quite a lot of starter-calibre guys in the draft but no Pro Bowlers as of yet. After this season he's going to have to start making decisions about their relative worth and which of them he retains each year. Jenkins, when healthy, has shown more than any of them. I want players of his calibre protecting Williams because ultimately he's the key to the franchise's future. As important as the pass rush is, Williams' success is much more crucial.
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Poles record thus far with our OL is a combo of uneven and incomplete/too early to call IMO. We need a bit more time.

Wins: Braxton Jones, moving on from Mustipher, Darnell Wright (although, he burned a top 10 pick here so Wright needs to become an elite RT for this to really be a win - I'm counting it as a win because I love Wright and it's a win to have a GM take an OL high in the damn draft imo!)
Losses: Lucas Patrick signing, Kramer/Carter picks didn't work out (if Brax can be a win then these guys can be a loss, otherwise there's no reason to grade either IMO. It's a small loss but should make it abundantly clear that Poles cannot automatically land starting G's in late rounds, he can't as no one can), Nate Davis has been a poor signing to date.
TBD: Bates/Shelton C combo signing this offseason, Kiran draft pick

The wins outweigh the losses here IMO, so I'm happy with the job he's done overall but bristle at the thought of him being some OL savant. He has not shown that to be the case yet.
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HisRoyalSweetness wrote: Wed Jul 10, 2024 11:16 am
Arkansasbear wrote: Wed Jul 10, 2024 9:32 am

I think Jenkins is much more dominate in the run blocking game (maybe I shouldn't use "much" but he's at least better IMO), Smith gets the edge in pass blocking. So there skill set is close to a wash. But given the NFL is a passing league, one can argue Smith should be the higher rated player based on skill.

However, when you factor in Jenkins injury history, it gives a clear edge to Smith. I'm hopeful Jenkins has some improvement in pass blocking and doesn't miss any games. If that happens, think the scales tip in his favor.
Pass pro is a whole lot easier when you are surrounded by high calibre teammates and have the best QB in the league. It also helps when you stay in the same OL spot and don't keep getting shunted around.

I also think RichH55 is giving too much credit to Ryan Poles for that KC O-line. We really don't know how much those signings were due to Poles. There are a lot of voices in a draft room; people just assume Poles was the one pounding the table for Smith and Humphrey because he used to play OL himself. He has yet to prove he's any kind of OL guru with the Bears. It's early days though; this season should reveal a lot.

Ultimately Poles has found quite a lot of starter-calibre guys in the draft but no Pro Bowlers as of yet. After this season he's going to have to start making decisions about their relative worth and which of them he retains each year. Jenkins, when healthy, has shown more than any of them. I want players of his calibre protecting Williams because ultimately he's the key to the franchise's future. As important as the pass rush is, Williams' success is much more crucial.

That is absolutely a fair point on Poles and KC - re: Too Much Credit. We simply don't know - and I could just be giving him too much credit.

Pass Pro is easier If your QB gets rid of the ball quickly - You can still win a pass pro rep if your QB throws an INT or has the accuracy of Tim Tebow. One of the main things that is gonna correlate with pressures, etc GENERALLY - How long the QB has the ball in his Hands

It's actually easier (NOT for the ESPN rate mind you) to Pass Protect for a guy like Tua than a guy like Maholmes - Maholmes is helluva lot better for the team mind you - but just in terms of Pass Pro - It's just alot harder to Sack a QB in 2.7 seconds than 3.8.

I disagree generally on Jenkins (Wright was only a Rookie mind you and showed ALOT) - But also - Pass Pro is NOT the strength of Jenkins game (*) - So if protecting Caleb is job 1 thru 100 that is something Jenkins is Solid at - but no where near transcendent (Braxton Jones is probably your best bet in that regard)

(*) Yes I am aware of the old saw that a QB's best friend is a good run game - but I feel that is Not what you meant here (feel free to correct me if I'm wrong)
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dplank wrote: Wed Jul 10, 2024 2:14 pm Poles record thus far with our OL is a combo of uneven and incomplete/too early to call IMO. We need a bit more time.

Wins: Braxton Jones, moving on from Mustipher, Darnell Wright (although, he burned a top 10 pick here so Wright needs to become an elite RT for this to really be a win - I'm counting it as a win because I love Wright and it's a win to have a GM take an OL high in the damn draft imo!)
Losses: Lucas Patrick signing, Kramer/Carter picks didn't work out (if Brax can be a win then these guys can be a loss, otherwise there's no reason to grade either IMO. It's a small loss but should make it abundantly clear that Poles cannot automatically land starting G's in late rounds, he can't as no one can), Nate Davis has been a poor signing to date.
TBD: Bates/Shelton C combo signing this offseason, Kiran draft pick

The wins outweigh the losses here IMO, so I'm happy with the job he's done overall but bristle at the thought of him being some OL savant. He has not shown that to be the case yet.

You can't grade him on a curve for Wright. and then act like every 5th/6th Round pick is the same thing.
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Ryan Poles inherited about as empty of a cupboard as a new GM could get. Then add the aging, oft injured players on top of that.

What he has done in 2.5 years is nothing short of remarkable.

I don’t even care about the bumps along the way or the missteps. Even the most seasoned and successful GMs make bad trades or bad draft picks so I’m not going there.

Other moves have been amazing in all facets: FA, draft, and trade.

My belief in Ryan Poles is what keeps me sane with Eberflus. Poles must see something in him.

I love that man. I believe in his Vision and am confident it will come to pass. He gets an A+ from me.
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RichH55 wrote: Wed Jul 10, 2024 4:00 pm
HisRoyalSweetness wrote: Wed Jul 10, 2024 11:16 am

Pass pro is a whole lot easier when you are surrounded by high calibre teammates and have the best QB in the league. It also helps when you stay in the same OL spot and don't keep getting shunted around.

I also think RichH55 is giving too much credit to Ryan Poles for that KC O-line. We really don't know how much those signings were due to Poles. There are a lot of voices in a draft room; people just assume Poles was the one pounding the table for Smith and Humphrey because he used to play OL himself. He has yet to prove he's any kind of OL guru with the Bears. It's early days though; this season should reveal a lot.

Ultimately Poles has found quite a lot of starter-calibre guys in the draft but no Pro Bowlers as of yet. After this season he's going to have to start making decisions about their relative worth and which of them he retains each year. Jenkins, when healthy, has shown more than any of them. I want players of his calibre protecting Williams because ultimately he's the key to the franchise's future. As important as the pass rush is, Williams' success is much more crucial.

That is absolutely a fair point on Poles and KC - re: Too Much Credit. We simply don't know - and I could just be giving him too much credit.

Pass Pro is easier If your QB gets rid of the ball quickly - You can still win a pass pro rep if your QB throws an INT or has the accuracy of Tim Tebow. One of the main things that is gonna correlate with pressures, etc GENERALLY - How long the QB has the ball in his Hands

It's actually easier (NOT for the ESPN rate mind you) to Pass Protect for a guy like Tua than a guy like Maholmes - Maholmes is helluva lot better for the team mind you - but just in terms of Pass Pro - It's just alot harder to Sack a QB in 2.7 seconds than 3.8.

I disagree generally on Jenkins (Wright was only a Rookie mind you and showed ALOT) - But also - Pass Pro is NOT the strength of Jenkins game (*) - So if protecting Caleb is job 1 thru 100 that is something Jenkins is Solid at - but no where near transcendent (Braxton Jones is probably your best bet in that regard)

(*) Yes I am aware of the old saw that a QB's best friend is a good run game - but I feel that is Not what you meant here (feel free to correct me if I'm wrong)
With regard to those EPSN stats, we've already been discussing those in the "Offensive Line - What will it look like" thread (viewtopic.php?p=387008#p387008). Jenkins is one of only four IOL to appear in both run and pass lists and one of the others is the now retired Jason Kelce who was of course a center not a guard. Given there are 96 starting IOL in any given full slate of games, plus all the injury replacements over the course of a season (including those covering for Jenkins), ranking 19th suggests he's one of the better interior pass blockers in the league.

Stats also don't take into account one player having to bail out another. One memorable Jenkins moment last year was him coming off his block when Borom was beaten and not only preventing a sack but allowing Fields to throw a 30 yard TD to Moore. Another was Jenkins being left with two rushers to block due to a communications breakdown and somehow getting just enough of the second to enable the pass to be thrown. How do stat sites like ESPN and PFF classify a situation like the latter? Jenkins giving up a pressure?

We've also discussed the QB situation in the same thread and how Fields had the longest pocket time at 2.8 seconds versus ESPN's metric for a successful pass block of just 2.5 seconds. Mahomes pocket time was 2.5 seconds and he had by far the best interior trio for pass pro in the league.

This thread is about the pass rush though, so perhaps we should take any further discussion about Jenkins and the O-line to the other thread. The only reason Jenkins is being discussed is because it was suggested, quite reasonably, that if Poles were to pay big money for another DE then it would almost certainly be at the expense of extending a current player and Jenkins was given as an example. It could just as easily have been Keenan Allen.

It's not just the financials though. Where would a high-end pass rusher requiring a big money deal come from? There just isn't anyone out there in free agency and there are not, to my knowledge, any mooted as being on the trade block at the moment. Even if there was, with Williams in his rookie season would it be wiser for Poles to make such a trade or to wait a year and then use his draft capital on a couple of young edge rushers?
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HisRoyalSweetness wrote: Wed Jul 10, 2024 5:45 pm It's not just the financials though. Where would a high-end pass rusher requiring a big money deal come from? There just isn't anyone out there in free agency and there are not, to my knowledge, any mooted as being on the trade block at the moment. Even if there was, with Williams in his rookie season would it be wiser for Poles to make such a trade or to wait a year and then use his draft capital on a couple of young edge rushers?
We don't know about a trade until Poles picks up the phone and makes some calls.

Now I do understand that a football team is built as a function of who is available and not necessarily the specific position players you need. It was possible to obtain LBs in FA and the secondary in the draft so that's what Poles did. I don't fault him for that.

However.

Our defense is built backwards. It is heavy in the secondary and at LB and very light in the DL. But we run a scheme predicated upon the front four generating pressure.

That is why I want a long term solution. Trade a pick for a guy on his rookie deal or trade salary for salary and if we have to throw in a lower round pick to even it out that's fine.
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cblaz11 wrote: Wed Jul 10, 2024 5:41 am
The Marshall Plan wrote: Wed Jul 10, 2024 3:17 am

We can't realistically do another Sweat trade where it's a 2nd rounder for a player with a $20M cap hit. There's always a game to be played with the cap, but realistically I think the answer is no. What we'd have to do is trade a high salary player like JJ or Edmunds. I would be over the moon if we could get a comparable DE for we're paying JJ.

The frustrating thing about this issue for me is that I believe this team is extremely close to a deep playoff run and that I'm going to watch these games and be like, if we only had that second pass rusher....

If I could acquire a long term solution in the form of a young pass rusher on a rookie deal for a pick, or trade salary for salary, I would do it. I think this team is really close and that pass rusher is the last piece.


We have to stop with the “trade JJ or Edmunds chatter”…this isn’t Madden and it shows a lack of awareness. We aren’t trading locker room leaders, in their prime, right after we signed them to a very large contracts.

Also, to assume we can’t afford another pass rushing DE is crazy. We have pleanty of cap space and there are a lot of adjustments we can make to current deals to make it work. We also have our starting QB on a rookie deal for 4 years.
And it also makes no sense to fill one need by simultaneously creating another need elsewhere and Poles very first moves were to shore up the secondary. He values the back end of his defense just as much as the front end. I still believe the highest likelihood is for him to add someone like Ngakoue for a price he can live with but he doesn't need to be in a huge rush to do it. Getting CW and Odunze signed is his current focus. A DE can come later.
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I’d put that in the “walk and chew gum” category,
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One more thought. You know what I see too much of from some here? A total lack of patience and comprehension of how long it can take to rebuild any team into a championship level roster. We've come a long way from where Poles began and most are happy with what he's done.

It may take 3 years to build a playoff level roster and as much as 5 years to build one capable of winning a SB. If this roster can compete with and win against playoff caliber teams this year we've made good progress. We're only in year three so lay back and give the rest more time to happen.
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dplank wrote: Thu Jul 11, 2024 6:57 am I’d put that in the “walk and chew gum” category,
Hey, if it's gonna get done it will get done. The exact same thing was happening last year at this very same time. Jeezus, different year, same old shit. :frustrated:
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Bearfacts wrote: Thu Jul 11, 2024 7:04 am One more thought. You know what I see too much of from some here? A total lack of patience and comprehension of how long it can take to rebuild any team into a championship level roster. We've come a long way from where Poles began and most are happy with what he's done.

It may take 3 years to build a playoff level roster and as much as 5 years to build one capable of winning a SB. If this roster can compete with and win against playoff caliber teams this year we've made good progress. We're only in year three so lay back and give the rest more time to happen.
Technically we’ve been waiting since 1985.
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Bearfacts wrote: Thu Jul 11, 2024 7:07 am
dplank wrote: Thu Jul 11, 2024 6:57 am I’d put that in the “walk and chew gum” category,
Hey, if it's gonna get done it will get done. The exact same thing was happening last year at this very same time. Jeezus, different year, same old shit. :frustrated:
Agree, but getting two rookie scale contracts done shouldn’t cripple Poles ability to sign a DE, so I’m pushing back on the comment that Poles needs to focus there first before he can do anything else. That wouldn’t be a strong execution team if we worked single threaded like that.
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The Marshall Plan wrote: Thu Jul 11, 2024 3:09 am
HisRoyalSweetness wrote: Wed Jul 10, 2024 5:45 pm It's not just the financials though. Where would a high-end pass rusher requiring a big money deal come from? There just isn't anyone out there in free agency and there are not, to my knowledge, any mooted as being on the trade block at the moment. Even if there was, with Williams in his rookie season would it be wiser for Poles to make such a trade or to wait a year and then use his draft capital on a couple of young edge rushers?
We don't know about a trade until Poles picks up the phone and makes some calls.

Now I do understand that a football team is built as a function of who is available and not necessarily the specific position players you need. It was possible to obtain LBs in FA and the secondary in the draft so that's what Poles did. I don't fault him for that.

However.

Our defense is built backwards. It is heavy in the secondary and at LB and very light in the DL. But we run a scheme predicated upon the front four generating pressure.

That is why I want a long term solution. Trade a pick for a guy on his rookie deal or trade salary for salary and if we have to throw in a lower round pick to even it out that's fine.
Trades can come out of nowhere but where high-end players are concerned there are usually whispers they might be available before anything happens, usually because there's a contract impasse, a team is cap-strapped and has little choice but to unload higher paid players, or a team is about to tear it all down and start again. That's why guys like Mack, Sweat and Young were known to be trade candidates.

Wanting a long term solution is one thing, finding one is another. Which team is going to be willing to trade a long-term solution type guy who's still on his rookie deal? How long would such a player be likely to have left on that deal? The Bears got Sweat for a second round pick with 9 games left on his 5th year option and then had to pay him $25m a year.

The Bears have their R1 and two R2 picks next year. It would be a major benefit to land a quality pass rusher or two and have them on rookie deals for the next 4 years over spending big on a second DE.

Poles also used high draft capital on two DTs last year. Effectively both were R2 picks given Pickens was taken 64th overall. He needs to see what he has in them. He's also brought in Booker this year who many pundits were projecting to go in R2 and perhaps even as high as R1 if he'd stayed in school another year. It's not like Poles has ignored the DL when it comes to the draft. A year to evaluate these young players is fine. Maybe, just maybe one or more will prove to be that long-term solution we want.
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Agree with most of this. Right at the end I'm not sure about though, the problem with the end of your post IMO is that we need 4 quality starters and 2 quality rotational DL and 2 more to round out the depth (but trying to be realistic that you aren't gonna go 8 deep with strong talent). So that's 6 guys you can "count on" and 2 guys that you hope for contribution from.

Right now we have 1 or 2 in that quality starter area, Sweat for sure and Billings is bit of a stretch but I'll put him in there (preferably he'd be one of the 2 quality rotational guys I mentioned). I'd put Walker squarely in that "2 quality rotational DL" bucket. So before looking at the youngsters, we have 3 of 6 covered here comfortably. In order to have an acceptable rotation this year, we'd need all 3 of those young guys to pan out THIS YEAR - and that's just not very likely to happen. I believe in Dex, that's a bet I'm comfortable taking and penciling him into the group of 6 works for me. I see both Pickens and Booker in that "2 guys you hope for contribution from" bucket - I'm not dismissing them and I want them to see the field, but I'm not comfortable relying on them to field a functional unit. But as things stand, that's what we would need to have happen, both have to hit. And then, even if they do, who are the final 2 guys? Absolute nobodies! DomRob, Martin, Cowart? We're just trying to draw an inside straight here and it's a bad way to play poker.

The most basic argument I have here is that I just think as fans people are very much overestimating the impact of a 5th round rookie player (particularly when in the next breath they say that the reason he was drafted late is because he's a year too young to play!!!! Which is it? Is he too young therefore we got a steal, or is he a secret weapon that's going to contribute this year?) , and I really shake my head when I see people acting like he's a 1st round talent but the Bears are so elite an org that we were the only one that saw fit to draft him in the 5th round? That just defies logic, if he was really a 1st round grade prospect that just came out 1 year too early, he'd have been drafted long before the 5th round. Other NFL teams aren't stupid, there's a reason he went where he went. That doesn't mean he's going to fail, but COUNTING on him to have an impact as a rookie is a fools errand IMO. Because if he doesn't, the cupboard behind him is absolutely barren.
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Justin Jones, Ngakoue and Green have gone. The latter two are still out there and could potentially be re-signed if Poles wants them back.

Sweat, Walker, Robinson, Billings, Dexter and Pickens were all on the roster last year when the defense was one of the best against the run. (So is Khalid Kareem although he only played one game.)

The only significant loss has been Jones. The Bears faced 1035 defensive snaps last year. Jones played 69% of them (739). Billings played 47% (506), Dexter 40% (432) and Pickens 25% (264). It's not unreasonable to hope and expect last year's Day 2 picks Dexter and Pickens to step up to play significantly more snaps this season and at a better level. You're then looking at a 4th DT to backfill Pickens modest contribution. Could Cowart or even Randolph manage that?

At DE, Ngakoue played 5 games after the addition of Sweat and by the fourth his snap count had dropped from in the 40s (65% to 80%) to 29 (52%) and then 34 (53%). Sweat is effectively his replacement and a major upgrade opposite Walker who played 67% (713) on the year. Once Ngakoue was injured, Walker's snaps, which had dropped a bit after Sweat's arrival, went back up to typically over 70% and he logged 12 of his season's 22 pressures, 2 of his 3.5 sacks and 10 of his 30 tackles in those last 4 games. Hopefully that was a sign of Sweat being a 'multiplier' and an indication the two could make a decent DE partnership.

That leaves the rotation guys, which were Greene with 385 (36%) and Robinson with 242 snaps (35%). Neither did much pass rush-wise. Green had 8 pressures and 2 sacks whilst Robinson had just 3 pressures and a half sack. Replacing Greene's contribution should not be difficult. Perhaps Booker could manage 14 snaps a game and be at least as effective while he hopefully develops into a somewhat better player. I'm certainly not one who is expecting him to have a major impact, but he wouldn't have to in order to match Greene's numbers.

Ultimately there doesn't look to be any obvious upgrade over how the DL finished last season, but there also shouldn't be a notable downgrade either and again the defense was ranked 1st overall against the run and 5th in ypc.

The Bears certainly need another pass rusher if they're going to be better than last season. The question is whether to try and somehow make a high-cost splash signing this year to manage that or try and bring in a stop-gap guy (perhaps Ngakoue again), trust in the development of youngsters and look to spend high draft capital on the DL in next year's draft.

You can never have enough good pass rushers but you also can't address every team weakness in one offseason. The Bears look set at secondary and linebacker for the immediate future so from a defensive perspective Poles should be able to focus almost exclusively on the DL next year to round out the team on that side of the ball.
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Regarding Greene, he was a good run defender which is what we hang our hat on defensively. Booker won’t match that in the run game, it’s not a relevant replacement as they fill very different roles.

Also, you’re incorrect trying to frame the discussion by saying “add a high cost FA”. That’s not necessary and I believe we could get a decent guy for under 5M. It’s a version of straw manning the argument.

I agree that it’s just a patch and we should draft into this next off season to address long term. I trust Poles is smart enough to make the necessary move we need here, should know soon.
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dplank wrote: Thu Jul 11, 2024 9:40 am Agree with most of this. Right at the end I'm not sure about though, the problem with the end of your post IMO is that we need 4 quality starters and 2 quality rotational DL and 2 more to round out the depth (but trying to be realistic that you aren't gonna go 8 deep with strong talent). So that's 6 guys you can "count on" and 2 guys that you hope for contribution from.

Right now we have 1 or 2 in that quality starter area, Sweat for sure and Billings is bit of a stretch but I'll put him in there (preferably he'd be one of the 2 quality rotational guys I mentioned). I'd put Walker squarely in that "2 quality rotational DL" bucket. So before looking at the youngsters, we have 3 of 6 covered here comfortably. In order to have an acceptable rotation this year, we'd need all 3 of those young guys to pan out THIS YEAR - and that's just not very likely to happen. I believe in Dex, that's a bet I'm comfortable taking and penciling him into the group of 6 works for me. I see both Pickens and Booker in that "2 guys you hope for contribution from" bucket - I'm not dismissing them and I want them to see the field, but I'm not comfortable relying on them to field a functional unit. But as things stand, that's what we would need to have happen, both have to hit. And then, even if they do, who are the final 2 guys? Absolute nobodies! DomRob, Martin, Cowart? We're just trying to draw an inside straight here and it's a bad way to play poker.

The most basic argument I have here is that I just think as fans people are very much overestimating the impact of a 5th round rookie player (particularly when in the next breath they say that the reason he was drafted late is because he's a year too young to play!!!! Which is it? Is he too young therefore we got a steal, or is he a secret weapon that's going to contribute this year?) , and I really shake my head when I see people acting like he's a 1st round talent but the Bears are so elite an org that we were the only one that saw fit to draft him in the 5th round? That just defies logic, if he was really a 1st round grade prospect that just came out 1 year too early, he'd have been drafted long before the 5th round. Other NFL teams aren't stupid, there's a reason he went where he went. That doesn't mean he's going to fail, but COUNTING on him to have an impact as a rookie is a fools errand IMO. Because if he doesn't, the cupboard behind him is absolutely barren.
Billings is no stretch - He's a good NFL Player.

If you are thinking the guy has to be better than Booker AND Billings AND not cost anything AND somehow actually be a Real Thing rather than something fabricated out of air -

I'm not sure that guy exists in FA
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dplank wrote: Thu Jul 11, 2024 12:53 pm

Regarding Greene, he was a good run defender which is what we hang our hat on defensively. Booker won’t match that in the run game, it’s not a relevant replacement as they fill very different roles.

Also, you’re incorrect trying to frame the discussion by saying “add a high cost FA”. That’s not necessary and I believe we could get a decent guy for under 5M. It’s a version of straw manning the argument.

I agree that it’s just a patch and we should draft into this next off season to address long term. I trust Poles is smart enough to make the necessary move we need here, should know soon.
Wow...that Jacob Infante guy is one keen NFL evaluator!

I never would have imagined that the Bears need to sign another DE! Is everyone else as stunned by this revelation as I am? :o
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Haha - no but I’m always amazed when someone argues against something that appears so obvious.
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The Marshall Plan wrote: Thu Jul 11, 2024 7:20 am
Bearfacts wrote: Thu Jul 11, 2024 7:04 am One more thought. You know what I see too much of from some here? A total lack of patience and comprehension of how long it can take to rebuild any team into a championship level roster. We've come a long way from where Poles began and most are happy with what he's done.

It may take 3 years to build a playoff level roster and as much as 5 years to build one capable of winning a SB. If this roster can compete with and win against playoff caliber teams this year we've made good progress. We're only in year three so lay back and give the rest more time to happen.
Technically we’ve been waiting since 1985.
Bull. We went to the SB in 2006 and came up one game short of one in 2011 IIRC. We had some good teams during the Lovie era. The mistakes made by GMcC and Teddy Bears in allowing Phil Emery to virtually wreck the team started us down the path we've been on since then but as bad as things got under Nagy we still made the playoffs one year. Then it got torn down to the studs if that.

If CW can play even close to expectations we already have a playoff level roster. The biggest question marks are on the DL and if Dexter and Pickens can't rise to the occasion at the 3 Tech spot Poles has 3 picks in the top 50-60 in 2025 to add DL help plus another FA season. Let's not forget that Dexter took some snaps and got some pressures playing DE last year and he's slimmed down since.

This kid Mallory intrigues me a bit as well. He's an Aaron Donald size DT who played well in college at MSU and ASU. I like Randolph out of Illinois as well. Poles also picked up a couple of FA with NFL experience over the past two years so we'll see what we've got this year and add as needed next year when we have the picks to do it. It can't all get done in one or two drafts.
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Bearfacts wrote: Thu Jul 11, 2024 5:55 pm
The Marshall Plan wrote: Thu Jul 11, 2024 7:20 am

Technically we’ve been waiting since 1985.
Bull. We went to the SB in 2006 and came up one game short of one in 2011 IIRC. We had some good teams during the Lovie era. The mistakes made by GMcC and Teddy Bears in allowing Phil Emery to virtually wreck the team started us down the path we've been on since then but as bad as things got under Nagy we still made the playoffs one year. Then it got torn down to the studs if that.

If CW can play even close to expectations we already have a playoff level roster. The biggest question marks are on the DL and if Dexter and Pickens can't rise to the occasion at the 3 Tech spot Poles has 3 picks in the top 50-60 in 2025 to add DL help plus another FA season. Let's not forget that Dexter took some snaps and got some pressures playing DE last year and he's slimmed down since.

This kid Mallory intrigues me a bit as well. He's an Aaron Donald size DT who played well in college at MSU and ASU. I like Randolph out of Illinois as well. Poles also picked up a couple of FA with NFL experience over the past two years so we'll see what we've got this year and add as needed next year when we have the picks to do it. It can't all get done in one or two drafts.
Man, can you IMAGINE if CW and the young DL players pan out (like a B or higher grade each) what this team might look like???!!!

I hate drinking the Koolaid (yes I have done so, OFTEN), but the idea of that is just FUN after so many years of anguish...
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dplank wrote: Thu Jul 11, 2024 12:53 pm Also, you’re incorrect trying to frame the discussion by saying “add a high cost FA”. That’s not necessary and I believe we could get a decent guy for under 5M. It’s a version of straw manning the argument.
Except I didn't do that did I?

I said "The Bears certainly need another pass rusher if they're going to be better than last season. The question is whether to try and somehow make a high-cost splash signing this year to manage that or try and bring in a stop-gap guy (perhaps Ngakoue again), trust in the development of youngsters and look to spend high draft capital on the DL in next year's draft."

An under $5m guy is basically a stop gap. We're in agreement here.

The alternative is to try to acquire a high cost player either in FA (where none exist) or via a trade, which is what TMP's "long-term solution" would realistically be. It's extremely unlikely you'll acquire a cheap long-term solution guy anywhere except in the draft.

Realistically it looks like Poles has little choice but to wait until next year's draft to make much impact to the pass rush, unless a mid-season trade possibility presents itself as it did last year and he's willing to give up draft capital and another large contract.

Here's a list of edge players currently still available courtesy of Sharp Football Analysis along with their key pass rushing stats from Pro Football Reference:

Emmanuel Ogbah (15 games, 15 pressures including 5.5 sacks)
Yannick Ngakoue (13 games, 11 pressured including 4.0 sacks)
Carl Lawson (6 games, 0 pressures)
Charles Harris (13 games, 14 pressures including 1.5 sacks)
Tyus Bowser (9 games, 7 pressures including 2.0 sacks)
Marquis Haynes (7 games, 2 pressures including 1.0 sack)
Rasheem Green (17 games, 8 pressures including 2.0 sacks)
Markus Golden (16 games, 9 pressures including 4.0 sacks)
Shaq Lawson (16 games, 10 pressures including 1.0 sack)

Are any of those interesting options? Maybe one of the top two given performances in previous seasons.

Ngakoue's signed 3 contracts in the last 4 years: His franchise tag tender of $12m, a 2-year deal for $13m a year and his one year deal with the Bears for $10.5m. How much will he be prepared to settle for coming off his least productive season?

Ogbah's signed 2 contracts over the same span: A two-year deal for $7.5m a year and then a 4-year deal for $16.35m a year, but he only saw two seasons of the latter before being cut. He's the more intriguing for me because it seems he fell out of favour after Miami changed the defense and Pro Football Reference even has him listed as playing NT last year not DE. But again what sort of contract and money is he looking for after 2 disappointing seasons?

I'd be fine with Poles signing either in the $5m range, but they may not come that cheap.

It's possible Poles might be able to snap up an edge player from another team following roster cut downs, but there will be a reason they didn't make a team and unlikely they'll be a significant upgrade to the players Poles already has.
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grendel2000 wrote: Thu Jul 11, 2024 6:11 pm
Bearfacts wrote: Thu Jul 11, 2024 5:55 pm

Bull. We went to the SB in 2006 and came up one game short of one in 2011 IIRC. We had some good teams during the Lovie era. The mistakes made by GMcC and Teddy Bears in allowing Phil Emery to virtually wreck the team started us down the path we've been on since then but as bad as things got under Nagy we still made the playoffs one year. Then it got torn down to the studs if that.

If CW can play even close to expectations we already have a playoff level roster. The biggest question marks are on the DL and if Dexter and Pickens can't rise to the occasion at the 3 Tech spot Poles has 3 picks in the top 50-60 in 2025 to add DL help plus another FA season. Let's not forget that Dexter took some snaps and got some pressures playing DE last year and he's slimmed down since.

This kid Mallory intrigues me a bit as well. He's an Aaron Donald size DT who played well in college at MSU and ASU. I like Randolph out of Illinois as well. Poles also picked up a couple of FA with NFL experience over the past two years so we'll see what we've got this year and add as needed next year when we have the picks to do it. It can't all get done in one or two drafts.
Man, can you IMAGINE if CW and the young DL players pan out (like a B or higher grade each) what this team might look like???!!!

I hate drinking the Koolaid (yes I have done so, OFTEN), but the idea of that is just FUN after so many years of anguish...
I don't have any doubts about CW succeeding. Even if he's not the "generational talent" he's been touted as he'll still be the best QB we've in decade or more and possibly since Luckman if he does turn out to be generational talent.

The DL are harder to project because based on their draft positions it can take 2-3 years for them to really mature. The NFL ready versions like Carter are typically top ten picks. But Dexter took the challenge he was given seriously and came in much better suited to the role they envision for him. Flus said they want to move him around to create mismatches so if he can play closer to 300lbs or less with his natural strength and athleticism he could be a monster DL like Jones, Buckner, and Simmons.

I believe Pickens can be much better as well provided they allow him to settle in as a 3 Tech. He's not built to play at 1 Tech and never was in college either. Flus needs to find another 1 Tech to back Billings and allow Pickens and Dexter to develop as 3 Techs.
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HisRoyalSweetness wrote: Thu Jul 11, 2024 6:26 pm
dplank wrote: Thu Jul 11, 2024 12:53 pm Also, you’re incorrect trying to frame the discussion by saying “add a high cost FA”. That’s not necessary and I believe we could get a decent guy for under 5M. It’s a version of straw manning the argument.
Except I didn't do that did I?

I said "The Bears certainly need another pass rusher if they're going to be better than last season. The question is whether to try and somehow make a high-cost splash signing this year to manage that or try and bring in a stop-gap guy (perhaps Ngakoue again), trust in the development of youngsters and look to spend high draft capital on the DL in next year's draft."

An under $5m guy is basically a stop gap. We're in agreement here.

The alternative is to try to acquire a high cost player either in FA (where none exist) or via a trade, which is what TMP's "long-term solution" would realistically be. It's extremely unlikely you'll acquire a cheap long-term solution guy anywhere except in the draft.

Realistically it looks like Poles has little choice but to wait until next year's draft to make much impact to the pass rush, unless a mid-season trade possibility presents itself as it did last year and he's willing to give up draft capital and another large contract.

Here's a list of edge players currently still available courtesy of Sharp Football Analysis along with their key pass rushing stats from Pro Football Reference:

Emmanuel Ogbah (15 games, 15 pressures including 5.5 sacks)
Yannick Ngakoue (13 games, 11 pressured including 4.0 sacks)
Carl Lawson (6 games, 0 pressures)
Charles Harris (13 games, 14 pressures including 1.5 sacks)
Tyus Bowser (9 games, 7 pressures including 2.0 sacks)
Marquis Haynes (7 games, 2 pressures including 1.0 sack)
Rasheem Green (17 games, 8 pressures including 2.0 sacks)
Markus Golden (16 games, 9 pressures including 4.0 sacks)
Shaq Lawson (16 games, 10 pressures including 1.0 sack)

Are any of those interesting options? Maybe one of the top two given performances in previous seasons.

Ngakoue's signed 3 contracts in the last 4 years: His franchise tag tender of $12m, a 2-year deal for $13m a year and his one year deal with the Bears for $10.5m. How much will he be prepared to settle for coming off his least productive season?

Ogbah's signed 2 contracts over the same span: A two-year deal for $7.5m a year and then a 4-year deal for $16.35m a year, but he only saw two seasons of the latter before being cut. He's the more intriguing for me because it seems he fell out of favour after Miami changed the defense and Pro Football Reference even has him listed as playing NT last year not DE. But again what sort of contract and money is he looking for after 2 disappointing seasons?

I'd be fine with Poles signing either in the $5m range, but they may not come that cheap.

It's possible Poles might be able to snap up an edge player from another team following roster cut downs, but there will be a reason they didn't make a team and unlikely they'll be a significant upgrade to the players Poles already has.
You read it exactly the way I do. Ogbah and Ngakoue top the list of stop gap guys but with Ngakoue we know he's looking for a multi-year deal. Of course looking for ain't getting. I can't see Poles paying either of them anywhere near what Ngakoue got last year so this will most likely drag on for a bit. These two will hope some team loses a top edge guy in camp and get what they're asking for and if that doesn't happen they'll take half a loaf and a one year deal because it's the only solid offer on the table. Contract Chess.
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