Bears Draft Emphasized Special Teams

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Bearfacts
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Bears emphasized special teams in draft class with Velus Jones Jr., Trestan Ebner

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Chicago Bears defensive specialist Jaquan Brisker warms up with teammates during the NFL football team's rookie minicamp at Halas Hall in Lake Forest, Ill., Friday, May 6, 2022. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

By Kevin Fishbain
May 8, 2022

https://theathletic.com/3299108/2022/05 ... directed=1

Last week, the Bears drafted the SEC special teams player of the year (Velus Jones Jr.), the Big 12 special teams player of the year (Trestan Ebner) and a punter (Trenton Gill). It was a sign of the new regime’s commitment to the special teams unit.

“Yeah, it’s a big part of our process in evaluating and placing them on the board,” general manager Ryan Poles said last week about the additions. “What’s tough is if you don’t have the special teams ability and you’re a backup player, it’s really hard to stick on an active roster, on a 53. When you have that ability, I know that you’re dressing for game day because you’re going to impact the game. If you don’t, then that’s tough. The other piece of that is usually the guys that have a background in special teams, they just have the right mentality, the competitive fire, the toughness. To me, that enhances who they are as a football player in whatever position they’re in.”
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Grizzled
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On the defensive side, Jack Sanborn has 3 years of special team play at Wisconsin. Special teams is going to be the ticket for several of the lower round guys and UDFAs to make early impressions and possibly make the team.
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Bearfacts
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I'm glad to see the Bears going back to paying more attention to ST. Once Hester left and Dave Toub was let go it seems like we've gone about as far downhill on that unit in terms of coverage as we could get and even with Cohen and Grant we still didn't have the scoring punch on ST we once had.

If somehow both Jones and Ebner are something special as KR would it be worth it to have them both lined up to take the kick? I can visualize in my imagination what it would have been like for teams to have to kick off to twin Devin Hesters so maybe these two can create something like that. LOL
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Grizzled
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Bearfacts wrote: Tue May 10, 2022 10:13 am I'm glad to see the Bears going back to paying more attention to ST. Once Hester left and Dave Toub was let go it seems like we've gone about as far downhill on that unit in terms of coverage as we could get and even with Cohen and Grant we still didn't have the scoring punch on ST we once had.

If somehow both Jones and Ebner are something special as KR would it be worth it to have them both lined up to take the kick? I can visualize in my imagination what it would have been like for teams to have to kick off to twin Devin Hesters so maybe these two can create something like that. LOL
That would be something. As much as the NFL is trying to kill the kickoff return, a good/great punt returner can do wonders for field position.
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Bearfacts
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Grizzled wrote: Tue May 10, 2022 2:35 pm
Bearfacts wrote: Tue May 10, 2022 10:13 am I'm glad to see the Bears going back to paying more attention to ST. Once Hester left and Dave Toub was let go it seems like we've gone about as far downhill on that unit in terms of coverage as we could get and even with Cohen and Grant we still didn't have the scoring punch on ST we once had.

If somehow both Jones and Ebner are something special as KR would it be worth it to have them both lined up to take the kick? I can visualize in my imagination what it would have been like for teams to have to kick off to twin Devin Hesters so maybe these two can create something like that. LOL
That would be something. As much as the NFL is trying to kill the kickoff return, a good/great punt returner can do wonders for field position.
The NFL has done about all they can to help reduce injuries sustained on KOR but they haven't completely killed them off. Teams without real talent at the KR position will probably continue to accept touchbacks and begin with the offense on their 25 yard line but if a team has the kind of talent to produce big returns and scores I would still encourage that team to use the talent.

But the rules changes mean we will probably never see the kind of stuff we got from Hester early in his career making PR the more valuable commodity. Poles brought in not one but two guys who excelled at both to add to guys like Herbert and Newsome so when he said he wants competition he means he wants competition even on ST and especially returns.
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Yogi da Bear
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Bearfacts wrote: Tue May 10, 2022 10:13 am I'm glad to see the Bears going back to paying more attention to ST. Once Hester left and Dave Toub was let go it seems like we've gone about as far downhill on that unit in terms of coverage as we could get and even with Cohen and Grant we still didn't have the scoring punch on ST we once had.

If somehow both Jones and Ebner are something special as KR would it be worth it to have them both lined up to take the kick? I can visualize in my imagination what it would have been like for teams to have to kick off to twin Devin Hesters so maybe these two can create something like that. LOL
We actually had that on one punt return with Johnny Knox and Devin Hester. Remember this:



For the life of me I could see no holding on that. The only possible one would have been #35. I would say that as always the Packers had the refs in their back pocket, but given how much time was left, I have to think it was more of "gambler's call" with the intent to preserve the point spread.
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Yogi da Bear wrote: Wed May 11, 2022 8:39 am
Bearfacts wrote: Tue May 10, 2022 10:13 am I'm glad to see the Bears going back to paying more attention to ST. Once Hester left and Dave Toub was let go it seems like we've gone about as far downhill on that unit in terms of coverage as we could get and even with Cohen and Grant we still didn't have the scoring punch on ST we once had.

If somehow both Jones and Ebner are something special as KR would it be worth it to have them both lined up to take the kick? I can visualize in my imagination what it would have been like for teams to have to kick off to twin Devin Hesters so maybe these two can create something like that. LOL
We actually had that on one punt return with Johnny Knox and Devin Hester. Remember this:



For the life of me I could see no holding on that. The only possible one would have been #35. I would say that as always the Packers had the refs in their back pocket, but given how much time was left, I have to think it was more of "gambler's call" with the intent to preserve the point spread.

There was no holding period. We got hosed as usual like we do almost every time we play GB.
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Why emphasize ST when the league is de emphasizing ST league wide?
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Bearfacts
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dplank wrote: Wed May 11, 2022 12:23 pm Why emphasize ST when the league is de emphasizing ST league wide?
Wow! No more punts? No more KO returns?

Offense just keeps the ball 'til they score? Opponent gets the ball on their own 20 and keeps it 'til they score? Exciting!

Excuse the sarcasm but why would you say that?
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wab
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dplank wrote: Wed May 11, 2022 12:23 pm Why emphasize ST when the league is de emphasizing ST league wide?
Special teams goes beyond just the punt team and kick teams. It's nice when your key depth gets snaps and on field experience...even if it is just lining up for field goals.
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Yogi da Bear
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dplank wrote: Wed May 11, 2022 12:23 pm Why emphasize ST when the league is de emphasizing ST league wide?
I don't know, Maybe you should ask Green Bay. :rofl: I'll never get over laughing about that.
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