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Bears Weekly Mailbag 1.0

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I will be doing a Bears weekly mailbag till the end of the season. Answering any and all questions to the best of my ability. Check @MonstersOfMw on Twitter every Thursday during training camp. When the season starts ask questions on Sunday before, during, or after the game.

What do you think of the 3 technique? Who is dominating at this position and why is it so important to the success of the defense

The 3-tech is extremely important in the 4-3 defense. A majority of the time the 3-tech lines up on the weak side of the offense. To determine the weak side of the offense, you look at the offensive line and whatever side the Tight End is not on, is the weak side. This makes it harder for the offense to have an extra blocker. The responsibility of the 3-tech is to drive the Guard or Center into the backfield and cause havoc. If done correctly this results in the offense having to alter its attack mid play. Basically, be an absolute menace and wreak havoc. Justin Jones has stood out to me the most. A name to keep an eye out for the backup role is LaCale London.

Do you think they’ll utilize David Montgomery and Khalil Herbert as a duo in the backfield more this year?

Yes I do, and that has nothing to do with Montgomery’s ability. It has to do with Herbert’s ability. On Fridays practice, I didn’t have an exact count, but it seemed like Herbert was getting the same amount of first team reps as Montgomery. I envision a 60/40 split in Montgomery’s favor. Another name to watch is Trestan Ebner the rookie from Baylor. It wouldn’t surprise me if the Bears had 4 RBs on the game day roster. It would be David Montgomery, Khalil Herbert, Darryton Evans, Trestan Ebner in order of most touches. It’s going to be fun watching this stacked group continue to grow and develop!

Is Justin Fields the answer at QB?

I do believe Justin is the answer at QB. He was in a awful situation last year, with a coach in Matt Nagy that cared more about his scheme than what his players were good at. Justin had “ too long “ of a throwing motion last year. He cleaned that up and got it faster this off-season. Justin had “ bad “ footwork. He worked on that this off-season, he’s not where he needs to be yet, but I have full confidence he will be. Justin has all the tools, the size, the arm, the athletic ability, the mind set, and even the clutch gene. The clutch gene is evident if you watched him at Ohio State, or at the Pittsburg Steelers game. Justin led a game winning drive on Monday Night, with 2:33 on the clock, in Pittsburgh, with the terrible towels waving, and the crowd roaring! Unfortunately the defense blew it so the Bears still lost. I’m excited to see Justin prove the doubters wrong this year.

Why is Justin Fields so attractive?

The arm? The speed? The heart? The smile? So many choices, I’ll say the fact that he’s a 6’3 QB with 4.4 speed and a cannon of an arm.

Views From The Nosebleeds: Trestan Ebner

Jackson Miller gives us his thoughts on Trestan Ebner in a new video series on Monsters of the Midwest called Views from the nosebleeds!

5 Moves The Bears Should Look To Make Before The Start Of The Season

The Chicago Bears are in a weird position. Are they rebuilding? Are they retooling? Many of us believe this is going to be a short retooling of an old roster left over from the past regime. Thanks, Ryan Pace! Although the offseason is coming to an end, and preseason will begin shortly, moves can still be made. I Believe making any of these fives moves will improve the Bears of today and the Bears of the future.

Sign Free Agent Center J.C Tretter

Surprisingly, Tretter, who was thought to be an early target for the Bears after his release by the Browns, has still not found a home. The 31-year-old center could provide much-needed stability on the Bears’ offensive line while still producing on the field. For instance, in 1,038 snaps last season, Tretter posted a PFF grade of 78.7 and only allowed one sack. In the event the Bears do sign Tretter, this means Lucas Patrick would likely slide over to right guard. Also, that move pushes Sam Mustipher back to the 2nd team.

Trade Robert Quinn To The Kansas City Chiefs

This Hurts! Robert Quinn is coming off a record-breaking 18.5 sack season for the Chicago Bears. Historically Quinn hasn’t been the most consistent putting together those types of seasons and at the age of 32 do we expect another one? Proven by the Khalil Mack trade, Poles wants to put his players in the best situation possible. Even if it means trading them. Now for the Chiefs, it makes tons of sense. They had a problem getting to the QB last season as they finished 28th in sacks. Hence, they selected Purdue’s George Karlaftis in the first round of the NFL draft. The package for Quinn wouldn’t be large, I would think a 3rd round pick would get it done.

Trade For Giants Wide Receiver Darius Slayton

TRADE ALERT! In this scenario, the Bears would send the Giants a future 4th-round pick for Darius Slayton. As it currently stands with Slayton, his future in New York is seen as “Uncertain”. Notably, with the addition of Wan ‘Dale Robinson, the Giants haven’t shied away from adding talent to the room. Therefore, cashing in on a future draft pick for a player who will likely leave next year would be wise. For the Bears, they get another young talented receiver to be a part of the bright future of this Bears offense.

Sign Free Agent LB Anthony Hitchens

Like Tretter, some thought Hitchens might have been an early target for the Bears heading into free agency. Instead, the Bears signed Nicholas Morrow to play Mike LB alongside Roquan Smith. While being 30 Hitchens can still play. In the AFC Championship game, Hitchens posted the highest PFF grade at 92.3. Although the Chiefs lost Hitchens did his part as he finished the game with 10 total tackles and 1 pass deflection. In the event, the Bears sign Hitchens he’d likely just be a depth piece and a leader in the linebacker room.

Denzel Mims On The Waiver Wire?

Mims was someone I was high on when he was coming out of Baylor in 2020. His ability to go up and get the ball but also be able to outrun defenders caught my eye. Unfortunately, injuries have gotten the best of him as he’s only played in 20 games over his first two seasons. While dealing with injuries the jets have added talent to that room to challenge Mims and now, he sees himself as a potential cut candidate. For the Bears he can learn and develop with Offensive Coordinator Luke Getsy and Wide receiver coach Tyke Tolbert in hopes he can become that X receiver for the Bears.

Bears Trade for N’Keal Harry

The Bears have made a move to bolster their wide receiver room. Ryan Poles has made a deal with the Patriots sending Chicago former first-round draft pick N’Keal Harry for a 2024 7th round pick.

Harry has amassed 598 yards receiving and 4 touchdowns over his career. Some injuries and other things have kept him from really finding his stride as of today.

The move allows Harry to get a fresh start in Chicago with a team that desperately needs someone to break out and perform the opposite of Darnell Mooney. Harry has the skills and the body to play at a high level in the NFL but it just hasn’t quite clicked for him as of yet. The move shows that General Manager Ryan Poles is still assessing this roster as training camp is right around the corner.

Stay tuned to Monsters of the Midwest as we progress towards training camp.

PODCAST: Bear With Us Episode 3 -The Bears New Home and Training Camp Preview

This week, Matthias Schwartzkopf, Nick Osen, Austin Keeney, and Aiden Wyatt take a dive into where the Bears should call home and what training camp should give us in the next few weeks.

Follow all of our media here! https://linktr.ee/monstersofthemidwest

Velus Jones Jr. year one breakout

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Today we are breaking down Mr. Velus Jones Jr. The 6-foot 205 pounds wide receiver spent 4 years at USC (redshirted his freshman year) and 3 years at Tennessee. He was able to get another year of eligibility due to the covid exemption rules. With his extra year of college, he worked on route running, football IQ, and getting stronger and faster. 

During the combine I fell in love with him. He looked so jacked and so fast and did pretty well in all the drills. The combine likes to post unofficial 40 times to increase viewers. For example, Chris Olave clocked an unofficial 4.26 WHAT? Velus posted an official time of 4.39.

Velus is also a yards-after-catch machine. He led all of college football a season ago in yards after the catch. He reminds me of Deebo Samuel, but faster. Deebo ran a 4.8 40-yard dash, and Velus ran a 4.31. He will be used a lot like Deebo has been used, a swiss army knife type. He will run the ball, he will catch the ball, and he might even throw the ball on a trick play. The possibilities are endless!

I think Velus is going to break the Bears rookie reception record. That record happens to be 63 receptions and is still held by Matt Forte in 2008. I am expecting Velus to haul in around 75 receptions and 850 yards. I don’t think he is going to be able to break Harlon Hills 1,124 rookie receiving record. 1,100 yards is a lot for a rookie, especially one in a Bears uniform.

For a rookie receiver, you look for a few things. Is he making plays in practice? He has so far. Is he getting mentioned by coaches in interviews? Yes, he has. Is he getting mentioned by his peers in interviews? Yes, he has. Darnell Mooney said in an interview during OTAs ” Velus, man, when he gets the ball, y ‘all are gonna see he can fly. He’s going to be a playmaker for sure for us”. Justin Fields himself had this to say ” Yeah he’s fast, he can make plays, he can catch for sure, he’s a good player”. That’s the type of compliment you want as a rookie heading into your first training camp. 

Velus Jones Jr. 2022 stat projection:

Receptions: 75

Receiving yards: 850

Receiving TDs: 6

Rushing yards: 105

Rushing TDs: 2 

Punt return yards: 275

Punt return TDs: 1 

Kickoff yards: 400

Kickoff TDs: 2

PODCAST: Lori Lightfoot’s Dome/ Position Previews: OL & DL

On this week’s episode of Bear Force One, Marty and Brian discuss the arrest of (soon-to-be former) Chicago Bears WR David Moore. From there, the gang breaks down Lori Lightfoot’s master plan to dome in Soldier Field and gives their thoughts on the Arlington Heights project. Lastly, the boys bring it home with the first installment of the “Position Previews” series, breaking down the Bears’ offensive and defensive lines.

Follow all of our media including our podcasts by clicking the link below!

https://linktr.ee/monstersofthemidwest

Three Things To Keep An Eye On In Training Camp

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Training camp under new Chicago Bears head coach, Matt Eberflus is just around the corner. Before you know it there will be pads popping and whistles will be blaring in Lake Forest. The Bears have a lot of question marks going into training camp and I give you three things the Bears need to do before the season starts.

To have a successful offense, it starts up front with the offensive line. Yes, the play calling was garbage last year but so was the offensive line. It was like a hockey line change at the right and left tackle spots all season. The Bears could not find a consistent player for those two spots to save their lives. Chicago also lost left guard James Daniels as he signed a contract with the Pittsburgh Steelers this past offseason. The remaining players that accumulated playing time last season are Larry Borom, Tevin Jenkins, Cody Whitehair, and Sam Mustipher. The Bears signed former Packer, Lucas Patrick to slot in at center. The organization is also hoping for their two draft picks from last year, Borom and Jenkins to take major steps to make an impact this season. A name to watch is Braxton Jones, the rookie from Southern Utah. He may be one that is a dark horse to steal some playing time. Chicago has pieces but they need to come together as a unit and protect Justin Fields.

The Bears offense was a bottom feeder in the NFL last season. They could not get anything going at times and as I said earlier, the playcalling was not great. Former Bears coach Matt Nagy did quarterback Justin Fields no favors by seemingly avoiding his strengths and avoiding anything that fields was good at. Bears head coach Matt Eberflus brought in former Green Bay Packers coach, Luke Getsy to run the offense. Getsy was the quarterback coach and passing game coordinator with the Packers. I believe it will be key to have a coach for Justin that is strictly for Fields and the offense. Getsy and Fields have to be in lock step if this offense wants to take steps forward from a season ago. How will this relationship mold over camp? We shall see.

Time to head over to the defensive side of the ball and the secondary. The Bears drafted a cornerback and safety in this year’s draft. Cornerback Kyler Gordon of Washington, and safety Jaquan Brisker from Penn State. These two more than likely will be starters heading into the season. Paired with Jaylon Johnson and Eddie Jackson the Bears back end remains pretty thin for depth. How the Bears mesh the young talented players with Jackson and Johnson all while maintaining a high level of play will be intriguing.

These three things will have a heavy impact on the success of the Chicago Bears in 2022. Should be a very interesting training camp in Lake Forrest under a new regime.

Favorite Chicago Bear: Matt Eberflus

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It’s been a tough last three years for Chicago Bears fans as the Matt Nagy era came to a crashing halt, and that is with a playoff appearance and a 22-27 record, something some NFL teams (cough, cough, the Lions) would kill for. So perhaps this comes across as complaining. But thank goodness we’ve moved past that. Without a doubt my favorite Chicago Bear of 2022 is the new head coach, Matt Eberflus.

Coach Flus(?) – we’re still workshopping a nickname – comes to us from the Indianapolis Colts after running their defense for the last four seasons. The Colts consistently finished around the top 10 of the NFL in total defense over that time period, including 7th in defensive DVOA in 2020 and 8th in 2021. The name that everyone thinks of with the Colts on defense is LB Darius Leonard. He came in as a rookie and became a superstar. The Bears’ best defensive player is a superstar LB Roquan Smith. Can he perhaps take his game to an even greater level with a defensive head coach? On the offensive side of the ball, we’ve seen some hopeful signs with Luke Getsy coming over from the evil empire to lead the way. Matt Nagy constantly intervened and took on the role of OC and HC at the same time. That doesn’t quite work in the NFL these days. Sign me up for moving on from that.

Coach seems like an old school football coach. He’s going to be more of a disciplinarian. He’ll put an emphasis on holding guys accountable. We already saw it with the reports of CB Jaylon Johnson working with the 2nd team after showing up a couple of days late to minicamp.

A lot of Bears fans, myself included, were looking for a head coach with an offensive background to guide QB Justin Fields. However, I think we’ve seen just how badly that can go, and how that is no guarantee. Eberflus was regarded as a future head coach while in Indianapolis. His Colts teams always seemed to maximize the talent they had available. And perhaps most importantly, everything we’ve heard out of Halas Hall is how professional he is and how he intends to establish a winning culture.

The Bears might not be good in 2022. The offense could struggle yet again. Justin Fields might not turn into a superstar this season. And yet, I’ll take that 100 times over compared to the back and forth of who is calling plays, the 3 yard hitch routes on 3rd & 5, the inconsistent 4th down decisions, and constantly breaking a great defense’s will to win. The Double Doink halted all momentum for this franchise for years. Now is the time to reset and look forward to a future with a dynamic leader on the field, and a solid presence on the sidelines.

My Favorite Chicago Bear: Justin Fields

In light of the new NFL season, Monsters of the Midwest has asked us to pick our Favorite Bear and explain why they will succeed in 2022. Although there are many great options on both sides of the ball.

I had to go with my guy, Justin Fields. Aka Future Super Bowl MVP Justin Fields. Flashing back to the moment Fields was drafted, the excitement that filled the city will never be forgotten. In my lifetime, I have never seen a Bears quarterback with the potential and physical traits Fields possesses. I truly believe he will lead the Bears to wherever he desires. 

The moment that made me a believer was the Week 9 game against the Steelers. In the final 2 minutes of that game, Fields showed everything you could ask for and more from a first year QB in the NFL. While the throws were big time it was his poise, confidence, and determination to win that stood out to me. Even though the Bears lost this game, Fields showed glimpses of what the Bears hope he will become.

As for 2022, I see Fields taking a much-needed year 2 jump. While I expect the Bears to be a run-heavy team, I only expect that to help Justin in creating opportunities for him down the field. Also, expect tons of play-action and rollout passes. In 2021, Fields had the highest passer rating on designed rollouts with a 138.5 rating.

This should allow Justin to keep the turnovers down and play smart football, hopefully leading to more wins for our Chicago Bears!

To wrap it up, I’ll throw out a WAY too early 2022 stats prediction for Justin Fields. 3,635 yards, 27 passing TDs, and 9 interceptions. We’ll also say he adds 500 rushing yards and 4 TDs in that department.

Can’t wait for the 2022 season!