Without thinking too in-depth, the Bears made a big upgrade by signing Nick Foles. He has the repertoire in terms of successfully leading the Eagles in postseason games, including their magical Super Bowl run. He’s been a saint for the Eagles and Chicago is hoping he’ll be that good luck charm. While all that is fine and all, I don’t think it will truly matter who is under center. The only addition that may truly have benefited Chicago would be signing Cam Newton, but they didn’t. My main point is as follows. The quarterback position is definitely important, but thinking more broadly, the O-Line must be the priority.
I’ve been a firm believer that most of the blame with recent quarterbacks in the Windy City, is due to a poor squad blocking. If there isn’t enough time for receivers to effectively run their routes, there’s a higher chance of a rushed pass. That, in turn, likely leads to dropped passes, passes broken up, or straight-up picks. It happened with Kyle Orton, it happened with Jay Cutler, and most recently, with Mitchell Trubisky.
Mistakes do happen of course, such as a lineman double covering an opponent, leaving another guy unblocked. That leads to a scrambling quarterback, a trait the last few haven’t pulled off well in Chicago. Trubisky has shown he can maneuver around on the field here and there, but not on a consistent basis. Because he doesn’t have that dual-threat ability most of the time, the chances of Trubisky getting sacked, fumbling or throwing an errant pass are high.
The funny thing is, despite how inconsistent the O-Line is for the Bears, other teams around the league have higher sack allowance totals. Deshaun Watson is a primary example, with how many times he got blown up; but, the Texans still find ways to at least contend for the postseason. Comparing Watson to Trubisky is like apples to oranges however, and I don’t want to trigger anyone. Chicago had versatility when Kyle Long was on the field, but constant injuries led to his early retirement.
It’s wild to think about how one specific player, on the line no less, could make that big of an impact. I know the Dallas Cowboys’ primary success between Zeke and Dak was due to their stout line. They bolstered it up with multiple picks, and the results showed. When their first line of defense wasn’t fully healthy, they suffered. The Bears have dealt with injuries themselves, but there’s no reason why the O-Line should still be this inadequate after this many years.
I’d like to think Ryan Pace and others are already on the hot seat with last seasons’ flop and now with some of their off-season moves. The tight ends were awful last year, but bringing on Jimmy Graham won’t produce that much more with his prime behind him. Chicago has also added more to their defense, which wasn’t as necessary despite parting ways with a couple of key players. Then, Pace looked at a cheap option to plug into the O-Line, but again, not an upgrade.
Bottom line is this, I know the Bears are dubbed Monsters of the Midway for their defense. Just think of how daunting it would be if they could boast the same with a strong O-Line. Once that issue is resolved, I truly think Trubisky would show needed strides and keep his job. Alas, that hasn’t been the case and now he’s battling a champion.
Hopefully the Bears make the right moves during the Draft, or it’s going to be another long season.
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