NFL Thread 2022-2023

#151      
The year after Trubisky’s rookie season, the Bears drafted James Daniels in the 2nd round, traded up to get Anthony Miller in the 2nd round, and signed Trey Burton and Allen Robinson in free agency.

We can criticize Pace’s choice of Trubisky in the first place, we can criticize Nagy’s handling of Trubisky (which was truly awful), we can criticize the specific players Pace chose to to surround Trubisky with, but you can’t say he didn’t try to improve the talent around Trubisky in year 2.

It stands in stark contrast to what Poles did this off-season for Fields. He can say over and over that he thinks Fields is his QB of the future, but actions speak louder than words.

Unfortunately for any of us who want some watchable Bears games this year, the best case scenario for all involved is probably for the Bears to lose their way to a top 5 draft pick, trade Fields for a 5th or 6th round pick, and then draft Poles’ real choice for QB. Do what the Cardinals did when they cut bait on Rosen to get Murray after only a year.
 
#152      
The year after Trubisky’s rookie season, the Bears drafted James Daniels in the 2nd round, traded up to get Anthony Miller in the 2nd round, and signed Trey Burton and Allen Robinson in free agency.

We can criticize Pace’s choice of Trubisky in the first place, we can criticize Nagy’s handling of Trubisky (which was truly awful), we can criticize the specific players Pace chose to to surround Trubisky with, but you can’t say he didn’t try to improve the talent around Trubisky in year 2.

It stands in stark contrast to what Poles did this off-season for Fields. He can say over and over that he thinks Fields is his QB of the future, but actions speak louder than words.

Unfortunately for any of us who want some watchable Bears games this year, the best case scenario for all involved is probably for the Bears to lose their way to a top 5 draft pick, trade Fields for a 5th or 6th round pick, and then draft Poles’ real choice for QB. Do what the Cardinals did when they cut bait on Rosen to get Murray after only a year.
I can't say it any better than this. I'd just add that that offensive line in addition to the highly drafted rookie in Daniels also had a Pro Bowler in Kyle Long, and guys the team had expended major resources either drafting, extending, or FA signing in Cody Whitehair, Charles Leno, and Bobby Massie.

Whitehair might be edging out of his prime a little bit but he's still a good player. The rest of the Bears current OLine is just spaghetti against a wall hoping something sticks, and dollar store spaghetti at that. Unequivocally the worst unit in the league, especially at tackle where Braxton Jones and Larry Borom has to be the worst duo in recent NFL history, both totally helpless in pass pro. No QB has any chance behind that unit.

But let's give the positive note here!


The Bears have by a country mile the most open cap room in 2023, and Poles' moves since taking the job both big and small have all pushed to maximize that opportunity. Not only do they have their full slate of draft picks, they also have the opportunity to be the top player in the FA market. And the seeming rejuvenation of Eddie Jackson is a positive not just on the field but also on the cap sheet.

The trouble is that the needs are overwhelming at all of the most expensive positions to fill. QB, OT, WR, DT, Edge.

It will be an active and crazy offseason, we just have to swallow 15 more turds between now and then.
 
#153      
I thought the Bears had the worst weapons in the league going into this season and that was before I knew Kmet was useless. It has the potential to be an all time bad group of pass catchers Fields doesn’t even have a chance.
 
#154      
A way to quantify things:


The Bears are spending $54.5 million on active cap (aka players on the team, not dead money) on their offense, not just 32nd out of 32 in the NFL, but $23 million less than the 31st team. Less than half of what all but the bottom 10 teams have dedicated to offense.

And looking back historically, that 26% of the NFL cap of $208 million is the single lowest of ANY team since that available data began in 2011.

So of the 384 team-seasons since 2011, the 2022 Chicago Bears are dead last, 384 of 384, in resources dedicated to offense.

HOW ON EARTH HAS THAT NUMBER NOT APPEARED IN THE CHICAGO TRIBUNE?

Ryan Poles knows that media and fans will just mouth the talking points:
Signing a couple more free agents on offense wasn’t going to fix anything. This roster needed an overhaul and it won’t be pretty.

And that everything will be made to be that awful bust Justin Fields' fault, gosh just like Mick Trubinsky, hey remember Cade McClown? Pass the kielbasa.

They're probably right about Fields anyway, he was horrible last year and was downgraded in the draft process for a reason, but the cynical shell game being played here drives me absolutely crazy.
 
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#156      
The Bears are spending $54.5 million on active cap (aka players on the team, not dead money) on their offense, not just 32nd out of 32 in the NFL, but $23 million less than the 31st team. Less than half of what all but the bottom 10 teams have dedicated to offense.

And looking back historically, that 26% of the NFL cap of $208 million is the single lowest of ANY team since that available data began in 2011.

So of the 384 team-seasons since 2011, the 2022 Chicago Bears are dead last, 384 of 384, in resources dedicated to offense.

So the Bears are quite literally giving Fields the least amount of help in the last decade of the NFL, when expressed financially.
 
#157      
So the Bears are quite literally giving Fields the least amount of help in the last decade of the NFL, when expressed financially.
I’m no salary cap expert for sure, but my understanding is they really have no cap room this year to do much else. I know they didn’t have to eat all the dead money this year if they didn’t want to but it seems like a necessary move. I am genuinely curious if you think wiping the slate clean and gaining cap flexibility was a bad move? If it was needed then there really wasn’t much room to do anything else. Of course they could have drafted players to help the offense earlier but I don’t think that would have made a big difference in how this offense is viewed.
 
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#158      
I’m no salary cap expert for sure, but my understanding is they really have no cap room this year to do much else. I know they didn’t have to eat all the dead money this year if they didn’t want to but it seems like a necessary move. I am genuinely curious if you think wiping the slate clean and gaining cap flexibility was a bad move? If it was needed then there really wasn’t much room to do anything else. Of course they could have drafted players to help the offense earlier but I don’t think that would have made a big difference in how this offense is viewed.
So, a couple things.

In the NFL if you don't have a reliably top 10-ish QB you are nowhere, period, you have no chance of any meaningful sustained success. Savvy football brain world tries to dance around that because it makes the game kind of dumb and boring on some level, but that is the iron reality.

So the only question that really truly matters for Ryan Poles taking the helm in January 2022 is whether Justin Fields is a quarterback on the path to being that kind of player or whether he isn't. That's decision #1, he must firmly make that call.

If you decide Justin Fields IS that guy, the 2022 season progressing him along a positive developmental path is all that matters for the future of the team. You're not mortgaging the future to win right now, and the eat money now for flexibility later was already baked in, but there was lots of ability to do what it takes to put a halfway competent NFL offense around Fields. The two biggest dollar free agent signings were defensive linemen and the first two draft picks were defensive backs, instead. When you're talking about the single least resourced offense in modern NFL history, some tweaks at the margin really matter. What you have given Fields throws his career onto the funeral pyre, he has no chance whatsoever, every snap he takes is a total mess no QB could fix, and his progression toward NFL-level play has to happen now or never.

If you decide Justin Fields IS NOT that guy, your offense is a wash for 2022 since you were in no position this offseason to make any long-term moves on the QB front with no 1st and a crappy cap situation. So you take your lumps, fill your offense with cheap lottery tickets on younger players who you can use the season to take a look at, and wait until your real ammunition reloads to address the QB situation, with at least some serious bullets to play with in that regard with a top 3 pick and a wide open cap sheet.

So yeah, it's obvious that Poles did the correct and responsible thing and made a firm judgment on Justin Fields when he took the job, and set the organization on the course to move forward with that outcome. He followed option 2 to the letter, Fields is not our guy, take your lumps for a year, throw a bit of spaghetti at the wall and look to the future.

To answer your actual question (lol sorry) I don't have strong feelings on that choice either way to be honest. I was always a Fields skeptic and minus the QB position they could get the rest of the roster in relatively decent shape within a year doing things this way. I can understand why this choice was appealing. My complaint is that every Bears staff member and every Chicago media member is lying to me about what the choice was. It's something darker and more cynical than just "coachspeak".

There's also real risk that this just gets so bad and ugly over the next few months, plus the rotten state of the existing roster and perhaps those lottery tickets don't pan out at the hoped-for rate, it could go to a Jaguars-y place where an offseason can't re-jolt things in the right direction. Clearly the mission Eberflus (and Getsy particularly) has been given is to have a team that's smiling, trying hard, and keeping things respectable. We'll see, this offense being helpless in a way that the NFL is not accustomed to seeing will cause a few sparks to fly, I'm sure.
 
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#159      
I’m no salary cap expert for sure, but my understanding is they really have no cap room this year to do much else. I know they didn’t have to eat all the dead money this year if they didn’t want to but it seems like a necessary move. I am genuinely curious if you think wiping the slate clean and gaining cap flexibility was a bad move? If it was needed then there really wasn’t much room to do anything else. Of course they could have drafted players to help the offense earlier but I don’t think that would have made a big difference in how this offense is viewed.

Really it comes down to frustration with the previous regime’s decision to draft Fields in the first place while simultaneously kneecapping the franchise’s ability to do anything to help Fields develop. The team was not in the position to give away draft picks to get the 4th qb taken in the draft.

The only real criticism with Poles, I think, is him not being upfront about the team’s real intentions with Fields.
 
#160      
So, a couple things.

In the NFL if you don't have a reliably top 10-ish QB you are nowhere, period, you have no chance of any meaningful sustained success. Savvy football brain world tries to dance around that because it makes the game kind of dumb and boring on some level, but that is the iron reality.

So the only question that really truly matters for Ryan Poles taking the helm in January 2022 is whether Justin Fields is a quarterback on the path to being that kind of player or whether he isn't. That's decision #1, he must firmly make that call.

If you decide Justin Fields IS that guy, the 2022 season progressing him along a positive developmental path is all that matters for the future of the team. You're not mortgaging the future to win right now, and the eat money now for flexibility later was already baked in, but there was lots of ability to do what it takes to put a halfway competent NFL offense around Fields. The two biggest dollar free agent signings were defensive linemen and the first two draft picks were defensive backs, instead. When you're talking about the single least resourced offense in modern NFL history, some tweaks at the margin really matter. What you have given Fields throws his career onto the funeral pyre, he has no chance whatsoever, every snap he takes is a total mess no QB could fix, and his progression toward NFL-level play has to happen now or never.

If you decide Justin Fields IS NOT that guy, your offense is a wash for 2022 since you were in no position this offseason to make any long-term moves on the QB front with no 1st and a crappy cap situation. So you take your lumps, fill your offense with cheap lottery tickets on younger players who you can use the season to take a look at, and wait until your real ammunition reloads to address the QB situation, with at least some serious bullets to play with in that regard with a top 3 pick and a wide open cap sheet.

So yeah, it's obvious that Poles did the correct and responsible thing and made a firm judgment on Justin Fields when he took the job, and set the organization on the course to move forward with that outcome. He followed option 2 to the letter, Fields is not our guy, take your lumps for a year, throw a bit of spaghetti at the wall and look to the future.

To answer your actual question (lol sorry) I don't have strong feelings on that choice either way to be honest. I was always a Fields skeptic and minus the QB position they could get the rest of the roster in relatively decent shape within a year doing things this way. I can understand why this choice was appealing. My complaint is that every Bears staff member and every Chicago media member is lying to me about what the choice was. It's something darker and more cynical than just "coachspeak".

There's also real risk that this just gets so bad and ugly over the next few months, plus the rotten state of the existing roster and perhaps those lottery tickets don't pan out at the hoped-for rate, it could go to a Jaguars-y place where an offseason can't re-jolt things in the right direction. Clearly the mission Eberflus (and Getsy particularly) has been given is to have a team that's smiling, trying hard, and keeping things respectable. We'll see, this offense being helpless in a way that the NFL is not accustomed to seeing will cause a few sparks to fly, I'm sure.
What I don’t get and what I really don’t like though is just burning an asset the way Poles is doing, and one of the more valuable assets in the league (ie first round qb with high upside on a rookie deal) at that.

I’m not convinced Fields will wind up being a top 10ish qb, but he certainly has the potential to be. If Poles doesn’t think so that’s fine, trade him while he still has value. But I think it’s roster malpractice to not even give Fields a chance to develop into the one thing you really need to be competitive year in year out in the league.

I think Poles is willing to burn the asset because Fields isn’t his guy. Which I get wanting to sink or swim with your own players but to me it’s the equivalent of lighting $200 on fire at the beginning of a monopoly game when everyone starts out with the same money. You’re already putting yourself at a disadvantage.

We will see if Poles winds up being right. I suppose if he drafts a qb that hits it’s all moot. It just seems a tremendous waste of a very valuable asset.
 
#161      
Really it comes down to frustration with the previous regime’s decision to draft Fields in the first place while simultaneously kneecapping the franchise’s ability to do anything to help Fields develop. The team was not in the position to give away draft picks to get the 4th qb taken in the draft.

The only real criticism with Poles, I think, is him not being upfront about the team’s real intentions with Fields.
What I don’t get and what I really don’t like though is just burning an asset the way Poles is doing, and one of the more valuable assets in the league (ie first round qb with high upside on a rookie deal) at that.

I’m not convinced Fields will wind up being a top 10ish qb, but he certainly has the potential to be. If Poles doesn’t think so that’s fine, trade him while he still has value. But I think it’s roster malpractice to not even give Fields a chance to develop into the one thing you really need to be competitive year in year out in the league.

I think Poles is willing to burn the asset because Fields isn’t his guy. Which I get wanting to sink or swim with your own players but to me it’s the equivalent of lighting $200 on fire at the beginning of a monopoly game when everyone starts out with the same money. You’re already putting yourself at a disadvantage.

We will see if Poles winds up being right. I suppose if he drafts a qb that hits it’s all moot. It just seems a tremendous waste of a very valuable asset.
I would like to see the link where Poles said Fields.... is Not the answer.... I've only read that from pundits on this board... we're 2 games into the season and it's a 2-3 year plan... we can squeeze all the joy out of this season if we want to....I don't know anyone who expected this to be a good season.... so go for it...
Rachel Dratch Snl GIF by Saturday Night Live
 
#162      
Really it comes down to frustration with the previous regime’s decision to draft Fields in the first place while simultaneously kneecapping the franchise’s ability to do anything to help Fields develop. The team was not in the position to give away draft picks to get the 4th qb taken in the draft.

The only real criticism with Poles, I think, is him not being upfront about the team’s real intentions with Fields.
Well obviously Poles isn’t going to go into the season with Fields at quarterback and announce to the media that “We know Justin isn’t our guy but we need someone to throw the ball so we will send him out there and draft someone else next year.”

I guess I just disagree with this theme that after playing part of his rookie season that Poles was 100% convinced he wasn’t the guy. Can’t there be some middle ground where he wanted to see more but wasn’t going to make roster decisions solely based on Justin. You see greatness on horrible teams all the time. Doesn’t mean it will result in winning games this year, but if he gets better we will see it and so will Poles.
 
#163      
Can’t there be some middle ground where he wanted to see more
Absolutely!

He gave himself nothing to see. There is no chance Justin Fields or any quarterback could have any success whatsoever or have any positive development steps with this team, period, end of story.
You see greatness on horrible teams all the time.
The. Least. Resourced. Offense. In. NFL. History. This is something that has NEVER been seen, it is breaking new territory.

You're not reckoning with the scale of how little there is here.

On any other team in the league, on the kind of "bad" team you're thinking of evaluating Fields in, Whitehair, Mooney, Montgomery and maaaaybe Pringle and Patrick would be the only players getting any meaningful snap count.

One league average OT and WR would make this a bad, go-nowhere team in which you could develop and evaluate a QB, and do next to nothing to impact the longer term cap situation. That's a choice that was easily available and consciously, intentionally not made.
 
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#171      
Ultra conservative playcalling by Eberflus to end the 1st half. Bears have 3 timeouts and 1:11 and Eberflus never calls a timeout. I understand not trusting Fields but I'm gonna be interested to hear postgame why he decided to not use at least 1 timeout at some point on that final drive.