The feeling around the team is that Bears WR Kevin White is going to prove to be worth the wait. He drew positive reviews from his position coach during offseason work and quarterback Jay Cutler thinks the sky is the limit for White once he has a full grasp of the offense.
“He’s got a lot of things he’s processing, thinking through,” Cutler said, via ESPN.com. “I think for anybody taking a year off football, jumping back into it is going to be hard. A rookie missing kind of that vital year, where you learn so much that first year jumping into that second year, it’s a big miss for him. But he’s so physically gifted I think he’s going to make it up really, really quickly. It’s just a matter of him letting those athletic gifts come through and him getting comfortable with the system and the verbiage and the splits and everything else that he’s going to learn, and being at a place where he doesn’t have to think and can just go out and play football. I think once we hit a fast-forward button and get to that point, he’s going to be something special.”
Although it's early, reports on White have all been positive. Keep in mind, he still has no NFL experience, but a big impact may not be out of the question because the Bears will need him. White is 37th on our WR list which is a low-end WR3. He could be a nice grab between rounds 8-10.
After signing an $18 million, four-year contract with Denver, can C.J. Anderson really be counted on to tote the rock 20 times a game? Over the course of an NFL season that would require him to stay healthy to get more than 300 carries?
Since he first broke the huddle with the Cal Bears five years ago, how many times has Anderson rushed 300 times in a season? The answer would be zero. Let’s count them up: He earned 72 carries for the Bears in 2011; 126 carries during his final year in college; seven carries as an NFL rookie in 2013; 179 carries in 2014 and 152 carries during Denver’s championship season.
“It’s only possible if you can get one at a time. I’ll worry about carry No. 1. I can’t worry about 300, if I’m not taking carry one,” replied Anderson.
The author took Anderson's reply as Anderson knows he must walk softly, without any give-me-the-darn-ball ultimatums, until he wins the trust of coaches and teammates as a true No. 1 back in the NFL. During the past five years, Anderson has rushed the football an average of 107 times. We're not predicting Anderson for close to 300 carries, in fact, it's closer to 200 and less than 1,000 yards.
QB Jay Cutler and White spent time together in the offseason, away from football, and one result is the receiver understanding what his quarterback needs and demands.
White was practicing late last season before the Bears opted to leave him shut down after their season. The lost season set him behind on his learning curve, particularly given his relative inexperience playing at the highest level at West Virginia. But the Bears also gave White’s injury time to heal rather than rush their No. 7-overall draft choice onto the field. The time off allowed more than just the stress-fracture surgery to mend. It's a good sign for the Bears offense that White is looking impressive early on.
Bears general manager Ryan Pace said Wednesday he isn't concerned that the failed contract negotiations will rub WR Alshon Jeffery the wrong way.
"Honestly, I feel really good about where he's at right now and kind of where we're at," Pace said, via ESPN. "I don't think it's going to affect him at all."
The franchise tag will pay Jeffery $14.599 million in 2016. The Bears wanted a long-term deal that would pay the 6-foot-3 receiver closer to $11 million per year, in the vicinity of the contracts recently signed by wideouts in the second-tier of the pay grade.
With Kevin White coming off a missed season, the Bears need Jeffery to stay healthy. Jeffery missed seven games in 2015 due to injury. When on the field, he can be a difference-maker. Factor in a talented White, and QB Jay Cutler certainly has some weapons to work with in this offense.
Tuesday, July 26, 2016, 10:39am
The three-time All-Pro was originally drafted by the Chicago Bears in the second round (57th overall) of the 2006 NFL Draft out of Miami (FL). Hester has been a dynamic return man during his career and holds the NFL record in return touchdowns (20) and punt return touchdowns (14).
Last season, Hester was placed on injured-reserve designated to return at the beginning of the season with a toe injury. He returned in Week 13 and recorded 269 total return yards during the last five games of the year.
The Falcons signed wide receiver Mohamed Sanu and drafted wide receiver Devin Fuller out of UCLA this offseason in an effort to help Matt Ryan and add more depth to the wide receiver corp. Atlanta will also have intense competition at the kick/punt returner position with Fuller, RB Tevin Coleman, WR Eric Weems, and a handful of others battling for that spot, the story went on to say.
Texans DE J.J. Watt has undergone back surgery and will start camp on physically unable to perform list but should be ready for the season.
Watt has never missed a game in his career and should ready for opener against the Bears.
Watt missed 2012 preseason because of an elbow injury, didn't miss a regular season game and won first NFL Defensive Player of Year award.
This would be a tough blow for the Texans defense if Watt were to miss any time.
Running back LeGarrette Blount's return from a season-ending hip injury, suffered in December, Bears watching as it relates to his roster status. Blount, who signed a modest one-year deal as a free agent to return in 2016, didn't practice in the spring. If he returns to full health and runs hard like he did at times in 2015, there shouldn't be any issues. But that isn't a given based on the present snapshot.
The Patriots' lack of urgency at the running back position indicates that they believe that Blount will be ready for camp, though they could go another direction once camp cuts start to occur. The most likely scenario is that Blount is the "2" in a 1-2 punch with Dion Lewis. In the six games in which they both played, Lewis averaged 11.0 touches (5.3 rec) for 84 yards and 0.66 TD, which extrapolates to high-end RB1 numbers both PPR and standard formats. Meanwhile, Blount averaged 16.3 touches for 80 yards (4.74 YPC) and 1.0 TD in the six games that Lewis also played. Blount slipped down the stretch, averaging 13.4 carries for 51 yards (3.61 YPC) and 0.20 TD in his final five games with Lewis sidelined.
It's all about Matt Forte, who will be asked to replace 1,000-yard rusher Chris Ivory as the lead dog in the Jets' backfield. Forte will be highly motivated after getting the cold shoulder from his forever team, the Chicago Bears. Forte, 30, is battling Father Time and a cranky knee that sparked some concern in free agency, but he's said to be healthy and rejuvenated as he approaches his ninth season. His workload will be an ongoing story. As a three-down back for the Bears, he averaged 315 touches (rushes and receptions) per year. That's a bit steep for an aging runner, so look for a time-share system with Bilal Powell.
There was a noticeable improvement last season in Powell's speed and quickness. He set career highs in yards per rush (4.5) and receptions (47), becoming a valuable member of the offense. He was the ideal complement to the bruising Ivory, but the dynamics have changed. Powell and Forte have similar skill sets, so it'll be interesting to how it plays out in terms of role definition.
Khiry Robinson could wind up as the short-yardage/goal-line back (fantasy alert). Don't be surprised if he starts camp on the physically-unable-to-perform list. Robinson sat out the offseason as he recovered from a broken leg, but he should be good to go in the preseason.
Forte may lose carries to Powell and/or Robinson, and is unlikely to score many rushing touchdowns. But if he's utilized regularly in the slot, he should be able to catch at least 50 passes, maybe more. Jets running backs caught a total of 90 balls last season under OC Chan Gailey. Forte hasn’t finished outside the top 12 in PPR formats in his eight-year career.
Bears GM Ryan Pace and coach John Fox are counting on running backs coach Stan Drayton to get the most out of Jeremy Langford and KaDeem Carey (fourth-round picks in 2015 and 2014, respectively). For Langford, that means running with a wider base and gaining more yards after contact. For Carey, that means building on his toughness and energy to become a more complete back. Expect both to be part of the committee approach Fox has favored throughout his career. It promises to be hell for fantasy football owners, but Fox wants to limit backs' workload and play the so-called hot hand. Jordan Howard adds a bruiser's skill set to the rotation, and Jacquizz Rodgers provides veteran leadership to a group of runners who must earn each snap.
Langford averaged 21.3 touches (17.0 carries) for 122 yards and 1.3 TD in the three games that Forte missed, while Carey saw 10.0 carries per game in that span. Langford finished as the #23 RB in standard formats with a significant role even when Forte was healthy enough to play. He only averaged 3.6 YPC and caught just 22 of the 42 targets that came his way. His NFL talent is a topic of hot debate this offseason, but no one can question the opportunity he has in Chicago.
Tuesday, July 5, 2016, 12:21pm
Dolphins wide receiver A.J. Cruz got a small taste of Adam Gase’s offense last summer during his brief time with the Chicago Bears, but it was enough to give him a head start after he signed with the Dolphins in February.
It also helped Cruz serve as a tutor of sorts when quarterback Ryan Tannehill and some of the Dolphins receivers got together in the offseason to run passing plays they might encounter in Gase’s offense.
Cruz was the only player on the Dolphins offense who had had any exposure to Gase’s offense.
Sunday, July 3, 2016, 4:15pm
The note is a reminder that the Seahawks are in the market for backup quarterback help. Their primary option right now is Trevone Boykin, but the team might not be comfortable going with a rookie undrafted free agent behind Russell Wilson.
Tarvaris Jackson was thought to be a possibility, but he faces off the field issues stemming from an alleged aggravated assault incident with a deadly weapon. Jackson has been the Seahawks' backup quarterback for the past three seasons.
One name brought up recently by ESPN analyst Phil Savage was Michael Vick.
Vick, 36, played in five games with the Pittsburgh Steelers last year. He completed 60.6 percent of his passes but averaged just 5.62 yards per attempt. Vick threw two touchdowns and was intercepted once. He also ran 20 times for 99 yards.
Like a work in progress. His physical gifts are apparent. He’s fast and imposing. But his drops stood out, especially when Jeffery was out of town. White is under pressure to be a difference-maker and is clearly learning the finer points of being an NFL receiver. But I’ll say this: when Jeffery did return for minicamp, White’s play seemingly improved.
White, who spent the entire year on the shelf with a severe case of shin splints and/or some sort of leg injury, should have a big role in 2016. He was starting to practice before the end of the season but landed on injured reserve since he wasn’t in game shape and there was no really point in rushing him back in what became a lost season for the Bears. He was the #7 overall pick in the 2015 Draft and the Bears need him, so he should have a sizable role in the offense.
Wednesday, June 15, 2016, 1:58pm
Bears beat writer Brad Biggs:
Right now, I think most consider Jeremy Langford the odds-on favorite to be named the starter after he got 148 carries during his rookie season. But what you have to keep in mind is the Bears are more likely to go with a shared backfield than any time over the last eight seasons when Matt Forte got the bulk of the work (and nearly all of it in some seasons).
Coach John Fox has consistently used a backfield by committee in the past in time with the Broncos and Panthers and it’s a situation where the coaches look for the hot hand and ride it. This regime did not draft KaDeem Carey so right now I’d probably expect to see Jordan Howard emerge ahead of him. But Howard will have to earn that opportunity and he’s going to have to prove he’s adept at pass protection.
The Bears saw enough from Langford to convince the team to let Matt Forte walk. Langford averaged 21.3 touches for 122 yards and 1.3 TD in the three games that Forte missed. He finished as the #23 RB in standard formats with a significant role even when Forte was healthy enough to play. He only averaged 3.6 YPC and caught just 22 of the 42 targets that came his way. His NFL talent is a topic of hot debate this offseason, but no one can question the opportunity he has in Chicago.
Bears WR Kevin White seemed to be in great shape during OTAs. However, the Chicago media is permitted to attend only three OTA workouts (one per week). Minicamp, on the other hand, is a chance to watch White perform on consecutive days. This still isn’t real football. Real football is played with pads. So we won’t know for sure how White is progressing until the Bears play in actual games. That being said, White has looked strong and fast in offseason workouts. He certainly looks the part. The thought of White and Jeffery paired together is exciting, and could cause major problems for opposing defenses -- think Jeffery and Brandon Marshall together in 2013, but with less drama.
White, who spent the entire year on the shelf with a severe case of shin splints and/or some sort of leg injury, should have a big role in 2016. He was starting to practice before the end of the season but landed on injured reserve since he wasn’t in game shape and there was no really point in rushing him back in what became a lost season for the Bears. He was the #7 overall pick in the 2015 Draft and the bottom line is that the Bears need him.
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