Did the Robert Quinn commerce play an element within the Chicago Bears’ defensive collapse? Brad Biggs’ 10 ideas on the Week 8 loss to the Dallas Cowboys.
10 ideas after the Chicago Bears confirmed the emotional fallout that arrives with a thud when enjoying 4 days after buying and selling away the staff’s highest-paid participant.
The Dallas Cowboys bought off to a quick begin towards a Bears protection that had performed nicely of late and rolled to a 49-29 victory earlier than 93,767 followers on Sunday at AT&T Stadium.
1. I completely perceive buying and selling Robert Quinn.
I don’t suppose anybody will say basic supervisor Ryan Poles made a nasty resolution sending the veteran pass rusher to the Philadelphia Eagles for a fourth-round draft choose. Some people across the league mentioned it was attention-grabbing the Eagles bought the Bears to pay down the contract this season, primarily sending $7 million in money with Quinn to Philadelphia. But the Bears bought one thing for a participant who wasn’t of their plans for 2023, and it’s not like they’ll have a scarcity of salary-cap house shifting ahead.
Poles nearly foretold what was coming, although, when he mentioned the issue he had in making the transfer, understanding how it will ripple via a younger locker room. Quinn, who had one quarterback hit in his Eagles debut Sunday — a rout of the Pittsburgh Steelers — wouldn’t have made a distinction within the Bears-Cowboys recreation. It was that lopsided, and the Bears couldn’t play catch-up within the fourth quarter primarily operating the ball.
What you noticed is an instance of how the NFL is a relationship enterprise and the human aspect is actual. Roquan Smith bought choked up on the podium upon studying Quinn had been dealt Wednesday. The protection choked up as a complete as soon as this recreation kicked off, and the Cowboys sliced proper via it utilizing tempo all through the primary quarter.
The commerce was good in the long run for the Bears, who now personal seven picks within the 2023 draft — their very own in each spherical however the sixth and the additional choice from the Eagles, which figures to be close to the top of the spherical. The commerce was unhealthy within the brief time period for the Bears due to the way it was perceived within the locker room. When you inform a 3-4 staff you don’t care about this season — and that message is distributed instantly after a significant, emotional victory at New England — you get what seems like a disinterested efficiency. In reality, “disinterested” is a form description of what the Bears placed on tape.
That’s the one approach to account for the actual fact the Cowboys scored touchdowns on their first 4 possessions. The 49 factors had been probably the most the Bears have surrendered since a 55-14 beating by the hands of Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers on Nov. 9, 2014.
The Cowboys had success doing whatever struck the flowery of play caller Kellen Moore. Quarterback Dak Prescott accomplished 21 of 27 passes for 250 yards and two touchdowns. Running again Tony Pollard carried the ball 14 occasions for 131 yards and three touchdowns — the primary participant to run for 3 scores towards the Bears since Roy Helu in a 45-41 Washington win on Oct. 20, 2013.
The Bears prevented large receiver CeeDee Lamb (seven targets, 5 catches, 77 yards) from taking the highest off the protection however had no answer for the Cowboys tight ends. Dalton Schultz, Jake Ferguson and Peyton Hendershot had been focused 10 occasions and mixed for 9 receptions, 90 yards and a landing. It was pitch and catch beneath for Prescott, who was not often pressured.
“Emotionally different — yes, sir,” mentioned defensive finish Trevis Gipson, who moved into the beginning lineup in Quinn’s place. “Job-wise different — no, sir. Still have to pay attention to details, do your job. Still got to play technique sound and play great H.I.T.S. principle football.”
The Bears seemed terrific on protection final Monday at New England, a recreation that they had 11 days to arrange for. They had a tricky turnaround from enjoying on the highway to coming to Texas on a brief week. That might have performed into it as nicely. But the Cowboys averaged 7.8 yards per play — and so they had been at 8.1 earlier than Prescott kneeled on the ultimate two snaps.
“I’m not going to blame this on (the Quinn trade),” mentioned free security Eddie Jackson, who inherited the captain patch Quinn had been sporting. “We’ve bought a job to do as males. We’ve bought to return out right here and put together nicely and we’ve bought to execute.
“Offense, they played a good game, a great game, putting up (29) points. That’s for us to take advantage of. To come out and let them score the first (four) drives, that’s not us. We’ve got to get that fixed — and fast.”
Quinn isn’t strolling again via the doorways of Halas Hall, and the Bears will move forward from here. But this week was going to be troublesome, particularly for the protection and particularly when gamers noticed the staff prioritizing the longer term over the objectives instantly in entrance of these occupying the locker room.
“When you ride the wave of momentum like this, it can be a tricky thing for a young football team, so you have to look at every performance for what it is,” coach Matt Eberflus mentioned.
The Bears bought smacked within the face by that momentum. They will go to work this week and clear up errors with their gaps. Improvements should be made in protection. The cross rush has left rather a lot to be desired all season.
They will recuperate, however don’t overlook what transport out Quinn did to those that had been battling alongside him.
2. The Bears misplaced this recreation in quite a lot of methods however none larger than a whole failure on third down.
As unhealthy because the Bears had been in Week 5 at Minnesota, when the Vikings transformed 12 of 15 third downs (80%), they had been worse Sunday. The Cowboys transformed 9 of 11 (82%) and scored touchdowns on three of these performs. They averaged 14.3 yards on third down, and that features an 8-yard sack by rookie security Jaquan Brisker with lower than 4 minutes remaining and the Cowboys merely making an attempt to bleed day off the clock.
The Cowboys hit on their first six third downs after coming into the sport thirtieth within the NFL on third down, changing solely 32.2%. In reality, they hadn’t been above 40% all season regardless of a strong offensive line and a treasure trove of skill-position gamers, not less than in contrast with the Bears.
As unhealthy because it was to see Dak Prescott run round left finish for a landing on third-and-2 from the 7-yard line after which see the quarterback benefit from both a miscommunication in protection or poor execution to focus on CeeDee Lamb for a 21-yard landing, the worst of the primary half got here on a third-and-1. The Bears had pulled inside 14-7 and the Cowboys had been on the Bears 43-yard line. Prescott was below heart and the Bears left hole across the ball. He took the snap on a sneak, crossed the road of scrimmage and ran for 25 yards.
The Bears battled late within the second quarter — extra about that in a bit — and pulled inside 28-23 halfway via the third quarter on Khalil Herbert’s 12-yard landing run. They would have had an opportunity to take the lead with a defensive cease and instantly bought the Cowboys in third-and-9 on their 26. Prescott dropped a dime to Dalton Schultz in somewhat void deep over the center for a 30-yard achieve, resulting in a Tony Pollard landing.
Justin Fields’ 10-yard landing cross to Cole Kmet initially of the fourth quarter offered somewhat life and trimmed the deficit to 13. Again the protection had an opportunity to get off the sphere shortly. This time it was third-and-1 on the Bears 46. The Cowboys had three tight ends to the left facet of the formation and ran Pollard to that facet. He bought via a gap and was gone — 54 yards to the top zone.
There’s a difficulty right here and as a lot as people won’t need to hear it, I consider it’s a expertise difficulty. The Bears lack the type of recreation changers wanted to win cash downs. Sure, execution needs to be higher and it will likely be drilled all week. Yes, I’m prepared to wager defensive coordinator Alan Williams needs he had a name or two again. What play caller doesn’t on the finish of a recreation? Sure, you’ll be able to knock the scheme if you’d like.
But the problem right here is expertise — or lack of it — and that’s how the Bears discover themselves again above 50% on third down with opponents changing 50 of 99. They can be higher than this most weeks, however they’ve been shredded twice in a month. The overriding difficulty is they’ll’t rush the passer on third down and so they’re not stopping the run.
Here are the 5 cases, in line with Pro Football Reference, of the Bears permitting an opponent to transform 70% or extra of its third downs:
- Oct. 30, 2022, at Dallas: 9 of 11 (82%)
- Oct. 9, 2022, at Minnesota: 12 of 15 (80%)
- Dec. 5, 2004, vs. Minnesota: 7 of 10 (70%)
- Sept. 20, 1998, at Tampa Bay: 8 of 11 (73%)
- Sept. 11, 1995, vs. Green Bay: 13 of 18 (72%)
That’s it. What are the possibilities one other 2022 date joins this record?
3. Quarterback Justin Fields continued to indicate progress from the place he was early within the season.
He accomplished 17 of 23 passes for 151 yards and two touchdowns — solely the third time in his profession he has thrown multiple scoring cross — and posted a 120.0 passer score. Completing 73.9% of his passes is a giant deal, as a poor completion proportion slowed down the offense in earlier weeks. He was artful at occasions, dropping right down to sidearm some throws on the line of scrimmage. Add in eight carries for 60 yards, together with a 3-yard landing, and it was one other optimistic every week after Fields made advances within the upset victory at New England.
You can’t complain concerning the offense when the Bears put up 29 factors and left some performs on the sphere. Fields had a very nice deep ball to Velus Jones Jr. that appeared to undergo the rookie’s arms as he laid out for the ball. It would have been good for a couple of 50-yard achieve. Fields performed nicely sufficient to win — no query about that.
He had a 36-yard cross to Darnell Mooney and a 17-yarder on third-and-7. The Cowboys introduced a Cover-0 stress when the Bears had been on the Dallas 17-yard line, and Fields recognized it and linked with N’Keal Harry for a landing. He hit a cross on the objective line to a good finish this time — bear in mind, he missed Ryan Griffin two weeks in the past towards Washington — connecting with Cole Kmet for a 10-yard landing.
Fields mishandled his duty on a 2-point conversion. The Bears known as a run-pass possibility and he ought to have handed the ball off. He saved it as a substitute and by no means noticed DeMarcus Lawrence, who rocked him for a sack.
Then there was the David Montgomery fumble that Micah Parsons recovered. Fields hopped over Parsons, considering the play was lifeless, when he ought to have touched the linebacker down. Parsons astutely bought up and motored to the top zone for a landing. Fields admitted his mistake afterward, however as shoddy because the protection was enjoying all day, this didn’t decide the end result. Was the protection going to impulsively cease the Cowboys, who would have had possession on the Bears 36-yard line? I believe not.
“I can’t remember the last time I made a tackle,” Fields mentioned. “I’ve just to be aware in that situation and make sure he’s down.”
I see Fields getting somewhat higher at figuring out issues and understanding the place his receivers are going to be and what the coverages are. Against a staff that entered with an NFL-high 29 sacks and added 4 extra, he hung in there higher than he has in some current video games. The Bears had been nonetheless run-heavy when trailing by two and three scores within the second half. Some of that little doubt is expounded to issues the teaching workers had about defending Fields on this assembly.
“I’m just getting more comfortable with the offense,” he mentioned. “I think other guys are, too, and the offense is growing. It’s Week 9 coming up. I think everybody is getting more and more comfortable as we game plan and play together. (We’ve) done a great job of figuring out what we do as an offense, what each player does individually well. So we’re figuring that out and I think that creates success.”
Fields has rushed for 424 yards on the season — 4 greater than he had as a rookie final yr. He’s on tempo for 901 speeding yards. The progress he’s beginning to present as a passer is perhaps the most important issue within the remaining 9 video games.
4. The offense stays a piece in progress, however there’s one space the Bears are leaps and bounds higher than they’ve been.
No, I’m not speaking concerning the speeding offense, which is the only greatest enchancment the staff has made this yr. I’m speaking about scoring proper earlier than halftime and sometimes carrying that momentum into the third quarter.
The Bears weren’t in a position to double up on this recreation — rating on the finish of the second quarter and the beginning of the third quarter — however they did rating 10 factors within the last two minutes of the second quarter for the second straight recreation. N’Keal Harry’s 17-yard landing reception got here with 40 seconds remaining within the quarter, and free security Eddie Jackson jumped a route by CeeDee Lamb to intercept Dak Prescott and arrange Cairo Santos’ 36-yard discipline objective on the ultimate play of the primary half.
At New England final Monday, the Bears surged on the finish of the second quarter as Khalil Herbert scored on a large receiver display with 1:54 remaining and Justin Jones’ fumble restoration arrange a 23-yard Santos discipline objective on the ultimate play earlier than halftime.
The Bears additionally scored within the last two minutes of the second quarter in Weeks 3, 4 and 5. David Montgomery had a 9-yard landing run with 1:08 remaining within the second quarter at Minnesota, Michael Badgley nailed a 40-yard discipline objective on the 1:44 mark towards the New York Giants and Santos was good from 50 yards with 1:48 remaining till halftime towards the Houston Texans.
That’s three touchdowns and 4 discipline objectives within the last two minutes of the second quarter via eight video games. The better part is in three of these video games — at New England, at Minnesota and on the Giants — the Bears bought the ball to open the third quarter and drove to attain.
That’s a main motive coaches defer after they win the coin toss. The thought is to take the ball to start the third quarter. If a staff can rating on the finish of the second quarter and to start out the third, it might actually swing the momentum.
The Bears offense bought the ball to open the third quarter Sunday, nevertheless it was three runs and punt. After a uncommon defensive stand — cornerback Jaylon Johnson made a pleasant play to interrupt up a cross to Michael Gallup — the offense then scored.
The Packers for years put an amazing emphasis on possessions simply earlier than halftime and the concept of doubling up, in order that’s a part of the tradition Bears offensive coordinator Luke Getsy was uncovered to below Mike McCarthy and Matt LaFleur.
“It’s Lombardi, right?” Getsy mentioned. “He has the well-known quote again within the ‘60s that most games are won and lost in the two-minute drill at the end of the half or end of the game. It’s all the time been an essential a part of the sport.
“You’re talking about elite players on each side, so the game is usually played back and forth. Very similar to the first half at New England. We went up and then they went up. When you finish those halves the way we were (against the Patriots), you saw how that dramatically shifts the momentum. We get it in our favor and now we get the ball coming out and then we score again. That is a big emphasis.”
“We have practiced more two-minute drills here than I’ve ever done in my life,” Getsy mentioned. “So key situations are a huge part of what we talk about here. And, yes, McCarthy was always big on it.”
Getsy mentioned he has a separate portion of his name sheet for these conditions and if there’s any broad technique, it’s to attempt to rating with as little time remaining as attainable.
“That’s what Aaron (Rodgers) has done such an unbelievable job of up in Green Bay for so many years,” Getsy mentioned. “He doesn’t let the other team get another crack at it.”
The Bears stumbled too usually in situational soccer the previous couple of seasons. They have quite a lot of areas they should clear up, however there was marked enchancment not solely in scoring proper earlier than halftime, but additionally in beginning crisp within the third quarter.
“If the Bears play fast and play with tempo, like you sometimes see when time is running down, they can be tougher to defend because of Justin Fields and how he can impact a defense,” a scout mentioned. “You speak concerning the finish of the primary half, quite a lot of occasions you’re getting defenders off the ball, extra shell coverages and it’s simpler for a younger quarterback to see it. You’re not getting as a lot disguise or late rotation within the secondary as a result of the protection doesn’t need to get caught (misplaced) and the clock is operating and all the things is shifting quick.
“On top of that, he’s got the ability to break contain and now you’ve got deeper routes working downfield, defenders are further removed from the line of scrimmage and there is a lot of space for him to attack as a runner. A lot of defensive coaches go into a shell and say: ‘We can’t give them seven. We’re going to give them three? OK, that’s the best we can do. We’re not going to get beat over the top.’”
5. The Bears have a pass-rushing downside and so they’re unlikely to resolve it this season.
They have a very laborious time getting house until they blitz, and it jogs my memory a little bit of 2017, when Leonard Floyd was the staff’s prime pass-rushing risk off the sting with 4½ sacks.
They received’t resolve the pass-rushing difficulty as a result of they lack gamers who can win one-on-one matchups off the sting. And they received’t resolve the problem as a result of they proceed to be gashed by opposing operating video games. Tony Pollard grew to become the third again to prime 100 yards towards the Bears this season, becoming a member of Aaron Jones of the Packers and Saquon Barkley of the Giants.
It’s additionally the third time an opponent has totaled not less than 200 speeding yards towards the Bears protection — the Cowboys had 29 rushes for 200 yards. This is the place it will get somewhat ugly as a result of 9 video games stay and also you shudder to contemplate what might occur to this unit if it has a few accidents.
The Bears allowed 4 opponents to prime 200 speeding yards in 2013, when the protection was a whole mess throughout the board. That protection allowed 161.4 speeding yards per recreation. This one is now as much as 156 per recreation.
The 1951 Bears additionally allowed 4 200-yard speeding video games. The solely staff in franchise historical past that did worse was the 1955 staff that noticed 5 opponents prime 200 speeding yards. Who is aware of the place it will head within the second half of the season, however when you’ll be able to’t play the run successfully, it makes for a tough day and reduces the variety of official pass-rushing alternatives.
“This is just one outing,” mentioned linebacker Roquan Smith, who was credited with 5 tackles. “We hit a stride the place we had been enjoying some actually good ball and we had a down week. That’s not acceptable. You should be prepared every week and clearly wasn’t prepared right this moment. They hit us within the mouth and we didn’t reply the best way we should always have.
“I put this one on myself, the defense, starting with me and trickle down through the rest of the ‘D.’”
The defensive ends — minus Robert Quinn — had been mainly worn out. Trevis Gipson had two assists and one hit on quarterback Dak Prescott. Dominique Robinson had one deal with and one cross deflection. Al-Quadin Muhammad, who began, didn’t seem within the recreation e book with any statistics. Neither did undrafted rookie Kingsley Jonathan.
The Cowboys had 57 offensive snaps and the Bears had two defensive ends on the sphere for nearly each play. I counted one short-yardage scenario during which that they had just one finish with an additional deal with on the road. Maybe there have been two. Let’s say the defensive ends performed a complete of 110 snaps. To get one deal with, two assists, one hit and one cross deflection — that’s day on the workplace for Cowboys offensive tackles Tyler Smith and Terence Steele.
Here are the snap totals at defensive finish coming into Week 8:
- Quinn, 304 snaps, 68%
- Muhammad, 261, 58%
- Gipson, 197, 44%
- Robinson, 168, 38%
- Jonathan, 9, 7%
Jonathan’s 7% is predicated on him showing in solely two video games earlier than Sunday. Gipson and Robinson will get extra enjoying time the remainder of the best way. That is a certainty.
6. The offensive line has been below scrutiny all yr. But what concerning the defensive position?
In the offseason, preseason and thru the primary eight video games, the shut inspection of the offensive line is warranted. In the method, some have ignored a defensive position that is also very a lot below the microscope.
The Robert Quinn commerce is an effective reminder. As detailed above, the rest of the season is a chance for Trevis Gipson and Dominique Robinson to indicate what they’ll do and the place they need to be slotted on the depth chart as Ryan Poles and his workers define an offseason plan.
The Bears informed you the way vital the defensive position is when the most important splash transfer they deliberate was signing deal with Larry Ogunjobi to a three-year, $40.5 million contract in free company, a deal that fell through due to issues over his bodily. The greatest transfer wound up being trading Khalil Mack to the Los Angeles Chargers for a second-round choose (used on security Jaquan Brisker) and a sixth-round choose in 2023. The Bears didn’t maintain on to that sixth-rounder for lengthy, turning it round on Day 3 of the draft. Seven months after Mack was traded, Quinn was shipped out.
The defensive position has performed a greater job stopping the run over the past month after a horrendous begin. Justin Jones, the participant Poles turned to when the Ogunjobi deal fizzled, has been OK, and Poles singled him out as a frontrunner for that facet of the ball when addressing the Quinn commerce Wednesday.
But I might be very shocked if the Bears didn’t make vital additions to the defensive position within the offseason. Gipson, who can be within the last yr of his rookie contract subsequent season, and Robinson certainly determine into future plans, however has both performed to the extent the place the staff would need him as a starter in 2023? Al-Quadin Muhammad is within the first yr of a two-year, $8 million contract and has added some grit to the unit however hasn’t delivered quite a lot of manufacturing.
The Bears haven’t gotten a lot from homegrown defensive position expertise for some time. The motive? They haven’t used quite a lot of draft capital on D-linemen. Nose deal with Eddie Goldman was Round 2 choice in 2015 and performed nicely till his last two seasons in Chicago. Bilal Nichols, a fifth-round choose in 2018, flashed sometimes however had knee points and by no means took off. The Bears haven’t had a drafted defensive lineman make the Pro Bowl since Henry Melton (Round 4, 2009) was honored after the 2012 season. Tommie Harris, a three-time Pro Bowl choice, is their solely different drafted defensive lineman this century to be picked.
The staff has performed nicely fortifying the defensive entrance through free company and trades, including elite gamers resembling Julius Peppers, Akiem Hicks, Mack and Quinn. Those guys had been all anchors and mitigated the necessity for draft investments. The Bears haven’t used a choose within the first 4 rounds on a front-four participant since 2016, after they chosen Leonard Floyd within the first spherical and Jonathan Bullard in Round 3. Yes, Floyd was an outdoor linebacker within the 3-4 scheme, however I’m counting him as a result of he was primarily a defensive finish within the sub packages. Bullard by no means panned out for the Bears and now performs for the Vikings.
Here are the defensive linemen the Bears drafted within the first 4 rounds earlier than including Goldman, Floyd and Bullard:
- 2014: DT Ego Ferguson, Round 2; DT Will Sutton, Round 3
- 2012: DE Shea McClellin, Round 1
- 2011: DT Stephen Paea, Round 2
- 2010: DE Corey Wootton, Round 4
- 2009: DT Jarron Gilbert, Round 3; DE Henry Melton, Round 4
- 2008: DT Marcus Harrison, Round 3
- 2007: DE Dan Bazuin, Round 2
- 2006: DT Dusty Dvoracek, Round 3
- 2004: DT Tommie Harris, Round 1; DT Tank Johnson, Round 2
That’s quite a lot of missed picks for the reason that number of Harris and Johnson, who had been formidable collectively. It’s cliché to say the road is the motor that drives the protection. But as you noticed when Lovie Smith was coach, the scheme can work at a excessive stage when the entrance 4 can generate constant stress on the quarterback and 7 can play in protection.
I might see Poles fortifying this unit with a mixture of free company and a excessive draft choose. No, I’m not overlooking what the staff wants by way of offensive playmakers and offensive linemen, however in case you’re not anticipating vital additions up entrance on protection, you may be lacking out on a storyline value monitoring.
7. When a textual content message got here in from Pete Hoener final week, I knew the topic could be value digging into.
“Bears signed my guy Sammis Reyes,” Hoener wrote. “He has a real chance.”
Hoener, 71, retired throughout the offseason, ending an extended teaching profession that started in 1975 on the University of Missouri. You could bear in mind the title, because the Peoria Richwoods and Bradley University graduate was the Bears offensive line coach in 2004. Hoener was a kind of old-school coaches and let’s simply say he’s not one to dabble a lot in textual content messages or hyperbole, so when this got here throughout the display, he had my consideration.
Reyes, 27, whom the Bears signed to the practice squad Oct. 18, has an unbelievable again story. He grew to become the primary Chilean-born NFL participant final season with Washington, the place Hoener labored below Ron Rivera the earlier two years.
Reyes stands out as a bodily specimen, even in an NFL locker room. He’s 6-foot-5, 260 kilos and minimize like a combined martial arts fighter with muscles stacked on top of muscles.
He didn’t play soccer in school or highschool and didn’t have a lot of a clue concerning the sport till the previous three years. Reyes is a transformed basketball participant, and his story is a tremendous journey that took him from his house nation to the United States as a 14-year-old with the objective of chasing an NBA dream.
Reyes made the Chilean nationwide under-15 staff, and after enjoying in an AAU match in Texas, he moved on his personal, with nearly no understanding of English, to attend Westlake Prep in South Florida. His dad and mom despatched him $50 a month for meals, all they may afford, and he spent about half on protein energy and the remaining on prompt ramen noodles, beans, peanut butter — no matter was low cost. He bought to know the supervisor of a doughnut store and would purchase packing containers of a dozen expiring doughnuts for $1, and that may maintain him over for a couple of days. He relied on the generosity of strangers.
Meanwhile, he was decided to be taught English, utilizing motion pictures (“The Matrix” and “Gladiator” had been considered again and again) with subtitles and listening to rap music. But Westlake Prep closed after a couple of months, and that left Reyes, who was residing within the dormitory, with no faculty. He finally moved in with the Rifkind household, having befriended fellow basketball participant Alex Rifkind. They had been a rich household that lived in Boca Raton, and so they launched Reyes to a special world. He attended North Broward Preparatory School and earned a scholarship to play basketball at Hawaii.
Reyes left Hawaii after one semester when the coach who recruited him left. He transferred to Palm Beach State Junior College after which landed at Tulane, the place he performed in 32 video games over two seasons starting in 2016-17. The totals present 247 minutes, 55 private fouls, 46 rebounds, 12 blocked pictures, 11 steals and 24 factors.
He did a terrific job educating himself English and was on the American Athletic Conference’s All-Academic staff at Tulane, graduating with a level in enterprise administration in 2018. With one yr of eligibility remaining, he transferred a last time to Loyola University, an NAIA faculty in New Orleans, getting in eight video games throughout the 2018-19 season.
When Reyes was performed at Loyola, so too was his dream of enjoying basketball professionally. About 9 months later he determined to do what so many of us alongside the best way had instructed — strive soccer. He had practiced with the North Broward staff for one week however couldn’t be inspired to modify sports activities, though he amazed coaches.
“Ever since I got here, I was 14 and coaches were telling me I had to play defensive end, tight end, something,” Reyes mentioned. “I left all the things I needed to go play basketball. For me to inform my household, ‘Hey, I’m going to a special sport now,’ my dream was to make the NBA and I couldn’t do this to my household or myself. I needed to discover how far I might get with basketball.
“Now that I closed that door, I am very happy that I did because I have no regrets. I can look back and say, ‘I did everything I could.’”
What did Reyes learn about soccer as an adolescent?
“I thought we were just supposed to kick the ball through the uprights, you know?” he mentioned.
Reyes wound up on the Sport and Speed Institute in Chantilly, Va., not removed from the place his girlfriend Nicole Kotler’s household lived, and was working with coach Justin Kavanaugh, who counted a couple of NFL gamers as shoppers. It was early 2020 and Reyes had rather a lot to be taught, and the draft and participant procurement interval got here and went with nothing taking place for him.
He connected with agent Tabetha Plummer and joined the NFL’s International Player Pathway Program, coaching at IMG Academy for 10 weeks in early 2021 and persevering with a crash course in soccer. Then Reyes opened eyes — plenty of them — on the Florida Gators professional day when he ran the 40-yard sprint in 4.65 seconds and had a 40-inch vertical soar with 31 reps on the bench press at 225 kilos.
NFL groups had been buzzing and Washington rushed to signal Reyes as a substitute of ready for him to be allotted to a coaching camp roster. Washington assured him $392,600 and Hoener had a brand new participant who by no means had performed a down of soccer in a recreation, questioning if he had the following Antonio Gates or Jimmy Graham or an addition to the for much longer record of basketball gamers who fizzled shortly on the gridiron.
“The basketball players that moved to tight end, the guys that haven’t played a lot of football or maybe just played in high school and not in college, you can tell pretty fast,” Hoener mentioned. “After I watched him undergo the exercises, I mentioned, ‘This guy is different.’ Then after I talked to him, I knew he was completely different.
“‘Yes, sir,’ ‘no, sir,’ the look in his eyes. That is all sincere (stuff) now. It’s not, ‘Well, I’m going to try to impress this guy with how I act.’ That’s who Sammis is.”
Hoener assumed Reyes knew nothing — which was nearly proper — and began with the fundamentals throughout the offseason program.
“I used up a lot of his time,” Hoener mentioned. “When I ask you a question, you tell the answer back to me and the next step is you draw it up on the board. But now you get your ass in a three-point stance and there is some killer across from you, now all of that footwork, hand placement, releases, whatever job you’re tasked with becomes, ‘Oh, my God!’ It was amazing how fast Sammis picked that up.”
Reyes made Washington’s opening 53-man roster and bought into his first recreation in Week 5. He was enjoying particular groups, the place the staff measured him operating quicker than 20 mph in recreation motion, a exceptional feat for a person his dimension. Hoener figured there was an opportunity Reyes could be prepared for some bona fide motion on offense earlier than the top of the season. He performed 4 snaps on offense in Week 10 and 17 performs the next week, however some soft-tissue accidents sophisticated issues.
“He was coming along,” Hoener mentioned. “He busted his ass and learned. He could take hard coaching and didn’t flinch. He was on a mission. He had — not great — but good ball skills, and I think after a while he would get a better feeling for that once he got a little more experience. He missed some time there at the end of the year … that is when he was going to play.”
Reyes suffered a hamstring harm in coaching camp on Aug. 5, and Washington wound up inserting him on injured reserve after which reaching an harm settlement with him.
“I was shocked,” mentioned Hoener, who retired in February. “I couldn’t imagine cutting that guy after all we put into him, and he was coming along. To me, supplements, food, diet, something where he’s not pulling a muscle all the time. Identify the problem.”
Reyes did simply that after leaving Washington. He had 3% physique fats as a rookie, decrease than the staff needed. He went to coach in Florida at Bommarito Sports Performance and mentioned he fastened the entire little points that had been holding him again, studying easy methods to look after his physique and rising his fats to six%.
“I played basketball my entire life,” Reyes mentioned. “Football was new to me. In basketball, you don’t really run full speed or 100%. It’s more of a continuous flow. So adjusting to short bursts at full speed, that was an adjustment for my body. We got every little thing solved. I feel faster than ever. Stronger than ever. Body fat up to 6%. I feel great.”
Once Reyes was wholesome, he hit the tryout circuit, visiting Halas Hall and likewise understanding for the Indianapolis Colts, Minnesota Vikings and New York Giants. Plummer was in talks with a handful of groups and so they deemed the Bears the perfect match.
It stays to be seen if a possibility with the Bears will materialize, however the journey is able to be informed by Hollywood.
“It’s been a crazy story,” Reyes mentioned. “I am excited. It’s just a matter of getting an opportunity.”
Bears particular groups coach Jim Dray mentioned he has seen proof of the work Reyes put in final season.
“He’s not that raw,” Dray mentioned. “He’s not a fish out of water.”
That’s signal because the Bears strive to determine what Reyes is and the way he may be capable of assist them.
“The good thing for him is we’re showing up and playing football (at practice), so he’s able to get exposure right away for the look teams,” Dray mentioned. “And then you see what he can do from there. For him to come in now as opposed to the offseason, when we’re not really doing anything, we’re just kind of running around on air, it’s a much quicker evaluation. He’s looked pretty good so far.”
Hoener is conserving tabs on his former participant.
“Guys like that are so hard to find,” he mentioned. “I’ll be shocked if Sammis doesn’t latch on somewhere.”
8. The New England Patriots’ 22-17 victory over the New York Jets moved Bill Belichick previous George Halas for second place in NFL teaching wins.
It was the 325th victory for Belichick (common season and postseason), leaving him 22 behind chief Don Shula (347).
One neat factor about Belichick is he has such a eager understanding and appreciation for the game and people who got here earlier than him.
“George Halas, Paul Brown, I probably shouldn’t make that list,” Belichick mentioned earlier this month. “They had been my idols. Coach Halas was a buddy of my dad’s. My dad knew folks on the workers that coached for Coach Halas. He coached Bill Wade at Vanderbilt, so that they had quite a lot of Chicago-Halas connections. When they got here to Baltimore, we might go to the locker room after the sport. They had been all the time very gracious and beneficiant.
“A ton of respect for Coach Halas and the McCaskey family and what he did for professional football and the way that he and Paul Brown and others like that paved the way for us as coaches and paved the way for the National Football League to grow into what it is today. They laid a lot of the building blocks.”
I touched base with Rosevelt Colvin and Jim Miller, two former Bears who hung out in New England later of their careers. The query was easy: What units Belichick aside?
“Bill gives off a really, really hard, gray, stoic kind of feel, so not a lot of people that don’t know him actually like him outside of New England,” Colvin mentioned. “Bill is aware of what he desires and is aware of there’s a particular approach, and he performs the percentages of this being higher or worse and that’s the reason you see it’s been the identical approach for years in New England.
“You don’t see him adapting to a cellular quarterback versus a pocket passer. Defensively, historically he desires corps of linebackers and D-line and he’s by no means offered on high-profile corners and safeties. That dates again to his Giants (days). He has a blueprint of what he feels success is in the case of soccer, and he simply follows that yearly and tries to regulate it as he must. He’s devoted his life to being the perfect at what he’s, and I believe he’s.
“If you sat down and had a dialog and didn’t inform him, ‘Hey, Bill, I am interviewing you about the Bears-Patriots game,’ and also you simply need to discuss soccer, it will likely be one of the crucial gratifying conversations you’ll have. Go have a look at the piece NFL Films put collectively after they did the one hundredth anniversary staff. That is the Bill you’ll get.
“When it’s football season, it’s gray sweatshirt, yes, no, maybe, we’ll see you tomorrow. He’s deflecting and he’s not trying to draw attention, and that is Bill trying to be the best at all times. You catch him outside of that and the dude is laid-back and he enjoys life. I hate that a lot of people don’t get to see that.”
Said Miller: “Bill can coach each place and he’s detailed. What he desires. How he desires it executed. There’s not any piece of data that he doesn’t take pleasure in doing. When he says, ‘We’re beginning over,’ yearly is its personal entity. He really does that. He begins with the fundamentals. He lays it out from practices. Ballhandling drills. That’s the one staff I’ve ever been on that did the gauntlet drill the place everyone seems to be ripping on the ball so that you safe it and don’t fumble. Every follow, that gauntlet drill was run as a result of he knew turnovers had been such a key part to each recreation.
“From each side of operating a staff from the offseason to buying gamers, he does his analysis, he research the gamers, he calls them, he personally desires to know who they’re. Is it is a participant I need to coach? Is he match for my staff? He can nearly predict the end result of a recreation — ‘Hey, the first half is going to be this type of battle’ — and he can foreshadow what’s going to unfold in a recreation and nearly dictate how the ending goes to be.
“Extremely intelligent. Extremely engaging. Extremely funny. He’s much broader than just football. He’s very tuned in to what’s going on outside the building in addition to what’s going on inside.”
9. I would like to return and watch the sport, however veteran proper deal with Riley Reiff seemed OK from my press-box angle.
He stepped into the lineup for the primary time this season as Larry Borom, who had a tricky go of it the week earlier than at New England, was sidelined with a concussion.
“It’s a little bittersweet,” Reiff mentioned. “But it’s fun to be out there with the guys. I love playing football. This is one hell of a group of guys. They fight, they scratch, they claw. That is the type of people I want to be associated with. I am proud of these guys.”
The Bears signed Reiff simply earlier than coaching camp, and on the time all indicators pointed towards the 33-year-old being a starter, probably at left deal with. Reiff was hobbled a bit throughout camp, barely performed within the preseason and confirmed higher motion expertise Sunday.
Is he within the combine to stay within the lineup even when Borom is cleared to return? I don’t have any thought and it’s attainable the teaching workers hasn’t even thought-about it. What I do know is a bit more soccer within the remaining 9 video games would imply a bunch of cash for Reiff.
The Bears signed him to a one-year contract with a $3 million base wage. The deal included incentives, and probably the most primary one is value $4.5 million. It requires Reiff to be on the sphere for 10% of the offensive performs and the offense to enhance in considered one of six classes from 2021. I believe on the time the contract was executed, the Bears figured they might be paying it. I don’t know the six classes, but when speeding offense is considered one of them, that’s a shoo-in. If Reiff, who performed two offensive snaps within the earlier seven video games, begins another recreation, he most likely would attain the ten% threshold.
“I’m just here to help the team, man,” Reiff mentioned after I requested him concerning the incentive. “Whatever helps the team win.”
The line might look completely different this week. Left guard Cody Whitehair labored out at AT&T Stadium a number of hours earlier than the sport and was shifting fairly nicely. He had a brace on his proper knee to guard the MCL sprain however is eligible to return this week after lacking 4 video games. If the Bears designate him to return to follow earlier than Wednesday, he may need an opportunity of being within the lineup Sunday at Soldier Field towards the Miami Dolphins.
I assumed the road as a complete was OK on Sunday. Micah Parsons had 4 tackles and no hits on Justin Fields. DeMarcus Lawrence had three tackles and one sack. I believe in case you requested most people earlier than the sport how they might really feel about these numbers, they might have taken it with a smile.
It was the fifth lineup on the O-line this season. If Whitehair returns and Reiff stays at proper deal with, the Bears could be as much as their sixth mixture in 9 video games. We’ll see what shakes out within the days forward.
10. A 100-yard recreation must be simply across the nook for large receiver Darnell Mooney.
He was focused 5 occasions and made 5 catches for 70 yards. The extra the Bears feed him the ball, the extra he’s going to supply. After inexplicably being focused solely 5 occasions via the primary two video games, Mooney has averaged 6.5 targets over the past six video games.
The extra offensive coordinator Luke Getsy leans on the passing recreation, the larger numbers you will note from Mooney. Getsy is doing a pleasant job of scheming up some stuff for Mooney and it must broaden from there.
10a. Per @NFLResearch, the Bears have gone over 200 speeding yards in three straight video games for the primary time since Weeks 7-9 of the 1968 season.
10b. Cole Kmet’s 10-yard landing was his first since Dec. 6, 2020, towards the Detroit Lions. He caught just one different cross Sunday, and the shortage of quantity for tight ends is one thing the Bears have to proceed to work on.
10c. With 9 interceptions, the Bears are tied with the New York Jets for second within the NFL. Free security Eddie Jackson has 4 of these picks, tying him with Buffalo’s Jordan Poyer and Seattle’s Tariq Woolen for probably the most within the league.
10d. Linebacker Matt Adams has to overlook not less than another recreation whereas on injured reserve, however he might be taking a look at a minimum-length keep. Adams, who was positioned on IR on Oct. 11 with a calf harm, labored out ultimately zone greater than three hours earlier than kickoff with energy and conditioning coaches trying on. This was the third recreation Adams has missed, and gamers should miss a minimal of 4 when positioned on IR. Adams has appeared in solely three video games (Weeks 1, 2 and 5) as a hamstring harm value him two weeks. Coach Matt Eberflus has praised Adams for what he brings as a strong-side linebacker and core particular groups participant. He might be again within the combine as quickly as Nov. 13 towards the Detroit Lions.
10e. The CBS crew of Kevin Harlan, Trent Green and Melanie Collins will name the Dolphins-Bears recreation Sunday at Soldier Field.
10f. The Dolphins opened as 4½-point favorites over the Bears at Westgate SuperBook in Las Vegas.
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