Bears Insider Hub Arkush answers subscribers' Bears/NFL/Life questions every week:
Why do the Bears treat Trubisky w kid gloves? Submitted by Brett Rapaport
Brett, I can’t really answer your question because I don’t really know that your premise is correct.
We have no idea what’s going on away from the TV cameras and the extremely limited media access we get to see actual teaching and coaching.
I’ve been doing this 42 years now and can’t remember a single player whose development was benefited by his being called out or criticized or embarrassed publicly by his coaches.
What do you want Pace and/or Nagy to say, we blew the pick but we’re still hoping to get a lot out of it?
We’re ready to trade Mitch because he sucks so please give us a second- or third-round draft choice for him?
That’s just not the way the NFL works.
Would you like them to have benched him for Daniel or Bray, who we know can’t be starters in the league, and then expect Trubisky to somehow get better from that?
Please don’t take this personally because it’s meant as an honest answer to your question and not as a criticism or slam at you in any way, but fans and most media (I’m including me here) just aren’t qualified to know the best ways to develop players – if we did that’s what we’d be doing rather than our current jobs – and need to be satisfied or disappointed with just the results.
I’m not suggesting fans shouldn’t criticize players or coaches at all. Of course you should, it’s a huge part of being a fan.
But when we criticize the results, that’s what we’re paying for with our time and money. When we start telling them how to do their jobs in order to win, that’s when we’re way too far out over our skis.
Nagy and Pace are 20-13 together the past two years. The Rams, Seahawks, Saints, Patriots, Ravens, Texans and Chiefs are the only other teams in the NFL that have done as well.
I know it’s not what Bears fans want to hear right now but it is the simple truth, and I am one who believes the truth always matters.
2020 is the pivotal year for the Pace-Nagy duo, and Trubisky. We can talk about it and debate it all we want — that’s what makes the game so much fun — but it’s just too soon to judge them yet.
Hub, based on what I heard on the pod, 80 will earn about $7m in salary + $8m in bonus. Is that $7m & a roster spot better spent on a player who doesn't walk into the season as a? Everyone is ready to cut bait on 20,18, & 59. Anyone of those players cost w/i $7m + replacement.
The problem with Trey Burton’s contract is that his cap hit for 2020 is about $8 million, and because of the way it was structured there’s $8 million in dead cap space if they try to move on.
All of my cap estimates are just that — estimates based on best available information — but should be close.
You gain nothing by cutting him and I don’t agree Burton's a question mark. He was one of the better "U" tight ends in the league in 2018, and if healthy, can be again.
Was the torn hip labrum they just operated on the real problem? Don’t know but he’s a sunk cost at this point, so let’s find out.
It’s definitely possible they’ll move on from Amukamara and/or Gabriel because there is about $14-$15 million in potential cap savings there ($9M Prince and $6.5M Gabriel). Toliver may not be an upgrade at corner but he looks like he’s ready to move in with little drop-off, and Robinson, Miller and Ridley, with Tarik Cohen really more a receiver than a running back, and Cordarrelle Patterson always someone you can run out there should give you plenty of comfort if you move on from Gabriel.
It’s not hard to find a burner in the fifth or sixth round that might fill the Gabriel role, or even a guy on someone else’s practice squad. Only question there is how comfortable will they be with Miller’s health after his second straight offseason surgery on same shoulder?
The big question mark is Trevathan. They should re-sign either him or Kwiatkoski and Kevin Pierre Louis because Iyiegbuniwe has shown nothing but some special teams chops. They should be able to get KPL done.
I’m just not so sure that after the way he played, Kwiatkoski won’t command more money than Trevathan, but he’ll certainly get a longer-term commitment, and with all the needs on offense, Trevathan on a two-year deal may be the wiser option than Kwit.
If they let all three work, then they’ve created a whole new serious need without doing anything to help their cap situation.
Why do the refs love the Packers and Aaron Rodgers so much? Almost every game there’s a critical call or two that helps them win. Just ask the Lions fans. It’s so obvious it’s sickening! Submitted by Maxwell Smart
Max, the great ones always get the benefit of the doubt – i.e. Michael, LeBron, Brady, Gretzky, etc.
But you’re overstating the reality. I’ll agree that Rodgers seems to get an extra second or two on the play clock without yellow laundry flying consistently, but the two hands to the face calls on Trey Flowers that cost the Lions their first meeting with the Packers this year – I was on the sidelines for that one on the radio – had nothing to do with Rodgers, it was Flowers and the guy he was blocking.
I don’t believe the Packers are as good this year as the Saints, 49ers or even the Seahawks, but I don’t think they’re the No. 2 seed because of the officials either.
They’ve had incredible luck avoiding injuries — much like the ’18 Bears — and they’ve made plays when needed to win games. It feels different in part because it’s been more Aaron Jones and the Smith Brothers and Kenny Clark on defense making the plays, than Rodgers.
Officials are not intentionally or even subconsciously favoring the Packers — the stripes actually just haven’t had a very good year, period.
Hub with the bears firing everyone but the people responsible for the Off, isn't the real problem the org. leadership? The Bears have no consistency, no one willing to take ownership for what occurred in 2019 and it looks like status quo for 2020. Did the team bottom out? Submitted by Gary Higham
Gary, I get that people are going to hear what they want to hear, but I was in the room from start to finish with Pace and Nagy on New Years Eve morning and there is just no way to spin it other than they clearly took full ownership and responsibility for 2019.
I think Harry Hiestand was probably scapegoated a little bit, but based on results it’s reasonable that Helfrich and Gilbride had to go and Nagy took responsibility for hiring them by firing him and painting a bulls eye on his own back if their replacements don’t work out.
Here is a direct quote from Ryan Pace at the season-ending press conference, “8-8, no one is happy.
“We sit here disappointed. We're not dejected. We're working on solutions. But there's a multitude of factors. The word that comes to mind this season is 'regression', why did we regress in so many areas? We need to figure that out.
“We're going to look at things from a personnel standpoint. Matt will look at things from a schematic standpoint. All those things will be discussed.
“Our head is not in the sand, that everything is fine. Not at all. We never want this feeling in our guts ever again. We're going to do everything in our power to change this.
“But we got to be better in a lot of areas. I think if you look throughout our team, we were disappointed in a number of things. We got to figure out what it is. That's what the next four to five months is.
“When I talk about hard decisions in the next four to five months, that's us stepping back, letting the emotions subside, what's going on, what are the problems, what are the solutions, how are we going to fix that. We're all on board with that.”
I have no idea how you can call that no one taking responsibility and the status quo for 2020?
Patience is tough when you’ve been working on it for 35 seasons, I get that.
But these guys clearly are not copping out and they are taking responsibility and trying to lead; the question is are they good enough at their jobs to get it done?
Again, when Nagy got here they were a 14-34 team over the three previous seasons. In two years with him and Pace together, only seven teams in the league have won as many games as they have.
Give them one more year and we can talk about a grade.
Going into next season how can you make me as a Bears fan feel good about this team? Everything said in last Tuesday’s press conference made me feel like Pace and Nagy don’t have a clue. Also the owner doesn’t seem to care. How can the fans trust anything they say? Already unsure. Submitted by Ba Ba Booey
My guess is there's’s nothing I can tell you to make you feel better right now because there was nothing in the Tuesday press conference to suggest Pace and Nagy don’t have a clue, and I know fans just love to take shot at the McCaskeys but I can absolutely guarantee you that no one in Bears Nation cares more about winning than the McCaskeys.
Again, whether this is the right management and coaching team to get it done, that jury is still out.
But they clearly have a plan, they know what they’re doing and they want desperately to win.
What you can feel good about is one of the best defenses in the league, promise on the interior of the offensive line and some potential star power at some skill positions including Montgomery, Cohen, Patterson, Robinson and Miller.
Let’s split the difference between 12-4 ’18 and 8-8 ’19 and agree that neither was real or the bottom line.
That’s 10-6, which gets you into the playoffs 87 percent of the time, and with a dominant defense, that’s something to feel good about.
Happy New Year, Hub. Enjoyed your show with Terry (Boers) so much. I have followed you and your dad since I was 12 years old. I still have some PFW issues from 1970.
Thank you. The Friday, 12/27 2:00-6:00 shift I did with Terry Boers can be heard by going to the SCORE web site and it was the most fun I’ve ever had co-hosting a show on the radio.
Thank you also for the kind words and your commitment to Pro Football Weekly and my family.
It is greatly appreciated!
Hub in the Last press conference Not one Reporter asked Nagy about His Awful Play calling (my opinion). Also Since Pace got his Pick of Nagy (Fox Forced on him) and took Trubisky with his first big move, do you believe this is the end of him in 2020? Submitted by Mark A.
Mark, considering almost every one of us asked Matt about his play-calling every week for 17 straight weeks leading up to that press conference and never really got a satisfactory answer, I’m guessing that’s why none of us asked him an 18th time.
What would you have expected to be different?
Since Nagy was the NFL Coach of the Year in his first season after Pace “picked” him, and Trubisky actually played in the Pro Bowl in his second season, I have no idea why I would think 2020 was the end of Pace before it even starts?
I get where you’re going, I get everybody’s frustration, but Pace and Nagy have done every bit as much to suggest they may be good at what they do as they have to predict they’re going to fail.
I’m not optimistic Trubisky is going to be the player Pace hopes he will be. I said that the night they drafted him before and after they made the pick, and couldn’t believe they took him over Deshaun Watson.
But with three full seasons left on his contract, I see no reason to assume 2020 will be Ryan Pace’s last year with the Bears.