In “Love It or Hate It,” “D and Davis Show” co-host Ken Davis breaks down the most controversial topics in the sports world.
A week ago today, Chicago Bears general manager Ryan Pace started the kind of bloodletting that is so essential in providing relief after an initial operation made a mistake.
In this case, Pace is moving around numb and malfunctioning pieces of the body that is the Bears roster, correcting the draft and free agent mistakes of the past while trying to keep that red buzzer nose from going off.
In trading away failed 3-4 convert Jared Allen to the Carolina Panthers for a 2016 six round pick, Pace gained a new fan, and that fan has my face. Pace also kept the movement moving by swapping 2013 second-round pick Jon Bostic to the New England Patriots for a six round pick in 2016, later he waived bye bye to 2014 fourth-round pick safety Brock Vereen.
As it turned out, even more guys wanted out the door. Fine with me, the young GM should have obliged. Even though Willie Young wasn’t a negative factor in the Bears latest effort, you figure he still resents being here at least a little bit — lets get a draft pick out of his carcass too. EVERYTHING. MUST. GO!
So, Young get yo shit ready, and if someone will take on Lamar Houston’s $35 million contract, please step forward.
As for the already made moves: Allen never fit the 3-4 scheme of Bears coach John Fox and defensive coordinator Vic Fangio. Worst part, he didn’t even play well in the 4-3 scheme the Bears ran last year. Allen’s time as an all-Pro in the NFL has passed, but he is still a decent flyer for the Panthers to take a chance on since end Charles Johnson was placed on injured reserve Monday.
Bostic was a missile with faulty targeting, he could get “there” fast, but “there” often wasn’t where he was supposed to be. Still very young, hopefully he can produce more under Bill Belichick.
And, Vereen… I don’t know, it seemed as if he was making business decisions on every play he had something to do with, meaning the phrase “am I going to stick my body out there for this contract I’m on?” had to have been circling inside his helmet most of the time. I’m not sure if Vereen will ever turn into a productive NFL safety… okay, okay you got me, he won’t!
Back to Pace and him beginning to woo me. Why is that the case? Well, here in Chicago, we usually spray perfume and all types of smell good over our boo boos rather than owning up to them early and fixing them.
You can say it was easy for Pace to make these moves since none of the players mentioned earlier are not guys he brought onto the team, but still he had to pull the trigger and making multiple mid-season moves is not the kind of thing you see the average NFL front office pull off.
Why is that? Well, it took swallowing a nice amount of change ($11 million) for the franchise to move Allen alone. May feel like backwash to Halas Hall but in the current Chicago sports climate we’re now seeing great benefits being reaped by a team that took on a complete tear down. My Cubby hate has left me — supplanted by a begrudging respect for their blueprint to success.
When it comes down to it football rebuilds can happen a lot faster than baseball, the Bears do not necessarily have to lay out a five-year plan. Baseball teams can draft college players, but they also have to draft young teenagers from the United States and abroad.
Baseball teams have to train prospects in their own farm system for at least a couple years, whereas the NFL’s farm system — big-time college football — takes care of all that for you and it’s all free for the pro teams, what a steal!
Now, to the elephant in the room (I like to call him Charlie). Charlie says: “Ken, Ken you’re always down to tank if your team sucks, but there isn’t a star quarter back in the 2016 draft.” Relax, Charlie, the Bears need way more than a shiny new QB begging for a signing bonus, even though such a great QB could make your team hoopty ride like a Benz.
Start on the line, both sides. Injuries are still an issue, (as Sunday showed us) as well as the already established talent gap the Bears find themselves fighting against .
You should know that if I was running the Bears during this past year’s NFL draft, one Vic Beasley, drafted one spot after the Bears’ selection of wide receiver Kevin White, would be rocking an orange”C” on his helmet instead of a damn black bird! Let me not even get into my overall take on White pick, or his subsequent injuries, both are playa-hating the possible romance I’m having with Pace and his GMing.
If White becomes an all-Pro then the pick winds up being worth it. As it was, the pick was sort of cool — the NFL is a passing league more than anything nowadays — but I believe if you’re bad enough to draft in the single digits you should start with building the lines unless you believe you’ve scouted a can’t-miss player at an immediate impact position.
Decent QB prospects can be found in the third round or even lower. I know linemen are not sexy, but their work is essential to either keeping a QB clean or placing him on his ass. How long has it been since the Bears could take great pride in either of those aspects of football?
Let all hope this is a sign that Pace and the Bears are getting their house in order and not engaging in another Phil Emery shuffle. Nobody’s ever written a song about that.
Follow Ken on Twitter @ThatsDavis, “The D and Davis Show” on Twitter @DAndDavisShow and Regal Radio @regalradio1 and on Facebook under Regal Radio