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Tuesday 19 June, 2018 | RSS Feed

Team Jack vs Team Robert: All-Bears Historical Fantasy Tournament

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It’s fitting that these two are facing off in the first round, because both of these teams had controversial first round draft picks to get started.

Jack M. Silverstein opened the draft taking one of the all-time great Chicago Bears, but it wasn’t the all-time great Bear. Linebacker Brian Urlacher went No. 1 overall in our All-Bears Historical Fantasy Draft. Jack knew it would be a pick that would require some explaining so he penned this article: Why I picked Brian Urlacher #1 over Walter Payton in our WCG all-time Bears draft.

At the bottom of the first round, Robert Zeglinski went in an odd direction as well, but if you know Robert at all, then you should have seen the pick coming. He took one of his favorite players, Leonard Floyd, with the No. 10 overall selection.

First and foremost, this All-Bears Fantasy draft was meant to be a fun exercise for us WCG’ers to go through. So, it’s natural that our personal feelings for players were going to creep through on occasion. We had a blast and we hope you guys learned about some of the old school Bears’ players like we did.

Now it’s up to you guys to decide how this fantasy match-up would play out.

Besides Urlacher, Team Jack’s front seven also has the first ever middle linebacker, Bill George, and one of the greatest two-way players of all time in defensive end Bill Hewitt. His secondary is led by hard hitting Doug Plank and Rosey Taylor.

Will they be able to stop Team Robert’s offense led by quarterback Johnny Lujack throwing darts to Brandon Marshall? How about his running game with Neal Anderson scampering through holes opened up by Ed Healey, George Trafton, and Cody Whitehair?

Team Jack’s offense is reuniting center Olin Kreutz and guard Ruben Brown up front, and they’ll protect quarterback George Blanda so he can throw it deep to Marcus Robinson. And what about the creative things he can do with his wildcard player Devin Hester.

Team Robert’s defense not only has Floyd coming off the edge, but Julius Peppers too. Let’s not forget about Dan Hampton who can play anywhere along his defensive line, along with the beefy Ted Washington at nose. His cornerback tandem of Kyle Fuller and Donnell Woolford will take advantage of rushed throws, as will the all-around great Mark Carrier at safety.

Bears unveil orange Nike jerseys

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Orange is George H. McCaskey’s favorite color. But that’s only part of the reason he’s excited that the Bears will wear their orange jerseys again this season.

“I think it’s a great look and it’s a modern-day look that’s reminiscent of our past,” said the Bears chairman and grandson of franchise founder George Halas.

On Friday, the Bears unveiled the orange Nike jerseys that they will wear this season in games at Miami Oct. 14 and at home against the Vikings Nov. 18. They last wore orange jerseys in 2011 after also donning them from 2005-09.
One of the most memorable games in which the Bears wore their orange jerseys occurred on Nov. 13, 2005. On a blustery day at Soldier Field, Nathan Vasher returned a missed field goal attempt 108 yards for a touchdown in a 17-9 win over the 49ers, setting a record that has since been eclipsed for the longest play in NFL history.

McCaskey's fondness for orange jerseys dates back to the early days of the franchise. The Bears won 17 straight regular-season games in 1933-34, an NFL mark that stood for 70 years until it was broken by the Patriots in 2004.
“I’m a big fan of history and to me it’s not so much an alternate jersey, but one that’s really reminiscent of our past when we dominated,” McCaskey said.

For the first time, the NFL is allowing teams to wear alternate jerseys in addition to a classic jersey that was formerly described as a throwback. The Bears will again wear their 1940s-era classic uniform in a game that has yet to be determined.

“Before it was a tough choice because it was either the alternate orange jersey or the classic jersey,” McCaskey said. “This year we’re really excited that they’re going to allow us to wear both in the same season.”’

Bears strengthen offense to support Mitchell Trubisky

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The Chicago Bears ended their offseason program on June 7. Here’s a look at how they fared:

Offseason goals: The Bears knew they had to pump life into an offense that struggled mightily in the John Fox era (14-34 over three years). For that to happen, Chicago wanted to hire an offensive-minded head coach to work alongside quarterback Mitchell Trubisky, the second overall pick of the 2017 NFL draft. The Bears also knew that in order for Trubisky to reach his full potential, the club needed to surround the young quarterback with better weapons.

How they fared: Above average

Move I liked: Replacing Fox with Matt Nagy, who served as Andy Reid’s offensive coordinator last season in Kansas City. Nagy is young and energetic. The Bears have really bought in to the offensive system he’s installing, a scheme similar to what the Chiefs and Eagles ran in 2017. Nagy is a breath of fresh air after Fox. Plus, Nagy managed to retain defensive coordinator Vic Fangio, who decided to stay after the organization severed ties with Fox.
Move I didn’t like: The Bears guaranteed $36 million to a pair of cornerbacks who combined for two interceptions last year. Kyle Fuller had a very good year last season, but he’s still the same guy who missed the entire 2016 campaign due to a routine knee scope performed in training camp. Prince Amukamara is a pretty solid player, but he hasn’t picked off a pass since 2015. The Bears attempted to sign free-agent cornerback Malcolm Butler but failed to do so.

Biggest question still to be answered in training camp: What kind of impact will wide receiver Allen Robinson have on Chicago’s offense? Robinson put up monster numbers for Jacksonville (80 catches, 1,400 receiving yards and 14 touchdowns) in 2015, but he sat out almost the entire 2017 season with a torn ACL. Robinson participated in only individual drills at the tail end of the Bears’ offseason program, so he still needs to bond with Trubisky. Speaking of Trubisky, the Bears still don’t know whether he’s a true franchise quarterback after making 12 starts as a rookie. By all accounts, Trubisky had a productive offseason, but the true test will be when the regular season begins.

Quotable: “The offseason program has been great. I told the players that -- that’s been the message. There really wasn’t a day where you look back and say, ‘Man that was pretty bad.’ There were some days that weren’t great, not perfect, but that’s expected for the most part.” -- Bears coach Matt Nagy

Salary cap space: $27,924,615

2018 draft picks: Georgia linebacker Roquan Smith; Iowa center/guard James Daniels; Memphis wide receiver Anthony Miller; Western Kentucky linebacker Joel Iyiegbuniwe; Delaware defensive tackle Bilal Nichols; Utah defensive end Kylie Fitts; Georgia wide receiver Javon Wims.
Undrafted rookie free agents signed: WR Matt Fleming, DB John Franklin III, OL Jeremi Hall, OL Matt McCants; OL Dejon Allen, DL Abdullah Anderson, DB Rashard Fant, WR Garrett Johnson, CB Michael Joseph, LB Nyles Morgan, RB Ryan Nall, LB Elijah Norris, S Nick Orr, DE, Bunmi Rotimi, CB Kevin Toliver II, LB Andrew Trumbetti, DL Cavon Walker, and P Ryan Winslow.

Unrestricted free agents signed: TE Zach Miller, LB Kasim Edebali, WR Marlon Brown, RB Benny Cunningham, DL John Jenkins, WR Allen Robinson, WR Taylor Gabriel, TE Trey Burton, CB Marcus Cooper, CB Sherrick McManis, K Cody Parkey, QB Chase Daniel, P Pat O’Donnell, LB Aaron Lynch, and LB Sam Acho.

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