Bears Rumors

Fritz Pollard Alliance Recommends GM Candidates

The Fritz Pollard Alliance has released its annual list of minority candidates for general manager vacancies. Much like the latest batch of recommended coaching hires, the suggested GM list is more than twice as long as last year’s. 

[RELATED: Fritz Pollard Alliance Recommends Head Coaching Candidates]

Here’s the full rundown, via Tom Pelissero of NFL.com (Twitter link):

  • Ray Agnew (Rams)
  • Joey Clinkscales (Raiders)
  • Quentin Harris (Cardinals)
  • Alonzo Highsmith (Browns)
  • Brad Holmes (Rams)
  • Champ Kelly (Bears)
  • Martin Mayhew (49ers, ex-Lions GM)
  • Will McClay (Cowboys)
  • Jimmy Raye III (Lions)
  • Jerry Reese (ex-Giants GM)
  • Doug Whaley (ex-Bills GM)
  • Doug Williams (Redskins)

 

Clinkscales, Highsmith, McClay, and Williams were all featured on last year’s list, but none of those executives landed GM jobs. The only executive from the last round of recommendations who did not carry over to this year was Ray Farmer, the former Browns GM who is currently serving as a senior consultant with the Rams.

Of the dozen suggested executives on this list, only three sat for GM interviews in the last cycle: Mayhew (Panthers), Raye (Texans), and Whaley (Packers). McClay was asked to interview for the Texans opening, but declined the opportunity and instead signed a two-year extension to stay with the Cowboys. McClay may garner consideration again this time around, but he might not be interested in leaving Dallas.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFL Workout Updates: 12/12/18

Today’s workout updates, all courtesy of veteran NFL reporter Howard Balzer (on Twitter):

Buffalo Bills

Chicago Bears

Green Bay Packers

Miami Dolphins

New Orleans Saints

San Francisco 49ers

Bears Place CB Bryce Callahan On IR

Bryce Callahan‘s season is over. On Wednesday, the Bears placed the slot cornerback on injured reserve. 

Callahan broke a bone in his foot during Sunday’s huge win over the Rams. Initially, the Bears were keeping their fingers crossed for a quick recovery, but further tests revealed that he’ll need more time to heal.

Callahan isn’t a household name, but he has been stellar for Chicago this year. Through 14 weeks, he ranks as Pro Football Focus’ No. 11 ranked corner in the league, thanks to his strong scores in both coverage and the pass rush. Callahan has two sacks and five total QB hits, showing that his speed can be used for more than just neutralizing receivers.

To take Callahan’s place on the roster, the Bears signed defensive back Marcus Williams. Williams, who previously played for the Texans and Jets, spent two games with the Bucs this season before being waived from IR with a settlement in October.

Without Callahan, the Bears will likely turn to Sherrick McManis as the third corner. He’s a bit unproven, but he has played well in a limited sample of snaps this season. With a bit of luck, and help from the Bears’ linebacker group, McManis could be a decent replacement for Callahan in the postseason.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Bears CB Bryce Callahan To Miss Time

Bears cornerback Bryce Callahan will miss time after breaking a bone in his foot in Sunday’s win over the Rams (Twitter link via Mike Garafolo of NFL.com). His timeline for recovery is unclear, but given his importance to the defense, the Bears will likely avoid putting him on IR until they have no other choice. 

The Bears have virtually wrapped up the NFC North and they’ll want Callahan on the field for the playoffs, if possible. Through 14 weeks of action, Callahan ranks as Pro Football Focus’ No. 11 ranked corner in the NFL, thanks to his strong scores in both coverage and the pass rush. Callahan has two sacks and five total QB hits, showing that his speed can be used for more than just neutralizing receivers.

Without Callahan, the Bears could turn to Sherrick McManis or Kevin Tolliver as the third corner alongside Prince Amukamara and Kyle Fuller. Their first game without Callahan will come on Sunday when they face the Packers at Soldier Field on Sunday.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Bears QB Mitch Trubisky To Start Vs. Rams

The Bears expect to have quarterback Mitchell Trubisky under center when they face the Rams on Sunday, as Patrick Finley of the Chicago Sun-Times writes. Chicago has struggled with Chase Daniel at QB for the last two games and Trubisky’s return is expected to give them a boost. 

Daniel was sharp in a Thanksgiving win over the Lions, but the Bears were upset by the Giants last weekend in a close contest. Daniel is regarded as one of the better backup QBs in the NFL – despite his lack of actual playing time in recent years – but things just didn’t click for Chicago with Daniel at the helm.

I think it’s a transition for our own players on offense,” head coach Matt Nagy said on Thursday. “All of a sudden you have a new teacher, right? A substitute teacher comes in, and it’s a different voice and you’re trying to figure out, ‘Do I like this teacher or not?’ ”

Trubisky, 24, threw for 20 touchdowns against nine interceptions before a shoulder injury took him out of action. Of course, his six TD/zero INT performance against the Bucs boosted that ratio, but he’s been playing solid football on the whole this year.

The Bears already have a 94% likelihood of making the playoffs, according to Five Thirty Eight, but a win against the star-studded Rams would clinch a postseason berth and move them even closer to the divisional crown. A combination of a Bears win and a Vikings loss would pretty much seal up the NFC North for Chicago, allowing them to rest key players down the stretch.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 11/28/18

Today’s practice squad updates:

Arizona Cardinals

Chicago Bears

  • Signed: WR Cyril Grayson

Jacksonville Jaguars

  • Signed: OL Michael Dunn

Los Angeles Chargers

Seattle Seahawks

Washington Redskins

Bears QB Mitchell Trubisky Out For Week 13

The Bears will once again turn to quarterback Chase Daniel when they face the Giants on Sunday, as starter Mitchell Trubisky will sit out with an ongoing shoulder injury, according to Mike Garafolo of NFL.com (Twitter link).

Per Garafolo, Trubisky is healthy enough that he could play if Chicago allowed it (although he’s still not throwing, tweets James Palmer of NFL.com). But playing it safe is probably the right decision for the Bears, especially given their playoff position and their opponent in Week 13. Not only does Chicago have a 96% chance of earning a postseason berth and an 83% chance to win the NFC North (per FiveThirtyEight.com), but the club is a four-point favorite on the road against New York.

Making his first start since the 2014 campaign, Daniel completed 27-of-37 attempts against the Lions in a Thanksgiving Day victory. Daniel, who inked a two-year, $10MM contract with the Bears during the offseason, tossed two touchdowns against the Lions, and while he certainly doesn’t offer the upside of Trubisky, he is capable of managing wins, especially with the NFL’s top defense supporting him.

The Bears don’t believe Trubisky’s injury is a long-term issue, and given how close he was to playing this week, it stands to reason he’ll be available when Chicago takes on the Rams in Week 14. After that pivotal matchup, the Bears will close out the season against the Packers, 49ers, and Vikings.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Bears Notes: Trubsky, Nagy, Fangio

It’s still unclear if Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky will be available to face the Giants on Sunday, but Chicago is confident Trubisky’s shoulder injury won’t turn into a long-term issue, as Jeff Dickerson of ESPN.com tweets. Trubisky missed the Bears’ Thanksgiving Day matchup against the Lions, but Chicago was still able to manage a victory with backup Chase Daniel under center. The Bears have a 98% chance of earning a postseason berth and an 83% chance to win the NFC North, so they may not want to risk Trubisky’s health in what could be another easy win against New York. Trubisky did practice on Wednesday, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link), although it was in a limited fashion.

  • Matt Nagy will lead the Bears against the Giants on Sunday, but New York never showed any interest in hiring him as a head coach during the offseason, as he told reporters — including Ryan Dunleavy of NJ.com (Twitter link) — on Wednesday. That’s in line with PFR’s 2018 Head Coaching Search Tracker, which shows Nagy only interviewed with the Colts and Bears. The Giants, meanwhile, met with Josh McDaniels, Matt Patricia, Steve Wilks, Eric Studesville, and Steve Spagnuolo before hiring Pat Shurmur. Nagy, for his part, could take home Coach of the Year depending on how Chicago’s season ends.
  • Speaking of current Bears coaches, Chicago is worried it could lose defensive coordinator Vic Fangio this offseason, as Jay Glazer of The Athletic writes. Fangio has interviewed for two head positions in the past, but both have been with clubs that already employed him (Bears in 2018, 49ers in 2015). While he didn’t land either of those gigs, Fangio could be in line to move into a head coaching role after that’s currently ranked first in DVOA by a relatively wide margin. As Glazer writes, however, Fangio’s age (60) could work against him as many clubs are searching for younger coaches.

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 11/26/18

Today’s practice squad updates:

Arizona Cardinals

Chicago Bears

Detroit Lions

  • Released: DB Horace Richardson

Green Bay Packers

Indianapolis Colts

New York Giants

Oakland Raiders

San Francisco 49ers

Washington Redskins

Trubisky Could Miss Next Week

  • Mitchell Trubisky missed the Bears’ win over the Lions on Thanksgiving, and while the initial thought was that he could’ve played had it been a Sunday game, it’s no guarantee he’s back for Week 13. “It is not certain he will [return] and missing one more game is possible”, a source told Adam Schefter of ESPN (Twitter link). Chase Daniel was just as good as Trubisky has been in his one start, so it’s not too much of a downgrade for Chicago’s offense. Schefter does add that if Trubisky is forced to sit out against the Giants, he’ll return the next week at the latest.