Lost in the Bears’ Flo

By: Robert Zeglinski Contributor Rushing the passer well is a touchy subject amongst NFL circles. Common convention maintains that pressures are more valuable than sacks because pressures are easier to create. They're m ore plentiful. Even when a defender or two doesn't manage to bring down the quarterback, a pressure influences the trajectory of a pass. It still has an effect on turnovers, incompletions, any general possible negative outcome when a team decides to drop back. The statistical…

The Bears’ linebacker paradox

By: Robert Zeglinski Contributor A linebacker was once viewed as the end-all, be-all cog of a defense. Where top-tier pass rushers wreaked havoc on the edges, where cornerbacks and safeties hemmed in the sidelines and boundaries, it was the linebacker who controlled the heart of the action; the middle of the field. A hawk patrolling the grasslands. A rabid wolf taught to "see prey, get prey," in a forest. A hunter, and a gatherer. The epitome of self-sufficiency. A field general. Being a…

The Bears’ Combine credo means nothing

By: Robert Zeglinski Contributor Public intelligence agencies are notorious for their secrecy. Outfits like the CIA and FBI are deliberate in what information they share, and what they deem classified. There are rigid factors to training and earned trust for any entry level data miner or intern, let alone a stereotypical suave field agent or field director. The Jason Bourne's and Jack Ryan's of the real world, on a smaller scale, aren't born overnight. The secretive standards they are held…

Usher in a new guard: Interior OL a Bears’ soft spot

By: Robert Zeglinski Contributor Offensive line construction, like offensive line play, is simple. A common convention of building a successful wall is working your way from the outside in. Tackles are placed at a premium. They are underrated athletes and some of the smartest members of a team. Cornerstones with the authority and firsthand power to protect the main cornerstone, the quarterback. If a team jives well at tackle, chances are little other issues are present. Chances are, they…

Keep it tight, keep it light: Tight end a loose end for the Bears

By: Robert Zeglinski Contributor There was one clear message to derive from Super Bowl LIV. For a spectating outsider like the Bears, it was simple. Overall qualities of the Chiefs or 49ers rosters had nothing to do with it, as having a good team is already a prerequisite for playing deep into winter. Patrick Mahomes' individual resilience, then brilliance, had no part to play. The steady hands of Andy Reid and Kyle Shanahan, great as they were and are, also paled in comparison to Chicago.…

Finding a leading paw: Quarterback once again takes the Bears’ center stage

By Robert Zeglinski Contributor It's a tale as old as time, or a story at least as old as whenever the NFL's charter franchise was last relevant. A story that could mesh with established ideas of tradition, lore, and yes, complacency. Winter is reaching its apex in the Western Hemisphere and the Bears, both those in the wild in their cozy caves and on the football field, are nowhere to be found. This is not a dramatic development. It's not new for any resident in the mythical Heartlands.…

The same, tired lessons of January

By Robert Zeglinski Contributor To most, January is a fresh start. It's a conscious acknowledgement of all the rights, wrongs, and missteps of the last 12 months. A representation of where one's life stands, and what must be, or could be, done to improve standing. Resolutions are made as fast and as eagerly as they are broken in half. A sizable swath of the population is encased in ice, deep in the throes of winter, not quite knowing when they will be thawed and safe again. January is a…

A Lazor’s precision: Bears’ Lazor must overcome history

By: Robert Zeglinski Contributor Coaching dynamics in the NFL are straightforward. They can be boiled down to a few succinct paths. There are first, of course, the nepotists, with regular rewards for their children (often not based on any merit). These permeate across the landscape of a titan of a league, and have existed since professional football's inception. They will never, unfortunately, simply walk away. When some of them are coaching on Championship Sunday (ahem), it's hard not to…

A Long Ballad: Kyle Long was a beacon of light in a dark Bears era

By: Robert Zeglinski Contributor It is said the best thing an offensive lineman can do is to be unnoticeable. A good offensive lineman is not a star football fans gravitate to; this is a hallowed, if flawed honor reserved for positions that almost exclusively have the ball in their possession on a regular basis. A cornerstone offensive lineman is only the center of attention when they fail because that's the only occasion where their work, for better or worse (mostly worse) is under a…

A needle in the Bears’ depressing stack: Allen Robinson

By: Robert Zeglinski Contributor Professionalism is difficult in dire straits. When everyone and everything around you is preoccupied with falling apart, when desolation has had its say, having the temerity to maintain a smile, to thrive, is the rarest of gifts. The human instinct in such situations is to enter the side cellar, curl up into a ball, go into fetal position, and wait the calamity of a tornado outside out. It's better to acknowledge the problem and act as if it has no effect…

Count to 10. The Mahomes nightmare remains

By Robert Zeglinski Contributor Patrick Mahomes knew what he was doing. He will deny it to the end in public circles. He may keep it as a valuable secret he only shares and laughs over with his closest family and friends; the key to the lock never being revealed. But Mahomes had a premeditated plan when he used his fingers to count to 10 in the midst of a Sunday night 26-3 pre-Christmas evisceration of the Bears. "10" for his draft slot in what increasingly looks like the biggest blunder…

The Bears’ leading couple has no love, actually

By: Robert Zeglinski Contributor At the heart of the success of any quality NFL team is one relationship. A pairing of two people who understand each other at the deepest of football levels. Every flaw, every highlight, every insecurity, and every opportunity for a meaningful dialogue must be out in the open, the brights on. While other connections in the organization's building can flounder or wisp away, these two have no choice but to be on the same page. Their imperfections, if minimized,…

Too little, too late, and little way for the Bears to elevate

By Robert Zeglinski Contributor There's a crucial mistake many make in regards to competitive windows in the NFL. They assume, by proxy, that windows will last longer than the blink of an eye. They believe that windows won't be flashes in the pan, adventures into once bygone eras of success that never quite possess enough staying power. A window opens, a crisp, comforting breeze wafts in, and the room's atmosphere becomes luxurious. It's comforting. It's easy to get lost in the moment and…

Where there’s a Hicks, there’s a way

By Robert Zeglinski Contributor No one sells parity like the NFL. The idea of every team having a chance every year is what keeps a league humming for over a century. A clean slate is the equivalent of a do-over, a re-loaded level. It's an extra life after a distressing "Game Over." A cheat code in the face of strenuous game settings that manifest themselves in poor quarterback play and mismanagement of the salary cap. But parity is in itself pro football's greatest myth. A sports league…

Back in Mack: Bears’ talisman serves up reminder of brilliance

By Robert Zeglinski Contributor Those who have seen Khalil Mack play football aren't used to him being a non-factor. For years, when the 28-year-old buzzsaw has strapped on his pads, buckled his chinstrap, and put his hand in any rough turf, he's delivered a one-man defensive reckoning. He's been the subject of many an offensive coordinator and quarterback's nightmare. He's taken over games and manhandled 300-pound human beings as if it were they effortless endeavors, not Herculean…