Buffone 55 | Authors of New Book, Return To Respectability: The 2018 Chicago Bears



this is the Bears barroom radio network and the following program is suitable for all audiences the phone a certain magic will always linger with the very name it speaks of courage and fervor and the world's most brutal game fifty-five worn by Doug befouled a Chicago Bear through and through he demanded excellence of himself and anyone wearing navy blue who tell me what's going on this is moronic we're going to get up trip all the way down the line I would somebody to kicked at it and get out there and play you're getting paid the play this game and play it right I don't mind you get beat I got my foot many times I tell you I took somebody down with me you are a professional team for god sakes football fans this is before 50 five the John the phone show hello and welcome to another edition of the phone 55 the fastest pace Chicago Bears podcast available I am your host Jean Buffone barflies it's been a while hasn't it but I'm glad to be back on the air the draft it's over rookie camps are beginning and stopping now we start looking ahead to the 2019 season whoa what a time to be alive if you're listening to us live on mix telecom get ready to interact with us we got some awesome guests line up the authors of the 2018 Chicago Bears return to respectability Steven Leventhal and Charlie Bevins are here to talk with us but before we get to that me and my trusty producer all know gun do you have some business to take care of Otto you'll wake over there you haven't done this in a while I haven't I haven't but I think I remember how to do this and just to remind our audience that we always begin the show and at the show with our 555 segment that's where I asked John five questions he's got 55 seconds to respond to each one and after those 55 seconds we'll turn into a the next question and I'm hesitating here because my soundboard is just going nuts it's been a while it's okay take the shake the rust off so let's get to it are you ready for the first question I'm ready let's do it all right David Montgomery he's been compared to Kareem hunt do you see similarities and if so what are they on top of that do you think Montgomery can approach Hunt's rookie number of thirteen hundred and twenty seven yards rushing 455 receiving yards in a total of 11 touchdowns that's what Hunt had in his rookie year John you are on the clock you know I do see some similarities and shiftiness some solid catching ability not superior but good and some pass blocking to go along with it he doesn't have any glaring holes he can be the battering ram with his 510 222 pound print for a mere an a4 640 and he can make the first tackler miss listen I love Jordan Howard but if you think the Bears let Howard go and then drafted a carbon copy of him in Montgomery I don't think you're watching the tape I think Montgomery rounds out the runningback core very nicely because he has all the tools needed for an eggy offense he has some flash he can catch block then bust up between the tackles as far as the creme Hunt stats go I don't think it's out of the realm of possibility but let's not get disappointed if he doesn't remember Kareem hunt was thrust into the starting position after Spencer where got hurt in the preseason and was out the entire year hunt was given 272 carries his rookie year the second-highest rusher on that Chiefs squad that year Alex Smith and remember he used to be a quarterback shark and request got 18 carries that year he was the backup running back see the Bears have Montgomery but they also have Treecko and they assigned Mike Davis they want fresh legs on the field well into December January and God willing February oh good stuff boy you are in midseason form there John I need some stretching we're good question number two Calvin Ridley brother of bears fourth round pick Reilly Ridley now he's drilled into the Bears new wide receiver that running great routes is the best way to win a quarterbacks trust so this wide receiver comes to Chicago with a portfolio of great route running but there's more to Ridley than just the ability to create separation since you're in midseason form I'm gonna ask you what those are you've got 55 seconds oh man legacy guys are always interesting because they automatically get hyped to their dad brother you know sibling whatever look at Jordan Palmer the other Gronk's they do exist remember Luke Butkus out of Illinois the nephew of Dick Butkus he was at training camp for the Bears in 2002 bounced around NFL Europe he's actually an assistant oline coaching Green Bay now gag but anyway I digress but there are some other family connections and actually do work Ronde Tiki Barber the Bennett Brothers health or the Gruden brothers in there if you want to get crazy but with Riley Ridley I see a tough route runner that's going to do the dirty work he's not afraid to go into the middle and take a shot I have noticed that he has a knack of finding the holes in a defense he's very aware of his surroundings very precise route runner there's some questions about his quickness off the snap sometimes but he has great hands and I can see him actually working into the rotation a little bit this year he has a great person to confide in and his brother in Calvin to understand what it takes to succeed in the NFL I think he's a really good for the Chicago system gritty kid tough kid I think most Bears fans will appreciate that you know well one of the things that Danny shown in our draft on analyst told me about Ridley is that he's got the largest wingspan of anybody on the team wow that is pretty awesome I remember the catch radius right there that's what's something you always want yeah exactly I remember DeAndre Hall when he was drafted what a couple of years ago he had an incredible wingspan but unfortunately things didn't work out for him in Chicago but I think things are gonna work out for for mr. Riley Ridley it's a great weapon to have yep all right here we go with question number three Duke Shelley the five foot nine hundred eighty one pound quarterback the Bears chose in round six was pro football focuses highest grade at corner in the SCC last season what are the qualities you like in his play and what might concern you although I'll be honest when I heard this pick I was like all right who the hell is this guy yeah five 980 pound which is being generous I think corner from Kansas State I didn't watch as much Kansas State football as one might think and I'm apologized for that so I'm looking over his tape and I like that he seems to always be around the ball when the ball was tipped Shelly kind of flies in from nowhere and can come up with it you know for his lack of height he's able to contest' a lot of balls and his fire kind of jumps off the screen this guy has a lot of energy he's a little firecracker so what does concern me however is how he's going to adjust to NFL receivers he runs a four for forty but doesn't always show that burst I could there could be the potential there that he gets toasted downfield and will he be able to contest those high point balls against big receivers in the NFL I think he has the potential to but I think that's gonna be a huge challenge that's gonna face him I don't think he's a great open field tackle er either but that can be developed sometimes I think Shelly with some grooming and learning and tutelage could become an effective slot corner which we know is a very important position on the field our scouts here Danny and Shane they were with you and Duke Shelly's name was called they were like looking at each other we forgot to we forgot to scout this guy but subsequently they've looked at tape and they're you know there's some encouragement encouraging signs in this young man so we'll be keeping a close eye on him when we get down to Bourbon a yeah I think it says I've got to keep an eye on it you mean they draft them for a reason so that we'll see what that reason is exactly question number four just like the wide receiver position the running back position is not loaded mike dave history cohen and third-round pick David Montgomery will likely be your gameday starters but Ryan all is someone Finch should not sleep on because if he has another preseason like he had last season Wow he's gonna fight for a roster spot then there is seventh round peat pick Carruth white he wild people in camp this past weekend the rookie minicamp with this scintillating speed tell us what you've seen and heard of white and how good you feel at about this these skill positions of the Bears I'm gonna start real quick with the wide receiver position because I think it's important to point this out Kendall right Josh Bellamy Dontrelle Inman Marcus Wheaton and pieces of Kevin white that was 2017 in two years it has transformed into Allen Robinson Taylor Gabriel Anthony Miller cordarrelle Patterson Javon wyms Riley Ridley both of the Hall boys and Tanner gentry let that sink in for just a second now let's bounce over to the running back some thought on white was he might have been the more explosive back over at Florida Atlantic over Devin Singletary well we'll see about that but I see a guy that invites contact sometimes a little too much you sometimes see that straight up running style they can get you hurt but here's a guy that was used as a kickoff returner he can fight through arm tackles and he has the base to be a solid runner he needs a lot of seasoning but he's physical and can burn guys in the open field he could find himself else find himself a spot on this roster as for null I know he's a fan favorite there's a few routes the Bears would go with this maybe he makes it as a straight up running back on the roster maybe they want to see if they can transition him over to that Michael Burton role thank God he's off the team he could become Chicago's version of John Coon big guys six-foot 240 pounds that's an intriguing option option or they could try to stash him on the practice squad again but I think somebody scoops him up I agree yes it is nice to say that mr. Burton is long remember the Chicago very very well played all right our final question before we bring our dad and the beers final draft pick Stephen Denmark could be this year's balloon a close like an unexpected immediate contributor to the defense he's got measurables that are ridiculous but he lacks experience for your followers who don't know much about Denmark fill them in and share your realistic expectations for the defensive back you are on the clock although anyone who listens the show knows I'm a sucker for size and I'm a fan of the measurables six-foot-three 220 pounds runs off four four and has a forty three and a half inch vertical this guy is a wide receiver turned into a cornerback only played one year of corner at Valdosta State which I'm told is in Georgia I'm sure it's beautiful d2 plenty of great athletes in d2 however he posted 55 tackles 8 for a loss three interceptions and nine pass breakups he's super physical and likes blitzing it appears from looking at his tape I think he was really physical at times because he was still polishing his skills he relies on his athletic prowess which by the way is fine if you're a six foot three 220 pound player who was at cornerback if he refines some of his coverage skills all of a sudden you got a monster I think this is an incredibly intriguing pick in the sixth round because this is what you want whenever you're taking guys in the fifth sixth seventh round you want a ton of potential that isn't going to be thrust into the fire right away and not to mention at his size and speed he could be an instant spark on special teams so I think this is I'm gonna keep my eyes on this kid I think it's I think it's a very intriguing pick but with that being said it's time to bring in the authors of the 2018 Chicago Bears return to respectability mr. Steven Leventhal and Charlie Bevins gentlemen how are we doing the night I'm doing very good I was on a little sunburnt after spending the afternoon in or ugly field but I'm doing pretty good thanks for having me on but John in Aldo thanks a lot for yeah again for having us on and giving this opportunity to talk about the Bears today this is what we do best is what we love to do the most so this this is gonna be kind of an open-ended forum and whoever feels like they're best equipped to answer my questions feel free to jump in this show as always chaos so don't feel like you're breaking up any kind of rhythm we got here because quite frankly we have none so you start the book by writing about the hiring of Matt Negi was there anything in opening press conference that you found kind of prophetic whether it was you know I can something that Coach nuggie said or maybe GM Ryan pace what what is it was there anything that you guys took out of that first press conference well to be honest with you you know when I was thinking about that that notion I actually know this was the fourth Barris introductory coach press conference that I've attended so you know that compels all the way back to you know Lovie Smith dick Jerrod John Fox Marc Trestman and actually I couldn't say that I felt that instantly I actually had a better feel when Lovie Smith was introduced you know why because one of the things he got out there and he was right out for anybody says we are going to beat the Packers and maybe doesn't resonated across room if you remember that yeah went with with naggy I really can't say that because if you look back yet it was a lot of you know I appreciate the opportunity to be here I mean I would say his humility probably struck me the most I couldn't say that I caught that spark you know we're from might in my opinion that really sort of came on and really got a lot stronger as they move through rookie minicamp OTAs and training camp I think is really where it just resonated because the players he has this enthusiasm and all season long when we talked to the players they would tell you it was all about his enthusiasm and his youth and his feel for the game and kind of getting in there and being a player's coach that's really where they all connected with him I'm gonna throw this out to both of you what was it what was the process of writing this book first of all what was the I guess the inspiration to writing this book and what was the process of putting it all together because quite frankly got it out pretty quick granite granite you're covering an entire season so what was it was the process of going the making this book I'm a student at DePaul and one of my professors his name was Phil he introduced me to Steve to do some coverage with Cubs and White Sox over the summer and that kind of transgressed into me writing for the Bears and I think it was about week three or four of the season Steve kind of approaches me and says look you know you and I have been kind of doing a good job on this coverage so you know I'm thinking at the end of the year we can try to put this together as a whole book and you know correct me if I'm wrong on anything but that's kind of where the ball started rolling on that yeah and we've been our company yes siren broadcasting has been covering sports in Chicago for quite a long time and 40s seems like we fly under the radar because not a lot of people know about us but we have a pretty active blog and the Bears had encouraged us to be a little more active in terms of our coverage so we decided to do and Charlie offered to do kind of a Monday morning you can quarterback and I said well we should also do a game preview so we've been doing these pretty much every week and like he says a couple weeks in it and I say you know what it doesn't matter what happens I mean we had no clue other than you know the signing of Coolio Mac that there might be some special here but I said you know what Charlie no matter what happens this season let's put together let's do it in book form so it all kind of came together after the season we said you know what this was it really was a good season maybe they didn't win the super maybe that it didn't really get past the first round of the playoffs but there's a story here so let's take all these little blog posts that we did and we'll turn them from a weekly thing and cobble them together as a story and and tie them together and I like to do a lot of these little behind-the-scenes things like you mentioned Ryan all when you were talking about and you're in your 55 5 4 55 I interviewed him because again I like this sort of the under the underdog the guy who's trying to make it so I write all these stories so between what Charlie did and what I did I thought we had something that's an awesome process and the you know going through and I think that that brings stories the light that wasn't necessarily you know you know be spotlighted it without without digging deep like that so that's that's to make for an interesting story I wanted we're talking we talked about the draft in the first segment I want to go back a year before this year back to 2018 how important was the 2018 draft in returning the Bears to respectability and kind of what's your opinion on Ryan paces drafts overall for me at least last year the the thing that stuck up to me was the 2017 draft was where you really found like these really big impactful contributors you're Tariq Owens you're Eddie Jackson so obviously went on and you know you find a quarterback in that trap 2018 is kind of sustaining that level of you know competition and success where you know 2018 you're able to find Rho Quan Smith who I think has an opportunity the best linebackers in football you find you know James Gang goes to shore up your interior you find Anthony Miller to just get another weapon for a true Biscay and you're able to find that depth so yeah and then you've seen it in the past too with you know pace finding these guys in later rounds Cody white hair in the second round he's able to you know the front of the draft is kind of weary he finds those big contributors like your rock wants miss your true bisque ease but he's also able to find those contributors on the back end and you know a couple all pros in the process as well and in the book you guys remind us of many of the things that transpired throughout Oh TA s in camp including coach neji's resting his players in week three of the preseason against the chiefs that actually was a firestorm on the Bears barroom radio now we're a lot of different opinions on that many people criticized the decision saying the starters needed reps other people said maybe he's kind of progressive thinking and trying to keep his guys healthy looking back is it fair to say that wasn't such a bad call on his part yeah I mean it's tough to look back on that without incorporating too much hindsight but yeah you know it was a game they they actually you know kind of dominated the Chiefs ones in that game if I remember correctly but yeah you know it's just another week for those players to rest up and you know look I mean the team ended up making the playoffs so probably wasn't a huge deal right right and let's talk about the chapter called the window is set but can both you kind of chime in on what that means the window is set whenever they're reading through the book yeah so for me that kind of 21 20 21 2020 window that's when a lot of these contracts start you know you kind of have to start worrying about them your draft fix as well as you know Allen Robinson Taylor Gabriel those sorts of guys so that's not to say Ryan pace wouldn't be able to you know find replacements for those guys but like 2021 that's when a lot of these rookies need to be extended or these guys on rookie contracts need to be extended that's when you know you kind of have to make some tough decisions so if you want to really win with this core you have right now that's kind of your window and I think the addition of Khalil Mack might and subtraction of two first round picks kind of ups the urgency to that the has a lot of components too including giving a game-by-game accounting of the Bears 2018 seeding season you wrote about your Biscay six touchdown performance but you also her mind readers that this is the first time that the young quarterback really looks sharp for an entire game tell us about your analysis of the quarterback and to this point up to that point in 2018 and beyond that was the first game where it looked like it was all clicking you know the Packer game you wanted more Seahawks game you wanted more but right around that Tampa Bay game it's like all right like this is what this offense can look like when it's being run to its full capacity I'll be it you know Tampa Bay isn't a great team but not only is it the first time true Biscay is running an actual modern-day offense unlike the year before with Fox he's also doing it to its full capacity and that to me was what really stuck out because to that point there was still a lot of you know it looked like he was taking his time processing I yeah you still seen some head scratching decisions but that was that game against Tampa was there really the first time where it's like alright yeah this can be really great and no you go ahead yeah how they were injured a lot last year offensive line that was a you know worse than a mass unit so you've got the addition of more pieces a much better defense now you don't have an offense that's running on and off the field and they just had an opportunity to gel yeah yeah I think that that comes that becomes a big part of it where it there actually is time there for chemistry which is I think it applies them to the radar because you can't put that into a box score and you can't you know put that into a into a stat book but it certainly is part of the game and part of team building part of your book is some partial transcripts of interviews you didn't on your podcast people like sports writers Patrick Finlay John Mullen broadcasters Dion Miller and more for both you which are some of those people that you interviewed shared something about the 2018 season that was kind of uh maybe an eye opener or maybe something that was different or maybe kind of gave you a different aspect or a different viewpoint on some things well let me kind of set the table for that one because a lot of this came out it's like John Mullen of Comcast Sports Network is a good friend of mine he's probably been with a few people that have covered the team longer than I have and we used to just chat about what was going on so I very very distinctly remember when the Bears had that little open training camp at Vernon Hills High School we're sitting in the stands we got we got to watch it like everybody else and I posed a question to him I said and again this was before the cool Mack signing I said how is this team improved at all especially a defense from last year and he says well not really we just interchange a few parts and having had that conversation and others I said well I kind of wanted it said well do you mind if we chat throughout the season and and talk about these kind of things said absolutely no problem so certainly after the season began I got him on microphone I use it for one of our podcasts and I said wow this this is great this is gold so I'm friendly with a lot of people that cover the team on a regular basis so if you you know you get all the book you'll see I talked to Patrick Finlay I talked again we were Dianna Miller lovely lovely person terrific terrific lady great friend and they were all giving us information you know they're it's I just like to get some of their insights and maybe when they're sort of Austin off camera they can be a little more candid so hopefully that kind of comes through yeah and then for me I mean those are pretty much all Steve because you know he was the one actually going to the practices and you know really getting in there with all the audio and all that stuff so for him I mean Steve handled all those with those media interviews excellent and you know coach Negi has said that the November 18th primetime game against the Minnesota Vikings was the game that made him think that perhaps this team really did have a chance to do something special cannot can you guys kind of recount that game for us and did you maybe think that's whenever that you thought the Bears had something cookin I think it was because you know to that point not only you know they did it on prime time first of all that was the game I took my friend to who doesn't care at all about football I took him to that and I said you're gonna love this game we're gonna love this atmosphere and he walked away and he's pretty much a football fan at this point so you know that game that intensity where it really kind of like spoke to the national audience like this is the team that was supposed to win the division this is the team that was in the NFC Championship game last year that got you know the hot quarterback on the free agent market this is a team that was supposed to go far in this year's plat and we just beat them and we beat them pretty easily and so to me that was like this seems legit like this defense can this defense can pick up for an offense it's still kind of growing this is a team that a like you can see on the field they love playing with each other and be it's a team that the city loves for sure and you know the Bears of course they fell short of the title of your book being returned to the top um but can you guys list me you know two to three things that you expect to see how the 2019 season rolls out given that you were so in you're so you know dug into the 2018 season how did that set the set that played for you going into 2019 well one of the things that you're gonna have to look at is there were no expectations at all in 2018 if van won six or seven games people probably would have been ecstatic hey it's an improvement you know where they're they're definitely going in the right direction but now the sudden you added a couple of key pieces the team just gelled they won you know they won all those games now the bars a lot higher so the real question is one of the expectations going to be for 2019 and how realistic are they how much better now if they don't make the playoffs it's going to be disappointing yeah for me I'm not necessarily you know worried about defensive regression in the part of Fangio but I'm really interested to see just on a specific level how row Quan Smith grows because like I said earlier I really do think he can be great his impact on the defense is one of the big reasons I don't expect a whole lot of regression just to have that guy sort of patrolling the middle of the field the way he can cover pat cover passes and then stop in the run I mean I I really do think he could be special with that defense and on the offensive side particularly in that Eagles game you could really see the connection between true Biscay and Robins start to grow and I think kind of the whole the latter half of the season was really leading up to that point where like these guys have something and it's something that can be built upon L Robinson at one point was led the NFL and touchdown so I think that grow chemistry with tribulus keys receivers and just as comfortability in the offense his you know play making decisions is the recognition of what's going on in the field I expect that to improve and you know if that improves that's a whole offense that could take even one more step I'm sure yeah is if you think about this last year everything was brand new new coaching new offensive system new playbook all of that is old hat so one of the things that was that a lot of players discussed how long I remember him saying that was when they go into this year when they go into OTAs when they go into training camp they don't have to learn the system they kind of know the system so you've totally raised the floor for what what they can do Oh without a doubt like is the amount now it's not a learning curve as much as it is refining your skills and polishing what you already have in in-store auto before I let these guys go do we have any action in the chat room yeah we've got a couple of questions and I'd like to add one of my own so I got a total of three let's start with Ryan bachelors question he wants to know from each of you what was your favorite a moment in 2018 and maybe even you know and following the Bears ever if you've got a favorite moment that you could you could share with our listeners big favorite moment of all time for the Bears is that Hester touchdown in the Super Bowl I was just so young and like I was like probably seven years old but I firm being out of my mind about that and from this past season that uh that strip sack cool Mack had in the Seahawks game I was at I went he just runs by and like kind of flicks his hand to the crowd like I was like oh man this is six years of this it's so funny you talk about the heaven the Devin Hester Chargers I was at that superb live act been very fortunate I've been to five super balls and I was at that that game although for me believe it or not the highlight of that game was seeing the halftime show and Prince is the only time I've ever seen Prince perform and that was just absolutely fabulous but as far as last season I would probably have to say the Packer game because especially on the heels of the opening season loss you know there was so much hype for that game and the team just came out just so focused on a mission and you know while the Packers made it exciting it was pretty pretty obvious what the dominant team was in that game hmm all right a question from Stacy and she would like you both to comment on the kicking situation in 2018 I guess if there was a is if there's a villain in your book maybe it's gonna bark I don't know and and your thoughts on what's happening in this off season with the kicking situation so if you can guys can comment on that to be honest the real villain is Ryan taste because they got rid of Robbie Gould over over dollars and cents and yet look what he's done in in the interim time and even though he probably would like to come back I'm not sure the mechanism is there for that all that kicking situation it's going to be interesting that's all I could say yeah you know they're trying and like that sounds passive aggressive when I say that but like they really are confronting this and you know maybe they can they shouldn't make so much of a spectacle about it but you know they're getting the team around it and they're saying like you know we're confronting this we're taking this head-on we're gonna go as many possibilities as we can and you know maybe it doesn't end it ends up not working out but it's at least entertaining to follow alright and my question is for Steven it sounds like you've been around house hall for a long time can you please compare the vibe at halas hall with under mat Nagy's leadership as opposed to some of the coaches we've had in the past well oh that's that's quite easy I've been I go every week several times a week and throughout the years I mean they're professional players even some of those teams that were just awful the players come they show up and even though quote-unquote it's a paycheck you know if you think about it they're all they're young guys they're playing a game they love it they played all their life but 2018 it was you could just sense the excitement that every Wednesday and Thursday they couldn't wait to get out on the field on Sunday just that that enthusiasm that naggy bring was so infectious that every from the Waterboys to the work to the workout guys to the equip managers everybody had that just that that enthusiasm that spirit esprit de corps is is so to speak which was just really good to see and although I got a question for you the fact that Charlie was seven during that Super Bowls that make you feel old I'm pretty close to getting my first Social Security check so that's making me feel oh it's just keep on good please tell people you can get the book on it I was just gonna ask ya just gonna ask you that it's a whopping $2.99 so please go out there and buy a few copies a few dozen copies and tell all your friends just go on if you want actually there's a link right from our site it might be easier to define an Internet FM comm right at the top I'll show you how to get there otherwise you know return to respectability on its on Amazon's kid it's a it's on the Kindle and you know it's I think it's a good read you said you liked it so that's a good sign I didn't even have to pay you yeah before we go get you guys out of here in case people want to interact with you or want to know more about the book how can they connect with either one of you on social media yeah follow me on Twitter at CR Bevins 11 I tweet pretty lukewarm takes so yeah mine is a radio mogul on Twitter and of course our website is Internet FM comm which is its sports and music so you know what else is there like a hundred percent we're talking to Stephen Leventhal and Charlie Bevins they wrote the 2018 Chicago Bears return to respectability guys thank you so much for being on and maybe there's a 2019 version brewing up that might have a better ending hopefully everyone Aldo thanks so much guys thanks so much guys appreciate it absolutely that was Steven Leventhal and Charlie Bevins they wrote the 2018 Chicago Bears return to respectability you know that means although [Applause] what does it mean John wake up although I thought you were taking control we were we doing the extended score version of this is the second round 55 the second set of our five 455 pressures I'm out of practice what can I say that's the offseason for everybody this again is where I'm gonna head John five more questions he's gonna have 55 seconds for each of them and actually in the fifth question we usually turn off the clock and we'll do that again this time John I know you are ready but I've got to ask you anyway are you ready to begin the second set of 555 the real question are you ready you know we're on the air all right you have studied I'm assuming the 2019 schedule I've heard that schedule isn't as difficult that it appears and I've heard that it's among the most challenging for any team and I've heard that the NFL schedule is always fluid so I've heard it off but I want to hear what you think of this schedule can you break it down for us and just share your thoughts on how tough it is or is it you are on the clock all right stick with me I always try to give the worst case scenario with room to go above and beyond let's start with the division games I think they can sweep Detroit and the worst case scenario is they split with Minnesota and Green Bay once again I'm downplaying things stick with me so that's four wins and two losses in the division they get Denver early on the fans Uwe Boll I like the big catch Denver early they're still gonna be getting in sync with Vic and Flacco at quarterback I like that as a win kind of the same thing with Washington two weeks later they're at Oakland I think they can win that game so we're at seven wins right there then a stretch of New Orleans the LA Chargers and the Eagles let's bomb it and say the Bears only win one of three there once again we're down playing that's eight wins then a stretch of the Rams Giants Cowboys Chiefs let's throw it all to hell and say the Bears only win one of for their which I think they're gonna win more but let's keep the theme going so that's four and two in the division wins over Denver Washington and Oakland with one win over either New Orleans LA or Philadelphia and then one win over either Rams Giants Cowboys or Chiefs that's 9 9 wins and I feel like I'm low-balling it that's all based on going forward to in the division albeit but I see the wind range being from 9 to 12 here I'm ok with that the Bears should be ok with that you know I we were talking about this on a on the special that we had the schedule release party Danny and chain and I and a couple other guys were talking and I get the feeling that you know maybe the Bears won't win as many games as they did last season but be a better team what's your sense of that well I think that's true because yeah the schedule on paper as it is they're playing much better teams going into it they're playing look at that you got to play the Cowboys you got I play the Chiefs you got to play the Rams and then you know obviously they have they've had their issues with the Philadelphia Eagles and then they gotta play New Orleans and the Chargers those are all really good teams now there are any gimmies on there there aren't I mean there are no gimmies in the NFL we saw that in the Giants game last year but they're the this stretch as it is is pretty tough but if they can come out of that and make the playoffs they're gonna be a dangerous team they really really I'm getting so psyched up and people in the chat room I like let's move on to question number 2 we've talked about the depth at the running back and receiver positions but how do you assess the tight end position and how do you think this Utah State tight end Dax Freeman is going to play out with this team can he help this team this year you got 55 seconds and they begin when you begin yeah I'm a little concerned last year maybe I was too excited about trade Burton I believe I said he was gonna leave the Bears and receptions that's about as hot takee as I get by the way 54 catches for 569 yards and six touchdowns that's okay but you'd like to see more hopefully he makes a jump it's kind of a make-or-break year for Adam Shaheen this guy has to stay on the field when you take a converted basketball player out of a small school like Ashland staying healthy is the most important part in development if you're in the trainer's room you learning you aren't getting in tune with your teammates 17 catches in two years isn't gonna do it and I really really want to see this guy succeed he has all the physical tools to be great but he needs to put in a full solid season as for Raymond comes in as a 24 year old rookie don't necessarily love that but the size is good at 65 to 55 but he also has some room to put some bulk onto that frame if he wants to solid pass catcher smooth or out runner am i super excited about him not really maybe not this year maybe in 2020 but the pecking order in this tight ends you know core is so fluid anything could happen yeah you know I've got a little prediction on prediction on Dax Raymond I think he's gonna look like a tight end version of Ryan all he's gonna impress us in pre-season and then the Bears are gonna try to figure out a way to stash him because he still needs time to develop I don't think he's an NFL blocker yet but I do think that he's got the the skills to help out in the past game passing game almost immediately based on what I saw down at the Senior Bowl but he's definitely going to be a player to keep an eye on he's a really interesting fellow too very raw and we'll see how quickly they can progress once again coming in as a rookie as 28 24 years old we'll see if that helps or hurts yeah all right question number three we have not had an opportunity to talk about the changes on the coaching staff Vic Fangio now has is gone to Denver as you know and he's taken at donnatal with him the the beast coach who's both of those guys did a tremendous job here in Chicago and now of course Chuck Pagano is the new DC and Brad Childress is back as the senior offensive assistant and my understanding is it's that it's a seasonal long contract he's not gonna leave us like you did last season what are your thoughts on this new coaching staff you got 55 seconds well let's start with Childress real quick he was an offensive analyst last year jump to the aaf for a sandwich and now he's back as the senior offensive assistants so this is kind of getting the band back together they must have supported his decision to be a head coach because it didn't work out to no fault of his own but now he's back kind of reminds me of Dick LeBeau bouncing back and forth between Pittsburgh and Cincinnati he got some great offensive minds here Negi halfred Childress obviously there isn't too much head-butting or tension there because Childress came back and they welcomed him back it wouldn't maybe he wouldn't have came back if it was a tense atmosphere so that's a good sign at least I think as for the defense I expect to see some subtle changes Pagano apparently likes to be aggressive and we could see some more blitzing maybe some coverage changes in the end the unit is intact sans a few role players but I think a big attribute that gets looked over sometimes on the defensive side of the ball is to the players buy-in and respect the guy they're playing for Pagano is a lovable guy his players went to bat for him numerous times from him battling cancer to him retaining his job in Indianapolis I think the Bears defense we're gonna want to play for this guy and give him at everything they got they'd had that in Vic Fangio they're getting the same in Pagano and must be an Italian thing not that I'm a biased or anything hahaha you know what I was looking forward to the most with pagano's defenses that he blitz us more often than Fangio and yeah you know that's dangerous but you know he doesn't blitz more than other NFL coaches based on what I read he's blitzes about the league average and Fangio was down towards the bottom of the average but I'd love to see you know Leonard Floyd and some of the D B's get after the quarterback and just kind of bring back some of that 85 Bears terrorising defense now what do you think about that Oh a hundred percent and we saw a few times where you wish they would have blitz a little bit more there were some times and it trust me I'd miss I'm gonna miss Vic Fangio we all are but there there were some times where it's just like wow where's the where's the adjustment wire wise and they're not more pressure being put on so maybe we see that I'm not trying to say that Pagano is gonna be head and shoulders better than Fangio but maybe in some of those situations we see a more aggressive defense whenever it's necessary Stacy in the chat room says that she thinks Fangio is gonna have our time in Denver unfortunately for him what do you think about Fangio being a head coach at Denver with the roster as its as it looks like now well I mean I think the defense will be will be pretty solid I think he's his plant his the format will do well there they got a lot of questions on the offensive side of the ball is Joe Flacco your guy they drafted the lot kid you know the receivers are getting a little older III think that they're gonna struggle III can't it all depends on when you're a defensive head coach in the NFL you're basically you're you're a head coach and you're running the show but you know offenses is that's why you're seeing some of the offensive coaches get head gigs because they want the they want an offensive minded guy taking the helm there so I don't know III think that he is gonna struggle but I think that was expected there's a reason they had to get rid of the last coach is because the team wasn't that good so we'll see yeah yeah frankly I was shocked that Elway went with a defensive coordinator especially after the fiasco that was John Fox now I say Fiasco he took them deep into the playoffs a couple of times but nonetheless he was not happy with John Fox and to kind of pick another coach with that same kind of old-school mentality I was a little shocked by that but oh I wish him well as long as he's not playing the Chicago Bears yeah outside of I think weak to a good luck to him there you go oh yeah and did you hear that the Broncos have like this remarkable record for game twos in their in their career they're like thirty and two or something like that well thirty and three sounds a lot better all right question number four I've been dying to hear your response to this one I want you to pick out one or two I read many you want breakout players for 2019 are we thinking Shaheen we're thinking wins I don't know who and why you got 55 seconds I want to say Eddie Panero please let Eddie LP Aaron up he'd narrow be the answer between the post please football gods I believe El Pierre knows Spanish for the leg we're going to ask our international fans here but as far as you know guys on the field or on the field a little bit more I don't know if it's really a breakout player but I'm gonna say Anthony Miller 33 catches for 423 yards last year not great but led the team in receiving touchdowns with seven this was the guy that was super hyped about being with the Bears reports were that he was running around crazy with the too much energy and wasn't always controlled or as smooth as he should have been and you know kind of trying to settle into that position I think those rookie jitters are gonna pass this year we're gonna see guy that not only catches eight to ten touchdowns but also starts racking up the catches and yards I think he will at least double his catches and double his yards this year so that's looking at 66 catches for around 850 yards with with you know eight to ten touchdowns I think that's a big and productive leap for Anthony Miller I think he shows up on the Box score a lot more consistently in 2019 yeah I agree with you I think too also about Miller that you know outside of the stats is if he can become better at running the routes as they're diagrammed on the on the playbook because I think that was one of one of the situations with the writing staff and hem so if he if he can nail that and just be trustworthy try bisk you will love him a lot more but yeah the guy has limitless talent he he could be an Antonio Brown type player for the Chicago Bears for many years yeah and you know one of the things coming out the draft was how well he ran route so maybe you know it took a year to kind of get comfortable with the routes to running you know he's gonna have a he's gonna know the system as we talked about you know a little bit before is it these guys are coming into the same system they're not having to relearn something he's had an entire year to get on the same page with Drew Pinsky I just think this is the the table is set for Anthony Miller to have a really nice season I love it alright the clock is off our final question as it is with every Buffone 55 show at least what I think we've been doing this two years now we're your final question in the second half is what you do a pep talk and I thought it would be fun for you to do a pep talk to some very special people in the Chicago Bears now coaching staff they rarely are the recipients of pep talks as far as I know and this fair staff might be the least likely to need them nonetheless I thought it would might you know might be pretty cool for you to motivate the motivators so the clock is off and whenever you're ready go for it well fellas we're in that interesting pocket between the draft being over rookie camps coming and going and we're starting to fully jump into the 2019 season prep now I know a lot of you guys aren't on Twitter cuz you're all up there and aged a little bit but let me pull back the curtain everyone thinks this squad is a flash in the and team they think Matt isn't the offensive mastermind he's made out to be they think losing Vic was the worst thing that's happened at his franchise since hiring Mel Tucker as the defensive coordinator they think the team was lucky for staying healthy something the Bears haven't been able to do in a decade they think the defense is gonna fall way back with Chuck leading the way they think the schedule is going to bury you they think the Bears were just a placeholder in 2018 that the Vikings and Packers are still going to battle it out for first place for God's sakes you were just put as 12th in the league Power Rankings by CBS such disrespect well I'm tired of hearing this team as a fraud I'm tired of hearing that this team this is a one-year wonder that they're the chumbawamba of the NFL I'm sure you're tired of hearing it too so instead of firing back verbally let's start building up the Arsenal build this team up now so in September you shut those teams up by punching them square in the mouth September is coming fellas but right now we prepare and that means we're gonna take another hiatus from Buffone 55 but we're gonna be back soon we're just getting warmed up guys it's gonna be a long season this episode of a phone 55 will be on your podcast stream Friday morning please make sure you share it with your friends and give us a review we're on all the podcast delivery systems iTunes pod being spotify google play stitcher Sanga the people still have sango's is that if the people does anybody remember Xango do you name it all you have to do is search for bears barroom radio network and we will pop-up Auto what you got well I want to remind people that the Mike North advantage is now on Mondays at 7 p.m. live we talk sports and do interviews and then on Wednesday we start a little earlier Vegas scores and odds is sponsoring that show and Mike will give up three free picks for that night's action he was two-in-one yesterday so if you want to make a little cash tune in next Wednesday at 4 o'clock and then I tried to get excuse me at 3 o'clock and then I try to get the podcasts out as quickly as possible for those of you driving home and thinking about laying a little bet on the game and enjoying the game a little bit more and making some milk money alright also the bar flight tailgate show is back the their first episode with a new crew is on your podcast dream take a listen to that oh my gosh these guys brought it and then next Tuesday is the debut of blitz bears it's a new show produced by the guys who have brought you moist NFL Jon Buffone has been a guest number of times on that show they are going to have their own unique take on the Bears that's it for me John you take it home oh man Aldo is so great to be back in the bar room can't wait to do this in on more consistent basis barflies thanks for tuning in so next time we'll see you later you

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