Sunday, July 3, 2022

Byron Pringle Said To Already Be Giving Bears Offense Juice


Ryan Poles was battered by a lot of people for his work on the Chicago Bears‘ wide receiving corps this off-season. While other teams were taking massive swings at the position, Poles was opting for calculated bargains. His biggest acquisition in free agency was former Chiefs standout Byron Pringle. Then he secured Velus Jones in the 3rd round of the draft. To experts, his best efforts were a former backup and a 25-year-old rookie. In the mind of the GM, he got two explosive targets for Justin Fields.

Projections already say the Bears have the worst receiving corps in the NFL. Fields, to his credit, spoke out in defense of his new arsenal, believing there is more than enough talent to get the job done. Based on early impressions from minicamps and OTAs, those might not be entirely empty words. Adam Jahns of The Athletic is among the most respected on the Bears beat. He is always neutral in his stance, only offering praise when warranted. That is why his comments about Pringle were hard to ignore on the Hoge & Jahns podcast.

That comment was unprompted too.

Jahns was talking about the confusion of identifying Bears players by their jersey numbers because of how many new faces were on the roster. When Pringle came up, he paused to offer that considerable praise. It sounds like the 28-year-old was giving the defense problems over the middle. He and Fields seem to be developing chemistry at a rapid rate. That bodes well for the coming months.

As already stated, it is essential not to get caught up in the hype yet. Making plays in shorts is way different than doing so in pads. Then again, that won’t intimidate somebody like Pringle. He fought his way into the league as an undrafted free agent and then clawed his way into meaningful reps on one of the most stacked offenses in the NFL. Taking on challenges is the same as breathing for him.

Byron Pringle will finally get what he’s searched for.

Genuine starter reps. That was never going to happen in Kansas City. Not with guys like Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce being the focus of that passing attack. Of course, he couldn’t have predicted the Chiefs would trade Hill after he left as a free agent. Even so, Pringle will be a major factor in an offense for the first time. His 60 targets last season were the highest of his NFL career and yet were only good for fourth-most on the team.

With Allen Robinson out of the picture, only Darnell Mooney sits above Byron Pringle at this point in the pecking order for Fields. On paper anyway. If what Jahns says is true and he continues to provide juice for the offense, then Poles will soon be vindicated for his decision-making over the past three months.

It will be fun to see how this develops.

Pringle will likely spend most of his time in the slot where his quickness and toughness often served him best. Thanks to their blazing speed, Mooney and Jones will make life easier for him, keeping defenses honest. It is the same situation he exploited with Hill and Mecole Hardman in Kansas City. This speaks to a clear plan in mind.

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