Chicago Bears Paying Extra Attention To Fan Favorite QB

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Dec 19, 2020; Charlotte, NC, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish quarterback Ian Book (12) warms up before the game at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Quarterbacks are going to be the central focus for the Chicago Bears this offseason. Hardly a surprise given the circumstances. Mitch Trubisky is gone. Nick Foles is on the trade block. Andy Dalton might be their starter in 2021 but he’s working on a one-year deal. Everything points to them investing in some sort of young option when the NFL draft arrives later this month.

All rumors have indicated they’re putting in a ton of work on the class. Everybody from the 1st round guys all the way to the Day 3 options. Even some potential undrafted free agents. One name that seemed to have their attention recently? Notre Dame quarterback Ian Book. A source said the Bears representatives in attendance were “all over” the senior, talking to him a lot.

This is certainly an interesting development.

People keep talking about the Bears adding one young quarterback this offseason. It honestly wouldn’t be a shock if they added two. One early in the draft and another either later in the draft or in undrafted free agency. Chicago has a strong pipeline to Notre Dame on the undrafted circuit. Sam Mustipher and Alex Bars, both of whom protected Book, have found success with the Bears offensive line.

When it comes to on-field success? Few can match Book’s run with the Irish. Since 2018, he went 29-5 as a starter. He finished with 8,492 passing yards, 68 touchdowns, and 16 interceptions. He also ran for over 1,200 yards and scored an additional 17 touchdowns. All told, he ranks second all-time in passing yards, passing touchdowns, and total touchdowns in program history.

It’s not hard to see why the Chicago Bears like Book

He is a gamer. A competitor and a leader. Teammates love him and played hard for him. He had an innate ability to elevate his play in big moments. Really good improvisational skills. So why isn’t he getting more buzz? A simple case of lacking ability. Book is only 6’0 tall. He is undersized for NFL quarterbacks and he doesn’t have the arm strength to make up for that issue. His ability to throw down the field with velocity just isn’t there.

When evaluating him, it’s best to view it not through the lens of a potential future starter. Book feels much more like a Chase Daniel type. A smart player with a strong work ethic who will survive 10 years in the NFL as a backup. This isn’t a bad thing. Backup quarterbacks are important. The Chicago Bears know this better than most franchises given how often they’re forced to use them.

Book would be a quality investment towards that end.

Who knows. Maybe there’s more to his game than the coaches at Notre Dame were able to unlock. Either way, it is apparent the Bears were making their interest in him known. Not a bad plan if they’re hoping to secure him as a free agent after the draft. Having ex-teammates like Bars and Mustipher will probably help with that. This will be something to monitor towards the end of the month.

SOURCE© Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
Educated to be a writer at the prestigious Columbia College in Chicago, Erik has spent the past 10 years covering the Bears.
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