Wednesday, July 10, 2024

Evidence Reveals The Chicago Bears May Regret Ignoring Vital Position


The Chicago Bears did a great job spreading their resources around this off-season to upgrade almost every position group on the roster. Wide receiver is miles better. The offensive line is deeper. Their secondary is more versatile. They’ve gotten more explosive at running back. GM Ryan Poles deserves credit for getting the roster to this point. However, there is still one area that continues getting attention for how surprisingly quite the Bears have been addressing it over the past four months. That is the backup quarterback spot.

Tyson Bagent returns after his surprising ascent as an undrafted rookie to become last year’s primary backup. He was joined by veteran Brett Rypien, who has limited playing experience during his career and wasn’t any good when he did play. Joe Tansey of Bleacher Report believes the Bears are taking a dangerous risk by riding with those two behind Caleb Williams.

“But after all the quarterback injuries across the NFL in 2023, the Bears have to at least be prepared for the worst-case scenario so they do not lose a year.

Tyson Bagent and Brett Rypien will fight for the backup role in training camp. Bagent had three touchdowns and six interceptions in backup duty in 2023. Rypien owns four touchdown passes and nine interceptions in the spot starts he’s had across the league.

Neither player inspires a ton of confidence at the moment, but again, the hope is whomever earns the backup job helps Williams improve instead of playing.”

There is another issue that isn’t talked about enough.

The NFL moved to a 16-game season in 1978. In the 46 years since then, a Bears quarterback has started every game only five times. Jay Cutler was the most recent. That was 15 years ago, in 2009. It seems like the backup quarterback will see action at some point every year.

The Chicago Bears are taking a dangerous gamble.

They seem willing to continue exploring what Bagent can offer as the primary backup, with Rypien as the third-string guy. One can understand that, but it’s important to remember things have changed since last year. Namely, the Bears swapped offensive coordinators. Shane Waldron is the man in charge now, replacing Luke Getsy. The two men are not the same as schemers and play-callers, even if they may share some system inspirations. While Waldron could work to help Bagent adapt to his offense, one would think he’d like some insurance in case the second-year kid struggles to transition.

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Some viable options are still available on the market that could at least provide some security. Ryan Tannehill is the most obvious. He’s a former Pro Bowler with playoff experience. A.J. McCarron had success as a backup in Cincinnati and has enjoyed a productive run in the UFL. Blaine Gabbert has also earned a reputation as a reliable #2 option for several teams. Any one of them would be an obvious upgrade over Rypien and keep Bagent on his toes. Something to keep in mind as camp draws closer.


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Jul 10, 2024 6:15 am

If it’s down to your backup QB your season is basically over anyhow. Nick Foles with the Eagles is about the only time I can remember when a backup actually did something resembling the starter. Why invest money into that position? Look at other top tier franchises, they don’t invest in backup QBs. Does Bagent have some things to clean up? Absolutely! But he did look more comfortable and fluid in the offense than JF did, and stats aside he was 2-2. I understand this is a new OC, but he came from D3 and outperformed a perennial backup to… Read more »

Jul 10, 2024 4:08 am

I couldn’t disagree more. The Bears have done one thing I really respect. They’ve gotten off the expensive veteran back up QB merry go round. They brought in another UDFA QB this year in Austin Reed. He has talent. He can be their third QB on the roster to develop, and you can sign a vet minimum QB to the PS.

Before you get shook by young back up QBS, ask yourself how many games A Hoyer or Peterman would win you?

Jul 10, 2024 12:43 am

Why is Erik writing about back up quarterbacks? I thought the reason he wanted to move on from Fields was that Fields got injured too many times. Obviously Williams won’t be injured. He’s new!

Slip Knotz
Slip Knotz
Jul 9, 2024 10:20 pm

Tannehill has never been able to save a coach’s job. Can’t imagine why a sports writer would put his name out there like that.

Jul 9, 2024 7:59 pm

First Tannys not coming. Second AJ McCarron sucks even in the UFL xfl or whatever fl he played in. Saw him in STL playing first hand. He’s bad. Rypien won’t make final cut. Austin Reed should be the #3 which are inactive on game day anyway. Develop the young guys and if they develop nicely they can be used later as trade bait. Bagent played very well considering he was undrafted and thrust in games his rookie year.

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