Tuesday, July 9, 2024

NFL Execs Reportedly See D’Andre Swift Among NFL’s Top RBs


The Chicago Bears caught some heat from experts and media for their decision to pay running back D’Andre Swift in free agency. Most believe the best trend for NFL teams these days is not to pay a position that has a long track record of burning out quickly. Running backs don’t often stay productive beyond their 30th birthday. GM Ryan Poles didn’t care. He and head coach Matt Eberflus saw Swift as somebody who brought some critical missing elements to their backfield, namely his speed and pass-catching ability.

Still, if the Bears were going to pay somebody, why not shoot for big names like Josh Jacobs or Saquon Barkley? The simplest answer is those guys were more expensive and had more wear and tear on their bodies. Swift has spent most of his career as a part-time committee back. Last season was his first as the true #1 guy. So he’s far less worn down. It also helps that he is good. Execs, coaches, and scouts around the league told Jeremy Fowler of ESPN as much, making him an honorable mention among the league’s best backs.

D’Andre Swift, Chicago Bears: Swift revitalized his career in Philadelphia with 1,049 rushing yards and a Pro Bowl nod. “Had the soft label [in Detroit] but overcame that,” an NFL running backs coach said. “[He’s] really elusive in space, burst, really good speed. [He] does a nice job catching out of the backfield.”

D’Andre Swift doesn’t have to be Walter Payton.

That isn’t why the Bears brought him in. He won’t be required to carry the offense like previous running backs. Chicago wants to build their scheme around quarterback Caleb Williams. That means a pass-first approach that will require multiple targets capable of catching the football. As we’ve already stated, that is one of Swift’s strengths. He will be the perfect outlet if Williams can’t find any of his other targets. It is another reminder of how well thought out this entire depth chart is from Poles’ perspective. Everybody has a specific role in helping the machine work.

If D’Andre Swift can duplicate the season he had last year for Philadelphia, the Bears are in great shape. Khalil Herbert and Roschon Johnson should help him maintain the ground attack and help in blocking. His primary job is creating mismatches in the passing game. If he stays healthy, it should be a good year for him. It will be interesting to see how the Bears utilize his touches. Shane Waldron likely has different ideas about the running back position from Luke Getsy. Swift will have to stay flexible.

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Jul 9, 2024 11:06 am

@Dr. Melhus — Once again, you’ve missed the point. It’s a simple, fact-based indictment of GM, Ryan Poles — an inept judge of NFL talent, proficiency and value. It seems you’ve forgotten that in his effort to improve RB production, Ryan Poles drafted Ebner at #313 in the 6th round of his initial NFL draft (2022) as the Bears GM. Unfortunately, Trestan Ebner has been out of the league since 2023. Trestan Ebner’s “numbers” are superior to D’Andre Swift’s — and yet Ebner is no longer in the league. The “numbers” alone, are never enough! Ryan Poles seems enamored with… Read more »

Dr. Melhus
Jul 8, 2024 11:26 pm

@BearDownTX – I’m familiar with the Twain quote. That said, when statistics are used properly, they can be very illuminating. When used improperly, they can lie like the biggest rug on the planet. I mean, suppose we compared Ebner’s 40 and splits against Tom Brady’s, would that make Ebner a better QB than Brady? The idea is laughably absurd. Compare the right statistics in a relevant way. For example, saying there are more murders in the US than in Mexico might make sense, but it’s wrong. There were 21156 murders (per the FBI) in the US in 2023, and 42,013… Read more »

Jul 8, 2024 5:20 pm

Since loves quotes and stats so much: “I can prove anything by statistics except the truth. There are three kinds of lies, Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics.”
-Mark Twain (though he credits Benjamin Disraeli)

Jul 8, 2024 4:56 pm

Sorry I forgot …thank you Dr. Melhus. Nice to read things from rational people.

Jul 8, 2024 4:53 pm

Ya ya ya..thanks for your skewed view gena….twist it however you like in your own mind. What do you care how much $$ the Bears spend? Does it hurt your wallet? They get a few good years out of him then in a couple years draft a top RB for his replacement. This buys some time while they fill other needs.

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