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Unlocked: Ask Hub, wild-card postmortem

January 9, 2019

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Why does Mizzell even get any snaps when you have Howard and Cohen on the team?? Makes no sense to me. Especially Cohen who touched the ball only 4 times

Howard didn’t get nearly enough either. Made Mitch throw 43 times and carry the offense

That would appear to be the $64 million question. I don’t know anyone — and no offense but I’m not talking about fans; I’m talking about evaluators whose talent opinions are really solid — that has figured out what the Bears like about Taquan Mizzell. It’s not that he’s awful or even bad; he’s just not good. He was below average in training camp, and yet they put him on the practice squad.

They activated him and have given him touches in every game, and he’s made one play — a 20-some-yard catch on the sideline on a Trubisky scramble.

He was a good yards-from-scrimmage guy at Virginia, and really just a decent running back — as much a pass catcher as a runner. He scored just 19 touchdowns in four years at Virginia.

I wish I had an answer for you. But I can’t even explain why he’s on the roster ahead of Ryan Nall, the rookie out of Oregon State on the practice squad who totally outplayed him in training camp, not to even mention the touches he’s taking away from Howard and Cohen.

Obviously, Matt Nagy sees something in him that nobody else does.

Hub, should that fumble that no one recovered have been treated the same as a fumble out of bounds?

No. Common sense says it should have been, but that’s not what the rule book says. It’s very much like the ridiculous rule that a ball fumbled out of the end zone goes to the defense as a touchback.

The officials first incorrectly called it an incompletion, after Miller caught the ball and took three steps in a football move, which is why he didn’t have to possess it to the ground before he lost it going to the ground.

Cre’Von LeBlanc did rip it out before Miller hit the ground, but it was initially ruled an incompletion.

The problem is no player from either team picked up the football. Everyone walked away and an official picked it up.

What we don’t know is whether the whistle blew before the official picked up the ball, after, or at all.

There is a little-known rule, buried in the rule book, that in exactly that situation the ball is retained by the offense at the original line of scrimmage.

It’s an unfortunate rule that probably didn’t anticipate a situation like the one in the Bears game, but the rule really doesn’t favor either side.

The officials got it right.

I know everyone is talking about Parkey, and should, but I want to know what Nagy was thinking when he had Bellamy returning kicks. The guy is not that fast and Eagles were kicking to him to return it! Put Tarik out there for the last kickoff and he ran it to the forty-five.

It really doesn’t make any sense if you think Cohen is your best kickoff returner — which the Bears obviously do if he was the choice on the most important kickoff of the season — that you don’t have him returning kicks from the opening whistle.

You’re right.

However, there are more than a few considerations when it comes to Bellamy. He will never be more than a fourth or fifth receiver, but he is an outstanding special teamer, one of the most versatile players on the roster, hardest workers and he is a leader who they knew wouldn’t make a mistake or put the ball on the ground.

Nagy has had an outstanding rookie season and will probably be the NFL Coach of the Year, but he is a rookie and made his share of rookie mistakes. I’m not sure if it’s clear letting Bellamy return kicks rises to that level.

After a horrible season of kicking, you really can’t bring him (Parkey) back can you?

You can, and the Bears might, but it doesn’t seem like a very good idea.

The Bears run a risk cutting Parkey as Nagy has built his new Bears culture by preaching brotherhood, and he’s apparently done a good job because every player we talked to Monday was adamant and believable stating they had Parkey’s back, thought he was a great kicker and that they want him back and know he’ll make the next one. Whether they all believe it or not, they care enough to try and sell it.

If Nagy cuts Parker, what kind of message might the locker room get about whether loyalty is a two-way street with management?

The problem with bringing him back, though, is every time he goes out to kick, how much more pressure will he put on the entire team, and how much harder will it be for the Bears to defend him the next time he inevitably misses a kick?

It would be admirable to show the ultimate loyalty to him and bring Parkey back, but it would be a bad football move, and both Ryan Pace’s and Matt Nagy’s ultimate responsibility is to always make the best football move.

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