Vic Fangio is entering his fourth year as the Bears’ defensive coordinator, and does so with a certain level of continuity he hasn’t had in years past. To wit: The 2017 Bears had to replace five of their top 20 snap-getters from 2016; that number, in practice, was actually six after Jerrell Freeman suffered a season-ending injury against the Atlanta Falcons in Week 1.
The 2018 Bears will have to replace five of their 20 most-used players from 2017, to be fair, but consider where each of those players ranked in terms of defensive snaps received the previous year: 2017 players to replace in 2018: Christian Jones (8th), Mitch Unrein (13th), Pernell McPhee (14th), Lamarr Houston (17th), Quintin Demps (20th) 2016 players to replace in 2017: Tracy Porter (1st), Jerrell Freeman (4th), Harold Jones-Quartey (5th), Cornelius Washington (14th), Jacoby Glenn (18th), Demontre Hurst (19th) The point being this: There’s far more year-to-year consistency on the top end of Fangio’s current defense than he had a year ago.
Hamilton fans chanted Manziel’s name Friday night as Tiger-Cats starter Jeremiah Masoli played longer than expected in the CFL exhibition game against Toronto.
Manziel entered with 3:38 remaining in the second quarter, via Mike Rodak of ESPN, and the backup quarterback completed 9 of 12 passes for 80 yards. Manziel played five possessions.
Masoli played seven possessions, throwing for 56 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions. But Hamilton coach June Jones already has declared that Masoli absolutely will start the regular-season opener June 16.
Manziel played two Spring League games in April before deciding to sign with the Tiger-Cats, where he will try to resurrect his career. A first-round pick of the Browns in 2014, the former Heisman Trophy winner went 2-6 with seven interceptions and seven touchdowns in two NFL seasons.
Luck wouldn’t let another take the helm, anyway. He’s a selfless teammate but shares control of his rehab with nobody, probably why Colts owner Jim Irsay dropped several references last year to the four inches between (Luck’s) ears when Luck’s rehab was going slowly. Yes sir, Reich is right: Nobody else will steer this ship.
But Luck prefers a race car analogy.