Wondering about a player, a past game or another issue involving the Bears? Senior writer Larry Mayer answers a variety of questions from fans on ChicagoBears.com.
How many picks do the Bears have in this year’s draft?
The Bears currently have five picks in this year’s draft. They have their own selections in Rounds 3, 4, 5 and 7 and an additional seventh-rounder they acquired from the Philadelphia Eagles last summer in exchange for cornerback Deiondre’ Hall. The Bears dealt their first- and sixth-round picks to the Oakland Raiders last Sept. 1 in the Khalil Mack trade and sent their second-round choice to the New England Patriots last year to move up to select receiver Anthony Miller in the second round of the draft.
It seems like the Bears drew very few penalties last season. Where did they rank?
The Bears drew 97 penalties during the 2018 season, the eighth fewest in the NFL. It was a significant turnaround from the previous year when they were assessed 115 penalties, the eighth most in the league. The first thing that jumped out to me when looking at a breakdown of the infractions in 2018 was that the Bears committed both the fewest offensive holding penalties (7) and defensive holding fouls (5) in the NFL. I asked coach Matt Nagy this week about what he credits the low number of penalties to and he said: “Some of it is discipline and the other part is just the guys knowing where to be, so they don’t have to grab if they’re late to a play. We have excellent coaches that know fundamentals and teaching and credit the players for doing it. We want to make sure we keep teaching what the rules are, and our coaches do a great job with making sure our players understand them.”
I saw a list of worst-to-first teams and was wondering how many of those teams won their division with a first-year head coach like the Bears.
There have been 25 teams that have gone from worst-to-first since 2002 when the NFL realigned into eight four-team divisions. Of the 25, Matt Nagy became the sixth head coach to take over a last-place club and led it to a division championship in his first year. The five who preceded him were Jim Mora (2004 Falcons), Sean Payton (2006 Saints), Tony Sparano (2008 Dolphins), John Fox (2011 Broncos) and Chip Kelly (2013 Eagles).