ECD isn’t buying what the media is selling in regards to the Bears’ plans at runningback." From The Desk Of...Roster AnalysisThe myth that is “backfield by committee” New Marcus Cooper Jersey ,106commentsECD isn’t buying what the media is selling in regards to the Bears’ plans at runningback. CDTShare this storyShare this on FacebookShare this on TwitterShareAll sharing optionsShareAll sharing options for:The myth that is “backfield by committee” TwitterFacebookRedditPocketFlipboardEmailPhoto by Tim Warner/Getty ImagesBackfield by Committee - the suggestion that a team’s running game is comprised of several players being featured as opposed to one. Almost every kind of source for speculation within the NFL has been suggesting the Chicago Bears intend to deploy such a method during the 2019 regular season. Shoot, a large number of my peers agree with that idea. A large amount of overhauling has been made with the Bears’ backfield. Instead of the “Pony Express” formerly led by Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen, we now have DMC (Davis, Montgomery, Cohen) in our backfield. Yeah, I’m buying this “committee” shortly after I purchase earthquake insurance in the state of Florida. Or the moment after Jason La Canfora makes a credible statement regarding the Chicago Bears. Whichever comes first. First, we’ll address the tweet. It’s a cool concept, and it features the idea of all three backs getting some type of action this season. And, a backfield which features a Ghidorah-like manifestation — a three headed monster — would be pretty difficult to defend against. It also doesn’t tell you who’s the featured back, nor their honest plans, at least not outright. In my full opinion, I believe for a backfield to be considered a “committee” as opposed to having a featured back, the leading player would have to have less than 55% of the offense’s total workload. This includes the cumulative amount of handoffs, targets in the receiving game, and pass protection in the passing game.I asked my fellow writers here at WCG to weigh in on how they see the Bears’ backfield shaping up this year. Here are some of their thoughts. For comparison’s sake, let’s look at how the Bears divided up the workload last season in terms of snaps percentages between Jordan Howard, Tarik Cohen, Taquan Mizzell, and Benny Cunningham. Bears 2018 RB Snaps PercentagesPlayerSnap %PlayerSnap %One item to note is how each player was used last season. I used Pro Football Reference to gather my data for this section of the article.Jordan Howard, who was the de-facto featured back in the rotation, saw a lopsided amount of work running the ball as opposed to being used in the entire gameplan. In fact, Howard was targeted just 26 times as a receiver in 2018, while rushing 250 times. The Bears’ new featured back will be expected to have a much larger role as a receiver heading into 2019. Tarik Cohen, on the other hand, was almost 50/50 a receiver as much as he was handed the ball. He was targeted 91 times in the passing game https://www.thebearsfanshop.com/Kyle-Fuller-Jersey , and rushed the ball 99 times in 2018. This is on top of being the Bears’ ace punt returner on special teams. Between Taquan Mizzell and Benny Cunningham, Mizzell rushed the ball 9 times and was targeted 8 times; Cunningham was targeted just twice while rushing 11 times. Cunningham already left the team in free agency, and I do not expect Mizzell to have much of anything outside of special teams next season thanks to Mike Davis’s arrival.As the Bears enter year two on offense under Matt Nagy, I’ll bring up the percentages and usage of the Kansas City Chiefs in 2017. That is what I envision Nagy’s gameplan becoming when it’s develop into a more advanced stage in Chicago. Their backfield consisted of the following players: Kareem Hunt; Charcandrick West; Akeem Hunt; and C.J. Spiller. Chiefs 2017 RB Snaps PercentagesPlayerSnap %PlayerSnap %The biggest difference between the Bears’ backfield in 2018 and the Chiefs’ backfield in 2017 is balance in the featured back’s role. Kareem Hunt led the league in rushing yards with 1,327 yards on 272 carries as a rookie. He was also targeted 63 times as a receiver in the passing game. This is the type of role we should expect the Bears’ lead back to have in 2019. Having multiple options in the backfield is tough to defend. Defending against a true 3-down player at runningback is much harder. Meanwhile, Chardandrick West’s role was more receiver-oriented than being a true runningback. He rushed the ball 18 times while being targeted 34 times in the passing game. I envision Cohen in a similar matter — seeing more action as a receiver than as a rusher — although I do believe he’ll continue to be a bigger factor in the Bears’ offense than West was in the Chiefs’. For the rest of the Chiefs’ backfield; A. Hunt rushed the ball 8 times and was targeted 4 times, and C.J. Spiller had 2 carries and 2 targets. I definitely see Mike Davis having a much larger amount of work than both of these players combined. As we can clearly see, Matt Nagy doesn’t use a committee approach for his backfield. Yes, the Bears now have three talented players who all can catch as well as they can run the ball in David Montgomery, Mike Davis, and Tarik Cohen. Yet the suggestion that having three talented players at the RB position automatically a committee, is a complete fallacy. That, to me, is simply quality depth. Don’t believe me? Then consider the following. Tarik Cohen was used evenly as a receiver and a rusher. There’s no reason to believe his work at receiver will lighten up any time soon. Instead, thanks to the arrival of both Davis and Montgomery, expect for his opportunities and snaps at receiver to increase. This includes the addition of Cordarrelle Patterson, who too will see his fair share of gadget type plays on offense. Mike Davis factors in as the ideal 3rd down back in Matt Nagy’s offense. That was the role he played with a run-heavy offense in the Seattle Seahawks’ gameplans, and thanks to his balance between being a tough runner and a capable receiver, he’ll receive a decent chunk of the snaps behind David Montgomery and Tarik Cohen. And then there’s David Montgomery himself. The perfect fit as a 3-down player at this position. Both Matt Nagy and Ryan Pace have confirmed as much in their respective thoughts at seperate conferences. David Montgomery is the player the Bears were missing in their offense last season. Tough, explosive, and pops violently in close quarters without needing a large volume of carries to get going. The noise regarding the perceived lack of “top-end speed” is over-rated; Montgomery’s 40-time nearly matched Hunt’s (4.63 vs. 4.62) and is better than Le’Veon Bell’s (4.66). Montgomery’s game/on-field speed is what counts, and when he receives good blocking up front — a rarity while at Iowa State — he’s gone. Pace’s actions in the draft speak for themselves. He traded up 14 slots in the 3rd round for the right to draft Montgomery. Every time Ryan Pace has traded up in the draft, it has resulted in a player who figures as a primary player at their position. Bears trade up in the 2016 draft for Leonard Floyd Bears trade up in the 2017 draft for Mitchell Trubisky and Eddie Jackson Bears trade up in the 2018 draft for Anthony Miller The only one who isn’t a full-time starter (yet) is Anthony Miller. His expectations are sky-high for 2019. Montgomery’s expectations are similar as a rookie. And, really, why on earth would you trade up in the top 4 rounds for anybody who isn’t a likely starter at some point? Trading up for a rotational/committee player would result in terrible value and wasted resources. There is no question that Montgomery is Matt Nagy’s guy at RB moving forward. So Bryce Callahan Color Rush Jersey , this leads me to my expectations for the Bears’ offense during the 2019 season. ECD’s expected percentages for 2019PlayerSnap %PlayerSnap %Where I do not expect Montgomery to have as much of a load as Kareem Hunt did during his rookie season, it won’t be because of who the better player is. Rather, it’ll be because Cohen and Davis are that much better than C. West and all the other backs Matt Nagy had at Kansas City and last year in Chicago. Cohen will see another year of a fairly balanced load between receiver and runningback. However, since Montgomery will likely earn the vast majority of totes, I do see the balance being 45/55 between rushing and receiving. Besides, Cohen is the Bears’ most explosive receiver in their inventory, they’ll use that to their advantage. And Davis, where he’s not as explosive as either Montgomery or Cohen, will be quite a catch as the 3rd back in this rotation. He’ll likely produce similar numbers with the Bears as he did with the Seahawks, albeit I do not see him registering a single start unless something happened to either Montgomery or Cohen. Which isn’t a knock on him, it’s more a testament to how good both those later players are. Will the Bears use all three of Davis, Montgomery, and Cohen (DMC) next season? Absolutely. Will this result in the Bears deploying a “backfield by committee” tactic? Absolutely not. Look for Nagy to develop various packages highlighting all three players, if not a 3-back formation like, say, the T-Formation? Now that I can dig. Just don’t call it a committee. All statistics and snap counts are taken directly from the NFL’s Game Statistic and Information System.The Chicago Bears beat the best team in the NFC, so does that make them the top dog of the conference? Record wise, the Bears are still third at 9-4, but by shutting down the explosive Los Angeles Rams, by a final score of 15 to 6, the entire league is taking notice of the Bears. Chicago’s offense wasn’t firing on all cylinders, but the running game had their biggest showing this year by picking up 194 of the Bears’ 294 yards. And by the way, the Rams only managed to pick up 214 yards of total offense. Before Sunday night, the Rams were averaging 439 yards per game and 34.9 points per game.Chicago also held the edge in first downs (17 to 14), third down conversion percentage (44% to 25%) Josh Bellamy Jersey , and time of possession (36:49 to 23:11).The only place the Rams had the “edge” was in penalties. They were hit with 9 for 57 yards, to only 6 for 45 for the Bears. This is what the Bears did to L.A. on Sunday Night. Tweets courtesy of one of the best Twitter follows around, and our very own Bears’ Historian, Jack M Silverstein.This next one reads like a horror story. Now let’s take a closer look at the playing time break downs for the Bears, and also a few of the individual stats.OFFENSEMitchell Trubisky had his worst game as a pro by completing only 16 of 30 passes for 110 yards, with 1 TD and 3 interceptions, for a 33.3 passer rating. He did get 23 yards on the ground and he was only sacked once. His TD pass wentto offensive lineman Bradley Sowell. Jordan Howard had his best game of the year with 101 yards on 19 carries, and a reception for 2 yards. Tarik Cohen continued his all around solid play with 9 runs for 69 yards, and 4 catches for 20 yards. He had 1 punt return for 22 yards. The leading receiver on the night was Allen Robinson II with 5 grabs for 42 yards. He was also targeted a team high 8 times. Also notice the i play ech for those four defensive players on the bottom of that snap count list. All four of those guys were in on the ‘Santa’s Sleigh’ play where Sowell high pointed his TD. DEFENSEThe Bears’ leading tackler was defensive back Sherrick McManis with 7, and he added a tackle for loss and a quarterback hit. Corner Prince Amukamara and inside linebacker Roquan Smith each had 6 tackles and they each had an interception. Prince’s 3 passed defended tied for the team lead with Eddie Jackson, who also had a pick. The other interception wentto Kyle Fuller, who leads the team with 7 on the 2018 season. The Bears had three sacks with one each going to Akiem Hicks, Eddie Goldman, and Khalil Mack. Khalil picked up a forced fumble on his sack. Chicago’s defense held Rams’ running back Todd Gurley to just 28 yards rushing and they held Jared Goff to a 19.1 passer rating. Besides the 4 interceptions and 3 sacks, they had a safety, 5 TFL, 7 QBH, and 10 PD. SPECIAL TEAMSThe players listed above only appeared in the third phase.Head coach Matt Nagy pointed out the good game by punter Patrick O’Donnell in the post game presser. O’Donnell punted 5 times with a 41.8 net average while placing 4 punts inside the 20. Kicker Cody Parkey missed 1 of 3 field goals and he made his only extra point. Benny Cunningham, Nick Kwiatkoski, and Josh Bellamy each had a special teams’ tackle. The Rams did convert on a fake punt, but it was a close play. To check out all the team and individual stats from the game, I find that ESPN has an easy to navigate site. Just click the links above to see the full statistical picture.