Tag Archives: Nate Davis

Offseason Pickup Considered Bears’ ‘Best Kept Secret’ in 2023

The Chicago Bears did a lot to overhaul their roster on both sides of the ball.

Key to that was adding offensive lineman Nate Davis to a much-maligned group from 2022. It contributed to a league-high 55 sacks for quarterback Justin Fields.

He’s now considered the team’s ‘best-kept secret’.

Nate Davis Considered Bears’ ‘Best Kept Secret’

“Playing in Tennessee last season, [Davis] finished as the 17th-ranked guard by [Pro Football Focus’s metrics,” writes Alex Ballentine of Bleacher Report naming each team’s ‘best-kept secret’ on March 21. “He’s been a consistent starter for some good offensive lines during his time in Tennessee. He’s the kind of underrated addition that raises the floor of the Bears offense.”

Chicago signed Davis to a three-year, $30 million contract with $19.2 million guaranteed after he helped block for two-time rushing champion Derrick Henry who tallied over 1500 yards on the ground last season.

And for a look at Davis in the run game, keep an eye on No. 64 in the clip below.

Adding Davis also allowed the Bears to slide third-year man Teven Jenkins over to the left side and move 2022 starting left guard Cody Whitehair in at center. In theory, one signing should strengthen three positions with rookie Darnell Wright – the No. 10 overall pick of the 2023 NFL Draft – manning the right tackle position.

Bears Need 3rd-Year Leap From Justin Fields

Fields and the Bears boasted the NFL’s best rushing attack, racking up nearly 300 yards over the No. 2 team, the Baltimore Ravens.

The third-year quarterback led the charge with 1143 yards on the ground. But the Bears are hoping his retooled offensive line – plus some new weapons in D.J. Moore and Robert Tonyan – will see him take that next step as a passer.

Early indications have been positive.

Bears Coaches Deliver Encouraging Message About Justin Fields

And Fields is saying all of the right things.

“The guys who were in the offense last year are way more comfortable this year with the playbook,” Fields told Larry Mayer of ChicagoBears.com, “and focusing on the defense rather than just the little stuff with the offense because they know it, they know the foundation of it.”

Darnell Mooney ‘Disrespecting Everbody’ in ’23

One of Fields’ top weapons of 2022, wide receiver Darnell Mooney, did not finish the season, succumbing to an ankle injury that require surgery and cost him the final three weeks of the season. Heading into a contract year, Mooney says that he is no longer concerned with others’ opinions of him.

“Ball out. Dominate,” Mooney said on ‘The 33rd Team’ podcast on May 18. “I’m not really on the ‘respect my name’ anymore. I’m just disrespecting everybody now. Don’t really care about respect no more. Other than that, I just want to win. I don’t really care about anything else.”

Mooney is just one year removed from his first 1000-yard campaign.

If he can return to full health, he may be poised for a big year with Moore in tow to take away opposing defenses’ attention. At the same time, there are a lot more proven mouths to feed than there were at this time last season. Whatever happens, the Bears’ offense figures to be worlds better this coming season.

Former Bears Starter Gets Fresh Start with Super Bowl Contender

The Chicago Bears officially watched a former starter ink a deal with a new team on May 15. They had 14 players appear in all 17 games last season and, of those, only two were offensive linemen.

They have committed to one, left tackle Braxton Jones, for the foreseeable future. The other, center Sam Mustipher, was allowed to walk away as a free agent this offseason. But he has now found a new home and top-10 odds at a Super Bowl, per Vegas Insider.

“Ravens have been looking to add more interior OL depth,” tweeted Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic confirming the signing on May 15. “They also didn’t have backup center after Trystan Colon signed w/Jets. Mustipher is an Owings Mills native, so he’ll be coming home. He started 40 games for the Bears over past 3 seasons.”

Baltimore Ravens Add Former Chicago Bears Starter

Sam Mustipher was Durable

Things did not go well for Mustipher last season.

He graded out as the Bears; worst starting lineman, per Pro Football Focus. But, as a former undrafted free agent in 2020 out of Notre Dame, he is no stranger to adversity.

Mustipher wound up as the Bears’ starting center last season after 2022 offseason free-agent acquisition Lucas Patrick suffered a string of injuries starting in training camp that limited him to just five starts in seven total appearances and only 10 snaps all season at center.

With Patrick under contract this season and the Bears adding Nate Davis at right guard and Darnell Wright at right tackle – alongside incumbents Jenkins, Jones, and Cody Whitehair, it was clear fairly early on that Mustipher would be the odd man and at best would have had to fight for a roster spot this time around.

Already free to pursue new opportunities, he lands in a pretty good one, just one play away from potentially snapping the ball to former MVP Lamar Jackson.

Bears Lock Up Three More Rookies

“Bears first-round pick Darnell Wright, third-round pick Zacch Pickens and fourth-round pick Tyler Scott each signed Monday,” reported ESPN NFL insider Adam Schefter on May 15. That brings the total number of signees from the 2023 NFL Draft class to seven. They previously signed four other rookies on May 9 – linebacker Noah Sewell, defensive lineman Travis Bell, as well as defensive backs Terrell Smith and Kendall Williamson.

That just leaves second-round picks Gervon Dexter Sr. and Tyrique Stevenson and fourth-round running back Roshon Johnson who could have a chance to steal away the starting job this offseason.
Mustipher joins former Bears linebacker Roquan Smith who was traded to Baltimore last season.

Bears Add Former Pro Bowler to Coaching Staff

The Bears announced the hiring of two new coaches as part of the Bill Walsh Diversity Coaching Fellowship on May 15. Both are former NFL players and one, former Tennesee Titans running back Eddie George was a multi-time Pro Bowler in his nine-year career. He is also the current head coach at HBCU Tennesse State University

Chicago’s other hire – Randy Shannon – is a former linebacker who spent two years with the Dallas Cowboys from 1989 through 1990 and brings over 30 years of coaching experience.

Shannon is the current co-defensive coordinator at Florida State.

“We are very excited to welcome these two highly talented coaches in Eddie and Randy. Allowing them to join our staff during our OTAs enables us to offer this unique opportunity to current college coaches during their offseason,” Bears head coach Matt Eberflus said, per the team website. “We are confident that these coaches will be great assets to our team during their time here, and we are looking forward to learning from them as well.”

Bears GM Sends Strong Message on Plans to Fix Glaring Roster Flaw

The program was created to give coaches their first taste of NFL coaching during training camps to aid in securing a full-time position in the future.

Chicago has previously worked with other ex-players such as former journeyman quarterback Henry Burris who former head coach Matt Nagy made a quality assurance coach during the 2021 season.