Although Robert Quinn has not yet appeared for the voluntary portion of the Chicago Bears off-season program, he is still making an impact in the defensive line meeting room.
New Line coach Travis Smith spent the past two seasons with the Las Vegas Raiders working with Rod Marinelli, who coached Quinn in 2019 with the Dallas Cowboys.
“A lot of our tapes we showed in his room are[Quinn’s]skill-development progress tapes in Dallas that I already cut from Marinelli,” Smith said. “While we set it up specifically for young people, it’s nice for them to see how he works his pass-rush progress.”
Smith has met Quinn, who came to Halas Hall last month to receive the Brian Piccolo Award two days before the draft, and they have spoken on the phone. When Smith will actually get the chance to coach Quinn remains to be seen. Coach Matt Eberfluss said “it’s my hope” that Quinn will be in the mandatory minicamp in mid-June.
Quinn’s absence – and veteran free-agent Saini al-Quadin Muhammad was also not on the field during the media’s presence – created opportunities for young players such as Travis Gipson and rookie Dominic Robinson, and even veteran Jeremiah Ataochu. created surplus.
Smith believes switching to a 4-3 front could benefit Gipson, who played his hand in the dirt in college in Tulsa before previous coaching staff changed him to an outside linebacker. Gipson had seven sacks playing a 49% defensive snap in 2021 and could be ready for another leap.
“The first thing I noticed with Gipson is that he has a great deal of knowledge about the quarterback,” Smith said. “Last year he produced a lot of balls. It is not something that comes naturally to everyone.
“He has a good idea that when you’re an edge rusher, if guys get high in the pocket, he can come back in. Or if he has an edge, he can swing it where he is that quarterback. Can impress and go for the ball as well.”
Robinson has the rare athletic ability for the position as a former quarterback and wide receiver and although he is raw, the Bears believe there is a chance he could be a situational pass rusher as a rookie. .
The Bears wouldn’t learn a ton about the crowds near them until the post-Khalil Mack era went to the pads at training camp, but they learned to evaluate the movement skills of young players while testing their aptitude. Getting a chance to. the scheme.
General Manager Ryan Poles traded Mack to the Los Angeles Chargers for a second-round draft pick, which he used on safety Jaquan Brisker, and the 2023 sixth-round pick, which he traded this year for two seventh-rounders Was. He chose safety Elijah Hicks and painter Trenton Gill along with those options.
The Bears moved to Mack as they are nowhere close to being a competitive team in 2022, although at this time last year at Halas Hall it was thought they were in that mode. Trading Mac also helped clear up the team’s salary-cap situation later this year.
Quinn is perhaps the only veteran left over from the previous regime whom the Poles could turn into draft capital through a trade, and CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora reported last week that Pro Bowl pass rusher is looking to move out of town. If so, finding a business partner can be a win-win for all parties.
“I’m excited about Robert,” Poles said earlier this month during an interview on the “Mulley & Hog Show” on WSCR-AM670. “In terms of tricks and all, this league is crazy. You know, I can’t rule out anything and give absolutes, but I want him on this team.
You can make a case for why the Bears want a 32-year-old on the team. He is a skilled professional and a perfect plan fit, certainly more natural in Eberfalus’ 4-3 defense than the 3-4 plan he’s played over the past two seasons. Quinn is coming off a franchise-record 18½-sack season and is the only player at the front who will currently be a matchup issue for offenses.
However, a strong argument can be made for dealing with Quine. It’s hard to imagine that would be productive when the roster has been reloaded to the point that the Bears in NFC will be a threat. He is owed $13 million this season and is signed until 2024, but all guaranteed money in the contract has been exhausted.
Maybe Poles saying they want Quinn to be part of the team is their way of maintaining leverage in any trading discussion. Quinn can certainly become attractive if a competitive team suddenly feels the need during training camp, preseason, or the first two months of a season. Then the Poles could flip him for the 2023 draft pick. The trading deadline has not been announced, but last year it was November 2, the day after Week 8 ended.
Of course, the Bears assume the risk of injuring Quinn by taking over the roster, but he’s been pretty durable the past five seasons and says he’s preparing his body for another year’s grind this off-season. .
“I didn’t expect to go anywhere or go anywhere, but again, it’s a crazy business,” Quinn said after receiving the Piccolo Award a few weeks after Mac’s business. “If something’s going to happen, it’s going to happen.”
Maybe Quinn has changed her stance or maybe she’s an anti-diva who won’t publicly discuss playing for a contender while preparing for her 12th season.
Whatever the case, even without Quinn’s sack production, the bears probably wouldn’t have been worse than last year’s 6-11. Their presence in 2022 is unlikely to be the difference between being on the playoff roster or not. With the Poles active on the third day of the draft, getting a return for Quinn will put the first-year GM in a better position next April, when the Bears should be closer to having some of their holes filled with young players with a bright future. Ho.
It’s all about timing, and perhaps the Poles will be the sellers on the trade deadline. If that’s the case, he hopes Quinn will pick up where he left off in 2021. For now, Quinn’s cut-ups of Marinelli will be good teaching points for the rest of the room.