Nobody disputes who the #1 target in the Chicago Bears passing attack is. That would be Darnell Mooney. The wide receiver comes off a 1,000-yard season in 2021 and has an obvious connection with quarterback Justin Fields. Health permitting, it’s hard to imagine he doesn’t have the best season yet of his career. The more prominent arguments surround who the #2 target is. Some want to say it’s Byron Pringle and others Equanimeous St. Brown. The truth is they’ve neglected what’s staring them in the face. Cole Kmet is #2.
The third-year tight end hasn’t gotten much attention from either local or national media. People are too focused on the wide receiving corps. Despite this, tight ends are important in Luke Getsy’s new offense. One would think Kmet would receive some attention. He hasn’t. In truth, that seems to suit the Bears just fine. If anything, they’ve intentionally tried to limit their public praise of him as often as possible. Jeff Hughes of Da Bears Blog confirmed as much.
I texted someone inside the building and asked one question. “What player is having a killer summer that no one is talking about?”
Text back, one word. “Kmet.”
There was evidence from the beginning when Kmet repeatedly beat Eddie Jackson in 1-on-1s. It only continued from there. He made nice catches almost every day in practice, looking like more of a weapon than at virtually any time in his first two seasons. Then during his first appearance of the preseason against Seattle, he was an immediate contributor with two catches for 31 yards to help set up a field goal.
This wasn’t against scrubs. It was against the Seahawks’ starting defense. It was the first glimpse of real evidence that the tight end has made significant strides. His route-running and speed seem to have improved, and the system itself is leaning into his strengths. People shrugged off his 2021 season as a failure despite him topping 600 yards. Maybe they should’ve seen it as a sign of what’s coming.
It means the cupboard might not be quite as bare as critics made it out to be. Sure they need more quality options at wide receiver, but a combination of Mooney and Kmet could be a great starting point. The two combined for over 1600 yards last year in an offensive system experts decry as barely above high school level. It stands to reason they can do as good or better in one that is at least functional under Getsy.
One can only imagine what Ryan Pace will think if Cole Kmet finally takes off this year. He is the one who drafted the tight end in 2020, along with Mooney. He engineered the trade up to get Fields the following year. Seeing those three blossom together would have to be a bittersweet pill to swallow. Another reminder of how vital it is to get the head coach selection right. He’ll look back at the Nagy hiring as the catalyst of his eventual downfall.
Kmet will be tested right out of the gate. Chicago plays two of the NFC’s best defenses in consecutive weeks to start the season. First comes the 49ers at home and then going up to Green Bay against the Packers. The two teams held him to 10 catches for 80 yards in three games. If the Bears want to avoid going 0-2 in that stretch, Kmet has to step up.
if anyone has to ask why the offense sucked so bad then they clearly wernt watchn the clusterf*^& coach we had! He didnt do anything right! Getsy is going to really make everyone shake their heads.This team we have right now has plenty of talent.2 absolute studs at RB who are both underrated and underappreciated.This team is going to surprise everyone and its simply because the players are buying into the program.You look at last year and do you think anyone outside of robert quinn played.I couldnt imagine the level of dred just coming to work and looking at the… Read more »
Criticism of Kmet’s lack of TD’s just adds fuel to the fire of Nagy obsession with veterans over youth, two words – Jimmy Graham
Ryan Pace assembled a much better roster than he gets credit for — due to his terrible selection.of Matt Nagy (and staff).
Ryan Poles has benefited from Pace’s good work — and despite numerous missteps, Poles had the good sense to hire Matt Eberflus as the Bears’ HC.
we’ll probably start 0-2… but that’s OK… then everyone will ‘sleep’ on us… then we’ll even up at 2 & 2… then it’s anybodies bet.
Its not on Kmet. Its on Fields. If he is unable to read the pressure that will be thrown directly at him and make the correct decisions Kmet wont have as many opportunities.
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