The Bear Goggles On Countdown to Kickoff series is now underway for the second season in a row. With 88 days to go until the Bears season kicks off, we will highlight the Bears player that is wearing number 88, tight end, Dion Sims
In his contract year, Sims had one of his better seasons with the Miami Dolphins. Sims saw a career high in receptions, touchdowns, catch percentage and starts last season. He finished his year with 26 receptions, 256 yards, and four touchdowns. In his 14 active games last season he averaged 50 snaps per game.
Sims is not a dynamic pass catcher, but he has had success staying on the field as an in-line blocker. It is why he has earned 22 starts in his career, and why despite having Zach Miller and Adam Shaheen, Sims will still have a role.
Sims will likely play on the line more than Shaheen or Miller next season. Miller is essentially a big slot receiver. He is a mismatch for linebackers and safeties and opens up the middle of the field. Shaheen is extremely raw as an overall football player, but his least impressive attribute is clearly his blocking ability.
Therefore, the Bears are going to be relying on Sims to pick up a lot of the tight end blocking slack. The Bears tackles are by far their worst helpers on the offensive line. The Bears will need to use Sims a lot to help in chipping off of the edge and driving back edge defenders in the running game. Sims is not an elite blocker, but he can hold his own, and this is where he is going to find purpose and a lot of use for the Bears this season.
Future with the Bears
Sims is only 25 years old and is still coming off of his rookie contract. The Bears signed him to a three-year, $18-million deal this offseason. However, after year one he is very easy to move on from. In fact, the Bears would save to close to six million dollars in each of the next two seasons to move on from him after next year. Of course, the Bears are hoping that his play warrants them to hold onto him. However, it will be on Sims to stay on the field and earn his pay as he head into the prime of his career. A strong 2017 season will go a long way in keeping Sims in Chicago for the foreseeable future.