This offseason, Burton signed with the new-look Chicago Bears. The 26-year-old told SiriusXM NFL Radio on Monday he sees a lot of similarities between his former team and his new one.
"We were picked to finish last place in the division last year in Philly," Burton said. "There are a ton of similarities. You look at Philly two years ago, the majority of our games were lost by less than a touchdown. If you look at Chicago last year, there's a good amount of those games that they lost. It's just about getting over that hump. You have to be able to win close games. There's so many small details that happen in order for you to lose those games."
The offseason changes in Chicago made the Bears an enticing landing spot for Burton. The tight end mentioned the offensive-minded new coach Matt Nagy, the importing of talented pass-catchers in Allen Robinson, Taylor Gabriel, and rookie Anthony Miller, and second-year quarterback Mitchell Trubisky as reasons he signed in Chicago.
"Nagy is definitely one of the top reasons why," Burton said."A young quarterback who can play at a high level is definitely something I looked at...Also the offense, too. It's completely the same as what we were doing in Philadelphia. A lot of similar terminology and if you don't have to learn a whole new offense, that's a game-changer for you."
Added Burton: "Nagy obviously knows what it takes to win at a high level, [the Chiefs] were in the playoffs last year. There's tons of talent on the roster from last year, guys like Tarik Cohen. I played with Darren Sproles for four years and I would never compare any player to Sproles, I would never disrespect, but Cohen is right up there with his abilities with how shifty he is and how fast he is and those guys are extremely smart as well. Obviously there's Jordan Howard, too. I could go down the list of names of really good players in Chicago. We added a couple guys. Your second year in the league from year one to year two is the biggest difference, so Mitch is going on year two. I know I experienced that myself, so I'm just really excited to see when the live balls are flying just to see how him and those guys react."
Of all the additions this offseason in Chicago, the Bears bringing in Nagy to replace the conservative coach John Fox is the biggest reason for optimism.
As Warren Sharp of Sharp Football noted, Trubisky and Howard perform more efficiently out of the shotgun formation. However, last season the Bears ran 50 percent of their plays from shotgun, 13 percent lower than the league average. In Kansas City, where Nagy was the offensive coordinator, the Chiefs ran more than 70 percent of their snaps from the gun.
A creative new offense in Chicago, to go along with a potentially underrated defense, should give the Bears optimism they can make a quick turnaround after four straight seasons sitting in the NFC North's cellar.