Optimistic Fox, Bears Learning from Cubs, Impact Moves in the NFC North, and Other Bullets

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Optimistic Fox, Bears Learning from Cubs, Impact Moves in the NFC North, and Other Bullets

Chicago Bears

This offseason, the Chicago Bears spent more than $30 million in guarantees to bring in fresh faces at offensive positions of skill.

And with Mike Glennon, Dion Sims, Kendall Wright, and Markus Wheaton in tow, head coach John Fox is encouraged about the direction in which the offense is headed.

  • Fox also spoke on a change the Bears were making as a team in 2017: eliminating joint training camp practices. Over the past two years, the Bears practiced with both the Patriots (where they took a good look at Jimmy Garoppolo) and the Colts, but won’t continue doing so for a third season. Fox seems to believe the joint practices take away from camp time and put players at an unnecessary risk of injury. And given the Bears’ injury plagued 2016, minimizing risk seems like the right choice.
  • Adam Hoge of WGN also took some time with Fox, and the takeaway there was that the Bears’ head coach is still fully on board with this rebuild project – even if it has taken longer than expected. As Hoge notes, it was probably difficult for Fox to get a full scope of the journey on which he was about to embark, specifically with the tear-down that had to happen before the rebuild. After all, Fox was coaching a playoff team days before receiving an offer from the Bears so it’s not as though he had time to survey the landscape.
  • One of the quarterbacks Fox leaned on in 2016 looks primed to get a starter’s share of action in San Francisco:

  • Adam Gase – the Miami Dolphins head coach who worked under John Fox in both Denver and Chicago – can’t seem to understand the hate Jay Cutler receives. Patrick Finley of the Chicago Sun-Times writes that Gase doesn’t understand why Cutler – who he deems worthy of  a starting job – hasn’t already landed one. “I guess I just don’t get all the hatred towards him,” Gase said. “I see a guy that worked hard and did everything he could to try to help the team win, sacrificed his body.” Miami, which is set at quarterback with Ryan Tannehill, has not pursued Cutler this offseason.
  • After the Cubs’ World Series win last fall (have you heard about that?), the Bears have the longest title-less drought in Chicago at 32 years. Chairman George McCaskey, a passionate Cubs fan, draws inspiration from the team’s World Series triumph that came after the organization’s complete tear-down and rebuild. McCaskey shared his thoughts with Dan Widerer of the Chicago Tribune, adding that he has learned a lot from fellow chairman Tom Ricketts – specifically on how to stay in contact with fans.
  • Around the NFC North, ESPN’s beat writers have been taking a glance at the offseason of change within the division. Jeff Dickerson writes that Alshon Jeffery’s departure from Chicago was the biggest surprise. Ben Goessling and Michael Rothstein both believe the Lions are the division’s most improved team after shoring up its offensive line with the signings of guard T.J. Lang and tackle Ricky Wagner. And Rob Demovsky writes that the Bears’ signing of Mike Glennon was the biggest impact move this offseason. However, Demovsky doesn’t seem to see the move away from Cutler as necessarily positive, noting that the Bears could have done better had they been more aggressive in trying to acquire Tony Romo or Jimmy Garoppolo than settling for Glennon after spending the better part of the last two seasons on the bench in Tampa Bay. In this case, Demovsky sees the impact coming for the other teams in the division who could see Chicago as a place that can be a “gimme for wins.” So, yeah, not great.

Author: Luis Medina

Luis Medina is a Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at@lcm1986.