It’s a football Friday before the biggest preseason game of the year, and it is absolutely OK to get excited about it:
- Bears fans aren’t the only ones with high hopes for quarterback Mitch Trubisky. Adam Jahns of the Chicago Sun-Times spoke with several teammates who talked up the team’s top draft pick who is now taking snaps with the first team. Rookies Adam Shaheen and Tanner Gentry sang Trubisky’s praises, while wide receiver Victor Cruz, who has spent a lot of time working with Trubisky while with the third-team offense, sees something special. “There are certain throws and certain plays that he makes that you see like, ‘OK, that’s different. That’s not a guy that’s a free agent or anything like that.'”
- Over at 247 Sports, Matt Eurich shares a nugget from Peter Schrager’s appearance on NFL Network’s “Good Morning Football” program. Schrager says he has been receiving messages suggesting Trubisky is becoming an alpha figure in the Bears’ locker room. Mike Glennon has done and said all the right things since being thrust into the starting quarterback role, but that apparently hasn’t stopped Trubisky from developing his own leadership skills. Here’s hoping we see some of that leadership in action when Trubisky takes the field on Sunday.
- Despite two ACL surgeries that have cost him to miss 20 games over the last three seasons, Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune writes outside linebacker Lamarr Houston is ready to hit the comeback trail running. Houston is one of the few players brought on by former GM Phil Emery who is still on the Bears’ current roster. And while he isn’t going to play up to the sack machine Bears fans had hoped they were getting when he signed as a free agent in 2014, Houston looks to round into form and contribute to what could be a pretty solid defense. Because of Pernell McPhee’s status, the Bears could use Houston channeling his 2015 form when he picked up eight sacks in a full 16-game season.
- B.W. Webb hopes to make the Bears’ season-opening 53-man roster, and if he does, Chicago will be his fifth different home in five NFL seasons. The Athletic’s Kevin Fishbain writes about Webb, who is the face of resiliency in NFL circles. Making the cut won’t be an easy task for the 27-year-old William & Mary University product, especially since he is part of a position group that currently has nine others competing for spots. But if he makes another spectacular interception, he could force a tough roster decision before cutdown day.
- One receiver Webb and the Bears’ secondary probably won’t be seeing is Eric Decker, who will miss his second straight preseason game because of an ankle injury.
- The Titans are also unsure of running back DeMarco Murray’s playing status. Murray hasn’t played a preseason down because of a hamstring injury suffered early in camp, which means 2015 Heisman Trophy winner Derrick Henry could continue to receive a bulk of the carries.
- Would you like a laugh on a Friday afternoon? Of course you would, that’s why I’m sharing Deadspin’s takedown of the Detroit Lions in the site’s latest in a series explaining why your favorite team is actually bad.
- The Minnesota Vikings have a pair of special teams competitions that are going down to the wire, with battles at kicker (Kai Forbath, Marshall Koehn) and punter (Ryan Quigley, Taylor Symmank) that likely won’t be decided until the end of the preseason.
- Sure, the Vikings’ extension of an invitation to actress Olivia Munn (who used to date Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers) into the fandom is a bit savage, the team loses points for this nonsense:
— Minnesota Vikings (@Vikings) August 25, 2017
- For what it’s worth, I’ll gladly take the Bears’ nickelbacks over the band any day of the week.
- Locally, a Highland Park park district has canceled its upcoming tackle football season because registration numbers took a tumble, which has been attributed to concerns regarding head injuries.
- Two bars near Soldier Field are standing with Colin Kaepernick in a unique way. Madeline Kenney of the Chicago Sun-Times reports Velvet Lounge (67 East Cermak Road) and Bureau Bar (75 East 16th Street) are boycotting the NFL, adding the establishments won’t play NFL games until Kaepernick’s situation is properly addressed. The free agent quarterback remains unsigned despite outperforming several others who signed deals with new teams in the offseason.
- Even though he is currently unemployed, Kaepernick still finds himself putting money ($800,000!) toward charitable causes:
Colin Kaepernick donates another $100K on way to $1M pledge, now at $800K total. Detail of where $ goes is admirable. pic.twitter.com/22oS4Is97v
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) August 23, 2017