It was neat to see Mitch Trubisky enjoying himself at a Chicago Blackhawks game on Friday night:
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) January 13, 2018
One city, one goal, one more Super Bowl … please?
- I’m still geeked about Vic Fangio’s return to run the Bears’ defense. And that he will remain in Chicago for the next three years brings warm feelings on a cold winter day.
- How good of a staff Matt Nagy puts together will ultimately be judged by wins and losses, but it looks good so far. David Haugh of the Chicago Tribune writes the Bears’ offseason is off to a good start with the four big-name hires they announced this week. In Matt Nagy, the team has its offensive-leaning head coach with a knack for quarterback development. Offensive Coordinator Mark Helfrich is a bold hire who also has a background as a quarterback whisperer. Chris Tabor will look to bring the special teams up to par with a new voice. And with Fangio, the team retains its defensive leader who will hopefully continue to re-establish the team’s identity as one of the league’s better defensive units. On paper, these hires are as good as it gets.
- A dissenting opinion on new OC Mark Helfrich from Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, who sees him as an odd fit:
- There are valid concerns about Helfrich being a first-year coordinator. And after watching the Chip Kelly thing fall on its face before he went back to college, skepticism is natural when you see the news that his replacement (who failed as a head coach) is taking his talents from college to the pros. I feel as if Helfrich’s background in coaching/developing quarterbacks is a primary reason behind his hire. Nagy insists he is calling plays, so there shouldn’t be much of a tug-of-war between the offensive-minded head coach and his coordinator.
- Having a great staff is one thing. Being an excellent offensive mind is another. Patrick Finley of the Chicago Sun-Times points out the most important thing will be whether or not Nagy will be a leader as a head coach. That inquiry won’t be answered for a few years, so I hope there is some level of patience here. We would be asking that question about any coach the Bears hired this winter. And since there wasn’t a coach on the market whose hiring would’ve been resulted in a “duh, of course he can lead!” answer, we shouldn’t be all that worried about that hypothetical right now. We’ll have plenty of time to worry about that this spring when rookie mini-camps get under way, during the summer during training camp, and in the fall when the games matter.
- Fangio, in essence, will be the head coach of the defensive side of the ball. With that in mind, it was soooo important to bring him back because of his experience as a leader. Brad Biggs of the Tribune takes a step in the time machine and wonders if retaining Fangio will pay off like the team’s move to keep Buddy Ryan on board after firing Neill Armstrong. Shoutout to our readers, Twitter followers, and Facebook commentators who had brought up that angle throughout the Fangio free agent process. Plenty of good points being made from you guys and girls this week.
- JJ Stankevitz of NBC Sports Chicago believes the Bears’ re-hiring of Fangio gives the Bears’ defense its best chance to be great in 2018. Because Fangio is back, there will be no learning curve for a new coach and the team’s returning players and the players won’t have to learn a new system, terminology, or positions. It’s a win-win situation for all parties involved. Now, getting Fangio more pieces for his defense to thrive in 2018 should be a top priority for GM Ryan Pace.
- With that in mind, a recent mock draft from R.J. White of CBS Sports has the Bears going defense with the eighth overall pick. White sends Clemson defensive end Christian Wilkins. Wilkins is one of the top-rated defensive linemen in this draft who is versatile enough to play inside or out in a 3-4 front. Defensive end is probably not a first-round priority for the Bears, not with emerging young prospects Jonathan Bullard and Roy Robertson-Harris, but the top edge rushers (North Carolina State’s Bradley Chubb and LSU’s Arden Key) go off the board right before the Bears pick. That would be such a tease.
- In case you’re curious, White’s mock draft has Alabama wide receiver Calvin Ridley going to the Baltimore Ravens with pick No. 16, while SMU stud receiver Courtland Sutton is picked up by the Carolina Panthers with the 24th pick.