The Eagles' Run to a Super Bowl Should Inspire the 2018 Bears and Other Bullets

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The Eagles’ Run to a Super Bowl Should Inspire the 2018 Bears and Other Bullets

Chicago Bears

On this date 11 years ago, Chicago Bears fans woke up to news that their favorite team was headed to the Super Bowl.

Seriously, it happened. Here is a box score to prove it.

So how do they get back?

I suppose it starts at the top with coaching, so here’s a little tidbit from Da Bears Blog to get things started:

  • The Bears being on the ball with their head-coaching hire has paid off in having assembled a balanced staff that will bring a fresh perspective to the ballclub. Of course, it all starts with Matt Nagy as the spark that will light the fire under Mitch Trubisky. Mark Potash of the Chicago Sun-Times notes that NFC Championship Game hero Nick Foles’ road to redemption came after he reunited with Andy Reid/Matt Nagy with the Kansas City Chiefs in 2016.
  • Did anyone else come away from the NFC Championship Game dreaming of the Bears offense looking something like the Eagles unit? I really hope it wasn’t just me. After seeing how Doug Pederson aggressively schemed against the Vikings’ top-rated defense, then we are left to imagine what Nagy’s offense will look like if Andy Reid’s assessment of his former coordinator is spot on.
  • With Sunday’s win, Chris Emma of WSCR-AM 670 notes that Pederson became the third Andy Reid assistant to take their team to the Super Bowl since 2013. No pressure, Coach Nagy.
  • One of my favorite plays from Championship Sunday was LeGarrette Blount’s second quarter touchdown run that broke the 7-7 tie. And not just because it was a cool-looking score in which Blount engaged the truck stick en route to the end zone. The formation, design, and execution all looked like something the Bears could take and use with Jordan Howard in 2018:

  • Naturally, there was Alshon Jeffery playing his best game on the biggest stage. The ex-Bears receiver hauled in all five of his targets, gained 85 yards, and scored two touchdowns. He is now one-step closer to that Super Bowl guarantee. Perhaps the new market inefficiency is in players on one-year “prove it” deals with the ability to back up bold predictions?
  • In any case, the Bears miss you, bud:

  • Between self scouting his team’s own free agents and perusing the ones other teams let go, GM Ryan Pace could do better in free agency. One place the Bears must improve (especially once their competitive window opens) is at kicker. If the team doesn’t find a reliable kicker by the time that window opens, I have a feeling we’ll be talking about some more coulda-woulda-shoulda situations as we did earlier in the season. Remember when the Bears tried out Josh Lambo? Yeah, that was a thing that happened. Lambo nailed a pair of field goals, including one that gave the Jaguars a 10-point lead early in the fourth quarter. Lambo made 23 of 24 kicks with Jacksonville this year (including the postseason) and finished his year making 14 consecutive field goals. Hopefully, the Bears’ new special teams coaches have an idea of how to upgrade that position because every point counts.
  • Free agency and scouting helped the Eagles get to where they wanted to be in Super Bowl LII. Green Bay Packers reporter Ryan Wood makes a good point regarding importance of the backup quarterback position. “Eagles: going to the Super Bowl with a backup QB, because their backup QB played like a starter,” Wood tweets. “It’s a pretty important position, that backup QB.”
  • As it stands, the Bears’ current backup quarterback is Mike Glennon. However, I don’t expect for that to be the case when the season starts.
  • The Bears are going to have to do a better job of drafting, too. And not just in the first round. This front office has made a habit of finding some late-round gems and it needs to continue in 2018. Over at RotoWorld, Josh Norris wraps up the East-West Shrine Game with analysis of the top 20 prospects from the week that came and went. A personal favorite might right now is Chad Thomas, the Miami edge defender who has experience on the line and as a stand-up rusher. He’ll participate in the Senior Bowl, too. It looks like he’ll land in the middle rounds (3-4 range) but a good Senior Bowl showing could further boost his stock.
  • Speaking of the draft, the NFL recently announced 106 underclassmen have declared – and have been granted eligibility – for the 2018 NFL Draft. You can check out the list in its entirety here. My initial reaction to that triple-digit number isn’t to think about the names at the top of the list. Instead, it makes me feel as if this could result in a better class of undrafted free agents who will be available after the draft’s conclusion. The Bears have done well here in recent years with the likes of Cameron Meredith, Bryce Callahan, John Timu, Roy Robertson Harris, Rashaad Coward, and Isaiah Irving among those who have made it to the NFL roster. Some of these players have even carved out niche roles.
  • The way pass interference is called so liberally these days, the thought of the Bears using a top-10 pick on a cornerback makes me feel uneasy. The rules hurt defensive backs so much, they are penalized for doing their job:

  • In case you were curious, a look at the overnight ratings:

  • The Denver Post reports Rashaan Salaam’s 1994 Heisman Trophy fetched $399,608 and a portion was donated to benefit CTE research. Reading about ex-Bears running back Rashaan Salaam’s suicide was rough. Salaam is one of the first Bears players I remember actively rooting for as a young fan and to read he could have been suffering from CTE served as a reminder of how far football has to go to help its players with head injuries. Perhaps the sale of his Heisman Trophy will help fight for the cause.
  • It’s a one-night only kind of deal, but if you’re into the 1985 Bears, a new documentary is out today in theaters. “85: The Greatest Team in Football History” will be shown tonight in more than 200 movie theaters across the country. It’s another look at the Super Bowl XX champs that features interviews from Barack Obama and Bill Murray, among others. You can see which Chicagoland theater is closest to you here and check out the official trailer below:

Author: Luis Medina

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