On January 26, 1986, the Chicago Bears won Super Bowl XX. The next morning, this is what the front page of your daily paper looked like:
Today Super Bowl XX turns XXXII: The Bears beat the Patriots on January 26th, 1986 46-10 for their first and so far only SB title. Some of the headlines from that triumph. @WGNNews pic.twitter.com/teV4ToA5sT
— Larry Hawley (@HawleySports) January 26, 2018
As a long-time newspaper hoarder, I still have front pages from the Bears’ Super Bowl run that ultimately ended in defeat at the hands of the Indianapolis Colts. I’d like to add to my collection sooner, rather than later. And preferably, I’d like one where Bears coaches are hoisted on the shoulders of the players that admire them.
- If the Bears are going to return to Super Bowl glory, the foundation will be build on the offensive line. Rich Campbell of the Chicago Tribune explains why Head Coach Matt Nagy and Offensive Coordinator Mark Helfrich should be pleased with Harry Hiestand’s return to the Bears’ coaching staff. Hiestand was a driving force in developing a handful of college football’s best offensive line prospects at Notre Dame and has experience doing it in the NFL. He represents the Bears’ third offensive line coach in as many years, but a fresh perspective will be welcome at Halas Hall. Considering the group of offensive line prospects at the Senior Bowl, I almost wish the Bears’ staff could get their hands on this group for further evaluation.
- The Senior Bowl practice week marks the beginning of the Bears’ offseason process, writes Patrick Finley of the Chicago Sun-Times. The Bears have a ton of work to do between now and draft day. Even though the underclassmen who have declared for the draft are held in such high regard (only eight seniors are projected to go in the first round, per Mel Kiper Jr.’s first mock draft), GM Ryan Pace and his staff should be well prepared to strike with precision in the middle rounds. Even then, that’s just scratching the surface of the Bears’ offseason plans, which will include self-scouting the 2017 season, the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, and the March free agency period serving as a buffer between now and the draft. Other than that, the Bears really don’t have anything going on. (Ha!)
- And if you’re curious about the most important offseason dates, we’ve got you covered right here.
- Lorin Cox of BearsWire.com notes the Bears are doing their due diligence in the interview process, casting a wide net of prospects. Among the under-the-radar prospects who could be of most interest, Cox reports Bears GM Ryan Pace has met with Alabama punter J.K. Scott, Auburn kicker Daniel Carlson, and offensive linemen Alex Cappa (Humboldt State), Brandon Parker (North Carolina A&T), and Brett Toth (Army). The Bears’ late-round picks could be used on any of these prospects, especially if they find value in a developmental offensive lineman or a special teams ace. The Bears have had issues at kicker since Robbie Gould was cut in 2016 and punter Pat O’Donnell is a free agent.
- Even though he left Oregon on a sour note, JJ Stankevitz of NBC Chicago writes Mark Helfrich left a positive lasting impression on his former players. Long snapper Tanner Carew and offensive tackle Tyrell Crosby are the Ducks’ two Senior Bowl participants who played under Helfrich when he was Orgeon’s head coach. Crosby is WalterFootball.com’s 10th-rated offensive tackle prospect. The 6-5, 310-pound missed almost all of 2016 with an injury, but put together a productive 2017 season as a run-blocker, as well as in the team’s pass-blocking scheme. Crosby is projected to go anywhere from the third to fifth rounds.
- Chris Burke of The Athletic paints a picture of what a day in the life of the Senior Bowl looks like and it’s an absolute treat. Some of the “inside football” stuff that Burke lays out for the reader gave me a better idea of the scene in Mobile, Ala. … everything from weigh-ins, to practice overthrows, to scouting whispers about a given player’s size. There is a bunch going on in Alabama leading up to the game.
- Safety Adrian Amos lost his starting job to rookie Eddie Jackson last year, only to regain a starting position when Quintin Demps went down with a season-ending injury. The reviews have been mixed for Amos, who now has three years of starting experience but only came up with his first interception in 2017. Over at Windy City Gridiron, Patti Curl dives into why Pro Football Focus’ analysis has never wavered in liking what Amos brings to the table. Amos came away with the second-highest grade given to a safety in 2017, but prior to that, was listed as a secret superstar, midseason All-Pro, Pro Bowl snub, and PFF All-Pro. PFF’s grading scale is often controversial (Mitch Trubisky better than Deshaun Watson?) but this dive puts a lot of things in perspective.