That silly groundhog saw his shadow today, which means six more weeks of Super Bowl previews.
I kid, I kid…
(And for the record: Papa Bear Halas’ birthday is a more important event than whether or not a little furball sees its shadow or not)
Happy birthday to the man that started it all, Papa Bear. 🐻⬇️ pic.twitter.com/Di0Acov59J
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) February 2, 2018
- The Bears’ ties to Super Bowl LII don’t stop with Alshon Jeffery, but we really can’t get the former Pro Bowl wideout off our radars. Patrick Finley of the Chicago Sun-Times caught up with Jeffery, who says the Eagles gave him something the Bears didn’t – love. “In free agency, you know what teams want you and who doesn’t want you,” Jeffery said. “Philly, I felt like they wanted me a lot more than the team I was on, I’ll tell you that.” Ouch, that stings.
- Corey Graham should probably be a name Bears fans remember, especially when looking back on some better days. The former special teams standout was a fifth-round find for the Bears in the 2007 draft who has grown into a pretty solid defender. Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune writes life after the Bears has been great for Graham. At age 32, Graham is in search of his second Super Bowl ring and has settled into a role as a rotation player in Philadelphia’s secondary. Good luck covering the likes of Rob Gronkowski.
- Jordan Howard seemed a bit emboldened by the Bears’ coaching change with his comments on Thursday. But Rich Campbell of the Chicago Tribune writes Howard’s criticisms revealed a more complex problem for the offense. A new coach and new system aren’t enough to fix the offense on their own, so clearly the next step is to add some sprinkles to the vanilla in the form of playmakers. After all, the Bears’ group of skill position players don’t quite match up with the fearsome foursome of Alex Smith, Travis Kelce, Tyreek Hill, and Kareem Hunt that Kansas City was able to send out on a given play.
- Perhaps running in a vanilla offense caught up to Howard, who finished out of the top-5 second-year running backs by PFF’s grading standards:
The top graded second year running backs in the NFL! pic.twitter.com/GUK7YpQ4mD
— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) January 31, 2018
- It feels like the team’s head coach interview process happened ages ago, but it was really just last month. And as it turns out, two of the six candidates GM Ryan Pace, President Ted Phillips, and Chairman George McCaskey interviewed will be coaching in Sunday’s big game. Both Josh McDaniels (Patriots Offensive Coordinator) and John DeFilippo (Eagles Quarterback Coach) had positive things to say about the Bears and their general manager, writes Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune. Football isn’t a popularity contest, but it’s encouraging that the Bears are coming out of this with as many positive vibes as they are getting. The only thing the Bears could control in their hunt was the process, and it seems like there are no qualms about it from the coaches who interviewed for the job.
- Patrick Finley of the Chicago Sun-Times also has perspective from DeFilippo and McDaniels regarding their interview experience with the Bears. By all accounts, the interviews were thorough and informative. It’s not sexy, but I feel as if there is a ton of value in picking the brains of some of the brightest minds in football – even if they don’t end up getting picked for the job. It’s why I had no problem with interviewing George Edwards or requesting to chat with Steve Wilks. The Bears need to get better as a team and talking to the best could open up some ideas for an organization that needed something new this offseason.
- ChicagoBears.com Senior Writer Larry Mayer catches up with Eagles return specialist Kenjon Barner, who had some kind words to say about the Bears’ new offensive coordinator. “What Bears fans and players are getting in coach (Mark) Helfrich is a guy who can reach players on more than a football level, a guy who is going to help [quarterback Mitchell] Trubisky develop and give him some things that I think are going to put him at ease within that system,” Barner told Mayer. “a guy who has a unique way of play-calling and coming up with the things. So I think everything is going to look all right for the Bears this year.” OK, I’m sold. When can he get to work?
- As for the Bears’ old head coach, his status for 2018 remains up in the air. Adam Hoge of WGN Radio spoke with FOX NFL insider Jay Glazer, who shares that Fox still wants to coach. Fox, who turns 63 on February 8, has been a head coach at the NFL level for the last 16 years and has nearly 40 years of coaching experience. “He’s gotten some offers to be a senior defensive assistant and things like that,” Glazer said on Hoge’s Sports Central show. “I don’t know if he’s going to jump into the media side of it. He’s kind of mulling some offers whether or not he wants to coach.” At minimum, Fox has options. Though, I’m curious to see/hear what Fox would be like as a media member after appearing to take a special kind of pride in not giving the media any insight, information or analysis during his time in Chicago.