It looks like we’ll have Bears Weather™ in our not-too-distant future:
L❄️❄️king at the forecast like… pic.twitter.com/xJ7tdyCaP6
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) February 8, 2018
Shame there are no games to play.
- In the wake of the Josh McDaniels mess, Adam Jahns of the Chicago Sun-Times writes about how the Bears went about conducting and executing their coaching search. The Bears’ swift and decisive actions allowed for the team to get a leg-up on building a coaching staff and installing a sense of normalcy at Halas Hall. The same can’t be said for the Colts, who announced McDaniels’ signing before he put pen on paper to make it official, allowing him to back out at the last minute. Wednesday’s press conference was a rough look for the Colts GM Chris Ballard, who earned praise for announcing the Pats-Colts rivalry was back on. That’s a low bar to clear if that’s what’s winning folks over today.
- The Colts’ attempt to move on in the process begins with a search for some stability. Sources tell NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport that Leslie Frazier will interview for the Colts’ head-coaching vacancy. Frazier has worked for Brad Childress, Tony Dungy, John Harbaugh, Marvin Lewis, Andy Reid, and Lovie Smith and four years of head-coaching experience with the Minnesota Vikings. Perhaps the Colts will overlook the fact that Frazier has just one winning season (10-6 in 2012) as a head coach under his belt. Frazier played on the 1985 Bears, which was a glorious season in which he came up with six interceptions and scored a defensive touchdown.
- Thinking big picture now, it appears as if striking while the iron was hot and bringing Matt Nagy into the fold was the best thing that could have happened for a Bears franchise seeking stability and room for growth. Nagy will be a major force in building the team as a whole, but his contributions to the offensive side of the ball will make or break his coaching career in Chicago.
- Nicholas Moreano of Da Bears Brothers blog explains how Cameron Meredith can be a major contributor in his first year in Nagy’s offense, which would be welcomed considering the team’s struggles at wide receiver in 2017. When he was healthy in 2016, Meredith proved to be a superb route runner with the best double-move in football, but also showed he was versatile enough to excel in the slot and outside the numbers. It’s up to Nagy and offensive coordinator Mark Helfrich to come up with a game plan to put Meredith in the best position to succeed while also coming off an ACL injury.
- One of the most important assistants Nagy brought to Chicago was Offensive Line Coach Harry Hiestand, who will have his work cut out for him upon arrival. Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune expects the Bears’ offensive line to be better in 2018, especially if the group isn’t decimated by injuries as it was in 2017. Biggs gave the group credit for performing as well as it did in the running game despite facing constant pressure and loaded fronts aimed primarily to stop the run. Jordan Howard ran to a second consecutive 1,000-yard season behind a make-shift line that will undoubtedly get some new faces and will be hearing a new voice of instruction.
- Over at CBS Chicago, Chris Emma writes about a Bears need on the other side of the ball in the defensive secondary. Emma explores the idea of the Bears pursuing free agent cornerback Malcolm Butler and adding him to the team’s cornerbacks room. Butler was a Super Bowl hero as a rookie and a Pro Bowler in Year 2, which set him on a path to be a steady contributor for the always-in-contention Patriots. Butler was benched for Super Bowl LII and New England was burned via the passing game in every way possible. It sure looked like they could have used someone like Butler holding down his usual spot in the secondary.
- To the victor go the spoils, which is exactly what is happening with Alshon Jeffery. Chris Emma has a write-up on Jeffery’s road to fulfilling his destiny as a Super Bowl champion. If you’re a believer in the idea of speaking things into existence, Jeffery’s story is one for you.
- Brad Biggs of the Tribune has a local angle on players invited to the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis. Among the more than 320 players who were summoned to attend the event, five Notre Dame players, two from Northwestern, and one from Illinois Sate of the FCS. Players from the University of Illinois were notably absent, as none were invited.
- The Miami Herald reports former Bears quarterback Shane Matthews is facing a three-month prison sentence for his role in a health care fraud conspiracy that targeted military members, veterans, and their families. Not cool. Matthews started 15 games from 1999-2001, posting an 8-7 record. Two of those wins came during the Bears’ 13-3 season in 2001.