When I was young, my father drove one of those big-rig semi-trucks.
And if you’ve ever seen one of those trucks attempt to make a turn, you know it can be tedious. It takes a bit of patience and a few deep breaths before coming to grips with the concept of “Yeah, this might take a minute … but when it’s over, the intersection will be clear.”
I guess what I’m trying to convey is that the Bears, at this particular moment in time, are a lot like that big, turning semi-truck, and perhaps the intersection is about to be cleared. At least, that’s my feeling after reading some of Prince Amukamara’s comments during his conference call with Bears beat reporters.
What might stand out the most from the call was how Amukamara expressed his desire to stay in Chicago. ESPN’s Jeff Dickerson tweets that Amukamara told his agent he did not want to hear from teams besides the Bears during the free agent process. Amukamara explained that Vic Fangio’s return to run the defense was “huge” and played a role in his want to return for another contract in Chicago.
How about that?
This kind of perspective is different from the vibe that surrounded the Bears last offseason, eh? Remember, that’s when Alshon Jeffery showed little to no interest in returning, before taking his talents to Philadelphia, cornerback A.J. Bouye went on the record saying he turned down a bigger contract from Chicago to sign with Jacksonville, and several free agent wide receivers reportedly turned down offers to join the Bears. What a difference a year makes.
The instability at quarterback with Mike Glennon playing on what was essentially an over-sized one-year deal and John Fox’s status as a coach on a short leash probably played into those decisions. But after drafting Mitch Trubisky to be the quarterback and hiring Matt Nagy to stabilize the coaching situation, things are looking up for the Bears.
Check out what Allen Robinson told ESPN’s Josina Anderson about coming to Chicago:
Last Nite: WR Allen Robinson to me on why he selected #CHI: “I like what coach (Matt) Nagy did from an offensive standpoint in Kansas City. Me being able to see what he did in KC, being able to know that he is an offensive-minded coach & seeing what he’s done before (helped me).” https://t.co/OFLqaGmqA5
— Josina Anderson (@JosinaAnderson) March 13, 2018
Despite putting up a 14-34 record since the start of the 2015, the Bears surprisingly have some things in their favor.
- A developing quarterback who ranked at the top of his draft class last season on a rookie contract that allows for ample wiggle room for free agent spending.
- A young, offensive-leaning head coach who is a branch off the most successful NFL coaching tree.
- A defense that ranked in the top-10 in scoring and yards allowed despite suffering through a bevy of injuries.
- And now, the Bears are garnering positive (public!) reviews and interest from players based on the coaches in the room and the players on the field.
Trophies aren’t given away for winning the offseason. Parades aren’t thrown for being the most improved team on paper. But the Bears are in a better spot today than they were a year ago. And it’s becoming evident that others are starting to take notice.