It’s the Friday before the Final Four and college basketball sensation Sister Jean Dolores Schmidt has a big fan in Chicago Bears owner Virginia McCaskey. So much so, McCaskey is tweaking her schedule in order to keep up with Sister Jean’s Loyola Ramblers, as noted by JJ Stankevitz of NBC Sports Chicago.
Yep, this is a thing and we’re totally here for it. Best of luck to the Ramblers and all of our favorite teams.
- Any time Matt Nagy wants to talk about his offense, I’m here to listen. Not just because it’s new and I like shiny things, but also because of how different it sounds compared to previous Bears coaches when discussing what’s happening on that particular side of the ball. JJ Stankevitz of NBC Sports Chicago explores what Nagy’s offense could look like in 2018, and I get the sense that we’ll all appreciate his ideas. You’ll have to check out the post for more, but Nagy opened up with a glimpse of what could be in store for the Bears, sharing his philosophies on attacking downfield and stretching the defense while using versatile players in different roles.
- The thing that might be most intriguing about the Bears’ new offense isn’t the offense itself (though, that’s intriguing in its own right) it’s waiting out to see how Nagy will mix new and old to get the most out of the unit as a whole. This isn’t Kansas City. Travis Kelce isn’t walking through that door. Neither is Tyreek Hill or Kareem Hunt. The Bears are an imperfect bunch with players from an old regime trying to fit into something new, while fresh faces hope to make an immediate, positive impact. We often make reference to the adage “the games are played on the field” and this is why. There is a curiosity factor regarding what’s to come and I’m here for that too.
- So while the Bears don’t have Travis Kelce, they do have Trey Burton, who the team hopes to use as the pass-catching tight end who can stretch the field as a receiver and take advantage of opportunities either because of mismatches that come about during the play or when the defense has shifted its attention elsewhere (Allen Robinson, Taylor Gabriel, Jordan Howard). Mark Chichester of Pro Football Focus has an interesting statistical nugget for each of the highest-graded free agent signings. For the Bears, it’s Burton, who helped quarterbacks post a 147.3 passer rating in the red zone – which happens to be the best among tight ends with at least five red zone targets.
- Believe it or not, the Bears were one of the most efficient touchdown-scoring teams when operating in the end zone. Chicago scored touchdowns on 60.6 percent of their red zone trips in 2017, and only five teams (Jacksonville, Philadelphia, New England, Green Bay, and New Orleans) were more efficient. Four of those teams made the playoffs and a fifth would have joined them had they had a healthy Aaron Rodgers all season. We don’t need to re-visit last year’s box scores to remember how little time the Bears spent in the red zone last year. Simply put: Get the more often, score more points. It doesn’t get any easier than that.
- While scoring points is on our mind, perhaps this will prove to be an interesting name to keep an eye on:
BYU WR Jonah Trinnaman will be having dinner with #Bears tonight, source tells me.
Still working to find out what’s on the menu.
— Eric Edholm (@Eric_Edholm) March 29, 2018
- Jonah Trinnaman is a possible late-round receiver target with dreamy athleticism. He didn’t play in a pass-friendly offense, so he had just 52 catches, 626 receiving yards, and two touchdowns during his two-year stint at Brigham Young. In fact he had more rushing attempts (54) and yards on the ground (635). Go figure. Just because the Bears signed a pair of free agent receivers doesn’t mean they are done adding to the group. I’d expect to see a draft pick and a few undrafted free agents join the wave of new receivers this spring.
- On the other side of the ball, the Bears could have their eyes on a playmaking late-round safety. Toy Pauline of DraftAnalyst.com believes the big winner from Southern Mississippi’s pro day was safety Tarvarius Moore, who posted a 39.5-inch vertical jump and a 4.32-second time in the 40-yard dash. Pauline lists the Bears as one of the 15 teams who had an official pre-draft visit with Moore.