— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) April 3, 2018
- Mark Potash of the Chicago Sun-Times sets the scene at Halas Hall as the Bears began their offseason training program on Tuesday. It’s a different look from when we last saw the Bears with a new head coach, new training staff, and a handful of new players all coming together for the first time under one roof. Though, as Potash points out, there is something fitting about Nagy’s introduction to players at Halas Hall featuring a pair of injured stars on the mend in guard Kyle Long and receiver Allen Robinson. Both are expected to be key cogs of the offense in 2018, so here’s hoping for better health in 2018 for everyone at Halas Hall.
- Hope springs eternal for the Bears, as Potash describes the “leaguewide enthusiasm” that has surrounded Nagy’s hire “seems a bit unusual.” No argument here. Dissenting opinions regarding Nagy have been mostly limited to those who would have preferred a different candidate than the one the Bears hired. Other than that, Nagy has earned praise across the NFL landscape, from his former boss Andy Reid to new Minnesota Vikings OC John DeFilippo, who was among the candidates who interviewed for the gig and was ultimately a runner up.
- Seriously. It’s everywhere:
Kyle Long was standing in the family room with Travis Kelce after their brothers won the NFC Championship, and said Kelce hit him and said "Oh, you guys have Nagy now. You’re gonna be awesome."
— JJ Stankevitz (@JJStankevitz) April 3, 2018
- Let’s circle back to Reid for a moment. Joel Thorman of SB Nation’s Arrowhead Pride writes the long-time NFL coach saw changes on his coaching staff coming from a mile away. The Chiefs have lost two offensive coordinators in three years to head coaching jobs, and a third could be on the way if the newly appointed Eric Bieniemy follows in the footsteps of Nagy and Doug Pederson. “I knew Eric Bieniemy was continuing to develop and I told him a year ago to make sure that his pass game stuff was evolving towards quarterbacks and not just staying in that box with the running backs and the o-line,” Reid said. “Which I had been told as an assistant with Mike Holmgren.”
- In his interview with The MMQB’s Peter King (which we discussed here), Nagy made note of Reid’s ability to draw greatness from his assistant coaches by creating an inviting work environment where all ideas were welcome and bounced around the room. If Nagy can bring that kind of nurturing atmosphere to Chicago, it could help him follow in Pederson’s footsteps as the next successful branch off the Reid coaching tree.
- I bet Trey Burton becoming a scoring machine would help matters a bit:
Trey Burton brings some efficient production with him to Chicago. pic.twitter.com/UMeHzR3Q7e
— PFF Fantasy Football (@PFF_Fantasy) April 3, 2018
- How good can Mitch Trubisky be in Nagy’s offense? We’ll find out in due time. Over at Pro Football Focus, Sam Monson offers up his thoughts on that storyline and the other most important ones surrounding the teams in the NFC North. Trubisky figures to have at least three new skill position players on the offense with him this year, and a fourth could come via the return of receiver Cameron Meredith. A fifth new face to the offense could also come by way of the draft, as the team still hasn’t plugged the hole it created when it decided not to pick up the third-year option on guard Josh Sitton.
- Around the NFL writer Marc Sessler also has a breakdown of the changes around the NFC North, which are plentiful. Sessler pegs tight end Trey Burton as the biggest sleeper addition and projects to be an important presence in the new-look Bears passing game. No, Burton isn’t going to be Kelce, but he’ll serve in the role as the team’s “U” tight end where he’ll get plenty of opportunities to make plays – especially if Allen Robinson and Taylor Gabriel are drawing attention on the outside.
- One nugget not directly related to the Bears from Sessler’s piece was his pinpointing of Vikings running back Jerick McKinnon was the biggest loss in the division. McKinnon was a reserve who was given an increase in playing time when Dalvin Cook suffered an unfortunate season-ending knee injury. Once Cook returns to full strength, the Vikings won’t feel McKinnon’s presence. So … where is the big loss again?
- For my money, the biggest loss in the division is Bears related and it has to do with the team parting ways with Josh Sitton. The veteran guard was a Pro Bowl performer when healthy and an important piece to the offensive line puzzle. It was just last offseason when the Bears were lauded for having one of the strongest interior lines in football, which was supposed to help Jordan Howard repeat his 1,300-yard rushing performance in Year 2 and aid in Mike Glennon feeling comfortable throwing in the pocket.
- Neither of those things came to fruition, but Howard still ran for 1,000 yards. Part of the Bears’ offensive issues had to do with injuries on the line that set off a chain reaction that was impossible to stop. Sitton, who struggled to stay on the field at times, was part of those problems. The Bears might have done the prudent thing in letting Sitton go, especially if you’re a believer in the concept that it’s better to let a guy go a year too early than a year too late. Heck, the team definitely did right by Sitton in making the call on his third-year option early enough to allow him a chance to explore the open market. Still, the Bears are now stuck needing to fill a need along the offensive line and could be left hoping the draft’s best lineman prospect falls to them at No. 8.
- The Bears were busy making some offseason signings official, including long snapper Patrick Scales and running back Benny Cunningham. Newcomer Earl Watford’s signing was also made official, and he seems pretty geeked about the opportunity:
— Earl Watford (@EWatts78) April 3, 2018