This could be the start of something special, via the Chicago Bears:
Welcome home. pic.twitter.com/vDoYdgjqtH
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) April 4, 2018
- In Larry Mayer’s piece over at the Bears’ official website, he calls the team “fired up,” after Day 1 of the offseason program. And why not? It’s only natural for the players (and fans!) to be fired up, given the organization’s renewed sense of energy – especially having just hired a new coach and added some fresh faces in free agency. One of those faces, tight end Trey Burton, said new head coach Matt Nagy is – you guessed it – fired up. He continued: “He’s really excited to be here. He knows that we have a really good chance to have a good season. He just wants to make sure that everybody’s on the same page and knows what their role is and things like that.”
- Sure, it’s easy for an offensive player to be geeked about what’s about to happen on that side of the ball. A quarterback-friendly system for a young, developing signal caller is going to get the skill position players pumped about the year to come. But what about the guys on the other side of the ball? Returning linebacker Sam Acho recently described Nagy’s opening message, and he’s clearly excited too: “He talked about obsession; obsessing over winning, obsessing over being a great teammate, obsessing over doing the best you could possibly do. That’s what really got me fired up.” There it is again. Fired up. Obsessive. The Bears are obsessively fired up. You get the idea.
- And, hey, I’m fired up too, guys. So is defensive end Akiem Hicks, and it’s not just because the Bears are bringing back those super cool orange uniforms. “We’re here to win, that’s it,” Hicks said. “Obsessed about winning, obsessed about your craft, just be better than you were yesterday, and that’s our focus.” The Bears won 5 games last year, so it shouldn’t be all that hard to be better in 2018 (Michael: Ouch, Lu. I was all fired up, and then you drop that on us?)
- I suppose Kyle Long is excited, too:
- No limitations? Sounds great to us. Check out some other things he said in his first comments since returning from an offseason that included three surgeries.
- It’s always way too early for power rankings, but I suppose there is some worth in checking out what the view of Chicago is outside the bubble. Brad Gagnon of Bleacher Report puts the Bears at No. 17 in the site’s pre-draft rankings. Considering the Bears’ winning percentage the last three years under John Fox, it’s something of a surprise to see the Bears ranked this high. However, Gagnon has his reasons for bumping the Bears up into the middle of the pack. Naturally, you can point to a new head coach, new receivers, and the dream of Mitch Trubisky building on his rookie season and taking that big jump in Year 2 as reasons to be excited. Tack on a defense that allowed less than 14 points per game in the season’s final month and a rushing game that showcased Jordan Howard’s running ability despite playing in what can ultimately be described as a predictable offensive scheme, there is some good stuff to love here.
- The draft will probably shift the perception once again, but it warms my heart to see the Bears rank ahead of teams that were on the cusp of the playoffs like Lions (23), Ravens (24), and Seahawks (28), as well as playoff teams like the Panthers (19) and Bills (26). Power rankings aren’t the be-all, end-all, but it makes me feel better about things. Now, you can join us feeling good about stuff whenever you so choose.
- One restricted free agent receiver is back in the fold, but it’s not the one who is probably on your mind. Josh Bellamy signed his tender to return to Chicago, according to a tweet from his agent. Bellamy played 101 snaps on special teams last season, but saw an increased role as a receiver because of injuries and inconsistent play at the position. Bellamy caught 24 passes for 376 yards last season, and his one touchdown was an absolute beauty. He will make $1.907 million while playing on the restricted tender this season.
- Free agent receiver Brice Butler visited the Arizona Cardinals on Monday, and has come away with a two-year deal with the team. Good for him. The Bears, Seahawks, and Jaguars were among the teams who were showing an interest in the 28-year-old wideout. Butler clearly views himself higher than most, considering his declaration that he didn’t want to return to the Dallas Cowboys if he wasn’t a starter alongside Dez Bryant. When the Cowboys turned their attention elsewhere in free agency by signing Allen Hurns and Deonte Thompson, it was clear Butler wasn’t returning to Dallas.
- Laurence Holmes of 670 The Score provides some insight on why Brian Urlacher chose Bob Babich to present him at the Pro Football Hall of Fame ceremony in August.
- I shouldn’t need an explanation to share Mike Vick highlights, just sit back and enjoy one of the most entertaining players in the sport’s history wreck the Minnesota Vikings defense:
.@MichaelVick had 173 rushing yards in this game.
— NFL History (@NFLhistory) April 4, 2018
- The second coming of Vick isn’t on this list, but it’s worth noting the Bears will play five games against four quarterbacks on this list in 2018:
Who will lead the NFL in passing in 2018? Here's the early projections: pic.twitter.com/plZH2balPh
— Mike Clay (@MikeClayNFL) April 4, 2018
- Speaking of quarterbacks, Mike Glennon’s name will always live in infamy somewhere on the internet – especially as long as teams keep throwing money at their problems hoping that the almighty dollar will cure all:
The #Bears signed Mike Glennon to a 3-yr, $45MM deal and then drafted Mitch Trubisky 2nd overall. When it comes to quarterbacks, desperate times call for desperate measures.
— MileHighReport (@MileHighReport) April 4, 2018