Bears voluntary minicamp begins tomorrow. We will get a taste how Matt Nagy runs his practices, and more player feedback on all the newness.
— Mark Grote (@markgrotesports) April 16, 2018
- Patrick Finley of the Chicago Sun-Times offers up four things to keep an eye on as Matt Nagy opens his first voluntary minicamp as a head coach. Among them is seeing how Nagy actually coaches. Not that three days in April will reveal some mind-bending perspective, but it will be interesting to see how someone with no head coaching experience, just two years as an offensive coordinator, and just a handful of games as a play-caller handles the duties at hand. And while all eyes will be on the new players, the Bears have a bunch of new coaches who are new to Nagy, too. At least consultant Brad Childress has been through this before and could lend a helping hand or some words of encouragement to the first-year head coach.
- And at least the Bears maintained some continuity, by bringing back defensive coordinator Vic Fangio, or else we’d be looking at a totally new thing over at Halas Hall. Even though John Fox’s coaching stint with the Bears didn’t go well (at all), one thing Nagy could take from Fox’s playbook is his ability and willingness to delegate responsibilities among his assistants. Good leaders know when and how to do that sort of thing, especially in the NFL, where the rosters can reach 90 players during the offseason and into the preseason. Nagy has his work cut out for him, but at least one side of the ball should already know the ropes.
- With minicamp opening on Tuesday, we’ll hopefully get updates regarding a handful of high-profile injured Bears players. Kyle Long sounded optimistic with what he shared on a Chicago radio program at the end of last week, so that’s good. We haven’t heard much regarding outside linebacker Leonard Floyd, so some good news would be appreciated there.
- I’d prefer not to re-hash the numerous injuries that hindered the Bears last season, but Isaiah Irving, Deiondre’ Hall, Eric Kush, Patrick Scales, and Kevin White are returning players who ended their 2017 seasons on injured reserve. Bobby Massie also sat out the season finale with a knee injury, so there are plenty of progress reports that could become available this week. We will certainly keep an eye on them.
- Mitch Trubisky enters the 2018 season as the team’s QB1 and unquestioned leaders. But before he takes the field for games of consequence, Jay Taft of the Rockford Register-Star reports Trubisky will serve as the featured speaker in the All Star Preps Best of rock River Valley Awards Banquet in June. That should be a really unique experience for the student-athletes at the banquet, as well as Trubisky.
- ESPN surveyed the NFL landscape for each team’s most memorable draft moment, and the trade up for Trubisky is what registers for the Bears – with good reason, I would add. The surprise aspect of the trade up and the selection of Trubisky (and not Solomon Thomas, Deshaun Watson, or any number of other choices) made for a wild ride of emotions on draft day.
- I’ll never forget where I was or what I was doing when it went down. In fact, we can revisit it here in a piece aptly titled: “WHOA! The Chicago Bears Traded Up To Draft QB Mitchell Trubisky Second Overall.”
- In a moment of honesty, I was mentally prepared to write about a defensive player being the pick. I had already started to frame how I’d explain the short- and long-term implications of the pick and where the Bears would go from there on Day 2 and eventually Day 3. The pick of Trubisky changed everything, including the trajectory of the Bears as a franchise. Where it all ends remains to be seen. I suppose that’s why we became fans in the first place, to hop on an entertaining and unpredictable ride with hopes our support will ultimately be rewarded in championship glory.
- And just for fun, you can go through the responses to this tweet if you’re up to take a stroll down memory lane:
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) April 28, 2017
- OK, maybe fun wasn’t the perfect word. But speaking of not fun, how about this April weather? Let’s make sure the ink is dried on the contract before giving Mr. Robinson an honest answer:
Is it possible for snow in May?
— Allen Robinson II (@AllenRobinson) April 16, 2018
- The Bears officially announced the signing of free agent wide receiver Bennie Fowler, and Larry Mayer unearths something I didn’t realize about the team’s newest pass-catcher: Fowler hauled in the final two-point conversion pass of Peyton Manning’s career in Denver’s Super Bowl win against Carolina. Proven postseason production, my friends.
- Josh Liskiewitz of Pro Football Focus highlights some of the best player-to-team fits from this year’s class of defensive backs, which surprisingly leaves the Bears on the outside-looking-in. Considering Chicago’s connections to the likes of safety Derwin James and cornerback Denzel Ward on the mock draft circuit, I’m a bit stunned. What stands out most here are the two NFC North teams (Packers, Lions) Liskiewitz links with top prospects. You had to figure the Bears’ division rivals weren’t going to stand pat as team’s throughout the division added to their offensive weaponry.
- And in case you were curious: