Matt Forte was reliable and productive. Devin Hester was simply ridiculous. And on Monday, two of the all-time greats in Chicago Bears history will officially wrap up their careers with the team they started:
Big day coming up for these two – Devin Hester & Matt Forte will both officially retire as Chicago Bears on Monday. pic.twitter.com/9Weuv4Og3s
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) April 18, 2018
Love to see them officially retire as Chicago Bears.
- Voluntary minicamp for veterans is in full swing and it’s hard not to keep cool when you hear Matt Nagy’s infectious brand of optimism.
- David Haugh of the Chicago Tribune captures the essence of Nagy’s optimism in a column that seems to have left a strong impression. There is no doubt Nagy’s vibe is an upbeat one that has featured an uncanny amount of transparency early in his Bears coaching career. Honesty, transparency, and authenticity are things that can be lost in football among coaches who treat any and all information like war secrets. If Nagy keeps this up, it’s hard to imagine how we all wouldn’t benefit from knowing a little more about what’s happening with our favorite football team. Here’s hoping things stay the course in that regard.
- Remember the Halas Hall reconstruction and renovation project that was announced last winter? Well, Nagy gets good look at it as he looks outside his office window. And who doesn’t like an office with a view? With that in mind, Nagy didn’t have to look too far for an analogy for the Bears’ rebuild, writes Patrick Finley of the Chicago Sun-Times. “Just seeing out my window, the communication of the guys who are building, pouring the concrete and the cement and the people in the building talking: ‘How do you do this? How do you do that?'” That’s what we’re doing right now as a team.”
- Man, that’s kind of deep for the first day of minicamp.
- Of course, Nagy isn’t the only coach whose presence should fuel positive feelings. The return of Vic Fangio to run the defense has the good vibes flowing on that side of the ball. One player who sounds like he has a great appreciation of Fangio’s return is defensive end Akiem Hicks, who has played his best since joining the Bears and sliding into a 3-4 defensive end. “He’s always pushing me and I appreciate that, someone that believes in you,” Hicks said, via Larry Mayer of the Bears’ official website. “That’s been one of the biggest turning points in my career is just having a defensive staff and personnel department that believes in me. When someone believes in you, that just pushes you that much harder.”
- Could help be on the way? Bob LeGere of Pro Football Weekly writes that Alabama defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick makes sense if the Bears were to choose a defensive back with the eighth pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. The versatile defender played everywhere for Nick Saban’s Crimson Tide defense. When a player rotates position, it’s often because he isn’t great in any one spot. That’s not true when it comes to Fitzpatrick, who excelled at both safety spots, in the slot and outside the numbers as a corner, and as a blitzer. With defenses using their nickel packages as often as they do, Fitzpatrick could find himself in consideration because of what he brings to several different spots on the field.
- On the other side of the ball, Jordan Howard spoke to Chicago reporters for the first time in a while. We’ve seen him pop up on national programming, but nothing since that weird Instagram thing. Howard addressed it, saying “wasn’t nothing to it” and that there was nothing to worry about all along, according to JJ Stankevitz of NBC Sports Chicago. Howard’s reasoning and explanation regarding what happened wasn’t fulfilling at all, but I’m OK with that story falling to the wayside. Howard is a member of the Bears, and a valued one at that.
- I’m also glad to see Howard’s name fall off the trade block, at least for the time being. Howard seems to be reassured about his place on this team, with ESPN’s Jeff Dickerson noting that Howard said it was “comforting” to hear the Bears don’t have plans to trade their leading rusher.
- Running back, receiver, returner, and quarterback. I can’t wait to see what Nagy has up his sleeve for Howard’s backfield running-mate Tarik Cohen in 2018.
And… he was only a rookie. 😳
— NFL (@NFL) April 16, 2018
- Cornerback Therald Simon wasn’t the only notable player in Bears minicamp in on a tryout basis. Free agent receiver Marlon Brown joined the group on Tuesday. Brown, 26, caught 49 passes for 524 yards as a rookie in 2013, but has just 38 catches, 367 receiving yards, and no touchdowns in 24 games since. Patrick Finley of the Sun-Times has the rest of the tryouts, which includes one Nick Williams who plays receiver and another at defensive end.