A man who lives in my grandmother’s living complex said I was “brave” to wear a Bears hat. I responded: “Well, if the Bears had the kind of payroll Ohio State had, maybe they’d be able to compete.” The man was wearing an Ohio State t-shirt. I suppose you had to be there to get it.
- Taylor Gabriel isn’t here to be slighted. Nope, sure isn’t:
It's crazy to think the Bears top four receiving options – Allen Robinson, Kevin White, Anthony Miller, and Trey Burton – played a grand total of 395 snaps in the NFL last year. Definition of a wildcard unit
— Mike Renner (@PFF_Mike) May 30, 2018
Just no he will regret this come August I promise you
— Taylor Gabriel (@TGdadon1) May 30, 2018
- Beyond being fun to watch on the field, Gabriel is quite active on social media. If he’s burning defenders at the same rate he roasts others on Twitter, then Bears fans will be quite happy in 2018. Defensive backs? Well, not so much.
- Also, let’s note that Gabriel played 569 snaps, which kinda tweaks things for the picture PFF’s Mike Renner is trying to paint. I understand, though. The Bears are betting on upside and talent winning out over inexperience. It’s a worthwhile gamble from our perspective, because talent generally wins out. Talent and hard work always wins. And when talent works hard, watch out!
- Elsewhere on offense, RotoWire sees Jordan Howard as someone who can see an inconsistent workload:
Jordan Howard: Could see inconsistent work load – https://t.co/38H22qOq61
— RotoWire⚡ (@RotoWire) May 31, 2018
- Meanwhile, ESPN fantasy guru sees – gasp – a “low end RB2”
Merely a low end RB2 in PPR this year in that offense… https://t.co/PjZHYZfGfH
— Matthew Berry (@MatthewBerryTMR) May 31, 2018
- Howard had a major breakout season as a rookie and was striving to lead the league in rushing as a second-year player. Unfortunately, that never came to fruition as Howard struggled at times to gain traction in an offense that struggled for most of the year. And yet, Howard still came through with a second straight 1,000-yard rushing year and ended up bumping his touchdown total from six in his rookie season to nine in his sophomore campaign. Nice work, if you ask me.
- It’s hard for me to imagine Howard having an inconsistent work load in 2018. Not when Matt Nagy has pretty much insisted on Howard being The Man next year. Yes, he will lose out on carries to Tarik Cohen once in a while. Taylor Gabriel is going to come through with some jet sweeps here and there. There might even be some designed runs for Mitch Trubisky. Even then, only seven running backs saw more total snaps than Kareem Hunt’s 705 last season. Howard is going to get his fair share of carries, and history tells us he’ll be just fine.
- And just to put this narrative to bed before it could get rolling, Howard seems to tell Adam Jahns of the Chicago Sun-Times that he knows his role in the Bears offense.
- Want to see Trubisky, Howard, Cohen, and the rest of the Bears at training camp? We highlighted the team’s open practice schedule here. And you can check out the team’s full training camp schedule:
— Bears Insider (@bears_insider) May 31, 2018
- Are you #Obsessed yet?
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) May 31, 2018
- There’s a notable absence at Packers OTAs, as Pro Football Talk’s Charean Williams notes that Ha Ha Clinton-Dix is skipping the team’s organized team activities. Green Bay doesn’t seem to have an issue with it, especially since OTAs are voluntary at this point. Still, it’s worth noting that Clinton-Dix is coming off a second straight season in which his grade at PFF has been in decline. This isn’t to say Clinton-Dix isn’t still a good defender. Surely he still has some quality years ahead of him, but a Pro Bowler on the slide is worth raising your eyebrow. I’m curious to see how he’ll respond in a new scheme now that Dom Capers is out of the picture.
- While the Bears will roll out Trey Burton, Adam Shaheen, and Dion Sims at tight end this season, Chicago isn’t the only team in the NFC North that will have a different look at the position. Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford told the team’s official website he is looking forward to seeing who emerges from the group in 2018. Newcomers include free agents Luke Willson and Levine Toilolo, as well as fourth-round pick Michael Roberts. The team has parted ways with first-round bust Eric Ebron, who caught 53 passes last season. And unless Golden Tate, Marvin Jones, Theo Riddick, and Kenny Golladay see a significant increase in passes thrown in their direction, it looks like there will be plenty of opportunities for a tight end to break out and grab Stafford’s attention.
- Speaking of newcomers, Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune that quarterback Kirk Cousins has “spent an awful lot of time” working on red-zone stuff in Minnesota’s offense during OTAs. Not only is Cousins taking over a team that comes into the season with Super Bowl aspirations, he is basically learning a new offense with a new set of guys. Cousins put up big numbers at times in Washington, but his big-game production left much to be desired. A strong showing in the red zone could help the Vikings get over the hump, as we all know what happens when Minnesota’s kickers are left with the game on the line.
- ESPN’s Mike Reiss reports that ex-Bears linebacker Shea McClellin is leaning toward retirement. McClellin was Phil Emery’s first draft pick as Bears GM, and in all honesty, was a first-round bust. He never lived up to that first-round selection, but carved out a niche on special teams once he moved onto the New England Patriots. Lingering effects of concussions have hindered McClellin’s career and could ultimately put an end to his professional football career. Even though things didn’t work out as well as anyone in Chicago would have liked, we still would like to wish McClellin the best of luck (and in health) in the future.