Imagining Kyle Long as a Stud Pitcher Instead of a Star Offensive Lineman and Other Bullets

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Imagining Kyle Long as a Stud Pitcher Instead of a Star Offensive Lineman and Other Bullets

Chicago Bears

Mandatory minicamp gets underway for the Bears tomorrow, which means all hands on deck. It also means we’re that much closer to training camp and meaningful football. Hooray.

  • The Bears made a transaction ahead of the start of Tuesday’s minicamp, re-signing Zach Miller to a one-year deal. You can check out the official release here. We discussed it earlier, and saw it as a classy move by a team for a player who is highly respected in that locker room.
  • Bob LeGere of Pro Football Weekly believes the Bears did the right thing here as Miller continues to recover from that gruesome leg injury, and possibly his career.
  • To be clear, there is a slim chance Miller makes his way onto the roster. It would take some extreme comeback story for it to happen, and Miller would have to start the year on the physically unable to perform list for that remote possibility to play out. HOWEVER, I’m totally here to see Miller defy all odds because that’s the kind of story you want to watch unfold for a player with bad injury luck. Miller is easy to root for, and the story of his perseverance should be shared with everyone.
  • The Bears giving Miller a one-year deal is an example of good things happening to good people, which is something that doesn’t happen as often as it should.  It also probably couldn’t hurt for his younger teammates to get a first-hand look at what hard work looks like … and that it can be rewarded.
  • And the Bears weren’t done making classy gestures:

  • It’s a shame Miller isn’t healthy because a player with his route-running skills, pass-catching ability, and willingness to engage as a run blocker would make him a really intriguing player to keep an eye on in training camp. Perhaps the Bears’ younger tight ends (Adam Shaheen, Daniel Brown, and even Trey Burton) could learn a thing or two from the veteran tight end.
  • Elsewhere in the passing game, Wide Receivers Coach Mike Furrey tells the Chicago Tribune that free agent addition Taylor Gabriel has yet to scratch the surface of his potential. Furrey believes that Gabriel will really start approaching his ceiling when he gets a grasp of the offense. “Once he learns our system and knows exactly what he should do and be able to apply it to what he’s done in the past, I’m really intrigued to see how far he goes.” Same here, coach.
  • While we focused on Matt Nagy’s expanding responsibilities as the Bears’ head coach when sharing Dan Pompei’s excellent interview via The Athletic, I’m still intrigued by the idea of Chicago’s offense being 70-80 percent similar to what was run in Kansas City. Developing an offense that could feature the league’s leading rusher, two 1,000-yard pass-catchers, and a passing attack that presses the envelope and moves the ball down the field has me feeling tingly inside.
  • Baseball’s draft gets underway tonight, and I’m sure Brett, Michael, and Luke will have you covered over at Bleacher Nation. In the meantime, could you imagine an alternate universe where Pro Bowl lineman Kyle Long is throwing pitches instead of blocks? It could’ve happened:

  • The Bears’ defense could see three of these five quarterbacks in 2018:

  • Then again, those passer have to face this guy:

  • I imagine it would help having an elite safety to help defend these proficient passers. Hey, what do you know … we wrote about one earlier in the afternoon. Adrian Amos’ breakout 2017 has him on the cusp of being elite, according to Pro Football Focus’ analytics. That’s high praise for a player who started the season on the bench behind a rookie who took his job and a veteran safety who doesn’t currently have a job in the NFL.
  • Let’s keep an eye on the 49ers, who Pro Football Weekly’s Greg Gabriel believes are a legitimate wild-card threat. San Francisco balled out when it officially turned to Jimmy Garoppolo as its full-time quarterback toward the end of the 2017 season, and there is an expectation that the good times will continue to roll in 2018. The 49ers have improved their standing in the NFC West, but they aren’t quite on the level of the Los Angeles Rams just yet. Still, with the arrow pointing down in Seattle, and with Arizona rebuilding under a new coach and quarterback, it could be time for San Francisco to strike while the iron is hot.
  • Rule No. 1: Keep your eye on the ball:

Author: Luis Medina

Luis Medina is a Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at@lcm1986.