Hope springs eternal during this time of year, and those feelings are only amplified with the addition of a new head coach and a potentially dynamic offensive scheme. It’s easy to catch those optimistic vibes, so I imagine it’s going to be easy as I spread them to all of you via today’s Bullets.
- I’m very much all ears when it comes to Tarik Cohen having an outside-the-box idea:
Mitch Trubisky on Tarik Cohen taking on a bunch of responsibilities this spring: "It’s a great thing that he has a lot to learn because that means we’re trying to get him the ball. … We could pretty much line him up at any position. He could argue he could play my spot too."
— JJ Stankevitz (@JJStankevitz) June 6, 2018
- Also, can someone set up a foot race between Cohen and Taylor Gabriel? Asking for a friend:
.@TarikCohen discusses upgraded speed, weapons on offense: “With a name like Turbo, you gotta be fast.”
Reporter: “Is he faster then you?”
Rik: “Uh never.”
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) June 6, 2018
- I think the Bears’ new offense will be full of surprises. Good surprises. Not to be confused for any other types of surprises. Bleacher Report’s Brent Sobleski highlights a player from each team who could end up turning some heads and landing a starting role with their respective team. For the Bears, Sobleski pegs Dion Sims as that player. Sims started 14 games last year and has started 25 the last 28 games he has appeared in dating back to his 2016 season with Miami. In a sense, it wouldn’t be a surprise that Sims starts because he has experience in that role. But considering he is behind Trey Burton and (probably) Adam Shaheen on the depth chart, it would be a bit of a shock to see Sims in a starting role.
- Then again, “starting” is overrated. Being a starter doesn’t necessarily mean you’re going to get a bulk of the playing time. Snaps and reps are more important than starts. Now if Sims is getting more reps than Shaheen and Burton, then it means something unexpected has happened.
- Left tackle Charles Leno Jr. is one of the few Bears players for whom Matt Nagy will be their third head coach. Leno was drafted by Phil Emery in 2014 and played six games (and even made a start) in what was Marc Trestman’s final season. It should go without saying that Leno has a unique perspective when it comes to what it feels like when a change at the top happens:
— Adam Hoge (@AdamHoge) June 6, 2018
- It’s one thing to have a new leader implementing a new offense. It’s a totally different thing for players to truly buy in to what is happening with the new coach and scheme. Leno’s words speak volumes about what the feelings about the offense were before Nagy walked into Halas Hall and what the expectations are moving forward. So while it’s easy for us to feel optimistic because of the shiny new thing factor, how the players have responded to Nagy publicly reaffirms my belief that this thing is going in the right direction.
- The diversification of the Bears’ offense is probably the No. 1 thing we’re looking forward to seeing in 2018. With all due respect to the other aspects of the game, I’m curious to see how far in the other direction Nagy’s offense goes compared to what the Bears’ offense did last year. I’d like to forget how bland and predictable things were last year, especially when it came to personnel usage. And it all starts with a change at the top.
- Beyond that, culture change happens with successful drafting. Look across the sports landscape and you’ll see that players who come up together, grow together, and succeed together. The hope is that the last few drafts will produce the core of a winner in Chicago. If it happens, I think we’ll find Anthony Miller in the middle of it. Sure, he’s wearing Alshon Jeffery’s numbers and that makes it easy to dream about that kind of impact. But as JJ Stankevitz writes over at NBC Sports Chicago, Miller is here to create his own path. “I’m not trying to match any type of skills that (Jeffery) had,” Miller told Stanketvitz. “I’m Anthony Miller, I’m the new 17. I’m not trying to match him at all.”
- Hey now, let’s not forget about Jordan Howard and the running game:
The rebuild of the Bears offense started when Jordan Howard took over in 2016, and continues in 2018. pic.twitter.com/vn9Bghbmkf
— PFF Fantasy Football (@PFF_Fantasy) June 6, 2018
- Just because there is a newfound focus on offense, let’s not lose sight of what can happen on the defensive side of the ball. Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune writes about a bigger, stronger Isaiah Irving who is hoping to make an impact as an outside linebacker in his second season. Irving was an undrafted free agent at this time last year who was making his way through his first camp. Defensive Coordinator Vic Fangio highlighted how Irving struggled early before taking off toward the end of the preseason. Irving worked his way into the lineup, only to have his season end with a trip to injured reserve. Because of the uncertainty at the outside linebacker/edge defender position, Irving could conceivably work his way into the rotation with Aaron Lynch and Kylie Fitts lining up opposite of Leonard Floyd.
- It’s hard not to love the Zach Miller story, especially when he’s taking this approach to his new life in football and his role with this team:
- Nice! I love seeing this kind of stuff:
— Bears Outreach (@BearsOutreach) June 6, 2018