So When Can We Schedule That Tarik Cohen-Taylor Gabriel Race? And Other Bullets

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So When Can We Schedule That Tarik Cohen-Taylor Gabriel Race? And Other Bullets

Chicago Bears

A college football bowl game is coming to Chicago in 2020, according to long-time college football reporter Brett McMurphy. Time to start passing the hat so we can foot the bill for a sponsorship deal.

  • The Bears had a need for speed entering this offseason, and teaming new wide receiver Taylor Gabriel with second-year running back Tarik Cohen should quench that thirst. But first, can we get a foot race between these two so we can settle which one is the fastest?

  • But also, Prince Amukamara wants in on the action:

  • Elsewhere in the secondary, it’s nice to see Adrian Amos get some love from PFF after the site snubbed him by leaving him off its top-50 for 2018:

  • It’s easy to feel good about things at this time of the year, but how can you need feel the good vibes surrounding the Bears’ defense. In addition to bringing back the core starters of the secondary, the team also upgraded at inside linebacker with Roquan Smith. NFL Spin Zone’s Dan Parzych sees Smith as the team’s top candidate for rookie of the year honors. If Chicago wants to be the surprise darling of the NFL next year, it might need Smith to be that good in his first season for it to happen.
  • Luke Kuechly (2012 Panthers) was the last inside linebacker to win the award, and while Carolina missed the playoffs, his arrival set the tone for the growth of the team’s defense and helped lead the team to playoff appearances in 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2017.
  • And for what it’s worth, two of the last three AP NFL Rookie of the Year winners on the defensive side of the ball have been major contributors on playoff teams, with Marshon Lattimore (Saints, 2017) and Marcus Peters (Chiefs, 2015) earning the honors.
  • While the defense is on our mind, here’s hoping Bears defensive backs circle Marvin Jones Jr. on their scouting reports and find a way to stop him:

  • Jones has grown into a playmaker in Detroit, with his 2017 season (61 catches, 1,101 yards, nine touchdowns) serving as a breakout campaign. Naturally, Jones did a ton of damage against the Bears as he caught seven passes for 170 yards (that comes out to 24.3 yards per reception if you’re keeping score at home) and a touchdown. Seriously, someone needs to stick to him in a big-time way next year.
  • Here’s a headline I would’ve never expected to read in a head coach’s first camp, but here goes nothing: “Detroit Lions’ Matt Patricia is in danger of losing his players.” As a former newspaper guy, I’ll be the first to tell you that columnists don’t normally write their headlines. But the lead anecdote of Carlos Monarrez’s piece in the Detroit Free Press notes that extra running is a punishment under the new head coach, and lots of it could be a detriment to the team in the long haul.
  • Former Bill Belichick assistants take a leap of faith when they try to implement the Patriots way into new situations, and Patricia is just the latest one to try his hand at it. But here’s the thing: If the team wins, Patricia will be lauded for his ways. But if the team loses, things could go south quickly if it gets out of hand. The Lions haven’t won a playoff game since 1991 and Patricia has rings from his time in New England. Clearly, it’s time for Detroit to try a new approach.
  • NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport reports that Dallas Cowboys guard Zack Martin is signing a six-year contract extension that will make him the highest-paid guard in the league. Thus, bringing an end to Andrew Norwell’s run as the NFL’s highest-paid guard after signing a free agent deal with the Jaguars in March. Martin is at the heart of the Cowboys’ strength along the offensive line, earning four Pro Bowl appearances and a pair of first-team All-Pro nominations.
  • In case you were curious, Martin’s raise bumps Kyle Long’s deal to the 11th highest total value among guards. It’s still a healthy chunk of change, but it appears that NFL front offices are putting more money into guards – and therefore, increasing their value. Just something to watch for moving forward.
  • Speaking of guards, the Dolphins got a good one in Josh Sitton. I really hope James Daniels steps right in, provides a smooth transition, and doesn’t make us miss Sitton’s pass protection skills too much:

  • One of kicker Cody Parkey’s teammates is already missing an old friend:

Author: Luis Medina

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