The Alliance of American Football is a start-up professional league that hopes to grow into a developmental feeder system of sorts for the NFL and it has a ton of Bears-related flavor in it. Hall of Fame linebacker Mike Singletary coaches the Memphis Express, ex-OC Mike Martz leads the San Diego Fleet, and team consultant Brad Childress is coaching the Atlanta Legends (where he’ll coach quarterback Aaron Murray, who participated in a Bears tryout during the offseason).
The league had its quarterback draft night, with Martz’s San Diego squad taking quarterback Josh Johnson with the first overall pick. Their 10-week season kicks off February 9, or one week after the conclusion of Super Bowl LIII. Here’s hoping we’re still working with a Bears-related Super Bowl hangover while taking in the festivities on CBS Sports Network.
- On top of the newsy business offered up by Chicago Bears Head Coach Matt Nagy during his appearance on Ian Rapoport’s podcast, Nagy shared some fun anecdotes about why he wears a visor, having staff members whose job it is to find and help create the fun plays the Bears run, and a tale of what it was like practicing in the Arena Football League.
- You’ll want to check out the podcast here:
- It’s refreshing to have a head coach who can strike a balance between serious football business and sharing lighter moments the game can offer. Of course, winning helps.
- Whoever came up with the idea of getting Michigan-born Allen Robinson mic’d up during his homecoming deserves a nice pat on the back:
- Because the Bears have so much going on at so many different places on the field, Robinson can get lost in the shuffle at times. And you know, that’s OK with me because his numbers might be viewed as disappointing in the eyes of some Bears fans. Robinson has 36 catches for 494 yards and four touchdowns, which comes out to a 64-catch, 878-yard, 7-touchdown pace over a 16-game season. So while that’s a tad-bit short of the 1,000-yard, 10-touchdown year we hoped Robinson would produce, it’s not bad for a player who is a year removed from a season-ending ACL injury.
- Beyond the numbers, Robinson is doing everything else a WR1 is supposed to do. The most important of which might be drawing attention away from other targets by forcing teams to shade coverages in his direction. Robinson’s mere presence allows other teammates to get theirs and opens up the offense for big plays elsewhere on the field. Should teams change their game plan, that could leave Robinson winning one-on-one battles on the outside. It’s a pick-your-poison scenario that defenses aren’t going to find easy to stop.
- ICYMI, Eddie Jackson is freaking awesome:
— Bleacher Nation Bears (@BN_Bears) November 28, 2018
- Not only has this Bears season been enjoyable, they’re doing special things:
In Weeks 10-12, the @ChicagoBears have won Offensive (Mitchell Trubisky, Wk 10), Defensive (Eddie Jackson, Wk 12) & Special Teams (Cody Parkey, Wk 11) Player of the Week Awards.
— NFL345 (@NFL345) November 28, 2018
- So who’s got next?
- It looks like Prince Amukamara will fall short of his lofty preseason interception goals, but maybe facing Eli Manning will do the trick. Manning’s INT% is at a career low 1.7%, but he has two games in which he has thrown multiple interceptions this season, and tossed five during the midst of a five-game losing streak. His interception percentage during that run was 2.4%, which is more in line with his career numbers. If the Bears pass rush can get to Manning, the secondary could have itself a day.
- Then again, it won’t be easy. Especially for Amukamara, who will likely get the task of sticking Odell Beckham Jr., a player he clearly has respect for dating back to their time together with the Giants:
Prince Amukamara on Odell Beckham Jr: "Odell is easily top-five, top-three, top-two receiver in the league. He's definitely a competitor. He's as good as advertised. We had our battles when I was in New York. And I'm looking forward to this one also."
— Dan Wiederer (@danwiederer) November 27, 2018
- I didn’t know legendary sports broadcaster Mike Francesa had transitioned into a comedy act:
— Ƒunhouse (@BackAftaThis) November 27, 2018
- If the Bears defense isn’t good, then explain this:
— NFL Matchup on ESPN (@NFLMatchup) November 27, 2018
- Tarik Cohen talking shop with Jeff Joniak is worth a few minutes of your time:
- Cohen entered the NFL as an underdog who was counted out, and yet, it seems like every week he is making a splash play that wows you. So he is pretty much the player who best exemplifies the 2018 Bears, right?
- The Bears would fit the bill here:
#NFL since the 12-team playoff format began in 1990, at least four teams have qualified for the playoffs in every season that were not in the postseason the year before. 1/2
— Mike Jurecki (@mikejurecki) November 27, 2018
- Remember when Pat Fitzgerald was mentioned as a possible person of interest for what was going to be a vacant Bears head-coaching position? Well, he stuck around Evanston and earned some hardware in the process:
— Northwestern Football (@NUFBFamily) November 27, 2018
- The more, the merrier:
— Zack Pearson (@Zack_Pearson) November 27, 2018
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) November 28, 2018
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) November 27, 2018
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) November 28, 2018
- 49ers first-round pick Reuben Foster was waived after a second domestic-violence arrest, but his time on the waiver wire didn’t last long. Washington was the only team to put a claim on the second-year linebacker, who was immediately placed on the Commissioner’s Exempt list. And while Washington might believe it did its due diligence by speaking with ex-teammates and talking with the team’s current players before making the waiver claim, A.J. Perez of the USA Today reports the Eagles were the only team that contacted the Tampa police department in search of information regarding Foster’s arrest.