Things I love about writing here is that I learn something new every day.
Take for example Khalil Mack’s loves Air Force 1’s, which rivals the way I love Air Jordans:
If only I had the same budget (or pass-rush productivity) that Mack has, I could own as many pairs of awesome kicks as my heart desired. Sigh. Maybe one day I will.
- Happy Birthday to Virginia McCaskey, the principal owner of the Chicago Bears and known motivational speaker:
In September, Bears owner Virginia McCaskey helped set the tone for this season with a pep talk.
— Chicago Sports (@ChicagoSports) January 4, 2019
- Mrs. McCaskey has seen it all. So while she seems like an unlikely source for a pep talk, sometimes it’s the unexpected that really gets the people going. Here’s hoping the Bears can take the first step toward giving her the ultimate gift with a win on Friday.
- I have a feeling the Bears are going to be cleaning up during award season and I feel as if getting four first-team All-Pros is a start. Head Coach Matt Nagy received Coach of the Year honors from Pro Football Talk, as well as from Peter King of NBC Sports. In addition to taking a team that went 14-34 in its last three seasons and leading it to 12 wins, Nagy changed the culture and atmosphere surrounding the club. From the transparency and honesty in press conferences, to an outward-facing personality, to post-game celebrations at Club Dub, everything looks and feels different. And it starts with the guy at the top. We’ll have to wait awhile until the official awards come out, but there will be a sense of disappointment here if Nagy doesn’t win it.
- Not to be left out, Defensive Coordinator Vic Fangio took home honors as one of PFT’s Assistant Coaches of the Year. The Fangio-orchestrated Bears defense allowed the fewest points in the league and led the league in takeaways. A breakthrough season for the Bears defense has led to head-coaching interviews for Fangio, though he’s not really concerned about them right now.
- For more on the D, check out what the Inside the NFL crew has to say:
— Inside the NFL (@insidetheNFL) January 4, 2019
- Chicago’s defense was well-represented on Pro Football Focus’ All-Pro Team. Khalil Mack and Eddie Jackson made the cut as first-teamers, while defensive lineman Akiem Hicks and cornerback Kyle Fuller were second-team members. This unit is loaded at every level and has competitive depth behind it. So long as they don’t give up an early big play that puts them behind the 8-ball, it’s hard not to feel confident when this group takes the field.
- Leave it to PFF’s Cam Mellor to highlight the top snubs from AP’s official All-Pro choices. And since it’s not officially a football season if Akiem Hicks isn’t snubbed from something, Mellor offers up the big defensive lineman as an All-Pro snub. Hicks’ 91.7 overall grade was the fourth best among interior defenders, 44 defensive stops ranked second, and a run-defense of 92.8 that ranked third deserves some kudos. This guy is something else!
- Ladies and gentlemen, Mitch Trubisky is a part of history:
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) January 5, 2019
- There are a grand total of two playoff starts (Jared Goff, Dak Prescott) between those six quarterbacks, but my gut feeling says this won’t be the last time this collection of signal callers will be in the postseason. Call it a hunch.
- As for the starting quarterback opposing Trubisky on Sunday, it appears as if he is feeling just fine:
#Eagles coach Doug Pederson says QB Nick Foles (ribs) keeps getting better every day, did a nice job in practice yesterday, moving around fine. “It appears just the same old Nick.”
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) January 4, 2019
- Whether we’re talking about a guy who rattled off three straight wins to push Philly into the postseason or the one who has a 113.2 passer rating and 8-to-1 TD-INT ratio in four playoff starts, “same old Nick” sounds like a scary proposition.
- Then again, I don’t know any quarterbacks who are racing to the front of the line to play this defense:
The surprising Nick Foles and the Philly offense gets its toughest test, up against the Bears in the Wild Card round. pic.twitter.com/F8zMPNfbBZ
— PFF Fantasy Football (@PFF_Fantasy) January 4, 2019
Lane Johnson on what stands out about the Bears defensive line: “Shit, they’re big.” #Eagles
— Zack Rosenblatt (@ZackBlatt) January 4, 2019
- Two quarterbacks playing on Wild-Card Weekend make this list:
Most yards per carry in 2018, minimum 60 carries:
7.09 Josh Allen
6.19 Mitchell Trubisky
6.01 C.J. Anderson
5.61 Russell Wilson
5.60 Jordan Wilkins
— Michael David Smith (@MichaelDavSmith) January 5, 2019
- The city is brimming with anticipation:
— Zack Pearson (@Zack_Pearson) January 5, 2019
- So is Kyle Long:
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) January 5, 2019
- And so are his teammates:
#Bears WR Taylor Gabriel on the mood around Halas Hall this week: "I feel like we’re ready, man. We’re dancing, playing basketball, guys are in here listening to music or whatever. So I feel like we’re loose and we’re ready."
— JJ Stankevitz (@JJStankevitz) January 3, 2019
- For what it’s worth, Madden NFL ’19 believes in the Bears.
- Soldier Field is going to be loud:
Good way for Soldier Field to be loud from the get-go on Sunday: Jim Cornelison @Anthem_Singer will be singing the national anthem before the Bears-Eagles playoff game.
— Kevin Fishbain (@kfishbain) January 5, 2019
- This franchise’s commitment to social justice initiatives this season deserve a standing ovation because good things can happen when you don’t stick to sports and use your platform to help lift others:
The Bears have energized Chicago with this playoff run. But through a recently formed social justice committee, a group of players is determined to have a much greater impact on empowering kids in under-resourced communities. Take time to read: https://t.co/Ydt9SQfsnW
— Dan Wiederer (@danwiederer) January 4, 2019
- The roster churn never ends, does it?
#Bears roster update:
We have signed LB Jameer Thurman to a Reserve/Futures contract.
— Chicago Bears (@BearsPR) January 4, 2019