After watching the Bulls give up 146 points in a 37-point loss to the Warriors, I feel as if someone needs to go in front of a nationally televised audience with an explanation of what happened and why.
- In an alternate universe, we’re gearing up to watch a Bears and Rams rematch in the Los Angeles Coliseum tonight. Cody Parkey has redemption for his regular season follies, Mitch Trubisky becomes the first member of the NFL Draft class of 2017 to get a playoff win under his belt, and Vic Fangio is still running the Bears’ defense. Oh, what could have been.
- Take it away, Madden ’19:
— Bears Talk (@NBCSBears) January 12, 2019
- In case you missed it while you were out enjoying your Friday night, the Chicago Bears have a new defensive coordinator. The team announced Chuck Pagano as the team’s new DC, replacing Vic Fangio after he departed for the Denver Broncos’ head-coaching gig. We discussed the hire when it was announced and combed through his credentials earlier in the day. We’ll have more on Pagano, his fit, and where the Bears defense goes from here as we move on.
- JJ Stankevitz of NBC Sports Chicago sees Pagano as stepping into as good of a situation as you could walk into going from taking a year off from coaching to inheriting one of the league’s best defenses. Nine starters are under contract and only three key contributors (starting safety Adrian Amos, slot cornerback Bryce Callahan, and reserve outside linebacker Aaron Lynch) are free agents. In addition to All-Pros Khalil Mack, Kyle Fuller, and Eddie Jackson, Pro Bowler Akiem Hicks, and Pro Bowl alternates Leonard Floyd, Danny Trevathan, and Roquan Smith, stand-out depth pieces such as Roy Robertson-Harris, Bilal Nichols, and Nick Kwiatkoski are slated to come back for 2019. The Bears should have had candidates beating down the doors for this job.
- I totally vibe with this sentiment:
When he’s had talent, Chuck Pagano has been fine i.e Ravens. But he didn’t have that talent with the Colts and those defenses struggled. Now he takes over the No. 1 defense in the NFL. Let’s see how this goes… #Bears
— Zack Pearson (@Zack_Pearson) January 12, 2019
- There is going to be some push-back regarding the Pagano hire because it’s inevitable. Remember, there were some people who yawned bringing in Matt Nagy. Most of the criticism aimed at Pagano will be rooted in how things ended for him as the Indianapolis Colts head coach. Admittedly, things spiraled out of control there, Andrew Luck was hurt, GM Ryan Grigson got the heave-ho, and Pagano followed. But just because a guy doesn’t have it as a head coach doesn’t mean it directly correlates with being a coordinator. Whenever that chatter comes up, I think about Wade Phillips, Dick LeBeau, Jim Schwartz, Rod Marinelli, and Romeo Crennel on the defensive side, as well as Josh McDaniels, Norv Turner, Bill Callahan, and Ken Whisenhunt on offense. Good coordinators who don’t have the chops to make it as a long-term fixture as a head coach are a dime-a-dozen.
- Good pull by Jarrett Payton here:
— Jarrett Payton (@paytonsun) January 12, 2019
- So you think you’re better than Cody Parkey? Well, I hope you’re already at Goose Island because they already have their 100 kickers. Hopefully, you have read fine print before getting there:
Here's some notable fine print on Goose Island's field goal thing Saturday: former college kickers, soccer or rugby players are ineligible. pic.twitter.com/0SHElYJiIK
— Josh Noel (@hopnotes) January 12, 2019
FGC updates Sat at 1800 W Fulton St! Details: https://t.co/z4gLRc3OrY
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Open to US residents 21+. Challenge occurs on 1/12/19. See Official Rules at https://t.co/8x0oVeAefQ for additional eligibility requirements, prizes and details. Void where prohibited. pic.twitter.com/SiI3HqitJU
— Goose Island Beer Co (@GooseIsland) January 11, 2019
- Sorry if you had your hopes set on winning free beer.
- Colleen Kane of the Chicago Tribune wraps up Parkey’s experience on NBC’s TODAY show and I’m still befuddled by the whole thing. Parkey took every question from every media member at Soldier Field after the botched kick and his teammates and coaches publicly stated their support for him in the wake of the letdown.
- Also via the Trib, Rich Campbell made note that Parkey’s TV time wasn’t something the Bears pushed for, calling it “an independent look-at-me move arranged by Parkey and his representatives.” Cringeworthy.
- Believe it or not, the Chicago Sun-Times reports the ball from the infamous missed kick could net $100,000. Not sure who would pay that much for a kicking ball, but it’s not my money.
- Some stray thoughts from ESPN’s Jeff Dickerson that I found worth sharing:
Again, it's okay to question Cody Parkey the kicker w/o personally attacking Cody Parkey the person. Parkey missed 11 kicks, including the game-winner last week. He also resisted putting in extra work during the week at Solider Field until he missed 4(!) kicks in 1 game. Weird.
— Jeff Dickerson (@DickersonESPN) January 11, 2019
Last one — I promise — the Bears kicking job is unique because it's so difficult to kick at Soldier Field. Kevin Butler & Robbie Gould put in tons & tons of extra work to master the conditions. I never got the sense Cody Parkey understood or embraced that challenge.
— Jeff Dickerson (@DickersonESPN) January 11, 2019
- So even though the Pagano hire gives us something to talk about other than a missed kick and an ill-advised television appearance, I don’t think this Parkey story is going away any time soon. Sigh.