Watching Southern Illinois (my alma mater) take a one-point loss at Illinois State last night reminded me of how I felt after the 2017 Bears’ Week 10 loss to the Packers. Because much like how things appeared to be lined up for those Bears to beat an Aaron Rodgers-less Packers team at Soldier Field, the pieces were said to be in place for my beloved Salukis to make a run at what looked like a wide-open Missouri Valley Conference.
Instead, the Barry Hinson led Salukis reminded me of the John Fox led Bears in that while talented, they’re not prepared to take that next step under current leadership.
When the dust settled in Week 10, we knew the beginning of the end of the Fox era was here and that change needed to happen for this rebuild to get off the ground. As it stands, that’s exactly how I felt after last night’s SIU basketball loss. Now, do the powers that be see what everyone else sees? That remains to be seen.
- I’ll be honest, these highlights made me want to watch the Pro Bowl:
- Not that I’m interested in the game or have a rooting (or even wagering) interest, but I’m definitely curious to hear what’s said about the Bears as a team and their representatives. It could be one last chance to get a national perspective on what’s happening with our favorite team. And it will be nice to watch Bears players knowing a kick can’t ruin my night.
- HOWEVER, I’ll be ALL-IN on watching the Pro Bowl if Mitch Trubisky is playing:
With Jared Goff and Drew Brees squaring off in the NFC Championship Game, there's a chance Mitchell Trubisky will replace the winner in the Pro Bowl. Trubisky was voted an alternate. Matt Ryan is another alternate option while Russell Wilson has already replaced Rodgers. #DaBears
— Josh Frydman (@Josh_Frydman) January 15, 2019
- As WGN’s Josh Frydman notes, Trubisky could be in line to represent the NFC in the Pro Bowl as the replacement for the winning quarterback in the NFC title game. Matt Ryan is the only other Pro Bowl alternate who hasn’t already been selected. And even though Ryan had a statistically better season, I selfishly want to see Trubisky throw to Pro Bowl receivers. Maybe he’ll even engineer a scoring drive that doesn’t fall victim to a missed kick (I can’t stop, I’m sorry).
- The Bears haven’t had an All-Pro offensive skill position player since 2012. And while I won’t go out on a limb and predict Anthony Miller will be the guy to break the streak, he is someone I wouldn’t bet against doing it. Honestly, a huge chunk of my belief in his upside has to do with his attitude:
- I’m not one to bet against the combination of talent and work ethic. Also, the numbers in a truncated year are pretty encouraging. To pick up 423 yards on 33 catches isn’t necessarily anything to write home about, but seven touchdowns in 15 games piques my interest. Miller also made a real connection with Mitch Trubisky, who completed 60.4 percent of his passes and posted a 116.4 passer rating when targeting Miller this season. Not bad, rookie. Let’s see what a full-16 game schedule and an increased work load could do for your bottom line.
- Then again, if the Bears have a receiver worthy of an All-Pro season, then that means the quarterback is doing something right. Chicago having an All-Pro quarterback is the biggest dream of them all, but I’m not sure I want to step onto that ledge just yet.
- This is a different way of looking at things:
John Elway's Broncos weren't good past 2 years, but say this about his HC search: There is evidence he interviewed right guys. Of his 5 candidates, 3 got HC coach jobs: Vic Fangio,Brian Flores, Zac Taylor. Mike Munchak is Broncos' O-Line coach; Chuck Pagano is Bears DC. #9sports
— Mike Klis (@MikeKlis) January 15, 2019
- The Broncos have also hired away two of Fangio’s top assistants in Ed Donatell (who will become their DC) and Brandon Staley (who will work with OLBs).
- An offseason of change means the Bears could take on some different personnel. Yesterday, we took a deeper dive into the words that were said by GM Ryan Pace and Head Coach Matt Nagy regarding free agent running back Kareem Hunt. I found myself appreciative of this perspective from WSCR midday host Connor McKnight, who writes that it’s time for teams to put more stock into the opinion of trained professionals instead of the vouching made for troubled players by their current (and former) teammates, coaches, and football associates.
- I’m looking forward to this:
This spring: Chicago Bears Centennial Scrapbook, a project the great Don Pierson & I have been working on for a couple of years. You might think you know it all about the Bears, but we have plenty of new material, some of it coming from hours of interviews with Virginia McCaskey. pic.twitter.com/DwnJBNKpcL
— Dan Pompei (@danpompei) January 15, 2019
- I see things are back to normal in Eagles Nation:
Police: Irate Eagles fan put girlfriend's dog in microwave.
— AP NFL (@AP_NFL) January 15, 2019
- I just recently bought this wireless charger from Amazon, and I’ve got to say I’m a big fan. It works great even with a full case *and* one of those pop-socket things on my phone. If you’re looking for a wireless charger, that’s the one to get.