Getting Ready for the First of Many Trubisky vs. Watson Showdowns and Other Bullets

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Getting Ready for the First of Many Trubisky vs. Watson Showdowns and Other Bullets

Chicago Bears

Trying new things in old recipes has long been one of my favorite practices. Last night, I tossed up a Hail Mary, when I mixed in leftover shredded Italian beef as a substitute for bacon in my twice-baked potato. It was a pleasant surprise when the potato turned out to be good. And while it lacked the crispiness of bacon, the flavoring of the beef (garlic powder, granulated onion, oregano, crushed red pepper, basil) gave the potato an extra kick. It’s the latest example of a valuable lesson: Don’t be afraid to try new things (Michael: *Pours salsa on cereal* … “I’m not so sure about this, Luis.”)

  • The NFL unveiled the participants of Thursday’s Pro Bowl skills challenge and you’ll see some familiar faces representing the Bears:

  • Quarterback Mitch Trubisky and defensive lineman Akiem Hicks will be getting down for the NFC, which features Bears legend/Hall of Famer Brian Urlacher as one of the coaches. No pressure, guys. You’re just playing for an all-time great who looks like he could still hold his own in today’s game.
  • One of the most intriguing game-within-the-game storylines we’ll follow is how Trubisky fares in any head-to-head matchups with Deshaun Watson. Both were first-round quarterbacks in the 2017 NFL Draft class and each has their legions of fans. Not that we’ll draw major conclusions or take hard-line stances after it all wraps up, but I enjoy watching Trubisky perform because I feel every play has the potential to be a ball of fun wrapped in excitement.
  • I’m also 100 percent here for Akiem Hicks dominating some facet of the competition.
  • It’s a bummer that Tarik Cohen isn’t in on this action. I feel as if this is the kind of thing that is made for a player like him. I guess there’s always next year, but come on … he should be in on this right now. Chalk it up to a missed opportunity from an NFL marketing perspective.
  • These Cohen highlights will have to hold me over for the time being:

  • Charles Leno Jr. did his fair share of blocking that sprung big plays from Trubisky, Cohen, and others, so it’s good to see that he was among the late additions to the Pro Bowl as an alternate. I’m also appreciative of the shout out:

  • The connection that the 2018 Bears built with a fan base that hadn’t been given much to cheer about over the last five years isn’t lost on me. It might have taken some longer than others to put their arms around this team, but a 12-win season that featured an NFC North championship made it worth it to emotionally invest in football again. And while the end of the playoff run was jarring and unsavory, I’m hungry to get back at it when training camp kicks off this summer. Who’s with me?
  • Danny Trevathan is sharing the love:

  • I’ve been looking forward to this:

  • I’d rather be geeked up about prepping for the Super Bowl instead of talking myself into watching the Pro Bowl. But it could be worse. We could be losing sleep over how to block Aaron Donald again. Have fun with that, Coach Belichick:

  • We’re slowly embracing draft season around these parts. Bleacher Report’s Kristopher Knox believes Ohio State’s Parris Campbell could be someone the Bears target in the draft who would be somewhat of a surprise fit. Campbell caught 90 passes for 1,063 yards, and 12 touchdowns for the Buckeyes. Campbell is’s No. 3 wide receiver prospect and is projected to go as early as the first tow rounds. It’s possible Campbell slips into Round 3, but it’s unlikely. Which, would make him a surprise fit in every sense.
  • Or maybe it shouldn’t be that much of a surprise:

  • The Bears didn’t have a single wide receiver gain more than 800 yards in the air, which could be a testament to Trubisky spreading the wealth around what was an upgraded group of receivers in 2018. That Trubisky didn’t rely on Robinson all the time kept the Bears offense from being predictable, something it had been under John Fox and even under Marc Trestman. Robinson’s 1,000-yard season in Chicago will come as soon as next year. Especially if he can play like the guy we saw on Wild-Card Weekend.
  • Tennessee hired Arthur Smith as its new offensive coordinator to replace Matt LaFleur, who became Green Bay’s new head coach. It’s a hire worth noting from our perspective because it keeps prospective candidates such as QBs Coach Dave Ragone and OC Mark Helfrich in Chicago. Ragone was a dark-horse candidate for the gig earlier in January, while whispers of Helfrich reuniting with Marcus Mariota in Nashville never fully reached hot rumor stage, but it was still something worth keeping an eye on. The band remaining in tact on offense is a good team for a unit that still has some growing up to do.
  • Oh yeah, Deal of the Day at Amazon: bulk toilet paper!

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Author: Luis Medina

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