Happy Super Bowl Sunday! Make sure you get your cooking done early, put your beverages on ice, throw down for your prop bets, and be kind to the people who are hosting you. If you’re doing the hosting, best of luck to you!
- In case you missed it, Matt Nagy won the NFL’s Coach of the Year award and delivered an acceptance speech worth a BA-BOOM! afterward:
🗣 SPEECH! SPEECH!
We're so proud to call this guy Coach. 🐻⬇ https://t.co/O7NX900wpi
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) February 3, 2019
- “This represents all of us. We always talk about it being a “me” award, this is a “we” award. Nagy’s right. This is about all of us together.” Doesn’t that sum it up accurately? Yes, Nagy gets the accolades and a trophy to take home. But without the players, assistant coaches, training staff, and others, Nagy would not have been in a position to win the award. It takes a village sometimes, and the all-hands-on-deck approach implemented by Nagy was adapted throughout the organization. Think about the difference between how you felt about the Bears at the end of last season compared to how you feel about them right now. If you have more positive vibes flowing through you, then you know what culture change feels like.
- Nagy’s next task? Avoiding the let-down season. The Bears’ worst-to-first turnaround wasn’t the first in NFL history and won’t be its last. The league’s popularity is based on an “any given Sunday” mindset that is applicable for each of the league’s 32 teams every year. Yes, that accounts for the Browns, too. Nagy’s challenge moving forward is to continue the team’s winning ways by going from piling up wins in a season to stacking winning seasons. The Bears haven’t made the postseason in consecutive years since 2005 and 2006. But if anyone knows what it takes to move this thing into the next gear it’s Nagy … right? After all, he was on the Eagles’ staff when the team went to three straight postseasons from 2008-10, then on the Chiefs staffs that made it four times in five years, which includes a three-year run from 2015-17.
- Not to be left out of the picture, Vic Fangio’s last season running the Bears’ defense was an award-winning one:
Congratulations to former DC Vic Fangio, who was named the NFL's Assistant Coach of the Year by the Associated Press at the NFL Honors Saturday night in Atlanta. pic.twitter.com/3N21pbYUAy
— Chicago Bears (@BearsPR) February 3, 2019
- There is a line of thinking that Nagy wouldn’t have won the NFL’s Coach of the Year award had Fangio, the NFL’s Assistant Coach of the Year, by his side. Don’t fall into that line of thinking. While Fangio was a major part of the team’s success, giving him all the credit for the Bears’ strong season would be an oversimplification of things. By that logic, Fangio was a major reason the Bears lost double digit games the year before. The truth, as always, is in the middle. Nagy and the Bears would not have been successful without Fangio’s defense, while Fangio’s unit would not have received the praise it did had the Bears’ offense worked its way from the bottom third into the middle of the pack. Everything worked together as one. That’s why the Bears won 12 games in 2018.
- With that being said, you’re up Chuck Pagano.
- Akiem Hicks has sound technique on the field and in the classroom:
All-Pro DL Akiem Hicks (@The_Dream99 ) taught @BaldyNFL and I some DL tips & techniques today at #SuperBowl #FilmSessions @ChicagoBears @NFLFilms #JawsFilmSessions #BaldysBreakdowns #SBLIiI pic.twitter.com/y3gnbSB0gq
— Ron Jaworski (@JawsCEOQB) February 1, 2019
- Chris Long is a stellar defensive lineman in his own right. But the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award is about more than what you do on the field. This was a well-deserved honor:
[1 of 2] Walter Payton set a tremendous example of what it looks like to succeed on the field while leaving an even bigger legacy off it. I accept this award humbly, and undeservingly join the company of men that have been honored before me. pic.twitter.com/ZZYvbTqCfc
— Chris Long (@JOEL9ONE) February 3, 2019
[2 of 2] Thank you to everyone — players, friends and fans — who have supported our work to transform communities locally and around the world. If it was not for you guys this would not be possible. @waterboysorg #WPMOY
— Chris Long (@JOEL9ONE) February 3, 2019
- Good for you, Kenny Stills:
The NFL gives each Walter Payton Man of the Year nominee up to $50k for charity.
Kenny Stills is donating his reward to Colin Kaepernick's cause.
— AP NFL (@AP_NFL) February 3, 2019
- This is how the rest of the awards were handed out:
2018 AP NFL Awards …
MVP: Patrick Mahomes, Chiefs
OPOY: Patrick Mahomes, Chiefs
DPOY: Aaron Donald, Rams
OROY: Saquon Barkley, Giants
DROY: Darius Leonard, Colts
COY: Matt Nagy, Bears
ACOY: Vic Fangio, Bears
CPOY: Andrew Luck, Colts
— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) February 3, 2019
- OK, so the Bears passed on drafting the league’s MVP and Offensive Player of the Year. Oof. That’s a tough look for a franchise that’s been looking for a franchise quarterback to lead the way since as long as I can remember. But let’s think of it this way: the Coach of the Year award winner is the guy who tutored the MVP in his rookie season. Earlier in the year, Mahomes credited his time learning while behind Alex Smith as a reason why he got off to a hot start. If you believe in Nagy as the Bears’ coach moving forward, then you should probably hold out some faith he can lead Trubisky to great things as he enters his second year in Nagy’s system.
- Meet your Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2019:
— Pro Football Hall of Fame (@ProFootballHOF) February 2, 2019
- It was good to see Kevin Mawae break through and make the Hall, because it’s not often centers get their due for what they do. Perhaps this will open the door for others and help Olin Kreutz’s cause in the years to come.
- I don’t want to dive too deep into the Class of 2020 just yet, but Lance Briggs is among the guys who will be up for nomination. The push for Briggs to get in will begin in short order. And while he might not get in on the first ballot, there is a compelling case to be made for him. Again, we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it.
- Oh yeah, there’s a football game today. It’s the last one of the year. Let’s enjoy it.
- Don’t you ever think about sleeping on undrafted free agents ever again:
— Forbes SportsMoney (@ForbesSports) February 3, 2019
- Because the scouting and development process are far from perfect, it should come as no surprise that 30 players who will step foot on the Super Bowl’s surface in Atlanta went undrafted. Some of that is due to the constant roster turnover, but a chunk of it is good scouting by teams who excel in finding diamonds in the rough.
- The name of one Super Bowl assistant coach will raise some eyebrows among Bears fans. Aaron Kromer is the Rams’ Run Game Coordinator (seriously, that’s a job), but is best known in Chicago as the Offensive Coordinator during Marc Trestman’s time as Chicago’s head coach. Actually, Kromer is probably most known in Chicago for being the locker room leak to NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport, which didn’t go over all that well in the room – especially since he adamantly denied having the loose lips in the first place. Kromer reportedly issued an emotional and tearful apology, which left quarterback Jay Cutler simply shaking his head.
- From one polarizing ex-Bears QB to another. NFL.com’s Gregg Rosenthal ranked all 61 quarterbacks who have started in the Super Bowl and put Rex Grossman all the way at the bottom of the list. Grossman checks in at No. 61, coming in behind everybody – including Stan Humphries, Trent Dilfer, Vince Ferragamo, Tony Eason, and David Woodley. Jim McMahon didn’t fare much better, ranking 53rd, just behind Doug Williams, Jake Delhomme, and Colin Kaepernick. and he put Grossman in dead last.
- It’s tough to argue with Grossman’s place on the list. His career with the Bears never lived up to the first-round billing. He threw more interceptions (35) than touchdowns (33). And in his one Super Bowl start, he went 20 for 28 for 165 yards, one touchdown, two interceptions. That’s a 68.3 rating. That’s bad.
- Maybe the Bears win the Super Bowl (despite Grossman’s play) had they done a better job covering covering Reggie Wayne (53 yard receiving TD) or tackling Dominic Rhodes (23 rushes, 113 yards, 1 TD). More competent play from the quarterback would’ve helped, too … but you win as a team and lose as a team.
- This is what’s going to tip the scale in the Patriots’ favor, isn’t it?
Sean McVay will be without his starting “Get Back” coach today. #Rams strength coach Ted Rath didn’t travel to #SuperBowlLIII as he’s recovering from a recent medical procedure: https://t.co/7Z7w1YaTlg
— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) February 3, 2019
- Meanwhile, in New Orleans:
Still too soon in New Orleans… pic.twitter.com/JVDhfbPpMY
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) February 3, 2019