I’ll admit that it’s not normal to still have Christmas cards up in my work space as we approach March, but the smiling faces (and awesome pups) that surround the area I work most often in can spark some things when it’s cold and looks gloomy outside my window.
- Athletic superiority doesn’t always directly translate into NFL dominance. But still … I love pieces like this from The Athletic’s Bruce Feldman that highlight athletic freaks to keep an eye on at the Combine.
- I, for one, will also closely follow some of the most unique names who will appear on the market. Phil Thompson of the Chicago Tribune stacks up the 10 best names scheduled to participate at the Combine, with Lil’Jordan Humphrey being one that has stood out to us for a hot minute.
- Combine Week is about to hit another level starting today with Head Coaches and General Managers throughout the league are meeting the media. For the Bears, it will be the first public comments for Matt Nagy and Ryan Pace since their season-ending press conference in January. Expect them to expand on their thoughts regarding the Cody Parkey release, Kyle Long contract restructuring, and more.
- For what it’s worth, Nagy has already weighed in on parting ways with Parkey. Though, I thought – in my heart of hearts – it would be announced on the TODAY show.
- With Parkey out of the picture, the Bears’ focus is on what’s ahead. In that vein, ex-NFL scout Greg Gabriel shares his assessment of what positions the Bears need to address leading into the Combine. Gabriel offers up the idea of making the retention of cornerback Bryce Callahan a top priority because he believes it’s easier to find safeties in the draft than possible slot corner replacements. From there, Gabriel highlights the top safeties, cornerbacks, and running backs who could be available to the Bears when they are on the clock. And because the Bears don’t have picks in the first two rounds, their dives are going to be bit deeper at the Combine this time around.
- Colleen Kane of the Chicago Tribune underscores five Bears storylines that figure to be front-and-center during Combine week. These reads are a lot different with the Bears being where they are now compared to where they were at this time in previous years. It goes a long way toward telling the story of how this team has grown under Pace and what Nagy brought to the table as a first-year head coach.
- The Bears seem set when it comes to who is at the top of their wide receiver depth chart, but Bet Chicago’s Bill Williamson sees free agent Michael Crabtree as a player the team should consider signing. Crabtree is a proven player whose next deal should be relatively affordable, but his production drop-off while running routes with a mobile quarterback in the pocket was considerable. Perhaps some of that was due to Lamar Jackson’s struggles in finding a rhythm throwing the ball, but I can’t imagine laying a bulk of the blame at the feet of QB1.
- Even though cap space is limited, JJ Stankevitz of NBC Sports Chicago writes that the expectation is that Pace and a front office that is currently operating in what they believe is a competitive window is going to be aggressive on the transaction wire. They’ll probably need to be creative in ways we haven’t thought of just yet in order to make a splash move, but Pace’s reputation precedes him.
- Vic Fangio, always the jokester:
Vic Fangio when asked about his former team: “Bears? Who are they?” pic.twitter.com/2rJn9Zjun4
— Chris Wesseling (@ChrisWesseling) February 27, 2019
- But on a serious note:
Vic Fangio says he thinks the Bears’ defense under Chuck Pagano will “do fine” because the players haven’t changed. Said he heard from a number of Bears players after leaving Chicago.
— JJ Stankevitz (@JJStankevitz) February 27, 2019
— Nate Davis (@ByNateDavis) February 27, 2019
- Barry Sanders wrecked everyone (including our beloved Bears) back in the day:
— NFL Throwback (@nflthrowback) February 26, 2019
- Oof. This was a tough read:
— Deadspin (@Deadspin) February 27, 2019