Happy Opening Day, baseball fans!
Brett and Michael have Cubs fans covered over at the original BN site, while Baseball Is Fun will kick into a new gear now that the games are under way. Baseball is back, baby! I’m looking forward to it!
- Jon Gruden said he was still sensitive about the Khalil Mack trade when discussing it at the Combine, but no one knew it was to this extent:
Jon Gruden said he “cried for three days” after trading Khalil Mack. “I wanted to coach Khalil Mack. He knows that.”
He said trading Mack helped him do everything the Raiders have done this offseason.
— Scott Bair (@BairNBCS) March 26, 2019
- To be fair, we were quite emotional when the Bears traded for Mack. Different types of tears, though.
- Trading Mack was a game-changer. It obviously helped change the fortunes of the Chicago Bears, but it also sent the Raiders into a dark place as they went 4-12 in Gruden’s first year back coaching on the sidelines after a decade in the broadcast booth. Perhaps seeing the value of losing a superstar pushed Gruden and the Raiders to do what they did this offseason with Antonio Brown. If that’s the case, good for them. Some people take years before they’re willing to go about fixing their mistakes, let alone admit to making them in the first place.
- For the second straight year, Mack will get to showcase his skills on opening night against the Packers when the NFL’s longest-running rivalry opens up its 100th season on Thursday Night Football. Just 161 days if you’re keeping count at home! But if it was up to SI.com’s Jimmy Traina, it wouldn’t be the case. Traina believes the NFL blew it by opening the season with Bears-Packers and would have rather the lid-lifter for the league’s centennial season feature the Browns. Seriously? Set aside the best rivalry for the Cleveland Browns? HA! That’s funny.
- The NFL is celebrating history here, so it did the right thing by opening with its top rivals having center stage all to themselves. Last year’s season-opener between the Bears and Packers was a hard-fought contest and the re-match at Soldier Field was a one-score contest. Yeah, HUUUUUUUGE mistake by not having those two teams open your season. LULZ.
- NFL.com columnist Adam Schein believes the Bears are a team that will be worth spotlighting during the 2019 season. Chicago’s football team is one of the 16 teams (get it? it’s Sweet 16 weekend at March Madness!) to keep close tabs on in the coming year. “Chicago’s defense is elite, even after the departure of the best coordinator in the business today, with Vic Fangio taking the Broncos’ head-coaching gig,” Schein writes. “Mitchell Trubisky showed great improvement in his first season under Matt Nagy, and 2019 is the year he becomes a star. Also, I love the stable of backs at Nagy’s disposal, with free-agent pickup Mike Davis joining Tarik Cohen and Jordan Howard.”
- Mitch Trubisky gaining star status in Year 3? I’m here for it and I *know* you’re here for it, too.
- NFL.com teammate Maurice Jones-Drew sees Davis’ production taking a hit upon arriving in Chicago because of how similar his game is to that of Howard. MJD thinks Davis’ signing “must mean the Bears are still trying to trade Howard” and that’s a fair conclusion to come to if you’re connecting the dots. Both are physical runners, though Davis has better pass-catching skills out of the backfield and a little less tread on the tires. If Howard is still in the mix, Davis won’t put up the same numbers he did in Seattle. But it’s not all about the numbers for Bears running backs. It’s about fit and total offensive production.
- While folks like you and me are excited about the on-field product we’ll see in September, the franchise is understandably geeked up about the expansion of Halas Hall, writes Adam Jahns of the Sun-Times. Renovating Halas Hall was a long-time coming and that it’s coinciding with the Bears being on the up-swing makes for great timing. Franchises with out-dated facilities tend to fall behind their contemporaries, so it’s a positive sign that Halas Hall is headed in the right direction.
- This is going to be a treat:
***MEGA POD FROM ARIZONA***
– Matt Nagy and Ryan Pace sit down with us in a joint interview
– George McCaskey tells an incredible story about how he lost his Super Bowl ring
– Full wrap-up of the NFL Annual Meeting w/ all the highlights from Nagy & Pacehttps://t.co/lvvRWN99yu
— Adam Hoge (@AdamHoge) March 27, 2019
- The Colts signing possible Bears free-agent target Justin Houston makes even more sense if you look at it from this angle:
Chris Ballard cites his former team, the Bears, signing Julius Peppers yrs ago in a conversation about Justin Houston:
"When we signed Peppers…Julius was 30 yrs old and had 81 sacks. Justin's 30 yrs old and has 78 sacks. And I think this scheme…is gonna be good for him."
— Stephen Holder (@HolderStephen) March 27, 2019
- I woke up feeling under the weather today, so I needed a decent laugh to get things going in the right direction:
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) March 27, 2019
- Indoor garden, tools, 3D printers, and more are your Deals of the Day at Amazon.