This is an underrated time of the sports calendar. The baseball season is in its opening scenes and baseball-y things (pitcher dingers, bat flips, position players pitching) are happening. Professional basketball is closing up shop and the stars are gearing up for the postseason, while the best four teams in college buckets prepare for the Final Four. And then the football nerds among us are shifting our attention to the draft. There’s so much stuff happening, I feel as if we need more hours in the day to consume it all. Bring it all to me!
- Danny Trevathan is ready to kick off the Bears’ 100th season from the inside linebacker spot in style:
— Danny Trevathan (@Grindin_59) April 2, 2019
- Trevathan isn’t Urlacher, Singletary, or Butkus, but at trough three years of his Bears career, he has carved himself a niche as a fan favorite for what he has done to bring strong play back to the middle linebacker position. Here are the middle linebackers who started for the Bears between the end of the Urlacher era and when Trevathan arrived in 2016: D.J. Williams, Jonathan Bostic, Christian Jones, and Shea McClellin. And suddenly, you can see why the Bears’ defensive efficiency in the middle of the field took a tumble after Urlacher was not brought back by Phil Emery. Thankfully, Ryan Pace tightened that position up with the free agent signing of Trevathan and the drafting of Roquan Smith two years later.
- I’m expecting big things from the tag team of Trevathan and Smith. Last year, that duo combined for 223 tackles, 16 tackles-for-loss, 9 quarterback hits, 7 sacks, 3 interceptions, 11 passes defended, a forced fumble, and a recovery. Those two guys were all over the field last year in their first season together and the feeling is that more of the same should be coming in 2019.
- Some important dates to keep in mind as the Bears build toward their season opener on September 5:
- April 15: Offseason workouts begin
- April 23-25: Voluntary mini-camps
- May 21-23, May 29-31: Organized Team Activities (a.k.a. OTAs)
- June 11-13: Mandatory minicamp
- A very important numbers update featuring the Bears’ newest players:
A few new Bears numbers via the team website
Chris Blewitt – 2
Redford Jones – 6
Marvin Hall – 13
Ha Ha Clinton-Dix – 21
Buster Skrine – 24
Mike Davis – 25
Ted Larsen – 62
— Kevin Fishbain (@kfishbain) April 2, 2019
- Cordarelle Patterson still doesn’t have a number. What’s up with that?
- Ha Ha Clinton-Dix is back wearing his familiar 21 after playing as No. 20 in Washington. That number is essentially retired out east because it belonged to Sean Taylor, who was a star on the rise before his untimely murder.
- And an update regarding a jersey number no one will wear, but someone could want:
No joke… this one-of-a-kind jersey can be yours.
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) April 3, 2019
- Giving Redford Jones the No. 6 many associate with Jay Cutler on the day of his 10-year trade anniversary is a bit on the nose. But Bears kickers wearing No. 6 (hello, Kevin Butler) have a good history with the number. Chris Blewitt rocking the No. 2 is interesting, as it was famously worn by everyone’s favorite cork-screw style kicker Paul Edinger. Buster Skrine scooping up Jordan Howard’s No. 24 seemingly as he walked out the door is kind of awkward. But numbers mean different things to different people, players and fans alike. But no 100’s were handed out … what gives?
- Speaking of Cutler, Robert Zeglinski of Windy City Gridiron takes us down a path I wasn’t ready to go down as he explores the concept of what would have (could have?) happened had the Bears never traded for Jay Cutler. The Bears could have gone in any number of directions without Cutler, but what would have happened elsewhere might be far more intriguing. What happens if Cutler and Brandon Marshall stick together in Denver with Josh McDaniels? Does that trio become something special in the AFC West? Which team gives Tim Tebow a chance? Where does Peyton Manning land after leaving the Colts? There are so many unknown ripple effects, I almost want to dive off that deep end and explore more.
- This is a thoughtful gesture:
Cam Jordan and Chase Daniel are among four NFL players going on a USO tour to South Korea this week to visit U.S. troops and their families at military bases.
— Josh Katzenstein (@jkatzenstein) April 2, 2019
- An old friend found a new home:
— #DUUUVAL (@Jaguars) April 2, 2019
- Replacing Benny Cunningham’s offensive production (12 touches, 29 total yards) isn’t much of a concern, but it’s the special teams stuff the Bears will need to piece together in his absence. Cunningham played on 58.6 percent of special teams snaps last year, only Joel Iyiegbuniwe, Nick Kwiatkoski, DeAndre Houston-Carson, and Sherrick McManis played more. Perhaps Deon Bush (58.4%) or Marvin Hall (46.1% with the Falcons in 2018) is primed to step into that role and run with it in 2019.
- I fell down a YouTube rabbit hole and stumbled upon this: