It’s almost planting season in Chicago, which means it’s time to beautify my lawn and yard. I’m not sure how I want to accent my living space, but loading up on colorful flowers after a gray and gloomy winter seems like a great idea.
And yet, the thing I want to do most is grow a fruit or vegetable. I’m open to all sorts of ideas on what I should grow. (Legal ideas, mind you…)
- Seeing this unfold in front of my eyes from the upper reaches of Soldier Field was one of my favorite moments of the 2018 season:
😳 SCARY pic.twitter.com/jJFN0n22LF
— Olin kreutz (@olin_kreutz) April 4, 2019
- And to think, the only person in the frame above who isn’t coming back for 2019 is safety Adrian Amos.
- Few things get me pumped like seeing my team’s defense pick up a sack/safety, in part because there is a certain build-up that comes right before it happens. The opposing offense needs to start off in bad shape, then the defense needs to take advantage of it by getting to the quarterback before he can throw it away or dump it off to someone in the flat. Quarterbacks have gotten smarter about throwing it away to live another down, but in perfect moments, what you see above with Bears defenders hauling butt to get to Jared Goff can happen and it results in a resounding roar. Ahhhh! Let it happen again this year!
- The core of the Bears defense is enough to put any fears of a 2019 drop-off on the back-burner. That starting 11 returns six players (Prince Amukamara, Eddie Goldman, Kyle Fuller, Eddie Jackson, Akiem Hicks, and Khalil Mack) who ranked among Pro Football Focus’ Fuller 101 best players in 2018. Three of those players (Mack, Jackson, Fuller) were first-team All-Pros (and Pro Bowlers), a fourth (Hicks) joined Fuller, Jackson, Hicks, and Mack as Pro Bowlers. Goldman was probably the biggest snub of Bears players who didn’t make an All-Pro team or a Pro Bowl, but another solid year anchoring the middle of the defensive line on a top-tier defense could raise his visibility yet again.
- Anthony Miller brought the hype yesterday as he served up a reminder that everything he did in 2018 was done with one arm, which is ridiculously impressive considering the important role an arm plays in trying to catch passes. Colleen Kane of the Chicago Tribune traveled to Memphis to catch up with Miller, who continues to remind folks he opened eyes despite not being 100 percent last year. “Chicago hasn’t seen how I can play yet,” Miller told the Tribune. “Every time I tried to stiff arm, it would come out, or if I ran kind of crazy, it would come out. Really I was playing games with like one arm, making it happen. This year I’ve got two, so watch out.”
- If Miller can post a 33-catch, 423-yard, 7-touchdown season with one arm, then Miller should cook up a 66-catch, 846-yard, 14-touchdown campaign with two healthy arms. That’s how it works, right?
- Teaming a healthy Miller with Allen Robinson, Taylor Gabriel, Cordarrelle Patterson, and Trey Burton is going to make Mitch Trubisky’s life under center that much easier. Trubisky posted a 116.4 passer rating when throwing to Miller last season and threw six of his 24 touchdowns passes to the Memphis product last season. We saw it as the beginning of a beautiful relationship between a quarterback with upside and a wide receiver with a ton of talent and untapped potential.
- It won’t be the same offense without Jordan Howard, but that’s OK. Because even with Howard, that unit had a ton of room for improvement. Much was made about Howard’s fit in Matt Nagy’s offense, which this threat by Windy City Gridiron’s Robert Schmitz provides perspective:
The Jordan Howard trade provided #Bears fans with a Rorschach test — some saw Pace get poor value for a productive RB while others saw Pace get what he could for an RB that didn't fit.
— Robert Schmitz (@robertkschmitz) April 3, 2019
- Howard said he didn’t understand why the Bears wanted to move on from him, but we have some ideas.
- The Bears made it officially official yesterday when they announced the re-signing of long snapper Patrick Scales. One of the most difficult things to do in football is assess or grade special teams play, but Scales didn’t stand out for having poor snaps or blown blocking assignments, so that’s pretty good. I’d be concerned about the re-signing if that wasn’t the case.
- Scales’ re-signing leaves the only special teams position without a starter cemented into a role is kicker. Go figure. With the AAF on the brink of closing up shop, Bleacher Report’s Gary Davenport believes the Bears are an ideal fit for San Antonio kicker Nick Rose. During his time as San Antonio’s kicker, Rose nailed all 14 of his field goal attempts – including both tries from 50+ yards. And since neither Chris Blewitt or Redford Jones has attempted a field goal in the NFL, it wouldn’t hurt to bring in an experienced leg coming off a heater (albeit in a developmental league) to provide extra competition.
- I can’t get enough of the look-backs we’re taking when it comes to the Jay Cutler Trade. This one from The Ringer’s Robert Mays is a treat:
On this week in 2009, Chicago sent two first-round picks, a third-round pick, and Kyle Orton to the Broncos for its new franchise QB, Jay Cutler. @robertmays breaks down the legacy of the deal for the Bears.https://t.co/XshlHdBu7b
— The Ringer (@ringer) April 3, 2019