One of my favorite bars is hosting an event for a good cause:
— Nisei Lounge Chicago (@NiseiLounge) April 13, 2019
here’s the list of raffle prizes for saturday night, y’all. i even included the jersey sizes. all jerseys are mitchell & ness.
— shake (@curlyfro) April 12, 2019
I’ll be out there after taking my afternoon to take in the Cubs-Angels game that won’t feature Mike Trout or Kris Bryant. Not quite what I was hoping for from a standpoint of wanting to see stars, but I’ll make the most of it.
- Bucky Brooks played in the NFL and served as a scout before turning over to the media side to cover the league at NFL.com, so we tend to listen when he speaks up. In an article highlighting the league’s contenders, Brooks believes you can pencil the Bears into a playoff bracket and are one of five “Super Bowl-ready” teams. SUPER. BOWL. READY. AHHHH! So how did Brooks come to this conclusion? He and Daniel Jeremiah came up with a roster composition formula, highlighting the importance of five position groups (1 franchise QB, 3 offensive linemen, 3 offensive playmakers, 3 defensive playmakers, and 2 pass rushers). The Bears are one of the teams that fits the bill in Brooks’ eyes. It’s worth pointing out that 9 of 13 players who fit the formula were acquired by GM Ryan Pace by draft, trade, or free agency. The only ones who weren’t (Kyle Fuller, Charles Leno Jr., Kyle Long) have since signed long-term extensions (Charles Leno Jr., Kyle Fuller) or recently been given a restructured deal (Kyle Long). Chicago’s football team has a lot of things going in their favor and we should appreciate it while we have a moment before we throw ourselves into the nitty gritty of football season.
- The Bears being viewed as a Super Bowl-ready team is high praise considering this group had its share of question-marks at this time last year. Because at this time last year, Chicago was viewed as a team with potential to make noise, but it had mountains to move in order to reach its potential. It wasn’t until after the 2018 NFL Draft when buzz about the Bears being a team that had the potential to go from worst to first really picked up. And even then, skepticism remained. It was understandable, to be sure. After all, the Bears were mired in a lengthy postseason drought and jumping onto the bandwagon wasn’t going to be easy. But the Bears are back and it’s safe to watch again.
- Getting the kicking game in good shape would go a long way toward getting the Bears back to the Super Bowl. I’m not sure Elliott Fry is the answer, but he could be part of the solution. Chicago signed the AAF standout to a three-year deal (don’t worry, there isn’t a ton of money tied to it and the deal will likely be something like an undrafted free agent would sign at this juncture) and added him to the in-house competition that also includes Redford Jones and Chris Blewitt.
- Chris Emma of 670 The Score caught up with Chris Sailer, who served as a kicking coach for Fry and shared some positive reviews. “Very consistent, solid kicker,” Sailer told Emma/670 The Score. “Gets elevation on his balls. That’s the one thing that kind of separates him.” Sailer would also go on to praise Fry’s “really strong” mental game and ability to bounce back from missed kicks. That’s encouraging to hear. Having a strong leg is one thing, but good kickers have to have the mental fortitude to bounce back from bad times in order to succeed in the NFL.
- Even after signing Fry, there is still room for the Bears to draft or sign a kicker as a post-draft UDFA. Sign (or draft) all the kickers (!) is a bold strategy that could pay off. It’s a shame the team didn’t try it before.
- Another dynamite draft class could further boost Chicago’s stock. Now this isn’t to say achieving that is going to be easy. The Bears don’t have picks in either of the first two rounds and enter draft weekend with a grand total of five selections. But if they can make the most of them (as they have in recent years) then they could continue to be in good shape.
- As Patrick Finley of the Sun-Times points out, one position the Bears need to draft well is at running back. After trading Jordan Howard, replacing him is a high priority. Yes, signing Mike Davis to help offset that work-load and giving Tarik Cohen more of a snap-share will help matters. But for this offense to be fully operational, it needs one more do-it-all back to tie the group together. There should be no shortage of potential impact backs available in the middle rounds. It’s just a matter of who the Bears like the most.
- Nailing some mid-round sleepers is always helpful. Perhaps someone will emerge from this collection of guys the Bears have reportedly had their eyes on:
Small school alert, Part 1: San Jose St TE Josh Oliver is visiting with the #Bears on Tuesday, source said. He’s been to the #Jaguars, #Vikings, Broncos and #Steelers, while working out privately for the #Cowboys, #Giants and others. He is a likely early Friday pick.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) April 12, 2019
Here's a list of players I've compiled that attended today's #Bears local Pro Day (according to confirmed reports): (16 in total I've found so far)
CB Julian Love
RB Dexter Williams (Also met privately)
WR Miles Boykin (Also met privately)
TE Nic Weishar
— Aaron Leming (@AaronLemingNFL) April 12, 2019
UNLV RB Lexington Thomas (Ben Davis) who did Texans' local day and Cardinals' local day, had a private workout for the Bears, upcoming visits with Lions and Jets
— Aaron Wilson (@AaronWilson_NFL) April 12, 2019
- Small-school players have a certain stigma, but no one never knows what it has in a prospect until they show up to camp.
- Always celebrate your birthdays responsibly:
- Among today’s Deals of the Day at Amazon are “LOL Surprise Dolls” that could be a nice Easter basket stuffer for those you with young children. Or those of us with Godchildren. Thanks for the heads up, Brett.