Even though I didn’t attend the much-ballyhooed Star Wars Celebration in Chicago, friends who went and shared images, videos, moments, and highlights have done wonders to re-kindle my interest in the movie franchise. Finding things to spark my mind can be a challenge at times during the dog days of football’s offseason, so every bit helps.
- They’re back, baby:
- With higher expectations than any year in recent history, the Bears started voluntary workouts on Monday. It’s the beginning of a first phase focusing on strength and conditioning exercises, as well as physical rehabilitation. No, it’s not the sexiest time of the year for football activities … but it’s better than nothing.
- Mitch Trubisky is ready to get it in gear after last year’s good vibes came to a crashing halt after a quick postseason ouster. “I think we just got a little taste of what this team can accomplish and hopefully that motivates us even more – I know for me it definitely does,” Trubisky said via the team’s official website. “We’re just going to continue to push the envelope, get better and better, come together closer as a team and continue to work as hard as we possibly can to get that final goal.”
- We’re in the opening phases of the offseason training program, but Trubisky’s quarterback speak is already in midseason form.
- Elsewhere, the word of the day at the new-look Halas Hall is “hunger” and the Bears have a lot of it. “Empty stomach right now,” said Danny Trevathan. “Guys are hungry, man. You’ve got guys in there busting their tails. You see all the work they’ve been putting in because they know expectations are high.” Center Cody Whitehair chimed in and added: “There’s a lot of hunger. Obviously it ended a little too short last year, so hopefully we can get started back on the foot we left off on, and I think the sky’s the limit for this team.”
- Seeing that the 2018 season ended with a double-doinked kick, I’m not sure the Bears want to get back on the foot they left on – but I get where Whitehair is coming from when he says this.
- When OTAs were kicking off last year, there was considerable upside and hope – but also a ton of unanswered questions that we wouldn’t get answers for until the season started. How would Matt Nagy handle the greater responsibilities of a head coach after being a coordinator? Would Trubisky be able to operate a more complex offense than the one he was in charge of as a rookie? Could the team be any more unlucky in the health department? We received answers across the board as the Bears went 12-4 and won the NFC North. For some, that would be enough. But for the Bears, it’s just enough to whet their appetite and further push them toward their ultimate goal.
- And it’s not just that the Bears are hungry, they’ll also have to be aware that they are the hunted. Perhaps teams slept on the Bears last season. After all, they hadn’t made the playoffs since 2010, had an unproven second-year quarterback, first-year head coach, and an underrated defense whose top-10 finishes in scoring and yardage were overlooked. No one should be looking past the Bears this year. Not after last year’s successes and not with the motivating factors that are expected to vault the team to great things in 2019.
- While everyone seems happy to be at the Bears’ new facilities, Robbie Gould and the 49ers are at odds and doesn’t seem all that eager to head to San Francisco for voluntary workouts. Kickers aren’t missing much by sitting out right now, but it’s growing more apparent that Gould wasn’t pleased with the 49ers’ use of the Franchise tag on him. The two sides don’t appear to be on the same page when it comes to a contract extension, though that’s not much of a surprise.
- The Bears’ public fitness center in Vernon Hills opened up on Monday and it looks dreamy:
- Here’s some wicked movement from Eddie Jackson that would make some relievers blush:
- A breakfast sandwich maker highlights today’s Deals of the Day at Amazon.