So Much Love for Zach Miller, TE Talk, Draft Rumors, and Other Bullets
There are times when I take risks in cooking and preparation just to see how something works. Putting a chicken breast in a buttermilk brine for 20 hours before cooking was something of a dice roll because that felt like a long time to let it marinate. Instead, it turned out to be great. And suddenly, I want to take more calculated risks in the kitchen.
I’m open to suggestions from the peanut gallery.
After reading Zach Miller’s heartfelt message announcing his retirement yesterday, how about one more batch of Miller highlights for the road:
From a football perspective, the Bears missed Miller’s presence on the field, where his reliable hands and sure-footed route-running made him a favorite target of Mitch Trubisky early in his NFL career. Moving forward, I want to strike a balance between not overstating what he meant to the team, while not overlooking the value of his presence in the locker room and on the sidelines. Glue guys who bring teams together don’t grow on trees, and Miller was the type of player who did a little bit of everything to try and provide a positive impact to the game when he couldn’t bring it on the field. And with Matt Nagy beating the drum for culture change last year, you can see why Miller was valuable and popular. There isn’t a stat to calculate what he brought to the table, but we know better than to need one.
Naturally, Miller was showered with love from around the NFL after the announcement:
As we move into 2019, the Bears’ tight ends room has questions to answer. Between Trey Burton’s big contract and the use of a second-round pick on Adam Shaheen, Chicago has made significant investments at the position with mixed returns. Burton was solid, but not spectacular in 2018 as he proved to be a safe option for Trubisky to throw to last season. However, more was expected after signing a hefty free agent contract and his injury-related absence in the postseason left fans craving more.
The Shaheen project has come along slower than expected, with injuries playing a significant role. Shaheen has missed 13 games in his first two seasons, but I feel as if the injury he suffered against Denver in the preseason didn’t set him back more than we would otherwise think. Because in addition to missing the rest of the preseason and games that came early in the regular season, Shaheen missed out on a bunch of practice time, too. So on top of missing games, Shaheen missed out on opportunities to further build a rapport with Trubisky, his fellow tight ends, the offensive linemen he lines up next to when in the “Y” position, and even strength-training that could help round out his game. This group has a lot to prove in 2019 and there isn’t a veteran presence on the roster to lean on at this time.
To be fair, the Bears might not need an experienced body in camp. It’s possible that a young, talented addition could help round out the room as well as an experienced camp body. So with that in mind, let’s not look past the idea of the Bears drafting a tight end:
Another small-school tight end might make Bears fans itchy, but the juice could be worth the squeeze if a middle-round prospect with upside happens to check all the right boxes.
Tight ends can often function as a sixth offensive linemen in certain protections. As it stands, the Bears’ offensive line appears to be in good shape. Mark Potash of the Chicago Sun-Times takes note of the continuity up front, noting this is the fourth straight year in which Charles Leno Jr., Cody Whitehair, Kyle Long, and Bobby Massie will enter the year together.
A pair of springtime needs highlight today’s Deals of the Day at Amazon, including Segways and electric mosquito repellent devices.
If this is any indication, the new Matrix movie is going to be sick:
Surely, opposing NFC North quarterbacks are taking notes because that might be the only way they avoid Khalil Mack in 2019.