Nothing like fitting baseball and horse-racing into your busy Saturday schedule of watching a Star Wars marathon on TBS. May the 4th be a thing you enjoy!
- Football is back … kinda:
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) May 4, 2019
- Rookie mini-camps are upon us and the Bears have a ton of bodies in camp. And while Chicago’s starters seem to be entrenched after a 12-win season that resulted in a division championship in 2018, finding the right mix of depth for the 2019 squad starts with these rookies at camp. It isn’t like previous years when the Bears were ushering rookies into starting roles immediately. But because you never know when a rookie will get called upon in a big spot, preparedness is key. It all starts now for those guys. Here’s hoping they’re up to the challenge.
- The most prominent challenge the Bears are facing in 2019 is finding Cody Parkey’s replacement, and the team wasted no time in manufacturing drama in its kicking competition. In case you missed it, each of the eight kickers who were at Halas Hall for this weekend’s rookie mini-camp attempted a 43-yard field goal. Yes, that’s the same distance Parkey missed from in the playoff loss to the Eagles. Just two of them made it. Yikes!
- Some early takeaways from the kicking carnival at Halas Hall:
Of all the kickers I saw today, Casey Bednarski, the long-haired Minnesota State-Mankato alum of shirtless backflip Internet fame, jumped out the most. Big leg. https://t.co/2uUUvgrEz8
— Patrick Finley (@patrickfinley) May 3, 2019
The three kickers I was impressed with today: Elliott Fry, Redford Jones and Casey Bednarski. #Bears
— Zack Pearson (@Zack_Pearson) May 3, 2019
This honestly wasn’t indicative of the long kicking session that went on during practice. We’re not allowed to report specifics, but Elliott Fry and Casey Bednarski stood out with both distance and accuracy. Redford Jones also had a decent day.
— Adam Hoge (@AdamHoge) May 3, 2019
- JJ Stankevitz (NBC Sports Chicago), Chris Emma (670 The Score), Dan Wiederer (Chicago Tribune), Larry Mayer (ChicagoBears.com), and James Neveau (NBC Chicago’s Grizzly Detail) also have expanded thoughts on what went down at Halas Hall on Friday. Before we go running to conclusions and jumping off the deep end after Friday’s results, remember that it was just one mini-camp practice. We probably have another four months or so to sort through the madness. Relax and let the process play out.
- And whatever you do, don’t do this:
More depressing for Bears fans:
Bears kickers going 0/6 in their exhibition from 43-yards out, or
Bears drafting 2 RBs out of 5 draft picks including one on a trade up https://t.co/triE2uswvP
— Warren Sharp (@SharpFootball) May 3, 2019
- There is no need to go into a tangent about the inaccuracy in the tweet above regarding makes and misses, but c’mon man. Get it right! The facts are out there. At least correct yourself! 🙄
- Anyway, I don’t think there are any Bears fans depressed about anything that happens at a mini-camp in May. And I’m certain no Bears fan is depressed about landing the second highest-ranked running back prospect in the 2019 NFL Draft class. Pump the breaks, guys. It’s just May!
- At least the exercise is getting rave reviews:
The #Bears’ Cody Parkey-distance, everybody-watching FG idea delivered exactly what they wanted: unique pressure. Other than some chatty reporters, the entire field was quiet. When John Baron made it, some players applauded. They should continue it. Helps snappers, holders too.
— Adam Jahns (@adamjahns) May 4, 2019
- The good news about Bears mini-camp is that there was more to it than kickers doinking field goals.
- I’m intrigued by pass-rushing outside linebacker Matt Betts, a Canadian standout who was selected with the third overall pick in Thursday’s CFL draft. Despite being a highly coveted Canadian Football League prospect, Betts is going to try his hand in the NFL and try to play his way onto the Bears. Larry Mayer (ChicagoBears.com) and Kevin Fishbain (The Athletic) connected to the new guy looking to make a name for himself state-side.
- Stephen Letizia of the Chicago Audible explores why the Bears rolled the dice on sixth-round cornerback Duke Shelley, a player who will soon be transitioning to the slot after spending his college career on the outside. It will be a while until we know what kind of impact Shelley will have for a while, but getting younger and faster at that position has its perks.
- And how can you not like the new guy’s attitude:
“50-50 balls, I don’t consider them ‘50-50’. I consider them mine…” – New #Bears DB Duke Shelley on his mindset.
— Bear Report (@BearReport) May 3, 2019
- Third-round rookie David Montgomery caught the eye of Bears Head Coach Matt Nagy, saying the Iowa State product handled his first camp well. “He looks like he’s in great shape. Caught the ball really well,” Nagy said, via Colleen Kane of the Tribune. “These camps aren’t too big on running, so it’s a lot of receiving, and I was really impressed.”
- Making a good impression as a receiver early in camp should bode well for Montgomery, who could earn a bulk of snaps by proving to be a versatile threat out of the backfield.
- How can you not love old-time football videos? Especially ones that star Walter Payton, Jim McMahon, and friends:
The 1985 #Bears opened the season vs Tampa Bay.
The #Bucs have a 21-7 lead before the 🐻 show up.
Leslie Frazier has a pick 6, Payton goes for 120, @JimMcMahon was 23-34-274-2.#Bears outscore the #Buccaneers 38-28 pic.twitter.com/P6cUIC2JL8
— Old Time Football 🏈 (@Ol_TimeFootball) May 4, 2019
- Or this from back-in-the-day when the NFL’s champs played a college football all-star game at Soldier Field – which featured some familiar faces:
This was the year before in 1975. This game also involved the Steelers, of course. You may recognize a couple of these college guys. pic.twitter.com/DSH1YPkVbF
— Ƒunhouse (@BackAftaThis) May 2, 2019
- Grab ’em before they’re gone:
— Chicago Bears (@BearsOutreach) May 3, 2019
- Ooh, this is neat:
— Bleacher Nation (@BleacherNation) May 4, 2019