Today isn’t just the last day of June … it’s also my final day of being a 32-year-old. Time flies when you’re writing about a coaching change, shift in offensive philosophy, developing quarterback, impressive draft class, a superlative group of free agents, a blockbuster trade, the rise of young star-power, and a 12-win division champion. My sincerest thanks go out to all of you who helped make this last year of Bears football fun. Let’s keep the ball rolling!
- At this time last year, the kicking game was the least of my concerns. The Bears signed Cody Parkey to a multi-year deal, which was supposed to mean that the revolving door of kickers was going to be put to a stop for a bit. After all, Parkey was coming off a season in which he connected on 91.3 percent of his kicks and had an 86.4 percent success rate on the 88 field goals he tried in 49 games from 2014-17. And then the 2018 season happened. We don’t need rot re-live that, but we should keep in mind how important some of the little things can be as we approach training camp.
- With that being said, there is more beyond the kicking game that will keep our minds occupied during the ramp-up period before the season starts. And to properly drive that point home, Adam Jahns of The Athletic ventures to write about storylines that are more important than what happens with the Bears’ kicking competition:
— The Athletic (@TheAthleticCHI) June 30, 2019
- While I understand there are other things the Bears need to get right for the 2019 season to be as (or even more) successful as the 2018 campaign, the kicking competition is a top-3 storyline for me this season because it’s something that can impact both sides of the ball. If the Bears’ kicking game is good, then the offense is better. And if the offense is better, then the defense figures to be better because they’ll be able to focus in on protecting leads rather than trying to do more than it is capable of doing. So if the Bears can get all of those facets of the game moving in the right direction, we are going to be in for one heck of a ride.
- Are Matt Nagy and Mitch Trubisky the Kings of the NFC North’s quarterback-head coach tandems? One NFL analyst thinks so:
— NFL Network (@nflnetwork) June 30, 2019
- It’s wild to think about how each of the QB-coach combos have been together for such a short period. Moreover, it’s crazy to think about the varying levels of success the Bears and Vikings had last season. Kirk Cousins put up another 4,000-yard passing season, posted a career-best completion percentage number, and threw down a 3-1 TD-INT ratio. That should have been enough to elevate Cousins’ status among NFC North quarterbacks, but his shortcomings in prime-time games and against upper echelon competition made his numbers look empty. Then there’s Trubisky, whose numbers improved from his rookie season, but also had struggles against some of the league’s better defenses. From where I’m seated, the difference between Trubisky and Cousins is that Trubisky’s mistakes weren’t back-breaking miscues and that he was able to do more with his legs, which allowed him to make up for his mistakes. Cousins’ misplays were gut-punches, and the veteran quarterback doesn’t have the mobility aspect to his game to make him an X-factor. We’ll see how these two go about doing better this coming season in due time.
- This is most certainly a mood:
- What’s your fantasy? Mine has to do with this Yahoo! Fantasy Sports projection for Bears running back David Montgomery:
— Yahoo Fantasy Sports (@YahooFantasy) June 28, 2019
- A rookie running back racking up 1,300 scrimmage yards and scoring 7-9 touchdowns? I’ll sign up for that right damn now. Please and thank you.
- John Franklin III is freaky fast:
— gifdsports (@gifdsports) June 30, 2019
- Even in defeat, it’s clear that Franklin has crazy speed:
— gifdsports (@gifdsports) June 30, 2019
- Franklin played in the secondary and returned some kicks for the Bears last preseason. I’m not sure if he is going to crack this year’s season-opening 53-man roster, but being this damn fast is going to open some eyes around the league (and even at Halas Hall).
- A minor bit of Bears-related roster housekeeping:
#Bears waived DB Jomon Dotson from injured reserve.
— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) June 28, 2019
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— OBVIOUS SHIRTS® (@obvious_shirts) June 30, 2019