The calendar year of 1986 brought some wonderful things. A Bears Super Bowl win in January, a 63-point performance by Michael Jordan in a playoff game in April at Boston Garden, and the birth of yours truly in July. (MICHAEL: HAPPY BIRTHDAY, LUIS!)
Here’s to my age 33 season being as successful as the ones posted by Ted Washington (2001), Mike Singletary (1991), Richard Dent (1993), Brian Urlacher (2011), and James “Big Cat” Williams (2001). Using Pro Football Reference’s “Approximate Value” metric as our guide, those five Bears have put up the best performances in their age 33 seasons since 1986. AV is an attempt to put a single number to express a given player’s performance.
For what it’s worth, Billy Wade had his best year in his age 33 season back in 1963 — a year when the Bears won an NFL Championship. Go out and do that, Bears!
I plan on celebrating responsibly with exactly one adult beverage … after tonight’s episode of Outside The Ivy on NBC Sports Chicago, which will follow the Cubs-Pirates game.
And now, let’s share some Bullets!
- FINALLY! July is here, which means football is coming. There are just 27 days until the first public training camp practice, 38 days until the team’s first preseason game, 61 days until the NFL’s cut-down date, and 66 days until Bears-Packers on Thursday Night Football. GET PUMPED!
- The slowest period of the NFL calendar year is coming to a close. And while it won’t end as soon as I would like, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Soon enough, we’ll be filling these posts with training camp thoughts, ideas, feelings, questions, comments, concerns, and more. There is so much to be excited for when it comes to the Bears’ 2019 season. It’s going to take a bit to get there, but we have made it this far so I know we can continue to do it for a few more weeks.
- One thing I’m looking forward to is seeing if Leonard Floyd can make good on the athleticism, upside, and potential he possesses with the breakout year we’ve all been waiting for since his rookie season. Chris Roling (Bleacher Report) views Floyd as the Bears’ top candidate for a breakout campaign. Everything is lining of for Floyd to throw up his best season in a Bears uniform. Floyd will enter camp healthy and having the benefit of a full offseason training program’s worth of workouts. He will also have had plenty of time to get a feel for what it’s like working alongside Khalil Mack. Everything is there for No. 94 to put up the type of season we dreamed of when he was drafted with a top-10 pick in 2016. Perhaps our patience will (finally) pay off.
- Tarik Cohen is an important weapon coming out of the backfield:
— PFF CHI Bears (@PFF_Bears) June 28, 2019
- PFF highlights Cohen as the Bears’ X-factor for the 2019 season. The Bears used Cohen all over the field last year, increased his snap count and touches from his rookie campaign, and watched his numbers take off. Things are going to be different without Jordan Howard in the backfield with him, but different doesn’t necessarily mean bad. Because the Bears drafted David Montgomery and signed Mike Davis as a free agent, there is a case to be made that the Bears will be more liberal with their use of Cohen in the year to come. More Tarik Cohen? Where do I sign up!?
- I’d love the Mitch Trubisky-Eloy Jimenez bromance a little more of Jimenez was socking dingers for the North Side baseball club. Nevertheless, I’m digging this from the Sun-Times’ Patrick Finley, detailing how Trubisky he is reaching out to show some love for Chicago’s other stars.
- Have you gotten a chance to check out Akiem Hicks talking football with NFL analyst Brian Baldinger? Larry Mayer (ChicagoBears.com) catches up with Hicks and Baldinger, who are loving it as much as I am. Their tape breakdowns have been fun and given me a different perspective on what to look for when re-watching game film. Whenever Hicks is done with his football career, there is no doubt he’ll have a future in football media.
- Love to see it:
- So many birthday cakes will be headed to Halas Hall today:
- Sign this bear for a tryout right now!
— ABC News (@ABC) June 30, 2019
- Is that … a smile?
Bill Belichick like you've never seen him before. pic.twitter.com/gBBFG3D3oD
— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) July 1, 2019
- From the world of football writers:
Personal note: After 13 years at Rotoworld/NBC, I'm moving on. Big thanks to everyone I met along the way, was a fun run. Made amazing friends & feel like I helped build something great. Decided it was time for next chapter. Will have more info soon.
— Evan Silva (@evansilva) July 1, 2019
- Dang. Evan Silva has been a good read for football fans for a long time. Here’s hoping his next chapter is as successful as the book he just closed at Rotoworld/NBC.
- Great deals at Amazon today, including MacBook Pros, wireless ear buds, and KitchenAid mixers.
- The Bulls are doing stuff in free agency, so keep your eyes on our basketball-writing friends at BN Bulls:
— Bleacher Nation Bulls (@BN_Bulls) July 1, 2019
— Bleacher Nation Bulls (@BN_Bulls) June 30, 2019