Because I am trying to make the most of the waning summer weekends, I am typing Bullets from the airport in Minneapolis-St. Paul. If anyone has food or drink recommendations, throw them at my Twitter page and I might get to them. Otherwise, I’m going to enjoy some down time, catch up with some friends, and knock another Major League Baseball stadium off the list.
- As expected, Bears Head Coach Matt Nagy rested most of his key starters in Thursday’s 23-13 preseason loss to the Panthers. Despite falling in defeat, two important things happened for the Bears — young players made quality early impressions and the team emerged healthy. There isn’t much more you could ask for out of preseason Week 1. I’d venture to say that is more of a win than had the result been Chicago outscoring Carolina.
- Roquan Smith was shot out of a cannon and I can’t wait to see more:
— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) August 9, 2019
- Watching Roquan Smith blitz in Chuck Pagano’s scheme is going to be an absolute treat.
- Remember, Smith did not play a preseason snap last summer because he was holding out to get his rookie deal right and a hamstring issue kept him out of action once he put pen to paper and agreed on a deal. It didn’t take him long to make an impression. After watching Smith flash with that sack, I would not be surprised to see Smith join the starters who are held out from preseason action.
- Important numbers for the Bears defense from the first half: 5 tackles-for-loss, 4 quarterback hits, two sacks, two turnovers. That’ll play, friends.
- Seeing Ha Ha Clinton-Dix in navy blue is still taking some time to get used to for yours truly.
- This was a thought I had last night:
Chase Daniel dropping dimes to Ian Bunting is what preseason football is all about, baby!
— Bleacher Nation Bears (@BN_Bears) August 9, 2019
- After Mitch Trubisky started the game with three hand-offs to new running back Mike Davis, Chase Daniel came in to finish the first half with a stat line that was eye-opening. Daniel completed 11 of 13 passes for 120 yards and a 105.1 passer rating. He took two sacks, which was less than ideal, but otherwise ran the offense efficiently enough.
- Watching Daniel run Matt Nagy’s offense makes me long for Trubisky having a firm grasp of everything that is on his plate.
- For the record: I have no issues with the Bears’ deployment of Trubisky last night. Not only was the run-run-run series a neat nod to ex-Bears coach John Fox, getting Trubisky three game snaps to get a feel for new center James Daniels while also getting in-game reps with a running back who is new to the team was heads-up thinking.
- Would you be OK if the Bears didn’t allow Trubisky to throw a pass until September 5? I think I would.
- Soak it all in, rookies:
- Neat. Cool. I don’t want to see Montgomery on special teams for the rest of the summer. I saw what I needed to see and would like to see plenty of it on Thursday Night Football in Week 1:
David Montgomery is still out there getting some work on punt coverage. Just shoved Terry Godwin out of bounds to prevent a punt return TD.
— JJ Stankevitz (@JJStankevitz) August 9, 2019
- Michael Joseph stood out in training camp as one of those cornerbacks who was always around the ball and making a play or tackle, so it was good to hear from someone who had an eyes-on look at the second-year corner earlier in his playing career:
Fun Michael Joseph note: I’m the play-by-play guy at Loras, the rival school of Michael Joseph’s alma mater Dubuque. Calling games against Dubuque his JR/SR years were fun yet frustrating. We all knew he was NFL talent. Made 3 INT’s in a game look so easy against D3 competition.
— Pat Hunt (@PatHuntJr) August 9, 2019
- Put aside the “it’s just the preseason” caveat and I still can’t keep myself but being pleased with what I saw from some of the young guys in the secondary. In addition to Joesph, Clifton Duck, John Franklin III, and Duke Shelley made some plays that looked good. Here’s to seeing more of those guys in the next three weeks.
- Can’t wait to see #17 get an extended look once games of consequence start getting played:
- Atomic wedgie tackle:
— Ⓜ️arcusD ▶️ (@_MarcusD3_) August 9, 2019
- Olin Kreutz has his eyes on the line:
Larsen ! pic.twitter.com/dvnF4Vulgv
— Olin kreutz (@olin_kreutz) August 9, 2019
- Some stats worth storing in your memory banks for a later day:
Highest % of slot snaps when targeted
RBs 2018; min 40 slot snaps
Alvin Kamara 29.3%
Tarik Cohen 28.3%
Christian McCaffrey 24.7%
Duke Johnson 20.3%
— PFF Fantasy Football (@PFF_Fantasy) August 9, 2019
Greatest % of throws traveling 20+ yards in the air in 2019:
1. Josh Allen: 20.0%
2. Patrick Mahomes: 14.7%
3. Mitch Trubisky: 14.5%
4. Baker Mayfield: 14.4%
5. Aaron Rodgers: 14.1%
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) August 8, 2019
- Game recognize game:
- If the Bulls’ rebuild is going to get off the ground, Wendell Carter Jr. will need to make an impressive second-year leap (which is something Bears fans know a thing or two about):
— Bleacher Nation Bulls (@BN_Bulls) August 8, 2019
- How can you not love Javier Baez?
If you missed it last night at the end of the game, Javy batted LEFT-HANDED. https://t.co/sS8Dv2c6oj
— Bleacher Nation (@BleacherNation) August 9, 2019