The Bears Are (Kinda) Back, Joniak Goes to the Hall, TE Battles on the Horizon, and Other Bullets

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The Bears Are (Kinda) Back, Joniak Goes to the Hall, TE Battles on the Horizon, and Other Bullets

Chicago Bears

John Mayer played all my favorite songs during his three-hour set at the United Center on Thursday, in what was undoubtedly the best thing I’ve seen at the House that Jordan built in a long, long time.

  • Heck yeah, the Bears are back:

  • Well … kinda back. Only three more preseason games to go before they are really back.
  • I would bet a dollar to a donut that we don’t see starters or regulars after they simulated a preseason game with their starters and regulars in a night practice on Wednesday at Halas Hall. That will be disappointing to some. But it’s not all bad. Because while the starters are being kept out of harm’s way, the Bears should be better positioned to evaluate their depth pieces. And while that doesn’t seem sexy, it’s important.
  • There is no denying the Bears were fortunate on the injury front last year, so we didn’t see the team’s depth shine as much as we could have. But because injury luck isn’t expected to repeat year after year, building depth is important. We saw how Deon Bush and Sherrick McManis held their own late in the season when Eddie Jackson and Bryce Callahan went down with injuries. We also saw how different the defense looked in the middle when Nick Kwiatkoski was taking important snaps in crunch time in the season-opener, as opposed to what it looked like when Roquan Smith was on the field. Getting the reserves playing time now should put them in a great spot to be ready to handle a bigger load in case of an emergency later.
  • So long as those guys can stay healthy, the Bears will come away with a win of sorts (no matter what the final score says).
  • Well, well … look who else is prioritizing health over preseason football results:

  • No matter who’s on the field when the Bears run through the tunnel, just know that the guy describing the action will be a Hall of Famer. Bears play-by-play voice Jeff Joniak will be enshrined into the Chicagoland Sports Hall of Fame. It’s a deep class that includes ex-Bear Israel Idonije, Harold Baines, Rick Sutcliffe, Patrick Kane, Mike Magee, Bryant Colby Young, Desmond Howard, Lou Holtz, and Jim Phillips. Those are some heavy hitters. Congrats on such an amazing honor.
  • Joniak calling Devin Hester return touchdowns never gets old:

  • The Super Bowl return is by far Joniak’s best and most memorable call. It’s a shame the rest of that game turned out to be a dud. Wouldn’t it be nice to give Joniak an all-timer to call this upcoming February in Miami?
  • Throwing deep against a secondary featuring two All-Pros proved to be quite difficult last season:

  • Appalachian State cornerback Clifton Duck was one of my favorite players to watch during training camp. Duck always seemed to be around the ball, making plays, and standing out for the right reasons. And even though Duck was undrafted as an early entrant into the 2019 NFL Draft, he has found a home on the Bears this summer and as JJ Stankevitz (NBC Sports) points out, is hunting for a spot on the season-opening 53-man roster.
  • The Bears have done well in finding late-round and undrafted defensive backs and turning them into parts of a strong secondary. Eddie Jackson, Adrian Amos, Bryce Callahan, and Cre’von LeBlanc are shining examples, while Kevin Toliver II (who played 15 games last season) represents another example of a standout UDFA who played his way onto the roster.
  • The Bears’ official website has pieces on Dax Raymond (via Nathan Smith) and Bradley Sowell (by Larry Mayer) and it makes sense because the tight end position is one we will watch closely tonight (and throughout the remainder of the preseason).
  • This is the same laugh I’m going to have when the Bears beat the Packers in Week 1:

  • Coming tomorrow:

Author: Luis Medina

Luis Medina is a Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at@lcm1986.