The 2019 Cubs remind me of the 2018 Steelers. Both talented teams were loaded with holdovers from the previous year’s team, which, itself, had a disappointing postseason finish featuring a gut-punch of a loss at home.
And when given an opportunity to rebound the following year, both teams tripped all over themselves when given every opportunity to win a division title. The final chapter of the Cubs’ story is still being written, but this script looks awfully familiar.
- Let a Mic’d Up Ha Ha Clinton-Dix bring you new life as we turn the page to Broncos Week:
- At least somebody wasn’t negatively impacted by the lack of preseason. Clinton-Dix was the highest-graded Bears defender in Week 1, and I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the Packers’ biggest offensive pass plays (you know, the ones that led to what turned out to be the game-winning touchdown) came when Clinton-Dix was off the field. Between the stout rush defense and a starting secondary that limits passing windows, it is going to be tough for opponents to squeeze out points.
- Unfortunately, 10 points was enough because the Bears offense tripped over themselves at every turn.
- I thought I presented all the appropriate angles of the conversation surrounding the risks and rewards of playing preseason. But in talking about it with our group chat, Eli offered up a point about the impact on coaching preparation. It got me to thinking about the difference between coaching starters and coaching their backups. Or to think about it more deeply, coaching players you know are making the team and those who are trying to make the team. Maybe coaching Mitch Trubisky through struggles in August could have avoided issues in September? It’s not crazy, is it? I mean, Matt Nagy is going to coach Trubisky differently than he does Chase Daniel. Just add it to the list of things we might need to consider if preseason doesn’t change in 2020.
- Let’s take a moment to go back to feeling good about the Bears’ secondary:
— The Scouting Academy (@TheScoutAcademy) September 10, 2019
- Kyle Fuller had a breakout season in 2017, got paid, then put together an even better season in 2018. Now the challenge is to do it for a third consecutive season. While it would’ve been nice to see Fuller snag a pick last week, the video above shows how well-rounded his game is in the secondary. Good corners cover well, but great ones can defend the run, too.
- And to think, Mack was probably held on each of those plays, too:
Bears OLB coach Ted Monachino says Khalil Mack impacted 31 of the 34 plays he was in. "He's an eyelash away from making 5 plays, and those 5 plays were eventually finished by another player."
— Mark Grote (@markgrotesports) September 10, 2019
- Whatever you say, coach:
Asked Bears OLB coach Ted Monachino about Khalil Mack in games where he’s making an impact, but not filling up the stat sheet (and getting held a lot):
“I pulled him aside during the game and I said, 'It's like Novocain. Just keep using it and eventually it'll work.'"
— Kevin Fishbain (@kfishbain) September 10, 2019
- Men’s socks, chargers, baby gear, and more are your Deals of the Day at Amazon today.
- I’m curious to see how the Vikings’ stellar running attack matches up against that Bears rush defense:
The Vikings are running like it’s 1972. https://t.co/BFzKnfkH1D
— FiveThirtyEight (@FiveThirtyEight) September 11, 2019
- It remains extremely fair to say the Bears may have made a mistake, and we’ll see how things play out for Trubisky. HOWEVER, it is unreasonable to presume Deshaun Watson and/or Patrick Mahomes look like they do now if they had been first inserted into the John Fox regime and running Dowell Loggains’ offense. We have no idea. And yet, this is still a thing:
Chicago, I hate to pile on, but if the Bears had traded up for Watson or Mahomes instead, you'd be the next dynasty.
— Paul Charchian (@PaulCharchian) September 10, 2019
- If you go back and read what we wrote about the quarterbacks leading up to the draft, you’ll see we liked Watson and Mahomes. But Trubisky was widely viewed as the top quarterback prospect in that draft by Pro Football Focus, ESPN’s Mel Kiper and Todd McShay, and Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller, among others. Sometimes, the dice rolls don’t work out. But it’s not like there isn’t time for Trubisky to turn it around.
- Come on, we’re only a month removed from NFL coaches, scouts, and executives sharing their belief that Trubisky was lined up for a breakout season. He has 15 games to prove those minds to be correct.
- The goat emoji goes here:
An 8x NFL Champion.
— NFL Throwback (@nflthrowback) September 11, 2019
- The Jets parted ways with Kaare Vedvik (the kicker the Vikings traded a fifth-round pick to acquire, but waived weeks later) and replaced him with ex-Packers kicker Sam Ficken. Howard Balzer tweets that Elliott Fry and Younghoe Too (who tried out for the Bears at some point last offseason) were among the tryouts in Jets camp.
- Chicago really dodged a bullet in not executing a deal for Vedvik. Since starting the preseason with a hot leg, he has struggled to keep a gig in multiple spots. Vedvik’s time with the Ravens will likely get him tryouts in the future, but he probably could use a break to recalibrate.
- This broadcast crew is going to make people feel some type of way:
— Brad Biggs (@BradBiggs) September 10, 2019
- Some housekeeping:
The Fire would pay annual rent of $500,000 to $1 million to play in Soldier Field.https://t.co/iRv6516sLK
— Sun-Times Sports (@suntimes_sports) September 10, 2019
- Patriots receiver Antonio Brown has been sued for sexual assault and rape, reports Ben Shpigel of the New York Times. You can view the lawsuit here, where you can read up on some stomach-turning allegations.
- New England has issued a statement on the allegations:
Patriots statement on Antonio Brown allegations: pic.twitter.com/jIp2pisvZD
— Nick Underhill (@nick_underhill) September 11, 2019
- The Washington Post reports the NFL is considering putting Brown on the Commissioner’s Exempt list, which makes him ineligible to play or practice with the Patriots.