The 2010s were wild for me. I had bylines in four different publications and worked a construction gig before landing at Bleacher Nation, lived in three vastly different places (Chicago, Carbondale, Marseilles (the one in Illinois, not France), and attended sporting events in more than 30 different venues. So many memories.
Here’s to more adventures in the decade to come.
- I can’t get enough of these types of social shares:
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) January 1, 2020
- The sports universe is a complex place. But when the lights go on, it is a truly wonderful place to be. Let’s make some more memories.
- Do I need to specify happy memories? The Bears didn’t have enough of those in the 2010s, and were absent from a lot of “best of” packages that wrapped up the last decade. In fact, if you asked me to conjure up the most memorable moments of Bears football from the 2010s, the heartbreaking ones are the first to come to mind. Losing to the Packers in the NFC Championship game in 2011. Chris Conte’s blown coverage in 2013 that allowed Aaron Rodgers and Randall Cobb to stick a dagger in playoff dreams in what otherwise should have been known as the greatest game Jay Cutler ever played as a Bear (Cutler had a 158.3 passer rating before throwing an interception on a game-ending Hail Mary, in case you forgot). The double doink. Obviously, the goal is to win championships. But the road to major accomplishments often start with humble beginnings. I’m ready to get it moving.
- The first step toward making the 2020s better than the 2010s from a Bears perspective is figuring out the quarterback position. Having a solution at the most important position in the game (arguably, the most important position in all of professional sports) seems like a logical place to start, but it has been a bug-a-boo for the Bears for a greater part of the team’s 100-year history. Whether Chicago’s journey includes Mitch Trubisky beyond his rookie deal remains in question. Because while GM Ryan Pace remained committed to Trubisky to start 2020, his non-committal stance spoke volumes about what his intentions could be this offseason.
- I understand the perspective of fans who were upset with the Bears’ decision to publicly back Trubisky on Tuesday, but bus-tossing the only quarterback on the roster was never going to be the best way to do business. It was easy to get caught up in the “Mitch is our starter” comment, but nothing in the NFL is ever what it is at the surface level. So when the GM talks about not being in a place to make a decision on picking up Trubisky’s fifth-year option (when he was able to do so in similar situations with Leonard Floyd and Kyle Fuller), indicates he will look to re-work the quarterbacks room by seeking replacements for backups, and insists he wants competition throughout the roster, I feel as if it says more about how Pace feels about the situation than what he said on the surface level.
- In the end, Pace’s actions will speak louder than anything he said at his press conference. Just ask John Fox and Mike Glennon about how that goes.
- I felt this in my soul:
I just don’t do press conference rage like so many seem to love in football. They all lie. Good coaches and GMs from winning organizations. Bad coaches and GMs from losing ones. What they say doesn’t matter. It’s a salary capped sport with deadlines. Judge the Bears’ actions.
— Danny Parkins (@DannyParkins) December 31, 2019
- Would I preferred if Pace and Nagy went about it in a more transparent way than they did yesterday? Absolutely. But I take more offense to Pace and Nagy having a press conference, deflecting questions about possible coaching changes, then firing four assistant coaches hours later, and not being available for comments and questions from an inquiring press room at Halas Hall. That isn’t a good look.
- There is a decent chance we look back at these tweets and think about a missed opportunity:
The Bears made a mistake not keeping Harry Hiestand!
— Duke Manyweather (@BigDuke50) January 1, 2020
Not sure I’ve come across a position coach more widely admired than Hiestand. Maybe I’m falling for the praise, but hard to believe the O-line regression is all on him. Bears need better synergy with that position group, the run game and what Nagy wants from it. https://t.co/oOMNPuDFJ0
— Kevin Fishbain (@kfishbain) December 31, 2019
- Offensive Line Coach Harry Hiestand going from some sort of cult figure in Bears fandom for his decorated résumé as a position coach to a scapegoat for why the running game didn’t take off feels wrong.
- The Bears weren’t the only ones making changes yesterday:
— Detroit Lions (@Lions) December 31, 2019
- Detroit fired its special teams coordinator, linebackers coach, tight ends coach, both secondary coaches, and its strength coach.
- And thee are the Browns:
Statement from Browns’ ownership on parting ways with John Dorsey: pic.twitter.com/FXbJnMUhoY
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) December 31, 2019
- GM John Dorsey getting the boot is a bit of a surprise. Yes, the Browns under-performed and could stake a claim to being the most disappointing team to take the field in 2019. But remember where the Browns were before Dorsey stepped in? That was as talentless as a football team gets. So while he whiffed on the head coaching hire, Dorsey probably should have been given another chance to rectify the situation. Someone lucky is going to inherit one of football’s most uniquely talented squads. But based on prior history, the Browns are gonna Browns it up.
- Three days after reports surfaced that Doug Marrone would be let go by the Jaguars, team owner Shad Khan announced Marrone and GM Dave Caldwell will be back in the fold for 2020:
— #DUUUVAL (@Jaguars) December 31, 2019