I find myself inspired by friends who can lay out their plans, goals, desires, wants, needs, and more in planners. Because while I have things I want to achieve in 2020, I’m not disciplined enough to map it out on a calendar or elsewhere. And sure, I’m starting off small by putting a to-do list for 2020 in the notes app on my iPhone … but I want to do more. Let’s see if my brain will allow me to do so as the year rolls on.
- The NFL playoffs begin today, and the Chicago Bears will be watching from home like the rest of us. Unless, of course, you are reading this and have tickets to an upcoming game. In that case, thanks for the invite. 🙁
- An interesting nugget from ESPN’s Field Yates:
The 49ers, Ravens, Saints, Vikings, Packers, Chiefs, Patriots and Bills are all playoff teams that rely heavily on a fullback in their offense.
While not a glamorous position, the All-Pro would benefit from recognizing top fullbacks. A critical spot for top teams.
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) January 3, 2020
- It’s anecdotal until proven otherwise, but I felt as if the Bears ran the ball better when using a fullback ahead of David Montgomery last year. But then they went away from using the “I” formation because … reasons? When Matt Nagy goes back to the drawing board to fix his offense this offseason, he would be wise to look at some core West Coast concepts and see how fullbacks were utilized in the 90’s. Between short-yardage runs, opportunities to catch passes in the flat, and possibly even run a wheel route or two, Nagy could build a nice collection of plays to deploy from an “I” formation that features a fullback.
- Steve Palazzolo of Pro Football Focus offers up a list of players who bring a grain of optimism for non-playoff teams in 2020. For the Bears, it’s linebacker Nick Kwiatkoski. That’s a curious selection, especially considering that Kwiatkoski sin’t guaranteed to be on the team next year. The free-agent-to-be should be well-compensated after proving how valuable he can be in a pinch out of the inside linebacker role. Chicago’s front office has a touch decision to make regarding what they do at the inside linebacker spot next to Roquan Smith, but at least they have internal options to work with before sorting through the free agent market and the draft becomes a necessity.
- I’d love to see Bears Defensive Coordinator Chuck Pagano and Secondary Coach DeShea Townsend get their hands on Kevin Toliver II and take a high-school All-American and 5-star recruit and mold him into a player who can reach his full potential:
Davante Adams x Kevin Toliver
I can’t believe Toliver went undrafted. Was my 2018 Draft crush. Here he played the game with Adams. Nice feather.. was extremely patient. Showed great eye discipline. Teach tape on defending the back shoulder pic.twitter.com/bgWZkRRDlK
— Press Coverage With CrockTime (@PressCovFilm) January 4, 2020
- Oh, man … I didn’t really want to think about this:
Think about this…
Ryan Fitzpatrick went 5-8 as the Dolphins starting QB this year.
Mitch Trubsiky went 6-7 (if you throw out week 17 which Minnesota treated like a preseason game) with the #Bears100
Bears Roster >>>>>>> Dolphins Roster
— Bill Zimmerman (@ZimmermanSXM) January 2, 2020
- That tweet is painful to read and re-read. But if I had to see it, then you did, too.
- Brian Urlacher has some thoughts regarding the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2020 list of finalists. Mostly regarding who was snubbed from the list:
— Brian Urlacher (@BUrlacher54) January 4, 2020
- Lance Briggs and Olin Kreutz did not make the cut for the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s 2020 class, and Urlacher — a member of the Class of ’18 — isn’t pleased. Hopefully, his words will be taken into consideration down the line. Briggs was one of the best outside linebackers in football when he was at the peak of his powers, playing his way to seven Pro Bowl appearances in the Derrick Brooks role in Love Smith’s Tampa-2 defense. Kreutz was a gold-standard center with the Bears, making six Pro Bowl appearances. He was an anchor in the middle of the offensive line, a team leader, and an intimidating force in the trenches. Interior offensive linemen are criminally under-represented in the Hall of Fame, so Kreutz has a tough road to travel. But perhaps Kevin Mawae’s inclusion will pave a way to Kreutz getting his recognition in due time.
- Eddie Jackson securing the bag on Friday is going to pave the way for others to get theirs:
— Spotrac (@spotrac) January 3, 2020
Jamal Adams contract alert: Bears S Eddie Jackson is the new highest-paid safety, landing a four-year extension that averages$14.6M PY and includes $33M guaranteed. Previously, highest APY was Kevin Byard at $14.1M. A good day for Adams, named All Pro. #Jets
— Rich Cimini (@RichCimini) January 3, 2020
- Even when money was on his mind, chasing a ring was Jackson’s priority:
Eddie Jackson said in Nov. that an ext. was in the back of his mind, but that there are bigger goals: "For us, we play for the passion, & love of game. Being able to have that mark on us that we got the Bears turned around & we took this team to a SB. That's our goal long-term."
— Mark Grote (@markgrotesports) January 3, 2020
- Some injury related postseason nuggets to keep an eye on:
J.J. Watt is expected to wear a brace in today’s game. It will limit his movement backward, but he will have full motion forward and upward. He’s been wearing it for weeks while training and during practices these last two weeks. It doesn’t bother him.
— James Palmer (@JamesPalmerTV) January 4, 2020
I’m told Lane Johnson is OUT tomorrow
I’m told he really needs one more week. His high ankle sprain was thought to be a 4 to 6 week injury. It is almost 4 weeks
He is still having issues with planting that foot and movement side to side. Lane is doing everything he can pic.twitter.com/GHp5lQHkIk
— John Clark (@JClarkNBCS) January 4, 2020
- Fade or follow? Either way, there are money-making opportunities as the playoffs open today:
- The young Bulls are not short on confidence:
“I think I’m One of the Great Bigs in This League:” Wendell Carter Jr. Played Fearless Against One of the NBA’s Besthttps://t.co/5KAEf1nUAm
— Bleacher Nation Bulls (@BN_Bulls) January 3, 2020