My hyper-competitive fantasy baseball league had its winter meetings last night. And as expected, I was active in deal-making. My team is still short a starting pitcher, but I feel like I made good headway toward a deal. But to make it happen, I’ll have to part way with one of baseball’s top prospects. Wish me luck!
- An answer to the annual question asking if the Bears would make an appearance on HBO’s “Hard Knocks” series came earlier than expected. While answering questions in this week’s edition of his mailbag, ChicagoBears.com senior writer Larry Mayer confirms the Bears won’t be on the show. Chicago’s football team is exempt from being forced onto the series because they made the playoffs last year, and teams that have made the postseason within the last two years are exempt from going on. So, I’m sorry to those of you hoping the Bears would be the team this year.
- Here are the teams who *ARE* eligible to be pushed onto the show: Broncos, Cardinals, Jaguars, Lions, and Steelers.
- Vic Fangio’s dry humor, stone-cold honesty, and old-school mentality are made for HBO. Where can we get the Broncos to sign up?
- Part of me wants the Bears to be on “Hard Knocks” one year, if only because it would be neat to pull back the curtain on some things. And while the show is never as revealing as one would like, there’s always something (coach, player, position battle) that keeps your interest long enough to keep watching.
- In a hypothetical situation in which the Bears were forced to be on the show, following a new offensive coordinator around would be one of those things that would keep my interest. Over at NBC Sports Chicago, Cam Ellis provides some interesting perspectives on the team’s search for a new OC. Most notably, the flaws each rumored candidate brings to the table. Pat Shurmur’s short-comings as a head coach are impossible to ignore. As is Mike Kafka’s inexperience in Kansas City. The football world has seen Lamar Jackson explode into a presumptive NFL MVP, just one season after the team parted ways with Marty Mornhinweg in favor of Greg Roman. There is no obvious slam dunk hire, which has the Bears picking from a field of flawed candidates.
- Even *I* don’t have a coordinator candidate that I’m totally head-over-heels at this point. Sure, I like Shurmur’s experience as a play-caller, head coach, and quarterback soothsayer, but he has his warts. Kafka’s background as a heady Northwestern product working under Andy Reid and with Patrick Mahomes is intriguing, but how much of his buzz is connected to Reid and Mahomes? I still can’t get over Mornhinweg taking the wind in overtime, let alone shake reports that he was one of the decision-makers who wanted to make Lamar Jackson a receiver.
- I wonder if the Bears would be progressive or creative enough to go the college route, giving Matt Nagy the OC title, while splitting up the responsibilities between a “Run-Game Coordinator” and “Pass-Game Coordinator.” Perhaps a more efficient way to go about putting together a better offense is by re-thinking the process. Frankly, nothing should be on the table.
- Sigh. I’d rather be talking about the Bears preparing for a playoff game in San Francisco with this as our scene-setter:
Saloon font and red end zone paint, a playoff tradition of the dynastic 49ers, is back. pic.twitter.com/p0b7DQzxm2
— David Lombardi (@LombardiHimself) January 7, 2020
- A fitting paint job, especially since I think Saturday’s Niners-Vikings showdown is going to resemble a mid-1990’s style of game.
- Among the storylines that simply won’t go away is the idea that the Bears should be involved in the Tom Brady sweepstakes, but won’t be because of their attachment to Mitch Trubisky (fast forward to the 3:55 mark, h/t @SouvenirCity):
SLOW NEWS DAY: The NFL playoffs, Pats, Ravens, Chiefs. Then @minakimes dunks on me multiple times, we talk Seahawks-Packers, the Cowboys' Mike McCarthy hire and Tom Brady's future. pic.twitter.com/gALGS8EaoJ
— Kevin Clark (@bykevinclark) January 8, 2020
- BONUS: Shout out to Mina Kines for protecting the honor of Chicago as a sports city. You’re a real one.
- Adding to the draft-eligible quarterback prospect list:
Hawaii QB Cole McDonald has entered the 2020 nfl draft. https://t.co/quhvNWjzJT
— Matt Miller (@nfldraftscout) January 9, 2020
- A fitting paint job, especially since I think Saturday’s Niners-Vikings showdown is going to resemble a mid-1990’s style of game:
- This is pretty neat:
ICYMI: Former Bears fullback Jason McKie will keep the Bears connection at @Carmel_Football alive.
“He’ll bring back a tradition where we’ll be back on track,” running back Syone Usma-Harper said. https://t.co/SYREVyBzlw
— Sean Hammond (@sean_hammond) January 8, 2020