I’m kinda sorta hoping that being out of town this weekend will minimize my exposure to how Mitch Trubisky factors into this weekend’s matchup between Deshaun Watson and Patrick Mahomes. But I won’t hold my breath.
- NFL teams aren’t the only ones set to make changes in the offseason, as TV networks use the down time to get their ducks in a row in an attempt to put together a better product moving forward. One to keep an eye on is ESPN, which could be in line for ANOTHER set of sweeping changes to its Monday Night Football program. Over at the New York Post, Andrew Marchand reports that producer Jay Rothman will not be back in 2020 as the guy calling the shots. Change at the top could just be the beginning. Marchand also notes that ESPN has its eyes on Jim Rikhoff, a CBS football producer. And if you have seen how CBS covers both the college and pros, you could understand why he would be a person of interest for this high-profile gig.
- Admittedly, I’m not as quick to drop over-the-top media criticisms as I once was when I was younger. Because as I’ve aged and met more people in the industry, I have gained an understanding of the difficulty and challenges these jobs bring to the table. If it was only as easy as it seems. And yet, I wouldn’t bat an eye if the MNF thing was given a complete tear-down and rebuild. A new voice and some new eyes on the scene wouldn’t be the worst thing to ever happen to the broadcast, which hasn’t had an authoritative play-by-play voice since Mike Tirico left. Nor has it been able to adequately replace Jon Gruden’s colorful analysis.
- With that in mind, Jeff Agrest of the Chicago Sun-Times has an idea that should be enticing to fans at the network alike:
Tony Romo and Kevin Harlan are just what's needed for "Monday Night Football."https://t.co/DlLLBREF7i
— Sun-Times Sports (@suntimes_sports) January 9, 2020
- A Kevin Harlan-Tony Romo booth for MNF would be the type of shakeup that would bring so many good things. Few broadcasters are as versatile and excellent as Harlan, who is a lead voice on Turner Sports’ basketball coverage (both pro and college), a top play-by-play guy for CBS’ NFL programming, and also dabbles as a top postseason game-caller for Westwood One Radio. Harlan has the “it” factor to be the voice of a generation of football viewers if given the platform. The same could be said for Romo, whose transition from Pro Bowl quarterback to top analyst on CBS’ No. 1 broadcast team has been smooth. Romo has his quirks, but is easy to listen to on TV because he watches games like a fan does. It’s just that he has the insight of a seasoned veteran player. How ESPN can pull it off is beyond my pay grade, but I would give it a hearty endorsement if it happened.
- Bears safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix weighs in on the team’s newest signing:
— Ha Ha Clinton-Dix (@haha_cd6) January 9, 2020
- That tweet certainly says some things. A “power move” for an “alpha male” who loves the game? A thumbs up for the system and coaching? Cool … I guess. Clinton-Dix and Kentrell Brice played together in Green Bay, so it’s easy to see how it was easy for him to sign off on an ex-teammate coming to Chicago. Connections are important in life. Maybe this one helped the Bears net some safety help.
- I wouldn’t go as far as to read to deep into Clinton-Dix’s tweet, specifically the part where he writes “brudda let’s get it.” Clinton-Dix will hit free agency in March. And after seeing Eddie Jackson get paid, it is impossible to see a scenario where the Bears pay two top-10 safeties. Especially when one put the other out of position and made him less of the force on the defensive side of the ball. On the other hand, I don’t want the Bears to get a traditional in-the-box safety, because I like the concept of interchangeable defenders back there who can do all of the things safeties are asked to do.
- To be clear, I wouldn’t completely rule out a return of Clinton-Dix to the Bears in 2020. Never say never, right? But also, three could be a chance that Clinton-Dix’s play wasn’t enough to land him the big-money deal he figured to be seeking this coming offseason. Perhaps there is a way to go about bringing Clinton-Dix back that isn’t damaging to the Bears’ cap plans. At minimum, it is something that could be worth exploring later.
- Well, here’s a statistic I didn’t expect to see:
Completion % above expectation ranking of remaining playoff QB’s:#NextGen
R. Tannehill (1st)
K. Cousins (3rd)
R. Wilson. (4th)
J. Garoppolo (9th)
D. Watson (11th)
L. Jackson (12th)
P. Mahomes (18th)
A. Rogers (25th)
— Louis Riddick (@LRiddickESPN) January 10, 2020
- Who doesn’t love a Good Friday morning poll?
Let's just say these two future Hall of Famers (who are both over 40) are available come March.
Who would you rather see in a #Bears uniform come Week 1 in 2020:
— Matt Eurich (@MattEurich) January 10, 2020
- Speaking of quarterbacks I wouldn’t mind seeing in a Bears uniform, I need to clear some time in my schedule to listen to this because it’s Jay Cutler:
If you missed our interview Jay Cutler, we're playing it for your drive home. Classic Cutty and it was awesome.
— Silvy (@WaddleandSilvy) January 9, 2020
- Always good to give back to the community: