It is an awkward feeling when a friend gives you a food recommendation that doesn’t live up to the hype. Like … how do I tell them their suggestion wasn’t as good as they made it out to be without hurting their feelings? Because Chicagoans – probably more than any other citizen – will ride harder for what and where they eat than someone from any other city.
And yet, my ears, mouth, and stomach are open to all sorts of recommendations. Except for fish … it’s a thing I have that is too complicated to explain online.
- NFL Network’s Peter Schrager explains why it would be foolish to overlook the importance of the Senior Bowl:
An AJ McCarron injury, an impressive East-West Shrine Game, and an opportunity to impress 32 teams for a week.@PSchrags says @JimmyG_10 is the perfect example of what @seniorbowl week can do for a lesser-known name. pic.twitter.com/L7bIRyvnfg
— GMFB (@gmfb) January 22, 2020
- Yes, the number of draft-eligible underclassmen has grown exponentially. But that just turns senior standouts into undervalued prospects in the draft. Just take a look at the 2014 Senior Bowl’s quarterback class. Derek Carr and Jimmy Garoppolo were second-round picks who grew into starters at the NFL level. David Fales has had an extended career as a backup. It’s just one class, but this hit-rate is particularly noteworthy.
- As a reminder: Justin Herbert, Jordan Love, Jalen Hurts, Anthony Gordon, Shea Patterson, and Steven Montez are your Senior Bowl quarterbacks who we’ll be obsessing about between now and the NFL Draft.
- Notable Bears players who played in the Senior Bowl and were drafted by GM Ryan Pace: Bilal Nichols (2018), Nick Kwiatkoski (2016), Cody Whitehair (2016), Adrian Amos (2015). I’m always going to be annoyed that the Bears didn’t snag anyone worthwhile from the Senior Bowl class of 2017. So many missed opportunities.
- There are a billion things (give or take a few here or there) I want the 2020 Bears to do on the offensive side of the ball. Among them, get Cordarrelle Patterson the ball in space more often:
- Not only is Patterson one of the fastest dudes in the league, opposing defenders don’t have an easy time tackling him in space because he runs like a runaway oversized bowling ball. Seriously. Good luck tackling a man who checks in at 6-2 and 238 pounds and runs at you at a speed that would get you a ticket in a school zone. It doesn’t seem like fun.
- An aside — is anyone having a better offseason than Patterson? He has earned first-team All-Pro as a kick returner and second-team All-Pro designation as a special teams contributor from the Associated Press, then later picked up first-team All-NFC from the Pro Football Writers of America. Keep the awards coming in for No. 84, because he has certainly earned them.
- OK, maybe Eddie Jackson (who received a healthy pay-raise this offseason) could challenge Patterson. Both are going to the Pro Bowl. And based on this statistic, it’s easy to understand why Jackson is headed back to the Pro Bowl:
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) January 21, 2020
- Zero (0) touchdowns allowed as the nearest defender in coverage this season is no small feat. No, I wasn’t a fan of how Jackson was deployed this season. But there’s no denying how superb his play was no matter where he played. Whether it was in the box, back deep as a free safety, in the slot as a cornerback, or elsewhere, Jackson did it well. It reminded me a bit of his time at Alabama, when Nick Saban used him in a variety of places to give opposing offenses nightmares. And yet, my gut tells me he needs to be the Bears’ full-time free safety moving forward.
- The more I’m seeing from Kyle Shanahan’s playbook, the more I am enamored with his designs (as well as his players’ execution):
Just a simple boot with a delay but I like the 49ers set it up with motion.
– Deebo Samuel starts out as a stacked receiver then motions to other side and runs flat
– FB Juszczyk motions from backfield to H-back and runs delay
– Good job from QB of getting hips around to left pic.twitter.com/9i3t9MK4n1
— Ted Nguyen (@FB_FilmAnalysis) January 22, 2020
- Super Bowl prop bet reveal season is coming along quite nicely:
— Covers (@Covers) January 22, 2020
- Quarterbacks have won the Super Bowl MVP an astonishing 29 times. No other position group is in double figures. So with that in mind, Patrick Mahomes being at even money feels like a bargain, as does Jimmy Garoppolo at 7/2 seems to be a value. But because running backs and wide receivers have won the award seven times apiece, perhaps the best values on the board belong to the likes of Tyreek Hill (16/1), Damien Williams (12/1), Sammy Watkins (40/1), Deebo Samuel (30/1), Emmanuel Sanders (50/1) because of the big payouts that are attached to their odds.
- Here is a headline I did not expect to read today: Goldman Sachs CEO to DJ Sports Illustrated Super Bowl 2020 party.
- This is superb and I want more of it:
Brady: "I got a few things to get off my chest."
Peyton: "This is not called Tom's Places." 😂
— ESPN (@espn) January 22, 2020
- A pair of ex-Bears make a historic list:
Panthers Julius Peppers (K Town!)
Bears Donnell Woolford
— Will Brinson (@WillBrinson) January 22, 2020
- Lauri Markkanen’s season has been nothing short of disappointing. And while the player takes on so much of that responsibility as to why he isn’t performing to his potential, poor coaching and usage has stunted said player’s growth:
Lauri Markkanen Was Supposed to Take a Step Forward This Season … What Happened?https://t.co/UoSnSAvJ6o
— Bleacher Nation Bulls (@BN_Bulls) January 21, 2020