I went to bed thinking about baking a pie, but woke up feeling as if today would be a good day to do some spring cleaning around the house. Sure, I suppose I could do both. But first, I must unload these Bullets.
- On Saturday, President Donald Trump held a conference call with the commissioner and top executives from every major professional sports league in the country. The NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, MLS, WNBA, the PGA and LPGA Tours, UFC, NASCAR, IndyCar, Breeders’ Cup, and WWE were on the call. That’s a bunch of heavy hitters. Among the tidbits that have come out since the call is the president’s belief that the NFL’s 2020 season should begin on time in September, as reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter and Adrian Wojnarowski. Trump said he wants sports back in front of fans as soon as possible (don’t we all?), but gave no specifics as to when or how it could actually happen.
- And indeed, California Governor Gavin Newsom doesn’t seem to share that same optimism, telling reporters he doesn’t anticipate an August or September NFL return:
“I’m not here to second-guess anybody, but I am here to say this, our decision on that basis, at least here in the state of California, will be determined by the facts, will be determined by health experts, will be determined by our capacity to meet this moment, bend the curve and have the appropriate community surveillance and testing to confidently determine whether that’s appropriate. And right now I’m just focused on the immediate, but that’s not something I anticipate happening in the next few months.”
- I can envision the NFL starting its season as scheduled in September, but plenty of things need to go right for it to happen. We, as a nation, need to do our part to prevent new outbreaks and stem the spread. From there, testing needs to become widely available and accessible — especially if crowds are going to resume coming together to watch teams. As much as I’d like to take a more optimistic view, I just don’t think there is enough information out there for it.
- One intriguing nugget from the post-call reporting: the concept of leagues lobbying for tax incentives (one specific idea was to deduct concessions and tickets from taxes) as an avenue for leagues to help bring fans back to stadiums during what will be a difficult time financially for many. I’m certainly intrigued, but once again need to know more about how this would actually work before forming too strong an opinion.
- Even if the NFL starts on time, teams are still going into the season without having done OTAs and other team building drills. And if things get kicked off in September as planned, does that mean teams are getting a full training camp and preseason? Or is there an avenue in which there is no preseason? Is there an iteration of this timeline where there is preseason, but no training camp? Having an optimistic viewpoint is good. Providing hope is good. I just have questions as to how we get there in the first place.
- Reminder: There are 158 days until the league’s Thursday kickoff.
- For what it’s worth, the NFL has maintained faith that the league’s year will go on as scheduled for quite some time. And because it’s been business as usual throughout the offseason, I suppose that it could still happen. Yay for optimism?
- Amy Trask (The Athletic) believes it is feasible to have the 2020 NFL Draft in a virtual way. Should the league be having a draft during a time of a pandemic is a different debate for a different day. But a draft during “socially distancing” times in an era with as much technology as we have at our fingertips is totally doable.
- I like this guy:
#SIU S Jeremy Chinn — Coverage ability at 6-foot-3, 221.
Playing a Quarters technique on this rep (top of the screen).
Quick weave vs. the release, then transition at the break. Short-area burst to finish on the ball.
— Matt Bowen (@MattBowen41) April 4, 2020
— Matt Bowen (@MattBowen41) April 4, 2020
- Jacob Infante (Windy City Gridiron) offers up a handful of first-round caliber prospects who could slide to the Bears early in Round 2. Chicago could conceivably add some impact talent despite not having a first-round pick because of where the team’s two second-rounders are in the draft pecking order. And if there is a run of at least four first-round quarterbacks, all that does will move players at other positions down the draft. Sure, the Bears could use a quarterback in this draft, but it’s not as if they don’t have needs elsewhere.
- My two favorite prospects from Infante’s list are Colorado receiver Laviska Shenault Jr. (a play-making pass-catcher who thrived despite having sub-par QB play) and LSU safety Grant Delpit (who has first-round pedigree, but the rising stocks of other safeties has made him a second fiddle in some circles).
- It isn’t out of the realm of possibilities that both could be available when the Bears are on the clock on Day 2 of the draft. And if Chicago could get either (or both), I’d probably consider it a success.
- Between each team’s worst first-round pick of the last decade and ranking the seven biggest draft blunders of the last five years, Bleacher Report has cornered the market on draft days gone wrong.
- Something to listen to while you’re getting stuff done around the house today:
At noon today, we're re-airing #Bears' classic comeback win against Cardinals in 2006.
Tune in here: https://t.co/6pC174BHJJ
— 670 The Score (@670TheScore) April 5, 2020
- This is well done:
- An NFL legend has passed away from COVID-19:
Former Saints’ kicker Tom Dempsey died late Saturday from coronavirus. He was 73. Dempsey, who played in the NFL despite being born without toes on his kicking foot and made a record 63-yard field goal, tested positive for the coronavirus a little more than a week ago. pic.twitter.com/H5A1lNmBAi
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) April 5, 2020