Building a Contender, Draft Depth, Butkus on Buffone, and Other Bears Bullets

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Building a Contender, Draft Depth, Butkus on Buffone, and Other Bears Bullets

Chicago Bears

What’s the pettiest thing you’ve done lately?

For me, it’s turning down the difficulty on a video game so I can run up the score and put up a 69-0 win because I was upset about some inconsequential stuff. I secured the 68th and 69th points by going for a two-point conversion with :01 left on the clock in the fourth quarter. All because I broke Rule No. 1 — which is not to stress about things I cannot control.

At least it made me feel better for the time being.

•  Let’s keep the good vibes rolling. Marc Sessler ( rolls through the NFC in search of contenders. And contrary to what you might believe based on the 2019 season, he lumps the Chicago Bears among the NFC contenders entering 2020. I can imagine this is difficult for some people to wrap their minds around, especially after watching most of the Bears’ worst-case scenarios play out the way they did last season. But allow yourself to think with a clear mind when envisioning the 2020 season, and it shouldn’t take long to see reasons why the Bears should be viewed as contenders.

•  Need some help. For one, Chicago returns all but two starters from a defense that has ranked in the top-10 in scoring and yardage in each of the last three years. The core members of the defense are locked into contracts and are still in the primes of their respective careers. And reinforcements are likely on the way by way of the upcoming NFL Draft. Should the Bears snag a cornerback and safety early this weekend, then the defensive optimism regarding will only grow.

•  As for the offense, there’s nowhere to go but up … right? Last year’s offense bottomed out as Mitch Trubisky took multiple steps back in Year 3, the offensive line struggled collectively, receivers had issues with drops, and running backs struggled to gain traction (while suffering from inconsistent play-calling). Everything that could go wrong did. If you’re a believer in the due factor, then you might be willing to lean on that to say “hey, better days are yet to come!” And if you’re someone who believes in the law of averages, then maybe you can see where positive regression can come for Chicago.

•  But still … for the Bears to make the playoffs, upgrades are needed on the offensive side of the ball. I realize defense will always be the calling card of the Windy City’s football team. But you can’t win if you don’t score. The Bears didn’t win enough games last season because they didn’t score enough points to do so. It’s as simple as that (as far as I’m concerned). This upcoming draft is deep at receiver (a position where the Bears need a starter) and has some intriguing late-round linemen who could develop into starters as early as this season if the team goes about developing them in the way it developed James Daniels as a rookie. Without diving too deep into the rabbit hole, I’ll leave this Bullet by saying this is a pivotal draft for GM Ryan Pace and his staff.

•  In search of wide receiver studs, steals, and sleepers? Stephen Letizia (Chicago Audible) offers up a handful of prospects who could be fits for the Bears. Again, it’s a deep class. NFL Network insider Daniel Jeremiah has 18 receivers in his top-175 prospects. There will be guys in this class who we will look back on and say “wow, I can’t believe he fell to Round 2.” Here’s hoping the Bears snag one of those guys. Maybe even two.

•  I would love for the Bears to unearth a late-round find like Eddie Jackson in the 2020 NFL Draft:

•  There’s something about SEC defensive backs that makes me want to draft all of them:

•  The best sellers at Amazon right now in collectibles include Garbage Pail Kids. Having those growing up was a big deal. Remember that? #ad

•  Legendary linebacker Dick Butkus joined 670 The Score’s Dan Bernstein to share some of his favorite memories of Doug Buffone, a fan-favorite linebacker whose death five years ago left a hole in many Bears fans that has yet to be filled. Butkus’ words and stories are much appreciated as Bears fans look back:

•  Kyle Long is really taking to his newfound role in the sports media landscape:

•  Seton Hall shared results from a sports poll taken April 6-8 in which respondents were asked for their thoughts on how the COVID-19 situation has shut down the sports calendar. There’s plenty to dig into here, should you choose to do so.

•  New data has led to a new round of testing (and test results) for NFL helmets, writes Tim booth of the Associated Press.

•  The Talkin’ Toros gang came together to discuss the first two episodes of “The Last Dance” that aired on ESPN:

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Author: Luis Medina

Luis Medina is a Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at@lcm1986.