Finding Silver Linings in a Dark (Bears) Cloud and Other Bears Bullets

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Finding Silver Linings in a Dark (Bears) Cloud and Other Bears Bullets

Chicago Bears

The latest episode of the Talkin’ Toros podcast is out, and it is the most spirited conversation we’ve had as a show.

Check it out:

Also, I see that the temperatures are going to be in the mid-60s today in Chicago. I’ll probably take my talents and work while sitting on the patio at some point before the rain rolls in. I would like to encourage you to take a step outside, breathe some fresh air, and take in some sun rays. It’s not much, but it’s better than nothing.

•   This is tough to swallow: The national post-draft vibes surrounding the Chicago Bears are pretty dark. Dan Hanzus ( ranks the Bears 25th in his first set of power rankings after the 2020 NFL Draft, which leaves just 7 teams in a better position. Sure, they’re not the worst-ranked team in the division (take that, Lions!), but this isn’t necessarily where you want to be.

•   And don’t look to the folks at Bleacher Report for optimism. The Bears rank 26th (!) on the site’s post-draft power rankings, with writer Brad Gagnon laying into the team with a strongly-worded piece detailing how the 2020 offseason is proving the franchise is headed in the wrong direction.

•   This isn’t the thing I needed to see after those first two Bullet points. But if I had to see it, you do, too:

•   Twist the knife, Field. YEESH! And on the anniversary of that 2017 NFL Draft, no less. Ouch, babe.

•   For the record, things aren’t all bad for the Bears, it’s just easier to see only darkness after a disappointing 8-8 season. But if you allow yourself to see the silver lining, the Bears’ defense is still a top-10 unit. In fact, the fall of Chicago’s money maker has been greatly exaggerated … Eighth in yardage. Fourth in points. Eight in Football Outsiders’ DVOA. That group is damn good and I will hear no arguments to the contrary, nor will I acknowledge the idea that the defense “took a major step backward.”

•   There might be an argument that the group will be better with an upgrade at pass-rusher from Leonard Floyd, and a younger, healthier cornerback than Prince Amukamara. Meanwhile, safety remains a bit of a concern, but it’s not like there aren’t intriguing plug-and-play free agents on the market. Point being, the Bears defense is more than fine.

•   As for the offense, well … at least it’ll be tough to finish worse than they did last year? By the end of the season, the Bears offense finished with the fourth fewest yards and fourth fewest points. That’s the kind of production we would have come to expect from the John Fox era. Frankly, it’s unacceptable from any coach — let alone one from the Andy Reid tree. Incremental improvement from the group should put the Bears in a far better position to compete in 2020.

•   For the offense to take a step in the right direction, the group will need competence from its new guys. The Bears don’t need Nick Foles to be Super Bowl MVP at quarterback. It would be nice. But if he can be the player who posted a 90.3 passer rating when thrust into action in the 2017 and 2018 regular season, it would be a vast improvement over Mitch Trubisky in 2019.

•   If Jimmy Graham can be the pass-catching tight end who caught seven passes for 108 yards in two playoff games last year over the course of a whole season, then that would be a *MASSIVE* upgrade from what Chicago’s tight ends provided last year. Is that a modest ask from Graham? Sure. It won’t set the world on fire or re-write any record books. But extrapolate Graham’s postseason production over 16 games and we’re looking at 56 catches for 864 yards. And if that is what the Bears can get out of Graham in 2020 during his age 34 season, then I would do cartwheels.

•   Now, if only the Bears could fix their running game.

•   LOL:

•  For your listening pleasure:

•   It’s never too early to look forward to the *NEXT* NFL Draft:

•   Barry Wilner (Associated Press) offers up some things that were learned from the virtual NFL Draft of 2020, which could possibly set the table for some changes down the road. For the most part, I liked what we got on draft weekend. I could do with less of the showmanship on Day 3. But overall, things went as good as I think they possibly could have gone.

•   Free agent offensive lineman D.J. Fluker didn’t last too long on the market. The Ravens reportedly agreed to a deal with the recently released monster lineman on Tuesday, according to ESPN’s Jamison Hensley.

•   In other news regarding offensive linemen, Laremy Tunsil got PAID over the weekend:

•  Some things are bigger than football:

•   It’s good to see the NFL’s Draft-a-Thon that raised money for COVID-19 relief reeled in a lump of cash:

•   I like seeing the NBA inch its way back into action:

•   Disney+ has announced that ‘The Rise of Skywalker’ will start streaming, naturally, on May the 4th. So if you’re wanting to watch and/or deciding to check out Disney+, you can sign up for a free trial (or a bundle) here. You’re supporting BN in the process, so thank you kindly.

•   *Count Dooku “I’ve been looking forward to this .gif” goes here*

Author: Luis Medina

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