The Time for Optimism, Top Receivers, Rookie Sleepers, Negotiations Continue, and Other Bears Bullets

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The Time for Optimism, Top Receivers, Rookie Sleepers, Negotiations Continue, and Other Bears Bullets

Chicago Bears

I’m high off the entertainment news and rumors that have dropped over the last few days. A Lando Calrissian series starring Donald Glover? I’m in. New Taylor Swift album? Sign me up.

•   Training camp opens in five days, so let’s allow optimism to reign throughout the land:

•   There is no denying the 2019 Bears were a disappointment. But think of it this way: We’re only disappointed because expectations were so high. Sure, we can talk about how the expectations for the franchise’s 100th season were outsized. And we can discuss how hope blinded us from reality. But there is nothing wrong with hope. Rebellions were built on hope. Optimism is good, too. It’s nice to attach yourself to something you can’t control and have big dreams when thinking about it. Open yourself to a new day of endless positive possibilities. Might as well do it now before reality sets in. C’mon … join me!

•   To be clear, I’m not saying everything is hunky dory in Chicago. The Bears have issues. Plenty of them. Enough to make me proceed with caution. But it’s not like this team is in bad shape for the 2020 season. We could endlessly debate the long-term future of this team and the ramifications of going all-in on a window with this much quarterback uncertainty, but let’s have that conversation another day.

•   For now, we can dream on what the Bears have right now. A defense that ranked in the top 10 in Football Outsiders’ DVOA rankings. A core of impact players – Khalil Mack, Eddie Jackson, Allen Robinson, among others – in the prime years of their respective careers. Young players – James Daniels, Roquan Smith, David Montgomery, Anthony Miller – who have tremendous upside and potential. More opportunities to make the postseason thanks to a new CBA that expanded the playoffs. A division that doesn’t feature a team that is expected to run away and hide with the crown. There is an opportunity for greatness. Seize it!

•   Also, I think Adam Jahns of The Athletic makes an outstanding point about how Head Coach Matt Nagy kept it together in 2019. I get it … Nagy has his flaws. They’re all right there for us to pick apart. But getting an 8-8 record from a team with that quarterback play, the notable injuries on defense (Akiem Hicks, Danny Trevathan, Roquan Smith), and regression across the board is a sign of a coach who knows how to keep the ship afloat. And as we (should have) learned from the Marc Trestman, that’s important.

•   Whether it’s reality, fantasy, or in a video game, one thing we know about the Bears is that the defense will be #GOOD:


•   This list needs more Allen Robinson:

•   Who’s in my top-10? I thought you’d never ask. Julio Jones. DeAndre Hopkins. Michael Thomas. Mike Evans. Davante Adams. Allen Robinson. Tyreek Hill. Odell Beckham Jr. Amari Cooper. Kenny Golladay. The list of guys who just missed is littered with playmakers who have top-10 potential. Chris Godwin. Courtland Sutton. Stefon Diggs. Adam Thielen. T.Y. Hilton. Terry McLaurin. D.J. Moore. Keenan Allen.

(Photo by Getty Images)

•   Something more to be optimistic about? Let’s dream big on a potential connection between two first-year Bears:

•   Darnell Mooney’s speed plus Nick Foles’ ability to get the ball into the hands of the playmakers down the field could make for some fun times. I’m bullish on Mooney’s upside, although I’ll admit I’m not convinced he will be an impact player upon arrival as a rookie. But I’m willing to eat crow if I’m wrong here.

•   Happy birthday, big guy:

•   For your listening pleasure:

•   A public service announcement from WR1’s foundation:

•   The folks covering Tom Brady’s arrival in Tampa have been obsessive as heck:

•   An update regarding Washington’s NFL franchise:

•   Cha-ching:

•   The Jets, man …

•   Something to keep tabs on today:

•   Phones, speakers, and more are among your Deals of the Day at Amazon. #ad

•   Sigh. Only the Bulls:

Author: Luis Medina

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