How is it August already? Who allowed my birthday month to zoom by so quickly? I swear that my July went from the 1st to the 4th, then skipped to the 11th, pressed fast-forward to the 24th, and now we’re in in July. Seriously, what gives?
• Things you love to see:
• Practice pictures! Football is back, baby!
• It’s a photoset like the one above that makes me miss Bourbonnais. Did I ever think I’d write out that thought? No. The idea of missing Bourbonnais is a wild one. But I can’t front. Yours truly misses waking up at some ridiculously early hour, snagging a ham, egg, and cheese crossan’wich from Burger King, driving down I-57 with windows down blaring guilty pleasure music, and eating my sandwich while waiting for gates to open at practice. That’s summertime football practice in a nutshell for me. I’m sure you have your own training camp traditions that you’re also missing these days. With that in mind, we’ll try and get through this together.
• Hearing from Mitchell Trubisky and Nick Foles was a treat. The quarterbacks held media availability via Zoom on Friday. We’ll round up what they had to say later. But in the meantime, both offered up eyebrow-raising statements. Trubisky opened up about tweaking his mechanics for the first time. His mechanics have never been much to write home about, so I’m a bit bothered that it took this long in the first place. But better late than never, right? Meanwhile, Foles discussed how he already felt “right at home” in the Bears’ offense. That’s not unexpected. Foles has thrived in various iterations of this system throughout his career. And while some verbiage will differentiations from team to team, the core concepts remain the same. Hence, Foles feels good about what he’s stepping into upon arrival.
• This is good to know:
For anyone wondering where Bears are at with the training camp calendar, Mitch Trubisky and Nick Foles are set to begin their 3rd day of walkthroughs with the rookies at Halas Hall today.
Vets who have had negative COVID tests should be able to get in the building this weekend.
— Kevin Fishbain (@kfishbain) July 31, 2020
• An important poll from the folks at Windy City Gridiron:
Now that we’ve heard from the #Bears quarterbacks, which one do you want to see start week 1, the guy that gives them the best chance to win or the other guy?
— Windy City Gridiron (@WCGridiron) July 31, 2020
• I don’t know about you, but I’m always willing to give “The other guy” an opportunity to make their case.
• Roquan Smith rocking with the Von Miller glasses is a curious look:
Let the fun begin 🐻⬇️ pic.twitter.com/TOxA0pppVF
— Quan (@RoquanSmith1) August 1, 2020
• A key piece to Chicago’s offensive line is celebrating a birthday today:
• The 2019 season was a step in the wrong direction for Massie. However, his previous track record shows he can be a productive member of a decent offensive line. No, Massie isn’t going to move mountains at right tackle. But there is something valuable about a player who can protect in a competent manner, even if he is viewed as only average. Should Massie prove 2019 was an aberration, then returning to “average” level right tackle play will help the Bears’ line play across the board.
• Kristopher Knox (Bleacher Report) rounds up every NFL team’s secret weapon for the 2020 season. And for the Bears, Knox’s choice is an unexpected one. Buster Skrine is giving off secret weapon vibes after his first year with the Bears. Skrine didn’t show the coverage prowess Bryce Callahan did in his final season with the Bears, but he played all 16 games and proved to be a versatile defender. Because in addition to coverage out of the slot, Skrine forced two fumbles, collected two QB Hits, and even snagged a tackle-for-loss. I expect Chicago to use Skrine aggressively in 2020.
• Over at Bears Wire, Alyssa Barbieri is keeping track of the NFC North players who land on the reserve/COVID-19 and season opt-out lists.
• Speaking of opt-outs, the Patriots have another one:
New: Wide receiver Marqise Lee is planning to opt out of the 2020 season, per league source. He is the seventh #Patriots player to make this choice.
— Jim McBride (@globejimmcbride) August 1, 2020
News story: WR Marqise Lee explains his decision to opt out.
“I told Coach [Belichick], I wouldn’t be doing him justice going out there because I wouldn’t be able to give him my all knowing my family was back at the house worrying about their situation.” https://t.co/pv5IcMZAjr
— Mike Reiss (@MikeReiss) August 1, 2020
• Playing football in a pandemic comes with some sacrifices:
Brees: “I haven’t licked my fingers in fourth months. It’s been such a habit.”
— Nick Underhill (@nick_underhill) August 1, 2020
• Playing any professional sport will come with sacrifices. But a second team-level outbreak (this time with the Cardinals) two weeks into the baseball season has me concerned.
• An old friend will soon be looking for a new home:
Former Bears DB Deiondre Hall was waived by the Buccaneers today.
— Dan Wiederer (@danwiederer) July 31, 2020
• It’s never too early to think about future Bulls:
With Little Cap Flexibility, Whom Can the Bulls Grab in Free Agency?https://t.co/D5YwEHgifO
— Bleacher Nation Bulls (@BN_Bulls) July 31, 2020