If you woke up this morning wondering how Lucas Giolito — who by some metrics was baseball’s worst pitcher in 2018 — threw a no-hitter in 2020, then this .gif is for you:
— JJ Stankevitz (@JJStankevitz) August 26, 2020
Good luck hitting that, my friends.
• Matt Nagy opened his Tuesday media session by addressing police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Left tackle Charles Leno shared some thoughts, too. Also, the team added a statement of its own:
Matt Nagy opened his media session today by expressing his concern for the Jacob Blake shooting in nearby Kenosha, Wis. pic.twitter.com/ADV0kVJTQk
— Brad Biggs (@BradBiggs) August 25, 2020
Bears statement on the shooting of Jacob Blake: pic.twitter.com/oQdd6vQcMf
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) August 25, 2020
Leno: "Honestly, this has been a problem. We know it’s been a problem. We just need more awareness & to spread more awareness. And within that awareness need to spread compassion and understanding for others… within that will come love and we need more of that in this world."
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) August 25, 2020
• Elsewhere in the NFC North, we saw the Lions cancel practice and the Packers hold a team meeting. In the NBA, the Celtics and Raptors discussed boycotting Game 1 of their best-of-7 playoff series. And Clippers Head Coach Doc Rivers had an impassioned speech regarding the shooting. There has been an increased effort from professional athletes to raise awareness to social injustices this year. So much so, it has become interweaved with the narrative of the sports year. And while their efforts have been noted, it’s evident their battle is nowhere near done.
• There’s no smooth transition from the top of this post to what follows. But here goes nothing: Cam Ellis (NBC Sports Chicago) has some fun with Photoshop in the wake of rumors that soccer star Lionel Messi wants out of Barcelona. And considering Matt Nagy’s insistence on carrying two kickers, maybe Ellis’ edit won’t be the only time we see Messi in a Bears uniform.
• Andrew Dannehy of Da Bears Blog ranks the Bears’ 10 best players. The upper crust of the Bears’ roster is as good as it gets around the league. I look at this group, squint, and see a football equivalent of an ensemble cast. It’s got star power at the top, high-quality players in supporting actor roles, and gobs of upside. I’m not sure what the script holds for this group, but the rest of the gang would be wise not to screw it up for the guys at the top.
• As if you didn’t already know, I’m totally here for the Tarik Cohen comeback tour:
#Bears RB Tarik Cohen on his 2019 season: "I had a lot of things going on last offseason and I really didn’t concentrate and grind the way I usually grind in the offseason."
Said he was dealing with some family matters back home.
— Sean Hammond (@sean_hammond) August 25, 2020
• Cohen’s 2019 production was a clip below what he did as a rookie in 2017. And it was a far cry from what he produced as a playmaker in 2018. I’d love if Cohen could bounce back and revert to his 2018 form. But I don’t want to lose sight that these NFL players are humans. And that family matters at home impact people differently. Here’s hoping things are settled for Cohen at home, and that peace there will get him back on his grind.
• All aboard the Anthony Miller hype train:
“Trey Burton’s gonna catch 90 balls this year” — unnamed member of the media
— Zak Keefer (@zkeefer) August 26, 2020
• Speaking of old friends we hoped would catch 90+ balls in a season:
The #49ers are having WR workouts today, with familiar names on tap, per me and @TomPelissero. Among them:
— Ex-#Raiders & #Steelers WR Johnny Holton.
— #Former #Bears 1st rounder Kevin White.
— Former #Bengals WR River Cracraft.
— Former #Falcons WR Justin Hardy.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) August 25, 2020
• A Kevin White comeback story would be fun to follow, even if he’s not with the Bears. His tale of perseverance despite bad injury luck is one that’s easy to root for (no matter what team he’s on).
• Using Buster Skrine as an outside cornerback in small doses isn’t the worst idea:
Buster Skrine: not bad, but targeted a lot. https://t.co/xObeo21y1U
— Robert Schmitz (@robertkschmitz) August 26, 2020
• I’m looking forward to this:
• Some broadcasting news that fans throughout the NFC North might have an interest in:
NEWS via @TheAthleticNFL:
Fox has selected @kevinkugler to fill the NFL play by play role that was held by Thom Brennaman. He will partner with Chris Spielman and reporter Laura Okmin.
— Richard Deitsch (@richarddeitsch) August 25, 2020
• The Brenneman-Spielman-Okmin crew did enough Bears games for me to take an interest in the news that Kevin Kugler has been hired to fill the role vacated in Thom Brennaman’s departure.