Admittedly, it’s tough to stay focused on football with current events being what they are. But we’ll try to move forward as best we can.
• ICYMI: The Bears are among the NFL teams not practicing as scheduled today in a show of protest against social injustices in the wake of the police shooting of Jacob Blake. And they are not alone. The Cardinals, Colts, Packers, Titans, Jets, and Washington’s football team have either postponed or cancelled today’s scheduled practice. In Washington, Head Coach Ron Rivera told the Washington Post the team will meet with team President Jason Wright and Owner Daniel Snyder to “continue our open dialogue on the issues of racism and social injustice in our country.” I don’t imagine Rivera’s team will be the only ones having those conversations in the building.
• Earlier, Bears beat reporters tweeted a picture of Offensive Line Coach Juan Castillo wearing a Black Lives Matters t-shirt. But shortly after they shared the image, the Bears forced them to remove the picture from their timelines. As Kevin Fishbain of The Athletic tweeted: “Bears media policy prohibits us to tweet anything we might have seen at the fields this morning before the schedule change.” I understand social media policies that protects teams from having reporters share game plans, special formations, player personnel packages, and things of that nature that could take a hit to the competitive advantage it believes it has. HOWEVER, tweeting an image of a coach in a Black Lives Matter shirt — especially in the wake of the news — shouldn’t fall under that umbrella. The Bears need to re-think their social media policies. Full stop.
• But hey, at least #BearsTwitter was on the case:
The @ChicagoBears apparently told beat reporters they couldn't Tweet out this picture of OL coach Juan Castillo because they can't share pictures from practice until after it's over.
So here's Bears OL coach Juan Castillo today. pic.twitter.com/BLcmDdAXKY
— Johnathan Wood (@Johnathan_Wood1) August 27, 2020
— Brandon Robinson (@BRobNFL) August 27, 2020
— Tyler Volz (@TylerTheVoice) August 27, 2020
The @ChicagoBears made all their reporters take this picture of OL coach Juan Castillo wearing a Black Lives Matter shirt down. Sure would be a shame if a lot of people tweeted and/or retweeted it and got it spreading anyway pic.twitter.com/jI380iqVZw
— James Fox (@JamesFox917) August 27, 2020
• We saw some Bears players speak out on Twitter this morning:
Together we are inseparable
— Tarik Cohen (@TarikCohen) August 27, 2020
Alone we are nothing, Together we are everything !!!!!
— David Montgomery (@MontgomerDavid) August 27, 2020
I love the unity we have as a team, staff and organization
— Eddie Jackson (@BoJack39) August 27, 2020
• I’m unsure of what more I can add to the conversation other than I support the players with whatever decisions they make.
• Seahawks Coach Pete Carroll is really putting it out there:
Pete Carroll says it's possible NFL teams protest games this season. pic.twitter.com/1ur3ovUUzJ
— NFL on ESPN (@ESPNNFL) August 26, 2020
• On the field, the Bears received a positive report regarding David Montgomery’s groin injury. And here’s an additional update from Ian Rapoport:
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) August 27, 2020
• A 2-4 week injury puts a Week 1 return into the conversation of being a reality. And yet, I’m not totally comfortable with it. Don’t get me wrong. I want to see a healthy Montgomery on the field as soon as humanly possible. HOWEVER, I find myself thinking back to last year when Trey Burton had a late-in-camp groin injury. Burton missed the season opener, but was back in action for Week 2. Unfortunately, Burton’s groin never fully healed and was problematic until being placed on injured reserve. Not only did that end Burton’s season, it ultimately ended his time in Chicago. Montgomery is far too important of a player to rush back into the lineup. So while the 2-4 week prognosis is a good sign, I hope the Bears proceed with caution.
• Over at NBC Sports Chicago, JJ Stankevitz writes about how Montgomery’s injury reveals the lack of depth in the Bears’ backfield. This crucial flaw in team building could be one of those things that holds Chicago back in 2020. With a new offensive coordinator and offensive line coach in tow, a re-shaped offensive philosophy lended itself to Montgomery getting a bigger piece of the pie. Let’s face it. The Bears aren’t going to be successful if they’re throwing the ball 40-50 times per game. Not with these quarterbacks. And certainly not with the unproven players littered throughout the wide receivers room. How they proceed without Montgomery (if they have to do so at all) will be critical.
• Speaking of the offense, I’m looking forward to this:
• On the other side of the ball, Nicholas Moreano (Chicago Audible) declares it’s time for Roquan Smith to become the three-down player many believed we thought we’d see the All-American from Georgia would grow into upon arrival. As we have previously discussed, this is a “prove it” year for Smith. The time has come for Smith to live up to his potential and make the most of his athletic pedigree and become an impact player in the middle of Chicago’s defense. Smith’s athleticism and instincts have shown up in flashes. But the lack of consistency in his first two years is concerning. There’s no better time to smooth it all out than in 2020. Because with a solid year, Smith will position himself to get the fifth-year option on his contract picked up. Additionally, it could put him in a place to request a contract extension with the team. First thing’s first: Making the most of 2020.