The good news is that I’m coming so close to nailing my family’s rice recipe. But I suppose the bad news is once I do, my friends are going to hound me to make rice for them ASAP. I won’t complain, though. It feels good to be wanted.
• Mic’d up Matt Nagy brings the juice:
• I’m glad someone is bringing the juice. Because around the league, others are bringing the heat. Take this from Mike Tanier (NY Times): “The problems with a quarterback competition between Mitch Trubisky and Nick Foles is that the winner will be either Mitch Trubisky or Nick Foles. … The Trubisky-Foles competition is typical by N.F.L. standards: an organizational effort to solve one problem by throwing a slightly different problem at it.” Sigh. Those are words written by someone who clearly doesn’t understand the Bears’ QB derby, but doesn’t care because they got their zinger in.
• Here’s the simplest breakdown of the Bears’ QB competition: Chicago is trying to solve the problem of Mitchell Trubisky being unable to perform at a high level at the game’s most important position because he can’t properly process what defenses are throwing at him by pushing him with a quarterback whose most notable skill is the ability to process what defenses are doing. In turn, Trubisky has to be better mechanically and as a processor in order to retain the QB1 spot. That’s it. Sometimes football is a complicated game. Explaining what the Bears’ quarterback competition is about is not one of those times.
• It would be nice if the Bears had an upgraded rushing attack to bolster the quarterback’s chances. Unfortunately, I’m not sure Alvin Kamara is going anywhere (much to my chagrin):
After a wild few hours, all is quiet on the Alvin Kamara front. I'm told cooler heads have prevailed and the #Saints and Kamara’s camp will keep working on a deal. He’s expected to be at practice tomorrow.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) September 2, 2020
Saints and Alvin Kamara are not far apart in negotiations, per source, as Kamara has not asked for Christian McCaffrey money. Saints were open to trading Kamara for a 1 in light of absence but things calmed down, sides continue talking.
Four teams inquired about Kamara today.
— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) September 2, 2020
• Allen Robinson weighs in on the Big Ten trying to play football in a pandemic:
Full comments from former Penn State WR Allen Robinson on Big Ten trying time play football this fall. pic.twitter.com/GqVCqQzLJm
— Brad Biggs (@BradBiggs) September 1, 2020
• Among the things I miss about not being at training camp is watching coaches like Mike Furrey get their hands on Allen Robinson and others. High-energy coaches with fire and passion are often the highlight of training camp that no one gets to see. With that in mind, I found this read to be quite a journey:
— The Athletic Chicago (@TheAthleticCHI) September 1, 2020
• Sound on:
• Kirk Cousins jumped on a podcast with football media personality Kyle Brandt and issued some commentary when asked about wearing a mask during the COVID-19 pandemic (via the New York Post):
“I want to respect what other people’s concerns are. For me personally, just talking no one else can get the virus, what is your concern if you could get it, I would say I’m gonna go about my daily life. If I get it, I’m gonna ride it out. I’m gonna let nature do its course. Survival-of-the-fittest kind of approach. And just say, if it knocks me out, it knocks me out. I’m going to be OK. You know, even if I die. If I die, I die. I kind of have peace about that.
So that’s really where I fall on it, so my opinion on wearing a mask is really about being respectful to other people. It really has nothing to do with my own personal thoughts..”
• Cousins’ commentary is flippant and borders on irresponsible. The NFL has exceeded my expectations with how it has handled COVID-19 concerns. And while they weren’t high to begin with, that the league has taken it seriously enough to put together a set of protocols in order to try and play football in a pandemic receives a tip-of-the-cap from me. So to read comments by a player as visible as Cousins should gnaw at those in the league offices.
• Not to be lost in the conversation is that Cousins still wears a mask selflessly out of respect for others. That feels like an important takeaway that appears to be getting lost in the shuffle. Perhaps the “if I die, I die” sentiment comes from the perspective of a dude who is going to spend his year getting chased by Mack, Quinn, the Smith Bros., and any number of Lions players willing to take a 15-yard late-hit penalty because that’s just what they do. Even still … having an Ivan Drago approach to a a virus without a cure isn’t something I’d talk about publicly. But maybe that’s just me.
• Elsewhere in the NFC North:
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) September 2, 2020
• Another receiver in the NFC North is trying to cash in with a huge payday:
With Taylor Decker's deal done, the Lions are closing in on an extension with WR Kenny Golladay https://t.co/bToub3u1oD
— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) September 2, 2020
• ESPN’s Lindsey Thiry explores the latest episode of HBO’s Hard Knocks, which provides a behind-the-scenes look at the conversations the Rams and Chargers are having with regards to social justice.
• This video is quite flooring:
— Funhouse (@BackAftaThis) September 2, 2020
• I appreciate Matt Nagy’s honest answer shedding light that coaches don’t want to see their players leave, but will respect and support their decisions should it come down to it:
Matt Nagy on what he would do if a player wants to sit out a game in 2020: pic.twitter.com/gteNJj31m2
— JJ Stankevitz (@JJStankevitz) August 29, 2020
• Robert Quinn brings a unique perspective in all this:
“American history has shown that they belittle dark-skinned people. So while I’m playing this game, I’m going to play it to the full max. But I’m not going to put no game before my God-dang life.”
—Bears linebacker Robert Quinnhttps://t.co/65ChVYCnZT
— Chicago Tribune Sports (@ChicagoSports) August 31, 2020