If I told you I watched The Empire Strikes Back from start to finish during the third through sixth innings of last night’s Cubs-Reds game, would you believe me? Because that totally happened. That’s how long and slow the game was.
• No matter your rooting interests, I think one thing we can all agree on is that it was nice to have football back. Considering the wonky offseason and a summer without preseason exhibitions, the Texans-Chiefs game went off without being a total slog. If we see more of that throughout the league this weekend, I think we’ll have some serious conversations about what the league does with preseason in 2021.
• I wonder what Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson were talking about:
What it looks like when two Brinks trucks pull up next to each other at a stoplight. pic.twitter.com/p3xpWyrvJY
— Charles Robinson (@CharlesRobinson) September 11, 2020
• It was hard to watch the Chiefs offense and feel like the Bears’ unit looks anything like what we saw last night. Being an Andy Reid disciple is one thing. Drawing up Reid’s plays, calling them at the right time, then having players execute them is something else. And that’s saying nothing about acquiring the talent needed to run the offense. Believe me when I say I want Matt Nagy’s offense to look something like what we saw from the Chiefs in Week 1. But I have my doubts about the Bears being equipped to do so.
• I mean, come on, look at this:
Andy Reid is an artist 🎨pic.twitter.com/62WoYHw8KZ
— PFF (@PFF) September 11, 2020
• One thing I hope Nagy actually rips from Reid’s playbook is any of the outside zone concepts that were used en route to Clyde Edwards-Helaire’s debut. Edwards-Helaire went for 138 yards and a touchdown in his debut, satisfying the desires of every fantasy owner who selected him with a first-round pick. The big number here was 25 — as in carries C.E.H. received. Meanwhile, Mahomes threw it just 32 times. I hope Nagy was watching closely and decides to emulate his mentor on Sunday.
• A game like that makes me wonder if bringing in Juan Castillo might is as much about the running game as it is about coaching the offensive line. I’ve not heard anyone say a bad thing about Harry Hiestand as an offensive line coach. However, Castillo has coached up guys in the scheme Nagy wants to run for years. Castillo also has recent experience with the Ravens (2013-16) and Bills (2017-18), as well as time in college (Michigan, 2019). Perhaps those different experiences will add up to improved line play and better results in the running game. I imagine that’s one thing Nagy is banking on this year.
• I wonder if Brad Childress passed along any worthwhile nuggets during his time with the Bears:
Don't underestimate the role Brad Childress played in shaping KC's offense into the college-style look you see today.
— Alex Kirby (@AlexJKirby) September 11, 2020
• Ahhh, yes, the quarterback:
— Stadium (@Stadium) September 11, 2020
• This is a profound tweet from Lance Briggs:
There's a segment of Americans who have an ability to compartmentalize their affinity for black athletes as a source of entertainment, yet remain apathetic & indifferent to their plight, & find them otherwise useless. If reading this offended you, you're probably in that segment.
— Lance Briggs (@LanceBriggs) September 11, 2020
• Briggs’ tweet came after a cold-splash-of-water-in-the-face moment to start the evening:
Kansas City Chiefs fans appeared to boo the moment of unity with the Texans prior to the game starting.
People HATE politics ruining sports. pic.twitter.com/cmSEgFarmP
— David Hookstead (@dhookstead) September 11, 2020
The boos during the moment of unity should make it very clear that it was never about the flag or the anthem. Those people don't want racism to be challenged, regardless of the when, where or how.
— Scott McLaughlin (@smclaughlin9) September 11, 2020
• Players chimed in after the game:
Deshaun Watson says the moment of silence w the Chiefs was about decoupling the anthem from the message of equality: “We respect the military, we respect America & respect everything the NFL wants to do but we didn't want any confusion or any negative backlash on guys kneeling.“
— Michele Steele (@ESPNMichele) September 11, 2020
J.J. Watt doesn’t understand why fans would jeer during a moment of silence: “The booing was unfortunate during that moment; I don’t fully understand that. There was no flag involved; there was nothing involved with that besides two teams coming together to show unity.”
— Michele Steele (@ESPNMichele) September 11, 2020
• NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport with more on the moment of unity:
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) September 11, 2020
• Socially distanced football >>> no football. Even still … this just looks weird:
Arrowhead Stadium 8 minutes before kickoff. pic.twitter.com/JdBV6I7j90
— Nate Taylor (@ByNateTaylor) September 11, 2020
• I can’t help but ask if would you, the reader, would go to a socially distanced game. Maybe I’ll turn it into a poll later. Honestly, I’d think about it. At my core, I like to live and experience things. Human nature is curious by default. But I don’t think I could do it. The mental gymnastics to justify going to an event like this during a pandemic are beyond my capacity. Even one of my friends who would like to celebrate their December birthday with a Bears game said they wouldn’t be in on going to a game for precautionary reasons. Hard to argue against “it’s better to be safe than sorry.”
• Today I learned that Matt Nagy loves to cook. And that he made dinner 26 straight days during quarantine shutdown. More on this week’s episode of Coffee with Coach:
• Hearing Nagy talk about how not having football responsibilities during quarantine allowed him to do things he wouldn’t usually have time for makes me wonder if everyone needs to re-consider their priorities. “Some things are bigger than football” shouldn’t be a hollow saying that we lean on in tough times. Perhaps we should take it to heart?
• There’s been no movement on the “Snacks” Harrison front since his tweet mentioning the Bears as an option. But at least Bleacher Report’s Brad Gagnon still sees Harrison as a fit for Chicago after Week 1. That makes two of us!
• Coming to a Bears camp near you (in 2021):
Reminder: This is Miami’s kicker. 🙌 pic.twitter.com/SZM8KlhMIa
— Jim Weber (@JimMWeber) September 11, 2020
• Get to know a Bulls coaching candidate:
Getting to Know Potential Bulls Head Coach Candidates: Billy Donovanhttps://t.co/kjWf3y8Nnw
— Bleacher Nation Bulls (@BN_Bulls) September 10, 2020
• The Bears remember 9/11: