Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow, thus predicting six more weeks of quarterback rumors. But Illinois’ version didn’t see his, which means an early resolution to the Bears’ offseason quarterback search. That’s what this all means … right?
• It’s a different from that what we’re used to seeing, but if you miss Kyle Long bodying somebody, then you’ll want to fast-forward to the 48-second mark and turn on the sound:
"I think the theme here is lack of respect for Deshaun Watson. When you have a superstar you should be willing to move heaven and earth to make sure he is comfortable." @Ky1eLong and @AdamSchein break down the Watson-Texans saga. pic.twitter.com/rFQfgN2QsX
— CBS Sports Network (@CBSSportsNet) February 1, 2021
• “When Deshaun Watson was coming out of college, Dabo Swinney said: ‘This is the Michael Jordan of football.’ And if you’re not an idiot, you take that seriously. And if you are an idiot, you might go to the pro day and not even have a chat with him.”
• BOOM! And here I am thinking that I was done watching Long deliver body blows.
• In the interest of fairness, Dabo Swinney also called Tajh Boyd an NFL franchise changing quarterback. So it’s not as if Swinney has Jedi-powered Force visions that allow him to see into the future. Nevertheless, Bears GM Ryan Pace deserves every hit of criticism he takes for the organizational failure that led to a process which led to the Bears drafting Mitchell Trubisky over Watson or Patrick Mahomes. You reap what you sow, after all.
• FWIW, former Bears defensive lineman Adele Ogunleye is skeptical about risking it all for Watson:
• Maybe Ogunleye is right about mortgaging the future for the present. There’s probably a morsel of truth to that line of thinking. However, I’m in a place where I’m willing to find out. Let’s face it. The Bears haven’t made enough significant investments in quarterbacks over the years. So let’s just try it out for once. See if we like having a real franchise quarterback on our hands. And then we can go from there.
• Should the Bears hold on to their picks, Kristopher Knox (Bleacher Report) suggests Northwestern OT Rashawn Slater as the prospect the Bears *need* to latch on to in the upcoming NFL Draft. Considering the Bears’ needs along the offensive line, Slater makes sense as an option. Knox hints at the idea of Slater replacing Charles Leno Jr., but it’s possible the Northwestern product is a better immediate fit on the other side of the line.
• I’ll say this for Knox, I think he’s right that the Bears might not find a first-round caliber QB when they go on the clock with the 20th pick. And if that quarterback isn’t there, they shouldn’t reach for one. Don’t try to make #fetch happen. And don’t try to fit square pegs into round holes. That’s how you end up in the Bears’ mess in the first place.
• OOF. Seeing that the Panthers are the betting favorites to land Deshaun Watson, I don’t like seeing this:
Another wrinkle in the Matthew Stafford trade: At one point on Saturday, the #Lions and #Panthers were so close that Carolina was in the process of obtaining Stafford’s medicals from Detroit, per @AlbertBreer. The #Rams came in with a more aggressive offer, and that got it done.
— NFL Update (@MySportsUpdate) February 2, 2021
• If the Panthers were aggressive in making an offer on Stafford, it doesn’t take much of an imagination to envision them pushing harder for Watson.
• The Bears made it officially official, hiring retired NFL safety Mike Adams to their defensive coaching staff. And it’s possible more help is on the way:
— Adam Caplan (@caplannfl) February 1, 2021
• Matt Burke has ample coaching experience at the NFL and collegiate levels. Most recently, he was with the Eagles as a special assistant (2019) and as a defensive line coach/run game coordinator (2020). But Burke also has experience as a defensive coordinator (Dolphins, 2017-18), linebackers coach (Lions, 2009-13; Bengals, 2014-15; Dolphins 2016), and quality control assistant (2006-08). The Dartmouth product also served as an assistant at Harvard in 2003. Considering all the times we bemoaned stupid penalties, I’m for the Bears getting more head-smart wherever they can.
• Chicago’s football team is considering creating a Senior Defensive Assistant position for its coaching staff. One rumored candidate for said position was Bob Sutton, who was the Chiefs’ DC from 2013-18. However, he might have different plans:
Jags lining up a deal with Bob Sutton for a Senior position on defensive staff
— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) February 2, 2021
• Ex-Packers say the darnedest things:
Former Packer TJ Lang says Aaron Rodgers is 'hellbent on revenge,' wants to make team pay. https://t.co/tbTzloeYqj
— RADIO.COM Sports (@RDCSports) February 1, 2021
• T.J. Lang played alongside Rodgers for eight seasons from 2009-16, meaning he spent a healthy amount of time blocking for Green Bay’s quarterback. So through that lens, I can imagine he has a pipeline to Rodgers. He might even have an indication that the presumptive MVP has some sort of revenge fantasy. But this all feels like some Michael Jordan inspired fever dream where Rodgers is making up slights just to feel motivated. And I guess the old “to each his own” adage fits here. But sheesh. What a weirdo.