If it’s in the game, it’s in the game.
And it looks like EA Sports is getting back in the game:
EA Sports is coming back to college football!
— ESPN (@espn) February 2, 2021
I’ve been looking forward to this. Hopefully, there is an FCS component to the next EA Sports College Football franchise. Yours truly wants to rebuild Saluki football and take them to the moon!
• It’s been [ 0 ] days since the Bears have been dragged for not drafting Patrick Mahomes or Deshaun Watson:
Rumors have always been that the Saints (and Chiefs) were frantically trying to trade up that day.
And of course, the rumor that Chicago had told the Mahomes family they were drafting him at No. 2 overall. https://t.co/jX6MUk73M7
— Matt Miller (@nfldraftscout) February 3, 2021
• I’m taking this all with a grain of salt, because this is all so easy to say in hindsight. Then again, if anyone knows how to evaluate quarterbacks, it’s Saints Head Coach Sean Payton and his Chiefs counterpart Andy Reid. Of course those guys were the ones aiming to trade up on Draft day. That part tracks.
• Aside: If the Mahomes folks knew the Bears were trading up from the third pick to the second spot, then kudos to them for sitting on a whale of a scoop. We knew the Bears had an interest in Mahomes. They had him for a private workout and his agent talked publicly about Chicago’s interest in his client. And yet, they ultimately landed on Mitchell Trubisky after a highly questionable process that encapsulates a major organizational failure. With that being said, maybe GM Ryan Pace and Head Coach Matt Nagy can collaborate with their pals in New Orleans and Kansas City and unearth a suitable quarterback option for Chicago. Hey … reaching out and asking for help never hurt anybody.
• Want some more from the Coulda-Woulda-Shoulda folder? Patrick Finley of the Chicago Sun-Times examines what might have been had the Bears been able to land Todd Bowles as Vic Fangio’s replacement. Bowles confirms he and Nagy talked about the defensive coordinator opening, as was the buzz back in January 2019. but that’s no consolation for Bears fans who would’ve loved his aggressive defense. Here’s hoping Sean Desai’s unit can pull from what Bowles does in Tampa Bay and apply it to Chicago’s group.
• I tweeted 🧐🤔 in sharing this clip of rising quarterback prospect Davis Mills …
Very intrigued by #Stanford QB Davis Mills. Big, loose passer with pro traits. Former 5-star but only 11 college starts (knee).
Still extremely raw, but his tape has NFL level throws. Interesting draft and develop option in the 3rd-4th range. pic.twitter.com/jl7iEeXhlk
— Dane Brugler (@dpbrugler) February 3, 2021
• … and some of y’all took it a bit out of context. So, let’s clarify some things. Firstly, there isn’t a quarterback prospect who should be dismissed out of hand. Not when you’re as desperate for a fix as the Bears. And certainly not when the only option under contract next year is Nick Foles. Secondly, when Dane Brugler — one of the most respected analysts in the game — offers up an intriguing prospect, we should pay attention. There’s plenty of noise out there regarding QB prospects. But Brugler’s voice is one that commands a certain level of respect.
• Thirdly, re-read Brugler’s tweet and you’ll realize why I tweeted what I did. In particular, read the part where Brugler mentions Mills as an “[I]nteresting draft and develop option in the 3rd-4th range.” Even if the Bears solve their QB1 problems before the 2021 NFL Draft, they would be wise to invest in a developmental option. Considering how expensive their roster is getting elsewhere, Chicago should consider a draft and develop prospect as an alternative to paying back-up quarterbacks.
• TL;DR — Keep your mind and options open when discussing quarterbacks this offseason.
• While college football standouts are on our mind, Nicholas Moreano (Chicago Audible) highlights five Senior Bowl studs the Bears should consider drafting.
• ICYMI: The Bears are listed among the teams who could get involved in trading Raiders QB Derek Carr. It’s the second time in as many years connecting Chicago and Carr on the rumor mill. Maybe former teammate Khalil Mack will throw in a good word for his old pal.
• Speaking of Carr, this is quality praise:
Getting compared to the 🐐 is never a bad thing 👀 pic.twitter.com/c4NSTDBlpd
— PFF (@PFF) February 3, 2021
• It’s also a reminder of how Matt Nagy values quarterbacks who are masters of reading coverages. And suddenly, you can see why the Bears would keep an eye on Carr if he became available.
• Additional perspective, via the source of the Carr rumors:
Yes and no.
The key, from what I hear, is the tone from teams will be more than just "gauge" interest. And that is a compliment to Derek Carr, who has played his way into s strong standing around the NFL. https://t.co/5OYLgz2ayP
— Vincent Bonsignore (@VinnyBonsignore) February 3, 2021
• As for another quarterback option who emerged on the rumor mill:
Saints Sean Payton was asked on @gmfb what is the plan at QB next season.
"That's easy. We had a great exposure for one year with Jameis Winston … We had enough time to see what we had with him as a player, as a leader … Jameis is one of those guys we are interested in."
— Nicholas Moreano (@NicholasMoreano) February 3, 2021
• I’m still not buying the fit in Chicago. And for what it’s worth, a more structured environment in New Orleans is probably better for Jameis Winston than a potential one-and-done situation in Chicago.
• Super Bowl snacks, bedding, and supplements are among the Deals of the Day at Amazon. #ad
• An opportunity to swing big with a mega-bonus. But also, a reminder to do so responsibly:
Heads up to a monster bonus:
BetRivers Illinois Has A Huge $500 Bonus For Super Bowl 55 https://t.co/ZLrdUhRA0U
— Bleacher Nation Bears (@BN_Bears) February 2, 2021