• Shoutout to everyone who entertained me with their thoughts in replying to this tweet:
Alright. Who wants to sell me on Sam Darnold? Anyone?
The floor is yours…
— Bleacher Nation Bears (@BN_Bears) February 20, 2021
• Sam Darnold is an intriguing option in the Bears’ search for a quarterback. He has a unique prospect profile, still presumably has a high ceiling, and shouldn’t cost much in terms of a trade. Darnold, still only 23, is the type of post-hype sleeper who catches on somewhere and leaves you wondering why your team wasn’t in on him in the first place. Or is he the type of player whose talent and unrealized potential is a curse? Maybe there’s an in-between. In any case, Darnold’s unsightly stat line still leaves me wondering why Chicago should roll the dice on him in the first place.
• It’s only fitting that we’re discussing Sam Darnold as a fixer-upper as we’re simultaneously looking back at the ultimate failed reclamation project:
“We could have wound up with Tony Gonzalez and Jake Plummer instead of Rick Mirer and John Allred.”
— Kevin Fishbain (@kfishbain) February 21, 2021
• Mike Sando’s re-visiting of the Mirer deal opens up old wounds. But more than that, it serves as a reminder that the same type of power structure that was in place in 1997 is still making decisions now. Stop me if this sounds familiar:
“(Dave) Wannstedt, entering his fifth season with a 32-32 record to that point, was the top football decision-maker until after the draft when (Rod) Graves resigned and was replaced by Mark Hatley. The major decisions went through (Ted) Phillips and a McCaskey, same as today.”
• Replace Dave Wannstedt with Matt Nagy. Take out Mark Hatley, then insert Ryan Pace. Instead of Mike McCaskey, it’s George at the top of the chain of command. The constant here is Ted Phillips. And that’s an unsettling thought. Again, this isn’t to say that Phillips is the reason the Bears have been unable to right the ship at quarterback. But we have decades worth of a sample that suggests this power structure isn’t working as successfully as a properly run football organization should want. Part of me feels as if Phillips takes too much heat for the Bears’ shortcomings. But on the other hand, I wonder what it would be like if he had absolutely nothing to do with any football decisions beyond being responsible for wheelbarrows of cash that goes to the players in question.
• I realize no one really wants to take a trip back to 1997 right now. But reading Sando’s piece reminds me that the Mirer trade is the ultimate cautionary tale for those of you who think you can fix anyone.
• What’s this? Oh, nothing. Just Alabama QB prospect Mac Jones doing stuff:
— Jim Nagy (@JimNagy_SB) February 21, 2021
• No matter who slings it in 2021, they’ll need some protection. And with that in mind, here’s a potential mid-round steal in the Bears’ own back yard:
Fourth-round grade from @PFF.
— Illinois Football (@IlliniFootball) February 19, 2021
— Ben Fennell (@BenFennell_NFL) January 25, 2021
• Let Monty eat:
David Montgomery this season | among RBs:
🔸80.2 PFF Grade (7th)
🔸779 yards after contact (3rd)
🔸54 missed tackles forced (4th) pic.twitter.com/vYSWhhqagk
— PFF Fantasy Football (@PFF_Fantasy) February 20, 2021
• Look good. Feel good. Play good:
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) February 19, 2021
• Trick plays are fun when properly blocked and executed:
Let's get tricky with it. ✨
The most fun play calls of the 2020 regular season! pic.twitter.com/YBPj6YauLr
— NFL (@NFL) February 19, 2021
• The Bulls got a real one in Patrick Williams:
For reference … and to watch again bc why the hell not: https://t.co/LJ1SbJdzGl
— Bleacher Nation Bulls (@BN_Bulls) February 21, 2021
• Today is the last day on this, so jump on it if you haven’t already:
A second chance! Want a beautiful signed card from HOF Cubs legend Fergie Jenkins?
Random winner announced Sunday, and Fergie will mail it out to you! pic.twitter.com/8uuAcfPpuM
— Bleacher Nation (@BleacherNation) February 19, 2021