The combination of spending most of my Saturday outdoors, basking in sunshine and non-freezing temps, a grilled meal, and chatting it up with friends old and new, I’m in high spirits.
• There is an obvious focus on finding the Bears’ next quarterback. Russell Wilson? Deshaun Watson? A Draft pick to be chosen later? No shortage of external candidates for us to dive into. And yet, some circles still think past options are realistic for this team moving forward:
Nick Foles still a candidate to be Bears' starting quarterback https://t.co/C3sc37quPa
— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) February 28, 2021
• In the sense that Nick Foles is the only quarterback on the Bears’ active roster, yes, he is still a candidate to start. But otherwise? Nah. Not unless the Bears draft a rookie who isn’t ready for Week 1. Think someone like Trey Lance, the draft-eligible North Dakota State product. Lance played in just one showcase game last fall and enters the 2021 NFL Draft as a redshirt sophomore. Or maybe Justin Fields? But only if you believe he needs a touch of seasoning before taking over. But with how Chairman George McCaskey, GM Ryan Pace, and Head Coach Matt Nagy talked about the desire to upgrade the position, I don’t imagine they had running it back with Nick Foles (after the season he had) in mind.
• In the PFT piece, Michael David Smith cites a Pace saying: “I respect the way he handled a lot of adversity this year, not just for himself in the quarterback room. He was a leader in the room as a starter or as a backup. And … when he was playing, there were some things that, in fairness to him, the offensive line was a little unsettled and the run game wasn’t quite where we wanted it to be.” Fair points, to be sure. But reading this is giving me a strange sense of déjà vu.
⇒ “Mike Glennon is our starting quarterback, and we’re fired up about that. … He’s got all the traits you want in a quarterback. I don’t know how high the ceiling is, I’m just glad we have him in the mix as our starting quarterback to compete and get better.” – Ryan Pace in March 2017, one month before trading up in the Draft to take Mitchell Trubisky.
⇒ “Mitch is our starter. We believe in Mitch and we believe in the progress he is going to make.” – Ryan Pace in January 2020, months before he would pursue Tom Brady, Teddy Bridgewater, Andy Dalton, and others before settling on Nick Foles.
• There was so much of a focus on Pace’s “Mitch is our starter” quote that so many overlooked the other big takeaway from that January 2020 press conference (emphasis mine):
We’re looking to increase competition at every position. Mitch is our starter and we believe in Mitch and we believe in the progress that he’s going to continue to make. But two of the three players in that room are free agents. The quarterback room is critical and it’s important for us. We’re always going to try to make it better, but as far as who it is and we’re going to do, we’re not there yet.
• That Pace said nice things about Foles in January 2021 is to the present day what Pace saying Trubisky was the starter in January 2020 was at this time last year. When it comes to Bears quarterbacks, time is a flat circle and history tends to repeat itself. So let’s not forget that Pace said “everything’s on the table” for acquiring or selecting a quarterback in 2021. Without directly saying so, Pace said the team must go BIG at the QB this offseason. And while it’s not like Pace to put it out there like that, that’s how important this was to him.
• If all all other options are exhausted, there is a path to Foles being the Bears’ Week 1 QB. But if that happens, I don’t think it will be because of something Pace said about Foles back in January. And history tells us that much.
• As for a player who is on the cusp of being a former Bears QB:
If they can re-sign Trubisky for sub $7M a year I think they would opt for that https://t.co/Ug0iPgZs6v
— Jason_OTC (@Jason_OTC) February 28, 2021
• If given the option to trade assets to pay Sam Darnold $9.794 million or bring back Mitchell Trubisky for $7 million, it’s sensible to think running it back with Trubisky would be the preferred option. However, I’m unsure if either option is one the Bears would willingly opt for this offseason. Darnold and Trubisky are similar in that both can make eye-opening splash plays. Both have athleticism, untapped upside, and potential that hasn’t been reached. But neither has played with any consistency in their young careers. Hence, Trubisky has one foot out the door and Darnold is an afterthought in New York with the Jets owning the second overall pick.
• Maurice Moton (Bleacher Report) has ideas to fix the broken QB situations around the NFL. Moton suggests signing Andy Dalton and monitoring the Darnold situation. To which I’d say: “Why?” Dalton knowing Bill Lazor and the system isn’t a reason to go to battle with him as QB1 when jobs on the line. Or did we not learn anything from Foles being the guy who knows the system, thus, can save the day. As for Darnold, I struggle to see differences between him and Trubisky. Darnold is younger than Trubisky, but has the same issues with processing, decision-making, and executing plays. If targeting Dalton and Darnold constitutes a “fix” … then I might as well start preparing my looking into 2021 Draft options.
• Imagine what those numbers would be if he had someone who could throw him the dang ball with any consistency:
• It’s wild to think that two of these guys (Diggs, Hopkins) were traded last offseason. And Robinson could conceivably be next:
Top 3 in receiving yards the last two seasons: 1) Diggs 2) Hopkins 3) Allen Robinson. #paythemanhismoney
— Michael Giardi (@MikeGiardi) February 25, 2021
• Tonight’s Bulls-Raptors game was postponed due to COVID health and safety protocols. So instead, feast your eyes on some Joakim Noah highlights:
• I dig these sweaters:
— Bleacher Nation Blackhawks (@BN_Blackhawks) February 28, 2021