I spent way too much time watching and re-watching the Space Jam 2 trailer before I realized: This ain’t it.
In lieu of sharing the trailer, watch this:
• We’re not even one full month into the new league year and Bears fans have spent an unhealthy amount of time looking at each other trying to find places of optimism. Admittedly, it’s not easy. Chicago didn’t make a splash at quarterback, lost a home-grown star cornerback, and hasn’t upgraded an offense that has been begging for a good fixing each of the last two offseasons. Over at the team’s official website, Larry Mayer tries to unearth four reasons to be optimistic heading into 2021. Kudos to Mr. Mayer for trying.
• To his credit, Mayer makes good points. What’s unfortunate here is that it’s difficult to build optimism on what’s happened this offseason. Retaining kicker Cairo Santos is encouraging, but if the offense can’t get into field goal range, then does it matter? Having a first-round pick is neat, but with so many needs and picking in the bottom half of the draft isn’t going to get a lot of fans charged up. Depth signings are necessary. And to GM Ryan Pace’s credit, he has done well in this area. But these aren’t rallying points for a fanbase starved for something more than .500 football.
• Bears fans want to be fired up about Cole Kmet and Darnell Mooney on the offensive side of things. Kmet grew into a larger role in the offense and figures to be TE1, supplanting Jimmy Graham for that role. And Darnell Mooney was an instant fan favorite last season. But if there isn’t production from the quarterback getting them the ball, then their growth will be limited. As for Johnson, there’s plenty of love there for the rising second-year cornerback. It’s just that losing Kyle Fuller will put more pressure on a player who ended the season missing the final 3 games of the regular season (and the team’s playoff game). And as far as I’m concerned, that’s an unfair burden to put on a young player who’s had availability issues in college and in his first year as a pro.
• Here’s the good news: The 2021 NFL Draft is loaded with prospects worth getting excited about. And from so many different places:
Body control and ball adjustment
Smooth and in control. Terrific catch pic.twitter.com/KxQEOKHgkc
— Nick Muzzillo (@bigmuzz26) April 2, 2021
More to come in a later piece on Eskridge!
But an intriguing 2nd rd pick in 2021 rookie drafts
— Nick Muzzillo (@bigmuzz26) April 2, 2021
• If Louis Riddick is intrigued about a QB prospect, then I’m going to start doing my homework on him as a possible Bears fit:
Maybe I should say he should be getting talked about ALOT more as a high upside prospect. I know I am going to be going forward. The UCLA game at the end of the season, with how he responded to adversity, was classic.
— Louis Riddick (@LRiddickESPN) April 3, 2021
• Chicago needs to draft a cornerback at some point. And it’s possible they could draw on their experience with Eddie Jackson and hope to strike gold with a high-end talent who had some injury concerns?
I know the #Bears have multiple needs on their offense.
But I would absolutely love it if they took Caleb Farley at 20. He might fall because of a back injury, and with how good his tape is, he could be great value for Chicago. pic.twitter.com/2TyhaMY8gq
— Jacob Infante (@jacobinfante24) April 2, 2021
• Seriously … want to build some optimism within the fanbase? Knock this upcoming draft out of the park.
• I like the way Damien Williams runs the football and think he will make a nice tag-team partner for David Montgomery in the Bears’ backfield:
Can’t wait to see this guy in blue & orange!
HBD, DameDash. 💨 pic.twitter.com/LSfnbNJEuZ
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) April 3, 2021
• Brad Biggs and I had similar thoughts, he just articulated it better (and quicker) than I did:
No one should express surprise Matt Nagy will call plays for #Bears offense this season. If he's under pressure to win in '21, or show 'progress' as George McCaskey said, he's going to be at the controls and not leave that up to Bill Lazor or anyone else.
— Brad Biggs (@BradBiggs) April 2, 2021
• And then there’s this:
And this is where I am with my thinking on the aforementioned post about Matt Nagy taking back play-calling duties. https://t.co/ZK0sf0RVSK
— Coming in March to Lu-Ray (@lcm1986) April 2, 2021
• This is Matt Nagy’s last stand. I can’t imagine taking a last stand and putting someone else in charge of it. At least, not right away. If there comes a point of desperation where Nagy needs to hand over play-calling again, then Nagy should go about doing that. After all, we’re still talking about 2021 as a year for self-preservation.
• How’d they look? Asking for a friend:
— InsideUSC (@InsideUSC) April 2, 2021
• Dan Synder pulled the Emperor Palpatine “I am the senate” card:
This was the opposite of what was supposed to happen. https://t.co/vq04dE8BeW
— Lee Sharpe, ⛓️ @ 🏠 (@LeeSharpeNFL) April 2, 2021
• The Deshaun Watson situation continues to open my eyes in an alarming fashion:
Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson, who is accused of sexual assault and harassment in lawsuits filed by 21 women, is being investigated by police. https://t.co/3lvU944xFv
— AP NFL (@AP_NFL) April 3, 2021
• “Or otherwise” is doing a lot of the heavy lifting in this tweet:
The #Texans still haven’t engaged in trade talks, but they continue to get calls about Deshaun Watson. And if it becomes clear Watson won’t be there — via trade, holdout or otherwise — don’t rule out Alex Smith landing in Houston. @nflnetwork pic.twitter.com/q1yPLMBOTU
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) April 2, 2021