Woke up humming Taylor Swift’s “Cruel Summer” and I think that’s a sign.
• There’s 100 days until the Bears’ season begins on Sunday Night Football against the Rams. Chicago’s football team isn’t averse to the idea of Justin Fields starting that game, so long as he earns the gig this summer. But Andy Dalton was given assurances (even a promise?) the starting job was his. It should be a fun summer to follow the progress of these two main characters. And yet, my brain keeps coming back to the concept that promises are made to be broken. Not sure what that says about me, but it is what it is.
• For what it’s worth, at least Dalton is learning the offense quickly. Alex Shapiro (NBC Sports Chicago) writes about how Chicago’s QB and head coach are getting to know each other as they build up through OTAs.
• Allen Robinson is good at catching footballs:
Highest graded WRs on contested targets since 2018:
🥇 Kenny Golladay – 97.5
🥈 Allen Robinson – 95.1
🥉 DeAndre Hopkins – 94.0 pic.twitter.com/w2qZrL3gfG
— PFF (@PFF) June 4, 2021
• And to think … the Bears were courting Kenny Golladay early this offseason. Imagine what the Bears offense would look like had they been able to pull off that deal.
• Attending a Steve McMichael benefit concert in suburban Romeoville might be a nice way to kick off your weekend:
They've been side-by-side since '81, first on the football field & later on the stage.
Now, Dan Hampton is playing for Steve "Mongo" McMichael in a benefit concert this Saturday in Romeoville.https://t.co/uMRaJCKBsX
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) June 3, 2021
• No. 9 on the uniform, but No. 1 on the depth chart?
Now in uniform, No. 9, Blake Bortles pic.twitter.com/XuEEReG0id
— Matt Schneidman (@mattschneidman) June 2, 2021
• Let’s celebrate Alex Brown’s birthday by riding along with this episode of Big Guys in a Benz:
• What’s old is new again:
The USFL is back! Catch all the action next year on FOX Sports.
— FOX Sports (@FOXSports) June 3, 2021
New in my inbox: The USFL is back pic.twitter.com/27rWaKXg2I
— Ben Volin (@BenVolin) June 3, 2021
• Launching alternative professional football league is a new yearly tradition unlike any other. While the AAF didn’t have what it takes to make it, I still think the XFL 2.0 had good concepts that didn’t get time to develop because of the timing with the pandemic. Maybe the USFL re-boot will find some footing when it starts. At minimum, I hope it has a better ending than what it got last time.
• The NFL has some international dreams:
The NFL will be gauging interest soon from German cities to possibly host games in future years, I'm told. Nothing set yet. But the NFL has seen great growth in Europe with its UK series, which resumes with two games in London this fall, and Germany could be next.
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) June 3, 2021
• Here’s hoping the NFL doesn’t use a global pandemic to restrict media access and that this is just a short-term blip:
NFL locker rooms are likely to remain closed to the media for the foreseeable future, although in-person interviews could resume leaguewide in press conference and small-group, distanced settings. From @benjstrauss and me. https://t.co/eaaDRY74yF
— MarkMaske (@MarkMaske) June 4, 2021
• In that vein, Bills players are opting out of answering questions about whether they have been vaccinated, writes PFT’s Michael David Smith. This comes weeks after Head Coach Sean McDermott shared concerns that not enough players are getting vaccinated. It feels like a tricky situation to navigate a player’s personal preferences and something that could be for the greater good of the team. However, each of the NFL’s 32 teams have to deal with it on some level or another. I’ll be curious to see how this storyline develops.
• A whole bunch of my favorite college football players are on this ballot:
College Football Hall of Fame 2022 ballot includes: S. Alexander, Bama; L. Arrington, Penn St; R.Bush, USC; M. Crabtree, Texas Tech; W. Dunn & P. Warrick, FSU; G. Hearst, UGA; A. Luck, Stanford; M. Lynch, Cal; T. Miller, Okla. St; H. Moore, UVA; K. Moore, Boise St; E. Rhett, UF
— Brett McMurphy (@Brett_McMurphy) June 2, 2021
• Smart watches, smart locks, clothes, security gear, and much more are your Deals of the Day at Amazon. #ad
• Neat to see some Blackhawks performing well internationally:
Stetcher with a beautiful setup to Mangiapane and Canada beats Russia in overtime! Brandon Pirri, Nicolas Beaudin, and Brandon Hagel advance with Canada to the Semifinals#IIHFWorlds #Blackhawks pic.twitter.com/SndUOVqi4B
— Bleacher Nation Blackhawks (@BN_Blackhawks) June 3, 2021
• I see someone has put on their recruiting shoes:
Good morning to everyone, especially Damian Lillard.
Did you know Chicago is the best Summer city, Dame? You should def check it out. Hell of a place to host a playoff series.
— Bleacher Nation Bulls (@BN_Bulls) June 4, 2021
• Joc Jams are perfect for waterfront chill days:
— Bleacher Nation Cubs (@BleacherNation) June 4, 2021