Spent some time during my Thursday visiting my 93-year-old grandmother. In-person. Indoors. For the first time since what feels like forever. That visit was good for the soul, but also a snapshot portraying how fragile life can be and how limited our time is on this planet. In the end, it should serve as a nice reminder to see those you love and care about when you can.
• There are just 65 days until the Bears season kicks off, which is reason enough to re-share one of my favorite plays of recent lore:
— Bleacher Nation Bears (@BN_Bears) July 9, 2021
• Don’t get me wrong. We’ll discuss the happenings at quarterback until we’re blue and orange in the face. But we also need to spend time talking about the offensive line. Because, no matter who is under center, nothing good will happen if the guys in the trenches aren’t blocking. And with that in mind, Whitehair becomes a key cog. Let’s pencil him in at left guard, then note how he’ll have a rookie left tackle (Teven Jenkins) to his left and a second-year starter (Sam Mustipher) on his right. This puts pressure on Whitehair, as this group’s veteran lineman, to hold it down as a stabilizing force. Whitehair can do it. In fact, we saw his move to left guard fortify the line late last season. But with a new year comes new challenges. Hope he is up for it.
• While browsing through depth charts here and there, I’ve noticed some don’t have James Daniels as a starter. And while I realize Daniels was out for most of the 2020 season because of a pectoral injury, let’s not sleep on him. Daniels was playing his best ball before the injury, settling in at left guard. My best guess for Daniels’ 2021 season is a slide over to right guard. I think it’s a position he should be able to handle, even if it might be a tough task for a player entering a contract year.
• Re-visiting what was said about Daniels on draft day is putting me in a good place when thinking about his move to the other side of the line:
• Linemen battles are arguably the best thing to watch at training camp. Should you make it out to Halas Hall this summer, I would strongly recommend keeping an eye on that. In the meantime, you should store this training camp schedule in your pocket:
— Zack Pearson (@Zack_Pearson) July 7, 2021
• Every Justin Fields drop-back will be under a microscope this summer. But, for now, I’m digging that Fields is working out with some high-profile players with whom he shares an agency. To be fair, I was geeking out when Mitchell Trubisky was working out with Jared Goff ahead of the 2018 season. But Fields is cut from a different cloth and is on a different path. Ultimately, it’s the idea of high-end talent working their tail off ahead of their first professional training camp that does it for me.
• Marquise Goodwin didn’t qualify for the Olympics. But he was repping the Bears while doing his thing, which is pretty neat:
Pretty cool that #Bears wideout Marquise Goodwin repped the team ahead of the long jump final at the Olympic Trials last week.
— Matt Eurich (@MattEurich) July 8, 2021
• The new guy has springs in his legs:
BOING!! Bears WR Marquise Goodwin with the HOPS!! 👀 pic.twitter.com/pVz4BQugIL
— MonsterOfTheTriState (@_SCAR_179) July 8, 2021
• Over at BN Blackhawks, Mario writes about the Oilers and Blackhawks are going “back and forth” on Duncan Keith trade talks. I’m no hockey aficionado, but watching Keith’s mastery on the defensive end was a treat. Do-it-all defensemen don’t grow on trees. And if he gets dealt, I’ll miss watching him play.
• I didn’t like the pick at first, but Patrick Williams grew on me throughout his rookie year. Now, I’m looking forward to seeing him take more steps moving forward:
From a Busy Rookie Year to Team USA Training Camp, Patrick Williams is Soaking it All inhttps://t.co/nEFDHZ5JJN
— Bleacher Nation Bulls (@BN_Bulls) July 8, 2021