A Bunch of Stuff I Saw and Liked at Family Fest (And Other Bears Bullets)

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A Bunch of Stuff I Saw and Liked at Family Fest (And Other Bears Bullets)

Chicago Bears

I’m really into lending a helping hand when you can, so I’ll share this in hopes that we – as a community – can help others:

•   Football is better when they are practicing in pads. The sound of contact being made is glorious to me. It sends chills throughout my body. And it takes me to a happy place. On top of all that, it reminds me of the game’s simplicity. Man-on-man battles where talent, skill, determination, knowledge, leverage, and more come together to determine a winner in that moment (and elsewhere throughout the field). It’s like poetry, and it’s beautiful.

•   It felt soooooo good to be back at Soldier Field. The energy for Family Fest was on another level on Tuesday. I’d go as far as to say it was tiers above what it was in camp on Monday. Maybe it was because there were more people in the stands. Watching the Bears in good company always makes it better. Perhaps it was the music chosen by the Soldier Field DJ. Or maybe it was the sound of pads clashing against each other for the first time in 2021. Whatever it was, it felt magical to watch a practice. And it’s not always like that for me. It felt special.

•   A stay thought: The Bears should have more training camp practices at Soldier Field. I realize home base is in Lake Forest at Halas Hall, which complicates things. But using Soldier Field to host weekend practices would be a neat treat for fans, especially those who can’t make it to the stadium during the regular season. And it could be something to help players become familiar with their new settings. In baseball, we talk about third deck syndrome for minor leaguers getting called up to The Show. I’m sure some NFLers might feel that, too. Also, who’s gonna say no to more Bears football? Especially not with #QB1oftheFuture in tow.

•   Justin Fields made some drool-worthy throws, including this one that had the internet going nuts:

•   Our good friend Greg Braggs of Braggs in the Stands was out at Soldier Field wearing a Superman cape with all the videos he was taking and sharing. This is the type of stuff we were missing when fans weren’t st camps and games last year. Re-watching some of these clips reminds me of what I’m liking about Fields’ dynamic with Andy Dalton. I’m digging watching Fields push the ball vertically. Fields is making some challenging throws at camp. No, he isn’t making them all. C’mon, he’s human! But he throws with a special zip and velocity. It’s a thing of beauty when you get to see it in action.

•   And then there’s Dalton, who doesn’t have the raw talent. But what Dalton does is make the necessary throws (the ones he can make) in a quick and accurate manner. Obvious caveats about practice aside, Dalton looks how we were expecting Nick Foles to look.

•   This defense is FEISTY. We saw Akiem Hicks in the middle of a ruckus. There was some pushing and shoving going around. And that’s good. That means these guys are busting their tails and too dang proud to just let it go. This is what is supposed to happen when you put pads on and hit someone. So long as things don’t go overboard, the kerfuffles we saw at Soldier Fields are simply a part of the game. I’d go as far as to say it’s a healthy part of the game.

•   You think Tarik Cohen doesn’t want in on the action. Still on the PUP List, Cohen can’t participate in practice. But that guy was walking everywhere while carrying a football. He’ll be back soon enough.

•   Watching Damien Williams practice is a treat. He runs hard, finishes strong, and looks to be having fun whenever I see him. It reminds me of some of the vibes these Bears had back in 2018. They were talented and hungry after some lean years, which were factors in sparking a 12-win season. But that group also had big-time energy and swagger. #PositiveVibesOnly wasn’t just a hashtag I cooked up in 2018 while watching those guys at camp. It was also the energy they gave off. After two 8-8 seasons, this team needed an injection of fresh energy. And I think guys like Williams are bringing that back.

•   There was a moment when I saw Ryan Pace strolling the sidelines and thought to myself: “My favorite team’s GM could beat up your favorite team’s GM.” And now I’m wondering why Pace doesn’t bully opposing general managers into deals by flexing on them. Dude is built. Could Pace’s workout routine have inspired Matt Nagy’s bulked-up new look? Does Nagy wish he had Pace’s hair? I won’t front. Seeing Pace, Cairo Santos, Pat O’Donnell, and Brian Johnson together on the sideline had *ME* jealous. I bet those guys share hair products, styling tips, and secrets.

•   The Turnover Bucket got an upgrade:

•   Goooooooooooooooood:

•   Also … I’ll be at camp on Thursday. Don’t be afraid to say “hi” if you see me. And don’t be scared off by my post-sunburn Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer look.

•   I wish the Bears had ample cap space, because they could use a cornerback like Xavien Howard:

•   In other notable tweets sent by Ian Rapoport, the NFL Network insider reports Lions Rams QB Matthew Stafford’s swollen thumb is “nothing major.” Which is easy to say when it’s not your thumb that needs protection from Khalil Mack and Akiem Hicks in 39 days.

•   The Bulls are (1) interesting, (2) acting like a big-market team, and (3) will soon be more watchable than they have been in quite some time:

•   It’s been a busy offseason for the Blackhawks, so there is much to discuss:

•   This is going to be one of those “I’ll believe it when I see it” situations:

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Author: Luis Medina

Luis Medina is a Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at@lcm1986.