I feel as if the month of August was dragging until this week. One day you’re waking up on Sunday morning, then you blink and it’s Thursday. What’s up with that?
• Well, now I see what Nike is doing with leftover Oregon Ducks jerseys:
• OK, fine. The jerseys are alright. I’m just miffed about how they aren’t wearing these when the Bears are wearing their white fauxbacks. There was a missed marketing opportunity here from the folks at Nike and the NFL. Green Bay should’ve been rolling these out for a Week 6 debut in Chicago. Perhaps common sense will knock someone upside the head and make that jersey matchup a thing for Week 14 on Sunday Night Football.
• In addition to following Olin Kreutz’s playing career as a fan, I’ve been doing the same with his media career in his post-playing days. And I can say, with full confidence, that Kreutz’s growth as a football analyst is impressive as heck. No one breaks down offensive line play and explains the position group’s importance and value like the six-time Pro Bowler. So, when the Charles Leno Jr. cut was met with a “nah, this ain’t it” back in May, we should’ve been all over it:
— Olin kreutz (@olin_kreutz) August 18, 2021
• For what it’s worth, I wasn’t a fan of the cut either:
I’m not sure the Bears should’ve even gone down this road. I realize parting ways with Leno is a popular sentiment in some circles. However, I struggle to see why. An honest assessment of Leno is that – while not a top-tier left tackle – he isn’t a bottom-of-the-barrel blocker either. While not outstanding in any one area, Leno is steady and reliable — and that should count for something. As should the fact that he hasn’t missed a game since the 2015 season. It’s a span of six seasons in which Leno hasn’t missed a start. It’s an ironman streak worth tipping your cap for once you realize it.
• I also added: Creating cap space as part of a move to sign your draft picks is nice and all. But this opens up a can of worms on the offensive line. And with Teven Jenkins’ (successful!) back surgery keeping him out for a while, the can of worms is officially open. Once again, sometimes you really don’t know what you have until you don’t have it any more. And the truth is the Bears had something good. It wasn’t great. Nor was it spectacular. But adequate play from one of the most important positions on the field shouldn’t be overlooked and underrated. Full stop.
• With all that being said, protect Justin Fields at all costs:
Justin Fields with at least 3.5 seconds to throw vs Miami:
Pass yds: 91
— CBS Sports HQ (@CBSSportsHQ) August 18, 2021
• Wonderful news:
Jason Peters is here at Halas Hall and expected to be on the practice field in a limited capacity today.
Matt Nagy said he hopes to get Peters some pregame work Saturday with an aim to turn him loose to play some vs. Titans on Aug. 28.
— Dan Wiederer (@danwiederer) August 19, 2021
• Even after a lengthy layoff, someone with Peters’ experience should have an idea how to gear up for the football season. Grading line play is hard enough, but doing so in the preseason is among an analyst’s toughest challenge. But with that being said, I’ll have eyes on No. 71 on August 28.
• Dan Bernstein (670 The Score) believes the Bears’ offensive line issues are reason enough to start Fields. Which, on the surface, feels backward. Shouldn’t a better line situation merit reason to start Fields? Wouldn’t putting Fields behind a sub-optimal be placing the franchise’s most valuable asset in a risky position? I get it, though. Fields’ mobility and playmaking ability on the move allows him to do things Andy Dalton can’t. And I reckon there is value in a trial by fire situation when it comes to player growth. But it feels like a risk that isn’t worth the reward. Then again, I can see why the opposite viewpoint is being made by Bernstein.
• I realize this won’t be popular with a vocal segment of fans, but it’s the right thing to do:
Nagy says the plan is for Andy Dalton to play at least a quarter & a half on Saturday. #Bears
— Aaron Leming (@AaronLemingNFL) August 19, 2021
• Don’t get me wrong. I want to see Justin Fields as much (if not more) than many of you. But after watching Dalton in person, then again on replay from the comforts of home, it’s clear that Andy Dalton needs some work. He needs to build an in-game rapport with teammates so he can be ready to roll in Week 1. No matter how we feel about the situation, Chicago’s plan has always been to install Dalton as the starter and keep him there until he proves he is no longer worthy or capable of doing the job. Ultimately, Fields’ time will come. But for now, it’s Dalton’s turn.
• A reminder that positive feedback and commentary online is always welcome:
• I feel better about the Sean Desai hire with each passing day:
“If you’re in coaching to criticize, you’re in the wrong profession. You should be coaching to teach.”
—Bears DC Sean Desai
— Jason Lieser (@JasonLieser) August 19, 2021
• Headlines you’ll find only in baseball:
Lance Lynn Ejected During a Foreign Substance Check After Tossing His Belt at an Umpire – https://t.co/gBJq2MN161 (via BN)
— Bleacher Nation (@BleacherNation) August 19, 2021
— Bleacher Nation (@BleacherNation) August 19, 2021
• If the Packers were to ever field an All-Pro caliber linebacker who also was a star QB, it might cause me to re-think whether I could watch football moving forward or if it would be ruined for me:
Shohei Ohtani is essentially if Aaron Rodgers decided to start playing defense and then became a Brian Urlacher-quality linebacker while maintaining MVP-level QBing. The dude has a league-leading 40 homers and a 2.79 ERA. This is not supposed to happen. I truly can’t believe it.
— Fred Katz (@FredKatz) August 19, 2021