The first training camp practice after Saturday’s loss means the first opportunity to make adjustments on what didn’t work. And there is plenty from which to choose ….
• I can’t help but chuckle when thinking about how Mitchell Trubisky’s performance went a long way to underscore what needs fixing. And he did it so innocently, too:
“I just wanted to play well,” Trubisky said, via the Tribune’s Colleen Kane. “I knew people would be talking about it and hyping it up, but it was just important for me to come out here and do my job and show my teammates that I could play ball.”
• And ball is exactly what he did. Trubisky put up a 20/28 passing day, throwing fo 221 yards, 1 TD, 0 INTs, and a 106.4 rating. The Bills didn’t ask Trubisky to do too much. And in turn, Trubisky didn’t get ahead of his skis and try to do more than he was capable of doing. In the end, Trubisky did what he set out to do in show his teammates he could play ball. And in doing so, exposed some things I’m not liking about the Bears.
• Matt Nagy’s offense still looks static. There is no rhythm or flow. Maybe some of that has to do with Allen Robinson II and David Montgomery being unavailable. It’s not a non-factor, but it shouldn’t be the reason Andy Dalton can’t generate momentum with the players at his disposal. Bills OC Brian Daboll didn’t have QB Josh Allen or WR Stefon Diggs at the ready. And yet, Buffalo’s offense was playing with pace and purpose with Trubisky leading reserves. That’s not a good look for Nagy, his offense, or the Bears defense. But, hey, at least it re-affirmed my feeling that Daboll should be on our head-coaching short-list come December if things don’t go the Bears’ way this season.
• With the offense flailing, the defense wasn’t in the best position to bail out their contemporaries on the other side of the ball as they have so many times before. The Bears offense needs to be better in order for the defense to be at its best. Because without Kyle Fuller playing corner opposite of Jaylon Johnson, there will be opportunities for good QBs to pick on Desmond Trufant (who has played just 15 games over the last two seasons) and slot corner Duke Shelley (who has just three starts in two seasons with the team). It’s almost as if the Bears should’ve made stronger runs at free agents Bashaud Breeland (who the Bears had interest in) and Steven Nelson.
• To further complicate things, the efforts from special teams was disheartening. The Bears allowed a 79-yard Marquez Stevenson punt return TD, as well as a 35-yard return from Isaiah McKenzie. No wonder the Bears were showing interest in McKenzie this past offseason. Cairo Santos saw an extra-point get blocked. In fact, Santos’ last two misses have been blocks. When scoring points is a taffy pull, special teams blunders can’t happen.
• OK, fine. I found one special teams thing worth noting. Pat O’Donnell had punts that went 63, 59, and 55 yards. If this offense continues sputtering, then O’Donnell will need to let off some more bangers.
• Long story, short: The Bears have 20 days to fix a whole bunch stuff before Week 1 kicks off. Thinking about that has this playing in my head:
• Hey, now. It wasn’t all bad:
Don't let Box Score Scottie tell you Fields didn't play well yesterday — Fields showed yet again that he could deliver the ball downfield with ease, his WRs weren't up to the task.
I hope he plays with better WRs/OL soon, last throw sailed a bit high bc he couldn't step into it pic.twitter.com/UES2XwBByM
— Robert Schmitz (@robertkschmitz) August 23, 2021
• Please let this Justin Fields fella throw to first-team pass-catchers this week.
• What an awesome visual:
SUPER BOWL edition!
— NFLvisuals (@NFL_visuals) August 22, 2021
• This question deserves a different type of answer from us:
You can extend by 10 years the sports career of any athlete whose playing days were over too soon. Who is it?
— Brett Taylor (@Brett_A_Taylor) August 22, 2021
• On the field? Gale Sayers. That’s an easy one. But off of it? Doug Buffone. I realize I’m bending some stuff here by taking the term “sports career” loosely, but hang with me. In addition to being a popular Bears linebacker, Buffone was a beloved sports talk radio personality. His post-game shows with Ed O’Bradovich were the stuff of legend. Not just in terms of entertainment, but by providing honest and raw assessments that left you, as a fan, feeling like he was seeing the same stuff you were. And feeling the same way, too. They really don’t make ’em like they used to back in the day.
• Wyd here, Chase Daniel?
— 49ers Highlights (@Highlights49ers) August 23, 2021
• The Cubs really can’t catch a break these days:
— Bleacher Nation (@BleacherNation) August 22, 2021
• Then again, Chicago’s North Side Baseball Team would pick sixth in the 2022 MLB Draft if the season was over. It isn’t. And while I wish it was, the Cubs are in a good place to pick high and grab a bunch of pool money for which to sign prospects. That is, of course, unless MLB changes the draft rules with this upcoming CBA as it did a decade ago.