If you’re one of the types of people who treats Labor Day as the unofficial end of summer, then allow me to remind you that this is the last Friday of summer. Enjoy wisely. But more importantly, enjoy responsibly.
• Talking about Justin Fields Watch with Larry Hawley:
The continued question about the Bears' starting QB decision was just one part of @lcm1986 of @BleacherNation's discussion on #WGNNewsNow Sports Talk this week from @WGNNews. Watch more of his talk on the Bears & Cubs here: https://t.co/eGOdZXcPoK pic.twitter.com/oL3p1MdXti
— Larry Hawley (@HawleySports) September 1, 2021
• Earlier in camp, I was comfortable with Andy Daltons starting the year as QB1. I’m a little less comfortable now, but mostly in that I’m still OK with him starting the year as the starter. Because if Dalton throws like he did in the preseason, he shouldn’t make it through a full season. But I’m willing to see how it plays out because isn’t that why we watch professional sports? To watch what can’t be scripted play out in front of our eyes is the most beautiful thing about the games we love.
• I’d bet networks are secretly hoping the Bears hold out starting Fields until he appears on one of their games. There isn’t a network exec out there who doesn’t want to produce the pomp-and-circumstance that will come with the Bears ushering in a new QB era. With that in mind, Jeff Aggrest (Sun-Times) peers into the future in discussing who will be calling Bears games this fall. I hope you’re ready for familiar faces in new football roles, such as former Bears Mark Sanchez and Greg Olsen as analysts. As for reeling in some top crews, it could happen with FOX possibly sending Joe Buck and Troy Aikman for Bears-Packers (Week 6) and CBS for a Week 11 showdown against the Ravens.
• A pair of Bears make it onto Matt Bowen’s list of 10 players to keep tabs on during your fantasy football season. And even though I have failed to secure Darnell Mooney and Justin Fields in either of my first two fantasy drafts, it won’t stop me from trying to snag them later. However, I can’t shake how four future Bears opponents are on Bowen’s list. There is an expectation that Seahawks QB Russell Wilson, Steelers RB Najee Harris, 49ers RB Trey Sermon, and Rams WR Cooper Kupp will have great fantasy seasons. Hopefully, their best performances don’t come against Chicago’s football team.
• That 2017 NFL Draft class was lit:
— NFL Network (@nflnetwork) September 3, 2021
• For the sake of this Bullet, I won’t discuss the quarterback decision the Bears made on that fateful weekend. HOWEVA, I have a feeling a growing number of you will look back at this draft the way I do and feel disappointment in knowing the Bears came away from a loaded draft class with just five draft selections. Sure would’ve been a nice draft to have waves of picks.
• Listening to Zach Miller discuss the complications that came after his career-ending leg injury hits hard. But that he has used that set-back to fuel his music career is pretty neat. Wishing the former Bears tight end nothing but success in this particular endeavor:
— 670 The Score (@670TheScore) September 2, 2021
• Learning something new about the Bears is one of those things I randomly love:
• Let’s face it. When your franchise is 100+ years old, there’s *always* something new to learn about its history. So boning up on the life and legacy of Bob Pickens, a former Bear who was the first African-American wrestler to compete in the Olympics was pretty neat.
• This uniquely provides some context that we should consider whenever we see mega-deals cross our timeline:
Random NFL contract fact I stumbled upon just now:
Only 6 contracts signed in 2016 or earlier are still active:
•Marcus Cannon (but this contract has been traded)
— Nick Korte (@nickkorte) September 2, 2021
• I’m not sure what it says about me when my first thought upon seeing that tweet was when in doubt, get your money when you can because NFL contracts don’t last forever. But I know it’s accurate. It’s why I try not to sweat contract lengths when big deals come down the pipeline
• Nah, I don’t love this:
NFL has lowered the minimum number of times a head coach has to talk to the media to three per week, Matt Nagy is cutting his weekly press conferences from four to three this season.
— Jason Lieser (@JasonLieser) September 3, 2021
• Here’s hoping the NFL isn’t using the second year of a global pandemic as a testing ground to see what it can get away with in terms of limiting access to reporters. At their core, the best reporters serve as a conduit to fans, the paying customers, and others to coaches, front offices, and players. We’re not asking for trade secrets, but I don’t know any fan, media member, or on-looker who wouldn’t want just a wee-bit more honesty and transparency from the Bears.
• I kinda hate how Tom Brady isn’t totally wrong:
— Back2Back Bay (@Mcgeezy813) September 2, 2021
• “I was watching the Chicago Bears game … the QB messes up” is something we’ve grown accustomed to around here, Thomas. You new around here?
• No, I don’t love that Tom Brady dunking on the Bears came across my timeline while I was trying to innocently drink my coffee. And I still don’t love the hit. But Brady is right about how there are plenty of penalties that protect offensive incompetence. Even still … that’s no excuse to not tackle in a textbook fashion.
• Ah, yes, the other shot Brady took that is making headlines:
— NFL (@NFL) September 2, 2021
Tom Brady got vaccinated. Tom Brady, who won't put anything in his body that even has sugar in it. How do other players/leaders/quarterbacks, who all want to win and not worry about losing players/games to COVID protocols still not get the vaccine?
— Jason Smith (@howaboutafresca) September 3, 2021
• Kitchen needs, trunk organizers, laptops, and more are your Deals of the Day at Amazon. #ad
In a League that Lives by the Three, DeMar DeRozan Chooses to Play His Gamehttps://t.co/P4uuACHkar
— Bleacher Nation Bulls (@BN_Bulls) September 2, 2021
• Over in the football realm, we’re familiar with players using the preseason to catapult their way into roster spots. And while it’s not a 1-for-1 comp, I’m watching guys like Rafael Ortega and Ian Happ trying to leverage their post-firesale play into possibly bigger roles with the 2022 Cubs. I’ll be curious to see what’s real and what’s noise after the season ends and we get more data and insight as to what went down.
• The NHL isn’t playing around with its COVID-19 protocols:
Report: NHL COVID-19 Protocols Include Possible Suspension, Loss of Pay for Unvaccinated Playershttps://t.co/kVY2A5nRYp
— Bleacher Nation Blackhawks (@BN_Blackhawks) September 3, 2021