Before last night, the last time I went to a hockey game was back in June, when my Vegas layover included a trip to the Golden Knights-Avalanche postseason elimination game. And, sure, the vibes were different for the Blackhawks preseason lid-lifter. But good company and the return of Jonathan Toews made it worthwhile:
— Funky Cold Luda (@lcm1986) September 30, 2021
This feels like a good time to share a reminder that you should be following our Blackhawks coverage ahead of the 2021-22 season. It should be an interesting one.
• Matt Nagy is having a rough week. Because in addition to watching his team drop to 1-2, seeing his offense continue to sputter, and having to field sensible questions he refuses to answer with anything beyond a world salad of nouns and verbs that attempt to make up sentences, he has been taking jabs from football media left and right. The latest damnation by a wordsmith comes from TouchdownWire’s Doug Farrar. And this passage made my eyes big:
My study of Nagy’s “offense” makes me understand why I think Nagy has preferred Dalton all along. Nagy isn’t from the Reid tree, no matter how many bites he had from the apple. With his late-developing intermediate and vertical stuff, and cavalcade of meaningless sit and stop routes (somehow, he has created a Scott Linehan/Mike McCarthy Frankenstein on purpose), Nagy wants a caretaker at quarterback. He does not want an improviser. He wants someone who will carry out what he believes is a brilliant plan without thinking outside that box. And he certainly does not seem comfortable in designing a game plan for a quarterback of Fields’ impressive athleticism and (at this time) limited quarterback palette.
This guy could ruin Tom Brady if you gave him half a chance.
• Good luck finding the thing that makes you feel the worst about how things are right now. Because just when you think you’ve found it, something else pops up. Getting comps to Scott Linehan is not what you want from your offensive-leaning head coach. Neither is the mere idea that a coach could wreck Tom Brady. Nagy is straight up not having a good time right now.
• I’m not sure what Nagy, the person, needs more — a hug or for his offense to put up a fiftyburger:
…It comes with the territory. Do you like it? No. But the competitor in you accepts it… If I let the other distractions take away from anything, then that's taking away from them. And I've got a hell of a support system of family & friends. That gets you going a little bit."
— Jason Lieser (@JasonLieser) September 29, 2021
• It can’t be good when a coach is already rallying around support from friends and family entering Week 4 of an NFL season.
• Jason Lieser (Sun-Times) asks if Nagy’s QB plan is best for the Bears — or best from him? To which I would answer: “Neither.” I struggle to see beneficiary of a plan that seems to grow more disjointed with each week. Slow-playing Justin Fields’ development is fine, in solution. Putting together packages for the rookie to get him a taste of the NFL action, while also not putting too much on his plate is sensible. Giving Andy Dalton an opportunity to rebuild his value with a one-year “prove it” deal isn’t the worst idea. But watching the execution of this plan has been grating. And I doubt it’ll get any easier.
• Some perspective from outside-of-the-box as Andy Masur (Barrett Sports Media) writes about whaat it’s like to work with a coach who is living on the hot seat.
• This is what it looked like for Bears QBs practicing on Wednesday:
All three Bears QBs practiced today. Andy Dalton was limited. Justin Fields practiced in full with a brace on his throwing hand. Here’s what we saw: pic.twitter.com/8vRQOOwBOl
— Colleen Kane (@ChiTribKane) September 29, 2021
• I guess Trent Dilfer knows something about quarterbacking:
"It's not just the athletes, it's the process and the information happens so much faster."
— Rich Eisen Show (@RichEisenShow) September 28, 2021
• For your viewing and listening pleasure:
— Adam Hoge (@AdamHoge) September 29, 2021
• Considering the Bears’ needs along the offensive line, I’m surprised they weren’t in the running to stash 2020 first-round pick Isaiah Wilson to their practice squad. Instead, I tip my cap to the Giants for doing so. Then again, Wilson’s off-field issues might have scared teams away. Here’s hoping Wilson has gotten it together and makes the most of a second chance. Because, sometimes, life is all about second chances.
• I hate how it bothers me to see three of my pre-draft crushes win NFC Player of the Month awards:
Players of the Month
Offensee: QB Derek Carr, LV
Defense: Von Miller, DEN
ST: Jamal Agnew, JAX
Offense: WR Cooper Kupp, LAR
Defense: Trevon Diggs, DAL
ST: Mitch Wishnowsky, SF
Offense: Ja’Marr Chase, CIN
Defense: CB Asante Samuel Jr., LAC
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) September 30, 2021
• This is a nice gesture:
— Around The NFL (@AroundTheNFL) September 30, 2021
• One of the most productive fantasy football running backs I was lucky enough to draft is calling it a career:
— Philadelphia Eagles (@Eagles) September 30, 2021
• Jonathan Toews’ return is already one of my favorite Chicago sports stories of the year.
• That Ben Simmons situation continues to be nuts at every turn:
Post has been updated.
There might be a big reason this felt pretty wild lol.
While Murdock said Simmons asked to come TO Chicago, he may have misunderstood Morey’s comments, which merely said Simmons’ reps asked for his trade while IN Chicago this summer. https://t.co/9QAQPvo0DZ
— Bleacher Nation Bulls (@BN_Bulls) September 29, 2021
• The Cubs continue on their path of losing today to win later:
— Bleacher Nation (@BleacherNation) September 30, 2021