The Collaboration Factor, Rallying Around the Sky, Fields’ Team, and Other Bears Bullets

We’re in a fun spot of the professional sports calendar. MLB’s postseason is underway. The NBA and NHL regular-seasons are around the corner. College football and the NFL are in full swing. And the WNBA Finals are on the horizon.

Oh, and they’ll feature Chicago’s very own:

Admittedly, I haven’t given enough attention to the WNBA’s Chicago Sky. But they’re on their way to the WNBA Finals and were getting love from around the city last night. I hope it lasts because, by all accounts, Sky games at Wintrust Arena are a blast. Guess it’s something I’ll have to check out for myself.

•   ICYMI: The Bears are fully committing to Justin Fields as their QB1 moving forward. No more random insertions into the middle of a drive. The mind games with opposing coaches are over. And in the end, the only way Andy Dalton regains the starting gig is if injury takes Fields out of the lineup. So best of health to Fields moving forward. It’s his team. And his time to shine.

•   I doubt I’m alone in feeling that the Bears’ incessant refrain of “collaboration” is corny as heck. But I think it was valuable in terms of getting to this point with Fields.

•   Remember, Head Coach Matt Nagy, Offensive Coordinator Bill Lazor, and even players opened up last week about the internal conversations happening at Halas Hall before the Lions game. Then to see Fields make the throws he did when given an opportunity and a set of plays that suit him best truly amplified the situation. And in the end, I’d bet there were some real conversations between Nagy, Lazor, and QBs Coach John DeFilippo with the head coach’s two top lieutenants telling him it’s time. And if you trust your assistants, then you respectfully tell Andy Dalton “thanks for your service” and keep it moving. There is a real likelihood it was as simple as that at the end of the day.

•   Although, I do think it’s funny that there are corners of the internet believing a higher power came to Nagy and pushed him to make the decision. C’mon, now. This is kinda funny. Alyssa Barbieri (Bears Wire) runs down the best of the best from conspiracy theory lane.

•   And to think, Brad Biggs (Tribune) sees how Nagy’s unusual ploy to meet with offensive players to see what they wanted to run might turn out to be a turning point in the season. Only time will tell.

•   There is plenty of solid perspective about the move to Fields that is worth your time. Chris Emma (670 The Score) explains how Fields’ maturity and growth forced the issue. Adam Jahns and Kevin Fishbain (The Athletic) write that it’s full steam ahead for the Bears’ 2021 first-round pick.

•   Let’s be real: Who isn’t celebrating Fields’ arrival as undisputed QB1?

•   Gridiron Heights always nails it:

•   Look who’s back:

•   It might be a bit surprising to see Nsimba Webster back on the squad. But he was in on at least 50 percent of the total special team snaps in two of the last three weeks. Maybe the Bears want to see more of him in special teams roles that aren’t in a return capacity. There is likely some value in using Webster in punt or kick-off coverage. I’m digging the return of Webster if it helps the Bears be better on the margins. Every bit helps.

•   Welp, the Packers defense is adding a fresh face:

•   I’m still unsure what to make of Jaylon Smith. If you let Cowboys fans tell it, Smith is no good at linebacker and that he was lapped by a number of players tells you everything one needs to know about where he stands. His declining playing time suggests Smith was falling out of favor in Dallas and that he was on a short leash. But Pro Football Focus’ data had him as a top-15 linebacker with top-end coverage skills. Maybe Green Bay unlocks something in a former second-round pick who is still in the prime of his career. Ugh. That would be so Packers of that to happen.

•   Here we go again:

•   Giggity:

•   Cardinals Devil Magic is no match for *checks notes* Chris Taylor and his 57 wRC+ since Aug. 1? Well, if you say so:

written by

Luis C. Medina, who you can find on Twitter at lcm1986, has been covering the Chicago Bears at Bleacher Nation since 2017. Since then, he has written about 3 head coaches, 5 play-callers, and 11 starting quarterbacks. Previously, Luis wrote about the Cubs and MLB at BN (2015-16) and worked in the Chicago Tribune sports department (2011-16). He also co-hosted a Cubs postgame show, Outside the Ivy, in 2019.

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