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Game Recognize Game, Fields-Jackson, Analytical Preparation, No More Taunting Penalties? And Other Bears Bullets

Chicago Bears

A Sunday morning message from your friend, Luis, who put the bye week to use: “I’m back.”

•   It’s uncertain if we’ll get the highly anticipated Justin Fields-Lamar Jackson showdown. But if we do, I have a feeling it’ll be an absolute treat. Anyone who has been watching football in recent years knows what Jackson can do. However, Fields is an up-and-comer who clearly views Jackson in the highest esteem:

•   If I was in charge of running the Bears, I’d be keeping a close eye on how Greg Roman operates his offense. Even with the recent clunker in Miami, Baltimore tends to put its players in the best position to succeed. And I feel as if that is important. Maybe I’m talking up something that should be expected as the bare minimum. But when that isn’t even happening here, can you blame me?

•   In one of my favorite Drake tracks from his “Thank Me Later” album, Aubrey Graham raps: I can relate to kids going straight to the league / When they recognize that you got what it takes to succeed / And that’s around the time that your idols become your rivals / You make friends with Mike, but got to A.I. him for your survival. It’s a catchy little ditty, one that captures how sports and entertainment can be synonymous. Fields wants to have the same impact on the Bears that Jackson has had with the Ravens. How could you not root for that? If the Bears are going to win this afternoon, he’ll need to do some Allen Iverson type stuff because Theo Ratliff and Eric Snow aren’t walking through that door. And that’s almost a shame, because the Bears could use some healthy bodies.

•   If Allen Robinson II can’t go because of a hamstring injury, it’s Isaiah Coulter getting the call to the active roster. Not Rodney Adams, who was shining throughout training camp and the preseason. And it won’t be Dazz Newsome, a rookie Day 3 pick who has fallen off the radar without much of an explanation. However, a more likely beneficiary might be Jimmy Graham. There seems to be a growing connection between the vet TE and rookie QB:

•   With the Bears battling the injury bug, it sure would be nice to think the powers that be would have a worthwhile plan of attack. Unfortunately, Head Coach Matt Nagy hasn’t given us much hope to believe there’s another gear to this thing. Because when good teams get short-handed in this way, coaches tend to seek out alternative paths to victory. The best coaches will look for the smallest potential edge and exploit it until it is no longer feasible. Generally, they turn to analytics for answers. But the analytically inclined EDJ Sports’ ranking of the NFL’s coaches through the midway point of the season doesn’t provide much inspiration. Nagy ranks 20th among the NFL’s 32 coaches, which puts him in the bottom half of the league. No matter how you slice it, it doesn’t seem ideal.

•   This feels like a timely moment to note Brandon Staley, who was an assistant under Nagy in 2018, sits atop the list of most analytically inclined coaches. FiveThirtyEight gives Staley’s Chargers a 55% shot at making the postseason. Imagine how giddy we would be if the Bears were in that situation. Or if they were hanging around with a 5-4 record with an offense ranking 10th in yards and 15th in points. Elsewhere, the top-half of the list features other Andy Reid disciples (John Harbaugh, 6th; Sean McDermott, 8th), as well as Packers coach Matt LaFleur is among the top-10. It sure does sting when your chief nemesis has that type of edge on your squad.

•   As does this:

•   The Bears being absent when it comes to the analytics conversation is disappointing. Where you side in this debate is irrelevant, as teams are creating advantages in new areas while the Bears hang around playing the same old song and dance. When the Tom Herman hire was announced in the offseason, I thought it might be with an eye on being more calculated and analytical in 2021. Because while things fell apart at Texas, Herman was known as an analytical type. At minimum, it would’ve been nice to have a voice in the room with a different perspective.

•   Change of pace — my apologies for being a day late on celebrating this anniversary:

•   Here’s some news that puts me in a good mood:

•   This is convenient timing. Not from a Bears perspective. It’s too little, too late for this to positively impact Chicago’s football team. But that the NFL didn’t fine anyone for taunting just days after Saints Coach Sean Payton — who was on the NFL’s competition committee when the unpopular rules were put into place — publicly said the league deserved better officiating and that the taunting rules were being over-officiated. And with that, Payton has backed the Bears players this rule impacted more than their current coach. Once a Bear, always a Bear. Right? (PFT)

•   No fines for taunting, but one was given out for throwing a shoe:

•   I mean, who throws a shoe?

•   OPE!

•   Weighted blankets are among the Early Black Friday Deals today at Amazon. During the spring of 2020, I purchased two such blankets. One for my bedroom and another for my basement. So, no matter where I go in the house, I have one. They’re great for naps and bedtime. I don’t know how I’d sleep without them, to be honest. Probably poorly. #ad

•   Where do I sign up for this?

•   This feels like it’s something that’s good to know for future reference:

 

•   Admittedly, I’ve been selfishly hoping a team from the NL lands in Vegas. Not just because I’d like an excuse to pitch a BN trip out west. But also because I strongly believe the A’s belong in Oakland. Nevertheless, this move feels inevitable:



Author: Luis Medina

Luis Medina is a Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at@lcm1986.