After my successful attempt at making puppy chow with corn flakes cereal, my friends are challenging me to experiment with others. Last night, I fooled around with some honey grahams cereal and it turned out to be marvelous. A tremendous flavor profile featuring chocolate, peanut butter, powdered sugar, honey, graham cracker, and a unique texture. It was a 10/10 endeavor I would recommend to others. Next up? Cookie Crisp!
• While the original tweet was deleted, screen shots live forever. And the debate rages on:
This much we can agree upon.
And I'll leave it at that… pic.twitter.com/zxeCkyxLps
— Bleacher Nation Bears (@BN_Bears) January 6, 2022
• It’s as simple as this: Had they done their due diligence and properly gone about developing Justin Fields, this team could have been fighting for a playoff spot. If they don’t mess around with his development, they have a puncher’s shot. Had this team been transparent and honest with itself, it would have put together a competent plan of attack for the QB-of-the-future, we’re not having this conversation in this set of Bullets on the first Friday of January.
• They lost late leads against the Steelers and Ravens. Tripped over their own feet in letting an early lead against the Niners slip away. That Vikings loss on Monday Night Football was one Minnesota was begging for Chicago to win. And yet, with Week 18 here and the playoff picture in the NFC set without the Bears, the organizational failure is now complete.
• For those of you in New York, if you’re thinking about doing the sports betting thing, make sure you check out the pre-registration bonuses from DraftKings here and from FanDuel here. You get a $100 bonus just for signing up (and you still get all the usual new user bonuses after that), but the offer goes away when sports betting goes live in the state on Saturday morning. So it’s kinda today or bust on that. Full details on DraftKings here, on FanDuel here.
• Chris Emma (670 The Score) really drives home the franchise’s shortcomings when it came to developing Fields.
• How would I grade Fields’ rookie season? This Sun-Times sports cover says it best:
— Sun-Times Sports (@suntimes_sports) January 7, 2022
• You can point to any number of reasons why the Bears aren’t in this year’s playoff field, but their failure of Justin Fields is at the top of my list. They failed him at every turn. Pick your favorite failure. Was it not giving Fields ample reps during training camp or the preseason ultimately being a harbinger of doom that did it for you? What about not building sustainability at the line of scrimmage? Or an inability to put together a competent group of receivers? Is an unwillingness to scheme around the players’ strengths what held them down? Or letting a defense that did so much heavy lifting falter Fields and his teammates? At the end of the day, the Bears failed Justin Fields in 2021. And it’s a main reason we go into the offseason with far more questions than answers.
• How can you watch how the Patriots set things up for Mac Jones and not think about how the Bears could’ve conceivably done something similar had they better prepared themselves to do so? When Black Monday falls, the presumption is that Bears Head Coach Matt Nagy will get a shove out the door. In the wake of that news, there will be ink spilled and radio waves filled with discussion regarding how Nagy fumbled the bag on his way out the door. And while he certainly did, this whole thing reeks of organizational failure. Let’s not lose sight of the forest through the trees.
• It is unfortunate that a trip to the COVID reserve list might rob us of one last Fields moment. Not just for us as fans, but for Fields as well:
Listen to Justin Fields from yesterday’s press conference.
— Bleacher Nation Bears (@BN_Bears) January 6, 2022
• It is honorable when a player says he would rather play out the string instead of resting up in the season finale. I think it is admirable and a sign of leadership when it comes from the quarterback position. Don’t get me wrong. I understand the desire to keep Fields as healthy as possible. And I get why fans wouldn’t want him game-planning in the Nagy-Lazor system one more game than necessary. But much like I was a proponent for letting Javy Báez and Willson Contreras be themselves and insisting on not coaching out aggressiveness from their respective games, I’m all in for Fields playing if he, himself, wants to be out there playing. COVID might be taking this out of Fields’ hands. But I appreciate the moxie and gumption of a guy who wants to go out there when there is nothing to play for otherwise
• As a reminder, this COVID stuff ain’t nothin’ to mess with (as members of the Wu-Tang Clan so once eloquently put it). Per the Sun-Times’ Patrick Finley, offensive tackle Larry Borom is only now feeling normal-ish … two weeks *AFTER* his return from the Reserve/COVID-19 list. Take care of yourselves (and each other).
• The Soldier Field Turf monster claims another victim:
Adam Schefter revealed that he suffered a torn meniscus in his knee, an injury he suspects occurred when he attempted to do the “Griddy” dance at Soldier Field two weeks ago.
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) January 6, 2022
• Based on historical trends, Devin Hester is a Hall of Fame lock. (Jack Silverstein, Windy City Gridiron)
• Put it on a dang hoodie:
Whether you thought it was a good idea for #LSU to play in the Texas Bowl or not, Jontre Kirklin squashes any doubt with the sound bite of the night when asked if he thought @LSUfootball should have played Tuesday night. pic.twitter.com/mfLr4qu78F
— Matt Trent (@MCTrent23) January 5, 2022
• “If we got 11, we’re gonna play” is the mindset of a true football warrior. Go get ’em, Jontre Kirklin!
• I’m just about ready to curl up with this weekend with my friend Jim’s chili recipe. Nothing like a few days of lounging around and chowing on chili to pass the time.
• Not unexpectedly, the AP isn’t stripping Hub Arkush’s MVP vote from him after his commentary about “bad guy”Aaron Rodgers, which Patrick tackled yesterday in his look Around the NFL.
— Bleacher Nation Blackhawks (@BN_Blackhawks) January 7, 2022
• The Bulls must really like each other. I imagine that’s nice:
Ayo Dosunmu Officially Got His Illini Jersey in the Rafters (And DeMar Was There to See It!) https://t.co/qGnAKKWJW7
— Bleacher Nation Bulls (@BN_Bulls) January 7, 2022
• Hey, man. Incremental development still counts as development:
The data suggests the Cubs are probably getting better at player development! Hooray incremental improvement! https://t.co/s5BDhqOKsc
— Brett Taylor (@Brett_A_Taylor) January 7, 2022
• Oof! A Wizards broadcaster made an unfortunate reference to Kevin Porter Jr.’s late father on a game-winning shot.