Franchise Identity Crisis, Football Copycats, a Post-season Draft, Second Chances, and Other Bears Bullets

It had been a while since I flubbed a recipe, but my seasoned rice with chicken just didn’t hit right. So much so, in fact, I had to audible and order Chinese food late. I’d be more upset about my cooking misstep if it weren’t for the fact that so many of my successes in the kitchen have come as a result of trial and error. Nothing humbles a guy like having to go back to the drawing board.

•   Hey, Vikings! Nobody likes a copycat:

•   Not that I’m surprised that there is some crossover between the two teams. After all, the Bears and Vikings happen to be two of the three NFL teams doing coaching and general manager searches. But this is why I was glad to see Chicago’s team of consultants do a whole bunch of reaching out to a wide array of candidates in the early stages of the offseason. The optics of hanging in the weeds probably wouldn’t have gone over well with a wide swath of fans. Moreover, showing a tiny bit of assertiveness never hurt anyone. Game on, Minnesota.

•   Props to the Vikings on this one, though:

•   Jason Lieser (Sun-Times) seems to come to a conclusion that I’ve been thinking about for some time by noting how retread head coaches might be the play during this hiring cycle. There hasn’t been an assistant on offense, defense, or special teams whose résumé screams: “HIRE ME!” And because of that, coaches who have been there and done that, but didn’t succeed (for one reason or another) have some appeal to them right now. The NFL is a league that gives out all sorts of second chances. And it is a place where plenty of players take advantage of a new lease on a football life. So why wouldn’t that apply to coaches? Or even general managers?

•   Smooth transition:

•   I can’t front. The narrative of a homecoming story featuring a former Bears ballboy who restores the glory for his childhood team is the stuff dreams are made of — or at least dreams that could make their way onto Disney+ or any other streaming service’s movie collection. But I still have so many questions about Jeff Ireland as a fit. We’ll tackle those in due time.

•   My immediate reaction to the headline “When it comes to identity, the Bears need to go back to being the Bears” in a piece at The Athletic by Dan Pompei was When did they ever stop? I mean, Dennis Green said it best. The Bears are who we thought they were. And it’s as true in 2006 as it is today.

•   At some point, I’d like if the Bears were to act as if there was more than just one way to win football. Perhaps attack things in a more modern approach. Don’t get me wrong. Forming an identity and even reaching back to what made you you isn’t the worst option. Putting an emphasis on running the ball, stopping the run, pressuring the quarterback plays in any era. But it can’t stop there. Using those principles as a foundation and growing from that point on is the move. No one ever got anywhere worth going by turning back the clock. Except when it comes to Mitchell and Ness throwback jerseys. The classics are classic for a reason.

•   But also … we’ve been talking about the Bears’ identity crisis for a while.

•   This is one of the wildest ideas in the history of the world and I would very much sign off on it:

•   Yeah, I know what you’re saying. And I realize the complications. But from purely a hypothetical standpoint, that would be fun as heck.

•   I wonder how long it would take before a Bears player was taken. Better yet. How many Bears would be taken? Wait, no. Would a team roll the dice on a player from Chicago’s football team? I imagine Robert Quinn and Roquan Smith would garner some interest. Perhaps David Montgomery. Would a team bring in Nick Foles because they know he is good off the bench? Justin Fields because of the upside? In theory, I’d love to see a team take Cairo Santos in a hypothetical draft just to see Twitter burn.

•   This Allen Robinson II tweet had me in my feels for a moment:

•   Sigh. I wish the Bears would’ve put Cordarrelle Patterson’s skills to better use while he was in Chicago. And I wish there wasn’t as much public pushback at the mere idea of using Patterson beyond his special teams roles from fans who weren’t opening up to using him differently. At the end of the day, my hope is that Patterson land somewhere fun where he can get touches and make splash plays. Bonus points if it isn’t in Green Bay, Minnesota, or Detroit.

•   It feels a bit early to be thinking about pushing Patrick Williams in a trade, and the Bulls might feel the same. Remember, one of the worst things a front office can do is trade a player because it feels the need to do so:

•   Cookies?

•   It would be nice if these two sides could get to cracking’ so they can get on with the business of baseball:

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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