It’s been one week since the house-cleaning at Halas Hall took place. How do you feel? Any different now when comparing your feelings to a week ago? The Bears are surely in a better spot than they were before firing Ryan Pace and Matt Nagy. But being in a better place after new hirings is where I want to be next.
• The Bears didn’t hire anyone this weekend while I was out on the town. How very kind of them to do that for me. But, uh, am I alone in wanting them to pick up the pace? Don’t get me wrong. I do not want Chicago’s football team to rush through this. However, wouldn’t it be nice to start pushing through three of these interviews per day? Just a friendly suggestion…
• Mike Sando (The Athletic) uses his column space to rank the NFL’s eight head-coaching vacancies. And the result is … the Bears ranking in the middle of the pack. Is that fair? Ehhh. Let’s discuss.
• I’ll admit to my biases, but I don’t think the Vikings should be in a tier above the Bears. Despite having stable quarterback play, better talent at skill positions, and stability at the top with the coach and GM, Minnesota has been alternating second-place finishes with Chicago behind Green Bay the last three years. And yet, somehow we find the Vikings on another level when comparing them with the Bears. It doesn’t make sense to me. The Bears and Vikings being in the same tier would make far more sense. But I feel like that might be hard for some to wrap their mind around because one would have to admit the perception of the Vikings being on a higher level than the Bears isn’t reality. Two peas in a pod, as the old saying goes.
• I wonder if the Bears GM job is more attractive than the head-coaching position. For better or worse, the McCaskey family doesn’t tend to meddle in football things. George McCaskey said it himself: He is a fan, and not much more. And while the idea of having a fan run the show sounds like fun, there’s also the fact that … *gestures toward the Bears record and accomplishments under super-fan George McCaskey*
• Denver at the top of the list? That makes sense. Although, as Bears fans can attest, having a monstrous defense and being a quarterback away from capitalizing on it doesn’t mean diddly because it’s not like QBs grow on a vine in an orchard. One can’t simply pluck a new signal caller like it is fruit hanging off the branch. Even if the Broncos could, where would hypothetical gunslinger rank behind Patrick Mahomes and Justin Herbert? Can they even top Derek Carr? These are questions worth asking in these situations.
• Speaking of Carr, following his offseason arc figures to be an absolute treat:
The #Raiders and QB Derek Carr have a mutual decision to make this offseason, and sources say the choice of the head coach will be a factor.
My story: https://t.co/fQHAwvccSq
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) January 15, 2022
• It still blows my mind that Buffalo did this to New England:
The Buffalo Bills just had the NFL’s first ever perfect offensive game.
No punts. No picks. No fumbles lost. No field goals. All touchdowns on every single drive until the kneel downs.
And they did it against a top five defense.
— Brett Kollmann (@BrettKollmann) January 16, 2022
• With that in mind, I’m sure glad the Bears got that interview in with Brian Daboll.
• Chicago will be interviewing Daboll’s defensive counterpart Leslie Frazier on Friday, per NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport. Frazier’s defense had Mac Jones in a Snuggie all night. And while that won’t build a buzz the same way Daboll’s offense did, it doesn’t make him less worthy of an interview. I think we can all come to the conclusion that the McCaskey family is out of touch with modern football. So if it takes interviewing everyone under the sun to get it together, why wouldn’t you?
• One might wonder why the Bears didn’t knock out Daboll and Frazier interviews at the same time. That is a fair ask. I would venture to guess they did it this way in order to put a bug in Daboll’s ear. As if to day “we know you’ll have your pick of the litter, but please hear our pitch before you make any decision.”
• Ben Roethlisberger’s football career came to an end at the hands of Patrick Mahomes, the Chiefs, and a big boy TD:
Nick Allegretti BIG MAN TOUCHDOWN. #ChiefsKingdom
— NFL (@NFL) January 17, 2022
• Here are some relevant numbers: 42-21, 31-15, 21-9, 27-24. Those are the scores of the four 2-seed vs. 7-seed matchups over the last two years. The first three in that set of numbers stands out because – since that Bills-Colts opener – the other games have been flat out stinkers. Three games where the No. 2 seed was simply layers of better above their No. 7 seed opponents. Sheesh. I won’t openly complain about more football. But the lack of competitive ball games takes the luster out of these postseason matchups.
• Patrick Finley (Sun-Times) takes a stand, making the pitch that Chicago should focus on offensive-leaning head-coach candidates. The numbers suggest that’s the play. Each of the last five Super Bowl champions have finished in the top-5 in scoring and top-7 in yards. But two of those title-winners were Bill Belichick led teams. And if we expand that list, the numbers skew because there’s more Belichick, Pete Carroll sighting and Tom Coughlin sightings, and even a John Harbaugh title. In other words, pick the best candidate at coach and team builder at GM, then move forward. Pigeon-holing your team into a specific type of coach feels like a fast track to looking for new leadership at the top four years from now. And as much as I like history, I hate repeating it.
• The NFL and its teams are celebrating and remembering the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.:
— NFL (@NFL) January 17, 2022
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) January 17, 2022
• Gatorade, Rockstar, mixers, and more are among your Deals of the Day at Amazon. #ad
• The last two losses notwithstanding, the Bulls should still be seen as contenders in the NBA’s Eastern Conference. And because of their place in the standings, I imagine we’ll be keeping a close eye on high-profile injuries for fellow contenders. For instance, Kevin Durant possibly being out 4-6 weeks with a knee injury is a pretty significant deal for the Nets. And therefore, it is a big deal for the Bulls (and other East contenders).
• Some roster shuffling going on in Hawkeytown:
Blackhawks Roster Moves: Reichel Assigned to Rockford, McCabe Out of COVID Protocol and Morehttps://t.co/CX3EKTA7RX
— Bleacher Nation Blackhawks (@BN_Blackhawks) January 16, 2022
• Brett explores the idea of the Cubs trading to re-acquire Craig Kimbrel. I will gladly accept the Cubs taking Kimbrel, his salary, and a prospect in exchange for Nick Madrigal. Makes sense, right? White Sox get out from paying a player who isn’t a roster fit and fill a hole at second base. Everybody wins!
• Iconic Chicago sports broadcaster Les Grobstein passed away at age 69. Grobstein is famous for being the person who hit record to capture Lee Elia’s famous rant (NSFW). But beyond that, he was the sports broadcast reporter on the scene at every pro sports game — big and small. This profile by The Athletic’s Jon Greenberg is a must-read today. Grobstein’s level of hustle and the encyclopedic memory cannot be matched. And it will definitely be missed:
— Robert Feder (@RobertFeder) January 17, 2022
Statement from the Chicago Bears on the passing of Les Grobstein: pic.twitter.com/eM8CrFB5Dc
— Chicago Bears (@BearsPR) January 17, 2022