Re-kindling my love of breakfast sandwiches on English muffins is the most random thing I’ve done this week. Just felt like sharing that with y’all on the first Friday of February.
• And then there were three:
🏈Bears: Matt Eberflus
🏈Broncos: Nathaniel Hackett
🏈Giants: Brian Daboll
🏈Raiders: Josh McDaniels
🏈Vikings: Kevin O’Connell
🏈Jaguars: Doug Pederson
Still left: Dolphins, Saints, Texans
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) February 4, 2022
• It is officially official now, with Doug Pederson becoming the Jacksonville Jaguars’ next head coach. Pederson was the first to interview for the Jaguars job. And due to a number of missteps along the way, he is the last one standing. Symmetry is cool, I guess.
• The Jags might’ve backed into a good option by hiring Pederson, a Super Bowl winning coach who knows a thing or two about developing high-upside prospects. With his connections and coaching upside, Byron Leftwich should’ve been the choice. However, Jacksonville just couldn’t seal the deal. Hopefully, Leftwich can find a better situation next time he gets consideration for head coach. Preferably, not as messy of a situation as what the Jaguars are in right now.
• Two things stand out to me about the tweet above from Schefter. Firstly, it is the Bears zigging when others zag. At this time, Chicago’s football team is the only one that won’t be employing a first-year head coach whose background leans to the offensive side of things. If it was my call, I’d probably have gone with an offensive-minded head coach to lead the Bears moving forward. The NFL’s final four was made up of offensive minds, and I doubt that is a coincidence.
• Of course, hiring an offensive brainchild doesn’t make it a lock that a team has made the right choice. After all, we know what happened the last two times the Bears brought in an offensive guru to make things right with a QB. Not to say that past results indicate a future lack of success. Instead, it is worth remembering that there is no one “right” way to build a team’s coaching staff. Always be willing to keep your options open.
• Unfortunately, the one place NFL teams don’t be to be zagging is in one particular department. And it caught my eye when Schefter RT’d this:
— Master (@MasterTes) February 4, 2022
• Brian Flores has been making the rounds since leveling some serious allegations in a lawsuit against the NFL and its teams regarding hiring practices. Flores has spoken with traditional sports forums such as ESPN’s “Get Up” program, as well as non-sports ones like MSNBC’s TV program with Chris Hayes and with NPR. Seeing these hiring trends will likely add to the narrative behind Flores’ case.
• Then again, statements from the Giants (including a timeline of events during Flores’ interview) and John Elway (who says he interviewed Flores in good faith) will also be weighed as part of the discussion. This has the potential to get ugly for the NFL as a whole. But this could be one of those sunshine as a disinfectant moments for the league.
• I’ll be interested to follow how this goes, as I believe that the NFL’s hiring practices should come into question. And I hope the league takes these allegations seriously, then goes about fixing it — rather than doing what it has done since installing the Rooney Rule. Sometimes, the most difficult changes are the ones that come after taking a good hard look in the mirror. Hopefully, the NFL does that (and follows by making the proper changes).
• Locally, I hope the Bears do some soul-searching of their own. Hiring Ryan Poles, the team’s first Black GM, is a start. As is bringing on Ian Cunningham into a newly created position in the Bears front office as Assistant GM. It is also worth noting that the Bears have brought Alan Williams (DC), Tyke Tolbert (WRs/Passing Game), and David Overstreet II (Assistant DBs) onto Matt Eberflus’ staff. Chairman George McCaskey has an involvement in improving diversity in the NFL as part of the NFL Workplace Diversity Committee, so this team should be progressive about its hires.
• As was noted when the Bears gave promotions to Sean Desai and Henry Burris last year, as well as the hiring of the team’s first female scout (Ashton Washington) the previous regime appeared good about hiring and promoting minority candidates. For what it’s worth, the more recent practices with Matt Nagy as the head coach seem consistent with what Andy Reid had done previously in Kansas City and Philadelphia. And while not too many of Reid’s best traits made it to Chicago, that one stands out to me.
• It just never ends with the Daniel Snyder and Washington’s football team:
BREAKING: @CBSSports has obtained statements from six former #Washington employees addressing the U.S. House Oversight Committee at their D.C. hearing. They include new allegations of misconduct, including by owner Daniel Snyder. Full story: https://t.co/QntOf1DrTH
— Cody Benjamin (@CodyJBenjamin) February 3, 2022
• Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio writes that the NFL says these allegations are “new” and not part of the 10-month investigation into the team. But even still … the NFL should investigate these allegations and then work from that point moving forward. Additionally, the league should do the right thing and share the findings rather than hide them. Transparency is of the utmost importance in situations like these.
• Some clarity on the Jim Harbaugh front. Harbaugh lays it all out with Mitch Albom of Detroit Free Press, essentially making it seem like he thought the Vikings wanted him a lot more than they actually did. The Michigan coach says this won’t be something that becomes a yearly occurrence. And maybe this was his last clean shot at leaving his alma mater for one last run at a Lombardi Trophy. But Harbaugh admitting that winning a Super Bowl still tugs at him makes me think that – at some point down the line – we’ll be exploring his potential departure from the Wolverines.
• Nice to see some Bears players smiling:
Squad. 🐻⬇️ pic.twitter.com/RTz6s1UTRz
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) February 3, 2022
Look who we found… pic.twitter.com/1YzXJgNJ6H
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) February 3, 2022
• Belts, wallets, blow up mattresses, and more are your Deals of the Day at Amazon. #ad
• Never gonna get tired of sharing this:
On this date in 2007, Devin Hester took the opening kickoff of #SuperBowl XLI to the house.
No one had done that before. And no one has done it since.
— Bleacher Nation Bears (@BN_Bears) February 4, 2022
• The designated hitter is coming to the NL, which fills me with a mix of emotions. There was a time when I was all for pitchers hitting. My thinking was simple (in more ways than one). NBA rules don’t have a stipulation where someone shoots free throws for a teammate, so why should MLB institute something similar? But then, I saw a wave of non-competitive at bats from Matt Garza when he was with the Cubs. That changed everything for me. I’d rather have someone trying and failing than have someone not giving it their all when the bat is in their hand.
• Gross! No thanks:
— Bleacher Nation Blackhawks (@BN_Blackhawks) February 4, 2022
• Cleveland takes its lumps publicly, but it remains one of my favorite cities to grab a brewski. The brewery scene is dope. Maybe that is why Joakim Noah is changing his tune about the city. (Or maybe it’s that the Bulls are taking two All-Stars to Cleveland. Who’s to say?)