April has the potential to be so much fun in these parts.
MLB Opening Day kicks things off in early April, while the NFL Draft closes the month strong. And we’ve got meaningful NBA games in the middle! We’re turning a corner, folks!
• All right, so Matt Eberflus gets it:
The big-picture takeaway from Matt Eberflus is he’s viewing this as though he’ll be coaching the Bears the next 10 years. So he can accept that the Khalil Mack trade hurts now but helps later. He won’t be derailed by the outside urgency of trying to fix this immediately.
— Jason Lieser (@JasonLieser) March 29, 2022
One general takeaway from Matt Eberflus' Q&A is the balancing act he's doing with short- and long-term plans:
"You always gotta have a microscope and a telescope."
You get a feel that's comfortable with building a team/culture/foundation vs. trying to win now.
— Adam Jahns (@adamjahns) March 29, 2022
• But also, so does Ryan Poles:
Ryan Poles when he found out the #Bills matched the offer sheet for Ryan Bates: “It stinks.”
— Brad Biggs (@BradBiggs) March 28, 2022
• These are the challenges of fighting the multi-front war of trying to build a foundation while simultaneously attempting to do what is right to piece together a representative team that competes every week, and create a new culture in your own image. This was never going to be easy. But missing out on the types of players you want stings. I feel ya, Ryan Poles.
• Navigating Bears waters is tough right now. Even had the Bills not matched the offer sheet for Ryan Bates, we’re still discussing an offseason in which the team hasn’t done enough at the outset to support Justin Fields, traded one of its best and most popular players for draft capital (a smart long-play, albeit unpopular in some circles), and saw its one high-profile signing fall apart due to the player failing a physical (but maybe there’s a comeback story here?). It has been rough. It isn’t as if we were pining for the Bears to be top-of-the-market spenders at every position on the depth chart. But given their cap situation (11th most room coming into the offseason) and needs, that the Bears have struggled to land the type of mid-tier players new GM Ryan Poles said he wanted to target in free agency stings. Full stop.
• I understand what this tweet wants to be, but let’s not discount who these guys were throwing to:
Russell Wilson had a crap OL for years. Joe Burrow’s OL stinks. Deshaun Watson’s OL sucked in Houston. So…why can’t Fields show us he’s good next season?
— DaBearsBlog (@dabearsblog) March 28, 2022
• Maybe Darnell Mooney is Golden Tate? But I wish the Bears had a DK Metcalf, DeAndre Hopkins, Brandin Cooks, Tyler Lockett, Tee Higgins, Ja’Marr Chase, or even 2016 Jimmy Graham. I’d be cool with 2015-17 Doug Baldwin (averaged 82 catches, 1,062 receiving yards, 9 touchdowns over those years). Can peak era “Beast Mode” Marshawn Lynch show up, too? What about the Legion of Boom? Again, I get the comparison. But it was lacking depth and context.
• Poles said he wanted to attack the second/third waves of free agency, calling it a “volume piece” that could help fill out the roster. Remember, the Bears had more than 25 outgoing unrestricted free agents. He even laid out the types of players he was angling to get in free agency. And while the team seemingly found those types of free agents along the defensive line with Justin Jones and Al-Quadin Muhammad, there hasn’t been much cooking on the other side of the ball (save for the notable exception of Lucas Patrick). There is still time to balance things out. But if you’re bummed about the lack of action on the offensive side of things, just know that I don’t blame you one bit.
• There were upgrades to be had, that much is certain. And upgrades who weren’t budget busters, at that. But the good news is there are still a bunch of players available in free agency. A crop of rookies will join the squad via the draft (and after it). And a wave of veteran free agents will sign when the dust settles after the draft. In other words, reinforcements are on the way. Plus, in all fairness, it is still too early to fairly grade the entirety of of the offseason. We’ll all have a better grasp on things when training camp kicks off in July and the Bears send a 90-player roster to Halas Hall. But that doesn’t mean that we, as fans, can’t be disappointed with how things have been unfolding to this point.
• This ex-Packer is a “prick” (but in a good way):
Bears GM Ryan Poles with the quote of the day on Lucas Patrick: “The things he was screaming in the phone after we got a deal done, it kind of showed what he’s all about. … He’s tough, he’s a prick and he knows it, and that’s how he survives and that’s what we need up front.”
— Kevin Fishbain (@kfishbain) March 28, 2022
• I’ll be curious see how Luke Getsy handles Justin Fields’ athletic capabilities within the confines of his offense:
Justin Fields in 2021:
🐻 420 rushing yards (6th among QBs)
🐻 268 yards after contact (5th) pic.twitter.com/FjUYSR1D4L
— PFF CHI Bears (@PFF_Bears) March 28, 2022
• I can’t wait to see this 30+ times a year:
— Bleacher Nation (@BleacherNation) March 29, 2022