Never stop pursuing your dreams:
Introducing Dr. Taylor Swift.
New York University will award Swift an honorary doctorate of fine arts and Swift will speak at commencement at Yankee Stadium, the institution announced. https://t.co/HFIFyo9t4b pic.twitter.com/sqvTI0Rjbs
— Variety (@Variety) March 28, 2022
If Ms. Taylor Alison Swift can get an honorary doctorate from NYU, then we can achieve anything if we put our mind to it. Right?
• Sometimes, the best trades are the ones you don’t make:
#Colts owner Jim Irsay calls the Carson Wentz era a mistake he couldn’t wait to fix: “For us, the fit just wasn't right. I don't know why. A lot of times you don't know why, but you know it isn't. It was important for us to move in a different direction.” https://t.co/G0ugSx0ujV
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 30, 2022
• If you’ll recall, the Bears were very much in the mix on a Carson Wentz trade last season. And while the Colts ultimately “won” that “prize” last offseason, the Bears not getting him was a net win. Not only because the Bears didn’t give up significant draft capital for what turned out to be a one-year flier, but also they didn’t enter this offseason tasked with needing to get his contract off the books for less than what the team gave to bring him on board in the first place. Maybe Wentz will find returning to the NFC East to be good for him. But that it didn’t work out in Indy — where he was given a defense ranking in the top third of the league, a top-tier offensive line, and an MVP-caliber running back — it isn’t a stretch to think things wouldn’t have worked out in Chicago either.
• And now we turn our attention to Justin Fields, who still has so much to prove as he enters his second year as a pro. Last year was wasted under Matt Nagy, particularly when it came to setting a path to success. Remember, Nagy’s plan was to sit Fields — but was never clear in explaining how this would ultimately benefit him or the franchise. But new Head Coach Matt Eberflus is clear in laying out what he wants to see out if QB1 in Year 2:
Matt Eberflus on Bears QB Justin Fields:
"Should be a big jump. That's what we're looking for… better technique, better fundamentals, better decision-making, better timing–everything… He's been working his tail off. That's what we want, just that big jump from Yr 1 to Yr 2."
— Jason Lieser (@JasonLieser) March 29, 2022
• Of course everyone wants to see improvements in Fields’ technique, fundamentals, decision-making, timing, and more. But explicitly putting it out there gives us a window into what this regime wants from their quarterback. And there is nothing wrong with that.
• Ideally, Fields takes all those steps and the Bears take a significant leap because of it. I’ll fall short of predicting playoffs — even if everything hits. Let’s be real with each other, there is of heavy lifting to be done with these Bears before we can honestly dream about the postseason. But when it all clicks, I think we’ll sleep better knowing that Bears ownership *DID* sign off on the new playoff overtime rules (per Dan Wiederer).
• For what it’s worth, I like the new rule. It isn’t perfect, but it is easy to see how it’ll work well in the long term (even if it feels like a rule intended to maximize the entertainment value more than anything). Plus, I like that it’s just for the playoffs. There might be some handwringing about not employing this during the regular season. Imagine if a Week 18 game that decides a playoff berth is ultimately decided by regular-season OT rules. That could be a bitter pill to swallow for the losing side with the postseason within your team’s grasp. Then again, that could further amplify the drama of that game. Just something to think about.
• Birthday greetings are in order for Larry Borom, who has a big year ahead of him:
• Is Borom a starting tackle? If so, on which side? Does this new regime view him as a swing tackle? If so, how does this impact the building of the rest of the offensive line? Borom is one of the most intriguing returning Bears. He has a unique prospect pedigree and is a massive body who can be hard to move. We often discuss the benefits of a new position coach and scheme when it comes to the skill position players because it is easy to hash out what it could mean for those folks. But we shouldn’t overlook that it could also bring out the best in the guys battling in the trenches.
• Everything above can also be said about Teven Jenkins, who had some solid moments of his own as a rookie:
Teven Jenkins only allowed two pressures, and zero sacks, in the last four games of 2021 💪
— PFF CHI Bears (@PFF_Bears) March 29, 2022
• New head coaches are wild cards, but I’d be willing to wager Matt Eberflus can’t be worse than Matt Nagy in this area of coaching:
• Jim McMahon sharing some old Bears highlights provides a vehicle for us to take a trip down memory lane:
— Jim McMahon (@JimMcMahon) March 30, 2022
• Did Ryan Pace get a secret promotion in Atlanta that no one knows about but him? Because the teams’s reported interest in Damiere Byrd (per ESPN’s Field Yates) makes for the latest ex-Bear the Falcons have been kicking the tires on this offseason. And if Byrd signs with the Falcons, he’ll join a litany of former Bears flocking south.
• I had three different group chats discussing the audio yesterday, but never got around to listening. Oops. That’ll change today:
— Bleacher Nation Bulls (@BN_Bulls) March 29, 2022
• Hockey drama:
— Bleacher Nation Blackhawks (@BN_Blackhawks) March 29, 2022
• Talk about spanning the globe to add to your prospect stash:
— Bleacher Nation (@BleacherNation) March 29, 2022