Coaching Turnover, Cruikshank’s Sleeper Status, Cap Space Update, and Other Bears Bullets

I couldn’t explain why if you were to ask, but I wish I understood why the urge hit me last night to re-watch Boy Meets World. Maybe I’m just looking for something comfortable to watch and fill the void until baseball games return to my screen full-time. I’ll gladly take suggestions for other shows, Even those that don’t check the nostalgia box.

•   It is absolutely wild to think about the coaching turnover from last season:

•   That’s nearly one-third of the league swapping out coaches this offseason. It is mind-boggling if you sit and think about it. Feels like a ton of turnover. And while it should be way too soon to think about how many of these coaches will not make it to the end of the deals they just signed this offseason, I can’t *NOT* think about it when we’re seeing this much of a shakeup throughout the league.

•   An extended discussion about last night’s stunning retirement of Bruce Arians, and the transition of power to Todd Bowles as the Buccaneers’ new head coach:

•   Hopefully, new Bears Head Coach Matt Eberflus has a team that plays well enough to position himself for a second contract. Since the end of the Lovie Smith era, none of the coaches who have come after him have made it through the entirety of their contract with the team. Marc Trestman was out after two years. John Fox saw the exit signs after his third season with the team. Matt Nagy made it through four years with the Bears. If current patterns hold, does that means Eberflus is a lock for running the show for five years? All things being equal, it would be nice to have some stability at the top again.

•   I don’t think defensive back Dane Cruikshank is a game-changer by any stretch. But in addition to having a really cool name to say and type out, he comes with an ultra-athletic background based on this grading scale:

•    Based on his track record of snap counts and potential positional versatility, I’m wondering if the Bears brought in a younger and more athletic version of Deon Bush.

•   Are we still waiting for the Bears to make signings like this on offense? Yes. But that this front office is pivoting from the Ryan Pace style of signing older veterans to instead bringing in younger players is worth a dap for Ryan Poles. Changing general managers is one thing. An important one, to be sure. But the most welcome change comes in swapping out old ideologies for new. At minimum, that much is refreshing.

•   Spotrac has the Bears at $15,768,256 in top 51 cap space (which counts only the team’s top 51 contracts, duh). That’s good news, as it sits as the 12th most in the NFL. It sure beats the alternative. But the team still has so many holes to plug, as it currently has the fewest players on its roster. That isn’t so good. But if you’re a glass-half-full kind of person, then you’re probably seeing this as an opportunity for the Bears to improve and not as a crisis that this roster has a ton of vacancies.

•   At least the Bears are entertaining external options to fill said vacancies. Ari Mevirov (@MySportsUpdate) covers the NFL for PFF and notes that the Bears were among the teams checking in on Patrick Peterson before he re-signed with the Vikings. Had he come to Chicago, Peterson would’ve been on the older end of the signing spectrum for the Bears this offseason. In fact, playing in his age 32 season would’ve made him the elder statesmen of the team’s signings. Adding an eight-time Pro Bowler and three-time first-team All-Pro could have been a nice veteran addition as a possible culture-change leader. Especially since those seem to be the types of players Poles is targeting right now.

•   To be clear, it would’ve been unfair to expect Pro Bowl production from Peterson, who hasn’t been able to reach those heights since 2018. Even still … he probably would’ve made for an upgrade from the Bears’ current cornerbacks situation. Sigh. I hope the close-but-no-cigar vibes aren’t weighing as heavy on this front office as it is on the fan base that wants to see its favorite team do something productive.

•   Well, this is one way to go about your offseason as a free agent:

•   You just love to see it:

•   This was a thing of beauty:

•   A good podcast listen for fans of the team on the other side of town:

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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