The Cubs have outscored the Pirates 30-0 in two games I’ve attended this season. Admittedly, it is a small sample to analyze. But it’s been a fun one.
• Turnover in the offensive line room was necessary for these Bears. But how Ryan Poles has gone about addressing the room has been eye-opening. The addition of free agent Shaun Coleman means the Bears have brought in TEN new offensive linemen onto this team. As things currently stand, the Bears have a total of 16 offensive linemen on their 90-player offseason roster. NFL teams tend to carry anywhere between 8-10 linemen on the season-opening 53-player roster. So this group will be cut down a bit by the time September rolls around. We might even see some players swapped out. Based on how things have gone to this point, it wouldn’t surprise me to see another shakeup.
• While we’re thinking of the offensive line, I had a thought about how it could look like with the starters. It is tough to look at this group and think their starting right guard is currently on the roster. But if he was, I feel like rookie offensive lineman Zach Thomas would be the in-house leader for the position. Thomas was a first-team All-Mountain West offensive tackle in 2021 and has collegiate experience at guard. Maybe that combination of playing at an all-conference level and prior experience playing inside gives him a leg up (as of now).
• Another round of OTAs is set for today as the offseason buildup program continues. And I believe we’ll hear from Head Coach/Birthday Boy Matt Eberflus and perhaps some players. We’ll see how the cookie crumbles.
• The Tribune’s Colleen Kane pieces together a position-by-position breakdown of the Bears’ rosters as OTAs roll on. There are just so many questions and at so many key positions. Say what you want about where Chicago’s football team is in this building phase. But at least there will be some hearty competition throughout the building.
• One position that doesn’t have a head-to-head battle on the horizon is quarterback. The Athletic’s Nate Tice made a thread that should have Bears fans feeling good about Justin Fields being their QB1:
fire in that pigskin! pic.twitter.com/XgmzmflACn
— Nate Tice (@Nate_Tice) May 16, 2022
big time Seam throw from Justin Fields on 4 Verts despite Jimmy Graham's wavering route and getting popped in the pocket pic.twitter.com/NCVjLacriV
— Nate Tice (@Nate_Tice) May 16, 2022
• Between the hyper-focus on Fields’ development as a Year 2 player and the ever-changing offensive line, our eyes will be all over what might be the two most important pieces to this Bears rebuilding effort. If only there was a smidge more firepower on the outside.
• That breeze you felt was me breathing a sigh of relief after reading this sentence from Johnathan Wood (Da Bears Blog), who digs into some of the concerning fumble numbers Fields has: “Fumbles will likely always be an issue for him, but if he shows typical post-rookie improvement, they won’t be a deal-breaker.” If fumbles are a product of Fields’ playing style, and it happens that playing style leads to more big plays and outweighs the fumbles, then you see if that middle ground is a comfortable landing spot. I’d have to see it for myself, but I can envision a world where we deal with fumbles because the juice is worth the squeeze.
• I’m digging the angle from Josh Schrock (NBC Sports Chicago), who explains how Jaire Alexander’s extension in Green Bay (which makes him the NFL’s highest-paid CB) puts Chicago’s rebuild into a new perspective. There is definitely a case to make for the Alexander deal as another batch of proof as to why the Bears should continue preaching patience with this rebuild approach. I can vibe with this idea. Not just because of the idea of building toward sustained success, but mostly because after years of trying to build with patchwork the last few years, going down a different path is a refreshing approach. Do you want things done quickly? Or do you want them done correctly, even if it takes some additional time?
• You have my attention, Eli:
— Bleacher Nation Bulls (@BN_Bulls) May 16, 2022
• An unexpected prospect call-up makes his way to Wrigley:
— Bleacher Nation (@BleacherNation) May 17, 2022
• The latest on the Blackhawks search for a new head coach:
— Bleacher Nation Blackhawks (@BN_Blackhawks) May 16, 2022