A series of technological blunders that were out of my control handcuffed me yesterday. And yet, the most frustrating part of my Wednesday might have been burning the bottom of my biscuits. I’m not a perfect person.
• There was a brief moment on Wednesday in which free agent Akiem Hicks posted a picture of him sacking Packers QB Aaron Rodgers. For some, ti was a sign that Hicks could make a surprise return to Chicago. But Hicks would go onto clarify that his posting was more about taking a trip down memory lane. And it had me feeling like this:
— Bleacher Nation Bears (@BN_Bears) May 19, 2022
• For what it’s worth, the Bears could use some additional beef along the defensive line. This group doesn’t have the depth or high floor talent that its predecessors had last year or the year before that one. Moreover, this defensive line has some mismatching pieces, with players like Angelo Blackson and Jeremiah Attaochu who were free agents signed to play in a front with three down linemen.
• Some additional context:
I am a little worried about the Bears DL being able to keep blockers off the LBs this year in run defense. Run stop % for the #Bears interior defenders:
A. Blackson: 9.2%
J. Jones: 7.2%
K. Tonga: 6.7%
M. Edwards: 2.9%
NFL Top 10: 10.3%
NFL Median: 7.4%
NFL Bottom 10: 5.1%B
— Quinten Krzysko – Butkus Stats On Tap (@ButkusStats) May 18, 2022
• Maybe Defensive Coordinator Alan Williams and his assistants can make lemonade out of a random assortment of lemons. But this roster construction reminds us that Chicago’s football team is still in an early stage of building.
• Kudos to Mark Potash (Sun-Times) for giving this phase a nickname I’m sure will catch on — The Sweet Spot of Bad. I’m not sure it’ll match the #LoseTodayForABetterTomorrow or #LoseTodayToWinLater hashtags that were a staple of my online presence during the Cubs’ pre-2016 rebuild. But the concept is similar enough.
• In essence, the Bears appear to be angling to try to manage a balancing act of losing enough games to get a premier first-round pick while simultaneously developing Justin Fields and solidifying his place as a building block. An example folks will want to lean on is the 2020 Bengals. That team was able to parlay a 4-11-1 2020 season into getting Ja’Marr Chase in the 2021 NFL Draft, then going on a run to make a Super Bowl appearance the next season. This feels like a good time to mention next year’s draft class is loaded with receiver prospects. And for what it’s worth, the Bears project to have a pristine draft spot. Hmmmmm…
• Even though upgrading a woeful secondary took precedence this offseason because GM Ryan Poles chose to stick with a “best player available no matter the position” draft strategy, making gains on the offensive side of the ball should be a high priority.
‘21 NFL season — Explosive play passes
• Pass of 20+ yards
1. TB — 76
2. LV — 67
3. LAR — 65
4. SF, DAL, MIN, CIN — 63
27. NO, PIT — 41
29. CHI — 40
30. CAR — 36
31. TEN — 35
32. NYG — 31 pic.twitter.com/edliIVa5Lp
— Matt Bowen (@MattBowen41) May 17, 2022
• I don’t want to see the Bears in the bottom five in that passing category ever again. Enough is enough and it’s time for a change.
• This sounds like something Master Yoda would say if a quarterbacks coach he was:
Bears QBs coach Andrew Janocko: "If you can get the ball out on time and you can listen to what your feet are telling you, then that helps you progress. That helps you get through reads, helps you feel a defense and tells you when you’re late and need to move on."
— Dan Wiederer (@danwiederer) May 18, 2022
• Ugh. The Bears are losing one of their nerds to the Raiders. ESPN’s Seth Walder reports the Raiders are hiring Brad Goldsberry as their Director of Football Systems. It’s a nice, fancy title for Goldsberry, who follows Champ Kelly and Bilal Nichols as former Bears leaving Chicago for Las Vegas. Also known as living my dream.
• It looks like there is gonna be a lotta mustard and relish on our primetime NFL schedule:
All eyes on these games in 2022. 👀 pic.twitter.com/ASiKjZMv4s
— NFL (@NFL) May 19, 2022
— Bleacher Nation Bulls (@BN_Bulls) May 19, 2022
• Welcome to the party, pal:
— Bleacher Nation Blackhawks (@BN_Blackhawks) May 18, 2022
• Marcus Stroman returns to the rotation as the Cubs and Diamondbacks begin a four-game set this evening:
— Bleacher Nation (@BleacherNation) May 19, 2022