A spoiler-free review from lat night’s two-part Kenobi premier:
— Funky Cold Luda (@lcm1986) May 27, 2022
I will have no comment and take no questions until all of the homies have seen it. Happy Friday! Please enjoy your extended weekend responsibly, but also to its fullest extent.
• Among the many things popping up in the latest episode of 1920 Football Drive exploring a behind-the-scenes look at the rebuilding Bears was a brief look at Justin Fields’ freshly tweaked mechanics. Even though it didn’t get as much pub as the Bears’ need to bolster the line and re-work the receivers room, the individual improvements Fields was needing to make going from his rookie season to Year 2 are important to what Chicago’s football team does forward. And I think Nate Tice does a good job putting the snippet in perspective:
it’s two (2) throws from drills but Fields does look to have shortened up his lead foot when throwing. It’s quickened everything up a bit.
Have to wait to see what it looks like with a pass rush and real team reps but it’s encouraging! https://t.co/XOEPYg2qyg
— Nate Tice (@Nate_Tice) May 26, 2022
• It’s a brief snapshot. In a practice setting. And I imagine it was meticulously edited as part of this video package. Nevertheless, I’m all for seeing what it looks like when talented players put in work. The best players tweak something every offseason in the search for improvement. So while it might not look like much now, if it is part of a process that yields tremendous results, then we’ll look back at this and smile.
• A fun Fields factoid from Tice, in his latest breakdown of the 2021 NFL Draft class of quarterbacks:
“Fields loves to push the ball down the field and chase explosive plays. He averaged 9.8 air yards per attempt last season, which ranked behind only Russell Wilson. His willingness to keep his eyes downfield despite pass rushers bearing down is both his greatest asset and his biggest weakness, as he easily led the NFL in sack rate (11.8 percent).”
• OK, that nugget about Fields’ willingness to push the ball vertically is more fun than the sack rate that comes with that number. But what if that is a long-term tradeoff. Would you give up an extra sack here or there for more yards and touchdowns? The debate on this concept could get juicy. It might be worth exploring on a grander scale at a later date.
• I’ll say this about QB mechanics — it is hilarious that they get abandoned during so many big plays. Good quarterbacks who make off-the-cuff plays (mechanics, be damned) really make me wonder if it worth obsessing over this segment of their game. This isn’t to say mechanical strength is worthless. It certainly isn’t. Poor mechanics tend to lead to bad traits growing over time. But I can’t help but think that there are no proper mechanics for plays like this:
JUSTIN FIELDS ARE YOU SERIOUS?! #DaBears
— NFL (@NFL) October 31, 2021
— Bleacher Nation Bears (@BN_Bears) May 26, 2022
• Brent Sobieski (Bleacher Report) has a checklist of things each NFL team still has on its offseason to-do list. For the Bears, two of those things happen to have to do with helping Fields reach his full potential. Ideally, the Bears would add another receiver to the mix. I’m not sure how — seeing that we’re approaching June and the major waves of player acquisition (trades, free agency, NFL Draft) are in our rearview mirror — but I can’t deny that this offense could use another pair of hands in the receivers room. Even if it is someone for the sake of building competition.
As for the assessment that the Bears need to settle on their offensive line, I have no argument to that.
• Although, I don’t think that one is coming to a conclusion anytime soon. It seems as if the Bears are content to let the players already in the fold sort it out for themselves. Judging by how the Bears went about this offseason, new GM Ryan Poles (an offensive lineman in college, mind you) appears to be OK creating a training camp competition that will ultimately churn out the five best players for the line. Frankly, I’m here for it. There are few things I love more than a summertime battle between linemen. If you get a chance to check out training camp, I’d strongly encourage you to focus on the big boys in the trenches.
• On the other side of the line, I appreciate the perspective the team is taking in developing defensive end Dominique Robinson (via NBC Sports Chicago’s Josh Schrock):
“I would say try to keep it as simple as possible with him,” defensive line coach Travis Smith said Tuesday. “With any young players, it’s not just him, the more they’re thinking and the more they’re trying to look at or watch or see or anticipate or remember, the slower they’re going to play.
“So, if myself and Justin Hinds, can keep it as simple as possible, so he’s looking at one key and playing extremely fast and using his technique and fundamentals, that’ll help him out as well as the rest of the veterans, rookies, included.”
• Considering Robinson’s background as a high school quarterback and college receiver, refining Robinson’s fundamentals while also exploring how to use that high-end athleticism is one of the biggest challenges facing Bears coaches this summer. But as is the case with so many Day 3 prospect projects, the juice could be worth the squeeze if everything clicks.
• If you could pair up with your favorite brand that doesn’t already sponsor a college football bowl game, what would it be, how would you name the game, and where would it be played?
— Bowl Season (@BowlSeason) May 26, 2022
• Figuring out Nikola Vučević’s future is one of the many challenges the Bulls are facing this summer:
— Bleacher Nation Bulls (@BN_Bulls) May 26, 2022
• All good things must come to an end:
— Bleacher Nation Blackhawks (@BN_Blackhawks) May 26, 2022
• This is still the single wildest thing I’ve ever seen play out on a baseball diamond:
Happy anniversary to one of the best and craziest plays you'll ever see. pic.twitter.com/tMd92aagtX
— Bleacher Nation (@BleacherNation) May 27, 2022