My sincerest thanks go out to those of you who did NOT spoil Kenobi Ep. IV for me yesterday.
As for the rest of you, I’m giving you my most fiendish look right now. You’re on thin ice, friends.
• The Bears’ social media accounts gave us a sneak peak at what the team has been doing at OTAs, which has be amping up for the season to come:
0 to 💯 real quick pic.twitter.com/rm0Mv4Sj9V
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) June 9, 2022
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) June 9, 2022
• I don’t want to read too much into 18 seconds worth of footage and a host of pics from the team’s website, but it won’t stop me from wanting more. Tracking how Velus Jones Jr. develops will be a treat. The arc of a player who began his college career at USC before transferring to Tennessee, became a standout multi-phase contributor for the Vols, grew into a third-round pick, and enters the NFL as someone with so much to prove (and the will to work to be better) intrigues the heck out of me. Player paths to the NFL aren’t always linear. And that is part of the beauty this game offers to us as fans and on-lookers. Football is a savage ballet with so many side stories to tell. So let the game tell it.
• Also … can we get more Visor Fields, please? Thanks in advance.
• Can you keep a secret? Good. Because I’m not sure if I’m allowed to say what I’m about to: I love that Matt Eberflus’ Bears aren’t backing down from their intense approaches at practice. In fact, I dig it that they’re willing to push the limits. It is probably a good sign that the infraction that led to a league punishment of stripping a practice day is being chalked up to aggressive young players trying to make good first impressions. Don’t get me wrong. Rules were broken and that needed to be addressed. But one of the truths of football is that the best mistakes one can make are ones that are made of aggression. Passive mistakes are problematic. But if your missteps are due to trying a little too hard, then I’m willing to let it slide.
• On the other side of the coin, I wish the Bears had a smidge more of a veteran presence to reel in some of the young pups. Maybe mandatory minicamp with everyone in tow, followed by training camp in July and August will lead to a smoother run.
• Another day, another Rams extension
Cooper Kupp and the Rams reached agreement today on a three-year extension that ties him to LA for the next five years, at $110 million, and allows him to assume his rightful place amongst the NFL’s highest-paid WRs, per sources.
Aaron Donald and Kupp wrapped up 48 hours apart. pic.twitter.com/md9xsHND2p
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) June 8, 2022
• I’d be mad about it if I didn’t respect it. The Rams are treating the offseason like they’re playing on Madden Franchise Mode with the salary cap off. Young Luis would’ve loved to have the audacity to do that back when he was doing Madden franchises back in high school and when he was on SIU’s campus. One day soon, I hope the Bears are in a situation where they can travel down a similar path.
• As someone who believes the salary cap is as mythical as the Loch Ness Monster, I found this counter perspective to be worth watching:
The salary cap does exist. Really.
— Good Morning Football (@gmfb) June 9, 2022
• I laughed out loud when this was sent to me:
— Charles Robinson (@CharlesRobinson) June 9, 2022
• Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, an offensive lineman who opted out of playing in 2020 to use his medical background to help in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, is once again pressing pause on his NFL career to begin a medical residency in Montreal. However, Duvernay-Tardif he isn’t retiring. The 31-year-old isn’t closing the door on football, adding that he plans on re-assessing things in September. Because of his history with Bears GM Ryan Poles (they crossed paths while in Kansas City), this could be worth monitoring for a later date. (ESPN)
• Washington football defensive coach Jack Del Rio made some inflammatory comments, then tried to correct course:
Commanders DC Jack Del Rio on his recent tweet (https://t.co/odv7zr4BOn) at today's media session
— NBC4 Sports (@NBC4Sports) June 8, 2022
— Jack Del Rio (@coachdelrio) June 8, 2022
• I can’t, in good faith, take an apologetic message written on the Notes app seriously when the author considers an historic event that resulted in deaths of American citizens a “dust up.” Here’s hoping Del Rio gets some much-needed perspective on the matter before speaking on it again.
• Are you ready for some (Canadian) football? ESPN announced that ESPN+ (and the family of ESPN networks) are broadcasting all 81 regular-season games of the CFL’s season.
• Outdoor equipment, camping gear, massagers, and more are your Deals of the Day at Amazon. #ad
— Bleacher Nation (@BleacherNation) June 9, 2022
• Some Bulls chatter on the rumor mill:
— Bleacher Nation Bulls (@BN_Bulls) June 8, 2022
• Another name for the Blackhawks coaching search radar:
— Bleacher Nation Blackhawks (@BN_Blackhawks) June 9, 2022
• I grew up listening to WSCR after my uncle insisted on me listening to this interview Mike Ditka did, which makes the 30th anniversary of this stations such a unique thing to me:
A note from the boss @MitchRosen670…
We're going to have an awesome 30-year celebration of the Score later this summer, and we're inviting all alumni. If that's you, please help us out by reaching out with your current contact info.
— 670 The Score (@670TheScore) June 8, 2022