Eberflus-led Youth Movement, Summertime Chi, Riverboat Ron and Lovie Get Practice Fines, and Other Bears Bullets

It is annoying when the utility company gives you a wide range of hours to be at home for some morning service, particularly when all you want to do is leave the house for a quick minute to pick up some donuts because you have minimal interest in paying delivery fees and things of that nature. Whoops! Probably should’ve put more thought into planning out my Saturday.

  • I love when newbies come through Chicago and love the city as much as I do:
  • I bet they don’t have these scenic views in Arlington Heights…
  • Chicago is the greatest summer city in the world, and I’ll hear no arguments to the contrary! Is winter a pain in the butt? Absolutely. But we put up with freezing temperatures, the unforgiving Hawk wind, and hours of shoveling snow to experience days like we did in June.
  • I hope the rookies enjoyed themselves to the fullest, because they’ll be on that camp grind in July. During his Thursday meeting with the media, offensive lineman Braxton Jones mentioned July 22 as a report date. And with rookies generally arriving to camp a week early, I think we have an idea of when business will pick up at Halas Hall. In other words, keep the end of July open if you’re into obsessing over the start of camp like yours truly.
  • Moreover, I hope Bears rookies are ready to rock when training camp opens because I have a feeling Head Coach Matt Eberflus and his staff will be leaning on the youngsters quite a bit:
  • The Bears are entering a youth movement. One where we could see rookie starters at left tackle (Braxton Jones), right guard (Zachary Thomas? Ja’Tyre Carter?), receiver (Velus Jones Jr.), cornerback (Kyler Gordon), and safety (Jaquan Brisker). Things could also be lining up for a slew of second-year players to be steady contributors Cornerback Thomas Graham Jr., defensive tackle Khyiris Tonga, offensive tackle Teven Jenkins, swing lineman Larry Borom, receiver/returner Dazz Newsome, and running back Khalil Herbert are among those to check in on throughout the summer. And, of course, quarterback Justin Fields is at the center of it all. So many young pieces whose futures are in their own hands.
  • Mark Potash (Sun-Times) takes a deeper dive into the wave of young players on the cusp of getting a chance to play their way into significant roles.
  • Put some respect on Jaylon Johnson’s name:
  • I’m keeping eyes on the instability of the disgruntled receiver market this offseason. Between the Bears’ needs to address to top end of the position and the number of receivers who want (but haven’t gotten) new contracts, this feels like something we should be eyeing from afar. With that being said, Washington Commanders Head Coach Ron Rivera came out strongly against the idea of trading receiver Terry McLaurin (via NBC Sports Washington):
  • “We’re not trading Terry. … To give you guys a little tidbit, we’ve been talking with his folks probably the lat week and we’re working on some stuff. Hopefully, it’ll be taken care of in a matter of time. How much time? Don’t know. But it’s never contentious, I can promise you that. We’re feeling pretty good and pretty confident that this’ll get done.”

  • Rivera might as well be the top football voice in that organization, so his words carry more weight than other coaches who would share similar sentiments about their team’s top receiver. Even still … never say never in ever-so-unpredictable NFL landscape. But with that being said, I’d start considering a McLaurin deal to be a long shot for now. I just don’t think Rivera comes out with those words if they weren’t representative of the situation.
  • The looming McLaurin saga isn’t the only thing on Riverboat Ron’s plate. ESPN’s Dan Graziano reports Washington’s football team is being docked *TWO* OTA practices in 2023 and its coach is taking a $100,000 fine for violating the league’s rules of excessive contact during practices during this offseason. Graziano also notes that Texans Head Coach Lovie Smith was fined $50,000 for running “prohibited” drills. These are massive organizational missteps of which these respective regimes will never recover pertinent reminders that rules are in place for a reason. Moreover, the fines give us a moment to underscore that (1) neither the Bears nor Head Coach Matt Eberflus fined for their practice shenanigans and (2) fines are coming if they become habitual line-crossers. Don’t say we didn’t warn ya!
  • Elsewhere in the DMV, Ravens MVP QB Lamar Jackson told reporters that extension talks are back on in Baltimore, per The Athletic’s Jeff Zrebiec. The Jackson negotiations might be a bit more complicated than others, seeing that Jackson represents himself. But that the two sides are chatting feels like a progressive steps toward getting a deal done. Baltimore wants to keep Jackson in the team’s plans for the foreseeable future. And Jackson wants to stay. Bears fans should probably keep tabs on this one, if only to monitor what it looks like when a player represents himself in long-term extension talks. Remember, Bears LB Roquan Smith represents himself and is at the center of extension chatter of his own.
  • Is it just me or is the evolution of sports logo typeface becoming stale?
  • I mean … this new Eagles look is fine. But it’s “meh” and I feel as if changes shouldn’t elicit “meh” as a reaction. But maybe that’s just me.
  • As nice as it was to watch the Cubs get off the deck and break their losing streak, seeing Keegan Thompson’s bounce-back after tough rough outings out east is the big developmental win:
  • Thinking about Patrick Williams’ future splits my brain. On the one hand, Williams is a toolsy athlete with tremendous upside. But on the other hand, I question if the Bulls are a fit for him to realize his full potential. Maybe some more work with DeMar DeRozan will help him get closer to realizing what he’s got:
  • 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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