Create By the Lake, Fields-based Hope, Larry O's World Tour, and Other Bears Bullets

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Create By the Lake, Fields-based Hope, Larry O’s World Tour, and Other Bears Bullets

Chicago Bears

Summer officially arrives today, and few people are happier about it than yours truly. I’ve just got to make sure I apply bug spray and sunscreen because if the critters don’t get me, that big bright ball in the sky will.

  • In news that absolutely floored me, the Cleveland Browns have eyes for building a lakefront facility for their team. Not because news of the Browns wanting to modernize something is jarring, but I feel like I’ve been specifically told that you must move to the suburbs to get nice and shiny new things:
  • A city and team working together? And to do something along the lake? What a concept!
  • Look … I’m no dummy. I realize the conflict, concerns, and questions that come up when discussing a new Bears stadium within city limits pop up. I’m old enough to remember Walter Payton High School slow-playing its launch of a football team because one of its concerns was that it didn’t have an on-campus football facility because of where it was built downtown. But eventually, something came together because creative minds sprung to action with alternative thinking. TL;DR — just because it might be difficult to come up with land, space, and/or ideas to make something work doesn’t means you should just take the easy road. It’s 2022. Let’s challenge ourselves to use more of our brains and less time defaulting to the easy answer. It’s summertime, after all. You’ve got free time on your hands, I’m sure.
  • I, for one, am not looking forward to the same people complaining about how Wrigleyville became sterilized like cookie-cutter corporatized shopping malls also championing the same concept for a future home of the Bears. But because the Bears aren’t likely breaking their lease until 2026 (when it would cost the team just $84 million), we can kick the can down the road for another day.
  • As for the team that currently calls Soldier Field its home, I stand by what I said:
  • On the one hand, I’m not sure how Justin Fields and the Bears winning those games would’ve changed where we are today. And my hope would be that it wouldn’t have been enough to change the ultimate fate of Matt Nagy and Ryan Pace, both of whom were deserving of their offseason dismissal. But on the other hand, I have a grasp on what wins like that could’ve meant for the overall narrative arc for Fields’ rookie season and what projections for his future. Perspective is key.
  • Landing two signature wins could’ve done so much for how we (as a general football consuming society) would be talking about him. Instead, there is a close-but-no-cigar aspect of these games that is held against him in some regard. The only way to switch it up is to win games like that this season. With that in mind, it is easy to make the case that upgrading a defense who could’ve shut the door for Fields and locked in a win is as important as getting it right at positions of need.
  • Don’t get it twisted. The Bears still need offensive playmakers at skill positions. And we know that group up front has more questions than answers right now. But we shouldn’t wholly negate the value of having a defense that holds up its end of the bargain.
  • An optimistic framing of what is to come of the Bears’ 2022 season comes from PFF’s Doug Kyed, whose answer to a question about the team’s projected win total (which oddsmakers have set at 6.5 wins) has my attention. Via Pro Football Focus:

“I think all it takes is slight improvement from quarterback Justin Fields, and I have confidence in him. I liked Fields a lot coming out of Ohio State, and I think new offensive coordinator Luke Getsy can get the most out of him.”

  • Sure, that’s putting some pressure on a first-time play-caller and second-year quarterback. But the framing of this situation being that the Bears can be better than their preseason projections because they have a QB like Fields say so much about QB1’s talent and upside. We shouldn’t overlook this. So while I’ll hesitant to pound the O6.5 at my favorite wagering site, at least I have reason to consider it now.
  • NFL Penalties, a site that tracks how many total flags were thrown on a team in a given year, had the Bears as the NFL’s 10th-most-penalized team in 2022. The 132 flags thrown against Chicago is a bit of an eyesore. And it was one reason last year’s squad was a failure in terms of reaching its potential. It is hard to move forward when you’re constantly stubbing your own toe with each snap. But with that in mind, I find peace in Head Coach Matt Eberflus bringing in Big Ten refs in addition to the NFL officials who make their way around camps. Every little bit helps, right? (670 The Score)
  • A blast from the past: Windy City Gridiron’s Jack Silverstein lays out Steve “Mongo” McMichael’s Hall of Fame case, which is stronger than I would’ve otherwise thought. Mongo probably gets dinged in the eyes of HOF voters who are quick to point out how many stars he played with over the years. Even still … that résumé is nothing to sneeze at when you give it closer examination. At minimum, I’m glad we’re having a discussion and putting some respect on McMichael’s name. Gotta appreciate the great ones.
  • At least Equanimeous and Amon-Ra St. Brown’s father won’t have to wear any more of that mustard-and-yellow garb when his sons square off in 2022:
  • An old friend continues to search for a new home:
  • This is giving me “Matt Nagy in December 2021” vibes and I don’t like it one bit:
  • This will be a wild summer in the NBA:
  • Hey, we know this guy:

Author: Luis Medina

Luis Medina is a Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at@lcm1986.