I’m hitting the road with some friends today as we celebrate a milestone birthday. So you might see a little less of me around than you’re used to this time of year. Perhaps my absence will lead the Bears to fill all their remaining holes this offseason. Go ahead, Ryan Poles — I dare ya!
- Blergh. Bleacher Report’s Joe Tansey lists the weaknesses of Chicago’s football team ahead of training camp (which opens in 35 days!). And they’re the same ones we were highlighting entering the offseason. At the top of the list are wide receiver and offensive line. But you probably already knew that heading into this lead bullet. It is unlikely the Bears make a splash move at either position. Bummer. So it will be up to the players in camp to prove doubters and naysayers wrong. On the one hand, I wish Poles would tinker with the roster some before the start of the season. And that still remains a realistic possibility. That offseason roster churn never ends. But on the other hand, part of me looks forward to players taking the underdog story to heart and allowing it to push them toward exceeding expectations.
- The offense feels so problematic. But Rome wasn’t built in a day. And the same can be said about successful offenses. Unfortunately, in the eyes of USA Today’s Nate Davis (subscription link), Chicago building up the defense is enough to put Bears QB Justin Fields among the offseason’s biggest losers:
“Can you name his left tackle? How about a wide receiver aside from Darnell Mooney,” Davis writes. “Know who the Bears’ new offensive coordinator is? Have you even heard of Matt Eberflus?”
- I get it, the Bears didn’t hire the splashy offensive-leaning head coach candidate this offseason. We saw what went down the last time they did that. So, with that in mind, I can’t say hiring the defensive-leaning head coach automatically means Chicago did wrong by Fields. If Eberflus was in charge of the offense, then I’d be bugging. But because Offensive Coordinator Luke Getsy is getting full autonomy to run the show, I’m willing to give this thing a shot. It might not work. But we’ve been around long enough to know that a big splash doesn’t always mean leaps of progress.
- On the front end of things, Josh Schrock (NBC Sports Chicago) sees the Steelers signing Larry Ogunjobi (who was once expected to sign with the Bears) as a missed opportunity. Schrock writes the Steelers taking a one-year dice-roll on Ogunjobi is a move the Bears should’ve been pouncing on. To an extent, sure. A one-year “prove it” deal with a player who would’ve gotten a huge payday had he not failed his physical would’ve been a bargain. But trying to convince a player you were about to give $26 million in guarantees to in March to sign a one-year deal on a low-risk gamble in June doesn’t sound like it would be easy. I imagine that would be a tough sell for Ogunjobi, even if GM Ryan Poles was open to re-connecting at one point earlier in the offseason.
- Bears tight end Cole Kmet is among the many attendees enrolled in TE University. Hopefully, he can learn a thing or two about a thing or two in his second semester:
- A reminder that the Bears are employing a fullback this year, which means we could see something like this again:
- Steelers’ first-round pick Kenny Pickett signed his rookie deal, which leads PFT’s Myles Simmons to note that each of the NFL’s first-round picks is under contract. Meanwhile, Bears’ second-round picks, Kyler Gordon and Jaquan Brisker, have yet to ink their rookie deals. I’m unbothered by it, as nearly half of the second round remains unsigned. Just get it done soon, please.
- Not only is the House committee preparing to serve Daniel Snyder a subpoena, but Congress is also alleging that the Washington football team was conducting a “shadow investigation” in its attempts to uncover the toxic work environment in the organization. What an absolute mess they have out in D.C. with that whole thing. Ron Rivera deserves better. (ESPN)
- Happy NBA Draft Day!
- Our friends at BN Blackhawks are prepping for a draft of their own:
- Bringing in pitchers to bat against position players pitching should be a thing moving forward: