Big Ten's Westward Expansion, Velus Draws, Mooney the Catalyst, Waiting on Watson, and Other Bears Bullets

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Big Ten’s Westward Expansion, Velus Draws, Mooney the Catalyst, Waiting on Watson, and Other Bears Bullets

Chicago Bears

Ringing in my 36th year on this planet in Las Vegas. I’m looking to balance finding the necessary rest and relaxation I need before jumping back into building up for training camp and the let-loose factor that is necessary to feel something fresh in my soul. Let the good times roll and may the odds at the Wheel of Fortune slot machines be ever in my favor.

  • I thought the NFL would use a Friday news dump over a three-day holiday weekend to slide whatever ruling it has in Deshaun Watson’s hearing into the news cycle. But it might not be weeks until a ruling is made. Three days of hearings came to a close on Thursday, with ESPN’s Jake Trotter and Dan Graziano reporting that there is no timetable for a ruling. Although, post-hearing briefs will be due the week of July 11. So … we’ll probably get a ruling sometime before training camp opens. But I’m not expecting anything coming through the pipeline today after catching up on the cycle.
  • What in the wide world of sports is going on in college sports? USC and UCLA both announced plans to leave the Pac-12 to join the Big Ten in 2024. The Athletic and L.A. Times give some good perspective as to these landscape-shifting moves and their potential impact. In the grand scheme of things, I get it. The potential money-maker this could be for everyone is mind-boggling. And I do like the idea of seeing USC and UCLA playing at places like Michigan and Ohio State in November. Wouldn’t that be neat? But I worry there is collateral damage that I’m not considering. I’m sure it’ll come to me when I least expect it … or if/when other schools jump ship.
  • OK, time for a palate cleanser. There were some conflicting replies and reviews regarding this helmet I saw while at the NFL Las Vegas store at Caesar’s Palace:
  • That orange really pops. And I truly believe someone who is good with uniform/jersey design could come up with some fire fits with a white-and-orange colorway.
  • Ooh! I share a birthday with Bears fullback Khari Blasingame. I’ll take that as a good omen for the 2022 football season. And I won’t pass up this opportunity to share fullback highlights. After all, it’s been a while since we’ve seen one deployed in Chicago:
  • With the offensive line situation being what it is, the Bears can use as much blocking help as they can get. And if it has to come from the fullback, then so be it.
  • Again, it’s probably too early to have an obsessive Darnell Mooney extension watch. But it is something that should be on our radar. Moreover, I wonder if it is something we should be actively rooting for because of what it might mean for the big picture. Think about it. If Mooney plays well enough to the point where we’re talking about wanting to extend him and shell out big bucks, then it will be a good thing. Especially since it could also mean that quarterback Justin Fields is progressing nicely entering his third season. If the Bears can get some strong production from two key cogs like that, we could have some building blocks on our hands. Josh Shrock (NBC Sports Chicago) dives in and explores more as to why a Mooney extension might be an important step in the Bears’ building process.
  • OK, rookie:
  • Bills Defensive Coordinator/former Bears head-coaching candidate speaks about the recent NFL QB Coaching Summit, which will hopefully continue to help boost the profiles of assistants who are getting overlooked for jobs:
  • I’ll admit I found myself in a tough spot this past offseason when it came to Frazier and the Bears opening. Because, on the one hand, Frazier was a deserving candidate and was a deserving one. Frazier wasn’t interviewing for the Bears gig just because he played for the team on its Super Bowl winner. His overall résumé, especially since his stint as Vikings HC, is impressive. Heck, his glow up since leaving Minnesota made him a preferable hire among coaching candidates looking for a second chance. But I wasn’t sure about his fit at this stage of his coaching career. In short, I felt as if Frazier deserved better than a rebuilding Bears team. It’s hard to imagine putting in all that work to rebuild your coaching stock, only to settle for a job that might not be so fruitful at the start. Maybe it could’ve worked. But Frazier has coached himself to a place where he should be getting the job of a coach whose team is on the cusp of something special. Not a team that is gridding at the beginning phases of a rebuild.
  • Oh?
  • The Cubs (30-46, .395 winning pct.) might stink, but Christopher Morel is fun as heck:

Author: Luis Medina

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