A sincere thank you to everyone who sent me birthday well-wishes. May the rest of your weekend go swimmingly and according to plan.
- An awkward time for an odd story. The Chicago Tribune’s Brad Biggs reports the team fired Lamar “Soup” Campbell, who held the title of Director of Player Engagement. And if you’ll recall, Campbell was on the committee that ultimately hired GM Ryan Poles. So, in essence, Poles just said so long to one of the guys who helped bring him here in the first place. And on his day off, no less. Again … isn’t this weird?
- CHGO’s Adam Hoge chimes in to report that there was no specific incident that led to this move, adding this was part of Poles’ organizational overhaul. Even still … it’s a head-scratcher. To fire someone over the phone while they are on vacation ahead of a long holiday weekend seemingly without cause doesn’t make sense to me. The dots aren’t lining up. Who makes that move this late in the offseason? And with players about to come back to Halas Hall in a few weeks? I don’t get it. Perhaps Poles made the decision because he has a better candidate he would like to move forward with now that he is running the show. However, I hope this wasn’t a change-for-the-sake-of-it-move. Those rarely (if ever) work. Hopefully, pushing a well-liked member of the organization out the door like this doesn’t come back to bite the team in the butt.
- We’re still very much in the midst of the post-hiring honeymoon phase where stuff like this gets us rolling:
- We’ll see how much of a difference the coaching staff makes when they put the ball on the field. Until then, I keep reminding myself about the value and importance of a clean slate. Not just for players such as Darnell Mooney, who see a new staff coming in as an opportunity to shake off the doldrums of the last few years. But also, for fans. The last few seasons of Bears football have been unfulfilling. And it definitely wore on this fanbase. You knew it wouldn’t always be like 2018, but it was supposed to be better than back-to-back 8-8 seasons in 2019 and 2020 before the wheels fell off in 2021. I don’t expect Matt Eberflus and his staff to re-invent the wheel upon arrival. But lifting this group from the ashes of the old regime would represent an important first step.
- No, I’m not worried. But we’re still waiting for second-round safety Jaquan Brisker to sign his rookie deal. Brisker is the only Bears rookie draft pick to not have done so to this point, but he isn’t alone. There are 23 other picks who have yet to sign their deals. Ben Levine (Pro Football Rumors) has a rundown of everyone who has yet to ink up.
- In all honesty, I try to keep my worries to a minimum this time of year. It’s just not the time and place to be overly concerned about anything. And yet, I just can’t help myself to be worried about the receivers room. Then again, there are still some options lingering around out there:
- Pay no mind to Ian Hartitz’s footnote regarding not wanting the Bears to be in the mix for fantasy football purposes. I get it. But also … I don’t. Feels like some real chicken-or-the-egg stuff when fantasy thought-leaders ding Justin Fields for not having weapons around him, but also wouldn’t want to see the Bears to target receivers who could help raise his profile. Ah, well, nevertheless.
- Also? Isn’t Chicago a good place for a receiver to pad some stats on a one-year deal? If the prognosticators are accurate in projecting a poor season for the Bears, it means Chicago’s football team will be trailing in a bunch of games. Teams that are trailing tend to pass a ton. That feels like a formula for someone to be the beneficiary of a volume attack, which could be helpful in building a receivers room for your fantasy team. Points are points, right?
- As for a receiver who is *CURRENTLY* on the Bears, Darnell Mooney receives some high praise from SI.com’s Conor Orr, who considers Mooney one of the NFL’s most underrated players:
“His abilities after the catch are borderline reminiscent of Odell Beckham Jr., allowing him to turn vacant space into a very dangerous weapon. I’ll venture to guess that if Chicago pulls off any stunning upsets this year, it will be in games where Mooney goes off. Four of his six best games were wins in Chicago last year, including a five-catch, 125-yard performance against the Lions in which he was virtually unguardable.”
- Ahhh … that’s the good stuff. If only there was a receiver on the other side of the field who could take some of the defense’s attention off Mooney so he can have even more room to operate.
- Zach LaVine returning to the Bulls was a nice gift:
- I still love Javier Báez: