Being outside is great until you remember how much mosquitoes love you. Sheesh!
I’ll remember to pack the bug spray in 14 days when Bears training camp at Halas Hall opens to fans.
- A Johnny Knox sighting! You just love to see it:
- In case you’re unfamiliar, Knox was a Bears fifth-round pick in 2009 who had oodles of potential. The speedy receiver from Abilene Christian snagged a Pro Bowl appearance as a rookie. He did his best work as a return specialist (32 kick returns, 927 yards, 1 TD), but also was nice as a receiver (45 catches, 527 yards, 5 TD). That came before a break-through year as a pass-catcher a year later (51-960-5). Knox was looking like a favorite Jay Cutler target and the sky was the limit. Unfortunately, Knox suffering a serious spinal cord injury in a game against the Seahawks required immediate surgery. And it ultimately ended his playing career. But to see Knox active again is a testament to modern medical technology and the human spirit. Go, Johnny, go!
- Fast forward to 2022 and the talk of Bears fandom right now is the acquisition of a new receiver. The team made N’Keal Harry’s acquisition officially official on Wednesday afternoon. Harry’s disappointing tenure with the Patriots (57 catches, 598 receiving yards, 4 TD in 33 games) notwithstanding, the move still intrigues the heck out of me. It is always interesting to see how players with clean slates in new towns fare with their new teammates. But more than that, this marks the first test to see how Head Coach Matt Eberflus did in hiring assistant coaches.
- I’m obviously curious to see how Offensive Coordinator Luke Getsy will use Harry. But I have an even higher interest in seeing how new WRs Coach Tyke Tolbert goes about working with Harry. Tolbert has been around the block and has had his hands on a variety of receivers who exceeded expectations. And while so much of a receiver’s success can be due to his surroundings (system, QB, other WRs), good coaching can provide a lift, too.
- An astute observation by Chris Emma (670 The Score) who writes: “Harry is similar to Bears newcomers Equanimeous St. Brown, Byron Pringle, Dante Pettis and Tajae Sharpe in that each receiver has had fleeting success in their still-young careers but need to prove much more to carve out a constant role.” Bullseye. That the Bears are rolling the dice with several such prospects is encouraging. It’s a start! They’re not totally sitting on their hands when it comes to addressing the receiver position. Now, it’s not like how Ryan Pace went about trying to find his kicker fix … but it’s not all that dissimilar.
- Go get ’em, gang:
- Excuse me?
- In the words of urban wordsmith Future: “Ain’t no way. Ain’t no … way” this is true. But maybe? I’d be wrong to not acknowledge my blindspots. However, there has been so much negative pushback with the Bears, I struggle to believe this team’s fanbase has had the most positive posts this offseason. Then again, Justin Fields content alone might be what is carrying the load here. Let’s be honest with each other. Fields is a beacon of light on a dark night. Even after a rough rookie season in an offense not geared for him and in an unenviable situation where his head coach might as well have had one foot out the door, Fields flashed enough to give Bears fans hope for 2022. And the combination of bringing in a new general manager/head coach combo and jettisoning the old regime sure did give folks reason for optimism. I’m just a bit gobsmacked to see it put in this light.
- OK, but how are the Bills 27th? They are Super Bowl favorites who are led by a quarterback who is a MVP-caliber player. How can you not be positive about that group?
- The Bears have finally gotten around to hiring a replacement for LaMar “Soup” Campbell. The Sun-Times reports the Bears have hired Mike Wiley Jr. as the team’s Director of Player Development. Wiley essentially fills the role of the former Vice President of Player Engagement, who was dismissed in early July. I’m not completely sure what Wiley’s role will be, but I find it notable that he was most recently a mental performance coach from 2019-2022. I remember the jokes when the Theo Epstein era Cubs first brought in a mental skills coach, but I also recall how helpful that was to the rebuild process. Hopefully, Wiley can build on whatever Campbell had going on at Halas Hall.
- Our thoughts and prayers are with the fmaily and friends of Bob Parsons, a former Bears punter and tight end (what a combo!) who passed away at age 72:
- Well, this is a fun exercise. Bleacher Report’s Alex Kay envisions what an NFL expansion roster would look like. There’s been some chatter about the league growing in the coming years, although I feel as if a 40-team league would be a bit much. But if they can make it work? Why not!? No Bears to be found here, which means Justin Fields, Darnell Mooney, and all of our other faves are safe. For now.
- Zach Wilson is pretty much me after I open the group chat after taking a weekend off the grid in Vegas:
- Considering the decisions that were made on draft night, a commitment to prospect development better be a Blackhawks top priority:
- Nope … don’t love this:
- Between trying to find some quality baseball to watch in an attempt to hold me over until football kicks off and my striving to win a third consecutive fantasy baseball title, I’m have ample reason to keep tabs on baseball’s trade market. And this bit of news stopped me in my tracks:
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