Hi everybody, and a very pleasant good morning to you wherever you may be.
I’ll miss Vin Scully, the legendary broadcaster who died on Tuesday.
- Courtney Cronin (ESPN) reports the Bears are moving today’s practice up to 9:45 a.m., which is notable — particularly to those who were able to snag tickets. Today’s practice was set to be one open to fans. So, hopefully, the wet stuff holds off.
- This probably isn’t the “Fields” update you were hoping for, but I can’t shake how impressive Fields 1 & 2 were at Halas Hall. When they say the grass isn’t always greener on the other side, I’d offer up images from my camera roll to dispute those claims. The Bears haven’t done much right in recent years. After all, this is a team in a rebuilding phase with its fourth head coach and third general manager since firing Lovie Smith after the 2012 season. That feels like a lot of regime change to take place in the span of 10 years. But at least they nailed the Halas Hall renovation and modernization. Now … how about putting a better product on improved practice surfaces?
- If you’re at practice, keep eyes on how the offensive line shuffles. Seeing Braxton Jones get a full-boat of snaps at left tackle, Riley Reiff at right tackle, and Sam Mustipher manning center with the first-team offense is an important reminder as to how fluid that situation is right now. Heck, it figures to be a fluid situation all summer. But look at it this way: Giving Jones and Larry Borom (who was splitting time at RT with Reiff) reps at those positions, the Bears are allowing themselves a puncher’s chance at developing some useful, homegrown talent at the tackle spot.
- Maybe Reiff ends up at left tackle, which would give Jones an opportunity to develop without thrusting him into action if he proves he isn’t ready just yet. Or perhaps Reiff lands at right tackle because Jones *IS* ready to roll, which gives Borom more chances to hone his craft. This is the value of adding veteran offensive linemen without much of a financial commitment. I’ll be watching the line with great interest at future practices.
- One thing I’ve liked that has been noticeable at every practice is the energy Chicago’s DBs bring to the table:
- Coaches. Players. Cornerbacks. Safeties. It is a contagious type of vibe that group has right now. The Bears’ defensive backs rooms might be the most well-rounded and talented position group this team has to throw out onto the field. It has veteran leadership that was part of the team’s last successful squad (Eddie Jackson), a young veteran who was part of its most recent playoff team (Jaylon Johnson), a do-it-all defender who dabbles as a special teams ace (DeAndre Houston-Carson), and two rookies with tremendous upside and potential (Jaquan Brisker, Kyler Gordon). They’ve also got new position coaches who are bringing new perspectives and teaching methods. It all makes for an intriguing group.
- One of my toughest challenges is balancing my feeling that I wish the team would’ve addressed offensive line and receiver in the draft with my liking of the defensive players that they chose with those picks. I could’ve made an argument for any number of offensive linemen or receivers to take for those second-round picks. But there were compelling arguments on the other side as to why the Bears plucked Brisker and Gordon. Considering (1) team needs at those positions were as dire as their needs offensively and (2) the importance of defending the pass in modern football, the Bears could’ve done far worse than what they did. Maybe we should appreciate a secondary that might not get torched at every turn.
- Want to keep eyes on the secondary? Alyssa Barbieri (Bears Wire) writes about the battle between Cole Kmet and Eddie Jackson, which has become a must-see matchup at camp.
- Remembering how the Bears faded late in games last year has me thinking this tweet is a positive development:
- But on the other hand, there is real risk of burnout. We’ve seen other coaches in other spots in the league who go a little too far in the summer, resulting in suboptimal results in the wake of their summertime callousing of the team. Ideally, Matt Eberflus and his staff know where to draw the line.
- Camp Eberflus has driven home the “all hands on deck” philosophy so well, starting running back David Montgomery was getting some run with the special teams. (NBC Sports Chicago)
- This is an astute observation. And from a neutral party not wholly isn’t invested in whether the Bears are good or not:
- Interesting development (even if Roquan Smith remains without an extension as of this moment):
- Gary Fencik delivering the hit stick. Vin Scully on the call. It’s a beautiful thing:
- A panel of 50 experts, reporters, and analysts chosen by ESPN selected Ray Lewis as the greatest middle linebacker of all-time. Please, don’t shoot the messenger here. With all due respect to Mr. Lewis, I believe Dick Butkus has something to say about this snub. And it would sound something like this:
- Ian Happ celebrated not getting traded by robbing Paul DeJong of a dinger:
- Sure, the Cubs lost. But that just gets them one step closer to a pristine pick in the 2023 MLB Draft. Silver linings and what not.
- Oh … and Willson Contreras didn’t get dealt either. What a weird day yesterday turned out to be.
- A roster reset from Eli at BN Bulls after the team made Goran Dragić’s signing official:
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