Roquan and Derwin Differences, Kramer to Hit Comeback Trail, Broadcast Notes, Camp Update, and Other Bears Bullets

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Roquan and Derwin Differences, Kramer to Hit Comeback Trail, Broadcast Notes, Camp Update, and Other Bears Bullets

Chicago Bears

This simple reminder to keep hydrated during your busiest parts of the day is equal parts public service and a reminder to myself.

  • ICYMI: Another high-profile player just inked an extension with their current team. Unfortunately, it wasn’t Roquan Smith. Instead, it was Derwin James. The Chargers safety gets new paper in a deal that nets him somewhere in the neighborhood of $19 million per year. That is a large chunk of change for a player at a non-premium position by NFL standards. And with that in mind, part of me wants to see that extension spark Smith and the Bears to come to a new deal of their own. But there is part of me that sees the potential that it could drive the two further apart.
  • On the one hand, I can see Smith prodding the Bears from the angle of James getting $19M AAV while playing a non-premium defensive position (all while struggling to stay healthy, mind you) meaning that Smith, himself, is worthy of something more than that. Fair enough. But on the other hand, I can see the Bears countering by underscoring that James isn’t a traditional safety. PFF’s data has James’ snap-count looking like this:
  1. Box (361)
  2. Free safety (426)
  3. Slot CB (224)
  4. DLine (41)
  5. Wide CB (9)
  • That type of versatility isn’t something Smith necessarily possesses as a linebacker. And whether he plays WILL or MIKE doesn’t make a different. This isn’t to say Smith isn’t worthy of the type of contract he seeks. I’m all for player empowerment and cashing in with big deals. It’s just that the James deal, while relevant to our big-picture interests in trying to frame Smith’s future deal, brings more complications than it does clarity.
  • Doug Kramer is a Chicagoland product who played his college ball at Illinois. And after being drafted by the Bears last April, he opened this summer on the cusp of getting an opportunity to play for his hometown team. To an extend, Kramer did that when he led the team in snap count in Saturday’s preseason opener against the Chiefs. Unfortunately, a Lisfranc injury will sideline Kramer as it puts him on IR. You can tell how much getting there meant to him. Soon enough, his climb will begin again:
  • Kramer’s move to IR was one of the moves that helped the Bears trim their roster to 85 players. They’ll need another trim to get it down to 80 on Aug. 23. And one more cut on Aug. 30 will get it down to 53. After that, the waiver process begins in earnest. In other words, the final preseason roster won’t even be the last roster update before the start of the regular season.
  • Worth keeping in mind: Due to their woeful showing in 2021, the Bears are 7th in the waiver order when it opens up at the end of the preseason. It isn’t the highest ranking, but the Bears are in great position to snag someone off waivers if someone makes it that far.
  • It’s a shame that Kyler Gordon wasn’t fully healthy for the entirety of training camp, because a summer of matchups against Darnell Mooney could’ve been a good learning experience for the rookie cornerback. As it stands, Mooney gets the best of Gordon here:
  • In the interest of fairness, here is cornerback Lamar Jackson coming through with a win for the defense:

“I was itching to go be out there,” Gordon said. “It just looked so fun, like, ‘I wish I was playing right now,’ just waiting to go out there. It was cool to see the players out, the people that I know, the people I used to watch in college and middle school, just be like, ‘Damn, I’m here. It’s time. I’m ready to do this stuff.’ It’s exciting.”

What made it more exciting was the opportunity to try to defend a Patrick Mahomes-led offense, a serious test to take on in the first preseason game. With every single Mahomes snap, Gordon’s desire to get on the field was renewed.

“I was like ‘Ah, I’m ready to compete. I want to be the dude, the obstacle for him,’ and stuff like that.”

  • I want to be the dude. This reminds me a bit of Jaylon Johnson, Gordon’s teammate and a fearless cornerback in his own right. Johnson hasn’t backed down from a challenge yet. And Gordon would be wise to follow in those footsteps as he gets his career underway. After all, you need to be a special brand of fearless to be a cornerback in the NFL.
  • We’ve gotta do better than “Brizzy” when it comes to a nickname for Bears rookie safety Jaquan Brisker. Any suggestions? Perhaps this clip will help inspire something worthwhile:
  • A Bears-Seahawks training camp update from ESPN’s Laura Rutledge, who is reporting at Seahawks camp:
  • Programming note: Steve Levy, Louis Riddick, and Dan Orlovsky are teaming with Rutledge for Thursday’s Bears-Seahawks tilt on ESPN. That’s right! No Joe Buck-Troy Aikman pairing until the regular season. As for who is calling this game, it’s a broadcast featuring names you should know. You might remember Levy and Riddick as part of ESPN’s Monday Night Football broadcast team from the last few years. And if you’re a college football fan, you’re likely familiar with Rutledge’s hosting duties at SEC Nation (as well as NFL Live). I’m curious see what a new-look MNF broadcast will look like, even if it is just a preseason dry run.
  • More TV talk, as FOX is sending its No. 2 broadcast crew for the Bears-49ers season opener:
  • Are you ready for some football? College football? In video game form? Well, do I have some good news for you:
  • EA Sports could do well by simply running back NCAA ’13 or NCAA ’14 with upgraded graphics. But it sounds like they’re taking it to another level. Perhaps I should upgrade my gaming console?
  • Are you trying to make it to Saturday’s training camp practice? The team announced it is changing times. Gates open at 2:30 p.m., with practice kicking off at 3:30. Weather permitting, of course:
  • I’m looking forward to seeing John Brown break out this bad boy in Weeks 10 and 17:
  • I wonder if it’s anyone I know:
  • Franmil Reyes is FUN. And the Guardians’ DFA of the slugger is the best thing Cleveland baseball has ever done for the Cubs:
  • A bummer in the land of the Bulls:


Author: Luis Medina

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