It’s another bad beat for Bears fans who were hoping to go camping at Halas Hall on a weekend:
The team had moved practice back from its normal 10 a.m. start to 3:30 p.m. CT, which made sense at the time. Think about it. The Bears were coming back from a trip to Seattle and it would’ve been useful to get some extra time to get reacclimatized after the game. And with weather looking spotty, perhaps an afternoon window would pop up. Instead, forecasts for the area are looking murky. Hence, the cancellation.
Per an email from the team announcing the cancellation, the team is offering a 15% discount on items on the pro shop website. In a vacuum, that’s a nice gesture. But in a summer with limited open practices and few weekend practices, getting two weekend dates rained out with no makeup is a bummer. I hope next year’s schedule-planners can bake in some rainout dates or perhaps offer a different alternative.
- It’s always good to have depth and perspective when assessing a player’s performance. Which is why I find value in Pro Football Focus’ grades. I won’t use them as the be all-end all in evaluation. But instead, they’re great for providing another angle as part of the bigger picture. With that in mind, I’m glad Jacob Infante unearthed this nugget from PFF regarding Kyler Gordon’s debut performance:
- Hey, now! Getting a coverage grade north of 90 in your first game as a rookie is nice. Sure, I understand the caveats of a limited snap count and preseason competition. Even with that being taken into consideration, it is nice to see that Gordon did well enough to earn positive marks. And to think, Gordon missing a tackle in his debut against the Seahawks was sticking with me. And while it still bugs me, a step back and survey of the bigger picture does well to put that whiff in the rearview. Players are going to miss tackles. Gordon wasn’t the first and won’t be the last. But one play does not a career make. Especially in the preseason.
- Even with some of the uneven play, Gordon has the right mindset, telling NBC Sports Chicago’s Josh Schrock: “The next one will get better and better and better. I’m just ready to stack days on days and games on games.” That’s a good mindset to have if you’re a rookie. Be better tomorrow than you were today. That’s the goal.
- More PFF grades via Bears Wire’s Alyssa Barbieri. And more encouraging notes regarding Bears players they need to be contributors this year in order to be in consideration for building blocks moving forward. For instance, Cole Kmet’s 90.2 grade was the second best among Bears offensive players in Thursday’s preseason triumph. Kmet made two catches, gained 31 yards, and reminded us that the Justin Fields-Darnell Mooney tandem isn’t the only one we need to keep eyes on.
- Darrynton Evans, who scored a touchdown and was averaging 4.8 yards per carry on his eight rushes, had the third lowest PFF grade among offensive players. Fullback/tight end Jake Tonges, Chicago’s other offensive touchdown scorer, put up a team-low 47.3 grade. Talk about an inexact science.
- Not only was Justin Fields’ 54.4 grade from PFF uninspiring. ESPN’s Courtney Cronin notes that Fields has been getting heat in the backfield:
Fields is being pressured at one of the highest rates in the NFL (44% of his dropbacks) while Chicago is still trying to sort out its offensive line, notably with Teven Jenkins now in the mix to start at right guard. But we can already see the tendencies of this new-look Bears scheme take shape. The expectation of a heavy dose of play-action and bootlegs showed up Thursday with two of Field’s pass attempts coming on designed rollouts, including his 19-yard completion to tight end Cole Kmet. Last season, Fields had only 18 attempts on designed rollouts, and he completed 78% of those with two touchdowns.
- That pressure rate is staggering. It’s not unexpected. But it is still bothersome. That makes it more valuable that first-year play-caller Luke Getsy understands that (1) the offensive line he is working with isn’t great and (2) scheming quick throws, play actions, and rollouts will help alleviate some of those issues. It won’t make them go away entirely, but it should help matters.
- This is fun:
- New Orleans based columnist Jeff Duncan reports the Bears were among the teams with scouts at Friday’s Packers-Saints game in Green Bay. Meanwhile, Jordan Rodrigue notes Bears scouts were in attendance for Rams-Texans. This is notable, but only partially due to the fact that the Packers and Texans are on the Bears’ early-season schedule. With another round of roster cuts coming in three days, I wonder if the Bears will have eyes for anyone from New Orleans, Green Bay, Houston, or Los Angeles who could be hitting the waiver wire when rosters trim from 85 to 80. Getting those players in before the final preseason game and a week ahead of the Aug. 30 final cut date would be beneficial for the evaluation process.
- I’m pretty sure my uncle insisting me to listen to this interview when I was younger is what got me listening to sports radio in the first place:
- There is a wild theory online that Bucs QB Tom Brady is missing time in camp because he is performing as FOX’s The Masked Singer. No, seriously. PFT’s Mike Florio has details on one of the strangest things to cross my football timeline. But NFL reporter Benjamin Allbright hears from a “source with direct knowledge” of the situation that the theory is false. Back to the drawing board? Brady is no stranger to misdirection. So if he pops up on The Masked Singer later, I won’t be surprised one bit.
- Romeo Doubs was one of my favorite sleeper mid-round receiver options. So to see him do this stings a bunch:
The audacity of the ridiculousness on display here is wild. And to win a ballgame like this!? Sheesh:
- There are a handful of Bulls games I’m looking forward to this year, including that Nuggets game on Nov. 13. It’s a 7 p.m. CT tip-off that follows a Bears-Lions game at Soldier Field that starts at noon. More on the games Eli has eyes on for 2022-23:
- It’s called playing the percentages. It’s what smart managers do to win ball games:
- This is one of the most ridiculous things I’ve ever seen: