The pickle-brine and Old Bay seasoning collaboration is 2-for-2. First, it was a hit with grilled chicken. And last night, it slayed on oven-baked pork chops. I don’t want to make this too often, because I’ll get tired of it. But this could be a new go-to for me. I’ll let you know how it goes.
- Finding grains of optimism for the 2022 Bears has been difficult at times. But when in doubt, remember that Matt Nagy is no longer in charge. Admittedly, that isn’t much to grasp to if you’re looking for hope. However, we should keep in mind that the Bears’ regime change was as important for us – as fans – as it was for the franchise. Because not only did the team need a reset, we were needing one, too. Clean slates. Fresh starts. New beginnings. However you want to frame it, we’re actually getting it. The honeymoon period won’t last forever. But we should enjoy it while we can.
- With that in mind, I found this passage from The Athletic’s Jon Greenberg putting it in the right perspective for us as we try to explain why simply moving on from one Matt (Nagy) to another Matt (Eberflus) is enough to have us feeling better than we did when things were closing at the end of the 2021 season:
Matt Nagy sometimes seemed like he was trying to outsmart the world, a man reminding himself to be himself. Was it insecurity or false bravado? Is there a difference?
Perhaps Eberflus’ simplistic approach — see ball, run to ball — could pay dividends this season and beyond. It’s not wishcasting to think, yeah, this could work.
- The whole “BE YOU” concept vibes if you have your own identity. But if you don’t, and your coaching philosophy boils down to things that worked in Philly and K.C. because Andy Reid was the head honcho, then it can get ugly in short order. Wouldn’t it be ironic if the “BE YOU” principles were a better fit for Eberflus than the guy who talked about it (but wasn’t really all about it) in the first place?
- Bears cannot survive on fruits and vegetables, alone:
- My food take here comes down to this: If it tastes good and makes you feel good, then eat it.
- I’m pretty sure tracking Justin Fields’ training camp targets is punishable by catapult in Bears camp. Maybe I’ll find out next summer:
- Denzel Mims’ agent requesting a trade from the Jets interests me. There are some post-hype sleeper vibes there, although I’m not sure I’d be willing to give up too much more draft capital after seeing the Bears give up a 7th-rounder for N’Keal Harry. Even still … we just saw Bears GM Ryan Poles create Day 3 picks out of thin air in his first draft with the team. In other words, I wouldn’t worry about losing a conditional seventh-rounder for a player with Mims’ potential.
- Now, with that being said, waiting out the market might be the best idea. Especially if this collection of receivers makes it onto the waiver wire:
- I recall being high on Laviska Shenault coming out of Colorado. Darius Slayton has been someone we’ve had our eyes on throughout the offseason. Jake Kumerow has a past with Bears OC Luke Getsy. Kendall Hilton is someone I’ll always remember as the starting QB from when the Broncos ran out of quarterbacking options in the COVID year. They even tried petitioning the league to allow them to start an assistant coach at the position. What chaos! Anyway, it’s a who’s who of receiver options if you allow yourself time to wait it out!
- I’m not sure if this is genuine praise from the team or nudging from a front office to put the word out that a player on the cut block could be available via trade if offers were better. And while I think I have an idea, I’ll let you judge for yourself:
- Grumble. The Packers are among the preseason winners, according to PFF’s Sam Monson. And to further ruffle my feathers, Green Bay is catching preseason dubs because of fourth-round picks of players who could’ve very well been Bears fits. Receiver Romeo Doubs was a training camp standout who has seen his practice excellence translate to preseason games. Also performing well is offensive tackle Zach Tom, who could be just the latest late-round find among Packers blockers.
- Spin zone: Maybe Bears OC Luke Getsy brought with him from Green Bay the Packers’ secret sauce for identifying and drafting offensive linemen. I mean, let’s look at some recent history:
2014: Corey Linsley was a fifth-round pick in 2014 who started 99 games in seven years in Green Bay. He was a first-team All-Pro center in 2020 (his last year with the Packers) and Pro Bowler in 2021 (first year with the Chargers).
2019: Elgton Jenkins was a second-round pick (44th overall) who has starting experience at left guard (where he was a Pro Bowler in 2020) and left tackle (where he was solid in 2021 while pinch-hitting for David Bakhtiari).
2020: Jon Runyan was a sixth-round pick who was a starter in 16 of 17 games as a second-year player in 2021.
- I’m just saying that if anyone is well-positioned to give the Bears a scoop on how things are done, it might be the guy who served as Green Bay’s Offensive Quality Control Coach and Passing Game Coordinator who just got to town. This isn’t to say Getsy has all the sauce. But he should have an idea of how the sausage is made. And maybe he has his own recipe based on that? Heck, maybe Braxton Jones is the Bears’ first such example of a new methodology in finding offensive line help.
- The Bears are a team in demand and I’ll hear no arguments to the contrary:
- Don’t worry about Trenton Gill’s spot on the roster just because the Bears tried out another punter. This team has been shuffling in left-footed punters for tryouts, with Michael Palardy being the latest (via Aaron Wilson). Meanwhile, Gill has had 15 total punts, 7 of which have landed inside the 20, with just 2 touchbacks. It’s a small sample size, but extrapolating those stats over 17 games would have Gill putting 59 punts inside the 20. That number would’ve been the most in football by 19 punts. Ideally, the Bears won’t be punting much in 2022. But if they have to do it, then at least have the boots leading to less-than-ideal field position for opposing offenses.
- More punter facts:
- Because I can’t fully come to the conclusion that more callousing practices are leading to a higher number of preseason injuries (at least, not without data from the NFL’s other 31 teams or professional medical expertise), it leaves me no choice but to have an appreciation for this type of sentiment:
- Now, that’s not to say there shouldn’t be boundaries. And I’d be foolish to think that there aren’t lines that can’t be crossed. But I’ll withhold judgment until the Bears cross that line again (as they did earlier in the offseason).
- I’ll never pass up sharing a Walter Payton highlight:
- This was well done by Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs:
- It wasn’t until yesterday when I found out Len Dawson was known for The Choir Huddle. And that is among the many reasons we watch sports. There is always an opportunity to learn something new every time you flip on the television set.
- We love seeing the Bears reach out to the community:
- Don’t expect the NFL to punish Aaron Donald for swinging helmets at opposing players during a joint practice with the Bengals. It’s just out of the NFL’s jurisdiction:
- The Bills probably have some explaining to do in what could become an ugly situation:
- Me either, Ayo:
- ‘Twas a good night for Cubs prospects smashing dingers:
- When you watch the Blackhawks next year, they’ll look different — and in more ways than one: