Leatherwood's Journey, WR Help via Waivers, Ted Retires, Return of the MAC, and Other Bears Bullets

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Leatherwood’s Journey, WR Help via Waivers, Ted Retires, Return of the MAC, and Other Bears Bullets

Chicago Bears

It meant a lot to see so many reach out yesterday as we put my grandmother to rest. In lieu of flowers, donations to the Little Brothers Friends of the Elderly are appreciated. Also appreciated? Spending extra time with your children, grandchildren, parents, grandparents, and other family if you can this weekend. There is never a bad time to reach out.

With that out of the way, let’s talk some football.

  • When I say Patrick was EVERYWHERE in terms of Bears coverage yesterday, I mean it. And I can’t thank him enough for the pinch-hitting he did. For instance, the Bears’ finally made a waiver claim to add a receiver. Former Vikings wideout Ihmir Smith-Marsette joins Chicago’s football team. Considering how Velus Jones Jr., Byron Pringle, and N’Keal Harry (who landed on IR yesterday to make room for IMS) have been missing practice time due to their respective injuries, it’s nice just to have fresh blood in the receiver room. A fifth-round pick in 2021, Smith-Marsette also brings along experience in the return game. Double dipping can be as valuable to him (as he tries to hang on to a roster spot) as it is to a Bears team looking to plug so many different holes as the rebuild begins.
  • The new guy sure knows how to make it on a highlight package:
  • On the one hand, I don’t want to overstate the importance of a depth receiver to a rebuilding team. But on the other hand, what if Smith-Marsette can grow in this offense? It sure would be nice to see the Bears – long known for developing late-round picks into useful defenders – do it on the offensive side of the ball. And what if IMS can chip in on special teams as an ace returner? Perhaps that allows the Bears to do more creative things on offense with Velus Jones Jr. and Khalil Herbert because they won’t be preoccupied with special teams.
  • Elsewhere on offense, I’m still digging the addition of Alex Leatherwood to the offensive line. And I’m definitely into how Bears GM Ryan Poles is framing the situation:
  • This is 100 percent the best angle in all of this. It’s not just about a clean slate for Leatherwood either. His joining the Bears marks a better place for him to grow as a player. Expectations are low, as is the pressure. And, in Chicago, the environment seems to be a more player-friendly place. Hopefully, the competitive nature that was driving training camp will roll over into the regular season. Bonus points if it rubs off on Leatherwood.
  • Think about what was going on around Leatherwood during his rookie year. Jon Gruden was under fire and ultimately left his post as head coach. GM Mike Mayock wasn’t doing Gruden any favors. He, too, was shown the door. And now, Leatherwood arrives in Chicago — where his new general manager was an offensive lineman (so he should know what that proper development arc looks like). Sure, his head coach is a defensive-leaning former defensive coordinator. But with Luke Getsy (OC) and Chris Morgan (OL Coach) providing a new starting point, there is nowhere to go but up.
  • Or we can think of it as simply as the Bears just added a second first-round pick from the 2021 NFL Draft. Between Leatherwood, Justin Fields, and Teven Jenkins, I’d say the Bears did well in pulling some of that class’ most talented players. It is now up to this new coaching staff to make the most of this talent.
  • This really says so much about the heavy lifting Poles and company have had to do throughout the offseason:
  • Football is coming. And our obsessing over transactions and the roster churn will take a back seat to things happening between the lines:
  • A new-look secondary with #4 (Eddie Jackson), #9 (Jaquan Brisker), and #9 (Kyler Gordon) might look odd with single-digit players flying around. But the potential to be a game-breaking unit is there if they can all play to their potential.
  • When you watch the Bears this year, things will look different. And while there are some new uniform (and helmet) combos, that they’re not bringing back this look is a shame:
  • This post is for you if you want more on the Bears jersey combos they’ll wear during games this year.
  • Moving out of Soldier Field to Arlington Heights is going to make some fans feel some type of way. With that being said, I think we should have broader discussions about how it impacts all different types of fans. I’m looking forward to seeing what comes of any replies to this tweet:
  • I wonder what a new president will have to say about all of this. Guess we’ll find out in February 2023 when Ted Phillips’ retirement becomes officially official:
  • For your weekend listening pleasure:
  • Get well soon, Hub:
  • Return of the MAC:
  • Yikes:
  • Nothing worth anything has come easy. Even still … the Bulls have their work cut out for them in 2022:
  • I haven’t played fantasy hockey in years. Maybe that’ll change this year?
  • Ugh. Not these guys again:

Author: Luis Medina

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