Football Returns! Baldy Says Don't Sleep, Dr. Belichick, Arlington Meeting, BoJack Invests, Eberflus Effect, and Other Bears Bullets

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Football Returns! Baldy Says Don’t Sleep, Dr. Belichick, Arlington Meeting, BoJack Invests, Eberflus Effect, and Other Bears Bullets

Chicago Bears

After a 202-day layoff, football games that count for something in the standings begin TODAY:

Are you ready for some football?

  • While millions of eyes are set to tune in to Thursday’s NFL premier, I’m angling to be at the Chicago Bears Community Meeting in Arlington Heights. I say angling because part of me is convinced it’s going to be a madhouse free-for-all. But I’m mentally preparing myself for it. Anyway, the meeting is set to start at 7 p.m. at John Hersey High School’s gymnasium. This is being framed as “an informational community meeting to discuss the potential purchase and possible development of Arlington Park.” We already began seeing renderings earlier in the week, and I’m looking forward to seeing how much the Bears can (and will) expand on what we’ve already been given. More on the Arlington project from the Bears here.
  • No, I haven’t picked a place just yet. But your suggestions to this point have been solid (based on my research). Keep ’em coming:
  • When it comes to on-the-field matters, the Bears are just 3 days away from kicking off their regular season with a game against the 49ers. Yippee!
  • And for what it’s worth, Cairo Santos approves of the Bears’ grass swap at their current residence. Santos says of the old surface (in the Sun-Times): “The other one, the grass got ripped out too easily. It just became a sandy field that they spray-painted green.” I audibly laughed reading this line.
  • Meanwhile, Head Coach Matt Eberflus — who was a driving force behind getting new turf at Soldier Field for Week 1 — thinks it’ll give the Bears a competitive advantage. “We think it’s going to be a fast surface,” Eberflus said, via 670 The Score’s Chris Emma. “Which lends to help us out … We want a fast team.”
  • It is absolutely wild that the Bears have had turf issues FOR DECADES, and that all it took to straighten it out was Eberflus (just eight months on the job) saying “This ain’t it!” for Soldier Field to get its act together. Why didn’t Dave Wannstedt, Dick Jauron, Lovie Smith, Marc Trestman, John Fox, or Matt Nagy think of this? I mean, I can understand why Trestman didn’t think of it because I’m convinced his mind looked like this when it was put into action …

… but I can’t understand why the others didn’t think of it!

  • While Simpsons references are fresh on my mind, we gotta stop paying attention to the Dominque Foxworth types who say the most absurd things to get clicks and social engagements. Once upon a time, there were consequences for speaking out of pocket. But now, that stuff is being rewarded. It shouldn’t. Instead, we should give it the Paul Anka treatment:

Guarantee void in Tennessee!

  • At minimum, this should be our reply every time something ridiculous is said:
  • On the one hand, I wish the Bears’ offensive line was set in stone. But on the other hand, I like the process the team went about this summer in trying to figure out what combination of five players represents the best it could put out there for Week 1. Teven Jenkins should be part of that mix in one way or another. Like Jacob Infante, I am also excited to see what Jenkins can do (should he be given a full slate of snaps at right guard):
  • I wonder if there is a happy medium in which Lucas Patrick plays, but Jenkins also gets a fair share of snaps. Perhaps this coaching staff would re-visit a process its predecessors used in developing James Daniels in an attempt to slow-play Jenkins’ development. If you’ll recall, Daniels was in a time-share with Eric Kush at the start of the 2018 season. Daniels, a second-round pick who had spent time at guard and center collegiately, wasn’t in the starting lineup. But starting in Week 4, he began getting a growing number of snaps with each week. And by Week 7, he was a starter getting a full share of the snaps at left guard. Maybe the Bears can do this with Jenkins playing Daniels’ role and Lucas Patrick reprising the role of veteran placeholder for the youngster with upside.
  • Even if the Bears went down that path, I still think the best five for this line right now (from left to right) is Braxton Jones, Cody Whitehair, Patrick (at center), Jenkins (at right guard), and Larry Borom. Maybe down the line we’ll see Alex Leatherwood play himself into consideration. But we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it.
  • In the meantime, we’re bracing for Sam Mustipher’s return to the starting lineup — especially with Justin Fields telling reporters (h/t ESPN’s Courtney Cronin) that he has yet to take a snap from Patrick this week. I’m not sure how a lineman’s hand is healthy enough to grasp an oncoming defender boring in at full speed and strength but not healthy enough to snap. But if Patrick isn’t healthy enough to snap, maybe he should sit until he is ready to be a full participant in that regard.
  • There is something about Brian Baldinger’s straight-forward analysis that keeps me coming back for more:
  • Say what you want about Eddie Jackson, but he is a real one:
  • Bill Belichick is undoubtedly the greatest NFL coach in league history. But it feels as if this offseason turned him into a mad scientist. This post from WEEI’s Khari Thompson has me curious as to what Emperor Palpatine Belichick is cooking. From the article:

“Right now, I feel like I’m watching Bill Belichick pouring ingredients into a solution, swirling them around and waiting to see if it blows up in his face.

He’s been tinkering to find a championship football formula for almost 30 years as a head coach, and he’s done it more often than any coach in NFL history. (Of course, it helps when you get to use the full-fledged GOAT protocol for a few of them.)

The challenge: every single season is different. The experiment is never perfectly repeatable year from year to year, even when said GOAT was involved. Now, with limited funding at his disposal and a less-than-elite set of ingredients, he’s going off-script and trying things most sane people wouldn’t.

He’s not most people, after all. He’s Bill Belichick, M.F.S. (Mad Football Scientist).”

  • But at least we’re getting some clarity. And I suppose it is good news that Lonzo Ball is in Chicago getting evaluated. Maybe the proximity is a sign that more good news is on the horizon.
  • Wait … WHAT!?
  • News from the health front: I received my COVID booster shot yesterday. And I feel good today. Moreover, I didn’t have any issues yesterday. All in all, that’s a whole bunch of good news for yours truly. I find myself sharing this today because I’ve shared the good and bad from my health since we’ve entered COVID times. And while the NFL has lifted COVID-inspired restrictions, the coronavirus lingers. The folks at WGN News have details on how you can get the boosters. Here’s to good health on (and off) the field in 2022 (and beyond).

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Author: Luis Medina

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