What's Behind Fields' Magic? Line Growth, Lovie's Cowardly Punt, and Other Bears Bullets

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What’s Behind Fields’ Magic? Line Growth, Lovie’s Cowardly Punt, and Other Bears Bullets

Chicago Bears

Happy Hump Day! I’m going to fight the urge to eat out today and instead make something at home for lunch. Maybe I’ll be open to do some outdoor dining for dinner. I just know there won’t be too many of these nice days in store in our future for too much longer.

  • I am still marveling at the Justin Fields Houdini act the preceded his 51-yard touchdown throw to Dante Pettis. And Dave Wannstedt’s look behind the magic that went into finding an open Pettis is a real treat:
  • Look … Wannstedt wasn’t a successful Bears coach. Save for making the playoffs in 1994 with a 9-7 mark, the years from 1993-98 were pretty lean. But hey, that breakdown tracks with what Darnell Mooney was telling us during training camp about this coaching staff’s emphasis on practicing scramble drills (something the previous staff apparently didn’t work on). And it also represents another example of something that makes Fields special. Plays like this allow us to dream on the tremendous upside and potential.
  • For so many other quarterbacks in the league, this play is a throw-away out of bounds and a trip onto the field by the punt team. For some, it is a check down to that open player underneath. But for someone with Fields’ athletic gifts and football instincts, this play is a literal game-changer. Last year, Fields probably checks down, throws it away — or worse, gets sacked, risks a fumble, and all hell breaks loose. But this might’ve been our first datapoint showing Year 1 to Year 2 growth from QB1. Don’t you just love to see it?
  • The Bears were surprisingly good in the trenches on Sunday. And they’ll need to continue on that path to have more success in Week 2. Both on the offensive side of the ball, where the right side of the line exceeded expectations with its play:
  • The most important aspect when it comes to growth is self-assessment. Which is why I find this quote from left tackle Braxton Jones breaking down what it was like to give up an early sack to Nick Bosa, then explaining what he did to bounce back is so encouraging. Via the Tribune’s Brad Biggs:

“It was a very normal rush for Nick Bosa, I would say,” Jones said. “It was a very bad rep on my part. I felt like I was a little bit late, whereas he was right on time. It was a bad set. I let him get in my west and it was kind of over from there. The biggest thing on that, the thing I took to heart, was don’t let one turn into two or three. Just come back and keep on grinding. … It was just bad technique. That’s not on me. Coach told me to just go out there and trust your training. That’s what I started to do. Still a lot to clean up, but I was getting a good feel on it.”

  • My favorite anecdote in that Biggs piece is that Jones actually looked at the video board after the play to confirm his feelings on what went wrong on the play. Another win for technology an instant replay!
  • The offensive line is still a work in progress. But the youth along the line provides ample room for growth. They won’t all look great, but potential remains.
  • On the defensive side of things. I’m loving SO MUCH about rookie pass-rusher Dominique Robinson:
  • The Sun-Times (Jason Lieser) and NBC SPorts Bay Area (Angelina Martin) share the unhinged rants of former Bears and Niners coach Mike Martz, who’s got some hot takes about both Justin Fields and Trey Lance. I don’t want to regurgitate them here, although, I did want to bring them up for conversation — if only to acknowledge that, yes, I have seen Martz’s whacked out commentary. But in the end, I’m at a point where we should probably stop giving Martz the attention he desperately craves. Martz was a great play-caller for his time, but he was out of touch with where football was going when he was the Bears’ OC. And he’s not much better now. I’ll always find a cursory interest in what old heads have to say. But when they pop off like Martz did, it does nothing to help advance football conversation.
  • Winning in Week 1 is better than the alternative. Additionally, it means history is on our side:
  • Maybe it’s just our appreciation of nature, but I’m glad I’m not alone in enjoying the visuals of a rain-drenched Bears win. From Cam Ellis’ column at 670 The Score: “It was fun. And roughly 95% of the immaculate postgame vibes were solely because the Bears, you know, won – but still, Sunday’s soaker was fun. There’s going to be a time in the not-too-distant future in which every Bears game is played in wonderful, climate-controlled environments, and that’s fine. (I mean personally I don’t think it’s fine, but whatever. I fought. I lost. Now I rest.) Soon all those people who wear shorts way too late into the year to prove a point will finally have a home. C’est la vie. It’s a meathead take, but it’s my meathead take: I’ll miss bad-weather games.”
  • Because you care: Sunday’s forecast in Green Bay calls for a 40% chance of rain. Someone remind me to buy a poncho before I leave city limits on Sunday morning!
  • An important grass update:
  • I’ll let you decide what’s worse — the punt…

“There’s a lot of football left to go in the season. It’s kind of as simple as that,” Smith said of his decision, via the Houston Chronicle. I felt a tie was better than a potential loss. Defensively, we weren’t really stopping them an awful lot at the end.”

  • In either case, Lovie Smith came through with one of the most cowardly punts of all time. At home. In Week 1. During overtime. Imagine quaking at the thought of losing a game that you decide tying is better than possibly winning. Wouldn’t be me. Don’t get it twisted. I’ve got nothing but love for what Lovie Smith did while he was head coach of the Bears. To this point, he has been the franchise’s best head-coach hire since Mike Ditka. However, I’m glad he is no longer a Bears coach.
  • I’m looking forward to giving this a listen:
  • The Browns dropping a midfield logo is pretty neat:
  • And it’s got some Bears fans thinking:
  • The old school bear on a football logo is one of my favorites. And while I’m not totally sure it’ll vibe at midfield, the Bears should find more ways to incorporate it into hats, gear, and anywhere else.
  • Oof! This isn’t going to go over well for Brett Favre:
  • Ayo Dosunmu is built different:
  • Aaron Judge dinger watch is getting FUN:
  • Hello … what do we have here?


Author: Luis Medina

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