This is a work of art:
And it has me geared up for football. Is it Sunday yet?
- I’m not going to take up too much time acknowledging the bad gambling beat that came on a pitchy-pitchy woo-woo attempt by Mitchell Trubisky and the Steelers at the end of Thursday Night Football. But I suppose this is a good time to remind folks that if they are gambling, please do so responsibly. It’s an entertainment game, so don’t go overboard.
- Thursday Night Football featuring the Browns and Steelers had a whole bunch of names we’ve spilled plenty of ink over in recent years. And it goes beyond Trubisky. For instance, Amari Cooper was one of the many receivers we saw as a feasible fit for a building Bears offense. The idea of teaming Cooper with Darnell Mooney and taking some of the pressure off the rising third-year receiver who was coming off his first 1,000-yard season felt sensible. Especially at the price of a fifth-round pick and a swap of future sixths. It was a missed opportunity that flashed in my mind when Cooper scored the game’s first touchdown and finished with a 7-catch, 101-yard night.
- To be clear, Cooper’s presence in Chicago doesn’t make the Bears offense the Greatest Show on Turf overnight. But when defenses are blanketing Mooney, and Cole Kmet has more drops than catches, the lack of talent and upside elsewhere really shows itself.
- And, yes, I understand that Cooper, 28, might not fit the perceived long-term competitive window. But I can’t co-sign the idea of waiting for “the right time” to bring in talent. Go get it when it’s available, then figure the rest out later. Otherwise, you might get to your window and the talent you thought would be there might not be there. We’ve already seen it with receiver extensions in the offseason keeping what would’ve been future free agents testing the market.
- Yes, I realize it’s late in the week to tweak the game plan. But I would like to see Luke Getsy implement this into his scheme this week (or sometime soon):
- I think Justin Fields can make that throw. And I believe Mooney can run that route. Just need the pieces to fall into place.
- Nah, I’m not going to be the only one marveling at this George Pickens catch and dreaming on what could’ve been:
- Also? Nice throw, Mitchell!
- Remember when off-field issues put a scare into teams that might’ve otherwise had an interest in drafting Pickens? Ahhh, memories. NFL subterfuge is unlike anything else I’ve ever seen in sports.
- Even though I still like Kyler Gordon and Jaquan Brisker as prospects, I wholly understand where people are coming from when they say they were wanting at least one of those second-round picks to be put to use on a receiver. Especially when Pickens makes a highlight grab like that one. It probably isn’t much consolation at this point, but the way things are trending suggest the Bears can find a receiver like that in the second round of the 2023 NFL Draft. With as many college receiver prospects as there are climbing up draft boards, it isn’t inconceivable to think high-quality pass-catching talent can slip into Day 2. Heck, look at the Steelers with their trio of Pickens (Rd 2, Pk 52 in 2022), Chase Claypool (R2, Pk 49 in 2020), and Diontae Johnson (who I hoped would hit free agency) (Rd 3, Pk 66 in 2019).
- The Bears can rebuild their receivers room without going over the moon in spending at the big table in free agency or over-drafting in the first round. But what our major takeaway should be from all of this is that they should pull from every bucket as they go about rounding out the room.
- Johnson had a rough night with a case of the dropsies. But it sure seems like there’s a lotta stuff happening there in Pittsburgh:
- Mike Tomlin’s record speaks for itself. And he’s earned the benefit of the doubt. But I have questions about his QB plan for 2022.
- The Larry Ogunjobi sighting had me rolling:
- Ogunjobi wasn’t someone on our offseason radar, but turned out to be a main character in the offseason (which isn’t great, especially when considering how the Ogunjobi mess might’ve caused the Bears to miss out on other players). Nevertheless, the new Bears regime liked him enough to ink him to a sizable free agent contract (that would ultimately be voided due to a failed physical). Whoopsiedoodle.
- Ogunjobi would go on to sign a one-year “prove it” deal with Pittsburgh later in the offseason, which is the type of deal I’d have preferred the Bears sign when piecing together the defense of a rebuilding team. Although, I’ll say this: After seeing how the Packers were gashing the Bears on the ground last week, I further understand the importance of a 3-technique defensive tackle in this scheme.
- Bears radio analyst Tom Thayer *REALLY* drives home the importance and value of what a good 3-technique DT does for this style of defense:
- “See! We really need this,” – Ryan Poles after watching this breakdown (probably).
- Even with the needs along the interior being what they are, I like what the Bears are doing on the outside — particularly with Trevis Gipson. And I’d like it more if Gipson was out-snapping Al-Quadin Muhammad:
- Mark Potash (Sun-Times) writes about Gipson picking up where he left off in 2021, a season in which he filled in more than admirably for Khalil Mack. Rushing opposite of Robert Quinn has its perks. And Gipson has shown he knows how to cash ’em in.
- Free agency spending be damned. The eye test and the numbers match up, which means Gipson should be playing more than Muhammad. This isn’t to say Muhammad should be benched post haste. But playing time should be earned, not given. And to this point of the year, Gipson is earning it based on his play.
- This is a deep pull and a good read with Lovie Smith making another return to Chicago:
- Are pumpkin spice lattes actually good? Or is this just something people think are good because influencers say they’re good?
- Perhaps Marcus Stroman is onto something:
- “Clouded, the future is,” as Grandmaster Yoda might say.
- I like where this is going:
- OH EM GEE:
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