It has been 19 years since I’ve watched a high school football game that I wasn’t assigned to cover. Coincidentally (?), today also marks the first time I’ll have returned to my high school stomping grounds in 19 years. It is Fritz Pollard Day at Lane Tech in Chicago, where Lane’s football stadium will be dedicated in his honor.
If that name is familiar to you as a football fan, it’s because Pollard was the NFL’s first Black head coach. Pollard attended Lane Tech and later attended Brown University. I don’t remember leaning much about Pollard in high school, but have since learned so much in the years since I’ve graduated. And I think it’s pretty neat that an iconic figure attended school at the same place I did.
Onward with Bullets, as I have high school football pre-gamin’ things to attend to later this morning.
- I needed this thread from The Athletic’s Nate Tice dissecting Justin Fields like you wouldn’t believe:
- Two clips is all it takes to remember Fields has the tools of a successful quarterback. One you can win because of — not just one you win with or in spite of having on your roster. It is important to keep this stuff in might as he remains in a developmental stage in his career. This isn’t to say he can’t be better. Fields *NEEDS* to show improvements soon. That we’re three games into his second season and he is looking worse under the new regime than he did while working with the one before is disheartening. But it doesn’t mean things can’t turn around. They can … especially if he makes more of the throws above.
- This exchange that I think nails the essence of the thing:
- To borrow a hashtag from Brett, I am #NotAScout. HOWEVA, my eyes have been seeing Fields as someone who is trying too hard to fit into a box. There are too many times where he looks robotic, which is a shame because athleticism and fluidity is his game. Tice nails it when he tweets Fields “seems like he’s trying to be too perfect on each play, like he’s going through a checklist every time in the pocket.” It’s a perfect description. Somewhere in my notes app from last week’s game, I typed: “Looks like Fields is doing the quarterbacking equivalent of mouthing “righty-tighty, lefty-loosy” while working with a wrench when he drops straight back instead of just doing it … and it is costing him in so many areas.”
- Good quarterbacks don’t come from cookie cutters. And the best ones are allowed to be themselves while playing within the confines of a successful offense. Offensive Coordinator Luke Getsy needs to coach that out of him immediately. Otherwise, it won’t be long until we start looking into the 2023 NFL Draft class of quarterbacks.
- It looks like we’re getting “Bear Weather” in New Jersey tomorrow:
- Good thing the Bears can run it. I’d be worried if they couldn’t.
- OK, so David Montgomery (ankle/knee) won’t play. It’s fine, the Bears still have Khalil Herbert — who is garnering must-start status in the fantasy football community:
- ESPN’s Week 4 projections have Herbert going for 16 carries, 74 rushing yards, and 1 touchdown. Seems light after last week’s performance, but the Giants are allowing an average of 5.6 yards per carry to running backs this year. And if Herbert, who is averaging 7.3 yards per rush, can get it going, that NY “D” is going to be taking it on the chin.
- With Montgomery out, look for Darrynton Evans to get a promotion from the practice squad onto the active roster. Evans was an offseason waiver claim who didn’t make the season-opening roster, but has been hanging around with the practice squad. I hope the Bears don’t need to get down to RB4 on the depth chart, but teams can do worse than a player like Evans who’s got some juice in his game.
- Speaking of the practice squad, let’s keep an eye on if any kickers make their way onto the roster. A personal issue has kept Cairo Santos from practicing the last two days, making his status for Sunday’s showdown against the Giants questionable. The Bears brought in three kickers for tryouts on Friday, which feels like a sign that there is a realistic possibility that Santos might not be able to give it a go. Presumably one of those kickers will land on the practice squad with the potential to be flexed onto the roster if Santos can’t make it. Hopefully, all is well with Santos and we don’t have to go down that road. But also? Maybe the Bears should’ve already had an emergency kicker on hand.
- Something for the ride to and from your Saturday errands: Bill Zimmerman’s Bears Banter podcast features Marc Silverman, the ESPN radio personality, co-host of the Waddle and Silvy Show, and a great Saluki.
- I love that Kyle Long has a good memory from this season. That guy deserved to block in more games like this one:
- It should’ve already been doing so in the first place, but the NFL needs to proceed with caution when it comes to handling Tua Tagovailoa’s situation as this thing moves along:
- A painful stat I unearthed while watching this last night is that the Bears have had 25 different starting quarterbacks since 2001 — the last time the Mariners made the playoffs. But if you’re going to make the postseason, you might as well do it on the back of a ballplayer nicknamed Big Dumper:
- Don’t forget about morning football tomorrow:
- MACtion on NFL Network today? Wild:
- Enjoy Friday night (high)lights out in the Pac-12 while the Pac-12 is still a thing:
- Arch Manning has bragging rights at the next family get together after breaking his uncles Peyton and Eli’s high school passing records. Arch, the son of Cooper Manning, has committed to the University of Texas. (ESPN)
- This is fun to think about:
- As it turns out, the Cubs won’t be the only team seeking help in the free agent market this offseason: