Claypool's Hardware, Disgruntled Cooks, Lame Lions D, NFL's Injury Bug, and Other Bears Bullets

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Claypool’s Hardware, Disgruntled Cooks, Lame Lions D, NFL’s Injury Bug, and Other Bears Bullets

Chicago Bears

I joined some friends for tavern trivia on Thursday, and we won a $50 gift card. We won by the most narrow of margins, too. And that makes me think my knowing that Carmelo Anthony was the first college player selected in LeBron James’ draft class was the game-winner for us.

  • Has any offense seen more in-season growth than the Bears? Better yet, have you ever seen a Bears team make more in-season strides than this one? I’m struggling to find an equivalent. Brian Baldinger’s breakdown has me feeling better about this franchise’s direction:
  • And they haven’t even released the kraken Claypool yet.
  • If you’re still upset about the price the Bears paid to acquire Chase Claypool still bugs you, perhaps allow the Texans’ request for a return in a potential Brandin Cooks trade to serve as some perspective:
  • The Texans remain a mess after disgruntled receiver Brandin Cooks sat out the team’s loss on Thursday Night Football because of course. Don’t get it twisted. Cooks is a solid receiver. But the Claypool deal looks wayyyy better than what the Cooks deal would’ve been looking like. Plus, Claypool is a good 5+ years younger than Cooks. Claypool still has prime athletic years left. And starting on Sunday, he’ll begin playing some of them while catching passes from Justin Fields.
  • Claypool is already collecting hardware in Chicago:
  • How about that Matt Eberflus cameo!?
  • I got a kick out of Bears OC Luke Getsy playing coy regarding Chicago swiping Claypool out from under the Packers. “What, they were trying to get him? That’s how in the dark I am,” Getsy said, via 670 The Score’s Chris Emma. “You just enlightened me. So, I had no idea.” lulz
  • More from Getsy:
  • Hearing Getsy frame it this way is interesting. That Washington game was frustrating as heck, but it might turn out to be a turning point game for this regime. It was easy to lose sight of it in the moment, but the Bears moved the ball relatively well (391 total yards) and had three red zone trips. None of their red zone journeys ended with points by a touchdown. But that they were matriculating the rock and getting into a scoring area should’ve been seen as a sign of progress. Since that game, the Bears have had touchdown-scoring drives on 6 of 10 red zone trips. Hey, it’s a start!
  • The Bears get to see this team in two Sundays:
  • Imagine being the NFL’s worst defense *BEFORE* the Bears can unleash an offense fueled by Fields, Claypool, Darnell Mooney, and a top-tier rushing attack. Good luck dealing with that!
  • Holy smokes, did you folks catch the barrage of high-profile injury updates that came through on Thursday? One day after practicing with limitations, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports Titans QB Ryan Tannehill didn’t practice on Thursday — an evident setback for Tennessee’s starter. Ravens receiver Rashod Bateman is undergoing season-ending Lisfranc surgery, reports NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport. Colts running back Jonathan Taylor was held out of practice again (Schefty), further cementing what looks to be the most disappointing season for a player unanimously chosen first overall in fantasy drafts. And then there was Michael Thomas, the Saints receiver whose latest injury update lands him on IR once again per ESPN’s reporting. Thomas, a star when healthy, has fallen on hard times with his injury luck:
  • If ever there was a time to bang the desk and preach about the value of depth, this is it. To be fair, I understand that this isn’t a conversation many want to have when the Bears are 3-5 and are trying to build their way out of their current situation. However, building usable depth throughout the roster is something I hope GM Ryan Poles takes to heart. There were certain areas in which former GM Ryan Pace was good at creating positional depth. Unfortunately, it wasn’t at enough impact positions to make a lasting difference. Ideally, Poles and his front office learns from the mistakes of past regimes, sees what is happening around the league, and goes about adding quality depth in the years to come.
  • If you felt an unexpected breeze, it might have been a sigh of relief from Bears fans after reading the Sun-Times’ latest on the Bears’ move up the dial to ESPN 1000 in which it is reported that it is “everyone’s intention” at the new network that play by play voice Jeff Joniak and color analyst Tom Thayer will remain on the broadcast. There probably needs to be some threading of needles, crossing of T’s, dotting of I’s, and ink drying at the end of it all before it becomes official. But it sounds like the crew you know and love will be back in the booth next year. Joniak and Thayer are in our ears every Sunday. So, yeah, this is a hire you absolutely have to nail (if you decide to go outside of the building). Or you can run it back with a team your fans know and love. No pressure, gang.
  • R.I.P. to a football legend:
  • I’ll still hold out that we’ll get more representation when it comes to special teams contributors going to the Hall of Fame in the years to come. Perhaps Bears return ace Devin Hester will get his time in the spotlight next August. Remember, there’s a belief that Hester’s time will come sooner rather than later.
  • Speaking of Hester, he is celebrating a birthday today:
  • The best there is, the best there was, and the best there ever will be. Hester should’ve been in on the first ballot. But there will be some nice symmetry when No. 23 is part of the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Class of ’23.
  • Michael sent me this clip this morning, which is Exhibit A as to why Tyreek Hill must be accounted for at all times this Sunday:
  • An important piece of football writing:
  • Ooh, I like fun:

Author: Luis Medina

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