The Race to Pick 2nd, Harbaugh Turns the Tables, Wally Pipp in Football Cleats, Who Does No. 2 Work For? And Other Bears Bullets

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The Race to Pick 2nd, Harbaugh Turns the Tables, Wally Pipp in Football Cleats, Who Does No. 2 Work For? And Other Bears Bullets

Chicago Bears

Am I still sick? Yes. Is it stopping me from showing up today for you? Nope.

There’s no rest for the weary. Let’s roll into Bullets.

  • If you’re a Bears fan who sees a 3-8 record, a second consecutive season with double-digit losses on the horizon, and feels like there is no end in sight to the spiral … just know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. And you need look no further than former Bears quarterback Jim Harbaugh, who has coached his Michigan alma mater to consecutive wins against Ohio State:
  • Saturday’s triumph on the road was an eye-opener. Not just for the Wolverines and Buckeyes, but also for Bears fans. Follow me for a moment. Ohio State had been dominant over Michigan until the last two seasons. Even after last year’s Wolverines win, the Buckeyes hadn’t lost at home in The Game since 2000. I was a freshman in high school at the time. Dick Jauron was the Bears’ head coach. Cade McNown, Shane Matthews, and Jim Miller were throwing passes in a Gary Crowton offense. Brian Urlacher was a rookie. It was THAT long ago. The point is that tough times don’t stay forever (even if it feels like they do). And if you’re looking for a practical example of how things can turn around if you ride out the rough waves, then seeing how Michigan has turned the tables on Ohio State is what you’re looking for right now.
  • Or, perhaps, if you’re looking for something more local, maybe Papa Bear Halas’ Fighting Illini is the example that is more in your wheelhouse. The Illini were 5-7 in Bret Bielma’s first year as head coach in 2021 before flipping the script this year with an 8-4 record that had the team a Purdue meltdown against Indiana away from winning the Big Ten’s West. It wasn’t pretty, but Illinois plays quintessential Big Ten football predicated on a strong rushing attack and a solid defense. No matter what fairytales you’ve read about any worst-to-first stories, no rebuilds are easy. But when you put your head down to work at it, good things will come. Patience is necessary to make it through to the other side, but it can be rewarded in the sweetest of ways.
  • So … am I bummed that Bears quarterback Justin Fields isn’t expected to play today? Yes. But do I see the bigger picture? Absolutely. It’s hard to see the forest through the trees sometimes. But that juice is more likely to be worth the squeeze when a healthy Fields is leading the way.
  • During NFL Network’s morning coverage, reporter Mike Garafolo said the Bears offense will look more “traditional” today. Which, to me, has me worried to bits because I know what the Bears offense traditionally looks like. And it ain’t pretty.
  • Hey, now! The Jets are starting a relatively inexperienced quarterback when they kick off festivities at noon. And Bears Defensive Coordinator Alan Williams has a unique comparison for the Mike White situation, via Larry Mayer of the Bears’ official website:

“If you have ever heard of Wally Pipp (former Yankees first baseman who famously was replaced by Lou Gehrig), when you go next-man-up, sometimes don’t sleep on the guy that may have been in waiting. So we will attack it. We will prepare just like he has been the starter all along. We’ll go back and do our due diligence with past performances, past games and make sure that we have our guys prepared.”

  • Now, I’m no big-city baseball insider. But I feel as if replacing Wally Pipp is a much taller task than taking Zach Wilson’s job. Even with that being said, I understand where Williams is coming from in that White is still a professional quarterback. Heck, showing one iota of professionalism probably has him a notch above Wilson’s status in the eyes of Jets fans.
  • Here is a snap shot of what is on the line for the Bears today:
  • Last week, we explored how valuable the No. 2 pick could be for the Bears in terms of talent they could draft *AND* what they could demand in a trade. You should give it a read.
  • Joe Tansey (Bleacher Report) has a Bears fan rooting guide for a best-case scenario when it comes to Chicago’s football team maximizing its draft positioning. It starts with a Bears loss (obvi), but also includes a Panthers win (vs. Broncos), Texans upset victory (vs. Dolphins), and Raiders triumph (vs. Seahawks). None of those seems all that likely, although the Bears are 7-point underdogs at some sports books after starting the week as just -1.5 point underdogs against the Jets.
  • The Athletic’s Kevin Fishbain points out the Bears are trying to buck some history:
  • If I was Trevor Siemian, I’d wear some extra padding (just in case):
  • Part of me wishes the Bears had a developmental quarterback they could throw out to get some reps today. But with needs at so many other positions, there’s no need to burn a roster spot on a QB3. Maybe that’s something GM Ryan Poles addresses that position in the future.
  • This serves as a nice reminder that the right running back class could yield bonkers returns:
  • And let the record show that the list above does NOT include Tarik Cohen. You remember Cohen, right? A fourth-round pick by the Bears in 2017, Cohen had a break-through rookie season gaining 1,570 all-purpose yards (10th most among NFLers that year) in a year in which he scored rushing, receiving, passing, and punt return touchdowns. As a second-year pro, Cohen racked up 1,599 all-purpose yards en route to earning first-team All-Pro honors as a return specialist. It’s a shame a gruesome knee injury in Year 4 of his pro career knocked him out for most of the 2020 season, the entire 2021 campaign, and was a deciding factor in the Bears cutting him last spring. It’s a shame. Because not only was Cohen a fun, dynamic back — he would’ve fit great in Offensive Coordinator Luke Getsy’s scheme.
  • What a thread:
  • David Shaw, the long-time Stanford coach who was often a candidate NFL teams were rumored to consider, has resigned from his post. The Cardinal have gone 14-28 since 2019, but Shaw still steps away as the school’s winningest head coach with 96 wins. (ESPN)
  • Sean Taylor was the most dynamic safety I’d ever seen. He was taken from us too soon:
  • Deshaun Watson’s suspension is soon coming to an end:
  • Come on, MLB teams. Do SOMETHING!

Author: Luis Medina

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