Bears, Cubs, and Sox Parallels, Fixing the D Through the Draft, 90s Nostalgia Gone Wrong, and Other Bears Bullets

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Bears, Cubs, and Sox Parallels, Fixing the D Through the Draft, 90s Nostalgia Gone Wrong, and Other Bears Bullets

Chicago Bears

Today is one of my favorite days of the year. It is the day I leave the house to eat something that isn’t leftover Thanksgiving grub. Don’t get me wrong. We absolutely dominated Turkey Day cooking. Fried turkey, mac-and-cheese, honey-baked ham, rolls, cheesecake, the works … but I always hit my wit’s end and can do no more after 4+ days of leftovers.

The only thing left to decide is what I’ll get. So many options…

  • You probably weren’t expecting a baseball share post at the top of Bears Bullets. But some of Brett’s thoughts remind me of conversations we were having regarding how the Bears were addressing offensive line and receiver issues this past offseason because time is a flat circle:
  • At some point, the front office will spend on a contract that will look like an overpay. In fact, they will overpay because that’s what happens in free agency. And that is what winning teams do to push their squads over the top. They’ll sign some deals that make folks squirm. Because that’s just what happens in the open market. But they’ll also miss on some players, too. That, also, happens in the open market. There will be many paths toward improving this team. So I suppose I can use this José Abreu situation as a reminder to not get hung up if your favorite target doesn’t land immediately land in Chicago when free agency opens its doors. And let’s not forget about the NFL Draft. Too many people get too bent out of shape due to holes not being filled in free agency when a whole other acquisition process exists a month later. The timetables for getting things done are different, but as is the case in baseball, the football player acquisition process is an onion with many layers to peel.
  • I’m chuckling to myself December is just two sleeps away and I’m already bracing myself for what will happen in March. And when you’re the Bears and you have $125 million+ in wiggle room under the cap and the No. 2 overall pick in your sights, it’s easy to peek ahead to the future. And I’m looking forward to these conversations in a football space this spring.
  • Well, at least the Bears have *THIS* going for them:
  • The Bears are sitting pretty in that No. 2 spot. Can I interest you in Will Anderson? We were discussing yesterday how Alabama’s star pass-rusher might be the NFL Draft’s best non-QB prospect. He could be in play for the Bears, and we know this defense could use a game-wrecker at the position. Or anywhere along the defensive line for that matter.
  • There are some fun trade-back options that appear to be lining up for GM Ryan Poles. If things stay like they are through the end of the regular season, I can see teams like the Seahawks, Panthers, and Raiders wanting to leap-frog the Lions to get to QB2 (whether it happens to be Bryce Young or C.J. Stroud. Maybe some team falls in love with Will Levis and offers Poles the moon to make sure the Lions don’t get him. Hey, whatever it takes.
  • How about the Colts as a fun, down-the-draft-order trade option to maybe consider? GM Chris Ballard worked with Poles while both were with the Kansas City Chiefs. Owner Jim Irsay is a rogue wild-card who probably wouldn’t shy away from pushing his GM toward making some sort of bombastic trade offer. Falling back from No. 2 to No. 13 would be a steep drop that would obviously include multiple first-round picks. But what if throwing in 3-technique defensive tackle DeForest Buckner as a sweetener to help bridge that gap? I’m just saying that Poles and the Bears should be open to any and all possibilities. Even ones that are as far-fetched as your imagination can get.
  • Heck, maybe that’s not all that far-fetched. Remember that Dolphins-Niners trade ahead of the 2021 NFL Draft? The one where the 49ers sent the No. 12 overall pick, a third-rounder, and first-rounders in 2022 and 2023 to the Dolphins for the No. 3 overall pick. Tack on the price of inflation, and it isn’t a stretch to think it would take that (and a little more) for a team to move up from No. 13 to No. 2. So keep that in your back pockets for a rainy day.
  • Last night, I found myself wondering when the NFL would start flexing Monday Night Football games. Sorry not sorry: I had minimal interest in a game featuring teams starting the shell of Matt Ryan and Kenny “3 TD, 8 INT, and a 73.5 passer rating” Pickett. And it turns out that ESPN’s MNF package will feature flex scheduling starting in 2023. It turns out all I had to do was dig into the BN archives for that nugget. Whew.
  • On the one hand, I think Dave Wannstedt is making valid points when it comes to coaching up an undermanned defense:
  • But on the other hand, we do not need to get Coach Wannstedt up to Halas Hall. For anything. We did that already. From 1993-98, Wannstedt was the Bears’ head coach. He went 40-56 during his six-year stint after replacing Mike Ditka. He had two winning seasons and was a coach for two playoff games. Wannstedt has carved out a nice role as a former head coach turned analyst who has great stories to tell from his days as the sidekick to Hall of Fame Head Coach Jimmy Johnson. There is no shame in that. But we don’t need to re-visit Bears coaches of that era.
  • Look … I love 90s nostalgia more than most. I watch classic Simpsons like I’m never going to see these episodes again. Yours truly just went through a Power Rangers binge after the Green Ranger passed away last week. Classic tracks by Biggie, Pac, Snoop, Wu-Tang, Jay-Z, Nas, etc. stay in my rotation. The Girlfriend and I were just binging the best 90s one-hit wonders while I was sick in bed. But let the past be the past.
  • I know the offensive line needs are big, but there is a major argument to be made for using the draft to fix the defense:
  • Alyssa Barbieri (Bears Wire) goes through a list of the Bears’ 10 worst defensive players, per PFF’s grading. And, as you might expect, it is not for the faint of heart.
  • Big yikes:
  • An idea: Leverage your ample cap space to entice solid, established NFL free agents to bolster that side of the ball and provide immediate help to Justin Fields. And then, you can use the draft picks to give the defensive-leaning head coach players to build that side of the ball. It’s crazy enough to work, right?
  • Duh:
  • This is undeniably good:
  • The Bulls won in Utah last night! C’mon, now. It’s not as if the Jazz were going to beat the Bulls in the uniforms they lost to Chicago in during the 1997 and 1998 NBA Finals.


Author: Luis Medina

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