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

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.
  • As for the present, it isn’t pretty. Receiver Darnell Mooney is likely to have ankle surgery that will put him on IR and end his season. Safety Eddie Jackson is set to be “out indefinitely” because of what is being called a Lisfranc foot injury. So much pain. And to two of the Bears’ best, most popular, and most enjoyable players to watch.
  • 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.
  • Back to the present, I’m bummed that top offensive line prospect Olu Fashanu is turning down an opportunity to enter the 2023 NFL Draft to return to Penn State. But at least that gives us some more clarity as to who the top draft-eligible OL prospects will be going into the spring:
  • 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.
  • written by

    Luis C. Medina, who you can find on Twitter at lcm1986, has been covering the Chicago Bears at Bleacher Nation since 2017. Since then, he has written about 3 head coaches, 5 play-callers, and 11 starting quarterbacks. Previously, Luis wrote about the Cubs and MLB at BN (2015-16) and worked in the Chicago Tribune sports department (2011-16). He also co-hosted a Cubs postgame show, Outside the Ivy, in 2019.

    more bears news

    No. 3 Overall Pick Drake Maye Signs Rookie Deal With New England Patriots

    The first-round picks from the 2024 NFL Draft continue to sign. Next up, New England Patriots quarterback Drake Maye. ESPN's Adam Schefter has the news and the contractual details: https://twitter.com/AdamSchefter/status/1795549275151118618 And just like that, Drake Maye becomes the highest draft...

    WATCH: Go Inside the Chicago Bears 2024 NFL Draft War Room

    Before I left for a mini-vacation, I wrote this post sharing video from the Minnesota Vikings 2024 draft war room. Part of me thought it was worth sharing because I find it worthwhile to keep tabs on the Chicago Bears'...

    Bears Stadium Update: Illinois Legislature to Put Proposal on Back Burner

    The Chicago Bears stadium plan proposal is taking a back seat for the time being. Reporting from the Chicago Tribune's Dan Patella and Jeremy Garner has the Illinois legislature kicking the can down the road on the Bears stadium project....

    Rome Odunze is Expected to Return to Practice During This Round of Bears OTAs

    The long weekend is over and another round of OTAs are underway at Halas Hall, and one update I hope we get some good news on is with regards to Chicago Bears wide receiver Rome Odunze. Odunze missed time missed...

    Report: NFL Players Association Finalizing Proposal To Revamp Offseason Schedule

    In an idea that makes all the sense in the world, it looks like the NFLPA is pushing to overhaul the NFL offseason and essentially eliminate OTAs. Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network reported that the Players Association is looking...

    100 Days Until Football, Caleb’s Rankings, NFL Looking at Australia, and Other Bears Bullets

    I woke up thinking today is Wednesday, which is a wild way for my brain to remind me that I'm still very much living in different time zones right now. The Chicago Bears won't kick off their season for another...

    Caleb Williams Hasn’t Even Played a Down Yet and is Already a Top-20 Quarterback

    'Tis the season for analysts to drop their quarterback rankings going into the 2024 NFL season. And while Caleb Williams has yet to take a snap as a pro, the Chicago Bears quarterback is already being regarded as a top-20...

    Around the NFL: Travis Kelce on Butker’s Speech, Rodgers on Hackett, Maxx Crosby’s Raise, More

    Travis Kelce becomes the latest to weigh in on the controversial commencement speech delivered by Harrison Butker this month. That and more in today's NFL Notes. Travis Kelce on Harrison Butker's Controversial Speech Much has been said about Harrison Butker's...

    Tyrique Stevenson Learned About the H.I.T.S. Principle the Hard Way

    As someone with a history of needing to learn things the hard way, I can relate to this Tyrique Stevenson story. In a sit-down conversation with Flo Factory, Stevenson tells a tale (h/t @ImBearingDown) of how he lost practice reps...

    Countdown to 2024, Around the NFC North, Receiver Rumblings, and Other Bears Bullets

    The re-acclimating process after all that driving and time-zone changes is bogging me down for a second consecutive day. Thankfully, today is a holiday (more on that later in this set of BN Bears Bullets) and that gives me some...

    Latest News

    The RBC Canadian Open TV Schedule, How to Watch and Live Stream

    Watch the 2024 RBC Canadian Open at Hamilton Golf & Country Club in Hamilton, ON from May 30 - June 2, with the course playing at 7,084 yards as a par-70 with $9,400,000.00 in prize money as the purse. The...

    Reds vs. Cardinals: Free Live Stream, TV Channel, How to Watch

    The Cincinnati Reds (24-30), led by Spencer Steer, host Brendan Donovan and the St. Louis Cardinals (25-27) on Wednesday at 1:10 PM ET.If you're trying to watch this game, keep reading for streaming and TV options for the Cincinnati-St. Louis...

    How to Watch Dodgers vs. Mets: Live Stream or on TV

    On Wednesday, Mookie Betts and the Los Angeles Dodgers (33-22) face Pete Alonso and the New York Mets (22-30), with first pitch scheduled for 4:10 PM ET at Citi Field.If you're intending to watch this game, keep reading for streaming...

    No. 3 Overall Pick Drake Maye Signs Rookie Deal With New England Patriots

    The first-round picks from the 2024 NFL Draft continue to sign. Next up, New England Patriots quarterback Drake Maye. ESPN's Adam Schefter has the news and the contractual details: https://twitter.com/AdamSchefter/status/1795549275151118618 And just like that, Drake Maye becomes the highest draft...

    Denver Nuggets Mock Draft: Nuggets Land 2 Exciting CBB Stars from Marquette, Gonzaga

    As the 2024 NBA Draft approaches, the Denver Nuggets find themselves in an intriguing position with two picks in hand. This Denver Nuggets mock draft focuses on adding the best player available. The Nuggets' front office, led by General Manager...

    How to Watch Phillies vs. Giants: Live Stream or on TV

    On Wednesday, Alec Bohm and the Philadelphia Phillies (38-17) face Matt Chapman and the San Francisco Giants (28-27), with first pitch scheduled for 3:45 PM ET at Oracle Park.If you're planning on watching this game, keep reading for TV and...

    How to Watch Padres vs. Marlins: Live Stream or on TV

    Yu Darvish will take the mound for the San Diego Padres (29-28) when they host starting pitcher Braxton Garrett and the Miami Marlins (19-36) on Wednesday, with first pitch at 4:10 PM ET.The article below will provide you with everything...

    Blackhawks Sign Zach Sanford To One-Year, Two-Way Contract

    After announcing an entry-level deal with Martin Misiak on Tuesday, the Blackhawks signed another forward. The Blackhawks announced the team has signed forward Zach Sanford on a one-year, two-way contract that runs through the 2024-25 season. The deal has a $775,000 salary...

    Mavs at T-Wolves Game 4: First Basket Props, Odds, and More for Tonight

    The NBA Western Conference Finals are reaching a critical juncture as the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Dallas Mavericks prepare for Game 4. With the Mavericks leading the series 3-0, tonight's matchup is a must-win for the Timberwolves to keep their...

    WATCH: Go Inside the Chicago Bears 2024 NFL Draft War Room

    Before I left for a mini-vacation, I wrote this post sharing video from the Minnesota Vikings 2024 draft war room. Part of me thought it was worth sharing because I find it worthwhile to keep tabs on the Chicago Bears'...

    more bears news