Rebuilding the D From Back to Front, Fields is Good, OL Draft Options, Chicago Style Philly Dog, and Other Bears Bullets

Sigh. My car repair experience on Thursday was not fun. But I treated myself to tacos afterward and felt better. Not necessarily about the arm and a leg I plopped down for repairs. But instead because tacos make everything feel better.

  • The ill speak! Justin Fields didn’t do his normal Wednesday media pit stop because he was unavailable due to an illness. He didn’t even practice. But on Thursday, Fields was back at practice. And delivering some good news: “I felt perfectly fine today in practice,” Fields said, via NBC Sports Chicago. “I could’ve played a game today. It’s good.”
  • That breeze you felt was a collective sigh of relief from Bears fans hoping that this illness wouldn’t keep Fields down for long.
  • Joining Fields on the comeback trail are Kyler Gordon and Jaquan Brisker. Chris Emma (670 The Score) writes the rookie DB tandem is looking to end the year on a high note. For both Gordon and Brisker, the path to a strong finish begins with their respective returns to the lineup this Sunday against the Eagles. Brisker and Gordon have missed the last two games while in concussion protocol. Both players were given clearance to exit protocol. Awaiting them upon their return? Oh, nothing major. Just a high-flying offense of the NFC’s No. 1 seed featuring a Pro Bowl receiver (A.J. Brown), stud wideout on the rise (DeVonta Smith), an ace tight end returning off IR (Dallas Goedert), and an offensive line that collectively grades out as one of the best in football. Again … no biggie.
  • Getting Gordon and Brisker back in the lineup will be good for the overall state of the Bears defense. But there are no soft landings here.
  • Emma makes an interesting distinction regarding Gordon, who Emma notes has made 11 starts as (emphasis mine) the Bears’ nickel cornerback. Gordon could probably still be a quality boundary corner. However, his quick twitch and general skills make him an ideal slot corner. And considering how often teams try to leverage the slot corner because they aren’t the top guys, having someone with top-tier corner potential covering those guys in the middle of the field levels the playing field. It’ll be worth following Gordon’s usage and deployment over the final four games of the year. Will the Bears keep Gordon primarily in the nickel? Or will the venture out and put him on an island against the boundary?
  • This feels like a good time to point out that a top free agent cornerback is coming to town this weekend:
  • Bradberry is an ideal extension candidate for the Eagles, but I’m not privy to how they want to go about building their future roster. For what it’s worth, PFF’s Brad Spielberger was projecting a two-year, $24 million contract for Bradberry this offseason. This projection was made in November, so the parameters could’ve changed a bit. But a two-year pact at $12M AAV and $16.5M in total guaranteed money is probably in the ballpark of what Bradberry will get this offseason. Then again, it just takes one team to blow that number out of the water. Bears?
  • We, as a collective, had (what I thought was) a productive conversation about building the Bears’ future defense in this thread:
  • At least this NFL Draft and free agency classes appear to be strong at the defensive line.
  • On the other side of the ball, Northwestern offensive tackle prospect Peter Skoronski will get some consideration as a top 10 pick after earning unanimous All-American honors:
  • PFF’s ranking of the 30 best college football seniors gives us an idea of the type of upperclassmen we’ll be monitoring during the pre-draft process.
  • Ah, yes, another high-profile offensive line prospect we need to dig in on ahead of the 2023 NFL Draft:
  • I believe there is value in winning. But I value the Bears’ draft positioning more than I do than a December win for a team that is already eliminated from playoff contention. With that being said, coaches still prepare their players with the intent of putting them in the best position to win. That is how they should approach things. Which is why Defensive Coordinator Alan Williams’ insistance on playing to win the game resonates with me:
  • Moral victories is for minor league coaches is a thing Jay-Z once rapped on Kanye West’s “So Appalled” off the widely acclaimed MBDTF album.. And he is right. But so long as the Bears’ coaches put the players in the best spot to succeed and the players give their best efforts, it’ll likely result in a tank win at the end of the day. Jay didn’t have any bars about losing today for a better tomorrow. But that’s on him.
  • If you’re looking for a decent cheesesteak in Chicago, Monti’s in Lincoln Square has you covered. But Philly is doing is wrong if *THIS* is their Chicago style hot dog:
  • The fantasy football playoffs begin THIS WEEKEND. And while I’m happy that my 8-6 mark was good enough for the No. 4 seed, I hate that the QBs who got me here (Lamar Jackson, Kyler Murray) are unavailable. This leaves me starting two of the following three QBs: Mac Jones (at Raiders), Baker Mayfield (at Packers), and Zach Wilson (vs. Lions).
  • Oh, yeah. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports Wilson is back in the Jets’ starting lineup because doctors won’t clear Mike White (who was projected to put up 19 points).
  • Good luck to all of our fantasy teams. Unless you’re playing me.
  • Welcome back, Hub:
  • Chicago’s Crisis Assistance Response and Engagement Program (CARE) was one of the five programs chosen to receive an Inspire Change grant from the NFL. (ESPN)
  • It’s a rough time for Chicago sports fans and their relationships with the front office:
  • Are the Bears the team with the most hope in Chicago right now? Wait. Are they the team with the front office fans in town trust the most?
  • This has felt inevitable for a while. Also inevitable? The shaving of the scruff on Rodón’s face as soon as he puts pen to paper in New York:
  • 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.

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