Remembering Jeff Dickerson, Braxton Jones Wants to be an Anchor on O-Line, and Other Bears Bullets

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Remembering Jeff Dickerson, Braxton Jones Wants to be an Anchor on O-Line, and Other Bears Bullets

Chicago Bears

Good morning, friends! Today marks the first anniversary of the passing of beloved Chicago Bears reporter Jeff Dickerson. Dickerson lost his battle with colon cancer at 44, just two years after his wife Caitlin and the mother of their child Parker. Fans, colleagues, and others rallied to raise over $1 million towards a Go Fund Me that will help family members raise Parker.

Here’s what former Bears wide receiver and ESPN Radio host Tom Waddle had to say about Dickerson shortly after his passing:

“JD always wants to know how you’re doing,” Waddle said. “I’d ask him how he’s doing and his first response is, ‘How are you doing? How are [Waddle’s daughters]?’ The dignity with which he has carried himself through some of the most difficult times any human being would be asked to go through, what his wife went through and the dignity and strength and grace that he showed at her side throughout all of this … I don’t know anybody I’ve met in my 54 years in life who has handled adversity over the last decade with more grace and strength and dignity than Jeff Dickerson.

Editor’s Note: The feature photo used for this post is from our friends at Obvious Shirts who created a ‘Celebrate Jeff’ shirt in the wake of his passing with 100 percent of all proceeds donated to the Dickerson family and Parker’s Fund. You can purchase a shirt here.

  • We’ll start today with some former colleagues remembering their friend and coworker this morning.
  • Let’s revisit the connection between Justin Fields and Velus Jones Jr., with some context from Fields and VJJ, courtesy of Kevin Fishbain of The Athletic. When asked about the route, Fields called it “a training camp play” and said that he was glad that “Velus finally got to use his speed.”
  • Jones said that it was a play designed for him to cut across the field and then “chase it down,” Jones complimented Fields on the throw, calling it a throw that Fields “put away from everybody so I could get it.”
  • This end zone angle on the all-22 really highlights just how perfect of a throw it was for the design of the play and the coverage that was on VJJ:
  • Jones told Fishbain and reporters at Halas Hall that “it’s always nice for a wide receiver to get touches” and said he looks forward to stacking some good practices this week and hopefully being more involved against the Lions.
  • Getting VJJ more looks at receivers these next two weeks should be a no-brainer for Matt Eberflus and his staff, especially with the depleted receiver’s room they have to work with.
  • With the Bears offensive line a revolving door of rotations this season due to injuries and performance, Braxton Jones has been a source of consistency on a line severely lacking it. Jones was once again one of the only Bears offensive players to play 100 percent of the snaps in Week 16 against the Bills and has started all 15 games this season and played 931 offensive snaps in his rookie season. Through 16 weeks, Braxton Jones is PFF’s 16th-ranked tackle with a 76.5 offensive grade.
  • Jones knows that he has work to do this offseason, but believes that he can be an anchor for the Bears offensive line in the future:

“Obviously, I’ve got a lot of work to do,” Jones said (via Chicago Sun-Times). “But in the way I try and act around the building, I want to be here as long as possible, and I feel like I could be a cornerstone for that left tackle position. 

“I definitely think I’ve gotta get better in certain situations. That bull rush, obviously, has gotta clean up. That just comes with consistency, pad level and technique and stuff like that. But I definitely think I could [be that anchor], for sure.”

  • Jones will indeed have work to do this offseason, but he’s turned in a solid rookie campaign and is one of the scouting feathers in the cap of Ryan Poles and his front office right now.
  • If you missed it, J.J. Watt announced on Tuesday that this season will be his last in the NFL, calling it a career after the Arizona Cardinals play the San Francisco 49ers on January 8.
  • Justin Fields didn’t have the highlight-packed week we’ve become accustomed to, but he did have some nice plays to hang his hat on and didn’t hurt the team in a game in which Buffalo had his and the Bears number. More in this week’s Fields Film:
  • Before we get out of here, did you see what Luke Doncic did last night!?
  • Another tough night for the Blackhawks:

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Author: Patrick K. Flowers

Patrick is the Lead NFL Writer at Bleacher Nation. You can follow him on Twitter @PatrickKFlowers.