Plans to Fix Pass Game, Poles and Flus Give Back, Outdoor Neutral-Site AFC Title Game? And Other Bears Bullets

My friend Jim’s cacio e pepe pasta recipe is one of the best things he has ever given me. And now, he is sharing the recipe with everyone. Now all of you (well, those of you who have at least a smidge of skill in the kitchen) get to be as lucky as me.

I haven’t been cooking much the last two weeks for obvious reasons. But I’ll admit I don’t love that I lean heavily on takeout during times of grief. And that feels like a good first step toward getting through to the other side. With that being said, maybe this is something I can cook up this weekend and get back into some good habits.

  • Nah, we don’t need to talk about the vomit-inducing kicking incident that happened four years ago today. Self-care is important. Go watch some Devin Hester highlights instead. After all, it is Friday. Enjoy it a little.
  • It can be hard to be fully focused on the future when the past weighs on you so heavily. But we have to keep on pushing. It is the only way to go. And with that being said, I thought this was a good thread from the Trib’s Dan Wiederer. Some highlights:
  • Seriously, you’ll want to take some time to browse through this thread from top to bottom.
  • I love that the Bears are planning a “detailed study” examining what failed in the passing game in 2022 and how it can be better in 2023. Surely every team does this, but it lifts my spirits that the Bears are vocal about it. With that being said, I hope their research unearths things that worked in the passing game. To be fair, I don’t imagine that will be a lengthy strip of highlights. But there were some concepts that worked. And Fields made some throws that give you hope for the future. In the end, a thorough assessment of the offense is necessary this offseason.
  • Fun with sample sizes! Take Justin Fields’ stats in the 11 games from Week 4 to Week 16 and extrapolate them over a full 17-game season. I’ll save you the hassle of whipping out your calculator and give you the per-17 numbers here: 250/389 (64.3%), 2,890 passing yards, 22 TD (5.6 TD%), 9 INT (2.3 INT%), 95.2 passer rating. And, as you might expect, the rushing numbers are also eye-popping. Those per-17 game numbers: 190 carries, 1,416 rushing yards, and 11 TDs. If you told me Fields can put up a 30+ total TD season next year, then I’d tell you that I feel pretty darn good about that offensive future. Although, the fumbles (projected to come out to 19 per 17 games) are a concern. But we’ve got a long offseason ahead of us and we can sort through that whenever.
  • Keep in mind that Fields has already put it out there that he doesn’t plan on rushing for 1,000 yards every year. So maybe some of those rush yards turn into passing yards. Hopefully, Fields gets the type of firepower around him that can help him boost those passing numbers.
  • FWIW: Arizona Cardinals stud receiver DeAndre Hopkins might hit the market this offseason. And if he does, he is the type of receiver who could help raise the bar for Chicago’s passing game. All things considered, the Bears should kick the tires regarding his availability and the cost of doing business via trade. But the red flags (recent hamstring issues and an MCL tear in 2021, then a PED suspension in 2022) are quite bright. Josh Schrock (NBC Sports Chicago) explores Hopkins as the answer to this team’s WR1 need (but doesn’t seem convinced the fit is totally there).
  • Finding Fields in this picture of the Bears wishing Virginia McCaskey a happy 100th birthday is like playing Where’s Waldo? in 2023:
  • Pssst. He’s up in the front next to Coach Flus.
  • Sometimes, a few words in a tweet can properly express everything you need to say. And I would say that is what is happening here:
  • Dan Wetzel (Yahoo! Sports) reports the NCAA is about to hand down numerous allegations of violations against Michigan football, including one on Jim Harbaugh for failing to cooperate with investigators. Suddenly, Harbaugh’s openness to coaching in the NFL again makes a lot more sense.
  • Seems like people like watching football:
  • ICYMI: A neutral-site AFC Championship Game is on the table if one of three specific scenarios plays out by the time that weekend rolls around. NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport adds via Twitter that an outdoor neutral site stadium “is definitely part of the discussion.” What do we need to do to get Soldier Field as a neutral-site host for an AFC Championship Game featuring Patrick Mahomes and Josh Allen?
  • A tip of the cap to the Bears for this:
  • Admittedly, I’m hypersensitive to these kinds of stories right now. But I must say that seeing the continuous positive updates regarding Hamlin’s health and the outpouring of support sparks a feeling in me. I’m struggling to describe it. But it is like a reassurance that there can be justice in this universe.
  • Follow Bears GM Ryan Poles and Head Coach Matt Eberflus on their visit at Maryville Academy’s Children’s Health Center in Chicago:
  • I truly enjoy seeing the Bears reach out and give back to the community.
  • “By One Metric, the Chicago Cubs Have Improved More Than Any Team This Offseason (But There Are Buts)” is a BN Cubs headline I will be replicating here at BN Bears during this upcoming offseason. Book it.
  • The Knicks (and others) are out here praying for the Bulls’ downfall:
  • Hey, now! Seth Jones is a Blackhawks all-star:
  • 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

    Bagent Goes to Work, Small School Prospect Watch, Stuart Scott Doc Coming, and Other Bears Bullets

    Is it just me or are weekends getting shorter as I'm getting older? As s often the case on Sundays, this Sunday set of BN Bears Bullets features a mess of things that I bookmarked during the week but never...

    Would You Trade Up to Draft Marvin Harrison Jr.? And Other Bears Bullets

    Saturday's forecast in Chicago has temperatures getting into the low 70s. So, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to try to breeze through this set of Bears Bullets so I can get some fresh air. Adam Rank got the wheels...

    Bears to Host Jared Verse on a Top-30 Visit

    Momma, there goes that man's name again. Jared Verse is firmly on the Chicago Bears radar. And soon, they'll get to know the Florida State pass rusher more intimately whenever he makes his way to Halas Hall: NFL reporter...

    What If the Falcons-Vikings Tampering Case Impacts the Bears?

    Do you remember that NFL tampering investigation that features the Atlanta Falcons and Minnesota Vikings? Better yet, are you familiar with the Chicago Bears connection to the ridiculousness? In case you missed it, here is the backstory on that:

    Justin Fields is Working on Ball Placement (Which is Great News for the Bears)

    Let me be clear out of the gate. I'm not going to make it a habit to obsessively write up Justin Fields posts this year. Fields is no longer the Chicago Bears quarterback. And with Caleb Williams on his way...

    This Mel Kiper NFL Mock Draft Might Be a Sign of Things to Come for the Bears

    Mel Kiper Jr. mock drafts tend to be more sourced and less about his own evaluations. It is among the reasons why I follow them obsessively this time of year. And when it comes to the Chicago Bears, Mel has...

    Remembering Some Day 3 Gems, NFL Draft Green Room Party Shrinks, and Other Bears Bullets

    The good news is that Friday is here. But the bad news is that I've been feeling like I was hit in the head with a frying pan all morning. Let's breeze through this set of Bears Bullets, take some...

    Caleb Williams is One of 13 Players Scheduled to be at the NFL Draft

    If the Chicago Bears do the obvious thing and take Caleb Williams with the first pick in the 2024 NFL Draft, the USC quarterback will be in attendance for that magic moment. ESPN NFL insider Adam Schefter shares the list...

    Hmmm: Jared Verse Keeps Popping Up a 2024 Bears Draft Target

    Florida State pass rusher Jared Verse is a name I've been seeing pop up in connection with the Chicago Bears a bunch in recent days. And once I realized I was telling myself "hmm ... that is an interesting trend"...

    Caleb Williams Dunking on Haters Brings Me Joy

    Caleb Williams isn't even the Chicago Bears quarterback yet, and he is already giving off a vibe that I can appreciate. Williams — who, like us — has time on his hands to kill ahead of the 2024 NFL Draft. And the...

    Latest News

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

    On Monday, Sonny Gray will start for the St. Louis Cardinals (7-9) versus Ross Stripling and the Oakland Athletics (7-9), with first pitch scheduled for 9:40 PM ET at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum.Keep reading to find out all the details on...

    Dodgers vs. Nationals: Start Time, Streaming Live, TV Channel, How to Watch

    In a series opener on Monday, Mookie Betts and the Los Angeles Dodgers (11-7) take on C.J. Abrams and the Washington Nationals (6-9), with first pitch scheduled for 10:10 PM ET at Dodger Stadium.Keep reading to find out how to...

    Diamondbacks vs. Cubs: Start Time, Streaming Live, TV Channel, How to Watch

    The Arizona Diamondbacks (8-8), led by Lourdes Gurriel Jr., host Michael Busch and the Chicago Cubs (9-6) at 9:40 PM ET on Monday.If you're planning on watching this game, keep reading for streaming and TV options for the Arizona-Chicago matchup.When...

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

    On Monday at 9:42 PM ET, Mitch Haniger and the Seattle Mariners (6-10) face Spencer Steer and the Cincinnati Reds (9-6) at T-Mobile Park.Keep reading to find out how to watch the Seattle-Cincinnati matchup in the article below.When is Mariners...

    REPORT: Cubs Sign Starter Julio Teheran

    Julio Teheran is one of those pitchers I always thought would end up with the Cubs. And tonight, it's finally happened. According to a report from Jon Heyman, the 33-year-old right-hander and former tip-top prospect (LONG ago) has signed with...

    Braves vs. Astros: Free Live Stream, TV Channel, How to Watch

    Marcell Ozuna and the Atlanta Braves (9-5) visit Jose Altuve and the Houston Astros (6-11) on Monday in a series opener, with first pitch at 8:10 PM ET.The article below will provide you with everything you need to know to...

    Royals vs. White Sox: Free Live Stream, TV Channel, How to Watch

    The Kansas City Royals (10-6), led by Bobby Witt Jr., visit Gavin Sheets and the Chicago White Sox (2-13) at 7:40 PM ET on Monday in a series opener.See how to watch the Kansas City-Chicago matchup below.When is Royals vs....

    Padres vs. Brewers: Start Time, Streaming Live, TV Channel, How to Watch

    On Monday at 7:40 PM ET, Fernando Tatis Jr. and the San Diego Padres (9-9) play William Contreras and the Milwaukee Brewers (10-4) at American Family Field.Find out how to watch the San Diego-Milwaukee matchup below.When is Padres vs. Brewers...

    Phillies vs. Rockies: Start Time, Streaming Live, TV Channel, How to Watch

    The Philadelphia Phillies (8-8), led by Alec Bohm, host Ryan McMahon and the Colorado Rockies (4-12) at 6:40 PM ET on Monday in a series opener.Keep reading to see how to watch the Philadelphia-Colorado matchup below.When is Phillies vs. Rockies...

    Rays vs. Angels: Free Live Stream, TV Channel, How to Watch

    Zach Eflin will take the mound for the Tampa Bay Rays (9-7) when they host starter Patrick Sandoval and the Los Angeles Angels (7-8) on Monday, with first pitch at 6:50 PM ET.Keep reading to find out how to watch...

    more bears news