A WR1’s Importance, Barbershop Stories, Pace’s Parting Gift, and Other Bears Bullets
As I continue to put myself back together, I found joy in making dinner for my pops and my aunt on Sunday. Chicky parm-style pork chops checked two boxes for me as someone who had a taste for pork chops and chicken parm. Everyone was happy with dinner. Although, there was a sense of surprise that I didn’t make dessert. Hey, gimme a break. I’m not all the way back to where I want to be (which is a place where I have the energy to do Sunday cleaning, make dinner, and whip up dessert). But I’m making my way back there — at least, that’s my hope.
- Just 21 days until NFL teams can begin legally tampering with free agents. Technically, teams and players can’t chop it up. But teams can link up with agents and iron out handshake agreements. As we know all too well, handshake agreements aren’t binding. Passing the physical is an overlooked aspect, but an important one. We know better than to take it for granted this time around.
- You don’t expect a Chicago Bears receiver to pop up on this list, but I need you to check this out from Pro Football Focus:
- Bears QBs were living their best lives throwing to Brandon Marshall in 2013. Jay Cutler put up a 99.7 passer rating when targeting Marshall that season. Josh McCown was shining, too. McCown posted a 100.6 passer rating when throwing to Marshall. All together, Bears QBs put up these numbers while feeding Marshall that year: 100/164 (60.9%), 1,295 yards (7.9 Y/A), 12 TDs (7.3 TD%), 4 INTs (2.4 INT%), 100.0 passer rating. So … do you understand why I want the Bears to get Justin Fields a legitimate WR1?
- DeAndre Hopkins is going to be a popular trade target for teams around the NFL. Particularly among teams looking for a legitimate WR1. You know … teams like the Bears, for instance. Hopkins’ résumé is legit. And with Arizona ushering in a new regime that is entering a bridge year of sorts, the Cardinals would be wise to move on. CHGO’s Nicholas Moreano takes it a step further, opining that the Bears must trade for a No. 1 wideout — which D-Hop still looks to be right now — in order to unlock Fields’ potential as a passer. We saw how the Eagles bringing in A.J. Brown and the Dolphins adding Tyreek Hill helped transform those offenses in 2022. I want that for Fields in 2023.
- Trading for a receiver would be awesome. But right now, our eyes are on the Bears trying to trade the No. 1 overall pick. Mark Potash (Sun-Times) nails it in noting how Patrick Mahomes, Jalen Hurts, and Joe Burrow succeeding early in their careers could be a factor that pushes a QB-thirsty team into a trade-up with the Bears. Want to draft the next big thing? Hit Ryan Poles’ line and make him an offer he can’t refuse. You don’t want to miss out, do you?
- We kept busy around here over the weekend:
- One of our favorite retired Bears is celebrating a birthday today:
- Another installment of the Bears’ Black History Month roundtable talks shop … about barbershops:
No one takes care of you like your barber. Believe that!
- Over at BN’s NFL coverage, Patrick has more on the Arizona Cardinals hiring offensive *AND* defensive coordinators over the weekend. This is of note because Bears LBs Coach Dave Borgonzi was a person of interest to the Cardinals and was set to interview for the position. That Borgonzi didn’t get it means Bears Head Coach Matt Eberflus and Defensive Coordinator Alan Williams retain a chief lieutenant. Continuity has its perks from time to time.
- An old friend is sticking around in Minnesota, as Chris Tomasson tweets DL Khyris Tonga is re-signing on the one-year tender amount of $940K. Tonga was a Bears seventh-round pick in 2021 who didn’t make it to Year 2 in Chicago. Brought in to be a 3-4 nose tackle, switching to a 4-3 front led the Bears to part ways with Tonga before the start of last year. Tonga played fewer games with the Vikings in 2022 (11) than he did with the Bears in 2021 (15), but played more snaps and put up more total tackles, solo tackles, and quarterback hits. He even got credit for a half-sack.
- Ahhh, that 2021 NFL Draft class. I hope we look back at it fondly. There is potential there for the Bears to have come out of that one with an ace QB (Fields), stud lineman (Teven Jenkins), solid swing lineman (Larry Borom), and quality running back (Khalil Herbert). If things keep following their current trajectory, we might need to send Ryan Pace a basket for a wonderful parting gift.
- Patrick Kane put up a hat trick in a Blackhawks win on Sunday night:
- As for Kaner’s long-time running mate, we hope he gets well soon:
- Are we about to be on a Chicago Bulls tank watch?
- Elvis Andrus has long been fun to follow. And now, White Sox fans get a whole year of him:
Poles Strikes, Trade Fallout, More About Moore, Draft Pick Update, Fan Reaction, and Other Bears Bullets