Offseason Vibes, Line Plans, How Carr’s Move Helps Chicago, and Other Bears Bullets
It has been about 10 years since the tamale guy I grew up going to as a kid around passed away and went to the great beyond. And while I’ve had tamales that have been satisfactory since, nothing has been the same. I think I want to go on a quest for some great tamales this summer. That probably means I’ll need to leave the north side of the city, which is fine. As someone who loves exploring the city, I’m down to find something new. But it better be delicious.
- I love how loud things are around the Bears right now. Can you remember the last time the Bears had this much positive energy going for them? And ahead of the start of a new league year? Perhaps you can make a case for 2018. That off-season saw a team with oodles of cap space, a new head coach, a defense looking like it was on the cusp of something special, and a top-10 pick in its pocket. That might’ve been the last time I was this geared up for an offseason. At least, one that felt like it had multiple paths out of the gutter, it doesn’t top having the No. 1 overall pick, a collection of suitors who want the pick, and the most cap space. It just feels so different, even if there are some parallels worth drawing.
- The thing I’m digging most right now is the apparent growth from where the team has been in recent years. Think about it. In spring of 2020, Ryan Pace did a whole bunch of swinging and missing in his QB pursuits before landing on Nick Foles. A year later, Pace went out swinging again and didn’t land on anything worthwhile until engineering a trade for Justin Fields. The Bears were operating with a one-track-mindset for two years and all they could come up with was a slightly damaged Nick Foles and an Andy Dalton figurine that came a year after they wanted him most. Go figure.
- And it isn’t just the obsessive quarterback-watching stress that no longer hangs over us. The general vibes are better now than they were at the end of the Pace era. To be fair, that shouldn’t be hard to accomplish. Then again, we’ve seen bad vibes drag us down for a long time. So I don’t want to take these moments for granted. The present is enjoyable, so let’s enjoy it while we can.
- Also, I want to be clear that I don’t want many more of these types of offseasons. Particularly ones where the Bears have the top overall pick. This type of offseason happens only once generationally in an ideal world. You don’t want to undertake hard resets of your organization too often. And I don’t want to be picking first every year. Hopefully, GM Ryan Poles strikes while the iron is hot and does well to form that foundation for sustained success.
- It sure would be nice if the Bears were aggressive in addressing their offensive line needs. Perhaps they can do so by spending big at a tackle position. There are whispers that it could cost $20 million per year to address RT needs at the top of the market. But if you’re going to go that deep into your pockets, why not go after left tackle Orlando Brown Jr.?
- Johnathan Wood (DBB) has some good stuff examining the Bears offensive line and possible upgrades that could come from free agency and the upcoming NFL Draft. It feels like it would make the most sense for this franchise to dabble in the free-agent market at the tackle position. But there are intriguing draft-eligible options. I wish the Bears could double-dip. At a minimum, I’d like for the Bears to not be needing to empty the cash drawer to piece together a useful offensive line.
- When it comes to the draft, Poles really is in the driver’s seat:
- Some good reading from The Ringer’s Danny Heifetz, whose headline asks Is Ryan Poles a Draft Shark, or Will He Overplay the Bears’ Hand? I’ll admit that a small part of me is afraid Poles is overplaying his hand and it will lead to a lesser return than what we’re expecting right now. And that would be a bummer because there is a realistic chance that a good return can ultimately come out of Poles’ leveraging of the situation. But as the late, great Vin Scully once said on a Dodgers broadcast I was watching on a late night: “Good isn’t enough when better is expected.”
- Here’s a prospect I didn’t know I needed on the Bears’ radar until yesterday:
- As I told my late girlfriend, I once dreamed of getting married in an all-white get-up inspired by what Boyz II Men wore in the Water Runs Dry video. That was met with a snort-laugh and a conversation about the difference in what young Luis wants and what adult Luis wants. Adult Luis still maintains his preference to get married in a sharp outfit — but also while wearing Concord Jordan 11s. Look … there are just some things I don’t want to budge on. (lol)
- Be gone already (but also, don’t bring back much of a return in a trade):
- Derek Carr’s signing with the Saints was a domino that fell in the Bears’ favor. Carr landing in New Orleans leaves teams like the Panthers still in the hunt to trade up with Chicago. It also leaves the Jets in a position to take Aaron Rodgers out of the division. Sure, I’d still like to see Justin Fields put it on the Packers while the camera pans to Rodgers helplessly watching on the sidelines. However, a part of me wouldn’t miss Rodgers one bit when he is gone.
- The Fire TV Stick is 40% off today at Amazon, and there are a bunch of other Deals of the Day if you want to check it out. #ad
- Baseball players are weird and fun:
- Eli dropping off a reminder that it’s never too late to tank:
- If anyone can vibe with that lesson, it’s someone who saw the Bears clinch the first overall pick on the last day of the NFL season. Just saying … the path to greatness is there. And sometimes, you have to lose today in order to position yourself for a better tomorrow.
- A Blackhawks tank update:
- OK, but I was told so much about his new and improved swing:
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