Marginal Growth, Brown’s Non-Fit, Panthers Tribute, Bears Getting Bullish, and Other Bears Bullets

Ugh. I hope Edwin Díaz’s injury doesn’t keep him out for too long. And I’m going to hold out hope that it doesn’t change the narrative of what has been a most enjoyable baseball tournament.

  • The first day of the new league year was one where we saw some potential Bears free-agent targets go off the board. Running back Jamaal Williams (Saints) (as if they need RB help) and defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins (Texans) stand out as players who would’ve made sense to add to this roster on moderate deals. But the name that stands out most from yesterday was Orlando Brown Jr., who signed on to be Joe Burrow’s left tackle in Cincinnati.
  • Notable. In his Thursday morning press conference, Bears GM Ryan Poles noted scheme fit as the reason the Bears didn’t target Brown:
  • I don’t think there has been a player as polarizing as Brown since Charles Leno Jr. was someone we were discussing in these parts. What is it about Bears Twitter and left tackles?
  • I appreciate the honesty and candid answer from the Bears GM. And it also feels good to hear it from him instead of it being head canon.
  • But also, the scheme better work. Otherwise … you know what, I don’t want to go down that rabbit hole this morning. Positive vibes only on the first Thursday of March Madness. The scheme is good if the players running it are fits. Everything goes hand-in-hand if it works. But if it doesn’t? Again, there is no need to go down that rabbit hole today.
  • For me, Poles’ statement does a few things. Firstly, it underscores how important schematic fit is to Poles’ team-building process. We’ll want to store that away for the future as we try to identify future fits. Secondly, that statement essentially says Poles won’t bring in a player just because they have prior connections. That was a fear of mine going into this offseason after watching the stumbles of some notable newbies who had ties to the new regime. All in all, I’m glad it’s out there. We’ll move on.
  • Wait. One last thing. Maybe the Brown deal in Cincy will be a blessing in disguise. Brown getting an AAV of $16 million in this deal might cause prices to cool. Not that the Bears don’t have money to spend, mind you. This team his still $43.7 million under the cap, per OTC’s calculations. But perhaps this would allow them to spend on more players. The more darts you can throw at a board, the more likely it is you’ll hit with at least one of your tosses.
  • Even if some high-profile names are off the board, I feel as if the overall direction of the thing is going the right way. Jason Lieser (Sun-Times) believes the Bears have made real upgrades to a roster that was bad enough to land the No. 1 pick. However, there is still work to be done.
  • In fairness, we have been saying we want to bring in better blockers for Justin Fields no matter the position:
  • We love confidence on our blockers, don’t we?
  • This D.J. Moore “thank you” video from the Panthers is ELITE:
  • Speaking of new Bears waving goodbye to their past, Tremaine Edmunds says so long to Buffalo:
  • I try not to read the replies, but I couldn’t help myself with Edmunds. And I’m glad I didn’t (for once). There was so much support and tweets of well wishes from Bills fans, which was heart-warming to see. That fan base is something else.
  • Ooh. I hadn’t really thought of Edmunds’ length being a disruptive force as a pass defender until seeing this clip:
  • Having linebackers like Edmunds and T.J. Edwards patrolling the middle of the field is going to be scary for opposing running backs, tight ends, and even quarterbacks.
  • That Bears front four is still a work in progress, but that back seven is hot.
  • The Bulls took the L, but Zach LaVine gets points for the highlight:
  • And it looks like the Bears had a good time at the game:
  • Look at Chase Claypool, Darnell Moody, and D.J. Moore cozying up with Justin Fields. You just love to see it.
  • Well … we’re waiting:
  • The least-popular commissioner in North American professional sports had stuff to say:
  • 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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