A Smashing (Pumpkins) Plan, Bulls-Bears Similarities, No Ekeler, and Other Bears Bullets

Social Navigation

A Smashing (Pumpkins) Plan, Bulls-Bears Similarities, No Ekeler, and Other Bears Bullets

Chicago Bears

Bleacher Nation’s night out at HVAC in Wrigleyville is TONIGHT. Details on how to get tickets are here. Hope to see you there. And bring your best Bears questions!

  • The Chicago Bulls are playoff play-in bound. Eli has you covered at BN Bulls when it comes to the deets. And while I want to be rah-rah! about the squad making it this far, I’m struggling. The Bulls’ postseason push reminds me of the Bears’ stumble into the playoffs in 2000. At least there was a light at the end of the tunnel of the Bears going out with a whimper. A first-round playoff ouster left the organization no choice but to go in a wholly different direction at quarterback (and eventually GM and head coach). Making the postseason and getting booted with the swiftness that served to be the beginning of the end of the Pace-Nagy era. I just have no idea if the Bulls will get on a similar path given that they are at the same crossroads the Bears were at just a few years ago.
  • All that to say that I’m glad we’ve taken this journey together. It hasn’t always been easy. In fact, there are more tedious roads to travel ahead. But at least we can say the Bears have escaped the depths of the darkest corner. Hopefully, we’ll be able to say the same about the Bulls soon. Not just for my sake as a fan. But also for Eli’s sanity.
  • The top-30 visits are starting to pile up for the Bears. And in the eyes of NBC Sports Chicago’s Josh Schrock, we’re starting to get an idea of what GM Ryan Poles’ draft plans could look like in three weeks. Sure, visits with Georgia DT Jalen Carter, Texas Tech DE Tyree Wilson, Ohio State OL Paris Johnson Jr., and Georgia OT Broderick Jones have us thinking about the Bears addressing needs in the trenches early. But it also has me thinking that offensive and defensive lines will be spots the Bears dip into later in the draft as well. Remember, the Bears took safety Jaquan Brisker early, then came back around to draft another safety (Elijah Hicks) in Round 7 last year. It wouldn’t surprise me to see the Bears take a big swing with an OL or DL early, then try to find a developmental gem late.

I’m not saying that picking an offensive lineman with a top pick is an obvious choice. But when Smashing Pumpkins front man Billy Corgan thinks it is a good idea, then it makes me feel like I’m onto something. In a wide-ranging discussion with Windy City Gridiron’s Bill Zimmerman, Corgan’s theory on why Tom Brady played forever sparked something in my mind. Here’s the quote:

“Why did Tom Brady play so late in his career?” Corgan asked. “Because around the age 30-something, Bill Belichick decided I got to go all in protecting this guy. The NFL changed the rules to protect Tom Brady because that’s how valuable Tom Brady was to the NFL. So we don’t have to look far to understand that protecting the quarterback is probably the most important duty of an NFL franchise.”

  • OK, so Corgan isn’t some NFL hotshot. He isn’t a scout, insider, or thought leader. But you don’t need to be any of those things to know that protecting a franchise’s most important asset is a great way to go about creating sustained success. It always begins in the trenches. And I hope the Bears do better in addressing those needs via the draft than they did in free agency. (This is coming from someone who thought they did well in signing Nate Davis. But it just feels like something is missing from that offensive line).
  • Chargers RB Austin Ekeler is making his way onto the trade block. NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport has the details, while I’ve got some additional context below the jump:

  • Don’t get me wrong. I like the Bears’ running backs room. The Khalil Herbert-D’Onta Foreman tandem could be a better duo than what Herbert and David Montgomery were last year. Heck, I can make a case that they should be better. And yet, part of me will feel like the sky could’ve been the limit for that position group had they been able to swing a trade for Ekeler. It was much easier to make a pitch to the Bears nudging them to swing a trade for Ekeler before the Foreman signing. Now? Not so much.
  • With the Packers ready to turn to Jordan Love as Aaron Rodgers’ heir apparent, I’d recommend Green Bay draft a punter. Because with as many three-and-outs as that group will have with Young under center, the punter figures to get a ton of work. James Palmer (NFL Network) has other ideas:

  • After watching the Packers lose twice to the Lions last year (including in a win-or-go-home game in Week 18 at Lambeau Field), you could probably make a case for Green Bay having as many high-profile needs as the Bears. Man … the NFC North could be a donnybrook next year with four teams potentially on even footing.
  • For your listening pleasure:

  • The Cubs now have 5 top-100 prospects:

  • Tab is taking prospect watching to another level with the Frozen Four coming up:

Author: Luis Medina

Luis Medina is a Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at@lcm1986.