New Look D-Line, Trying Not to Be Surprised by Draft, Jets Acquire Ex-Packers QB, and Other Bears Bullets
The BN Live! event was tremendous last night. Shout out to everyone I met and got to interact with at HVAC. Hope to do another one in the future.
- I think the new guy is happy to be here:
- ICYMI: The Chicago Bears have a new defensive end in Rasheem Green, a free agent signing who was playing with the Houston Texans last year. And just like that, the Bears’ front seven looks drastically different than it did at this time last year:
- Six new guys in the front seven is a very loud way of telling us that this is an integral part of the defense. But the short term nature of some of the deals signed suggests that the Bears could still seek out long-term options — particularly when it comes to interior defensive linemen. With the NFL Draft coming up in 20 days, we should be cognizant of moves like this one possibly signaling where this team could go with its draft picks. Because, let’s face it, it isn’t ideal to keep signing one-year plug-and-play guys. Ideally, you’ll find long-term starting solutions in the draft.
- And on that note, you can cross a Leonard Floyd reunion off the list. It was a fun idea while it lasted. But I like the direction this line is going with because the positional flexibility and versatility intrigues me. These might not be game-changing butt-kickers. However, I can see Head Coach Matt Eberflus and Defensive Coordinator Alan Williams scheming their way to some D-line pressures because of the different things these players can do from different spots on the line. At a minimum, the cat-and-mouse game should be fun to watch develop.
- I’m curious to see how Trevis Gipson responds to this, Because after getting a chunk of the starting nods last year, he looks to be back in a rotational pass rusher role. Perhaps that best suits him. But I’d have loved to see him take that next step into being a bonafide starter. Maybe he can practice his way into that spot with a strong training camp. With all the fresh faces, the battles in the trenches should be fun to watch.
- On the other side of the ball, offensive line help should be on the way via the upcoming NFL Draft. The Bears have been active in meeting some of the best prospects. So much so that it makes me think they might do the obvious thing and draft Justin Fields some protection with the ninth pick.
- Ahhh, I see the Jets completed their acquisition of a former Packers quarterback:
- OK, but seriously … what’s the holdup with the Aaron Rodgers trade? I’ve been wanting this guy out of my life for years.
- And in doing so, they have brought in a Bears tank legend:
- We’ll always be thankful for Associate Tank Commander Tim Boule’s service in leading the Bears to landing the first overall pick (which as you know by now was dealt to Carolina for a substantial haul).
- COUNTDOWN WATCH: We get to wake up three weeks from today and talk about a Bears first-round pick. It is wild to think about how little we’ve talked about Bears first rounders since we’ve been a site. Since launching in 2017, these are the only Round 1 selections Chicago has made: Mitchell Trubisky (2017), Roquan Smith (2018), and Justin Fields (2021). Don’t get me wrong. I love covering the depths of the draft. But it’ll be a bit more fun this year with a first-round pick whose future I look forward to discussing.
- Thinking back to those drafts reminds me that there will be an element of surprise at some point on draft night. Call it a hunch. Or think of it as acknowledging history’s ability to repeat itself. Whatever it is, I need to keep remembering that weird stuff happens on draft night. Who thought the Bears would take the first QB in 2017? Not me. And not when all signs were pointing at them taking someone like DE Solomon Thomas or S Jamaal Adams. Even though I thought the Bears should (and were going to) trade up in the 2021 NFL Draft, I knew better than to expect it. Doing the trade up *AND* taking Fields still surprises me to this day (in all the best ways).
- All that to say this: We think the Bears are going to address the trenches early in the draft. But would be a surprise if they went in another direction? In a way, yes. And it might fluster me for a second (mostly because we’ve been banging the drum for OL and DL help all offseason). But a surprise pick could be for the better. I mean, who’s going to be really upset if they take the first CB in the draft because they’re the best prospect available? Not me. And I won’t get upset if they trade back. I love that the Bears have options. It makes following this more fun.
- Friends helping friends:
- Tyreek Hill already looking ahead to retirement is trippy, but I respect the willingness to think about the future:
- Oh, dear. This isn’t good company to keep, Bulls:
- The Rangers are in town to face the Cubs, which reminds me that we’re going to see a bunch of teams we’re not used to because of MLB’s schedule tweaks:
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