Tip Your Cap to Toews, Who’s Got Next? New QB Helmets are Coming, NFL Draft Countdown, and Other Bears Bullets
If you’re reading this, then I want you to take my advice: Get outside while the weather is still nice.
That is all.
- Yours truly jumped on NBC Sports Chicago’s Football Night in America to talk Bears. I allowed Carm to talk me into the idea of taking Texas RB Bijan Robinson because I’d love to see Chicago’s football team with the type of high-powered modern offense that was only available to me in my dreams and when I used to play Madden’s NFL franchise religiously. We also talked about the potential of trading back (again) and even sticking at No. 9 to take a cornerback. I’m doing my best to try to expect the unexpected. Who thought the Bears were taking a cornerback and a safety with their first two picks last year? Just saying. The second year of a new regime still has us working through blind spots because there is no track record to go off.
- Aren’t you glad the NFL Draft is just 14 days away?
- Oof. This one hits in the feels. Tonight marks the end of the Jonathan Toews era in Chicago. With that in mind, you’ll want to read this:
- Chicago sports fans have been put through it with their top picks. As Bears fans, we know all too well that high-profile prospects don’t often pan out. But not only did Toews pan out, but he was also a championship-winning captain for the best era of Blackhawks hockey. No. 19 is an all-time great and I think we should thank our lucky stars that he was on our favorite hockey team for as long as he was.
- Do you know what would be nice? If Justin Fields took the hand-off from Toews and ran with the torch for a while. This city could use a player who turns out to be a lifer. A star. Someone whose play elevates that of the teammates around him. A game-changer. The type of player other teams are envious of and would want on their team. I think Fields has that potential. Sure, he still has things to iron out in his game. And I am excited to see if he can do it as he tries to take his game (and the Bears) to another level in 2023.
- Plus, if Fields does so, he’ll be in line to get an extension next offseason. Considering that the Bears have a salary floor threshold to meet by the time the 2024 league year begins, it would make sense for the Bears to stash some savings in a rainy-day fund on the chance that Fields plays like a QB deserving of a mega-extension. After all, I’d rather the Bears pay a worthwhile quarterback to get to the minimum threshold than pay a lesser player just because they have to reach a particular number. Spending just to spend often ends poorly for teams.
- Speaking of quarterbacks, Judy Battista (NFL Media) reports quarterback-specific helmets are debuting this year. Considering how quarterback concussions are seen as a reason that diagnosed concussions went up by 18 percent last year, this feels like a noteworthy first step. Next up should be players at every other position getting helmet upgrades. If technology says to keep on pushing, then we should keep on keeping on.
- I’ve got $5 on it if you let me re-name this Lu Field at BN Stadium:
- REMINDER: The Bears will play at Cleveland’s stadium later this year. And while it isn’t a destination like New Orleans or Los Angeles, Cleveland has a delightful selection of adult beverages and some decent eats. In other words, this might be your go-to if you’re looking for an affordable road trip to see the Bears.
- The Bulls are taking their talents to South Beach for yet another win-or-go-home game after doing the unthinkable in Toronto:
- Over at BN’s Cubs wing, Bryan examines the season debuts of a pair of my favorite pitching prospects — Kohl Franklin and Cade Horton.
- There isn’t a more fun baseball player right now than Shohei Ohtani:
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