Fields is Smooth, Potential for a Hot Start, Let the Offseason Breathe, and Other Bears Bullets

Kyle Hendricks, one of my favorite all-time Cubs, returns to make his 2023 debut TONIGHT.

Sweeping the Mets would be cool and I hope the Cubs try it out.

  • I’m not going to overanalyze a 9-second clip, but Justin Fields just looks so smooth:
  • It bears repeating, so I’ll do it. Fields looks smooth. And it only partially has to do with the nifty visor he wears in the clip. Look good, play good. Right? Fields is healthy and throwing to DJ Moore and Chase Claypool at OTAs. There are others who are sitting out of action, but three of the most important pieces on the offense are building up a rapport in May. Here’s hoping that continues to grow in June, July, and August. Ultimately, we want it to pay off with a hot start.
  • The winning percentages of the Bears’ early season opponents: .471 (Packers), .471 (Bucs), .824 (Chiefs), .294 (Broncos), .500 (Commanders). In other words, if anyone is well-positioned to leverage a soft spot of the schedule and turn it into a hot start, it is these Bears. Sure, I realize other teams see the Bears (.176 winning pct. last year) as a soft spot in their schedule. But that circles back to the point I want to make: If you want to be better than last year, then you have to take advantage of these early-season opportunities. After the mini-bye following the TNF game vs. Washington, the Bears will face two 2022 playoff teams in a three-game span. No pressure, gang. But you better get off to a hot start because things don’t get any easier.
  • It is worth noting that the Bears play five games against four teams on this list:
  • Also worth noting: The Bears are on this list. Do with this information what you will.
  • If the Bears want to turn up the heat on Cairo Santos with a legitimate summertime kicking competition, then they should kick the tires on Riley Patterson. The Jaguars cut Patterson in order to accommodate veteran Brandon McManus, the former Broncos kicker who was cut earlier this week and didn’t take long to find a new landing spot. Patterson has made 87.8 percent of his kicks over his first two seasons and has misfired on just one extra point in 24 games. Again, I’m not trying to push Santos (or even rookie UDFA Andre Szmyt) out the door. But I’m all about creating competition this time of year.
  • Bill Belichick is a rebel who plays by his own rules. But you already knew that:
  • I’m old enough to remember when this happened to the Bears last year and it was deemed an organizational misstep and a dramatic and damaging self-own in some circles. AND IT DIDN’T EVEN REGISTER A FINE FROM THE LEAGUE. Seriously.
  • Something to keep an eye on as the Bears continue preparations to leave Soldier Field for Arlington Heights is PFT sharing a nugget from a league source who tells Mike Florio that injury data for turf fields in 2022 was “awful.” The Bears know that feeling all too well, particularly after losing Eddie Jackson and Darnell Mooney to season-ending injuries at MetLife Stadium.
  • Shot:
  • Chaser:
  • It’s almost as if we shouldn’t discuss OTAs like they’re a horse race. Some good stuff from Awful Announcing’s Sam Neumann on the growing oddity of breathless coverage of May practices without pads.
  • Another day, another reminder (this time from B/R) that the Bears need pass-rush help. And unlike some teams who have a similar need, the Bears have money to throw at the position should they seek a splashy short-term deal. There aren’t any Khalil Macks to be had on the trade market right now. But the Bears could extend an alluring offer to a plug-and-play free-agent option. I predict that the DE market will start moving after Markus Golden’s signing with the Steelers.
  • Eli estimates how much the Bulls can spend this offseason. And while I don’t think the Bulls can’t spend their way out of this mess, they might as well try:
  • A reminder that anything is possible: The 8-seed Florida Panthers are going to the Stanley Cup Final as the Eastern Conference’s rep. (BN Blackhawks)
  • Baseball is silly and I love it:
  • This story had me like wow:

  • 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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