Friday Lynx Package [6/2/23]

| June 2nd, 2023

Another week in the books! Another round of links from around the world of the Chicago Bears.

  • Interior demolition has begun at Arlington Park, and the process of moving the Bears to the suburbs continues. And for those of you who think this is going to be simply brilliant, Taylor Swift played in the suburbs of NYC this past weekend and the traffic halted everything in the area.
  • Former Bears linebackers coach Bill McGovern has passed.
  • Max Strus is in the NBA Finals. He’s also a lifelong Bears fan with serious opinions.
  • The Bears are coming to Fortnite. (I don’t know what Fortnite is, but I’m sure some of you do.)
  • ACTUAL BEAR NEWS: A bear in Connecticut stole 60 cupcakes at a bakery.
  • Early word from the practice field? Roschon Johnson has a chance to be the starting running back for the 2023 Chicago Bears. (This is the kind of thing that always happens in the short camps, but the team is seriously impressed with the versatility Johnson brings to the position.)
  • From A to Z Sports: “Chase has improved tremendously, just from the end of last year to now,” Fields said. “That’s one thing I’m truly proud to say, just seeing his work ethic, his attitude change, you can just see he’s taken another step. Definitely excited for that.” Claypool has taken so much criticism from Twitter experts. There’s no player I’ll be rooting harder for in 2023.
  • When there’s nothing to write about this time of year, folks starting writing about NEXT year. And the topic du jour is whether the Bears will pick up their quarterback’s fifth-year option. Does this require an article? No. If Fields is good in 2023, they will. If Fields is not good in 2023, they likely will not.

A final note:

A few weeks back, the Tribune’s Rick Pearson “won the Chicago Headline Club’s prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award along with three other veteran journalists who have covered Chicago for decades.” Rick is a terrific guy, a brilliant journalist, and a good friend. Since first meeting him with Reverend Dave at the Billy Goat over a decade ago, getting together with Rick at the Goat has been the only “must do” thing on every one of my trips to Chicago. He IS Chicago to me, and I want to congratulate him on this much-deserved honor.

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Dannehy: Winners and Losers of Off-Season, Bears Edition

| June 1st, 2023

As Chicago’s roster takes shape after what was thought to be a monumental offseason, it’s becoming clear who may or may not be key parts of the team going forward, despite what was previously believed. Here are three winners and three losers of the 2023 offseason.


Justin Fields

Fields has to make this list because the team announced with authority that Fields is The Guy.

Even after last season, it was fair to question if the Bears viewed Fields as the quarterback they wanted moving forward. (If we all acknowledge the moves Poles made this offseason show the team’s commitment to Fields, then we must also acknowledge that the moves Poles made last year showed uncertainty about the young quarterback.) The Bears did their homework on the quarterbacks in the draft — a decent group — and instead decided to stick with Fields, knowing they almost certainly wouldn’t be in position to draft a replacement next year.

Poles added a top-20 wide receiver and replaced the entire right side of the offensive line. He signed a free agent running back and drafted another; added a wide receiver in the draft and signed a tight end who has been a productive player in the NFL.

Fields is the guy, now he has to reward the faith.

Teven Jenkins

Jenkins might have to fight for his job but there’s no question he will enter training camp as the favorite to start at left guard. Many expected the Bears to spend a Day Two pick on either a center or a guard. Instead, the team didn’t draft a single interior offensive lineman. That means Jenkins is penciled in at left guard with Cody Whitehair shifting to center and Lucas Patrick backing both of them up.

Read More …

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Three Questions Facing the 2023 Chicago Bears

| May 31st, 2023

Question One. Can they engineer a pass rush?

The Eagles had 70 sacks in 2022. The Bears had 20. This means that on average, the Eagles generated 2.9 more sacks per game. That number is massive and should give fans a clue as to how far this club needs to travel to be a title contender.

Everyone knows the Bears need to add a player or two at the edge position (Floyd, Yannick, etc.) but it’s unlikely the player they add is going to be a dominant player. Those players aren’t still available as free agents in the summer. The Bears have to double that sack total in 2023 if they want to be even a mediocre defense.

Question Two. How long will the new offensive line take to gel?

60% of their starting offensive linemen will be new in 2023, and with Teven Jenkins changing positions, one can easily consider this group 80% new.  How long will Darnell Wright take to get his professional feet wet? How long will it take Jenkins to learn a new position? Can Cody Whitehair stay healthy in the middle and, if not, will Lucas Patrick get the opportunity to show he can play the position when he has a working right thumb? The 2023 offensive line has the potential to be a solid unit. But that may take some time, and the Bears need to make sure the season doesn’t drown as a result of the growing pains.

Question Three. Is DJ Moore the final piece of “the Fields puzzle”?

Justin Fields’ strength as a passer is the deep ball. DJ Moore dominates deep.

Fields has struggled with intermediate and underneath passing, primarily because his receivers haven’t separated and that has forced him to throw into tight, contested windows. Moore separates, even from the best corners, and should be able to make the shallow cross a dominant feature of this offense. If he provides what the Bears believe he will, a breakout season from the quarterback likely.

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Friday Lynx Package [5/26/23]

| May 26th, 2023

Safe travels to all who are traveling this Memorial Day Weekend. And if you have a few pops, don’t get behind the wheel of your car. It has never been easier in this world to find a ride from one place to another. Don’t put your life, or the lives of others, in jeopardy.

Now, some reading material for the weekend.

  • From Jahns and Fish over at The Athletic: A thorough look at the relationship between Justin Fields and the folks running the Chicago Bears. Some terrific insights in here on something DBB has pointed out repeatedly over the last year: the fans have fixated over Fields “proving” he was the guy in year two; the Bears never worried about it.
  • Giving CHGO a bump here (even though I don’t 100% understand what these guys provide that isn’t available in 12 other places): Here is the OTAs recap video from Hoge and Moreano.
  • NBC: David Montgomery says losing “sucked the fun out” of the game for him in Chicago. So he joined the…Lions? Montgomery was no longer wanted in Chicago because he’s actually a limited football player. His new team confirmed this by drafting a player at his position with their first pick in the draft.
  • ACTUAL BEAR NEWS: Great video in this article of a bear emerging from under a deck in a New Bedford, Mass home.
  • Did you know Richard Dent was now working in the energy sector?
  • New president Kevin Warren apparently botched the Big Ten television contract pretty badly before bailing on the conference. (Nothing that happens in college football matters to me, and this is no different.)
  • VOTING ENDS SATURDAY FOR MASCOT HALL OF FAME! Let’s get Staley, the legend, into this illustrious club. (I have no idea what other mascots are in.) Click that link, however, because the videos the Bears have been making for Staley have been pretty damn funny.

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Dannehy: Leonard Floyd Returning Best Answer to Pass Rush Problem

| May 25th, 2023

Leonard Floyd’s career was seen as a disappointment.

The GM who traded up to draft him with the ninth overall pick rescinded his fifth-year option and instead signed an older player, Robert Quinn. While Quinn had one great season with the Bears, that move looks like a clear mistake; Floyd picked up 29 sacks in three years with the Rams.

It isn’t just the sacks. Floyd had 22 quarterback hits last year, 18 the year before and 19 in 2020 — the three best totals of his career. A large part of the success has to do with Aaron Donald constantly destroying the pocket. Another part is just that the Rams let him rush the passer more; Floyd had 442 pass-rush snaps with the Bears in 2019, according to Pro Football Focus. He averaged 561 per season with the Rams.

Floyd would bring speed and bend off the edge that the Bears don’t currently have. He has also been durable, not missing a game since 2017. Will that continue? (He’ll turn 31 next season.)

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