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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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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Friday Lynx Package [5/19/23]

| May 19th, 2023

This is the slowest period of the NFL season, and it’s a welcome respite from what has become a ten-month onslaught of content. Here are some links for a nice spring Friday.

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A Few Thoughts on the 2023 Chicago Bears Schedule

| May 17th, 2023

It is an incredibly silly exercise to project wins and losses when a schedule is released but that doesn’t stop the whole of social media from doing just that. Here are some thoughts on the schedule overall.

  • The bye comes at the perfect point in the season for a young team. They will be off the first week in December and follow that break with three of their final five at home, against Detroit, Arizona and Atlanta. If Chicago Bears want to build momentum for the 2024 season, a season where they should be expected to compete for January football, the schedule makers did them serious favors.
  • Realistically, the Bears would be in position to have a successful 2023 campaign if they’re hovering around .500 at their bye.
  • It *looks like* DBB will be eschewing our love for the New York City Marathon and venturing to New Orleans for Bears at Saints on November 5th. We could be hosting a fan meet-up somewhere OUTSIDE of the Quarter so stay tuned. (This will most likely be at The Beaded Oak in the Garden District.)
  • Still want to see the league move away from these divisional matchups in the opening weeks. With so little contact all summer and nobody playing the practice games, it makes no sense to have games that matter so much so early. Start the season with a month of non-conference games.
  • When is the last time the team with the first pick in the draft had four primetime games the following season? If the Chicago Bears were ever a consistently good club, they’d have double digit games in front of a national audience.
  • The Thursday Night Football structure is…interesting. They’ll play Washington (without a quarterback) and Carolina (with a tiny quarterback) on short weeks, and then have mini byes before divisional matchups with Minnesota and Detroit. It’s odd but I think the Bears probably like how this shook out.
  • For weeks, after Chiefs/Bears in Germany was leaked, I stressed that I didn’t believe the report. Why? I was told by someone who knows that Kansas City received numerous complaints from their local hospitality partners about the potential loss of the Chicago tourist horde. Folks don’t understand how important these relationships are in the smaller markets. New York, Chicago, New Orleans don’t care. They don’t need tourists. Kansas City is a football destination, and it is no coincidence that they are playing Miami – with one of the notoriously invisible fan bases in the league – in Frankfurt.
  • I’m breaking the schedule into the following sections and will use these as evaluative check points during the season. You’ll notice the third section is short but I’m structuring this around moments in the season where the Bears will be able to self-evaluate and make adjustments.
    • Section I: home Packers, at Bucs, at Chiefs, home Broncos, at Commanders (TNF)
    • Section II: home Vikings, home Raiders, at Chargers, at Saints, home Panthers (TNF)
    • Section III: at Lions, at Vikings (MNF), Bye
    • Section IV: home Lions, at Browns, home Cardinals, home Falcons, at Packers