Wednesday Lynx (and Brief Thoughts) Package [6/22/22]

| June 22nd, 2022

Again, I am pretty obviously a fan of Justin Fields. But the behavior of those defined as #BearsTwitter goes beyond fandom. They seem to have an emotional stake in his success, as if his failures on the field would have personal ramifications for them. They make bold (odd) pronouncements about him “owning” the league and winning Super Bowls. They have constant, meaningless fights with other fans. Every Bears fan wants Fields to succeed because his success means success for the franchise. But fans never behaved this way for Cade or Rex or Jay and certainly never for Mitch. What is so different about this player?

  • I reached out to John “Moon” Mullin in the early days of DBB – around 2006/7 – and was shocked at the time how generous he was with his time, with his advice, with his humor and wit. He was a truly good man, and he will be desperately missed. K.C. Johnson wrote a very nice send-off to Moon for NBC Sports.
    • Going through some old emails from Moon, I was struck by one piece of advice. He saw what the internet was doing to sports journalism and he feared one trend. “Don’t just be a fan, but don’t become a jaded old sportswriter either.” 
    • Adam Jahns had a very nice Twitter thread, paying tribute to Moon.
  • Pretty interesting piece by David Roeder in the Sun-Times regarding how money (and mainly taxpayer money) will influence the Bears plans in Arlington Heights. The truth of these NFL buildings is indisputable: they are nowhere near as valuable to the economics of their surrounding community as NFL owners want you to believe. And if you think a new building in Arlington Heights is suddenly going to become a premier concert venue, you’re out to lunch. This building will be vacant 98% of the year.
  • For those clamoring for a DK Metcalf trade, there is hope. This piece on Seattle Sports (710 AM) has a simple conclusion: “Metcalf wants a number much larger than the Seahawks are willing to pay.”
  • ACTUAL BEAR NEWS: A gigantic black bear has been spotted roaming a golf course in Naples, Florida. And I’m sure he’s already a better putter than I am. (As you read this, I’m probably three-putting for the third or fourth time in my Wednesday game.)
  • Braxton Jones is likely to be the starting left tackle when the Bears gather for training camp later this summer and Brad Biggs thinks he’s ready to win the job. You can also see some highlights of Jones at the Senior Bowl by clicking here.
  • Ryan Poles would trade Robert Quinn. He’s been open to trading Robert Quinn since he took the job. But to this point, the Bears just haven’t received a worthy offer. (Fox Bet has the Cowboys as favorites to land Quinn.) If I’m Poles, I’m not just moving Quinn for a draft pick. I’m only moving Quinn is a young, offensive piece is coming back to Chicago. And that’s very rare in the league.

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Tired, Lazy, Historically Useless Work Ethic Narratives Persist.

| June 17th, 2022

In 2005, J.P. Losman showed up for work in Buffalo a day BEFORE his head coach, Mike Mularkey. The Buffalo News reported, “…the new Buffalo Bills quarterback has been pretty much in one of three places: in a film room studying the offense, joined at the hip of quarterbacks coach Sam Wyche, or on the practice field.”

Losman threw 33 touchdowns in his entire NFL career and is currently now an admin assistant at the University of Oklahoma.

On August 12, 2009, Mark Sanchez displayed his “work ethic” and the Jets fan went wild.

I’m really, really starting to like this guy. There’s more to being the quarterback than making throws. Part of the position is displaying leadership. In the middle of an otherwise productive practice, Sanchez misses some throws he should hit, and immediately he’s breaking down film to figure out what he’s done wrong. That sets an example for the rest of the team and shows the kind of commitment a lot of rookies with big contracts don’t have.

Sanchez “played” for six teams in an underwhelming NFL career and now works in television.

In June of 2020, Browns OC Alex Van Pelt praised Baker Mayfield: “His work ethic is great. He jumps into other meetings that aren’t required, and he’ll sit in the receiver meetings when they have them and will sit in running back meetings from time to time, as well.”

Does anybody know what team Baker is going to be on next week? He sure doesn’t.

Rest assured, Bears fans. I come not to bury Justin Fields; a player I believe has the potential to be a transcendent figure in the history of this organization. I come to bury a lazy, tired narrative. Being the first guy in and the last guy out is useless if you can’t recognize coverages on Sundays in the fall. Being a leader on the practice field is terrific but the bench is packed with good leaders who can’t hit an open receiver in the seam.

Read More …

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Arlington Heights, Braxton Jones, Etc. – Five Thoughts for a Thursday in June

| June 16th, 2022

Because I only use Twitter for golf-related stuff this time of year, here are some quick hit thoughts about what’s happening around the Chicago Bears as teams prepare for their only “vacation time” of the season.

  • While I’ve been a seemingly lone voice against the Bears leaving Soldier Field, it is highly likely to happen now as the city is not budging when it comes to the organization’s needs/demands. Make no mistake about it, the Bears moving to Arlington Heights is not an inevitability. Chicago could stop the move. But right now, that’s simply not happening, and the team does not expect that to change.
  • There has been discussion about the Bears being potentially sold. It’s not happening, certainly not while Virginia is alive, and certainly not before Arlington Heights is completed. Folks always think of the NFL team value in terms of the sport’s popularity, television contracts, etc. But they forget how important real estate can be. If the Jets had moved to the West Side of Manhattan, their value would be increased by $2 billion. Instead, they stayed in the Jersey swamp.
  • It has been very funny to read about the number of reps Justin Fields is getting on the practice field. The same people who are salivating over it were criticizing DBB for harping on the subject – in reverse – a year ago. These were the “they’re not building the offense around Andy Dalton” fellas. Fields is getting the reps now because he needs them. New offense. New mechanics. New players around him. A lot for a young player.
  • While the focus has been on the Bears passing game for most of this off-season, I think it shouldn’t be forgotten that the Bears were a good running team in 2021 and they’re going to be a better one in 2022. Sam Mustipher, their worst offensive lineman, has been replaced. Khari Blasingame, a battering ram at fullback, has been added. And they have implemented the most successful rushing system in the modern sport. No, it’s not a championship structure. But it is a structure that should keep the team competitive in year one of the program.
  • Who is the early talk of practice? Braxton Jones. Don’t be surprised if Jones is given a chance to be the starting left tackle when the Bears return for camp.

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