152 Comments

Bears Sign CB Tavon Young

| April 11th, 2022


Tavon Young is a good player.

And a smart signing.

For Ryan Poles, a signing like Young is all about roster options. A healthy Young stabilizes the slot corner role and allows the new GM (and his coach) to give a player like Thomas Graham opportunities outside. Young also provides Poles cover when it comes to the draft; he’ll no longer approach rounds two and three desperate to find an immediate starter in the secondary.

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389 Comments

Friday Lynx Package: Jahns Leads the Way, Poles Preaching Patience, Arlington Heights in the Distance.

| April 8th, 2022


Let’s take a look around the internet and see what’s interesting.

  • The legend that is Adam Jahns has perhaps the best piece of the off-season – a breakdown of Chicago’s plan to develop Justin Fields. While fans are obsessing over the pieces around the player, the Bears are focused on the player. And that’s the correct approach.
  • Bears Care Gala tickets are now on sale and if you have the means, it’s an amazing event. (It’s not cheap.) For a grand you can be seated with a Bears legend AND a current Bears player/coach at the dinner, while also receiving an invitation to the VIP cocktail reception afterwards. It also supports the great work this organization does in the community, mostly under the radar.
  • Brad Biggs does a mock draft, including the two second-round selections for the Bears. And apparently, if you follow the twitter mentions, it’s an outlier of mock drafts. (Again, I have no idea when it comes to this stuff. I’ll start my draft research in about three weeks. And that will be plenty. But Biggs gets sauteed for selecting someone called Jobe in the second round.)
    • One thing: I do not believe Poles is targeting any particular positions with these picks. He’ll have a board and he’ll stick with it. He won’t reach at WR or OT because the closet is empty at those two spots. Poles is preaching patience, and his behavior has reflected that.
  • Totally missed this excellent Kevin Fishbain piece on the origins of Matt Eberflus in Toledo.
  • ACTUAL BEAR NEWS: Bears are starting to wake up from their hibernation and instructions on how to deal with that are circulating from New York to Michigan. I’m amazed by these people who live in places where bears are just hanging outside the local tavern at night. Just seems like a recipe for drunk guys losing bear fights.
  • Good piece at WCG, as Jacob Infante breaks down which wide receivers in this draft class fit Luke Getsy’s scheme. If I’m Poles, I’m looking at one thing: speed, speed, speed.
  • Missed this whole kerfuffle between Fields and some jackass at Barstool, a company I’ve hesitated to criticize because I really appreciated the work their top guy did to support struggling bars and restaurants during Covid. I get the appeal of Barstool. They speak directly to the kind of sports fan I avoid at bars, and there are A LOT of those guys.
  • Speaking of barstools, this is a terrific read in Baltimore Magazine, arguing why sitting at the bar is often the best place to experience a restaurant. “When we go out, we like to sit at the bar,” Cooper, 79, says. “It’s fun to be close to each other. I think bartenders are sort of fun. They give you quite a bit of attention. It’s cozy.”

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80 Comments

The Masters Tournament Gambling Guide

| April 7th, 2022

(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)


This space is often occupied by non-Bears topics, but those topics are rarely – if ever – other sports. The reason is simple: I don’t watch most other sports. I don’t watch baseball, basketball or hockey. I don’t even watch college football. I watch the NFL. I watch soccer. And I watch golf, my favorite sport, in every single form.

Since there is a serious lull in actual news around the Chicago Bears, today I’m dedicating this space to the greatest golf tournament in the world: The Masters Tournament.


Who Will Win?

Brooks Koepka (+2000)

In January, I had Cam Smith projected to win this tournament. But after winning The Players, is he really going to pull off the kind of double reserved for the legends of the sport?

Scottie Scheffler is the hottest player in the world. But in two appearances at Augusta National he has not contended. Scheffler is going to win here. But not this week.

Jon Rahm’s got a balky putter. Justin Thomas has a poor track record at the majors. Dustin Johnson is capable of hitting his driver fifty yards off-line currently. Rory McIlroy is, well, Rory McIlroy. (And with a green jacket on the line, he’s REALLY Rory McIlroy.)

So, with all that indecision, give me the game’s best player when it comes to major weeks. (And he’s in sneaky good form.)


Who Will Top 5?

Shane Lowry (+800)

When trying to project golf finishes, two factors matter: form and course history. Lowry’s last three results in stroke play events are a second at Honda, 13th at The Players and 12th at Valspar. He has been in the top 25 the last two years at Augusta. And with wind expected all week, it’s hard to find a player who handles the conditions better.

At that number, this seems a solid bet.

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306 Comments

Random Thoughts on the First Friday in April

| April 1st, 2022


  • A lot of emails flooding the DBB inbox involve an OUTRAGED question: “How is this team better than they were a year ago?” The question completely misses the point. Why I refer to this season as a “scrap metal” season is because that’s what it is. The Bears were driving a beater. It could get them from Point A to Point B (hover around .500/sneak into the playoffs), but it was also capable of breaking down at any moment and it did in 2021. Poles could have could have kept Mack and signed big names to big contracts, but he knows none of those moves would make them contenders in 2022. And that should be only goal. Pole is starting from scratch.
  • I do all of my draft research in the few days before the draft, but I found myself reading Daniel Jeremiah’s top 50 rankings the other day and one name seemed interesting to me: Bernhard Raimann. “Raimann has a fascinating story. He was a foreign exchange student from Austria, and he developed himself into a tight end prospect. In his third season at Central Michigan, he made the transition to left tackle. He is a fun player to study. In the passing game, he has enough foot quickness to handle speed rushers, and his combination of core and hand strength jumps off the screen. When he lands his punch, the play is over. He will occasionally get too wide with his base, which left him susceptible to counter moves. He is a mauler in the run game. He has knock-back power and looks to finish consistently. Overall, Raimann has picked up the position incredibly fast and should be a reliable starter early in his career.”
  • Whenever someone asks me about Eric Fisher, I wonder this: Poles had him in KC, Flus had him in Indy. Isn’t it telling that they’re not rushing to sign him?
  • ACTUAL BEAR NEWS: A Massachusetts native was killed by a grizzly bear in Montana but apparntly “he knew the risks of the wild.” I have a rule I follow. Don’t die doing something where people can react with, “Well, you know, he probably shouldn’t have…”. I don’t jump off high things. I don’t fuck with “the wild”. I don’t ski. I don’t fly in tiny planes piloted by rich guys or celebrities.

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185 Comments

Justin Fields’ 2022 Season Won’t End the Twitter Debates, and the Bears Won’t Care

| March 30th, 2022


Justin Fields’ potential future in Chicago is not going to be decided by Ryan Poles and Matt Eberflus in 2022. That evaluation has already concluded and he’s their guy moving forward, certainly through 2023. The next “evaluation” of the quarterback will take place at the backend of that ’23 campaign, when the professional sample size is adequate, and the organization must consider their long-term financial commitments to him.

Why? Why is there not more pressure on this coming season?

First, because the Bears are not going to be good this year. That’s just a premise with which more fans need to be comfortable.

Second, because Poles and Flus know it will not be easy to install a new offense for Fields – his third in three years – and have the kid flourish. They’ll want to see him take significant steps from year one to year two, of course, but they’ll by no means expect a finished product. There will not be many finished products when it comes to the 2022 Chicago Bears.

But most of all, expectations for Fields will be managed because the leadership knows of 2022’s roster limitations. This is a scrap metal season, an attempt by Poles to sell the beater left in his driveway by Ryan Pace for parts. That notion has guided his approach in these first weeks of free agency. Other than attempting to sign the best three-tech on the market to significant money, the Bears have focused on a series of mid-tier (or lower) guys on upside, short-term deals. Their failed attempt to get Ryan Bates from Buffalo was the best example of this. Bates is not a great guard. He’s a good, solid, YOUNG player. The rest of their signings tell the same story:

  • Justin Jones, Al-Quadin Muhammad and Nicholas Morrow give the Bears bodies on defense but don’t figure to have long-term value in the organization unless they perform to a seriously high level.
  • Byron Pringle and Equanimeous St. Brown come to the Bears with personal connections – the former to the GM and the latter to OC Luke Getsy. If either player develops a serious rapport with Fields, the signing will be a home run. (My prediction is Pringle sticks around in Chicago for several seasons.)
  • Khari Blasingame returns the fullback position to Chicago and signals a serious transition to the Shanahan style.
  • Dakota Dozier is a depth piece with starting experience.

Twitter is a vomitorium where Justin Fields is always trending. When you click his name, which I try not to do and consistently fail, you find an endless series of Bears fans arguing with every other anonymous fan base about him. No one is right. No one is wrong. Everyone is angry. These tend to be the fans DESPERATE for the Bears to overspend on offensive linemen and wide receivers not worth the money. They want their opinion proved correct. They want Fields to be great right now.

But sadly, the Bears are at a weird organizational crossroads. They drafted their quarterback of the future and then fired the whole of their football operations the following season. Poles must act like Fields’ rookie season never happened; operate like Fields will be the team’s first round pick this season. And then he must build the roster accordingly moving forward. Poles and Flus start with a clean slate in Chicago. Fields should too.

Fields might become a great player. He also might not. For now, the Bears will be patient. They’ll keep the future in focus, at the expense of 2022. Can fans of the franchise do the same?

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241 Comments

After the Craziest Few Weeks in NFL Off-Season History, Updated Division/Title Odds

| March 28th, 2022


I’m posting these to DBB because over the course of the season, I find myself constantly searching out data like this. Figure it’s easier to store right here on the site. 


NFC NORTH

Packers -175

Vikings +275

Bears +750

Lions +1200

Thought: Green Bay actually feels a bit undervalued at that number. Barring a Rodgers injury, they are winning the division.


NFC EAST

Cowboys -115

Eagles +350

Commanders +400

Giants +650

Thought: The Giants have near identical odds to win their division as the Raiders do to win theirs. Just shows you how awful this division looks to be on paper. If the Cowboys weren’t such a national entity, they’d have plus odds.


NFC SOUTH

Bucs -280

Saints +450

Falcons +1000

Panthers +1100

Thought: What is there to say? On paper, this is the greatest divisional mismatch in the sport. It is Tom Brady vs. three teams that struck out on Deshaun Watson.


NFC WEST

Rams +160

Niners +195

Cardinals +325

Seahawks +1300

Thought: San Francisco is the team I’m most wary of at this stage because Trey Lance absolutely disappeared in 2021. (They had packages for him early in the year.) Is he going to be ready to be the starting quarterback in 2022? Has the bridge been burned with Jimmy G? Too many questions for odds like that.


AFC NORTH

Browns +175

Bengals +200

Ravens +225

Steelers +850

Thought: Deshaun. Watson. 

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