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Fields Takes the Stage: “Dress Rehearsal” a Rousing Success for Young QB

| August 28th, 2022


It’s hard to get excited for a “dress rehearsal” when the opponent announces none of their stars will play and several of your own stars won’t play either. They don’t have dress rehearsals for a production of Hamlet and let the Claudius and Gertrude sit them out. Nevertheless, we watch.

Quarter One.

  • Dante Pettis returns the first punt. He’s been reliable in that job this summer and he seems to have a solid spot on the roster.
  • Why does David Montgomery need preseason reps? We know how limited the shelf life of running backs is in the league. Why would you subject one to a single hit they don’t need to take?
  • Second drive for the offense provided a sense of how Getsy wants to approach the field. This is not an offense that will exist between the tackles. They want to use every inch, from sideline to sideline.
  • Justin Fields taking cheap shots in the preseason. That seems valuable.
    • Fields’ touchdown strike to Ryan Griffin was on a rope. The kid has a remarkable arm.
    • He also played an extremely composed quarter. He sat in the pocket. He surveyed the field. He delivered the football accurately.
  • Hard to really gauge what this defense will look like without seeing Robert Quinn and Roquan Smith out there. But they are checking all the boxes when it comes to intensity.

Quarter Two.

  • David Montgomery looks quicker, but there was no reason for him to STILL be carrying the football in the second quarter.
  • Fields to Pettis for the second touchdown. Another strike, after Fields looked all other options.
  • Never overreact to preseason action but Jaquan Brisker has some superstar potential. He’s as good in run support, pursuing the player, as he is in coverage, pursuing the football.
  • Fields throws a touchdown pass to a wide-open Cole Kmet. But the play was made by Fields’ patience. He had the checkdown early. But he didn’t take it. He allowed the play to breath. It did. Touchdown.
  • Really strong performance all around from Justin Jones.
  • Same for Kindle Vildor, who looks like he’ll have a significant role in the defense.

There is only one story of this half, and subsequently, game. The Bears saw what Justin Fields can be in this league. And what he can be is a top tier starting quarterback.


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Prelude to a Preseason Game: Things to Watch Saturday Night

| August 26th, 2022


Last one!

Last practice game of the 2022 off-season!

And with the starters expected to play a majority of the first half (supposedly), might there by more to watch in this practice game than in previous ones? Not really. But here’s what I’ll be watching.

  • INJURIES. This season is not going to be a fun one if the young talent isn’t on the field and that includes the quarterback, the three defensive backs, the left tackle, the right side of the line, etc. It would be devastating to not have this full complement when the scores actually count.
  • SPECIALS. The Bears seems to have decided upon Velus Jones Jr. as their primary kickoff and punt return man, with Dante Pettis the reliable alternative for the latter when they require a fair catch guy. It will be interesting to see if they deviate from that plan Saturday night. (Also, pay attention to which players are being used on the coverage units. It’ll be a strong clue as to who will be on this roster for the regular season.)
  • ROQUAN’S RETURN. Is this interesting to watch? No. Roquan Smith is a great player. He’ll be a great player against San Francisco in a few weeks. But it’ll be nice to see him again, I guess.
  • THE ACTUAL OFFENSE. David Montgomery hasn’t played in a preseason game. Byron Pringle hasn’t played in a preseason game. Equanimeous St. Brown doesn’t have a preseason catch. Velus hasn’t run a go route. Is there any chance we’ll see the actual offense tomorrow night? Doubtful. But maybe with the extended playing time, we get a hint of what’s to come?

It is a practice game. And there are still two weeks until the regular season. But hey, it’s something to do on a Saturday night that doesn’t involve drinking too much. (Spoiler alert: I will watch the game and also drink too much.)

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Divisional Round Weekend Gambling Guide

| January 15th, 2021


Saturday 3:35 PM CT – Rams @ Packers

Aaron Rodgers to score a touchdown: +550

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There’s logic here.

The Packers are going to move the ball. They’re going to get the ball into the red zone. And then they’ll have two major issues when it comes to scoring: Aaron Donald disrupting the run game and Jalen Ramsey taking Davante Adams away. Rodgers’ improvisational skills will be on full display when he takes the ball over the goal line.


Saturday 7:15 PM CT – Ravens @ Bills

Total points even: +106

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Five of the the last eight Bills games have ended in even points. So if you’re getting plus odds on that bet, you have to take it. This game was looking like a low-scorer when the forecast called for a snow storm at kickoff but now that forecast has changed and it’s just going to be a typical, cold, blustery Buffalo evening.

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Browns Sign Kareem Hunt

| February 12th, 2019


There were many people hoping another team would make this move, sparing the Bears faithful from the endless debate that would accompany such a signing. It happened. Hunt is now a Brown.

Were the Bears interested? Absolutely. Were they willing to make the move THIS soon, prior to an NFL ruling on Hunt’s availability for 2019? Absolutely not. The Bears have designs on winning a championship next season. They need availability. Because if 2018 proved anything, it proved the gap between the best team in the NFC and the fifth or sixth-best team is minuscule. (If the Bears make a kick in Miami, they would have been in the NFC title game this season.)

The Bears don’t have Hunt next season. But they still need A Hunt.

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Day Game Viewing Guide From Bears Perspective

| December 9th, 2018

The most important games of the week for the Chicago Bears will be played tonight (Bears v Rams) and tomorrow night (Vikings v Seahawks). But there’s still much to keep an eye on before we hit the primetime slate.

Who should the Bears fan root for?


Browns over Panthers

Another Panthers loss would basically clear them from the wildcard fray.


Cowboys over Eagles

There’s an argument to be made for rooting against Dallas. But that’s a seeding argument. Seeding schmeeding. Fans should just want the Bears playing in January.


Giants over Redskins

This is the least important because Mark Sanchez ain’t making a run.

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If Bears Go Offensive Head Coach, Shurmur the Conservative, Uninspiring Choice

| January 4th, 2018

Three days into another boozeless, eight-week run, I have started to develop a bit of a sweet tooth. (This grows and grows as the eight weeks progress.) My go-to thirst quencher in this regard is the gelato from the fine folks at Talenti.

And they have flavors. Double Dark Chocolate is my favorite. Toasted Almond is incredible. Coffee Chocolate Chip makes your heart sing with the sweetness of an early-90s animated Disney heroine. Caramel Cookie Crunch takes you down a wild forest road where the squirrels whistle your favorite song and woodchucks protect your children as the family sleeps.

They also have Vanilla Bean. It’s steady. It’s reliable. It’s not going to make you pause that episode of Billions (starring Chicago Bears fan Chris Denham) you’re watching, turn to your girlfriend and say, “This is incredible!” But it’s not going to upset you.

Pat Shurmur is Vanilla Bean.


Resume.

Shurmur’s career is interesting.

  • He spent ten years in Philadelphia under Andy Reid, coaching tight ends, offensive line and quarterbacks. Two things about this. (1) How many coaches are in charge of three position groups during one stint with an organization? That kind of versatility is why Shurmur profiled as a successful head coach. (2) He coached Donovan McNabb to the most prolific passing resume in Eagles history.
  • He left Philly to join Steve Spagnuolo’s staff in St. Louis. 2009 did not go well, with the team winning one game being quarterbacked by Marc Bulger and Kyle Boller. After drafting Sam Bradford – the last QB to get super rich on draft day – the team improved to 7 wins with the rookie putting together a solid (if conservative) 60%, 3,512 yards, 18 TDs, 15 INTs.
  • The following season, before being hurt, Bradford’s numbers plummeted. (53.5%, 2,164 yards, 6-6.) His offensive coordinator that season? Josh McDaniels.

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