This is the quietest time on the football calendar, the lull between the the NFL Draft and the start of training camps. So here’s some stuff worth reading. Read it, don’t, I don’t care.
- Dan Pompei’s excellent piece detailing the battle scars of Kyle Long is a painful NFL read. One of the things that has often surprised me is the general obliviousness many fans have when it comes to the physical toll football takes on the bodies of these young, strong men. None of those fans will look at the game the same way after reading this staggering work.
- The Bears were very good on defense in 2019. But they weren’t good enough to compensate for a putrid offense. Adam Jahns breaks down the Robert Quinn signing and just how good that unit will need to be to return to the postseason in January.
- Is Cole Kmet a Y? Is he a U? Is he some other letter? Here’s what I know: he’s an impressive young man with whom the coaches are already in love. Adam Hoge at NBC Sports Chicago discusses his early days as a Bear and where he’ll fit in the 2020 offensive structure.
- The Arlington Hambright Section!
- Kevin Fishbain at The Athletic profiles the young lineman’s rise from obscurity to the NFL.
- Jared Porter of The Joplin Globe (Missouri) looks at one of Hambright’s coaches, Jeff Sims. “In life and specifically in football, the common thing you’ll hear someone say is that they’re a hard worker and they’re willing to do everything in their power to succeed for their family, their mother or whatever it may be,” Sims said. “I would say Arlington is one of the best at truly believing and living up to that.”
- From Mark Potash’s piece on Roquan Smith in the Sun-Times: “Despite the issues he has had in his first two seasons, Smith has been as good as advertised. His sideline-to-sideline speed, his instincts and his versatility — the ability to rush the quarterback, be a tackling machine and defend in coverage — give him a dangerous skill set for an inside linebacker. So far, he’s clearly general manager Ryan Pace’s best first-round pick. But by the eye test and Smith’s own testimony, he has a lot more to give.”