Jeff Hughes | 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.
Tagged: David Montgomery, Fishbain, Jahns, Lynx, OTAs, Staley
Jeff Hughes | March 22nd, 2023
We’re entering something of quiet period between the height of free agency and the draft, unless you’re someone who finds prospect visits and pro days fascinating. So, let’s see what is being discussed out there.
- Next week, DBB will be holding our second annual pledge drive. With a full graduate school workload, this last year would have been near-impossible to execute on the site without the support from last year’s drive. Here’s hoping we have another successful week and can enthusiastically steer the ship into the lead-up to the draft.
- SHOCKER! Arlington Heights residents are now worried that bringing the Bears to their neighborhood will create a “traffic nightmare”. Why are they worried? Because every single stadium built in a suburb creates a traffic nightmare. Go to Foxboro, or the Meadowlands, or Inglewood. Everyone arguing otherwise is kidding themselves.
- ICYMI. Ryan Poles was convinced he could trade back twice in the first round, accruing an additional first pound pick in 2024. Instead, he took the Panthers offer, specifically because DJ Moore was in it. No brainer for Poles. Draft picks are rolling the dice and hoping for a six. Moore is an accomplished NFL wide receiver, a true top guy, that makes his club better immediately.
- ACTUAL BEAR NEWS: New Mexico’s Department of Game and Fish is now hiring “bear huggers”. And yes, it’s as adorable as it sounds.
- Teams are starting to leak their intentions when it comes to drafting Jalen Carter, but none of them should be believed. Carter is a tremendous talent, and he has a month of meetings to convince NFL franchises that his character concerns are overstated. (For the record, I don’t see Carter as a game changer at the next level.)
- Sometimes I get a good vibe about a player after reading a few profiles, and I’m getting that vibe about Ohio State OT Paris Johnson Jr. From Doug Lesmerises at Cleveland.com: “Hard to imagine the Bears not getting a good vibe from Johnson, who was a student journalist at Ohio State, who started a charity to help veterans, who always seems comfortable with who he is. He was on the OSU roster with Fields in 2020 as a freshman even though he didn’t start. Fields was the focus of a lot of combine questions, and Johnson went into a staunch defense of him, ending with, ‘He has all the intangibles that you want.'”
- Mel Kiper has his flaws when it comes to draft analysis, but he joins a growing chorus on Northwestern’s Peter Skoronski, suggesting the kid is destined to at least start his NFL career at guard. If that is the case, would the Bears be interested if they decide to take a lineman early, as Johnson Jr. and Georgia’s Broderick Jones will also likely be on the board when they choose?
- DJ Moore’s Moore2Life Foundation “supports at-risk youth and families in need through resource distribution, educational advancement, and mentorship-based programming. Growing up with a single mom in the heart of Philadelphia, Moore witnessed gun shots, sirens, and violence on a regular basis. Through the eyes of his young daughter, Ari, Moore intends to change that viewpoint and show the importance of giving back.” Here’s hoping that DJ can bring these efforts to Chicago in the coming years. It is needed.
Tagged: Arlington Heights, DJ Moore, Lynx, Mel Kiper, Moore2Life, Paris Johnson Jr., Peter Skoronski, Ryan Poles
Jeff Hughes | July 7th, 2021
Camp is still weeks away and with it comes the anticipation of analyzing every single throw from Justin Fields and Andy Dalton for days and days and days.
- Scott Dochterman at The Athletic has the fascinating tale of the Rock Island Independents: “At the intersection of 18th Avenue and 10th Street stand two brick ticket booths that serve as enduring markers to NFL history…For more than a century, those structures have stood at the entryway to Douglas Park, which once hosted an NFL charter franchise. In this gritty Mississippi River town, the booths are the only remaining relic from a foregone era when professional football consisted of mid-sized industrial towns and major communities.”
- Jim Miller doesn’t think the Bears will get a long-term deal done with Allen Robinson, pushing the drama back to next off-season.
- Here’s the YouTube link to a terrific Hoge & Jahns podcast with the great Jeff Joniak, a man I believe resides among the top radio play-by-play voices in the NFL.
- Is Eddie Goldman actually weighing retirement? Honestly, after the the craziness of the last year plus, nothing would surprise me. But Goldman is one of the best run-stuffing defenders in the league and the Bears would not be able to replace that production.
- Mike Ditka said some stuff about Matt Nagy and Justin Fields. I agree with both ideas, which now leads me to think I’m wrong.
- Bow Wow thinks the Falcons will regret not drafting Fields.
- ACTUAL BEAR NEWS: Outside of LA, a small bear attacked some men on Mount Wilson, as they waited for the fireworks to start. A reporter approached one of the men a day or so later. “Are you going back there next July 4?…”Oh yeah,” Kenneth responded.” I hope the bear returns for the rematch.
- Aaron Rodgers used this off-season to work on his mental health – which is another terrific example of pro athletes opening up about a major issue too long relegated to the shadows. He has also been defending his silent approach to his situation with the Packers – one of the strangest to play out in modern NFL history. Meanwhile, Rodgers hasn’t met with his receivers.
Updated NFC North odds:
Green Bay remains the favorite at -121, which could only be the number if DraftKings believed Rodgers will end up playing for the Packers. Minnesota and Chicago – +225 and +350 respectively – are sitting at pretty good numbers. Detroit is +2000 and those odds are still too low.
Tagged: Aaron Rodgers, Allen Robinson, Jeff Joniak, Lynx
Jeff Hughes | June 16th, 2021
There are very few points on the calendar where the NFL is at rest and this period – between the draft and camp – is the the league at its most restful. That’s why the “Justin Fields Makes Us Happy” and “Classic Game” posts have dominated the site. There’s no point in writing opinion pieces when there’s nothing on which to actually opine. So here are some damn links.
- Lindsay Jones at The Athletic has an interesting piece, breaking down the slow pace of vaccinations for NFL players. These guys should look no further than Jon Rahm on the PGA Tour, and understand vaccinations as a business decision. Rahm cost himself $1.6 million plus by delaying his jab and being removed from the field with a positive test at The Memorial. Testing positive will still take players off the field. And the only players getting tested will be the unvaccinated. Why risk it?
- Not a big Jason La Canfora fan when it comes to his often erroneous news breaks. But this piece for CBS absolutely skewers the Packers and their handling of the Aaron Rodgers situation. What the Packers are currently doing makes zero sense. Why take shots at Rodgers in the press? If you are willing to move on, and start the Jordan Love era, why not just do that and accumulate a million assets from Denver? The Packers are operating as if they have leverage. That leverage doesn’t exist. And Rodgers knows it.
- Where is Deshaun Watson going to play in 2021? My eyes are still fixed on Carolina, a quarterback-needy club that hasn’t addressed the position in a significant way. (Sam Darnold ain’t it.) The Cat Crave blog has a nice breakdown of what the Panthers might need to give up to bring Watson back to the Carolinas. If Watson ends up a Panther, it would be hard to make them a favorite in the NFC.
Also, it is June 15th and we have no idea where two of the five best quarterbacks in the NFL will be playing in September. That’s wild.
- A serious x-factor for the Bears this season will be running back Damien Williams, a Covid opt-out in 2020. (Colleen Kane has a nice profile of his return in the Trib.) Williams’ versatility will be a major asset for the offense, as he’ll be able to spell both David Montgomery AND Tarik Cohen; capable of both a 20-carry game and a 10-catch one. Nagy never had Williams in Kansas City but no doubt he received serious recommendations from the men there who did.
- ACTUAL BEAR NEWS. Two sleeping campers were attacked by bears in Alaska. Two thoughts. (1) If I come home from a night out, and someone I don’t know is sleeping in my apartment, and I throw them out violently, that’s not “an attack”! This is where the bears live. By sleeping there, the campers take on the risk. (2) The story says they had “bear deterrent”. Well, guess what? If you’re doing something that requires you have bear deterrent on you, you deserve to get attacked by bears. I have no sympathy for folks this stupid.
- Registration is now open for the Chicago Bears-led virtual 5K and Kids Dash. Last year the event raised $60,000 for local Covid-related causes in Chicago. This year they expect to do even better. From the release: “Registered participants will have the opportunity to run the 5K (3.1 miles) and Kids Dash 1K (.62 miles) any time from June 14 through July 31. Walkers are welcome, as there are no pace restrictions. All paid registered 5K runners will be mailed an official race shirt, commemorative Bears finisher medal, Bears/PNC-branded gaiter and Bears/PNC-branded fanny pack (for the first 250 registrants), while supplies last. Kids registered for the Kids Dash will be mailed a finisher medal, Bears/PNC-branded gaiter and tie headband from the Chicago Bears Kids Club brought to you by Jewel-Osco, while supplies last.”
Six links. And not one mention of Justin Fields. Not bad.
Tagged: Damien Williams, Lynx
Jeff Hughes | March 31st, 2021
Another Wednesday, another collection of Bears-related links from the wonderland known as the the World Wide Web.
- In their newest mock draft for The Athletic, Adam Jahns and Kevin Fishbain present a pivotal question facing the Bears on draft weekend: are Kellen Mond or Davis Mills likely targets after day one? (Mills seems to have shined as his Stanford pro day, per various reports. But if you can’t shine on your pro day, you’re literally just a terrible player.)
- Kyle Shanahan made news this week by deciding to attend the pro day of Mac Jones, not Justin Fields. This supports the widespread belief in league circles that the Niners are planning to select Jones third overall. So if you believe there are five first-round quarterbacks in this draft, the Bears are now down to two, Fields and Trey Lance.
- Really solid longish-form piece by Jeff Berckes at Windy City Gridiron, profiling the artist Jerry Keefe. Here’s a nice little passage:
“So, you know who George Halas is, right?”
Jerry Keefe’s son, also named Jerry, posed that question to me about five minutes into our first conversation. I happened to be staring at the bobblehead collection of Chicago Bears greats given out at home games for the 2019 season that sits on my desk. That collection includes the special Papa Bear bobblehead the Bears sent their season ticket holders, wearing his signature suit and fedora.
Yeah, I know George Halas.
“George was my Godfather.”
- ACTUAL BEAR NEWS, both from ABC.
- Dave Kindred is a sportswriting legend. 60 Minutes did a wonderful profile of his newest endeavor: covering high school girls hoops in central Illinois. (Thanks to my friend Rick Pearson for pointing me towards this piece.) He describes how he started this with perfect Kindred simplicity. “I went to a basketball game. And like the old war horse, I couldn’t sit there and not write about what I saw.”
Tagged: Kellen Mond, Lynx, Mac Jones, Polar Bear
Jeff Hughes | March 24th, 2021
Barring a blockbuster QB trade, it’s unlikely much will happen around the Bears – with the exception of the schedule release – before the NFL Draft. So here are some links.
- There have been various articles detailing the salary cap situation facing the Chicago Bears, but Data’s Twitter thread on the situation is certainly the most negative I’ve seen. Here’s the thing about the Bears and the cap: it actually doesn’t matter. This franchise will continue to tread water – with cap space or without – until they settle the quarterback position.
- Think the Dolphins are the landing spot for Deshaun Watson? Well articles are now starting to appear locally urging Miami to wait until Watson’s legal woes are resolved. Watson is going to play in the league again. He’s going to play well in the league. And he’s not going to do that for the Houston Texans. The Bears should stay in this conversation.
- Mock drafts are now projecting Mac Jones falling to the Bears at 20, per this piece from BearsWire, which includes a quote from mocker Doug Farrar. “Why would be drop to 20? Because the modern NFL requires quarterbacks to display mobility and second-reaction ability, and Jones has not shown much of that at all. But he’s a great pocket mover (the combination of liability and asset is why so many mock him to the Patriots), and perhaps he can be developed into a league-average mover on boots and scramble drills. From Day 1, though, he’s an improvement over what the Bears are hauling out there at the position.”
- ACTUAL BEAR NEWS. China has now opened a “Polar Bear Hotel”. It is completely booked for the foreseeable future but animal rights activists are not pleased. (Honestly, I’m surprised animal rights activists still monitor China.)
- Adam Hoge thinks the ceiling for Andy Dalton 2021 is Alex Smith 2017 and his excellent piece for NBC Sports details that comparison.
Tagged: Adam Hoge, Andy Dalton, Lynx, Mac Jones
Jeff Hughes | August 6th, 2020
- Who provided the most in-depth look at Mitch Trubisky’s competition preparation? Unsurprisingly, it’s a guy I used to drink with in bars when that kind of thing was allowed: Adam Jahns. And in his piece for The Athletic he gives plenty of reason for Mitch loyalists to believe the young signal caller is capable of finally turning a corner. My two cents? I just don’t understand what he’s done to earn another shot. If I’m the Bears, I tell Mitch that Nick Foles is starting the opener but to keep his arm warm in the bullpen.
- This spring I got into a somewhat public Twitter spat with Stacey Dales for having the gumption to challenge an opinion of hers. Now full reporting shows that Aaron Rodgers (a) was pissed at the selection of a first-round QB and (b) is openly discussing the end of his tenure with the organization. I get that some in the sports media get overly protective of those they cover to protect access. But this was dumb argument by a smart reporter. You’d have to know absolutely nothing about Rodgers to think he wouldn’t be offended by the pick.
- Kelly Stafford went a bit ballistic when it turned out Matt Stafford’s Covid-19 test was a false positive. “I have been losing my mind because of how my Family has been treated since my husband was put on the Covid-IR list,” Kelly, who has four children with Matt, said. “Even after we knew it was a false positive, I was approached in a grocery store told I was ‘endangering others,’ my kids were harassed and kicked off a playground, I was told I needed to wait in my car when trying to pick up food, and people closest to us had to get tested just so they could go back to work… and that’s just to name a few things.” Kelly has battled significant health issues and I understand her frustration. But all the things she suggests here are the PROPER PRECAUTIONS TO TAKE with a positive test. If it’s false positive, great. But before that is known, you can’t just pretend it’s life as usual.
- IN ACTUAL BEAR NEWS: Here are some bears “pole dancing” in West Hartford.
Tagged: Aaron Rodgers, Adam Jahns, Kelly Stafford, Lynx, Mitch Trubisky
Jeff Hughes | July 30th, 2020
Tagged: Bear in Pool, Fishbain, Jahns, Lynx, Patriots
Jeff Hughes | July 16th, 2020
Here’s five valuable things to read. Read em, don’t, I can’t really worry about it. It’s your life.
Tagged: Adam Jahns, Bear pizza, Bleacher Nation, Covid, Lynx
Jeff Hughes | June 25th, 2020
Anybody writing good stuff out there? Well certainly!