Prelude to a Preseason Game: Things to Watch on Saturday

| August 12th, 2022

The official DBB talking points when it comes to the preseason are well established. These games are glorified practice sessions. The “schemes” are vanilla. The intensity is non-existent. The value is nil. But the 2022 Chicago Bears find themselves in an interesting place as they begin their preseason calendar tomorrow. Here are a few things worth looking at as the Chiefs come to Soldier Field.

  • Braxton Jones. The new regime is not repeating the mistakes of the previous one. They have spent the early days of camp trying to firmly establish a starting five across the offensive line. That line looks to be Jones-Whitehair-Patrick (Mustipher backing up)-Schofield-Reiff. But with young tackles waiting in the wings (Borom, Jenkins) Jones can ill afford to lose the confidence of his coaches, or quarterback, in the weeks leading up to the regular season. The job is his to win. A few stable efforts in these practice games should achieve that.
  • Darnell Mooney’s Reps. Calling the Bears thin at wide receiver would be a massive understatement. They have Mooney, a rookie with significant potential (and speed) and a bunch of fourth options. Oh, and most of the fourth options are dealing with injuries. Any significant injury to Mooney would relegate this position group to worst in the league status. And not just worst WR group. Worst position group, period. Flus and Getsy are playing with fire if Mooney has pads on tomorrow.
  • The Opening Drive on Offense. Doesn’t it just feel like this group could use some points to start things off? They don’t need a touchdown, even, just a nice 30/40-yard drive and an easy field goal. Get some first downs. Develop some rhythm. Don’t get the quarterback hit. Something. A start.

Coach Flus has said the starters will receive substantial playing time tomorrow. So, as always, the most important part of this ball game is the Bears coming out of it as healthy as they go into it. With the season still a month away, it would be difficult to argue for the importance of much else.

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How to Fix NFL Preseason in Three Easy Steps

| August 20th, 2019

This space has been belittling preseason football for a decade. These games have no relevance. They have never had any relevance. And they are a useless health risk.  It seems the entirety of the league has finally figured that out. And now the media has noticed!

Step 1. Two Games.

One of the biggest issues with the preseason is the ridiculousness of playing four games. The only reason these four games exist is because owners (a) can rip off their season ticket holders by forcing the purchase on them and (b) charge exorbitant rates to local television providers for the broadcast rights.  But networks are getting smarter and starting to realize these games not only have no value in their second halves, they have almost no value from the opening whistle. Thus you’ll notice endless commercials for local car dealers.

So cut the thing in half. And really push one of the two games as a developmental display. That means don’t play a single starter or relevant player. I would have been far more interested in seeing Tyler Bray play four quarters than seeing the Chase Daniel play with a bunch of guys he’ll never see in actual game action. Especially when you consider the Bears are a Mitch Trubisky or Daniel injury away from Bray being a pivotal component of their 2019 roster.

But the point here is ending the duplicity of the enterprise. Stop pretending these games are in any way a preparation for the regular season. It’s insulting.

Step 2. Free Entry, Half-Price Concessions Including Merchandise

Open the gates to everyone for the one game you’d be hosting.

Sell beer and soda and hot dogs for half price.

Sell jerseys and hats and all that bullshit for half price.

Turn this preseason game into a celebration of the fans. Make it ABOUT them. A father is way more likely to buy jerseys for the kids if the jerseys are $50 instead of $100. And he’ll definitely slam down a few $6 MGDs.

Read More …

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