Jay Cutler and Matt Forte were part of one of the most productive offenses the Chicago Bears have fielded in recent years, and both could soon be coming to a television set near you.
Indeed, Phil Thompson of the Chicago Tribune writes Cutler isn’t the only ex-Bear getting a chance to try his hand at the media. Forte, Jimmy Clausen, and 21 current (and former) players are going through the NFL’s four-day broadcast bootcamp in New Jersey where they’ll learn about techniques used on TV and radio.
So far, so good:
— SiriusXM NFL Radio (@SiriusXMNFL) May 16, 2017
- The Bears’ covert mission to take Mitch Trubisky is one of the most interesting things to come out of this – or any draft – in recent history. The team went well out of its way to throw anyone and everyone off the path – throwing up one smokescreen after another – before getting wild and trading up to pick Trubisky with the second overall pick. Over at the Chicago Tribune, Dan Wiederer unearths some details of the private dinner in Chapel Hill, N.C. that helped keep things under wraps. Wiederer writes that Trubisky was given the responsibility to make dinner reservations for himself and five Bears talent evaluators – a small request that is intended to give GM Ryan Pace an inkling into a prospect’s availability. Trubisky successfully did so at one of the town’s top steakhouses, and did so using an alias that definitely raised some eyebrows – James McMahon. As in James Robert McMahon … as in Jim McMahon, the only quarterback in Bears history to lead the team to a Super Bowl win. Talk about knowing your audience.
- There are some other intriguing anecdotes in the piece, so you’ll want to give this one your full attention when you get a chance.
- Over at CBS Chicago, Chris Emma offers up the highlights of Drew Brees’ interview with the Mully and Hanley Show at 670 The Score. Having the unique perspective of previously working with Bears GM Ryan Pace, Brees dropped in some perspective on the team’s current situation. Brees, one of the game’s most decorated quarterbacks, gushed about Pace’s talent-evaluation skills, adding Chicago was lucky to land a front office member of his caliber. As for the deal that transpired to get the franchise quarterback the organization has been thirsty to land over the years, Brees reserved judgment, saying: “That’s not something you can evaluate now, or even a year from now. That’s just something that obviously takes time as you’re beginning to build your team.”
- It’s interesting that Brees sees the Bears’ rebuild situation as still in its early stages, even though Pace is in the third year of a four-year contract. Brees isn’t wrong here, despite the numerical optics, because drafting a quarterback as high as the Bears did allowed the front office to push the reset button on the organizational rebuild. Drafting a quarterback has provided the Bears a fresh start and clean slate moving forward. How the front office handles it from here on out remains to be seen.
- On the other side of the ball, defensive coordinator Vic Fangio is taking a wait-and-see approach when discussing his group. ESPN’s Jeff Dickerson writes that Fangio doesn’t have a feel for what his defense is and will be just yet, and that a lot can happen in OTAs and training camp before he gets a better grasp on the situation. Fangio didn’t have much to work with at the Bears’ rookie mini-camp, as the team used four of its five draft picks on offensive players. But Fangio will have his work cut out for him moving forward, when he tries to piece together a defense that added seven free agents in the offseason.
- I bet Fangio is itching to see the full-time return of linebacker Jerrell Freeman, who Pro Football Focus lauded as was one of the game’s best in the second half of the season:
— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) May 18, 2017
- Not to be left out, there could be some turnover on special teams. Sure, Eddie Jackson and Tarik Cohen project to make an impact in the return game, but Andy Phillips doesn’t want to be left out of the special teams mix. Over at Pro Football Weekly, Kevin Fishbain writes about the 28-year-old skier-turned-kicker who could challenge incumbent Connor Barth this summer. Special teams coordinator Jeff Rodgers told Fishbain that Phillips’ background as an Olympic hopeful gives him a “unique profile.” Phillips was a late-bloomer by football’s standards, with his focus being on soccer and skiing when he was younger. At 28, Phillips was one of the older rookies in camp and has a different outlook on life than his fellow newcomers. Phillips has been married for six years, with two children, and a Master’s degree in business and information systems. That’s quite a résumé for a rookie.