A new year of football really has the Chicago Bears itching to get back on the field:
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) May 24, 2017
Who can blame them? The quicker football season gets here, the sooner the team can go out and try and erase the taste left behind by a 3-13 season and an offseason of scorn.
- Kevin White’s absence on Day 2 of OTAs wasn’t what anyone wanted to see at this point in the offseason. And while ESPN’s Jeff Dickerson writes about how head coach John Fox says he can’t control the reaction of others upon learning of White’s non-participation, it’s understandable why some would go to a dark place. The 2017 season is an important one for White, who has played four games since being the seventh overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft. White should have ample opportunity to shine in an offense for a team that watched Alshon Jeffery walk away in free agency and did not attempt to replace him with a high-round draft pick. Fox is doing the right thing in wanting to ensure that White is ready for the regular season, but we’re already off to an ominous start to seeing that become a reality.
- Another receiver worth watching in 2017 is Markus Wheaton, who signed a two-year deal in free agency after spending the first four years of his career with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Kevin Fishbain of Pro Football Weekly catches up with Wheaton, who missed time last season with a shoulder injury. Like several other key members of the offense, Wheaton is new to the team and a revamped offense, but he is showing some positive traits early in his Bears career as he attempts to bounce back from a down 2016 – even beating his position coach to work.
Texas A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin was at #Bears practice today. Common for college coaches to take in NFL practices this time of year.
— Adam Hoge (@AdamHoge) May 23, 2017
- Hopefully, the Bears’ coaches were picking Kevin Sumlin’s brain during his visit. His Texas A&M offense averaged 34.8 points per game, which ranked 34th of 128 teams in 2016.
- Fishbain’s notebook (which you should go check out when you get a chance) also highlights the players who were not present at Tuesday’s OTAs, including Hroniss Grasu, Kyle Long, Zach Miller, Deonte Thompson, Danny Trevathan, and Willie Young.
- Moving on from receivers to the players who cover them, Mark Potash of the Chicago Sun-Times shares some thoughts from Deiondre Hall, who is making the move from cornerback to safety this season. Hall, if you’ll recall, was arrested in March and charged with three misdemeanors (disorderly conduct, public intoxication, interference with police after the incident) stemming from something that happened at a bar in Cedar Falls, Iowa. Hall has had an uphill climb since as he is trying to move past the incident and move into a significant role on the gridiron. So, why is he still here? “I told [the Bears] the truth. That’s why I’m still here,” Hall said in the Sun-Times piece. “I told them exactly what happened. It was calming to know they had enough trust in me and what I’ve shown to keep me here.” Hall is one of eight safeties in camp vying for time and trying to carve out a role for 2017, and possibly beyond.
- Already thinking of what the Bears could use in the 2018 NFL Draft, Phil Thompson of the Chicago Tribune rounds up several ridiculously early mock drafts. Unfortunately, it looks like the Bears will be choosing early again.
- The NFL made several rule changes (which you can read about here, via the New York Times) and one of them could result in a change in won-loss record … by making ties more possible. Over at FiveThirtyEight, Ty Schalter writes about the effects of shortening overtime from 15 minutes to 10, which could result in fewer wins and losses, but more ties.
- Brandon Marshall’s name getting dragged after leaving a team is turning into a tradition unlike any other. An unfortunate one, considering his talent level and past production:
— 120 Sports (@120Sports) May 23, 2017