Independence Day means a lot of things to many people of different backgrounds, races, cultures, ethnicity, etc. Here’s hoping we can all celebrate the July 4 holiday safely with peace, love, happiness, and fireworks that light up the sky.
But first, Tuesday’s Bullets:
- The Fourth of July is for dreamers, and it started with those who were dreaming of independence from British tyranny. Now, we can dream differently – especially with football around the corner. With that in mind, Bleacher Report’s Gary Davenport lists the top fantasy sleeper at every position for the 2017 season. You shouldn’t be surprised to know there aren’t any Bears players on the list, though there is one player you could make an argument for if you’d really be up for a challenge. In the end, it’s still worth stashing for draft day research purposes.
- Over at SI.com, Jonathan Jones takes an early look at which players will be contenders for the rushing crown. We already know Jordan Howard has put leading the NFL in rushing on his 2017 to-do list, which makes him an obvious choice as Jones’ leading candidate to run away with it. Overthrowing Ezekiel Elliott from the throne won’t be an easy task, but it doesn’t take much imagination to see Howard passing Elliott if he gets an increase in carries and repeats his 2016 per-carry average.
- Brian Urlacher believes he has an idea of why the Bears have taken a tumble since 2012, which happens to be the last season in which the team posted a winning record. “It’s the Lovie Smith curse,” Urlacher opined in an interview with Tiki Barber and Brandon Tierney of CBS Sports Radio. The Bears have gone 22-42 in four seasons since then-GM Phil Emery fired Smith after the team missed the playoffs despite posting a 10-6 record. Not that we believe in curses and things of that nature over here, but Urlacher has a point. The dynamic changed when Emery cut ties with Smith and the Bears scrapped their defense-first identity for a half-hearted attempt at being a pass-first team. Unfortunately, those efforts didn’t go all that well and the defense without Smith running the show in 2013, and the offense followed a year later as head coach Marc Trestman struggled at every turn.
- Over at Pro Football Talk, Mike Florio writes that Jeff Fisher wants to return to coaching. It’s not happening this year, but Fisher could return to the sidelines after a year away from the game. Fisher isn’t an awful head coaching candidate, but he isn’t one who inspires much of anything at this stage of his career. If you’ll recall, the Bears were offered up as a potential landing spot for Fisher if John Fox (who was rated as the 12th best coach in some recent head coach power rankings) was given the heave-ho by the front office after the 2017 season.
- And leave it to Matt Miller of Bleacher Report to playfully add some fuel to that fire:
— Matt Miller (@nfldraftscout) July 3, 2017
- Rather than leave you on a potentially sour coaching note, let’s take a trip in the time machine to better days. Peter King dug deep into the SI.com vault to unearth this treasure, a profile of Bears legend George Halas written by Frank Deford, who was a legend in his own field.