It sounds like the Chicago Bears’ best players are ready to put in that work:
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) July 12, 2017
- If there is one person who is going to miss Jay Cutler, it’s Green Bay Packers star Clay Matthews. Pro Football Talk has the highlights of Matthews’ appearance on The Rich Eisen Show, where Matthews opened up about how he’ll miss playing against the retired Bears quarterback – in part because of the success he had against him over the years. Matthews has 72.5 career sacks, with 8.5 coming at Cutler’s expense – or 11.72 percent of his career sack production. Hopefully, Mitch Trubisky isn’t next on his list.
- Naturally, Bears fans weren’t just going to sit there and take that heat from Matthews. Aaron Leming points out Matthews has only one sack against the Bears since 2013, and it’s worth noting that Matthews has gone five straight games without sacking a Bears quarterback.
- Meanwhile, Bears pass rushers hope to one day return the favor and make Aaron Rodgers their top sack target. CSN Chicago’s Chris Boden previews the Bears’ group of linebackers, with one of his burning questions focusing on impact edge rusher Leonard Floyd. Floyd could be in store for a big second season, which would be reminiscent of the leap Vic Beasley made in his second season with the Falcons. Beasley was picked one spot after Kevin White in 2015, and produced a four-sack season as a rookie, but then dominated a year later with a league-leading 15.5 sacks. Floyd was the ninth pick in the 2016 draft and had seven sacks in 12 games. It will take some work to reach Beasley’s heights, but the blueprint is there for him to follow.
- On the other side of the ball, Pro Football Weekly previews the Bears’ receivers ahead of training camp. Despite losing its top receiver to free agency, Chicago didn’t draft anyone at the position. Instead, the Bears hit the free agent market and hauled in a handful of stopgap types in an attempt to add depth to the unit with players looking to make good on their one-year “prove-it” deals. That the Bears’ most experienced receivers are in their first seasons with the team says a lot about how much the younger players will have to take on and grow as this season progresses.
- Arizona Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians has always been an outside-the-box thinker, which has helped him create some of the NFL’s most potent offenses while coaching the Steelers as an assistant, and later the Colts and Cardinals as a head coach. But drinking paint in an attempt to be tougher to bring down during neighborhood football games is a horse of a different color.
- In the end, Detroit just wasn’t the place for wide receiver Calvin Johnson. Sure, he posted seven 1,000-yard seasons, caught 83 touchdowns, made six Pro Bowls, and will certainly be headed to Canton for enshrinement into Pro Football’s Hall of Fame one day soon. However, his career with the Lions ended with a rather abrupt retirement that was fueled by the team’s struggles over the years and a vision of the future that didn’t look bright to him. Johnson told reporters during a press conference in Italy that the losing had caught up with him, and didn’t see a Super Bowl in Detroit’s future despite all of the hard work he put in.
- It’s very neat to see Bears linebacker Jerrell Freeman do the NFL Play 60 thing north of the border in Canada: