No spoilers here, but I saw the latest installment of Star Wars (“The Last Jedi” … you might’ve heard something about it on Monday Night Football) and enjoyed it.
Sometimes, it’s nice to break out from the ol’ sports-a-roo and take in a movie. So if you like Star Wars, I’d encourage you to give it a watch tonight and get yourself in a good state of mind for Saturday’s game featuring Mitch Trubisky as…
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) December 15, 2017
- While I do my best to refrain from spoiling anything I saw last night, I can’t help but think about the Bears playing the role of spoiler against the Detroit Lions on Saturday. Quarterback Mitch Trubisky could very well play the most important role in moving the Lions toward the brink of elimination. Tim Rohan of SI.com’s The MMQB has a Q&A with retired Bears linebacker (and Hall of Fame semifinalist) Brian Urlacher in which a variety of topics are discussed. Among them is Trubisky’s future, which he seems to think is bright – in part, because of his selfless nature. “The thing I like about him, in his interviews, he’s not talking about himself. He’s talking about what he can do better to help the team, what the team’s done,” Urlacher explained. “It’s not about Mitch. It’s about what the team can do better. I like that. He’s saying all the right things.”
- Leading the charge on the defensive side of the ball is inside linebacker Danny Trevathan, who has come back strong after missing a few games after the bye with a calf injury. Trevathan fires a warning shot in the direction of the Bears’ future opponents, via Mark Potash of the Chicago Sun-Times. “People are noticing around the league how well we’re playing together. We’re coming for them,” Trevathan said. “We’re not playing [around]. It might not look that way. But we’re a tough defense and a tough team. So bring your A-game.”
- For what it’s worth, the Bears defense has allowed an average of 13.8 points per game since the 35-point debacle against the Green Bay Packers in Week 4 when Trevathan has been in the lineup. And in the nine games Trevathan has suited up, the Bears have allowed an average of 19.2 points per game – or 6.1 points per game fewer than when he has been out of action.
- Chris Emma of CBS Chicago explains what the Bears are playing for this weekend as one eye starts to peek toward 2018. Rookie Safety Eddie Jackson said it the best. “We’re trying to play for the culture – where we want to be next year.”
- The Bears have been of the culture-changing mindset all season, but some close losses and another pile of injuries have sent the team in a different direction than it hoped. Still, players like Jackson, Tarik Cohen, Adam Shaheen, Mitch Trubisky, Jordan Howard, and others aren’t just playing out the string. The idea of using a losing season as a building block for a better future isn’t foreign, so it would be nice to see the Bears’ future stars continue to play well. Though, not too well. Securing a top-10 pick can be quite valuable for the rebuild.
- With the shift in focus turning more toward the NFL Draft, ESPN Chicago’s Jeff Dickerson wonders if the Bears should draft Alabama wide receiver Calvin Ridley to help accelerate Trubisky’s growth. If you’ll recall, Dickerson’s ESPN teammate Todd McShay’s first mock draft sent Ridley to the Bears with the eighth overall pick. And we’ve discussed the unguardable Mr. Ridley previously as a potential draft day target. Ridley’s numbers have dipped this season, but still projects to be at or near the top of his class. And while GM Ryan Pace hasn’t had any success drafting receivers since arriving (Kevin White and Daniel Braverman haven’t done much), Ridley is a totally different kind of cat.
- Tarik Cohen, who has arguably been the Bears’ best receiver in 2017, is taking steps as a punt returner. Rich Campbell of the Chicago Tribune writes Cohen is making better decisions as his rookie season has gone on. We can get caught up in his speed, athleticism, and the fact that he shoots up quickly after every big hit that we forget this is his first season as a team’s primary punt and kick returner. In a season full of questionable decisions and rookie mistakes, you can sense Cohen is getting a better feel for the position with every game rep he gets.
- Anyone who watched Devin Hester in Chicago knew what kind of special talent he possessed. So to hear it from someone who coached against them really goes a long way toward solidifying an argument for Hester as a future member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. JJ Stankevitz of NBC Sports Chicago writes about the look from the other side, with Bears Special Teams Coach Jeff Rodgers detailing what it was like coaching against Hester. Game planning is important, but Hester had a way of foiling plans to stop him. He truly was a game-changer.
- To be honest, the phrasing could be better here Coach McCarthy:
Mike McCarthy: I would declare Davon (House) out today. He's not going to make it.
RIP Davon House?
— Zach Kruse (@zachkruse2) December 15, 2017