Right now, the Indianapolis Colts are a franchise with more questions than answers and a future lacking any semblance of direction. Or, put differently, the Colts are what many feared the Bears would be this offseason – a team bereft of talent on both sides of the ball led by a front office that waited too long to fire its coach then botched the hiring of his replacement.
- And to think, Matt Nagy could have chosen the Colts job back in January. Remember, both the Bears and Colts interviewed Nagy on the Sunday after Kansas City’s playoff defeat. Nagy chose the Bears over the Colts, put together an impressive staff, and now the franchise is fully operational – and has been since early January. The Colts, on the other hand, have fallen behind and have egg on their face. This isn’t to say they can’t still make a good hire, but they have quite a climb to catch up with the rest of the league.
- While the Colts circle the wagons, praise continues to come in from the outside for the Bears’ new head coach. Add Rams Head Coach Sean McVay to the ever-growing list of those who give their stamp of approval of Nagy’s hiring. “He’s a great coach,” McVay said, via Chris Emma of CBS Chicago. “Just watching his offense, especially the way he called those last six games, an dthen the offenses he’s been a part of in Kansas City, really impressive. I know some people on that Chicago staff that have been really impressed with just what he’s done already getting into that building. Very excited for coach Nagy.” That’s high praise from the Associated Press’ NFL Coach of the Year award winner.
- With a new offense in tow, the future could be bright for Bears running back Jordan Howard. Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune writes Howard’s skill set could turn out to be an ideal fit for Nagy’s new scheme. Howard is already on record as excited about the coaching change as he made it known he wasn’t a fan of the old regime’s playbook. Despite running in an offense he described as “basic” and against defenses he felt knew what plays were coming, Howard started his NFL career with back-to-back 1,000-yard rushing seasons. Imagining what he can do in a scheme more friendly to skill position players will warm you up on a cold winter day. Here’s hoping he can speak excellence, and a NFC North title in 2018, into existence.
- Status quo won’t fly in Chicago and GM Ryan Pace will need another productive draft to put the Bears in a better position to win in 2018. With that in mind, Adam Hoge of WGN Radio produced his first 2018 mock draft and sent Notre Dame guard Quenton Nelson to the Bears with the eighth pick. It’s the first step in what would be an impressive draft haul on paper for Pace. The rest of the draft includes two wide receivers (Maryland’s D.J. Moore and Oklahoma State’s Marcell Ateman), and four defensive players.
- The most intriguing player mocked to the Bears by anyone this offseason came in Hoge’s mock, where he has the team using its sixth-round pick on Central Florida edge defender Shaquem Griffin. An athletic defender who racked up big hits and tackles at UCF, Griffin doesn’t have a left hand because of a prenatal condition – which will drop him down draft boards. It didn’t impact his play in college. A high-motor defender with the stats to back it up make Griffin the kind of risky pick worth taking in the mid-to-late rounds of a draft.
- In his latest mock draft, JJ Stankevitz of NBC Sports Chicago joins the chorus of experts connecting Quenton Nelson with the eighth overall pick. Stankevitz notes how fluid of a situation the draft can be, with Kirk Cousins’ free agency destination being something that could change the shape of the upcoming draft. He also points out the Bears could be in a position to trade down with a team in search of a quarterback if Josh Allen is still on the board. Stankevitz offers up the Arizona Cardinals as a possible trading partner in this scenario.
- Speaking of free agency, Malcolm Butler shared a message on Twitter in which he refuted the rumors surrounding his Super Bowl benching:
— Malcolm CB Butler (@Mac_BZ) February 6, 2018
- While Butler’s saga is still to be continued, he isn’t the only free agent cornerback the Bears could have their eyes on. Free agent David Amerson was scheduled to meet with the Bears today. We explored the possibility of him as a potential Bears free agent target here.
- Leave it to the NFL to get MLB’s hot stove cookin’:
Russell Wilson has been traded…to the New York Yankees. https://t.co/EErzKO9Ph9
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) February 7, 2018