This is what it looked like when Matt Nagy unveiled who the Bears were playing to open up their season:
If that doesn’t give you a little extra juice, then I don’t know what to say.
- Because I’m sure you’re curious, John Mullin of NBC Sports Chicago took a shot at predicting the 2018 Bears season. ESPN’s Jeff Dickerson participates in this exercise, too, and predicts the Bears will be better than last season. And while we’re at it, Patrick Finley of the Chicago Sun-Times provides a game-by-game breakdown of the Bears’ opponents, as well. No spoilers, but if a turnaround is going to happen, they’ll have to get off to a better start in September than they did under John Fox.
- Mitch Trubisky is moving on up … the charts … of player jersey sales. The NFLPA released its list of top-50 player sales and the Chicago Bears quarterback checks in at No. 37. Trubisky is one of 18 quarterbacks to make the list and the only Bears player to place in the top-50. I imagine more could make their way onto an updated list down the line with strong performances in 2018.
- While we have been quick to discuss who will be catching passes from Trubisky in 2018, we haven’t spent much time talking about who could be responsible for snapping the ball. And while the team received a visit from Iowa center James Daniels earlier in the week, it appears as if Cody Whitehair will have the leg up here:
Matt Nagy on Cody Whitehair at center: "He’s a general there at that position. He’s very comfortable there. He sees the field well. A confident kid that is really hungry to get getter each and every day."
— Kevin Fishbain (@kfishbain) April 19, 2018
- We’re nearly six months removed from Zach Miller’s gruesome knee injury, and I’m still bothered by the idea that his overruled touchdown catch (that would be ruled one if it happened in 2018, mind you) might be the last play of his career. And while Miller isn’t ready to call it a career, he knows he has a tough call to make at some point. “I haven’t made any of those decisions as of yet,” Miller said, via Madeline Kenney of the Chicago Sun-Times. “I know that there will be a point where I have to decide … but I’m not at that spot yet to determine whether I want to come back and try to play or if it’s time to move on or even if I can do that.” Even though Miller was limited to just 314 offensive snaps in 2017, Pro Football Focus’ grading system had him as the 12th highest-graded tight end last season.
- And for what it’s worth, Trey Burton (who played 345 snaps for the Eagles last season) is right there at No. 13.
- When Miller’s season ended, one of the receivers Trubisky turned to was Dontrelle Inman. The two seemed to connect quickly and built a bond in their brief time together, but Inman remains a free agent. In his most recent mailbag, Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune explains why the Bears haven’t brought Inman back in the fold. In short, it seems as if the Bears value the versatility of a player like Bennie Fowler who can also provide a boost on special teams as opposed to Inman, who didn’t play a single special teams snap in 2017.
- For what it’s worth, Biggs put to rest the idea of the team signing free agent receiver Dez Bryant, writing: “The Bears aren’t going to add a player who is going to come in and make a lot of noise for their young quarterback, especially after they’ve invested heavily in Allen Robinson as their No. 1 receiver.” So much for that option. Moving on.
- Matt Nagy continues to express optimism whenever Kevin White’s name gets brought up, and Devante Tidwell of Da Bears Brothers writes that it’s absolutely OK to have some optimism regarding a former first-round pick. And while I have my doubts regarding White’s future, I’m totally willing to co-sign on this idea. Has White proven anything in his professional career? No. But that doesn’t mean he can’t. The two aren’t mutually exclusive. We’re only a few months removed from seeing a first-round pick who wasn’t living up to the hype put out a breakout season free of injury. I’m not saying I would bet on lightning striking twice, but I know it’s happened from time to time.
- Kevin Fishbain of The Athletic reports the Bears signed defensive end Nick Williams. Wide receiver Mekale McKay has been waived. McKay clears the way for the Bears’ newest addition at receiver, Marlon Brown.