The Chicago Bears have missed the postseason in seven straight years, but that’s not even the worst of it if you really think about it (Michael: I try not to). Because not only have the Bears been on the outside looking in on the playoff picture, they have finished dead last in the NFC North in each of the last four seasons.
Over at NFL.com, Adam Rank takes a look at 10 NFL streaks that are on the line in 2018 and believes Chicago’s recent run of futility will soon be over.
You can make a case the Bears have upgraded at head coach, offensive coordinator, wide receiver, and tight end this offseason. From there, you could argue that the influx of new talent on offense will make for a better quarterback. An improved offense and the return of a vast majority of a top-10 defense puts the Bears in position to be better in 2018 than it was in 2017.
Rank projects a 10-win season for the Bears this season. And if that doesn’t get the Bears out of the NFC North cellar, I don’t know what will
- Speaking of what will hopefully improved offense, Larry Mayer of the Bears’ official website writes that all hands are on deck to get Mitch Trubisky to grow in his second year as a pro. Head Coach Matt Nagy, Offensive Coordinator Mark Helfrich, and QBs Coach Dave Ragone are the primary players here, but they are not alone. Backup quarterbacks Chase Daniel and Tyler Bray will have their hands in the mix. Vic Fangio will also flex his muscle as the team’s defensive coordinator, which will help Trubisky learn in a different way. Every bit helps as Trubisky hopes to take a major step forward in 2018.
- The Bears aren’t the only team hoping their signal caller takes a step up in his development. I found myself intrigued by what Marcus Mariota is doing in Tennessee with a new coaching staff that is working to get him back on the right track. While old habits die hard, Mariota told Jason Wolf of The Tennessean that the new coaching staff is drilling him on getting his mechanics straightened out with a wider base. First-year coach Mike Vrabel’s staff features OC Matt LaFleur (who coached up Jared Goff in Los Angeles) and QBs Coach Pat O’Hara (who was rumored to be on the Bears’ watch list and actually interviewed with the team before bringing back Ragone at his same position).
- Trubisky had footwork issues at times last year, too. So maybe this is something to keep an eye on. Trubisky was a pin-point college passer and showed improved accuracy down the stretch of his rookie season. I don’t believe Trubisky needs a mechanical overhaul, but it’s always a good idea to note what others are doing to better themselves.
- One thing that could improve Trubisky’s accuracy is better play from receivers on the outside. According to Bryan Perez of NBC Sports Chicago, Nagy sees Kevin White as a receiver with a clean slate and a weapon for the offense. – even though he has quite a climb at a crowded position and won’t be simply handed a job.
- Most importantly, White has emerged from this phase of OTAs with a clean bill of health. “He is healthy and he’s really doing well,” Nagy said on Sirius XM Radio with Danny Kannell and Steve Torre.
- One of the more interesting dynamics that will play out in training camp is how Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford will fare against the defense set up by new head coach Matt Patricia, who most recently served as the Patriots’ defensive coordinator. Over at the team’s official website, Tim Twentyman writes the coach and the quarterback are enjoying learning from each other right now. Stafford hasn’t missed a game in seven years, so he’s seen pretty much everything that can be thrown at a quarterback. And coaching under Bill Belichick as a defensive coordinator for the last six years, there isn’t much Patricia hasn’t seen either. I’m curious to see how this relationship develops in Detroit.
- Aaron Rodgers’ excellence against pressure is nothing short of annoying:
— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) May 29, 2018
- Sure, we’ll take free stuff from a Packers defensive back:
If the Cleveland Cavaliers win the 2018 NBA finals I’ll buy everyone who retweet’s this a jersey…
— Damarious Randall (@RandallTime) May 29, 2018
- 1) It should’ve been Urlacher, not Owens. 2) Owens is not even the best receiver in this Hall of Fame class:
Per a friend at EA, @terrellowens is the cover athlete for the Madden 19 Hall of Fame edition only. The cover athlete for Madden 19 will be revealed in July. Who will it be?
— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) May 25, 2018
- One day after pausing to reflect on Memorial Day, where we should remember those who have died protecting the freedoms of this country, the Bears welcomed some active members of the military:
- New York Giants linebacker Mark Herzlich has invited President Donald Trump have an in-person discussion about the national anthem. “I think the best way to handle remarks like that is it’s not necessarily a push back against his remarks. It’s to maintain the focus on the real issue,” Herzlich said, via the New York Daily News. “The real issue isn’t players being against a president or against a country. It’s about players being for unity, and they want to create an atmosphere with law enforcement, with others in their community that we share in the locker room.” Herzlich’s comments are among the most mature made regarding this topic. If positive change is going to happen, it will be because of level-headed conversations and thoughts like those coming from Herzlich.
- Locally, an Illinois congresswoman has drafted a letter that asks for Bears ownership to provide clarity regarding how the team plans to administer the league’s new anthem policy. SB Nation has obtained a draft of the letter by Rep. Robin Kelly that was addressed to Virginia McCaskey. You’ll want to give it a read yourself for full context.