Can’t wait to see you folks out in Bourbonnais! It’ll be here sooner than you think:
Get your FREE tickets now to bear down on opening weekend!
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) July 11, 2018
- Brad Gagnon of Bleacher Report issues power rankings for each of the NFL’s 32 coaching staffs as we jump into the 2018 season, and the new-look Bears staff checks in at No. 20. It’s understandable if you’re bothered by such a low ranking, but don’t be. Take solace in the fact that Matt Nagy’s staff is the second best among the new coaches taking over teams this year. Yes, ahead of even Jon Gruden and the Oakland Raiders.
- Having Vic Fangio return as the team’s defensive coordinator helps gives this staff an edge and a boost in the ratings it probably wouldn’t have had Fangio decided to move on. Rebuilding the offensive and defensive sides of the ball with new coaches, systems, schemes, and terminology would have led to a few more challenges for this regime. Frankly, I’m glad the Bears don’t have to travel down that road.
- Over at 247Sports, Matt Eurich details the responsibilities each of the Bears’ top assistants have on their plate heading into this season. Eurich brings up a pair of assistants who would otherwise fly under the radar in Secondary Coach Ed Donatell and Wide Receivers Coach Mike Furrey. While both are on opposite ends of the coaching spectrum and have their hands on different sides of the ball, each play key roles in what could be a successful season for their respective groups. Furrey is in his first year as a receivers coach in the NFL, but has playing experience in the league and had a first-hand look at how to work with some premier prospects when he was at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis. Donatell has been one of the league’s most respected defensive backs coaches and will be in charge of helping the group replicate what was an impressive season. If the Bears’ receivers are better than what they were last year and the secondary can stay firm, then we can probably assume those two coaches did their respective jobs well.
- I’m curious to see what the Bears’ new running backs coach has in store for his group. We already know Charles London has been working with Jordan Howard to straighten out his pass-catching problems, which apparently date back to when he was a high schooler. There wasn’t much reason to throw to Howard in high school and college, so there were limited opportunities for him to improve in that facet of the game. Hopefully, the additional work here will pay off rather quickly.
- If Howard can get that squared away, then I imagine his fantasy football production will see the arrow point up again. Tyler Loechner of Pro Football Focus shares the list of running back leaders in points per touch, where you won’t find either of the Bears’ top running backs at the top of the leaderboard. Tarik Cohen was the most productive Bears back in this area, with 0.62 points per touch. Howard wasn’t all that far behind him with 0.59. Both have a ways to go before cracking the top-10. Alvin Kamara, Chris Thompson, Austin Ekeler, and Rex Burkhead are the only backs who scored at least a point per touch. That’s some pretty elite company to be in. Fantasy players might want to keep an eye on Burkhead in the Patriots offense this coming season.
- Sticking with the fantasy perspective, David Mamola explores the Bears’ best fantasy options over at Fansided’s NFL Spin Zone. Mitch Trubisky doesn’t crack the top-5, but a few of his targets do. Makes you wonder what Trubisky’s numbers will look like at the end of the season if guys like Trey Burton, Allen Robinson, and Tarik Cohen have big years. Then again, we already know what the projections look like and we’d be quite alright if he hit these marks.
- I appreciate Kyle Long’s perspective on Madden’s ratings entering this season:
I used to trip on my madden rating but EA don’t cut the check so I ain’t even getting caught up in it pic.twitter.com/xJSLiITY4c
— Kyle Long (@Ky1eLong) July 10, 2018
- As well as his own assessment of the rating he received:
Probably because I’ve missed a large number of games the last two years and I have to prove to them that I’m a reliable high level player again. I ain’t mad about it. That’s how the world works fam! https://t.co/29Lkc1swvJ
— Kyle Long (@Ky1eLong) July 10, 2018
- If you thought the Madden ratings for Mitch Trubisky were bogus, what’s the feeling when a guy who got cut by a team checked in with a top-5 rating at his position:
Damn I got cut and I’m a 93. https://t.co/k6l8oQKIiy
— Tyrann Mathieu (@Mathieu_Era) July 10, 2018
- Love seeing Bears alumni back in the mix:
"Just come in, give everything you've got and don't have any regrets."
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) July 10, 2018
- Speaking of Bears alumni, here’s a headline that still fits five years after its publishing: In defense of Jay Cutler, a heel America should get behind.
- What can we say, he’s just made for TV – just ask former teammate Kyle Long.