I’m either on my way to Bears training camp at Halas Hall. If you’re reading this Thursday article, you probably know what camp is all about. If you’re going out today (or any other time this summer), be sure to have fun. And if you see me, don’t be afraid to say hello.
- I don’t expect to see Teven Jenkins anytime soon, which depresses me because I had high hopes for him this year with a new staff and a new plan. Its development was one of the storylines I was most looking forward to following this summer. But with an undisclosed injury sidelining him, it’s deja vu again (as Yogi Berra used to say). I wonder how much of a competitive disadvantage it would be to share clarification on his injury situation? Not providing clarity last year didn’t help the Bears present a winning record. So… what’s the harm?
- Listen…I can get it on some level. NHL teams are notorious for being evasive in sharing injury details due to a long-held belief that opponents would target these players’ injuries in a dirty way in a game situation. I think those goonery days are in the NFL’s past (for the most part). Gregg Williams’ Bountygate Saints probably won’t walk through that door. So why not provide a little piece of clarity?
- Did the Bears learn nothing from how Matt Nagy’s Thanksgiving Week storyline unfolded? Ignoring rumors instead of crushing them only makes your organization look bad. Whether they are true or not is irrelevant. The optics — which clearly don’t matter to the Bears’ senior management until it’s too late to save face — don’t look good. And while optics aren’t everything, the Bears can’t help but care about how they’re perceived. Again, I’m not asking for state secrets. Just a little transparency. I don’t think I’m asking for much.
- Roll back to close the Jenkins discussion. It’s way too early to call Jenkins a bust. But looking back, it’s fair to point out how that trade, Jenkins’ selection and right-to-left tackle pass backfired on the Bears. That’s not to say Jenkins can’t turn the tide and change the narrative. However, this turnaround needs to happen for us to forget how detrimental the Pace-Nagy era desperation in the 2021 NFL Draft was to the 2022 Bears.
- Here is a palate cleanser:
- Jaquan Brisker is someone who deserves to be watched closely at camp. He has the attitude of the type of player who can be dropped onto any competitive Bears team of recent lore and fit right in. I hope the takeout king will get many jewels for his crown.
- If Brisker is the Takeaway King, Jaylon Johnson is the Pass Breakup Prince:
- Remember how good Johnson was as a rookie at clearing passes? Johnson’s 15-pass breakups as a rookie were impressive. He was just nine last year, but five came in the first two weeks before teams started to reduce their targeting. If we could get a full year of Johnson flashes instead of a year-end cut, we’d discuss the Bears secondary as a strength. What a welcome sight after what we saw in 2021.
- On the other side of the ball, the arrow continues to point up for Justin Fields:
- If buying merchandise is a metric that suggests a leap of faith on the part of sports fans, we have to point out that people are still supporting Fields:
- You can’t make this up! Jaguars sign kicker Elliott Fry after cutting rookie Andrew Mevis, who missed three warm-up kicks from training camp – including one that nailed Dave Campo (a former Cowboys head coach who works now for a sports radio station). (ESPN)
- The Brisker and Kyler Gordon picks suited me. Even still… it will sting if George Pickens becomes the type of WR1 that would help this offense thrive. This guy was all over our radar in the pre-draft process:
- I hope someone writes a script to adapt as a biopic about Garnder Minshew II:
- Here’s hoping that Joe Musgrove extension comes to fruition because Musgrove is taking a discount because he knows Juan Soto will be coming through trade soon.
- Baseball players aren’t the only ones indulging in trade rumors: