It’s been a week since the cleaning at Halas Hall took place. How do you feel? Is it different now when you compare your feelings to a week ago? The Bears are surely in a better position than they were before they fired Ryan Pace and Matt Nagy. But being in a better place after new hires is where I want to be next.
• The Bears didn’t hire anyone this weekend while I was in town. How very nice of them to do this for me. But, uh, am I the only one who wants them to pick up the pace? Do not mistake yourself. I don’t want the Chicago football team to rush. However, wouldn’t it be nice to start having three of these interviews a day? Just a friendly suggestion…
• Mike Sando (The Athletic) uses his column space to rank the eight NFL head coaching vacancies. And the result is… the Bears’ mid-pack ranking. Is it right? Ehhh. Let’s talk.
• I’ll admit my biases, but I don’t think the Vikings should be on a higher level than the Bears. Despite steady quarterback play, better talent at skill positions and stability at the top with coach and general manager, Minnesota has alternated second places with Chicago behind Green Bay for the past three years. And yet, somehow, we find the Vikings on another level when we compare them to the Bears. It makes no sense to me. Bears and vikings being in the same level would make a lot more sense. But I feel like that might be hard for some to understand, as one would have to admit that the perception that the Vikings are on a higher level than the Bears is not the reality. Two peas in a pod, as the old saying goes.
• I wonder if the job of general manager of the Bears is more attractive than the position of head coach. For better or worse, the McCaskey family doesn’t tend to dabble in football. George McCaskey said it himself: He’s a fan, and not much more. And while the idea of having a fan running the show sounds fun, there’s also the fact that… *waves at Bears record and accomplishments under super-fan George McCaskey*
• Denver at the top of the list? Makes sense. Although, as Bears fans can attest, having a monstrous defense and being a quarterback far from capitalizing on it doesn’t mean unnecessarily because it’s not like QBs are growing on a vine in an orchard. One cannot simply pick a new calling signal as if it were a fruit hanging from the branch. Even if the Broncos could, where would a hypothetical gunman rank behind Patrick Mahomes and Justin Herbert? Can they even top Derek Carr? These are questions worth asking in these situations.
• Speaking of Carr, tracking his off-season arc numbers is an absolute treat:
the #Raiders and QB Derek Carr have a mutual decision to make this offseason, and sources say head coach choice will be a factor.
My story: https://t.co/fQHAwvccSq
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) January 15, 2022
• It still amazes me that Buffalo did this in New England:
The Buffalo Bills just pulled off the NFL’s first-ever perfect offensive game.
No punts. No choice. No fumbles lost. No field goals. All touchdowns on every practice until kneeling.
And they did it against a top five defense.
—Brett Kollmann (@BrettKollmann) January 16, 2022
• With that in mind, I’m really glad the Bears got that interview with Brian Daboll.
• Chicago will interview Daboll’s defensive counterpart Leslie Frazier on Friday, by NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport. Frazier’s defense had Mac Jones in a Snuggie all night. And while it won’t buzz in the same way Daboll’s attack did, that doesn’t make it any less interview-worthy. I think we can all come to the conclusion that the McCaskey family is out of touch with modern football. So if it takes interviewing everyone under the sun to bring it together, why not you?
• One wonders why the Bears didn’t eliminate Daboll and Frazier’s interviews at the same time. It’s a fair request. I would venture to guess that they did it that way in order to put a bug in Daboll’s ear. As if today “we know you will have your choice of litter, but please listen to our pitch before making a decision.”
• Ben Roethlisberger’s football career ended at the hands of Chiefs Patrick Mahomes and a big boy TD:
Nick Allegretti BIG MAN TOUCHDOWN. #ChiefsKingdom
– NFL (@NFL) January 17, 2022
• Here are some relevant numbers: 42-21, 31-15, 21-9, 27-24. These are the scores from all four 2-seeded vs. 7-seeded matchups over the past two years. The top three in this set of numbers stand out because — since that first Bills-Colts game — the other games have been stinkers. Three games where the No. 2 seed was simply superior to his No. 7 opponents. Hush. I will not openly complain about more football. But the lack of competitive ball games takes the shine out of these playoff matchups.
• Patrick Finley (Sun-Times) takes a stand, arguing that Chicago should focus on offensive-leaning head coach candidates. The numbers suggest that’s the game. Each of the last five Super Bowl champions has finished in the top 5 in points and top 7 in yards. But two of those title winners were teams led by Bill Belichick. And if we expand that list, the numbers are skewed because there are more sightings from Belichick, Pete Carroll, and Tom Coughlin, and even a title from John Harbaugh. In other words, choose the best candidate for the position of coach and team builder at GM, then move forward. Peering your team into a specific type of coach seems like a fast track to finding new leadership at the top four years from now. And while I love history, I hate repeating it.
• The NFL and its teams celebrate and remember the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.:
– NFL (@NFL) January 17, 2022
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) January 17, 2022
• Gatorade, Rockstar, blenders and more are among your daily deals on Amazon. #ad
• The last two losses notwithstanding, the Bulls should still be considered NBA Eastern Conference contenders. And because of their place in the standings, I imagine we’ll be keeping a close eye on other contenders for high-profile injuries. For example, Kevin Durant being out maybe 4-6 weeks with a knee injury is a pretty big deal for the Nets. And therefore, it’s a big deal for the Bulls (and other Eastern contenders).
• Some changes to the current list in Hawkeytown:
Blackhawks roster moves: Reichel assigned to Rockford, McCabe off COVID protocol and morehttps://t.co/CX3EKTA7RX
— Bleacher Nation Blackhawks (@BN_Blackhawks) January 16, 2022
• Brett explores the idea of the Cubs trading to buy out Craig Kimbrel. I would gladly accept the Cubs taking Kimbrel, his salary and a prospect in exchange for Nick Madrigal. It makes sense, right? White Sox avoid paying player who doesn’t fit roster and fill a hole at second base. Everyone wins!
• Iconic Chicago sportscaster Les Grobstein has died aged 69. Grobstein is famous for being the person who broke the record for capturing Lee Elia’s famous rant (NSFW). But beyond that, he was the sports broadcast reporter at the scene of every professional sports game — big and small. This profile by Athleticism Jon Greenberg is a must read today. Grobstein’s level of restlessness and encyclopedic memory cannot be matched. And we will certainly miss it:
CHICAGO RADIO SPORTCASTER LES GROBSTEIN FOUND DEAD AT 69: https://t.co/ANzdFT7Jzr pic.twitter.com/StRi2V7dyR
—Robert Feder (@RobertFeder) January 17, 2022
Statement from the Chicago Bears on the passing of Les Grobstein: pic.twitter.com/eM8CrFB5Dc
— Chicago Bears (@BearsPR) January 17, 2022