The schedule comes out tomorrow night at 7 pm CT and I’ll have a full reaction column up soon after the release.
Here are the eight road opponents for the 2014 Chicago Bears: Detroit, Green Bay, Minnesota, Carolina, Atlanta, San Francisco, New York Jets, New England.
Here are some scenarios Bears fans should hope for/dread when it comes to the scheduling of this games. (The NFL schedule is rumored to be released tomorrow but may be delayed another week.) I am not writing a similar column about the home schedule because I’m a firm believer that championship contenders should go 6-2 (at worst) at home regardless of who comes into their building and when.
Around the League Tweets, Winner of 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Around the League Commentary in 140 Characters Spread Out Over 10 Installments!
1 of 10. Aldon Smith needs to find a rehab for being a fucking idiot.
2 of 10. Only 3 games on NFL schedule are easy to guess: week 17 match ups, CBS Thanksgiving game, opening night. Good luck w/ Rams contest.
3 of 10. How much you wanna bet the NFL exec who called Clowney lazy & spoiled works for the Rams? Or the teams with the third pick. Or fourth.
4 of 10. Did someone actually criticize the Jets for pulling out of Draft Day with Kevin Costner? Maybe they just read the script?
5 of 10. Would Donald Trump change the Buffalo Bills to the Trump National Bills at Buffalo? (He is poison, NFL. Pure poison. See: golf.)
Around the League Tweets, A Tradition Unlike Any Other. 1 of 10. Is there one football fan who see the Draft Day ads & sprints to Fandango?
Side note: I look forward to seeing this film in two and a half years on TNT.
2 of 10. Can people stop with the anti-Mike Vick petitions? I wouldn’t root for him under ANY circumstances but he has right to earn living.
Side note: How can people identifying themselves as liberal, a majority of the PETA-friendly base, not agree with this concept? The man went to jail. Prison. With scary guys everywhere. He doesn’t deserve your sympathy but he does deserve the opportunity.
3 of 10. Just because the Pro Bowl out rated the other shitty professional all-star games on TV doesn’t make it NOT shitty. It IS shitty.
4 of 10. NFL should not only release preseason schedule. They should release $ they’re stealing from STHs forced to buy worthless product.
I love golf. And while most golf fans are down on their knees with their mouths in the lap of Augusta National, I am more reserved. I think Augusta is, for the most part, the most self-indulgent sports entity in creation and The Open Championship is my favorite tournament. But I still get excited for the first major championship of the season and it seems a convenient way to put a column together.
Here are nine issues, nine holes, still facing the 2014 Bears.
The Bears don’t currently have a good safety on the roster. Is it possible Ryan Mundy will thrive at the strong safety position after showing limited flashes in both Pittsburgh and New York? Yes. But ask yourself this question: if Mundy were a budding star, why would the two best run organizations in the sport, both with proud lineages on defense, let him walk out the door?
And while Chris Conte has been the subject of ridicule, he’s a capable free safety if his run-stopping assignments are limited. His lack of availability for the bulk of training camp won’t help build his confidence heading into the 2014 season. I see his days in Chicago numbered.
The Bears will have to win a game or two with Jordan Palmer playing quarterback. History says what history says and history says Jay Cutler will get banged up at some point during the season. Today, that would mean Palmer steps under center.
Side note: I could have written the same thing, with Josh McCown’s name a year ago and it turned out not to be a hole. But McCown at least has a MINOR track record in the sport. Palmer does not.
For the last few years I have hesitated to write this column. For one reason or another I decided I would keep this story to myself and only criticize David Haugh on the grounds which everyone else criticizes David Haugh: his work. But “sources” – especially those surrounding the NJ.com column on the release of DeSean Jackson by the Philadelphia Eagle – are quickly becoming a major topic of conversation when it comes to football reporting. One needs only follow Jason Whitlock on Twitter to understand how major the conversation is becoming.
I was a “source” for David Haugh.
Around the League Tweets has our Pro Day Monday. No Tweeting that day. Will instead display our ability to eliminate apostrophes & articles.
2 of 10. There must be a dearth of corners on market if Champ Bailey still has interest from teams. 2013 tape made 1 thing clear: he’s done.
[Side note: I love when people make statements like, "Bailey should retire now." Champ Bailey is thirty-five years old. Thirty five! And the morning after he retires he'll enter a period of irrelevancy he hasn't experienced since he was about 10. He won't be a football player. He won't be a star. He won't be receiving a massive pay check weekly. Bailey should retire whenever the hell he wants.]
3 of 10. Urlacher didn’t learn from Tiki. Fans ma love ya in team’s uniform but they love TEAM far more. Best not criticize em post-career.
[Side note: If Urlacher continues to complain about the organization, he'll start hearing boos at Soldier Field. ESPECIALLY if the Bears win without him.]
4 of 10. Release of Desean Jackson far too convenient for the Eagles. Wanna bet they had say as to when the DJax gang piece would come out?
5 of 10. Dont know if they’ll gel but Giants quietly went about fixing their biggest issue: porous offensive line play. Big, veteran bodies.
I have never lied. (Is that true?) I enjoy the release of the upcoming schedule far more than the NFL draft. I am someone who travels with extensive itineraries, does vast amount of research, knows the oldest bar in every town I’ll find. The NFL schedule is like a treasure map. The booty is football.
Here’s what should happen this year.
Denver Broncos at Seattle Seahawks
No brainer of no brainers. When you have an opportunity for a Super Bowl rematch, involving Peyton Manning, to kick off your season, you do it. I have also been an advocate for the NFL opening the season with non-conference games (with no tiebreaking implications) and this game fits the bill.
Once again, this feature will fill the Wednesday void throughout the 2014 season and sneak in each week until then on random days.
Around the League Tweets, Dayton Flying Since ’13! 1 of 10. If you change evaluation of a player based on pro day, you lose all credibility.
2 of 10. No two figures mean more to Buffalo Bills fans than the late Ralph Wilson & the seriously ill Jim Kelly. Tough week in Western NY.
3 of 10. Most Bills fans I know believed once Ralph died the hourglass would flip on the team in Buffalo. Would be a sports tragedy.
4 of 10. If you had an emotional reaction to goalpost dunk ban, I question your stability. Unless you’re under 12 this shouldn’t matter.
5 of 10. So you can’t use the N-word or dunk. Goodell would have a heart attack watching the basketball court near my apartment in Queens.
Moon Mullin opens his CSN column, which dropped late Wednesday night, with a statement:
And now for a cold splash of perspective, one which I strongly suspect Bears general manager Phil Emery understands from painful experience:
Jared Allen or no Jared Allen, the Bears’ projected defensive line going into 2014 is arguably not as good as the one positioned to take the opening opponent’s snap in 2013.
I quite literally can’t disagree with this statement more. Here’s why:
What do the Bears still lack? An interior pass rusher. That is why I stand by my belief that Phil Emery should swallow his mysterious medicine and draft the best defensive player in college football last year, Aaron Donald.