Three Quick Thoughts
- This entire training camp is becoming about Anthony Miller. The Bears have not had an offensive rookie create this kind of summer buzz, around the entire league, in modern history. And if you think that’s an exaggeration, well, it’s not. When the Bears drafted Miller, a high-ranking personnel man in the league texted me one word: “Fuck.” In Trubisky-to-Miller, the Bears have an opportunity to develop one of those great quarterback/receiver combos all those other teams seem to routinely showcase.
- Roquan Smith has not yet arrived in Illinois and yet inside linebacker has been one of the team’s strengths thus far due to the emergence of Nick Kwiatkoski as a viable option. But make no mistake about it. Kwik is not Roquan. They are not comparable athletes. And if Kwik is out there trying to cover in Green Bay Week 1, Aaron Rodgers will get Jimmy Graham lined up over him and pick him apart. At some point, the Bears and Roquan just need to suck it up and get this deal done.
- One player who shouldn’t see a snap this entire preseason: Akiem Hicks. Simply put, he is the most important player on this defensive roster and his health is paramount to their success. And from all reports, he has been a dominant force in Bourbonnais. Why risk his health for the sake of reps he doesn’t need? Hicks was burnt out by the end of 2017 due to overuse and the defense reflected that. Without proven pass rushers on the edge, the Bears should value Hicks every bit as much as they do their young QB. Because he’s that important.
Urlacher Hall of Fame Speech
- Thought Urlacher did a wonderful job on stage, especially with his lack of comfort when it comes to public speaking. Considering he had to share the stage with Ray Lewis, the Human Bullshit Machine, it was a refreshing to experience actual humility and grace.
- I’ve never been an Urlacher devotee but I freely admit he’s the finest cover-2 middle linebacker in history and belongs in the Hall. And when I say I’m not a devotee, it doesn’t mean I don’t consider him a great player. I do. But from the Lovie Smith era, I still have him behind Peanut Tillman and Devin Hester.
- Check out Mike Silver’s excellent piece on Terrell Owens’ decision to blow off Canton. I’ll never understand why fans take offense to decisions like this. Owens doesn’t owe anybody for being a great player and he should celebrate this distinction in whatever way he chooses.
New Tee Shirt Coming in September!
In September we’ll be partnering with 26 Shirts (their ads run on the right rail) to produce a shirt for the 2018 season. Half of the proceeds will go to benefit Windy Kitty Cafe’s Kitten Corner – a nursery that will save the lives of many young kitties. In the past our charity efforts have benefited the hungry, disadvantaged youth and seniors. This is our first foray into the animal world and we’re thrilled to be helping such a worthy endeavor. Stay tuned!
- Mark Potash gives credit to Mark Hatley for being the man who believed in and drafted Brian Urlacher. “He believed in me and obviously drafted me from a small school, kind of unsure of the level of competition I played at in college, and he realized I was a good athlete and might become something one year. The first year after I get there, he leaves and goes to Green Bay [in 2001], but he was very instrumental in my development my first couple of years.”
- Forbes Magazine (yes, that Forbes) breaks down the reasons why the Raiders should trade Khalil Mack. “Mack’s new contract will likely set a benchmark for defensive players in the NFL. Given that the two sides have not talked contract since February, the concern in Northern California is that they’ve already crossed that tipping point. It’s also a clear indication that a world of difference exists between how the Raiders view Mack and what he perceives his value to be.”
- Only one relevant item emerged from the Hall of Fame Game: the new helmet rule is an absolute mess and the league better get hold of it quickly. (Narrator’s voice: They won’t.) “If anything, the NFL’s well-meaning attempt at a broad fix represents the league acknowledging (in a roundabout manner) that violence is fundamental to the sport. If it wants to truly improve player safety, refs will be instructed to strictly enforce this rule in all instances. This would result in choppy games with tons of penalties and delays. Fans would hate it, as would many players, but the game would be safer. We’ll soon see whether that’s the NFL’s goal, or if the flags are flying just because it’s preseason.”