Good morning, frents …
Hope everyone got some good sunshine over the weekend and was able to connect over FaceTime, Zoom or your videoconferencing app of choice with those you care about. Keep up the great work. We can do this.
An April afternoon with the Bears
The Bears have spoken.
The team held media availabilities on Friday with Ryan Pace and Matt Nagy as well as the offseason’s two biggest acquisitions: Nick Foles and Robert Quinn.
Nothing too earth shattering, but definitely enough for a handful of bulletpoints for those who might’ve had their heads elsewhere this weekend.
There will be an “open competition” for quarterback
No, not exactly breaking news considering the Bears just laid out sizable cash and gave up a draft pick to bring in Foles from the Jaguars. But we had to hear those two words directly from Ryan Pace and, well, there they are. Less than three calendar years after trading up to take Trubisky with the second pick in the draft, Pace is admitting — though not in as many words — that he may have made a mistake.
Trubisky will still be taking the first snaps
Nagy made a point of saying that Mitch will be first in the huddle whenever football activities resume and I get it, someone has to be first. It might as well be the guy who has been at Halas Hall longer.
At the same time, that guy is the same dude who just oversaw the 29th-best offense in the NFL last season and who Tribune columnist Brad Biggs thinks will be riding the pine in Week 1 anyway.
If Biggs is right, what’s the point of handling Trubisky with kid gloves? I’d argue it’s part of the reason the Bears in this position in the first place.
At least Bears fans can rest easy with Nagy’s assurance that both will play in the offseason … if there is an offseason.
The Bears had a 50 percent chance of landing Quinn
You know that one anecdote each season that gets repeated by every TV crew that comes to town? I think we already know what it will be. Quinn told the media that he flipped a coin to choose which team he’d sign with and that the Bears won out over the Falcons. Which means that Leonard Floyd is sitting somewhere packing up boxes and swearing because of that same coin flip.
Germain Ifedi is a nice value bet for the team
Pace said the ex-Seattle right tackle will compete for the starting spot at right guard. It was also reported that Ifedi’s cap hit for 2020 will be just $887,500, which means the Bears will be getting a lot of value if offensive line coach Juan Castillo can get Ifedi to be one of those linemen who turn things around with a change of scenery.
And let’s be honest: If the Bears are going to make a jump in 2020, they need to hit a couple of jackpots. Not only with an offensive player or two through the draft, but with free agent signings who didn’t cost as much to add as Foles or Jimmy Graham.
Football teams … they’re just like us!
Zoom calls aren’t just for marketing departments and SEO teams. With the Illinois shelter in place order still underway, the Bears’ leadership has been doing all of their draft prep from home. They’re FaceTiming with potential draft prospects and watching film on their laptops. Nagy said he even likes it from an efficiency standpoint, which makes me wonder which of his assistants is always interrupting his day at Halas Hall. Seems like it’d be Pagano.
As for Foles, he handled both media and daddy duties from his home with his daughter on his lap. There’s a Trubisky joke in there somewhere, I just haven’t found it yet.
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• RIP Bobby Mitchell. Before he became a Pro Football Hall of Famer with Washington, Mitchell was both a football and track star at Illinois in the mid-50s. (News Gazette)
• Darnell Mayberry thinks the next Bulls leader will come from this group of four. But this was released before the Pacers GM Chad Buchanan said “thanks, but no thanks” to an interview, so the list is already down to three. (The Athletic)
• “Getting Ed Farmer took work, but it paid off.” Great Jim Margalus piece on how the late Sox broadcaster challenged both his friends and listeners. (Sox Machine)
• Jessica Bryant FTW!
• Jon Greenberg caught up with four of the employees laid off by 670. (The Athletic)
• Bob Verdi on Alfie Moore, the emergency goalie the Hawks used in the 1938 Stanley Cup Final. (Chicago Blackhawks)
• This week’s way to pass the time: Crosswords! (Jigsaw puzzles are so two weeks ago.) Start with this fun ESPN-related crossword that Sarah Spain shared. (Twitter)
• BREAKING: Millennials have discovered The Sopranos! (Chicago Reader)
• Victor Skrebneski, a Chicago fashion photographer known worldwide for his portraits of David Bowie, Diana Ross, Cindy Crawford and many others, died Saturday at age 90. Here’s a good Q&A he did in 2017. (Chicago Mag)
That’s it for today. Have a great start to your week and, as always, thank you for being a #frentofthenewsletter.
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