Apr 20, 2021

Talking Bears and the NFL draft with Tyler Dunne of Go Long TD

Talking Bears and the NFL draft with Tyler Dunne of Go Long TD

Good morning, frents!

Here's a question to start your day: You need three outs and have to pick one Chicago athlete who didn't play for the Sox or Cubs to get them.

Who are you picking and why?

Monday's results
Red Sox 11, Sox 4
Bulls 102, Celtics 96
Preds 5, Hawks 2

Today's schedule
Sox at Indians (5:10, NBCSCH)
Mets at Cubs (6:40, Marquee)
Red Stars vs. KC (7:30, Paramount+)

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A Midway Minute conversation

We're less than 10 days away from the 2021 NFL Draft and we haven't talked much about the Bears around here.

Part of that is because we've been spending a lot of time with two baseball teams who have so far seemed uninterested in rewarding our attention.

The other part is Andy Dalton.

But that changes today! Scott Koral and I have taped a few draft conversations with some of our favorite football people.

First up is Tyler Dunne of the excellent Go Long TD newsletter, which you should absolutely subscribe to if you're a fan of good professional football journalism.

If you don't recognize Tyler's name from his longtime coverage of the league with Bleacher Report and other outlets, you'll recognize it from the article he wrote in February after Allen Robinson opened up to him about being franchise tagged by the Bears. (Again, go subscribe!)

Tyler resides in Buffalo so we had to lead off with asking about Mitch Trubisky (while not appearing too interested, of course).

We also talked about Allen Robinson's future in Chicago, what the Bears will do with their 20th pick and what the rest of the league thinks of Bears GM Ryan Pace.

Here are a few excerpts:

On Mitch in Buffalo:

  • "I think this is a perfect situation for him. He's going to get really great coaching (from) Brian Daboll and the staff. They have Ken Dorsey and the weapons they have everywhere on offense. It can work. I think he can really resurrect his career in Buffalo. Josh Allen was not accurate in college and we've been told, you know, that's not something that you just learn overnight. (Allen) basically got it overnight in one offseason. He wasn't accurate in his first two years in the NFL ... And now he's obviously one of the best quarterbacks in the league or so we think. So yeah, I think Trubisky absolutely can turn his entire career around in Buffalo. I don't think that's hyperbolic."

On Allen Robinson and the tag:

  • "He hates the tag. He did not want this. He did not want to stay in Chicago at this one-year rate. I think he was willing to stay at a contract that met the market. You look at his numbers, two wide receivers had more yards, I think, the last couple years? He wants to be paid as a top five guy over three or our years ... Chicago never was willing to come close to that ballpark, especially with this COVID offseason. So it's a bad situation all around.

    "At one point in our conversation, I asked him "Are you going to follow suit? Are you going to do what the Deshaun Watsons and the Stefon Diggses and all these guys who are kind of taking their future in their own hands or trying to? And he said, 'You know, we'll basically we'll see when we get there.'

    "I think he is willing to try to force a trade to get his way out, because he was kind of at his wit's end, which says a lot. He isn't like Diggs, he isn't like a lot of these receivers who are that vocal and volatile ... (but) I think he's at the point where he is willing to say something."

On Ryan Pace's reputation around the league:

  • "I think, at this point, there are some rolling of eyes at the fact that he is still a GM. I was just talking to a scout a couple of weeks ago, who was kind of stunned that everybody in Chicago is just there still. Because you look at other front offices, and that's not the case. If you mess up at that position once, let alone twice, you're (usually) out."

News and results

Final: Predators 5, Hawks 2

And that should pretty much do it. Nashville scored two goals over 51 seconds in the second period and another two 18 seconds apart in the third to move to 6-0 over the Hawks this season. The next big regular-season game that a Jeremy Colliton team gets up for will be the first.

  • The Hawks not only fell four points behind Nashville, they were also passed in the standings by the Stars, who won a shootout over Detroit. Dallas has played two fewer games than the Hawks.
  • Next: The Hawks and Preds move to the UC on Wednesday night. Just 10 more games to play out.

Final: Bulls 102, Celtics 96

That's two in a row for the Bulls after losing five straight. I could get used to the Bulls playing good defense on the road (or anywhere really). The Celtics turned the ball over 17 times while coughing up a 12-point second-quarter lead to the Bulls.

  • Nikola Vucevic scored 29 points while Coby White stepped up in Zach LaVine's absence with 19 points of his own.
  • Next: The Bulls hit Cleveland on Wednesday night, just four days after beating the Cavs in Chicago.

Final: Red Sox 11, White Sox 4

Lucas Giolito had a rough start against the Red Sox on Monday, going only an inning-plus, so manager Tony La Russa decided down six runs to use Yermín Mercedes and Danny Mendick to relieve for an inning apiece.

  • Mercedes has been a wonder as DH but he had it rough on the mound, allowing a run and five total baserunners in the seventh. He did hit 87.7 mph on the radar gun. La Russa said he asked Mercedes if he were ready and the rookie responded by saying, "Yeah, I've got a fastball, breaking ball and change."
  • Mendick was a star in the eighth inning, hitting the first batter he faced and allowing a single but no runs. He even struck out Franchy Cordero on three pitches.
  • Mendick threw 12 of 15 pitches for strikes using a knuckleball 14 times and one 39.6 mph eephus pitch, on which Kiké Hernandez flied out.
  • It might be questionable, La Russa half-surrendering in the seventh inning down six runs at Fenway Park, where bigger leads have been known to disappear. But MLB.com's Baseball Savant, which tracks such things, says the Red Sox had a 99.5 percent chance of winning when Mercedes took the mound. It all worked out, at least one actual reliever got some rest, and it was entertaining — but maybe next time wait for a 10-run deficit.
  • Today: On to Cleveland, with first pitch at 5:10 p.m. Carlos Rodón follows up his no-hitter with a date against Zach Plesac.

— David Brown

  1. The Dolphins might be looking to trade out of the sixth pick, which could obviously interest the Bears. Pro Football Talk
  2. Sully on 12 things to actually like about the start of the Cubs and Sox seasons. Tribune
  3. KC Johnson on how the Bulls have flipped the script on defense these past two games. NBC Sports Chicago
  4. What Candace Parker brings to the Sky. Basketball News
  5. Today is the 35th anniversary of Michael Jordan's 63-point game against Boston. Take a look at the hand-kept scoresheet from that day. Ball Is Life

This was still the best Bulls highlight of the night


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Kevin Kaduk
Kevin Kaduk
Kevin is the founder of Midway Minute.

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