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Good morning, frents!
Remember when the Tribune used to make those all-Chicago teams at the start of every Cubs-Sox series? I'm thinking Kyle Hendricks would be all by his lonesome if we did something similar today.
Big weekend ahead with the Crosstown Classic and the Bears (maybe) getting in their last preseason game with the COVID-stricken Titans. Let's get to it.
"It takes a few years to get going"
Bears fans are many things.
Ask me to reel off five descriptive words for the fanbase and I'd respond with: Loyal, loud, boastful, fatalistic and delusional (but only sometimes).
One thing we are not, though, is patient. Matt Nagy should know this by now, seeing how we responded to the Double Doink game in 2019 and the two deflating seasons that followed. Waiting isn't our strong suit. Some of us have been waiting 35 years for the Bears to return to the top of the NFL. Another sizable portion of the base has been waiting their entire lives.
And yet there was Nagy on Wednesday, holding court and telling us that the full bloom of his offense is just around the corner.
"I remember when I first talked to you all when I first got here and I explained to everybody here that this offense, it takes a few years to get going.”
“We saw that in Kansas City because it took a few years, not just the players that were coming in and were drafted but the scheme — them learning it and understanding it. After three or four years, it really started picking up and going. I feel like we’re at that spot right now. We’ve got some guys now that have been on this team for two, three, four years, and they know the offense as well as I do, where that wasn’t the case two or three years ago.”
Nagy's comment spurred a couple of Bears news cycles in town because, well, we full-on don't believe him.
I should say I generally don't like piling on and suggesting that Nagy should find Marc Trestman to follow his post-NFL career path. I liked Nagy when he came to Chicago. He seemed (and still does) like a regular family dude who doesn't feel the need to replicate the joyless Bill Belichick approach that has made the NFL a less fun place the last 20 years.
The only not-so-small problem? We have no confidence that he can win the Bears a Super Bowl. We've given already given Nagy three years and all he's given us is an "I swear we're almost there" at the start of the fourth. "It takes a few years to get going" may have just become Nagy's version of Dave Wannstedt's "all the pieces are in place."
Maybe Nagy has run out of things to talk about this preseason and was just throwing out some filler he didn't intend to become a talking point. Heck, even he didn't really seem to believe it.
But even if that was the case, the quotes underscore the problem that Nagy hasn't done what he's been brought here to do.
And the thought that Nagy's offense is so detailed and complicated that it took the Bears players (most of which haven't been here for four years) that long to pick it up?
Sorry, don't buy it.
And as more than one person pointed out, Andy Dalton is currently the most important ingredient in Nagy unleashing this supposed growth and he's been here for less than six months and struggled to do anything of substance in the preseason.
Here's the bottom line: Kansas City's growth into a potential dynasty was keyed by the presence of future Hall of Fame coach Andy Reid and a wealth of video-game type talent including Patrick Mahomes, Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce.
If Bears fans are going to be patient about anything, it's that Justin Fields, David Montgomery, Cole Kmet and Darnell Mooney eventually morph into that type of core in Chicago.
But we won't hold our breath it'll be Nagy leading it.
Bears-Titans: 3 things to watch on Saturday
At least nine Titans have COVID, so it's unclear if this game will end up taking place. But Brendan Sugrue has you covered if it does, including six key position battles to watch.
News and results
The good news: Carlos Rodon earned the win in his return, the Sox power returned with four homers and Craig Kimbrel pitched the ninth for his first save in a White Sox uniform. The Sox moved to 74-55 with a 10-7 win.
The bad: Michael Kopech gave up five runs in the sixth.
The win gave the Sox both an even split of the series and their big 14-game run against the Yankees, A's, Rays and Jays. Their reward? The next eight games are against the Cubs, Pirates and Royals.
This weekend's pitching matchups:
Fri: Dallas Keuchel (8-7, 4.71) vs. Keegan Thompson (3-3, 2.42)
Sat: Lance Lynn (10-3, 2.20) vs. Alec Mills (5-6, 4.76)
Sun: Dylan Cease (10-6, 3.92) vs. Kyle Hendricks (14-5, 4.09)
The Bears have had late-round receivers who didn't pan out before. They will have them again. But you're still going to remember Javon Wims' name 30 years from now and for more than one reason.
Steve Konroyd and Jamal Mayers are out. Former ESPN analyst Colby Cohen is in. I can't say I'm familiar with Cohen's work, but the Hawks intermissions definitely needed a little caffeine. It's interesting that Cohen doesn't have any Hawks ties, which is honestly what the programming probably needs.
- Frank Thomas tells Mark Carman that Chicago will always be a Cubs town. Fansided
- Vinnie Duber on what we learned from the Sox's tough two-week stretch against good teams. NBC Sports Chicago
- Patrick Williams turned 20 on Thursday. Here's his top five plays as a 19-year-old rookie. (They grow up so fast.) Twitter
- The Red Stars are looking for a local TV deal in 2022, which is good because I don't have Paramount+. Tribune
- How CM Punk teamed up with Logan Square's Pretty Cool Ice Cream to hand out 15,000 ice cream bars at the UC last Saturday. Eater Chicago
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