SUCCESS AND CONFIDENCE

 

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You could argue that Matt Nagy had the perfect game plan called for the Bucs.

You could argue the Bucs defense has been awful all year.

You could argue the Bears defense is looking like one of the best in the league and Khalil Mack is on his way to an MVP season.

Or the favorite I’m sure—-you could argue that Mitchell Trubisky when given enough time and is decisive enough might have the makings of being a star. 

6 TD passes? A Bear QB?

Whatever they did to simplify things I think also should get mention here too. Whatever works keep doing it until they stop you. It doesn’t have to be a complicated game. They have fast guys. Somebody’s usually open.

If you give enough time to a good NFL QB he should be able to march down the field.

I always remember what the late great Buddy Ryan said about pressuring the QB. He said essentially, “we’re not going to just let sit back there and pick us apart.”

Does it take elite level QB play to win the super bowl? Does it take big numbers on offense and defense? Those are great subject to discuss another time.

What the Bears did to the Bucs is what good teams do. They dominate by scoring a lot of points and playing great defense.

If you’re like me at the end of the year, if the Bears have a chance at making the playoffs, when you’re eating your breakfast in December you can’t get enough Bear stuff to read. I love looking at the Points For versus Points Against differential and how for the better teams the difference is larger and they’re usually in first place. They also have lots of sacks, turnovers, and touchdowns. They get home field advantage. You get the point.

One last thing to mention is Tarik Cohen. In this column you’ve heard me mention him every week. Well he finally got the chance to be featured and the little guy played like I thought he would—-like he was one of the best on the field. He’s a matchup nightmare and he could be very, very good maybe even great.

But for now Trubisky steals the show. He looked so calm and at ease, and hit guys in stride with beautiful throws.

No greater teacher guides a young man more than success and confidence.

Whoo whoo! 3-1!

ARE YOU CRAPPIN’ ME NEGATIVE?

 

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PHOTO BY W. SCOTT MCGILL

 

2-1? Are you crappin’ me negative? And in first place? That is all so awesome. But all enthusiasm has to be tempered like glass which might be 4 or 5 times stronger than regular glass but is still glass.

If that defense can stay healthy it keeps them in a lot of games.

And if that offense can move up 6 or 7 slots in the stats they might blow more than a few teams out.

But Trubisky has to play better. Much better. He’s already thrown more than a few passes that make you scratch away the last hairs on your head.

Something also looks wrong in the face. In the first half particularly it looked like he was constipated or something. Sweating more than he should. Either his helmet is too tight or the pressure is getting to him. 

Aaron Rodgers by comparison never looks like he’s sweating. I don’t know how you teach poise or accuracy or greatness. Either you’re great or you’re not, right?

Maybe you can unfeel and intuit the pressure with success. Maybe the strength of everybody else can help lift you up as well. Maybe with a lot of wins you can grow into the best version of yourself, reaching for perfection but never getting there because nothing is perfect. He’s really trying so hard and you can see it all over his face. He wants it bad.

I think they need to move the pocket more and have him and Jordan and Cohen all run more. Something to help them get big plays with big chunks of yardage.

If Buffalo can blow out Minnesota, Detroit can blow out New England, and Washington can blow out Green Bay why can’t Chicago win the Super Bowl? For now I’m still eating flapjacks and molasses in that sow belly fat, because if I complain too much about it—-I won’t get that.

And waiting like the blues for the midnight special to shine it’s light on me. 

Until next week….

THEY’RE ALL OUT ON AN ISLAND

 

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“it’s more important to me and my family to walk away healthy than to willfully embrace the warrior mentality and limp away too late.”……….Vontae Davis, Former Cornerback Buffalo Bills

If you’re a fan that follows the game closely I think its important to put perspective back into the game. We kind lose sight of doing that partly because we’re watching so intensely and partly because we have so many deep feelings wrapped up in it all.

Vontae Davis was a former first round pick. He was a two time Pro Bowler and played for 10 seasons and just signed a contract for 5 million dollars. Last Sunday he walked away from football at halftime. Not after the game. Not in mid-season. Not after the season. But at halftime.

Now I know there’s some misguided people out there who think they could endure getting hit like a football player for 5 million dollars. Just like there are people out there who think they could go into the same ring with Mike Tyson for 20 million. 

There’s also a certain warrior mentality that everybody likes to think they have. But there is nothing so warrior than a person who every day is putting their life on the line. I know the need for money makes people think they would do almost anything for it. But there’s also a more overwhelming desire to be alive.

Players are starting to recognize this and leaving the game earlier than they used to. When you factor how hard it must be for someone who’s grown up in difficult surroundings with little money to be tempted by NFL dollars and endorsement money—-it’s crazy. How can it not make you lose some perspective? 

I think it helps the game too if fans can understand these guys are putting so much on the line. 

I know part of what makes a player great is the sacrifice he makes for himself and for his team and teammates. It’s a great honor to do that, to give it everything you have, be it in football or any walk of life.

I don’t think Vontae Davis let his teammates down and I think he’s the only one, more than all the doctors and all of the teammates in all the leagues in all the worlds who knows his body and mind and soul better than everybody combined. 

Plus a team doesn’t want a guy who doesn’t try his hardest. It doesn’t matter if he’s at 50%, 80%, 90% if he’s not able to try his hardest he’s going to be a liability. An army doesn’t want this kind of soldier and neither does a football team. 

I think its disrespectful if he doesn’t leave. Even though I’m only a fan I’ve seen players who stayed long after they lost that killer instinct.

The only critical thing I have to say about it is that maybe he could’ve told a coach privately that he was done and take his uniform and pads off and watch the rest of the game on the sideline in civilian clothes, cheering on his teammates. 

But even that doesn’t tell us how badly he felt it was time to get out.

It’s a paradox I know. I’m still working on it. It’s a violent sport and I love the violence but I also hate to see people lose their minds. 

Two weeks I criticized Kyle Fuller for not being able to catch a ball thrown right to him with 2 minutes left to go in the game and didn’t really take into account his mental state at the time and how hyper-vigilant he has to be with 2 minutes left to go in the game.

Not to mention how tough Fuller is and how hard he hits like a safety.

They’re all out on island.

In more ways than one.

Keep Taking Baby Steps

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I know you want sexy. That you want that 15 to 19 yard pass play in the middle of the field hitting the tight end in stride on a skinny post and marching like the Patriots with a potent offense threatening to score every time you touch the ball.

I know that’s what you want and if you were paying attention after the second Bears touchdown where they marched down the field with short passes and runs you saw Matt Nagy whispering into Mitch Trubisky’s ear before commercial.

That right there is why I feel good about this team. The fact that Nagy knows what it’s like to be QB1 and the fact that Trubisky is humble enough to want to learn is all reason for hope.

Yes Trubisky threw two picks and made some really bad decisions. Yes they might’ve tried to stretch the field a bit too far. Yes they probably need to run a little bit more.

I’d like to see Cohen and Howard get more touches. Cohen particularly. Give him a chance to bust it wide open because the guy has all sorts of talent. 

It would’ve been nice to see the Bears blow that team out. Maybe they’re learning how to do that.

And what about that defense? Six sacks in a game?! It only seems logical to me that all that pressure on the quarterback is going to give those corners a great chance for more picks. Will they step up?

And Mack? My goodness! Yet another great Bear defender in the Bear tradition of great defenses. 

I’m glad they got their night games over with. A night game is more pressure on a young qb than a day game and if he’s already doing this well in prime time, what might he be?

An 83 qb rating while still throwing two picks is impressive. Why can’t he get better?

I know to be December relevant would be a dream. So let us just keep it there for now and in the mean time keep taking baby steps.

Players Need Poets

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I know it hurts. I know it feels awful so you tell yourself it doesn’t matter as much as you think. I know you have to get up and get on with it, but what a bittersweet way to start the season.

I know Matt Nagy really wanted to score a touchdown 3rd and 1 deep in Packer territory at the end of the game to make it a 2 possession game, but why didn’t he run twice with the running game that was showing up late all over that drive. Can you answer me that?

I know Kyle Fuller knows how to catch a ball thrown to him. Well, maybe not that. I know Clay Matthews obvious roughing the passer at the end of the game could’ve have been the olive branch sent from above.

Something about that Bear Packer game on Sunday Night has been falling like an empire for many years now and like the soothsayers of old Bear fans have had to watch everything crumble and be destroyed right before their eyes and still unable to do a damn thing about it.

That queasy feeling from first half to second half was a lot like eating certain kinds of food despite the warning. Is there a spirit of Anthony Bourdain in the great Bear reporting out there to help us understand?

Fate is a lot like this. You see it coming. You’ve been warned it’s coming. You’re told to leave your house because it’s coming.

There’s a feeling that’s a lot like terror that also is a defining characteristic, a knowing that even though it’s coming and you’re trying to do everything you can to stop it——YOU WON’T STOP IT!  Ask Homer. Ask Dante. Ask Shakespeare.

The only huge problem in all of this logic that I grant you has some holes in it like the second half defense is that…

I DON’T BELIEVE IN FATE!

“I believe in effort. Self sacrifice. Belief. I believe you’re supposed to give a hundred and ten percent on every play and relentlessly pursue perfection, and knowing that nothing is perfect I believe in catching excellence. I am not remotely interested in being just good.”

The immortal paraphrased words of Vince Lombardi have been enshrined like great poets into the parts of me that matter.

Even though the pain is real like every football player will tell you, I have to believe that Nagy and CO. will learn from this and get better. 

I would rather root for that to happen than hide in the albeit persuadable excuse that the Bears will never be anything more than mediocre. Just my choice.

I’m a poet and so there’s a lot of other things I believe in too. That I go back to and continue working on just like I believe that the players on that team can continue to work on.

I also believe people can change. Institutions can change. Workers can change. The world can change. I absolutely believe that these players can use this experience to get better.

Also remember the team the Bears played on Sunday was supposed to be really really good. Contending and picked to win the Super Bowl good. While the Bears were picked by nobody. 

I think for a first game they beat expectations hands down. 

Let’s start there.

Welcome To My Blog

Welcome to my blog everybody! I just wanted to say hi and thanks for reading. 

The blog will be about life, the NFL, and the Chicago Bears and I’m going to try to post every week. 

If you’re like me you love the NFL and the Bears and can’t get enough of it. 

I’m a writer who loves to write and wanted to try something new and it seemed like it would be fun because I’m so crazy about the Bears. 

So that’s the ham and eggs of it. I’m not at all well versed in the art of blogging or social media though. This is my first attempt. So I ask for your kind indulgence in letting me try to figure out what I’m doing. 

All opinions that are relevant to the subjects are welcome. Please try to help the blog out whenever possible. 

Thanks! Dave

Fortuna Favet Fortibus

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Fortuna favet fortibus. From the latin meaning fortune favors the brave.

The phrase and those like it kind of defines our country with many examples—-from our military, to our literature, to shows like Buffy The Vampire Slayer, and movies like The Pacific Rim and Star Trek, even John Wick has a tattoo of it on his unbeatable body.

There’s a lot to love about the idea that God helps those who help themselves.

And now your Chicago Bears, the McCaskeys, Ryan Pace and Matt Nagy have decided to fight the bull with a red cape and sword and go get the best new blood in football.

The Bears are trying to be bulls and they’re telling the NFL they’re sick of waiting.

For those of you who think it costs too much consider how rare it is for teams to give up on great players in their prime. It just doesn’t happen. It’s not good business.

Now we have a player that other teams must plan on how to stop.

It’s ok to roll your eyes over why the Raiders would want to trade one of the best defenders in the league. Just shut up and pay the man the fans cry. Every team has to pay their own.

I think Jon Gruden may have overthought this or he badly wants to start over and forge a team into a bunch of little Grinder Grudenites. I still don’t get it.

What I do get is Aaron Rodgers has had galaxies of time to throw and a pocket as big as the night sky. Don’t kid yourself. Green Bay is always the team to beat.

I don’t know why Chicago and great defenses go together like Sunday and brunch but they do. It’s impossible to think of one without the other. Though many sit in luxury this is a tough business and to prove yourself you have to be better than just good, you have to be great.

Now if we can just avoid the injuries!

But whoo whoo! Here we go!