Olivia Rodrigo’s “good 4 u” is an ear worm that will be stuck in my head for a while. And if it’s gonna be stuck in my head, I figure that I shouldn’t go through this alone.
• Adam Jahns’ mailbag in The Athletic is helping me gear up for football. Specifically, his response to a question about camp battles. The Bears still haven’t announced plans for fans to see the training camp action at Halas Hall. But whenever we get to put eyes on the guys, I’ll be looking forward to what happens in the trenches. Linemen battles in camp are always the most competitive. And when it comes to the Bears, we’re looking at possibly a dozen players battling for roles when you consider both sides of the line of scrimmage. That alone makes it the most interesting camp competition of the non-quarterbacking variety.
• An early starting OL projection from Jahns, with the caveat that rookie Teven Jenkins balls out at camp and in the preseason, raises my eyebrows. Because, in that scenario, Jahns envisions Jenkins (LT), Cody Whitehair (LG), Sam Mustipher (C), James Daniels (RG), and Germain Ifedi (RT) as the starting five out of the gate. That’s not a bad collection of talent, even if the left tackle is totally unproven and right tackle might be better off at guard. But for now, that’ll play.
• As a reminder, this is what a good offensive line can look like when working together and moving downhill:
• The thing I like most about the offensive line might be its potential depth. Alex Bars gained significant starting snaps down the stretch last year. Elijah Wilkinson has starting experience at two positions from his time with the Broncos. Larry Borom brings fresh legs and ample experience as a starter, albeit on a college campus. Lachavious Simmons and Arlington Hambright are seventh-round picks from 2020 who are still in developmental phases, but still count as intriguing depth pieces. I’ll be curious to see how each looks this summer.
• Don’t mind me, I’m just laughing about having 96 different possible starting offensive line groupings to sort through.
• Should the Bears choose to check back into the market, Russell Okung (LT) and Rick Wagner (RT) are still free agents. Seeing Wagner still on the market surprises me. I thought he could be a Bears fit, especially knowing the team had an interest in signing him as a free agent a few years ago. Maybe things are different this time around with a new OL Coach, different coaching staff, and minor changes in the front office. Nevertheless, Chicago’s football team should always be willing to consider its options on the market. After all, there is no such thing as having too many good offensive linemen.
• Circling back to Jahns’ mailbag for a moment. One line that made me happy thinking about what Matt Nagy’s offense could be: “His practices in the offseason program and camp have featured plenty of shots down the field, including this year with Dalton and Fields in OTAs and minicamp. Nagy wants to be aggressive down the field. It’s in his playbook and in his nature as a coach and play-caller.”
• And one that filled me with anxiety: “Over the past three seasons, the Bears have ranked 22nd, 29th and 25th, respectively, in pass plays of 20-plus yards, according to SportRadar.”
• How’s this for a palate cleanser? Nearly three minutes of Justin Fields slinging it:
• And in the interest of fairness, here’s a game-winning drive led by Andy Dalton.
• For your listening pleasure:
— Bear Report (@BearReport) July 5, 2021
• I don’t know exactly why Bow Wow was ranting about the Falcons on Fourth of July weekend, but I found myself chuckling reading this tweet:
Dont get me started on the falcons! Yes im ranting! We blew the superbowl! Then we dont draft justin fields. HOW DO YOU NOT DRAFT JUSTIN FIELDS!!! You think we want to see matt ryan stink up the dome AGAIN???? Im over it!
— Bow Wow (@smoss) July 4, 2021
• Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady are golfing today. As an aside: If Rodgers wants to step away from football to become a golf analyst, I think he’s got a future in it:
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) June 30, 2021
• We’ve had our fun at Rodgers’ expense, but I can respect his approach to taking his mental health seriously after reading this from ESPN’s Ben Baby.
• As someone who loves cramming his eyeballs with college football prospect showcase games, I’m digging that the East-West Shrine Bowl is getting a new platform:
The East-West Shrine Bowl, the nation’s oldest college football all-star game, is partnering with the NFL and moving the event to Las Vegas and Allegiant Stadium as part of NFL Pro Bowl week. The game will be Thursday, February 3rd, in primetime, on NFL Network.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) July 6, 2021
• Let the games begin:
Zach LaVine Has Officially Arrived at Team USA Training Camp!https://t.co/Ty1rfZw2u4
— Bleacher Nation Bulls (@BN_Bulls) July 6, 2021
• Here are to tweets essentially saying the same thing:
Master Skywalker, what are we going to do? pic.twitter.com/IYgCas6rDn
— Funky Cold Luda (@lcm1986) July 6, 2021
Information accretes every day, and eventually the tipping point arrives. It’s time for the Cubs to declare themselves as sellers. https://t.co/7ep30aOehi
— Brett Taylor (@Brett_A_Taylor) July 6, 2021