Bears

Eddie Jackson’s pitch for the Bears hits home with Ha Ha Clinton-Dix: ‘It’s just like Bama’

Eddie Jackson’s pitch for the Bears hits home with Ha Ha Clinton-Dix: ‘It’s just like Bama’

Six years ago, Ha Ha Clinton-Dix recruited a three-star wide receiver recruit named Eddie Jackson to play his college ball at Alabama (Jackson, of course, played for Nick Saban as a safety). In March, it was Jackson who was recruiting Clinton-Dix, this time to play for the Bears. 

He did so with a simple message: “It’s just like ‘Bama.”

And from there, “I was ready to sign,” Clinton-Dix said. 

The friendship between Jackson and Clinton-Dix developed in Tuscaloosa and continued after Clinton-Dix became a first-round pick of the Green Bay Packers in 2014. But Clinton-Dix didn’t decide to sign with the Bears — on a cheap one-year prove-it deal — just because of the opportunity to team up with one of his friends. 

Jackson and quarterback Mitch Trubisky chatted with Clinton-Dix on his visit to Halas Hall back in March and offered another critical pitch centered around coach Matt Nagy. 

“I told him coach Nagy is one of those coaches, he lets us be us, go out there and have fun with swag,” Jackson said. “But he knew it. He was like man, I know, I’m a fan of y’all, I’ve been watching. He was on board.”

Jackson and Clinton-Dix combined for 14 interceptions since the beginning of the 2017 season, though Clinton-Dix left the Green Bay Packers via a midseason trade last year with a reputation for missing tackles (for what it’s worth, Clinton-Dix missed one fewer tackle than Adrian Amos did in 2018, per Pro Football Focus). The Bears see Clinton-Dix’s one-year deal as a win-win for all parties: The Bears get a starting safety with proven past production and playoff experience, while Clinton-Dix slides into one of the league’s most talented defenses with an excellent opportunity to rebuild his value on the free agent market in 2020. 

“I always like to focus on the positives guys have,” safeties coach Sean Desai said. “He’s shown that he’s a highly instinctual player, he’s shown that he’s got good ball skills and good range and those are traits that we’re going to develop.” 

Jackson and Amos forged a strong relationship on the back end of the Bears’ defense the last two years, with good communication between the two helping accentuate each player’s strengths. A thought here is replacing Amos with Clinton-Dix will help ease the transition for Jackson, given his friendship with his new safety mate. But there’s more that goes into a good safety pairing than a strong friendship. 

“They gotta build that communication,” Desai said. “It’s different to speak a personal language off the field and then a football language on the field. So that’s what we’re all building.”

Still, a good off-the-field relationship with Jackson got Clinton-Dix in the door at Halas Hall. And the Bears hope it can be an important part of the league’s best defense in 2018 holding on to that title in 2019. 

“I’m just glad to be on the back end with him, man,” Clinton-Dix said. “This is a special defense and I’m glad to be a part of these guys.” 

According to multiple sportsbooks, the Bears are the most popular Super Bowl bet of any NFL team

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USA Today

According to multiple sportsbooks, the Bears are the most popular Super Bowl bet of any NFL team

Credit where credit's due: Bears fans back up their optimism.  

As Year 2 (Or Nagy 202, or The Last Season Before Their Cap Situation Gets Dicey, or whatever you want to call it) begins, it's a safe bet to say that Bears fans are a hopeful bunch. 

And hey, speaking of safe bets, here's an example: according to ESPN, no NFL team has gotten more Super Bowl bets than the Bears. 

On Monday morning, the mothership's David Purdum published a story on how the Bears (and the Browns, but they've gotten enough press and we're not NBC Sports Cleveland) are getting a lot of love from people with spare cash. 

"There are more bets on the Bears to win the Super Bowl than there are on any other team at multiple sportsbooks. The Browns are right behind the Bears in Super Bowl bets. "It's been kind of overwhelming, the support [for the Bears]," said Alan Berg, the senior oddsmaker for Caesars Sportsbook. "Every time the Bears go to the playoffs, the following year, the money just pours in. Everybody gets optimistic."

This, of course, checks out. There is no Trubisky overthrow, no shanked field goal from 38, and no veteran whooping on an undrafted rookie that can sway Bears fans from their steadfast belief that the Bears Are Going To Win The Super Bowl, So Take That Jason La Canfora. 

Need more examples? Without all the forced snark? How about the fact that at one prominent Vegas sportsbook, Bears fans got Trubisky's MVP odds to move 200-1 to 50-1. And are still mad about 50-1! 

Bless Bears fans, and bless their optimism. The lasting burn of Double Doink can only be soothed by jumping on 9-1 while it's offered. 

Under Center Podcast: Saying bye to Elliott Fry

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USA TODAY

Under Center Podcast: Saying bye to Elliott Fry

On this episode of the Under Center Podcast, J.J. Stankevitz is joined by John "Moon" Mullin. To start, Moon takes a moment to remember Cedric Benson, who died in a motorcycle accident on Saturday night (00:30). Then, the guys discuss the Bears' surprise announcement that they released Elliott Fry, leaving Eddy Pineiro as the only kicker on the roster (05:40).

The guys toss to highlights from Matt Nagy's press conference on Sunday morning where he explains why the Bears decided to cut Fry now, how they think the move will help Pineiro and whether the competition is officially closed (07:55).

Finally, J.J. explains why the end of the kicking competition was just like the end of the Bachelorette (12:10), and which kickers on other teams the Bears may still have their eyes on in the upcoming preseason games (16:40).

Listen to the entire episode here or in the embedded player below.

Under Center Podcast

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