Bears

Former Packer T.J. Lang takes jab at Jimmy Graham's blocking skills

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USA Today

Former Packer T.J. Lang takes jab at Jimmy Graham's blocking skills

Another shot has been fired onto Bears tight end Jimmy Graham, but can he block it?

Former Green Bay Packers guard T.J. Lang took a jab at Graham on Twitter after Pro Football Talk released an article about Graham thinking the Bears have a good plan for him.

Lang made the joke because Graham is not known for his blocking skills. In fact, Pro Football Focus graded Graham as roughly an average blocking tight end in 2019.

But Graham most likely won't be a run blocking upgrade to the offense. He'll be someone Trubisky (or Foles) can throw the ball to. 

Graham is tied for 36th on the NFL’s all-time receiving touchdowns list with 74 in his career. He’s also a five-time Pro Bowler who can be an explosive option down-the-field.

He's done nothing but praise GM Ryan Pace, Matt Nagy and the Bears' organization since signing with the team on March 16. He also credited Pace's rebuild and has mentioned his confidence in Nagy's offense. He said the offense is the closest he's ever seen since he left the New Orleans Saints in 2015.

If the Bears are anything like the Saints' offense, we hope to see the superstar tight end from 2011 and 2013 who totaled 1,200+ receiving yards. 

RELATED: Jimmy Graham on Bears' signing: 'Chicago deserves a Super Bowl'

 

 

The Match: Peyton Manning uses new Bears QB Nick Foles to troll Tom Brady

The Match: Peyton Manning uses new Bears QB Nick Foles to troll Tom Brady

America got a taste of live sports on Sunday via The Match, a charity golf outing pitting Tiger Woods and Peyton Manning against Phil Mickelson and Tom Brady. The competition raised $10 million for coronavirus relief.

It also offered Manning the chance to take a friendly jab at Brady, long his competitor on the gridiron, using new Bears quarterback Nick Foles.

In a mid-match interview, Manning noted how it's difficult to get to Brady's head on the field. The former Colts and Broncos quarterback then named two potential caddies he could have brought to disrupt Brady's focus: his brother, Eli Manning, and Foles.

"Do you bring Eli? Could do that," Manning said. "Do you bring Nick Foles? Maybe."

"Cheap shot," Brady said in response, grinning.

The Philadelphia Eagles beat Brady and the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LII two years ago, with Foles, a backup turned starter, leading the charge. Based on Brady's comment, Manning may have struck a nerve with the six-time Super Bowl champion.

Foles got in on the fun on Twitter:

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2020 Bears Schedule: Will Gardner Minshew mania grip Jacksonville again?

2020 Bears Schedule: Will Gardner Minshew mania grip Jacksonville again?

The game

The Bears will make a late-season visit to Jacksonville on Dec. 27. The last time the Bears faced the Jaguars, Jacksonville prevailed 17-16 on Oct. 16, 2016, thanks to a late TD pass from Blake Bortles to former Fighting Illini wide receiver Arrelious Benn. Rest assured, there will be some extra motivation on the sideline this time around, as former Jaguars Nick Foles and Allen Robinson face their ex-teammates.

Player to watch

The Bears will be facing the man who replaced Foles as Jaguars starting QB last season, Gardner Minshew. In 14 games, he threw for nearly 3,300 yards with 21 TD and 6 INT, but Jacksonville ranked just 26th in the league in total scoring and limped to a 6-10 record. Entering his first full season as the unquestioned starter, Minshew will have DJ Chark as a top target after the wideout exploded onto the scene last season.

RELATED: Bears 2020 schedule: Game-by-game predictions

Additions and subtractions

One defensive standout to keep an eye on is Yannick Ngakoue, Jacksonville’s best pass-rusher who had the franchise tag placed on him but has repeatedly demanded a trade. Whether or not a trade partner is found will be the biggest issue facing the team as they head toward training camp, whenever that may be. Jacksonville also added talented but injury-plagued tight end Tyler Eifert in free agency.

Key storyline

Since their tough loss in the 2018 AFC Championship game to the Patriots, the Jaguars have torn their roster to shreds as they move into the next era of their franchise. Standout players sent packing over the last year or so include Calais Campbell, Jalen Ramsey, A.J. Bouye, Marcell Dareus, and of course, Nick Foles.

New GM David Caldwell is nearly done purging the roster, and that means this Jacksonville team will be playing the long game and likely setting themselves up for a top pick in next year’s draft.

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of the Bears.