Just when you thought it was safe to re-enter Bears Twitter after Sports Illustrated predicted a last-place finish for the team, Chicago fans were up in arms again last night, this time over a promotional video posted by Sunday Night Football’s official Twitter account.
Take a look:
A double doink teddy bear? Da Bears fans aren't feeling that.
The clip, which advertises the Bears’ Week 1 matchup with the Green Bay Packers on Sunday Night Football, hearkens back to the decades-old ‘Bill Swerski’s Super Fans’ sketches on Saturday Night Live. In the video, two mustachioed, Ditka-esque Chicagoans are gifted an “adorable Bears kicker doll.” Innocuous enough at first glance, but upon squeezing, the stuffed bear only says, “Double-Doink.”
“Too soon,” one of the superfans dejectedly mutters. Bears fans on Twitter, though, were harsher in their response. Some came with Packers-specific jabs:
Cody Parkey’s infamous ‘double-doink’ miss that ended the Bears’ 2018-19 season has obviously hung over the team all offseason. A strong performance against a rejuvenated Aaron Rodgers and Co. to kick off the year (no pun intended) would go a long way towards putting that… mishap firmly in the rearview mirror. But until then, fans will have to take their lumps as they come. As reigning NFC North champions, expect the Bears to have a target on their back all season.
The XFL is two weeks into its inaugural season, and there's one player who's standing head and shoulders above the rest as a viable NFL prospect at the game's most important position.
Houston Roughnecks quarterback P.J. Walker has taken the league by storm. His three touchdown passes in Week 1 set the table for another impressive performance in Houston's Week 2 victory over the St. Louis Battlehawks, and looked every bit the part of a dual-threat playmaker that's quickly become the modern-era prototype.
Take a look:
Walker tossed another three touchdowns while looking like the best player on the field (and in the entire XFL) for the second week in a row. Whether his game can translate to success on the NFL level is a big unknown at this point; he spent two seasons on the Colts practice squad without seeing any regular-season action.
Walker's early-season success is a great example of how developmental leagues like the XFL can serve as a feeder for the NFL at positions of need. Quarterback is no exception, especially in Chicago where Mitch Trubisky is in the most uncertain offseason of his career.
This isn't to suggest that a player like Walker is appealing enough to be the guy GM Ryan Pace adds to the roster as potential competition for Trubisky. But as a possible QB3 behind Trubisky and an established veteran added in free agency? It isn't the worst idea in the world, especially after seeing the kind of playmaking ability he has when given a chance to get on the field.
XFL players can make the jump to the NFL after the 2020 season concludes. The championship game Is scheduled for April 26.
The 2020 NFL draft will be a challenge for Chicago Bears GM Ryan Pace. He won't be armed with a first-round pick and has just two selections before the fifth round. Chicago is expected to receive a fourth-round compensatory pick after losing safety Adrian Amos in free agency last year, but that's merely an assumption at this point.
It would come as no surprise if Pace makes a move or two in the second round to acquire more draft capital. It's more likely the Bears will trade down in the 2020 draft as opposed to recent drafts that saw Pace make aggressive moves up the board for WR Anthony Miller (2018) and RB David Montgomery (2019).
In the latest mock draft from The Draft Network, Pace slides back from No. 43 to No. 48 (originally held by the Jets) and adds an additional fifth-rounder to his toolbox. And the Bears still end up with a player who fans would be happy with at their original pick in tight end Brycen Hopkins (Purdue).
The Bears' trade down was a good one, as they grab a target from earlier in the round while grabbing a fifth in return. Doesn't feel like much, but their cupboards are bare this year, and they need more weapons on offense to survive with Mitch Trubisky at QB
There aren't any trades at No. 50 overall, Chicago's second of two second-rounders. Instead, this mock draft sends the Bears LSU offensive tackle Saadiq Charles.
Saahdiq Charles is one of my favorite developmental tackles that. nobody talks about. He's not ready to step in and start in Year 1, but the Bears can keep Bobby Massie and Charles Leno installed as starters through this year and re-evaluate after Charles bulks up.
Charles will go through the rest of the draft process with some red flags after serving a six-game suspension for the Tigers in 2019. Still, with the premium placed on offensive tackles in today's NFL, landing a player at the position who has starter's upside is a big win, especially with the Bears having more flexibility to get out of Bobby Massie's contract at the end of 2020. While offensive tackle doesn't appear like Chicago's most pressing need, it quickly could become one next year if they don't add a developmental starter early in the 2020 draft.
It's hard to argue with a draft haul that brings the Bears a tight end and an offensive tackle in the second round, as well as an additional fifth-round pick along the way.