Bears

Peyton Manning reveals what he told Trubisky and Foles about 2020 offseason

Peyton Manning reveals what he told Trubisky and Foles about 2020 offseason

When Matt Nagy originally told reporters that he was having a handful of famous people speak to the Bears this offseason, he purposefully chose to keep the specifics vague. He refused to name names, insisting that it was in the best interest of everyone involved to keep everything anonymous. 

Then, like a week later, it was reported that Clippers head coach Doc Rivers was one of those speakers. And now, on Monday morning, NFL insider Peter King let another name slip: Peyton Manning. 

In his Football Morning In America column, King revealed that Manning's spoken with several NFL teams about the 2020 offseason – with the Bears' QB room being one of them:

So I’ve done a few Zoom calls. I did the Buffalo Bills quarterback room meeting. Did the Los Angeles Rams full team meeting. Did the Bears quarterbacks. That was kinda my message, sort of, you know, follow Eli’s lead. Quarterbacks, take ownership. All these Zoom meetings, right now, the coaches are leading them. My message was to the quarterbacks. ‘Hey, organize your own Zoom meetings without the coaches, just get you and the tight ends, you and the receivers.’ It’s actually an opportunity to even have better communication. Because there’s nothing else to do, right? Hey, every Tuesday, 9 a.m., quarterbacks and the offensive line, Zoom, watching film. Instead of complaining about it, see it as an opportunity to really improve. There’s no reason you shouldn’t have every play from last year studied down to the T.

I shared how I broke down film from the previous season. I always watched the interception tape first. Then the sack tape. All the bad things. You figure out why you’re throwing these interceptions. What drill do I need to incorporate into the offseason to fix that? Sean McVay said after I talked, he got a text from Jared Goff and from Jalen Ramsey. He said they’re going to organize their own meetings and workouts. To me, that’s what you have to do. The coaches shouldn’t lead everything. Josh Allen seemed real excited about that.

So there you have it. Doc Rivers and Peyton Manning are just two of the motivational speakers that have worked with the Bears this offseason. Why the team felt the need to treat it with such a sense of faux-secrecy may be more of a mystery than the speakers themselves at this point.

NFL reveals football helmet mouth shields to prevent COVID-19 spread

NFL reveals football helmet mouth shields to prevent COVID-19 spread

The majority of the football world got its first glimpse of a new mouth shield developed by Oakley on Monday. The shield was designed to help protect players from the COVID-19 pandemic while they’re on the field.

According to ESPN, there is currently no mandate for players to wear the protective shield, however the NFL’s medical experts are advocating its use.

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The shields have already been distributed to the Los Angeles Rams and Los Angeles Chargers for feedback, according to the ESPN report. That report mentions the two biggest concerns about the shields so far are visibility and breathability.

Most importantly, the NFL's engineering committee Dr. Jeff Crandall told ESPN that the shields prevent direct transmission of droplets from players’ mouths.

Per the report, Oakley tested the shields by spraying fluid particles to mimic droplets expelled by players.

"I don't know that there's a direct percentage that anyone's come up with because a laboratory is not the on-field environment, obviously," Crandall told ESPN. "There's lots of things that players do on the fields that they're not easily replicating [in] the laboratory, but it is a significant blockage to transmission of droplets. There is no straight pathway through the face shield or visor for a droplet to be transmitted."

While Oakley is the official supplier of the shields for the NFL, the report mentions that players may end up other brands that are developing similar products.

"Just like everything we do, whether we're talking about better cleats or better performing helmets, it's all about something that's safer and yet also protects and in many cases enhances performance," Dr. Allen Sills, the NFL's chief medical officer, told ESPN. "That's the same mantra and the same sort of approach that we're taking here. I'm really pleased with how the work is going along.

“We're not at a finished product yet. Like most things in health safety, there's really no finish line here. So we're hoping to continue to innovate and improve as we go along. But we're excited about where we are and excited about the potential role this may play in risk mitigation on the field."


RELATED: Here's where things stand with the 2020 NFL season and COVID-19

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ESPN lists Bears' offensive weapons as NFL's 5th-worst group in new rankings

ESPN lists Bears' offensive weapons as NFL's 5th-worst group in new rankings

Now that you've clicked (thanks!), look away, Bears fans. 

In a newly-published, rankings-style piece from ESPN's Bill Barnwell, the Bears' offense once again finds itself in bad company. What stings about this particular post is that it has literally nothing to do with quarterbacks. 

Barnwell ranked all 32 NFL teams based on their 'offensive weapon' groups, and you know it's bad when it's faster to find the Bears writeup by manually scrolling down instead of using the provided hyperlink jump. Chicago's group came in 28th, which is certainly fair – albeit lacking much optimism – given 2019's performance across the board. Here's how Barnwell sees it: 

Allen Robinson deserves better than this. Having spent his entire career catching passes from Blake Bortles and Mitchell Trubisky, he will get a comparative upgrade this season if the Bears start Nick Foles. The former Penn State star held up his end of the bargain a year ago, racking up 1,147 yards and seven touchdowns on 154 targets. Anthony Miller finished the season with 656 yards and averaged nearly 1.5 yards per route run, but drops and shoulder injuries have been a concern through his first two seasons, and the former second-rounder likely profiles best as a full-time slot receiver.

The other weapons on this roster all failed to live up to expectations, although much of that was due to injuries. (Tarik Cohen's seven drops on 103 targets are the exception.) Players like Cohen, Ted Ginn Jr. and Cordarrelle Patterson could be intriguing supplemental pieces in the right scheme, but it's difficult to count on coach Matt Nagy making the most of their ability. Free-agent signee Jimmy Graham's contract was universally panned, but even leaving the money aside, he was anonymous last season in a Packers offense desperate for a second receiving option and turns 34 in November. David Montgomery is the big hope for the Bears to climb up these rankings, but as a rookie, he was below average by every running measure I could find.

What's especially depressing is comparing this year's ranking with the previous two of the Nagy era. Going into 2018, the Bears' ranked 9th (!!) and last season they found themselves at 17. In a span of three years, Nagy's offense has managed to fall 19 spots in the eyes of one of the NFL's most prominent writers. Ultimately, is this all that important? Probably not! But it's a stark reminder that the Bears' offense has a whole lot to prove this season, and that goes way beyond the quarterback position.