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.