Love is in the air in Chicago.
A day after Ohio State running back Ezekiel Elliott had Bears fan buzzing when he told the Dan Patrick Show that he thinks the Bears are in love with him, Elliott confirmed that the feeling is indeed mutual.
"I do feel the same way about the Bears," Elliott told CSNChicago.com following the NFL Play 60 clinic at Grant Park in Chicago on Wednesday. "My [Ohio State] running back coach Stan Drayton is there. My visit with the Bears, we had a long talk and we got to catch up. It would be great for me to be reunited with coach Drayton."
Under Drayton's tutelage, Elliott rushed for 1,878 yards and 18 touchdowns in his first year as a starter for Ohio State in 2014, and helped the Buckeyes capture a National Championship.
Drayton left Ohio State following the school's title run to take the same job with the Bears.
"I give him a lot of credit for the player that I am today because right when I got to Ohio State he was the one pushing me," Elliott said. "He was the one that forced me to become a great blocker. I didn't have a choice but to become that blocker. He demanded so much from me and just brought out the best in me.
"I know if I landed with the Bears then he would continue to do that and it would be very good for my career."
While the two sides have obvious connections and the Bears do have a need at the running back position after letting Matt Forte depart via free agency this past offseason, the chances of Elliott slipping to No. 11 in Thursday's NFL Draft appear to be shrinking.
With running back-needy teams such as the Dallas Cowboys and Cleveland Browns picking ahead of the Bears, there's a good chance that Elliott will hear his name called before the Bears make their selection.
But if Elliott is still on the board will this budding love story have a happy ending? We'll know in 24 hours.
The Chicago Bears are counting on Mitch Trubisky to have a breakout season in 2018. His rookie year was strong, but for the Bears to emerge as a playoff contender, the second-year passer must enjoy a Jared Goff-like improvement.
There's no doubting the talent Trubisky possesses in his right arm. And with a plethora of new weapons at his disposal, his production should make him appealing to fantasy football owners. But he may do more than just throw touchdowns.
"I'd definitely like to catch some touchdowns and some passes, that would be cool," Trubisky said at Halas Hall after Wednesday's OTAs. "The sky's the limit with this offense, just the creativeness that these coaches bring, there's going to be a lot of fun plays. We get the base ones down first and hopefully, we can have some fun trick plays."
Trey Burton was signed in free agency to provide a weapon for Trubisky at tight end, but he may end up throwing a few passes before the year is out. He was on the quarterback end of the famous Super Bowl LII touchdown pass (the Philly Special) to Nick Foles and spent time at quarterback as a freshman at the University of Florida.
Don't forget about Tarik Cohen, either. He attempted two passes in 2017, completing one for a touchdown (21 yards) to Zach Miller.
Trubisky is the kind of rare athlete at quarterback who an offensive coordinator can legitimately devise a few trick plays for, adding just another wrinkle in the new-era of Bears offensive football set to launch in September.
Mitch Trubisky met with reporters after OTAs on Wednesday and addressed the NFL owners' unanimous approval of a new national anthem policy that requires players to stand if they are on the field while it's performed. If they don't want to stand, they can remain in the locker room or teams will be subject to fines.
The Bears avoided the media firestorm around the national anthem last season. No one on the roster kneeled. Instead, teammates locked arms and Trubisky believes it will be more of the same in 2018.
"I’m just proud of how our team handled last year. It's in the past and I believe we’ll all stand on the field together this year," Trubisky told reporters at Halas Hall. "It is what it is. I think it’s all about eliminating distractions for the team and for the audience. Just represent yourself and the organization in the right manner.”
STANKEVITZ: NFL Anthem policy won’t keep Sam Acho, others from standing up for what they believe in
Trubisky is the unquestioned leader of the Bears, only one year removed from Mike Glennon's proclamation that this was his team. Now, with a new coach and elevated expectations, Trubisky must weather the off-field issues that naturally come with a leadership role.
No off-field issue is bigger than a comment by the President of the United States, which happened Thursday in response to the national anthem policy during in an interview on "Fox and Friends".
“Well, I think that’s good. I don’t think people should be staying in locker rooms. But still, I think it’s good," Trump said. "You have to stand proudly for the national anthem, or you shouldn’t be playing, you shouldn’t be there. Maybe you shouldn’t be in the country.”
This is an issue that isn't going away anytime soon. Fortunately, Trubisky appears ready to shoulder the heavy burden and potential strain a social issue like this can bring to a locker room.