Fixing Fields, NJ’s Run-Friendly Forecast, Keep an Eye on the Kicker, and Other Bears Bullets

It’s been 19 years since I watched a high school football game that I wasn’t assigned to cover. Coincidentally (?), today also marks the first time I will be returning to my high school in 19 years. It’s Fritz Pollard Day at Lane Tech in Chicagowhere Lane Football Stadium will be dedicated in his honor.

If that name is familiar to you as a football fan, it’s because Pollard was the NFL’s first black head coach. Pollard attended Lane Tech and later attended Brown University. I don’t remember learning much about Pollard in high school, but I’ve learned a lot since graduating. And I think it’s pretty good that an iconic figure went to school in the same place as me.

Onward with Bullets, because I have things to do before the high school football game later this morning.

  • I needed this thread of Nate Tice from The Athletic dissecting Justin Fields like you wouldn’t believe:
  • Two clips are enough to remind you that Fields has the tools of a successful quarterback. The one you can win because of – not just the one you win with or despite having it on your roster. It’s important to keep this thing going as it remains at a developmental stage in its career. That doesn’t mean it can’t be better. *NEEDS* fields to show improvements soon. That we are three games away from his second season and he looks worse under the new regime than he did working under the previous one is disheartening. But that doesn’t mean things can’t change. They can…especially if he makes more throws above.
  • This exchange which I think nails the essence of the thing:
  • To borrow a hashtag from Brett, I’m #NotAScout. HOWEVER, my eyes saw Fields as someone trying too hard to fit into a box. There are too many times he looks robotic which is a shame because athleticism and fluidity are his game. Tice succeeds when he tweets Fields “looks like he’s trying to be too perfect every play , as if running through a checklist every time in the pocket.” It’s a perfect description. Somewhere in my game notes app from last week, I typed, “Looks like Fields is doing the quarterback equivalent of saying ‘tight right, loose left’ while working with a wrench when he’s falling straight back instead of just doing it…and it’s costing him in so many areas.
  • Good quarterbacks don’t come from cookie cutters. And the best are allowed to be themselves while playing within the confines of a successful attack. Offensive coordinator Luke Getsy needs to train him immediately. Otherwise, it won’t be long before we start looking at the quarterback class of the 2023 NFL Draft.
  • It looks like tomorrow we will have “Bear Weather” in New Jersey:
  • Luckily the Bears can make it work. I would be worried if they couldn’t.
  • OK, so David Montgomery (ankle/knee) won’t play. It’s okay, the Bears still have Khalil Herbert – who gets go-to status in the fantasy football community:
  • ESPN’s projections for Week 4 have Herbert for 16 carries, 74 rushing yards and 1 touchdown. It seems light after last week’s performance, but the Giants are allowing running backs an average of 5.6 yards per carry this year. And if Herbert, who averages 7.3 yards per carry, can get him started, this NY “D” is going to take it on the chin.
  • With Montgomery out, seek out Darrynton Evans for a practice squad promotion to the active roster. Evans was an offseason waiver request who didn’t make the season-opening roster, but is hanging out with the practice squad. Hopefully the Bears don’t need to go down to RB4 on the depth chart, but teams can do worse than a player like Evans who has juice in his game.
  • Speaking of the practice squad, let’s keep an eye out if any kickers make their way onto the roster. A personal issue has kept Cairo Santos out of practice for the past two days, making his status questionable for Sunday’s showdown against the Giants. The Bears brought in three kickers for tryouts on Friday, which seems like a sign there’s a realistic possibility that Santos won’t be able to give it a go. Presumably, one of those kickers will land on the practice squad with the potential to be flexed on the roster if Santos can’t make it. Hopefully everything is fine with Santos and we don’t have to go that route. But also? Maybe the Bears should have already had an emergency kicker on hand.
  • I love that Kyle Long has a good memory of this season. This guy deserved to block in more games like this:
  • He should have done it already in the first place, but the NFL needs to exercise caution when it comes to handling the Tua Tagovailoa situation as this thing goes forward:
  • One painful stat I discovered watching this last night is that the Bears have had 25 different starting quarterbacks since 2001 — the last time the Mariners made the playoffs. But if you want to make the playoffs, you might as well do it on the back of a baseball player nicknamed Big Dumper:
  • Don’t forget the morning football tomorrow:
  • MACtion on NFL Network today? Savage:
  • Enjoy the Friday night (high) lights in the Pac-12 while the Pac-12 is still a thing:
  • Arch Manning has bragging rights at the next family reunion after breaking the high school achievement records of his uncles Peyton and Eli. Arch, the son of Cooper Manning, is committed to the University of Texas. (ESPN)
  • It’s fun to think about:
  • It turns out the Cubs won’t be the only team looking for help in the free agent market this offseason:

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