If you are at all like me, every day since the Bears training camp opened up, you have been consuming as much content as possible. You have watched Tanner Gentry snag that ball out of nowhere, making a highlight reel catch in 1-on-1 drills. You have seen Tarik Cohen move around the field with next level agility.
Perhaps most importantly, any video on twitter with Trubisky throwing the football, you watch on repeat over and over.
This weekend I followed my wife around Ulta like a zombie while I watched Bears training camp through periscope. I can’t get enough. Every day I wake up excited to listen to podcasts, read articles and watch the beginning of this season’s journey.
However, being this dialed in, I have noticed something that is absolutely perplexing to me. I am finding Bears fans who can’t find the joy I am because of their negativity. While I understand being down after last year’s record, the unbridled negativity I have experienced from some fans merits a quick response. I would like to make a case for optimism.
The importance of drafting well
We have all seen the articles regarding the number of players left on the roster from previous general managers. In case you haven’t, allow me to summarize, it isn’t pretty. The result of that, besides losses, is that you don’t get to experience the ride of having young players ascend into dominance.
When you look at the draft classes from 2010 to 2014, the only player left on the roster who has turned into a stud is Kyle Long. Watching Kyle and ascend to the player he has become was a lot of fun, but outside of that, there wasn’t much to watch (I am leaving out players who are now playing for other teams).
Well, guess what? That has changed in a big way.
This year we get to look forward to so many things.
- Can Jordan Howard take the next step and perhaps lead the league in rushing?
- Just how dominant can our interior line be with Cody Whitehair taking a step forward in his sophomore season?
- Just how high is Cameron Meredith’s ceiling?
- Will Eddie Goldman come back stronger (and quicker) than ever to make our D-Line terrifying for opposing QB’s?
- Will Leonard Floyd, with a frame that appears to be much more NFL ready, be a double digit sack man?
And don’t let me forget Trubisky! I can’t remember the last time I was so pumped to watch preseason games!
The point is you can choose to be negative or you can choose to be excited about all our young talent. For the first time in what feels like a long time, I am excited about players all over the field.
We have young, home grown talent that looks like it’s ready to make a big impact. What makes the destination that much more rewarding is the journey you took to get there. Guess what Bears fans, this is that journey.
The Bears invested heavily at the most important position in all of sports. They have young players at skill positions who are primed for career years. They also happen to a rookie class that has boom or bust potential.
That, to me, is great theater. Whether or not the Bears investments result in a significant improvement on last year’s record is yet to be seen. However, games in August haven’t been this compelling in a very long time.
Donald McKendree says
I’m excited about this season but unlike you, I am not fulfilled with the coverage available. There are not enough podcasts for a team in the third largest market and one of the most loyal fan bases in all of football. How many teams would survive this constant poor football and still maintain their fan base as the Bears do? Not many I say. We do our share of complaining but we still support them. Buy my new Jersey yearly even though we have not had a player with a jersey worthy of purchase. I have had to buy 85 Bears Jersey’s for so long but now we finally have a few player jersey’s I am happy to buy. We now have Trubiski, Meridith, Howard, Hicks, and a few others I would consider wearing.
Donald McKendree says
I am also optimistic about the upcoming season but for different reasons than many sports writers would consider reasonable. I actually think the Bears can win their division if a few things happen. First, they need exceptionally good health. Second they need to step up defensively and that actually starts with the front seven. That reflect my biggest problem with Pace, the drafting of Kevin White over Vic Beasley. I have not forgiven him from the very moment White was announced on draft day. It is his biggest mistake and there were many with his first draft. Lets compare my picks with his which were done in real time during the draft.
Pace: White, Goldman, Grasu, Langford, Amos, and Fabuluje.
Mine: Beasley, Goldman, David Johnson, La’ El Collins, La’ El Collins and La’ El Collins. But it is all conjecture after the first pick because of the reality that the entire board changes after Beasley goes to the Bears. Then the Falcons chose differently and maybe then Goldman isn’t there in round two or Johnson in three. So what I can say for certain is Beasley was #1 Grassu wasn’t on my board in round three and when round four came and Collins was still on the board I had to take a chance on the top OT in the draft every round he was still available.
Donald McKendree says
I keep running on and getting sidetracked from my comment. I can see the Bears going 12-4. I know start laughing…but with good health and player development combine with a few breaks and they are there. The Bears can beat every team they play. The Falcons are not that good and will suffer the fate of most teams that lose the Super Bowl. They will falter. The Bucs should have been beaten last year as well as the Packers in one game, the Vikings were beaten, the Lions needed help from the officials to win one of their games against us and the good old stand by of any given Sunday… or now Saturday, Thursday, Monday. Then I can also see the Bears going 2-14 as the wheels fall off again with key injuries at QB, RB, DL OL and secondary. Though I think we have the depth to absorb a few injuries this year but not many.
Quick comment… I live in North Dallas and I am a hardcore Bears fan since I was 7 years old. I will die a hardcore Bears fan! I’m rockin a custom Bears license plate and license plate frame on my car. I drink from a Bears mug, I wear Bears house slippers. I have a dozen Bears jerseys, I have many Bears Jackets, sweats and Tee’s. I love what I see this year and it will be much, much better next season… I predict 10-6 for this season. A lot of teams are gonna be shocked when the MONSTERS come’a callin.