Could Chicago Have Kept the Bears? The Mayor’s Abrasiveness Has Not Helped. And Other Points of View.

  • Chicago mayor Lori Lightfoot unveils plans to put a dome on top of Soldier Field in an effort to keep the Bears from moving to the suburbs.

    ‘The mayor said the cost of the project and the option would depend on who the stadium’s “anchor tenant” but suggested the city might be willing to move forward with a dome for another team, noting there are other cities that host more than one NFL team.’

    ‘Asked if the Bears would entertain her plans, Lightfoot said the team would be “foolish” not to consider staying in Chicago at Soldier Field. She and other speakers contended it would be cheaper for the team to stay at Soldier Field than to build a venue elsewhere and stressed the importance for the team to offer and for fans to have an experience that extends beyond the game itself.’

    ‘Lightfoot’s initial response to the NFL team’s interest in building a stadium in Arlington Heights was to call it “noise” and urge the Bears to focus on “being relevant past October.” Since then, Lightfoot has floated the possibility of building a costly dome over Soldier Field and appointed a task force to examine the Museum Campus that’s home to the stadium.’

    From the very first the mayor showed that she didn’t really understand how the NFL works and exactly what kind of danger she was in of losing the team. Her comment above about the possibility of the NFL allowing a second team into Chicago continues to illustrate how naïve she is about how the NFL operates. There is no way the NFL will put another team in Chicago to compete with a loyal, league-friendly Bears organization. They allowed two teams into Los Angeles but that was a unique situation where there were no teams in the city to begin with. This is an entirely different kettle of fish.

    Ultimately the Bears are going to make this move because they need to own their own stadium and they need the revenue that comes from that. Having said that, the mayor’s confrontational style, as illustrated by the statements above also almost certainly helped harden the Bears stance as the they tried to negotiate improvements to Soldier Field over the few years before finally giving up and signing a purchase agreement for a great deal of land in Arlington Heights.

    Its possible that the state could block the move. All you need to do is look at the barriers which were put in front of Rams owner Stan Kroenke as he built SoFi stadium in Ingelwood, CA. But Koenke eventually got the deal done and I’m guessing that the Bears will, too.

    Given the advantages that owning their own stadium and all of that land around it brings, it is hard to say if the mayor could have done anything to stop the Bears from leaving. But the whole situation is emblematic of a large issue where the person running the city government thinks she can run it through abrasive confrontation and intimidation.

  • Kevin Fishbain at The Athletic has thoughts about every player reporting to Bears training camp.
  • Nathan Peterman: The outcry over the Peterman signing was wild — someone has to be the third-string QB for practice and the preseason, and with the focus on Justin Fields’ development, it wasn’t going to be a rookie.’

    This irritates me. Why couldn’t it be a rookie?

    I understand that they have to concentrate on developing Fields. And I understand that there are only so many reps to go around. But if you aren’t developing your next quarterback with that third or fourth spot on the roster, you are doing your due diligence.

    There have to be ways to create opportunities to develop young quarterbacks on the roster where you are continuing to concentrate on getting the starter ready to go. It takes creativity, I’m sure. But if you need more coaches, you hire them. If you need to put them on a separate field with back up wide receivers you do it. If you have to work them out before or after practice, do it. Even if you have to create a fourth spot and put that quarterback on the practice squad, in my view, you always need to be developing somebody other than the starter.

  • The Bears have signed guard Michael Scofield according to the Dan Wiederer at the Chicago Tribune.

    Many wonder if Schofield will become a Bears new right guard. And that certainly is a good possibility as undersized Sam Mustipher has been the default option in the position since off-season workouts began.

    Although Schofield certainly is a viable option along with multiple late round draft picks at the Bears made, it’s possible Schofield is seen as a replacement for Dakota Dozier who is currently on IR and he was reportedly was nothing but a veteran backup during the off-season.

    We will find out quickly as training camp starts where is Schofield fits in on the field.

  • Mark Potash at the Chicago Sun Times addresses the issue of health for the 2022 Bears.

    6b. You can’t discount the importance of luck and timing in the success of any NFL general manager or coach. [Former GM Ryan] Pace’s tenure got off to a bad start in 2015 when his first-round pick, wide receiver Kevin White, started his first training camp on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list with a shin injury he suffered in OTAs and ended up missing the entire season.

    Every year, it seemed, the Bears would open camp missing a key player: Pernell McPhee (PUP) in 2016 and 2017; Roquan Smith’s holdout in 2018; Eddie Goldman’s opt-out in 2020; and Tarik Cohen (PUP) and second-round draft pick Teven Jenkins (back surgery/injured reserve) last season.

    Team health is a very underrated factor when it comes to determining whether a team is going to have a winning season or not. But injuries happen all over the NFL every week. The key isn’t simply to avoid injuries. It’s to overcome them in the same way that good sports teams overcoming adversity in all aspects of the game.

    Neither the Bears nor any NFL team can afford to use injuries as an excuse to lose. None of the injuries above were so bad that it could be said that they were a very significant reason for the reason why any of those teams failed to achieve.

    The Bears could be exceptionally healthy this year. I don’t know of any significant injuries that were reported during the off-season. And that’s a good thing. But no matter how their injury rock luck runs, it shouldn’t affect expectations to a great degree. It is always attitude and fortitude that ultimately win in the NFL adn good teams dont’ let injuries stop them.

  • Potash also addresses is the Robert Quinn situation.

    Unless the Bears become a surprise playoff contender in 2022 — stranger things have happened in the NFL — the Bears are better without Quinn than with him. They’re clearly in rebuild mode after Ryan Poles cleared the roster of the most veteran players he inherited from Ryan Pace. And Quinn would take away snaps from developing players — perhaps intriguing rookie Dominique Robinson. And he might help them win games that drop them in the draft order.

    I’m going to mildly disagree here. The top priority for 2022 is not to earn a top 10 pick in the draft. The top priority is to develop the young players on the roster. And you’re not training them to learn how to lose.

    The Bears don’t have to go to 17-0 and that’s not what the goal is here. But you definitely are not going to make much progress training players whule getting your brians beat in and going 0-17. The Bears definitely want to win some games this year. And without Quinn they will win very, very few. They need a pass rush. Assuming that the Bears get the 2021 version and not the 2020 version, Quinn brings that.

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