USFL Stud Lands in Chicago, name your top 5 OLs, Kmet’s role, Ebner’s form and other bear balls

Oh, the weather outside is the weather.

Alright, but seriously. Today plans to be a scorcher. Hydrate. Cool off in the shade. And enjoy the sun while you can. But do it safely, please.

  • Well, look who’s back in the fold:
  • Today’s Bears practice is closed to the public, so I think our updates from the folks at camp might be few and far between. But it’s a most welcome development considering everything we’ve been through after this mess.
  • Jenkins certainly picked a good time to come back:
  • The Bears held another tryout on Friday. A day later, a new Bears member emerged:
  • Ahhh, there’s nothing like a Saturday morning roster shakeup to get the juices flowing. Linebacker DeMarquis Gates jumps on board as the third defensive addition in two days. On Friday, the team signed defensive lineman Trevon Coley and cornerback Davontae Harris. And just like that, the Bears shuttled for some young players for some veterans (who are always on the younger side). There’s nothing wrong with adding a little youthful experience to a team that has plenty of opportunities for someone to land a deep role. Here’s what this summer roster rotation looks like.
  • As for Gates, he spent the NFL offseason playing for the USFL’s Birmingham Stallions. Yes, it’s the same Birmingham Stallions club that won the USFL title. Nothing like adding a player with championship pedigree in August! The 26-year-old linebacker has done well in Birmingham, collecting 68 tackles and 6.5 sacks in nine games. Chicago has questions at the linebacker. Not only is the team implementing a new 4-3 scheme for its defense after riding with the same 3-4 look since 2015, it’s doing so without having its best linebacker available. Roquan Smith is still without extension. With that in mind, I guess now might be a good time to shuffle the cards and see who’s left.
  • Some fun facts from NFL reporter Dom Kleiman, which notes that (1) 24 NFL teams signed USFL players this offseason, (2) each of the 8 USFL teams had at least three players who made the jump to the NFL, and (3) A total of 36 USFL players joined NFL teams this offseason. Whether these players hang around through the summer, make the season-opening 53-man roster, or end up on the tryout circuit, it’s a good look for the league. At a minimum, it can position itself as a springboard for players to try their luck elsewhere.
  • Given the question marks on the offensive line, I’m a little disturbed the Bears haven’t brought in more linemen for practices. Of course, I realize they just added Riley Reiff and Michael Schofield to the mix at the end of July. And I understand that both players are starters when Week 1 kicks off. But just like I believe you can’t have too many pitchers in baseball, I feel like there’s no such thing as having too many offensive linemen.

“I think Braxton was a guy who is obviously a super athletic kid that we were excited about after Spring Ball. Then you walk into the pads and there was no bullying. Go against Robert Quinn on your very first one-on-one pass rush, right? It’s an intimidating thing. He got up and did a great job. He answered the bell.

  • It’s hard not to like this on many fronts. First, the Bears put a rookie on the island at left tackle — and that takes real good sense to do. Second, they don’t slow his development because they put Robert Freaking Quinn (who just set the franchise’s single-season sack record) against him in his first rep. These guys don’t play. And I dig it.
  • If anyone needs me, I’ll go through these answers:
  • I think we’re starting to see some clarity in the receiver room, where it looks like Darnell Mooney, Velus Jones Jr. and Equanimeous St. Brown are the top dogs in the room. Maybe the Bears should consider kicking the tires on free agent tries at this position? It’s not like a new addition to this group is blocking a young upstart recruit.
  • Maybe the receiver will be a tight end?
  • I’m 100% open to the possibility of Cole Kmet breaking out in 2022. The Bears don’t need him to be Kelce or Gronk. But someone who could be a force in the red zone? A two-way tight end who can step in with a block and move the chains catching a pass in midfield? It is plausible. Right?
  • This Bears backfield looks crowded with David Montgomery, Khalil Herbert and Darrynton Evans at the top of the depth chart. So, while I’m not sure what kind of role Trestan Ebner can play, I’d like the Bears to find out by giving him a few touches in preseason games:
  • Overall, I won’t be too hard on the Bears for not bringing in more offensive players for tryouts. Who knows, maybe we’ll see players from other position groups looking for tries around this time next week. After all, we know that churn never ends.
  • Here’s hoping a new-look Bears secondary is ready to defend this guy:
  • I’m not convinced the Cubs want to bring back Willson Contreras as a full-time catcher on a multi-year deal. COMMENTEVA, maybe there is an all-purpose role where Contreras catches, plays first base, plays in the outfield and steps in as a DH in the future? Something that can keep her legs cool and thumping in range? Something to ponder as you watch this Dylan Floro pitch roll out of the stadium:
  • Playoffs? Are we talking about the playoffs!? I think the Bulls – as they are currently built – are built to make the playoffs. And given a better health chance than last year, could win a series. Maybe two if a bunch of rebounds go their way. But I guess there are limits. And maybe that’s what Scottie Pippen is getting at:

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