Breaking down new-look Bears: Mitchell Trubisky has what he needs to break out

In some ways, the 2018 Bears are a very different team than the one that ended the 2017 season. In other ways, they are building on more of the same.

Head coach John Fox was fired, and offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains was not retained. Those two were replaced by offensive-minded Matt Nagy and former Oregon coach Mark Helfrich, respectively.

Those were the first steps for Chicago in trying to get a breakout second year out of quarterback Mitchell Trubisky. Then, along with the philosophical and schematic reboot, came upgraded offensive skill personnel through free agency and the draft.

The topic has dogged the league ever since, in part because President Donald Trump grabbed the issue and has continued to criticize the players, even as the NFL tried to put out the long-playing public relations firestorm.

As recently as last week, Trump called the NFL’s new policy of allowing the players to remain in the locker room as worse than protesting.

What really matters: Bryant was ruled academically ineligible for 2018, and having already used his redshirt, he had no other alternative but to enter the Supplemental Draft. He was arrested and charged with a DUI in January 2017. He’s a fantastic athlete, as shown by his Pro Day testing, and with added time for preparation might have been even more impressive. His mental make-up and attitude remain concerns for NFL teams, perhaps more so than any other player in the Supplemental Draft, but his athleticism is hard to deny.

Major league baseball teams have, by turning more and more innings over to bullpens, collectively adopted a high-variance strategy that can make a good team look bad not for a game or a week but for a season. It’s almost certainly wise to lean heavily on relievers, the better of whom are generally more dominant in their one-inning bursts than (even superior) starters are over seven or eight innings. Relievers can be matched up against batters so the team on defense has the platoon advantage more often. Relievers can be saved until the most perilous moments so the best pitchers’ finite pitches aren’t wasted in six-run games. It’s good strategy, which is why it’s what the game has been moving toward since, oh, 1950? Maybe earlier.

Longevity and productivity have ensured Gore’s place among the NFL’s greatest.

On Frank Gore’s final touch as a member of the Indianapolis Colts, he took a second-and-8 handoff from Jacoby Brissett, bounced it outside, turned on his geriatric jets, burst forward for 9 yards, stayed in bounds, and clinched the W for his team.

Oh, it also pushed him over 1,200 yards from scrimmage on the year, extending his record of consecutive seasons reaching that mark to 12, which should stand until the sun burns out.

No other player had that many seasons with 1,200 total yards period, and only two guys — Jerry Rice and Emmitt Smith — have had that many seasons hitting even 1,000.

The team, I would say, like most teams are very systematic in their approach, Brady told Winfrey. And what I learned, I guess, is different from some of the things that are systematic but that work for me. It’s nothing that I don’t talk about with my coach and owner — ‘This is what I want to do; this is what I need to be the best player I can be and hopefully you can support that.’

You can check out the rest of Brady’s well-conditioned half-answers over at Pats Pulpit, where they’ve broken down all the important parts of a rare offseason glimpse into the future Hall of Famer’s mind.

He wasn’t Cam Newton, but he sure as hell wasn’t pretty much any of the other hapless schmucks the Bills had been starting before his arrival in 2015.

McDermott offered some dumb excuse about trying to get better at the QB position, evaluating his options there, etc. Basically, he was punishing Taylor for a rough outing the week before against the Saints.

We were made for more than 5-4 and I’ve come here to be more than 5-4, he said when explaining the decision.

Maybe he lacked the proper context: It’s the Bills, dude, and you’re in a playoff race.

His coach speak got even worse after Peterman’s disastrous game.

If the Colts beat the Jaguars in Week 17 of the 2011 NFL season, it might’ve landed Andrew Luck with the Cleveland Browns.

This story was published on June 27, 2016, but we think it’s worth reading again as part of our NFL What If? week at SB Nation.

When Maurice Jones-Drew bulldozed through a couple of Indianapolis Colts defenders for 5 yards and a first down in the final minutes of a Week 17 game on New Year’s Day in 2012, it sealed a 19-13 victory for the Jacksonville Jaguars and ended a late rally for the Colts.

But if Jones-Drew was stuffed at the line of scrimmage, the NFL might look much different today.

On the previous drive, Dan Orlovsky led the Colts 82 yards in just over three minutes, completing seven of his eight pass attempts, including a 12-yard touchdown to Austin Collie. The Jaguars’ defense was on the ropes, but it was bailed out by a Jones-Drew run that dealt the Colts their 14th and final loss of the season.

Leagues will try to assert ownership of certain game data, so they can sell it to sportsbooks for a healthy price.

Every sportsbook needs a way to feed in data about the games people are betting on. That ranges from the simple stuff you can find in a box score (the final score and basic player stats) to more granular play-by-play information that might show up in an ESPN.com live game-cast. Sportsbooks need this stuff in order to operate at any scale. They don’t have people watching every single game and manually reporting back on who won, or Googling to figure out the results of in-game bets like, Who’s going to score the first touchdown?

After getting banged up in 2014, the wheels fall off for Manning in 2015. The Titans’ defense, which has improved to become an average unit, regresses to one of the NFL’s worst with an offense that puts them on the field far too often. The Titans finish 3-13 with Zach Mettenberger starting more than half of the season after a foot injury for Manning.

The Broncos add Josh McCown to compete with Smith at quarterback, and that provides consistent enough play to get the team to 11-5. Kansas City wins the AFC West again, but the Broncos are in the playoffs as a wild card and blow through the Texans before dropping a Divisional round game against the Patriots.

The Marcus Mariota-led New York Jets are a trendy pick to compete for a Super Bowl in 2016 with Todd Bowles leading a top-ranked defense and a promising young passer leading the offense

Everything depends on individual states’ legal climates, but possibilities abound. Leagues could build their own betting websites and apps. They could attach betting software to their streaming offerings, like NBA Game Pass or MLB.tv. They could even put betting booths inside stadiums, opening the action to fans while they’re attending games.

Corey Dickerson and Elias Diaz also homered for the Pirates, who took two of three games.

Moran connected off Tyson Ross with two outs in the fifth to put the Pirates ahead 6-3. He also hit a grand slam in the home opener on April 2, a 5-4 victory against Minnesota.

Ross, who singled and then had his first career stolen base a half inning earlier, faltered with two outs in the fifth. Austin Meadows doubled, Josh Bell walked and Josh Harrison beat out an infield single to load the bases. Moran then drove a 1-0 pitch to right for his eighth homer.

He’s one of the calmest people I’ve ever played with, Dickerson said. He just has no emotion. He has a good plan. He does the same thing every day. You don’t ever change stuff up. He’s very simple. Simple sometimes is the best in great moments like that. He came through.

As noted by Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times, Chancellor has $6.8 million in injury guarantees in his contract this year and $5.2 million next year. His 2018 base salary of $6.8 million became guaranteed in February.

There’s also the possibility of a settlement, as he and the team try to work out some common ground.

That’s what happened with the Bills and center Eric Wood, who was released on May 31 with an injury settlement, after he announced following the season that his playing days were done. The fact that took months would suggest it might be some time before Chancellor is no longer on the Seahawks roster.

Sources at several teams confirmed tidbits in those stories that the Lakers are reaching out across the league in search of an extra first-round pick, indicating they would take on some unwanted future salary to snare it — a fascinating twist, given L.A.’s need to hoard cap space. That alone indicates the Lakers are at least a little worried and interested in nabbing Leonard now. If the Lakers build a super-ish team, their own future picks over the next three or four seasons lose value; they will presumably fall in the 20s. Thus the search for others.