Bears will not regress, but progress in 2019

Wanda Wiedman,
NFL Reporter

By Wanda Wiedman // @WandaW63

Upon hiring General Manager Ryan Pace, the Chicago Bears were expected to be overhauled in a rebuild of epic proportions.

It was no surprise that the Bears would develop a young and hungry group of players under the leadership of a competitive and a just as hungry coach in Matt Nagy.

A lengthy endeavor that was supposed to take four years turned out to be a competitive playoff team.

But to the surprise of analysts and fans, the 2018 season was better than expected. With a 12-4 record and the hostile takeover of the NFC North throne, one can only hope the reign of terror once infused from the Monsters of the Midway has returned.

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A bright outlook for the 2019 Buffalo Bills

 

Dayna O’Gorman
Senior NFL Reporter

By Dayna O’Gorman // @DaynaOG

The 2018 season was an odd one for the Buffalo Bills, to say the least. Finishing the season 6 -10, they failed to return to the playoffs, and the first round draft pick, quarterback Josh Allen, had a rough season.

However, analysts and fans are quite optimistic about the upcoming season. I sat down (virturally) to chat with Bills Mafia editor, Robyn Mundy, to see how she felt about the off season and the upcoming year.

Dayna O’Gorman: “Lets start with your Quarterback, Josh Allen. Many believe he will make a huge jump this season, maybe even being the most improved player from the 2018 draft class. What are your thoughts on Josh? What makes him special? And do you believe he can be a leader in 2019?”

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Who should be the true face of an NFL franchise

Wanda Wiedman,
NFL Reporter

By Wanda Wiedman // @WandaW63

As the 2019 season rolls around most teams already have their potential face of the franchise ready to go for interviews and team representations. But is that one player, chosen by the front office, the true face of the franchise?

Many times teams get it wrong. They put a player in that role whom they feel fits “the mold”. They assume he is the one everyone wants to see.  

But what constitutes earning the right to be the face of the franchise? Does it always have to be a quarterback? Or should the face of the franchise be of the one who truly represents the team?

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#HoldOutSzn

Sonja Greenfield, Senior NFL Reporter

By Sonja Greenfield // @Mom23RN

Ahh yes.  It’s mid July.  I’m back from family’s annual trip to the beach, and that can only mean one thing.  It’s time for football to kick into gear.  Training camps, preseason, and everyone’s favorite, the hold outs.

It brings back fond memories of last season when then Steelers running back LeVeon Bell held out the entire season looking for a payday and ended up getting picked up by the Jets and taking less money.  We saw what happened with then Seattle Seahawk safety Earl Thomas holding out, coming to play and then getting injured.

But we’re looking to see if history could repeat itself in the form of Chargers RB Melvin Gordon who is asking for more money, and if he can’t get it, demanding a trade.

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The NFL’s latest expansion idea: 18 weeks

Kate Arhar
Senior Sports Editor

By Kate Arhar // @ClvlndK8

Any good businessman will tell you that once profits have stabilized or plateaued, the next step is expansion.

In the case of the NFL, “expansion” can have very different meanings and complications.

Adding more teams seems to be a quick response, but that might just dilute the talent pool, along with spreading around fan dollars. Besides, I love having exactly 32 teams and I’d hate to see that change.

They’ve tried expanding into new markets with the current teams, which is why we are now seeing games played in England and attempts to play in Mexico. But to me, that is really more a way to increase the customer base as opposed to an actual expansion of the offered product line.

Which brings me to the most recent idea to get some traction: expanding the regular season from 16 to 18 games.

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What to do with a disgruntled NFL player?

Lisa Johnson
Senior NFL Reporter

By Lisa Johnson //@LJ1303

With the dog days of summer upon us, and very little news coming out of the NFL, there is one story I’ve been following. Running back Duke Johnson wants out of Cleveland.

During the off-season, Johnson asked the Cleveland Browns to trade him. He was feeling like the Browns just didn’t want him anymore. Hearing that the Browns had put Johnson on the trading block before the running back had even asked about a trade was sort of a hint. Johnson has become so adamant about wanting out of Cleveland that he fired his agent Kristin Campbell and hired Super-agent Drew Rosenhaus.

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What’s in a name? The fun in Fantasy Football monikers.

Dayna O’Gorman
Senior NFL Reporter

By Dayna O’Gorman // @DaynaOG

Its almost time. You can almost smell the compeition start to bubble up from within. Stats, lists, scheme breakdowns. Its all just around the corner. No, I’m not talking about NFL training camp. I’m talking about FANTASY FOOTBALL.

There are thousands of websites dedicated to fantasy football. How to build a team, how players are ranked, how to draft in the best way possible, everything you could possibly need. But lets be honest, we all know what the most important part of Fantasy Football is. Its all about your team name.

Every year I am amazed by the creativity some people use when creating a team name. A great spin on current events or pop culture. A snarky twist on a players name. So many ways that people find the perfect name.

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All or Nothing: The Carolina Panthers

Kate Arhar
Senior Sports Editor

By Kate Arhar // @ClvlndK8

“All or Nothing,” the Emmy award winning Amazon original series, returns on Friday, July 19th.

A competitor to the HBO series “Hard Knocks,” this program is entering it’s 4th season. It’s produced by NFL Films and will be available for streaming exclusively on Amazon Prime Video in more than 200 countries and territories worldwide.

In case you missed them, the previous three seasons featured the Arizona Cardinals, the Los Angeles Rams and the Dallas Cowboys.

In 2018, they ventured into the college ranks with the Michigan Wolverines getting eight episodes as well as Manchester City of the English Premier League.

This year, they are back to the NFL and will feature the Carolina Panthers!

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In the “New NFL” who would be the winners?

 

Sonja Greenfield, Senior NFL Reporter

By Sonja Greenfield // @Mom23RN

For the past two weeks, Kate Arhar has written about more geographically pleasing divisions in the NFL.

I love the idea! It would be great to see some of the new rivalries.  It would be great to see the Cowboy fans, Saints fans, and Falcon fans go at it.

The AFC North rivalries would be awesome as well! While there weren’t too many big changes with the teams, there were some.

This week’s Blitzed NFL Insider’s featured article!

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Patience is key in fantasy football

Wanda Wiedman
Chicago Bears Reporter

By Wanda Wiedman // @WandaW63

Football season can’t come any faster for me. As I sit at the kitchen table sipping a Starbucks coffee, the compelling urge to turn on the television to watch a football game is overwhelming.

So I scroll through my email and spot the invitation for our yearly Our Turf Football Fantasy Football league. The excitement is breathtaking and I start putting together a strategy as to how I will draft my players.

But our league has a smart tradition: we don’t draft until preseason is over. This way we know who is out due to injury and we have a chance to start the season with fresh healthy players.

The ladies at OTFB are very serious about our FF league and the players we choose fuel our competitive drive. We are always respectful and encouraging to one another but have no problem pitting a prime player in the right spot to win.

For years we have played a standard league, and it works for us. Several of us play for fun, while others play to win. But patience is key in fantasy football.

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