The shock of the NFL Draft is over for Chicago Bears fans and it’s a good thing. The Bears can now focus on developing a team whose goal is to win games and make last season’s horrible 3-13 nightmare disappear.
Despite the “wonderful outlook” for the 2017 season by ESPN, Sports Illustrated and the NFL Network, (sarcasm intended), the Bears are not taking anything for granted. According to bearswire.com, general Manager Ryan Pace was graded with a D+ by 15 NFL Executives for his off season moves.
His grading was based on lack-luster veteran free agent signings and the gutsy moves in “selling the farm” for the second overall pick in quarterback Mitchell Trubisky. Frankly, these owners see the Bears transactions as “scrambling to get to 6-10 or 8-8.” As a matter of fact to them, the offseason was the signing of “a lot of mediocre players on mediocre deals.”
Tell that to the face of defensive backs Prince Amukamara and Quintin Demps or wide receivers Marcus Wheaton or Kendall Wright. The only way these players are going to prove they deserve a shot is to show it on the field. The voluntary OTAs proved to be an opportunity for players and rookies to show that they are ready and hungry to win games. To assume that these players have nothing to offer is absurd and disrespectful.
Let me preface this by saying I don’t follow college football closely at all. I watch a few games every year, but I don’t know any players other than the ones continuously mentioned on TV or social media. This grade is based solely on my knowledge of the game, the Philadelphia Eagles roster pre-draft and my personal opinions on what I think we need to make us a better team… and hopefully a Super Bowl winning team.
I wasn’t as anxious about the 2017 NFL draft as I was in previous years. In fact, this is probably the most calm I’ve felt watching the draft since becoming a football fan. One reason is obviously because we finally have a quarterback in Carson Wentz who is packed with potential and the skills to back up his strong desire to win it all with the Eagles. But also because this is the first time in a long time where I trust the front office and the coach and it was like a huge weight lifted off me when the 14th pick came along and we drafted a defensive end. My thought was Yes! We are finally focusing on defense.
A lot of people on my Twitter feed didn’t really share that same sentiment. They wanted someone that Wentz can throw to or hand off to, something that I agree with but I don’t think running backs or wide receivers are an emergency like having threats in the back field on defense. We have a beastly front four, but corners and safeties we have been inconsistent in and I, for one, thought we were off to a great start in the draft.
Social media gives us a glimpse into the human condition and the heartbeat of morality. This can be both a useful tool and a frightening one when used to further an agenda.
As America is bombarded with a message of tolerance, social media gives us the reverse. We see how perceptions of people can be shaped through a few sentences. Their character and lives summed up and judged. A life story in 140.
Look at the cases of Peyton Manning, Adrian Peterson, Ray Rice, Jameis Winston and Joe Mixon.
Each of these men were seen one way until social media stepped in and turned it. Manning was Mr. All-American, squeaky clean and everyone’s favorite player. An incident from another century and a gross invasion of his privacy became front page news.
Depending on your world view, he’s either a saint or a sinner with little in between. The media often omitted many details to his story to further their agenda. Facts ignored. History ignored. Laws and privacy be damned.