The Chicago Bears are currently a bit of a gong show. There are numerous rumors regarding Matt Nagy's future, the subsequent denial of said rumors, and the increasing reports regarding the state of the locker room. Despite all the chaos, are there reasons to be thankful for Chicago's favorite football team?
To answer that question: there are absolutely reasons to be thankful for the Bears. Although the reasons might not impact the team's record on the field immediately, these things provide hope in the future for Bears fans everywhere. Let's dive into some of the reasons Bears fans can be thankful for their team this holiday season.
The 11th overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft was the greatest gift Bears fans could receive. Although navigating a difficult transition into the NFL, including dealing with a rib injury, Justin Fields has shined in moments throughout the Bears' season. In fact, he is starting to show signs of becoming a franchise quarterback, something the Bears haven't had in a long time (no, we're not including Jay Cutler in this argument).
Fields' future is likely in the hands of a different head coach, which we'll address later. However, when Fields is putting up highlights like this, how can you not be thankful?
Cole Kmet may be having a tough season, but who on the Bears' offense isn't? In fact, when used, Kmet has been a force. However, the lack of tight end usage in the offensive game plan this season has limited the Notre Dame product's effectiveness.
That said, the 6-foot-6, 260-pound mountain of a man has plenty of time to become an elite tight end in the NFL. At only 22 years of age, Kmet will be a staple of Chicago's offense for years to come. If the Bears play their cards right, Fields to Kmet might be a combination we hear in our dreams once the team is competitive again.
"All-Proquan" is the most disrespected player in the NFL, let alone on the Bears. The former Georgia linebacker had better numbers than every first-team All-Pro linebacker in 2020. The fact that Smith was left out of the first-team group is a disservice to the game itself.
Roquan Smith is a bright shining star who will continue to be a feature player on the Bears' defense. In just 10 games this season, Smith has 110 combined tackles to go along with three sacks and a pick-six. Oh and by the way, he's only 24 years old. I know I feel grateful that Smith wears the blue and orange on Sundays.
Ah yes, the Utah alum slipped to the second round in the 2020 NFL Draft for a number of reasons. However, he is silencing the doubters en route to becoming a legitimate No. 1 cornerback in the NFL. Although the 22-year-old only has one interception, he's been lining up against opponents' best receivers all season long.
Jaylon Johnson is young and will only continue to get better. He's another piece the Bears can rely on in the future while seeing him blossom into a top corner now. Another value pick by Ryan Pace is showing he's worthy of keeping around as a building block of the defense.
A New Coach?
This is an interesting point to consider. There are a number of rumors swirling regarding Matt Nagy's place with the team. In fact, if you believe what you read, Nagy is expected to be fired following Thursday's game against the Lions. If the coaching change comes, then the hope has to center around the right coach to take over and guide the Bears, led by Justin Fields, to the promised land.
But this is all assuming the Bears' ownership and front office makes the right decision. We'll have to wait and see about that, but if the Matt Nagy era comes to an end, perhaps there is a brighter future ahead for the franchise Chicago adores.
Don't get me wrong, we didn't forget about Darnell Mooney, David Montgomery, Teven Jenkins, Larry Borom, and Khalil Herbert among others that will be a part of the future. However, the players listed above might be able to have the largest impact on what hopefully becomes the next great Bears team. Until that time, Bears fans can be thankful that there is a glimmer of hope for the franchise moving forward.
From On Tap Sports Net and Bears On Tap to you, Happy Thanksgiving! We wish you a safe, healthy, and fun holiday spent with your favorite people in your life.