Ranking all the Bears' crises in June


(670 The Score) Bears’ mandatory-ish minicamp wrapped up Thursday, and after a few hours of signing yearbooks (I assume that's what they did, I wasn't there), summer break has officially arrived. The next six weeks are generally considered some of the quietest on the NFL calendar, a safe time to hop off the internet and find a more scenic abyss to stare into while contemplating Byron Pringles’ ceiling. Of course, that isn't how it works – it’s just generally considered that. There will still be Headlines and Tweets with Threads, because if Justin Fields and Darnell Mooney are still in the building at 9 p.m., what’s our excuse? Mandatory-ish minicamp was plenty insightful, and what would be a more fun – not to mention fresh – way to organize those insights than by ranking them. And while there's a fun slice of Bears Twitter that’s brimming with unhindered optimism, unnecessary panicking is still the way of the web. So let’s rank some Bears crises.

5. The Bears’ offense might suck?
Admittedly, it’s easy to argue that "the group that’s supposed to score all the points looks bad" kinda sounds like a disaster. But to be annoyingly trite, it's June. That’s really more of an August thing to say. Day 1 was bad, apparently, but Day 2 kicked ass and Day 3 was a toss-up -- though that’s fine who’s really paying attention anyway. But also, yeah, the Bears probably just have a bad offense right now. Maybe they improve dramatically and end the season as an above-league-average unit or, you know, maybe they don’t. Either way, that’s not something that happens in three days. And isn’t this kind of exactly what everyone expected? The element of urgency feels like a major part of what makes your run-of-the-mill June football crisis, and it’s hard to panic over the fact that an offense that projects to be bad in September looks bad in June. Set the bar low and you’ll never get hurt!

4. Veterans who want to stay on their team no-show all the time, that’s just the NFL
Robert Quinn, at 32 years old, set the Chicago Bears single-season sack record in 2021. He had more sacks than Myles Garrett, Nick Bosa and Aaron Donald. In fact, T.J. Watt was the only person who had more sacks than 32-year-old Quinn last season. His career-best 18.5 sacks came in a year (his 32nd) when a lot of players at his position tend to start losing some steps. And I’m sorry to beat a dead horse here, but you’ll remember that the Bears probably aren’t going to be very good next year. What’s happening here isn’t quite as compelling of a mystery as, like, rookie Kyler Gordon having multiple unexplained absences would be.

3. But nothing’s up with Kyler Gordon, why do you ask?
Unexplained rookie absences is the type of stuff that makes June camp compelling! It's the quintessential summer narrative. Gordon was "lighting it up" back in May and now, less than a month later, he’s off the field doing side work. The Bears aren’t telling anyone what’s up, which is definitely not weird, but instead, very normal. Mystery is the spice of life, after all. Obviously if June side work turns into August side work, this one probably jumps up a few spots – but for now, let’s just enjoy the theatrics of it all.

2. Matt Eberflus’ football-speak
I don’t totally believe this, but saying "get your track shoes on, because we’re going to be running at camp" needs to be answered for.

1. The Bears are just rotating every offensive lineman they have through the first-team offense, which actually provides crucial knowledge if you’re going to run a wide zone
The Teven Jenkins saga feels a couple shades more serious than anything else at camp. Right now, it’s hard to spin the fact that a second-round offensive lineman that the team traded up to get last year – who’s supposedly as healthy as he’s been in a while – is losing snaps to rookie Braxton Jones as anything other than how it sounds. If you want to say that’s because Jones is the Bears’ left tackle of the future and the first of many Executive of the Year-level moves made by a new general manager who’s shown a sharp eye for evaluating in the past, hell yeah, don’t let me get in the way. But even after that victory lap, the Bears are still left with a player who in the last 15 months has gone from left tackle of the future to right tackle of the future to backup. There’s always the possibility that iron will sharpen iron as Jenkins takes it one day at a time and comes into training camp in the best shape of his life, but it certainly doesn’t look great right now. Only one team has invested less money into their 2022 offensive line than Chicago, which you probably didn’t need a hyperlink to tell you. The good news is that thanks to the 2021 Cincinnati Bengals, never again will one of the league’s worst offensive lines stop fans from dreaming of a Super Bowl appearance. The Bears could still be back.

Cam Ellis is a writer for 670 The Score and Audacy Sports. Follow him on Twitter @KingsleyEllis.

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