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How heavy, sand-filled balls led to a new swing and breakout month for Orioles infielder Ramón Urías

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How Heavy, Sand-Filled Balls Led To A New Swing And Breakout Month For Orioles Infielder Ramón Urías

With each swing, the result from the plyo ball — a heavy, sand-filled cylinder — would tell Orioles infielder Ramón Urías all he needed to know. If it flopped to the ground or skewed back toward home plate, he didn’t hit the ball squarely enough or follow the upward swing trajectory he was trying to master.

That’s how Urías has spent his days in the batting cage with co-hitting coach Ryan Fuller since spring training, facing those plyo balls in an attempt to inch his launch angle higher and higher. When Fuller sat Urías down during before the season, the statistics from 2021 were convincing.

Urías average launch angle of 5.2 degrees? It wasn’t high enough, and it led to a 49.7% ground ball rate, the highest of his career.

With that in mind, those cage sessions with Fuller and co-hitting coach Matt Borgschulte became pivotal. Urías’ point of contact moved forward slightly. His hand position transferred up slightly. His swing path grew more parabolic. And before long, those heavy, sand-filled balls began sailing off his bat with a thunk and hit the back wall of the cage.

“He hits the crap out of those every day,” Fuller said.

Urías began those changes this offseason, and he’s seeing the fruits of his labor consistently now. Since he returned from an oblique strain that left him on the injured list for about three weeks, Urías has been nearly unstoppable, with the latest example a two-run home run in the eighth inning Tuesday night to put the Orioles ahead for good in a 5-3 win against the Tampa Bay Rays.

On the whole, Urías is hitting .397 in 17 games this month, with five homers, three doubles and 18 RBIs. That would be the highest batting average from an Orioles player in a single month since Adam Jones hit .400 in April 2015, according to

It’s something that’s always been possible in Fuller’s eyes. And now it’s playing out in front of everyone at Camden Yards on a nightly basis.

“We’ve always been very bullish on Ramón,” Fuller said. “It was just hoping that he could stay healthy, and when he came back from that injury, it was, ‘OK, you’re feeling good? Let’s see what you can do.’ And he’s been showing it every day.”

Urías is less ready to admit there have been any changes. When asked whether he tweaked anything after returning from the injured list, Urías said the improvements are just “the way baseball goes” sometimes.

But baseball has been going better for him lately than the “luck” he chalks it up to or “trusting my plan” at the plate. In his first 49 games of the season, Urías hit .225 with a .660 OPS. He struck out in just over 25% of his plate appearances and he managed hard contact on 7.2% of the pitches he saw, per Statcast. That hard contact featured an average 9.1-degree launch angle, below the target Fuller sets.

Organizationally, Fuller said the Orioles look for a 20-degree launch angle. That offers room to maneuver — a slight miss either way could turn into a home run or a line drive over an infielder’s head. Fuller doesn’t mind seeing Urías closer to 12 degrees, which would equate to a liner just out of the reach of a shortstop.

That’s what Urías has accomplished in July. On his hard-hit balls, his launch angle has averaged 13 degrees. His average launch angle on all swings this month is 14.2 degrees. It’s led to his surge at the plate, with balls leaping over infielders — or over the outfield fence.

“For us, that’s perfect,” Fuller said. “He’s not gonna be a guy who’s going to need to go super high to try to hit it far. Right over those infielders’ heads, and if it goes a little bit higher, he has the ability to leave the park in any part, especially right-center field, left-center field. But those numbers right there have been kind of been a good guide for us to say we’ve been working on the right things. It’s translating like we want it.”

The Orioles claimed Urías off waivers in 2020 from the St. Louis Cardinals, and he made his major league debut that summer. But when he first arrived at the alternate training site in Bowie and Fuller saw him swing, the possibility of future success became evident.

It was his swing path, plate discipline and hard contact. The “missing piece,” Fuller said, was raising his launch angle to avoid the groundouts he was susceptible to. He’s done that this year, with Urías’ average launch angle rising 5.6 degrees. With that, his hard-hit rate has risen 5.8%.

Those two, plus the thunk of the heavy, sand-filled plyo balls in the batting cage, were the precursor to all this — punctuated by another marquee moment Tuesday.

“I was so excited at the beginning of the year for what he was going to do,” Fuller said. “And we’re seeing what he’s capable of doing right now.”




The congressional effort on climate change is a good effort. Hope it works

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The Congressional Effort On Climate Change Is A Good Effort. Hope It Works

Colorado residents are probably wondering what to make of the Inflation Reduction Act. Is this a reckless tax and spending scheme that includes teeth in the form of 86,000 new IRS agents, or is this a fiscally responsible way to save us from the deepening crisis of global warming ?

First of all, yes the headline is ridiculous – it is unlikely to reduce inflation significantly, although it will reduce health insurance costs for those who buy their plans on the ACA market with a continuation of increased subsidies.

A much more accurate title would be the Renewable Energy Incentives and Tax Reform Bill.

The bottom line is that the legislation will do demonstrable good in helping the United States move away from fossil fuels, and we don’t think you need to worry too much about additional IRS funding…unless it there is something big in your tax record that you’d rather the IRS didn’t know about, bunch of offenders.

In addition, the bill is paid with a minimum tax of 15% on companies whose profits exceed 1 billion dollars. This means that even though some of America’s largest corporations have found clever ways to cut their tax bill well below the 21% rate, they will still pay a minimum of 15% (with some caveats and deductions).

The net bill reduces the annual deficit (by how much our $30.6 trillion national debt grows each year) by about $300 billion. Much of this reduction comes from Medicare finally being able to negotiate drug prices, so these are theoretical savings for now.

Compare that cut, however, to the reconciliation bill of 2017, Trump’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which cut the corporate tax rate from 35% to 21% and almost immediately caused a huge increase – from 3% of GDP in 2016 to 4.6% in 2019 – in the federal deficit, long before COVID wreaked havoc on our economy and federal spending. Today, our deficit stands at an unhealthy 12.1% of GDP, higher even than spending during the last economic crisis.

The bill attempts to reduce carbon emissions to slow global warming with a three-pronged approach: incentives for makers of solar panels, wind turbines and other green technologies; incentives for families to reduce their carbon footprint; and an excise tax (read penalty or fine) on methane emissions that trap 25 times more heat in our atmosphere than carbon dioxide.

U.S. Sen. John Hickenlooper, who helped keep negotiating lines open with the necessary Democratic retainer vote, Sen. Joe Manchin, said the bill would be a watershed.

“The objective of this bill was to use the power of the market to drive a transition. We’re going to call it the big transition day, and we’re going to look at 2021-22 as the tipping point,” Hickenlooper said in a meeting with the Denver Post on Wednesday. “We’re going to scale when you look at $100 billion in incentives for wind and solar. We will attract large investment companies. We are talking about huge amounts of clean energy at lower cost.

Hickenlooper’s optimism is contagious. He speaks of a bipartisan revival in the Senate with such hope — Senator Mitt Romney came to his rescue when he and his wife, Robin Pringle, needed a place to quarantine during their battle with COVID. Manchin’s demands for the bill were entirely reasonable, as Hickenlooper says, including common-sense measures like putting a revenue cap on tax incentives for electric vehicles and fuel efficiency improvements. home efficiency.

However, while we would like to be sure that the $100 billion donated to green energy manufacturing efforts will be used effectively by corporate America, we have seen too much fraud and corruption with corporate incentives to celebrate with too much. of enthusiasm. We still remember Obama’s $80 billion investment in green energy, which suffered so many failures, including the collapse of Solyndra after receiving a $500 million loan guarantee, that it has eclipsed all successful businesses.

Whether or not the bill is a colossal waste of taxpayers’ money or whether it ushers in a new green economy will largely depend on who gets the incentives, how honest they are and how successful their company is in cutting costs. and improving green energy technology.

We also recognize, however, that Congress needed to do something, and doing something has not been Congress’ strong point of late.

Hickenlooper has done well to get the ball rolling, and perhaps corporate America will rise to the task of using our taxpayers’ money wisely and efficiently. We hope because there is no alternative to hope.

Ultimately, we hope that Coloradians view the bill as a fiscally responsible step in the right direction for a government that has been unable to take a step in many years.

To send a letter to the editor about this article, submit it online or see our guidelines for how to submit by email or mail.


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“I was very disadvantaged”

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Bryce Dallas Howard And Chris Pratt

Bryce Dallas Howard and Chris Pratt at the premiere of “Jurassic World Dominion” in Los Angeles.Steve Granitz/FilmMagic

  • Exclusive: ‘Jurassic World’ star Bryce Dallas Howard was paid ‘so much less’ than Chris Pratt.

  • Howard told Insider that reports that she was paid $2 million less than Pratt for the 2018 sequel were inaccurate.

  • Howard explained that she was “at a huge disadvantage” when she signed on for the film trilogy.

‘Jurassic World’ star Bryce Dallas Howard exclusively told Insider that she was paid “so much less” than co-star Chris Pratt for the film franchise than reports originally indicated.

Pratt and Howard co-directed all three films in the “Jurassic World” trilogy. However, in 2018 Variety reported that Howard was paid $2 million less than Pratt for the second film, “Fallen Kingdom”, earning $8 million while Pratt took home $10 million.

In an interview with Insider to mark the home entertainment release of “Jurassic World: Dominion,” Howard said the pay gap between her and Pratt was, in fact, bigger.

“The reports were so interesting because I was paid so much less than the reports said, so much less,” Howard told Insider exclusively. “When I started negotiating for ‘Jurassic,’ it was in 2014 and it was a different world, and I was at a huge disadvantage. And, unfortunately, you have to sign up for three movies and so your deals are done. .”

Howard added that she discussed the pay gap with Pratt and that he lobbied for the actor to receive equal pay on other franchise opportunities that weren’t already contracted, such as spin-off video games and theme park rides.

Jurassic World Dominion Bryce Dallas HowardJurassic World Dominion Bryce Dallas Howard

Howard as Claire Dearing in “Jurassic World: Dominion”.Universal Studios

“What I will say is that Chris and I discussed it, and whenever there was an opportunity to move the needle on things that hadn’t been negotiated yet, like a game or a ride , he literally said to me, “You guys don’t even have to do anything. I’m going to do all the negotiating. We’re going to be paid the same and you don’t have to think about it, Bryce,” Howard recalled.

The actor continued, “And I love him so much for doing that. Really, because I got paid more for this stuff than I ever did for the movie.”

In recent years, the issue of pay gaps between men and women in Hollywood has become more of a public issue.

In 2019, ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ star Ellen Pompeo told Variety that she almost quit the show after hearing that her costar Patrick Dempsey was being paid almost double what she was when the show started. .

That same year, Michelle Williams said she was “paralyzed by feelings of futility” after it was revealed that her ‘All the Money in the World’ bandmate Mark Wahlberg had won $1.5 million for reshoots of the film, when she only earned $1,000.

“Jurassic World: Dominion” is available for digital rental or purchase on Blu-ray or DVD on August 16.

Read the original Insider article


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Meet Balkiz, a bear cub in Turkey who got high on hallucinogenic honey

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Meet Balkiz, A Bear Cub In Turkey Who Got High On Hallucinogenic Honey
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Like a real Winnie the Pooh, a brown bear in Turkey wolfed down some honey last week. But unlike the beloved children’s book character, the little one rode as high as a kite on the sweet golden treat.

The reason? It was hallucinogenic ‘crazy honey’, known in Turkish as ‘deli bal’.

Turkey Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry said the young bear was rescued on Thursday after being found unconscious in the country’s northwest Duzce province, about 210km east of Istanbul. Apart from the bad trip, the female was in good condition following a visit to a veterinary care center.

Somehow the bear got its paw on an excessive amount of charcuterie, which has been cultivated by beekeepers in the Black Sea and Himalayan region for centuries. The substance – also known as bitter honey for its pungent taste – is the result of bees feeding on pollen from rhododendron flowers. The brightly colored plants contain a natural neurotoxin called grayanotoxin which, when consumed, can induce euphoria, hallucinations and intoxication – as the bear quickly learned.

A video shared by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry showed the bear in its fully shelled state. In the back of a pickup truck, she was sitting face down with her limbs stretched out in what can best be described as a vertical sploot. His mouth was slightly open. His eyes widened. For a few seconds, she squirmed, dazed and confused.

The clip quickly turned the little one into a local celebrity. After soliciting citizens for name ideas, the government agency introduced her on Friday as ‘Balkiz’ – which means ‘darling girl’ or ‘darling girl’ in Turkish – with a picture showing the bear now sober posing on top of a branch with half an eaten watermelon on the ground.

Although Balkiz is the latest to suffer from the symptoms of a mad honey binge, she’s not the first to do so. Thousands of poisoning cases have been reported across the world throughout history.

What does ‘splooting’ mean? And why do New York squirrels do it?

According to research by the late Texas A&M anthropology professor Vaughn Bryant, one of the earliest records of mad honey came from Xenophon of Athens, who was a student of the philosopher Socrates. The Greek historian wrote that a Greek army fell on the substance in 401 BC as troops were returning from the Black Sea after a victory over the Persians.

“They decided to feast on local honey stolen from nearby hives. A few hours later, the soldiers began to vomit, had diarrhea, became disoriented and could not stand. the next day the effects were gone and they continued on to Greece,” Bryant recounted. in a 2014 press release.

Other troops weren’t so lucky. Some 334 years later, Roman soldiers led by Pompey the Great came across a honey trap planted by the Persian army, who “gathered jars full of local honey and left them for Roman troops to find,” Bryant said. “They ate the honey, became disoriented and couldn’t fight. The Persian army returned and killed over 1,000 Roman soldiers with few casualties.

Centuries later, Union troops encountered hallucinogenic honey near Appalachia during the Civil War era. Just like the Greeks and Romans before them, Americans were buzzed and sick, Bryant said.

However, Mad Honey is incredibly hard to come by, the Guardian reported. The rhododendrons that produce the necessary neurotoxins are found in few places and are most prolific in the mountainous regions of the Black Sea and the foothills of the Himalayas. Foragers have to go to great lengths to acquire the red-tinged goop – wedging tall trees and cliffs and often fending off one of the largest bee species in the world. The returns from these risks are, however, significant. A pound of crazy honey can cost nearly $170, Bryant said. In Turkey, a pound of potent, high-quality sausage can sell for up to 2,000 lira, or about $111, making it one of the most expensive honeys in the world, the Guardian noted.

TikTok’s viral beekeeper is causing a lot of… buzz

The price also reflects the medicinal value that some people attribute to bitter-tasting honey. It is often touted as a natural remedy for conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, gastrointestinal disorders, arthritis, and sore throats. Some even use it as an aphrodisiac or as a treatment for erectile dysfunction, according to a 2018 report published in the scientific journal RSC Advances.

But too much honey can land people — and bears — in hospital. Only bees that produce mad honey are immune to the high. For all other animals, the substance may produce disorienting effects, although these usually last less than 24 hours.

On Friday, Balkiz was released into the nearby forests of the Balkans – a region whose name translates to “Land of Honey and Blood”.

“Hello to the beautiful girl who has conquered the hearts of all of us,” Turkish Agriculture and Forestry Minister Vahit Kirisci wrote on Twitter. An accompanying video showed the little brunette frolicking on a grassy hill.

“May she eat everything in moderation, even honey,” Kirisci added.


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Mobot secures capital to grow its fleet of bots that test mobile app bugs – TechCrunch

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Mobot Secures Capital To Grow Its Fleet Of Bots That Test Mobile App Bugs – Techcrunch

Mobile apps need to be tested on countless devices to make sure they work as expected. Users don’t look kindly on bad experiences – 88% say they’ll abandon apps based on minor glitches, according to software testing provider Qualitest (which admittedly has a horse in the running). Testing is a time-consuming and expensive process, with 31% of app development companies in a survey estimating spending between $5,000 and $10,000. And for some outfits, the highest quality testing just isn’t available, either for logistical reasons or for relentless reasons to reach release.

Eden Full Goh hopes to change that – and make some money doing it. She’s the founder of Mobot, a startup that’s building what Goh claims is the first “infrastructure-as-a-service” platform that lets developers use physical bots to automate application testing on devices. . Bucking the macro trend, Mobot this week closed a $12.5m Series A funding round led by Cota Capital with participation from Heavybit, Uncorrelated Ventures, Bling Capital, Primary Venture Partners, Y Combinator and Newark Venture Partners, bringing the company’s total to $17.8 million.

Previously a product engineer at Palantir and medical device company Butterfly Network, Goh came up with the idea for Mobot after seeing what she describes as “bottlenecks” in the mobile app testing process. Most companies — including her former employers — hire third-party employees or contractors to perform manual testing, which tends to be inefficient, expensive and error-prone, she says.

“There are tools developed by companies like Applitools, and others that take advantage of existing emulated test frameworks to automate testing for mobile apps. However, the sad reality is that many defects often escape emulated software-based testing because they do not accurately represent testing on real hardware,” Goh told TechCrunch in an email interview. “Currently, Mobot is not positioning itself as a competitor or replacement for emulators and automated testing. Rather, our goal is to replace the inevitable manual quality assurance that everyone still has to do and will have to do more and more as that device fragmentation will increase over the next five to ten years.

Picture credits: mobot

It may sound new, but robotics has been used for some time to test software for mobile devices. Japan Novel Corp., based in Tokyo, has already come up with a robot that can simulate the process of flicking and tapping on a smartphone’s touchscreen over and over again. T-Mobile built a similar robot in-house, dubbed Tappy, to test different phones and tablets before they hit the carrier’s outlets.

However, these types of machines tend to require a high initial investment, according to Goh, not to mention robotics expertise.

In contrast, Mobot abstracts maintenance and upkeep, allowing customers to set up a test case simply by recording a video of the app and the device (or devices) under test. A Customer Success Manager helps develop a test flow and integrate Mobot’s analytics into development tools such as Jira, then a fleet of over 200 bots leveraging computer vision will run the aforementioned test case – tapping, swiping and rotating devices running apps, as well as connecting devices to Bluetooth devices, making them receive push notifications and more.

Once the tests are complete, the Mobot team logs the results. Customers can view reports side-by-side using a self-service tool.

“As far as we know, very few companies focus on physical QA, because the technology stack is quite different from their core proposition for web-based and browser-based testing,” Goh said. “Our biggest competitors are actually outsourced, outsourced manual testing services offered by companies like Applause, Infosys, and Qualitest, because manual testing is most similar to the automated physical testing that Mobot does…Mobot protects the whole mobile app customer journey, which is impacted by missed bugs – user acquisition (e.g. deep links, sign-up flow, onboarding), retention and engagement (push notifications and crashes) to monetization (payment and in-app purchases).

Mobot claims to have run thousands of test cycles since its inception in early 2018, collecting millions of screenshots from tested apps. Early adopters include big names like Citizen and Mapbox, as well as Branch, Radar, Persona and about 45 others, according to Goh.

There are competitors, like Finnish company OptoFidelity, which offers robot-assisted testing for touchscreens and infotainment systems. But Mobot does not plan to stop at applications. Over the next few years, the goal is to use the data the company has collected to provide customers with product information and “exploratory testing features,” Goh says. Beyond that, Mobot is building a testing framework to evolve with technological advances in augmented reality headsets, smartwatches, and yet-to-be-released products like smart contact lenses.

Is robotics-based testing a scalable idea? Robots break down, after all, and Mobot is keeping his finances close to his chest for the time being. (Much of the company’s operations are shrouded in secrecy, apparently for competitive reasons; Mobot’s public website does not show images of its robots.) But Goh gives the impression that she genuinely believes to the model, especially as the market for peripherals like head-up displays is about to grow.


Picture credits: mobot

“Over the next two to five years, software will become increasingly mobile-centric and connected,” Goh said. “We envision autonomous robot warehouses in the middle of nowhere – where real estate is affordable – filled with thousands of robots capable of testing any physical action a human would do on a product: tapping, swiping, shaking a device, pressing on buttons. , scanning a QR code, taking a photo, listening, speaking and more.

In the shorter term, Mobot will use the proceeds from the last funding round to expand its sales, marketing and engineering teams, increasing the overall headcount from 42 employees today to 50 by the end of the year. year. As the tech industry implements hiring freezes and downsizing, it helps that Mobot is a “counter-cyclical” company, Goh says. She says the demand for QA testing in the mobile space hasn’t diminished as companies continue to ship new apps and updates to existing apps.

“The [is no] offering in the market to democratize physical testing for the everyday software engineering team who would never have the expertise to build a fleet of robots on their own,” Goh said. “Mobot is a strategic and cost-effective solution for streamlining a technology company’s product development process.”


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“We know that the Lord God is on our side”

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“We Know That The Lord God Is On Our Side”

ROME – Ukrainian Major Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk said on Saturday that God is on the side of Ukrainians as he always supports the “unjustly wronged.”

As he has done on numerous occasions, Archbishop Shevchuk, head of the Greek Catholic Church in Ukraine, sent a video message recounting the evolution of the war with Russia, which saw its 171st day Saturday.

Over the past two days, Russia launched a massive missile attack on Kramatorsk, Donetsk region, and the city of Zaporizhzhia, killing and injuring many people, the Archbishop noted. It also attacked Ukrainian defenders near the town of Bakhmut in the Donetsk region and at various locations in the Kharkiv and Mykolaiv regions.

Despite the immense suffering of “this unequal and bloody battle with the Russian aggressor,” Shevchuk said, “Ukraine is standing. Ukraine is fighting. Ukraine prays.

He also took the opportunity to thank “God and the Armed Forces of Ukraine for the fact that we found ourselves alive this morning, that we see the light of day and that we can stand in prayer before the face of God. “.

He also thanked “all those people of good will from different countries all over the world who lend a hand to help Ukraine and pray for us”.

In recent days, the Archbishop has drawn attention to the future of post-war Ukraine as well as the need “to forge the key foundations of the renewed Ukrainian state.”

“Because we know the Lord God is on our side. The Lord God is always on the side of those who are unjustly wronged and patient,” he said.

Among the principles of successful state building is “the principle of subsidiarity or personal responsibility and private initiative,” the Archbishop continued.

In state-building, “such subsidiarity means that higher authorities should not monopolize the skills of lower levels of society. And what can be done on a personal, private, public level, high authorities should not reserve it for themselves,” he said.

“So none of us should expect instructions from above to keep our streets clean and orderly in order to improve the lives of our communities,” he added.

As free citizens of a free state, we should feel that Ukraine “will be like you and I are building it,” Shevchuk said. “Nobody will make Ukraine better for us. Nobody will build Ukraine for you and me. And nobody will protect Ukraine for us from the enemy attacking us.

“The Lord God will always bless every good deed and every good enterprise. And we will feel joy from the fact that we, with our own hands, with our personal gifts, contributed to building a flourishing and free Ukrainian state,” he said.

Breitbart News

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How the Chicago Bears fared in their preseason debut, with reasons for optimism — and doubt — in each phase

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How The Chicago Bears Fared In Their Preseason Debut, With Reasons For Optimism — And Doubt — In Each Phase

It’s only the preseason, but for first-year Chicago Bears coach Matt Eberflus, Saturday’s 19-14 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs felt gratifying.

The day gave Eberflus an opportunity to test many parts of his program and was his first chance to run the entire show on game day. Afterward Eberflus expressed his eagerness to review it all, including the game-day operation and communication, the schemes on both sides of the ball and the performance of his players — from established starters to undrafted rookies clawing to win a roster spot.

The Bears have a quick turnaround this week before heading to Seattle for a Thursday night game against the Seahawks.

The preseason debut showed what to build on and illuminated areas in need of more work. Here’s our three-phase review of Saturday’s game.


Reason for optimism: There were flashes in Justin Fields’ 18 snaps over three series. On third-and-4, Darnell Mooney gained a step on his defender and Fields lofted a ball to the left sideline that only Mooney could leap to grab for a 26-yard completion. One drive later on third-and-9, Tajae Sharpe pulled in a 19-yard pass with one hand.

“We knew we’d have man coverage,” Sharpe said. “We had some pressure on that play. He gave me a go ball and he put it up in a great spot, back shoulder. Gave me a chance to go up and make a play.”

Fields and the Bears need more of those plays this season. He completed just 4 of 7 passes for 48 yards with no touchdowns, but given that he was playing without several starters, the pair of long completions allowed the Bears to leave Soldier Field with some hope.

Eberflus said Fields’ operation was smooth, noting how he hurried to the line to avoid a Chiefs challenge flag at one point. Fields said he is feeling “way more comfortable” with a year of experience. And the Fields-Mooney connection continues to look strong.

Reason for concern: The Bears’ depth of playmakers on offense was a question to begin with, so it’s obviously concerning that five of the most notable sat out with injuries.

Running back David Montgomery, tight end Cole Kmet and wide receivers Byron Pringle, N’Keal Harry and Velus Jones Jr. didn’t play. Eberflus has classified Montgomery, Kmet and Jones as day to day. But they’re still missing key time to build chemistry with Fields.

The Bears punted on all three of Fields’ series, stalling at the Chiefs 43-yard line twice. Eberflus noted a couple of drops that hurt the Bears.

In a stark contrast, the Chiefs offense marched 72 yards in 11 plays for a touchdown on starting quarterback Patrick Mahomes’ only drive.

Fields classified the Bears performance as “all right,” noting they have to get better at “pretty much everything.”

“There’s always room to improve,” he said. “We’re not perfect at anything.”

Worth noting: Solidifying the offensive line has been a key storyline at camp, and the game provided a look at some of the parts, though maybe not the full starting five.

The Bears gave rookie Braxton Jones the start at left tackle, where he has taken most of the first-team reps in recent practices. The fifth-round pick out of Southern Utah had a promising performance.

Veteran right guard Michael Schofield had the most notable miscue when Chris Jones beat him for one of two sacks of Fields. Eberflus was asked about Fields operating under pressure.

“We’ll look at those plays, where the pressures were, how we can firm it up,” he said. “Was it a situation where we needed to do a better job with our pass sets, whatever that might be. But we’ll get that cleaned up.”

Veteran Riley Reiff, who has taken many reps at first-team right tackle, sat out the game, and the Bears started Larry Borom instead. With center Lucas Patrick continuing his recovery from a hand injury, Sam Mustipher started there. If Patrick recovers in time for the season opener, it will be worth watching to see if the Bears put Mustipher back into competition with Schofield at right guard.


Reason for optimism: You’ve heard of Eberflus’ H.I.T.S. principle by now. So how did it turn out Saturday? Rookie safety Jaquan Brisker certainly checked the box for hustle in the first half, first with an aggressive stop on Chiefs running back Derrick Gore for a 2-yard loss and then two plays later with an instinctive break and a near interception on a Shane Buechele pass over the middle.

Intensity? Fellow rookie Dominique Robinson recorded the first of the defense’s two sacks, coming unblocked off the right edge in the third quarter and smothering Buechele for a loss of 12. Micah-Dew Treadway later sealed the win with a 9-yard sack of Dustin Crum on fourth-and-4 with 1:19 remaining.

Takeaways? The Bears won that battle 2-0, thanks to a Jack Sanborn interception and fumble recovery. Those turnovers led to nine points.

And situational smarts? In the second half, the Bears defense held the Chiefs to 18 total yards, two first downs and zero points.

Reason for concern: Cornerback Kyler Gordon, the team’s top draft pick, was prominently featured on the Gameday program. But Gordon was inactive and has been out for almost two weeks with an undisclosed injury. Adding to the concern, the rookie also missed all of minicamp in June and parts of organized team activities because of injury setbacks.

Gordon’s durability and availability are worth keeping a close eye on for the rest of the month. You can bet Eberflus wants him on the practice field as soon as possible, hoping to get him at least some action in preseason games.

“When players miss time on the grass, the actual playing of the game and working on the fundamentals and techniques, that hurts,” Eberflus said. “That hurts our football team and hurts their development.”

Worth discussing: As the proud new owner of a red challenge flag, Eberflus got his first opportunity to force officials to review a replay early in the second half.

The play in question was a 9-yard completion from Buechele to Josh Gordon right in front of the Bears sideline. With quick and clear communication from above, Eberflus was encouraged to throw the challenge flag as Gordon’s right foot was clearly not in bounds.

Challenge issued. Challenge won. Call overturned. But what happened from there really proved significant.

Forced into third-and-10 rather than third-and-1, Buechele was intercepted by rookie linebacker Sanborn on the next snap. Sanborn’s takeaway gave the Bears a short field, and the offense responded with a quick 27-yard touchdown march for their first points. That’s the ripple effect quality teams master. Shrewd coaching maneuvering leads to better opportunities for success, which frequently lead to big plays, which sometimes lead to touchdowns.

Those are the types of situations Eberflus has been training for as he works to become a sharp in-game coach. They’re also key for teams with a thin margin for error like the Bears. Consider that a small step in the right direction but a good start nonetheless.

Special teams

Reason for optimism: Rookie punter Trenton Gill, a seventh-round pick, had a nice debut, putting three of his seven punts inside the 20-yard line. He had an average of 42.6 yards with a net average of 36.4.

Gill and long snapper Patrick Scales also helped kicker Cairo Santos pick up where he left off last season. When the Bears let longtime punter Pat O’Donnell go in the offseason, Santos lost the holder who helped him during a franchise-record field-goal streak.

But Santos said Gill put his mind at ease the first day they worked together, and he nailed field goals from 20 and 47 yards Saturday plus an extra point.

Reason for concern: The Bears’ first punt return in the first quarter wasn’t ideal. Dazz Newsome muffed the catch. He recovered it at the 14-yard line, but an illegal block above the waist on Jaylon Jones pushed the Bears back to their 7.

The Bears turned to Dante Pettis to return punts next, and he had three fair catches before Chris Finke got some work. Rookie wide receiver Velus Jones Jr., an electric returner at Tennessee, sat out the game with an injury.

Worth noting: Sixth-round pick Trestan Ebner, who returned kickoffs and punts at Baylor, had two kickoff returns for 53 yards, including a 34-yarder to open the game.

He was solid all-around as he fights for a role, but the Bears have other options on kickoff returns, including Jones, running back Khalil Herbert and wide receiver Byron Pringle.


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