This You Gotta See: Let’s go to the Matts as Eberflus’ Bears take on Nagy’s Chiefs
Other than a future Hall of Famer at QB, six straight division titles and an excellent chance to win another Super Bowl, what do the Chiefs have that the Bears don’t?
New Bears coach Matt Eberflus’ so-called H.I.T.S. system emphasizes hustle, intensity, takeaways and smart football. Players are graded in those categories and others every day, practice by practice, and if all the attention to detail challenges them so much that it sometimes runs them ragged? Oh, well. In fact, it’s kind of the whole idea.
“It’s going to be the hardest thing you’ve ever done,” Eberflus assures them.
But will it really be harder than trying to follow along with whatever it was former coach Matt Nagy was doing? We don’t know about that.
Nagy, now the quarterbacks coach with the Chiefs — whom the Bears host Saturday (noon, Fox-32) in the preseason opener for both teams — had plenty of his own H.I.T.S. during an often tumultuous four-year term in Chicago.
For example, when he would stare holes through his play sheet on third downs, it was short for, “Help! I’m totally stumped!”
And on all those occasions when the Bears were in big trouble after two quarters: “Halftime is too short!”
And in news conferences when Nagy just couldn’t seem to stop himself from spilling forth with endless rhetorical avalanches of inanity: “Huh? I’m talking STILL!?”
But now he’s back with Patrick Mahomes and Andy Reid and, well, some jobs are easier not to screw up than others. As for the Bears, let’s see if they look more cohesive, disciplined and prepared under a new coaching regime. Let’s see if quarterback Justin Fields looks any better with new offensive coordinator Luke Getsy than he looked without Getsy. Let’s just see.
Here’s what’s happening:
Nationals at Cubs (7:05 p.m., Marquee)
If the Cubs are a glorified Triple-A team, what does that make their not-so-distinguished visitors? Even before trading Juan Soto and Josh Bell, the Nats were the dregs of the league.
White Sox at Royals (DH, 3:10 p.m., NBCSCH)
It’s probably too much to expect a K.C. masterpiece from these Sox, but it sure would be tasty if they smoked the Royals in both games of a doubleheader.
Storm at Sky (7 p.m., Ch. 26.2)
Three cheers for the great Sue Bird in her final game in Chicago — unless, of course, these championship hopefuls clash in the playoffs, at which time sentimentality goes right out the window.
“Hard Knocks: Training Camp with the Detroit Lions” (9 p.m., HBO)
Get a peek behind the curtain as the skill guys run 7-on-7s, the big boys pound blocking sleds and nutty coach Dan Campbell teaches all involved the proper technique for biting off kneecaps.
White Sox at Royals (7:10 p.m., NBCSCH)
At the end of the day, the Sox can forget about the playoffs if they can’t play better than .500 in the division. Wait, this is the AL Central. That might be good enough after all.
Field of Dreams game: Cubs-Reds (6:15 p.m., Fox-32)
It turns out the classic line “If you build it, he will come” is, in fact, not a reference to Rafael Ortega, Mark Leiter Jr., P.J. Higgins or even Yan Gomes.
Sky at Aces (9 p.m., Ch. 26.2)
Every time these outstanding teams meet, something memorable seems to happen. Free advice for the Sky: Maybe try guarding Kelsey Plum this time.
Padres at Nationals (6:05 p.m., Apple TV)
Soto returns home, and we’re sure his former organization has no regrets whatsoever about sending him packing. After all, how much can the guy really have left at the ripe old age of 23?
Packers at 49ers (7:30 p.m., NFL)
Will Aaron Rodgers play in the Packers’ first preseason game? On a related note, is it OK to boo Rodgers even if he doesn’t play in the Packers’ first preseason game?
Chiefs at Bears (noon, Fox-32)
Look, other than an elite coach, a future Hall of Famer at QB, six straight division titles and an excellent chance to win another Super Bowl, what do the Chiefs really have that the Bears don’t?
Cubs at Reds (5:40 p.m., Marquee)
Back in Cincinnati for the rest of their series, these old rivals fight to stay out of the division cellar. Only 50 more Cubs games to go (oof) after this one.
Fire at Philadelphia (6:30 p.m., Ch. 9)
The Union have been beaten only three times in 24 games this season, but one of those times was at Soldier Field in late June. The Fire have pretty much had a new lease on life since then.
Tigers at White Sox (1:10 p.m., NBCSCH)
Speaking of Detroit and “Hard Knocks,” shouldn’t there be at least one episode that focuses on the travails of the Tigers’ pitching staff?
Vikings at Raiders (3:25 p.m., NFL)
Have a first look at new Vikings coach Kevin O’Connell, who’s so young — only 37 — he was crawling around in diapers when the 1985 Bears won the Super Bowl. No, there’s no truth to the rumor that his first word was “Ditka.”