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Halas Intrigue Bears Report: Devin Hester misses Canton

Halas Intrigue Bears Report
Bears great Devin Hester didn’t get into the Pro Football Hall of Fame this year, but he’s expected to eventually make his way to Canton. And as the Rams and Bengals prepare for Sunday’s Super Bowl (5:30 p.m., NBC-5 and 670-AM), the Bears believe they’re putting themselves into position to one day play for a title. Read the latest coverage and analysis below.

1. Longer road to Canton
Devin Hester is one of the Bears’ most exciting players in their century of existence and already has secured his spot as one of the franchise’s all-time greats, writes Jason Lieser.
He doesn’t need the validation of making the Hall of Fame, but it’s a safe bet that he’ll get it eventually, despite being left out when the 2022 class was announced Thursday. Hester would’ve been the first to make it primarily as a returner and had hoped for the ultimate validation of getting in on the first ballot.
His stature in Chicago has never been in question. It shouldn’t be questioned at large, either, and it seems inevitable that he’ll have his day in Canton, Ohio. This was his first of 20 years on the ballot, and it’s unlikely he’ll need that long to make it.
Bears great Devin Hester falls short of Hall of Fame in Year 1, but his time will come
2. Rams, Bears follow different paths
It wasn’t quite the same level of deflation as the Bears losing their season on the Double Doink, but Rams coach Sean McVay felt similarly dejected as he walked off the field after falling to the Patriots in Super Bowl LIII.
Here he was, the supposed offensive wunderkind and leader of a team that tied for the best record in the NFL that season, and he was at the center of an epic failure. The Rams lost 13-3, matching the fewest points scored in a Super Bowl, and spent the whole night punting.
Said McVay: “Definitely, I got outcoached [by Bill Belichick].”
That memory sticks with him to this day as he prepares for his second shot at a championship when the Rams play the Bengals in Super Bowl LVI on Sunday.
One of the keys to making it back just three years later was that McVay didn’t make any assumptions based on one great season like the Bears did after going 12-4 in 2018 and rolling into Bourbonnais the next summer talking about a dynasty.
Rams, Bears ended 2018 in heartbreak; one team saw clear path to bouncing back
3. Watch and learn
Luke Getsy presumably offered more specifics about how he’ll develop quarterback Justin Fields when he interviewed than he did this week.
The only public promises the Bears’ new offensive coordinator made were simple: He’ll get to know Fields and determine what he does best before deciding what will work. He’ll blend his Mike Shanahan-style outside-zone run approach with a deep passing game he learned at the feet of Akron head coach Joe Moorhead. But he’ll also be open-minded when it comes to the Bears’ second-year quarterback.
“This is going to take time,” Getsy said. “We’re gonna have to get to know each other, and through that process, the focus will be dialing into what he does best and then matching that with the other 10 guys on the field and what they do best.”
Bears offensive coordinator Luke Getsy: I’ll get to know Justin Fields before establishing playbook
4. Give it time
Good NFL teams need “a dozen or so difference-makers,” Bears consultant Bill Polian said. The Rams and Bengals, who will play in the Super Bowl, have more.
Justin Fields wasn’t on Polian’s blue-chipper list, though he was careful to say that wasn’t a knock on the quarterback who played only 12 games as a rookie. Polian said he sees in Fields precisely what new GM Ryan Poles and head coach Matt Eberflus articulated when they were hired.
“The talent level — the arm talent, the athleticism, the size, the ability to move — you can see all those things,” he said. “That’s just the clay that has to be molded into a finished product. We don’t know what the finished product is gonna look like. And we won’t know probably for another two years, maybe three.”
He knows the expectations put on Fields. He doesn’t think they’re fair.
“They’ve gotta do it first,” he said. “That’s the problem — we put so much burden on these guys. They can’t even find their way to the dining hall and media is anointing them as stars. Goodness gracious, give him a chance to grow.”
Bill Polian: Bears’ Justin Fields isn’t a blue-chipper yet, but ‘give him a chance to grow’
5. In other news
6. From the podcast
Patrick Finley and Jason Lieser debate why Devin Hester didn’t make the Pro Football Hall of Fame and then make their picks for Sunday’s Super Bowl. LISTEN HERE.
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