Chicago Bears’ new-look team is a work in progress with rookie head coach Matt Eberflus


I want you to look at this photo of me and Bears wideout Darnell Mooney Friday after practice. I was explaining something about the importance of a quarterback and receiver being in perfect alignment. I said to him: “In that incredible New England comeback from 28-3 in the Super Bowl against Atlanta, guess which wide receiver had the most targets in the fourth quarter and overtime for the Patriots. Malcolm Mitchell.” That’s when his face got that way. Like, who is Malcolm Mitchell? Rookie. Played only one year in the NFL. Bad knee forced him to quit. I said, “When I asked Tom Brady about it, he said there was a reason for it: 112 practices.” All those comeback routes Mitchell ran late in the game and Brady targeted him on were because they’d run them a couple of hundred times in practice, and Brady trusted him implicitly.

Darnell Mooney is entering his third season with the Bears.

My point: I’d just watched Justin Fields practice in the new Luke Getsy offense imported from Green Bay, and I felt very much that it’s a work in progress. Fields rolled right several times, a la Aaron Rodgers, and looked for a receiver, and he ended up tucking it and running. It’s only with time that someone—Mooney, rookie Velus JonesDante Pettis, tight end Cole Kmet — or maybe more than one will get in tune with Fields, and the young QB will be able to find a receiver instead of running. Nothing wrong with running, of course — Fields is fleet and quick. But it’s good to know if he rolls right six times a game, he has a legit run or pass option five or six times.

“I’m happy you shared that story with me,” Mooney said. “I’m not sure how long it will take. But that makes perfect sense.”

This is what a new offense is like, and this is what a new regime is like. Rookie GM Ryan Poles says he doesn’t like calling this a teardown, but what do you call a camp roster with 54 of 91 players brand new…and the personnel staff new, and the coaching staff new, and the franchise quarterback in his 16th month on campus?

This is going to take a while, but Poles isn’t taking shortcuts, and that’s good. When Poles traded 31-year-old Khalil Mack to the Chargers for second- and sixth-round picks, it was a signal that Poles and coach Matt Eberflus want to build for the long haul. That’s why I don’t think this is a make-or-break year for Fields. He’ll have every chance to win the job long term, and patience will be a virtue with this staff. Getsy is a teacher of the first order. “Probably the best quarterback coach I’ve had in my life,” said Fields.

When I watched Fields Friday, what I thought needed the most work was his anticipation throws, his rhythm throws. Not to harp on Brady, but what became rote with him was knowing precisely where each receiver would be on each route, so he could throw when the receiver wasn’t looking, certain of the spot he’d be when the ball was released. Fields isn’t there yet.

“We’re working on the rhythm throws,” Eberflus said.

Fields gets it. He knows mastering an offense means being able to throw ball after ball to a spot, not waiting to see him be open. The key will be for Fields and for the fans to understand this will take time, and lots of the final pieces aren’t on this roster yet.

“Each day I feel we take a step forward,” said Fields. That’s important.

I’m not bullish on the Bears to contend this year. On the total rebuilds — Bears, Giants, Texans, Jags — that’s really okay. In fact, it’s preferable. I am bullish on the groundwork being laid by Poles and Eberflus. The respect they have for Bears history, and the desire to get the Bears back to contention, was evident Friday. Eberflus, when setting up his office, wanted to honor the history of the franchise and make every player aware that their jobs are to return the franchise to prominence. In the space behind his desk that most coaches reserve for family photos or mementos, the new coach asked for pictures of the nine Bears with retired numbers. When players sit in his office, he asks them to name at least three of them. Some get Walter Payton. Some get Dick Butkus. But it’s ancient history to most. But they matter, and Eberflus wants to keep them alive for this generation.

Also behind his desk, in the middle of display of the great Bears, are two empty plexiglass shelves, small ones, and two empty spots at the base of the display. Eberflus wanted the two shelves for George Halas Trophies, emblematic of the NFC champions. And he wanted the spaces below to be there for two Super Bowl trophies.

Matt Eberflus enters his first season as head coach of the Chicago Bears.

That’s right: Super Bowl trophies. They don’t call them Lombardi Trophies around here, by the way.

Read more in Peter King’s full Football Morning in America column

NFL quarterback rankings 2023: Chris Simms’ top 40 QB countdown ahead of upcoming NFL season


While the NFL is a league that is ever-changing, some things are set to stay the same in 2023 — like the revealing of Chris Simms’ top 40 QB countdown.

Last year’s list saw Josh Allen take his place atop the quarterback throne, with Kansas City’s Patrick Mahomes and Los Angeles’ Justin Herbert not far behind at No. 2 and No. 3, respectively. It was, however, Mahomes who would ultimately reign over all NFL quarterbacks at the end of the season, as the 27-year-old collected both the NFL MVP honors and his second Lombardi Trophy.

This NFL offseason, however, has brought some intriguing adjustments that are likely to shake up Simms’ rankings.

While some signal-callers such as Jalen Hurts and Lamar Jackson found their prolonged home with massive contract signings, others will be venturing to a new franchise in search of a fresh start. Aaron Rodgers‘ trade to the New York Jets is unquestionably the most staggering shift, but other quarterbacks on the move such as Derek Carr and Jimmy Garoppolo cannot be forgotten.

RELATED: Mike Florio gives an inside look into the Lamar Jackson deal

And with three of the first four picks in the 2023 NFL Draft being spent on a quarterback, emerging talent will likely turn the tides for some franchises this upcoming season.

See below for Chris Simms’ top 40 QB countdown ahead of the upcoming season. Be sure to subscribe to Chris Simms Unbuttoned for more on the 2023 NFL season as well as an unfiltered look at the NFL featuring player access, unabashed opinion, X&O film breakdown and stories from a life in and around football.

RELATED: Peter King’s latest offseason NFL power rankings

Chris Simms’ 2023 Top 40 QB Countdown:

40. Desmond Ridder (ATL)

39. Sam Howell (WAS)

38. Bryce Young (CAR)

37. CJ Stroud (HOU)

36. Anthony Richardson (IND)

35. Mike White (MIA)

34. Gardner Minshew (IND)

33. Taylor Heinicke (ATL)

32. Jarrett Stidham (DEN)

31. Jordan Love (GB)

30. Davis Mills (HOU)

29. Tyler Huntley (BAL)

28. Andy Dalton (CAR)

27. Sam Darnold (SF)

26. Brock Purdy (SF)

25. Kenny Pickett (PIT)

24. Baker Mayfield (TB)

23. Justin Fields (CHI)

22. Jimmy Garoppolo (LV)

21. Tua Tagovailoa (MIA)

20. Mac Jones (NE)

19. Kyler Murray (AZ)

18. Derek Carr (NO)

17. Jared Goff (DET)

16. Ryan Tannehill (TEN)

15. Geno Smith (SEA)

14. Russell Wilson (DEN)

2023 NFL Schedule Release: Start time, how to watch, live stream, channel


With another exciting NFL Draft in the books, teams can now turn their gaze toward the road to Super Bowl LVIII in Las Vegas. The path to Super Bowl glory, however, is about to become abundantly more clear with the 2023 NFL season schedule release.

This year’s NFL season schedule release is nearly here, with the entirety of the 2023 NFL schedule being unveiled on Thursday, May 11 at 8 p.m. ET on both Peacock and NFL Network. See below for everything you need to know for one of the offseason’s most anticipated events.

RELATED: Click here for full analysis on Rounds 1-7 of the 2023 NFL Draft

When will the 2023 NFL season schedule be released?

While all 272 matchups have been known since the conclusion of the 2022 regular season, the order and dates for these games have remained a mystery. The secret is nearly out, however, with every NFL game on the brink of revelation.

The full 2023 NFL schedule will be released on Thursday, May 11 at 8:00 p.m. ET.

How can I watch the 2023 NFL season schedule release?

The 2023 NFL season schedule release will take place Thursday, May 11 on Peacock, NFL Network, and the NFL app at 8 p.m. ET.

While the entirety of the schedule will be unveiled at that time, select games have already been and will continue to be released prior to the official event. Ahead of the 2023 NFL season schedule release, the following games will be announced:

Who will play in the 2023 NFL Kickoff game?

The first game of the 2023-24 NFL season will see the reigning Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs take the field in Arrowhead Stadium.

The opponent that will meet Patrick Mahomes and company in Kansas City, however, remains to be revealed.

Which NFL teams have international games in 2023?

While the majority of the matchups set to take place next season have yet to be announced, the league has already revealed which teams will head overseas for international showdowns.

Below is the full list of international NFL games for the 2023-24 season, with three in London, U.K., and two in Frankfurt, Germany.

Falcons vs. Jaguars: Week 4, Oct. 1 at 9:30 a.m. ET | Wembley Stadium in London, U.K.

Jaguars vs. Bills: Week 5, Oct. 8 at 9:30 a.m. ET | Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London, U.K.

Ravens vs. Titans: Week 6, Oct. 15 at 9:30 a.m. ET | Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London, U.K.

Dolphins vs. Chiefs: Week 9, Nov. 5 at 9:30 a.m. ET | Frankfurt Stadium in Frankfurt, Germany

Colts vs. Patriots: Week 10, Nov. 12 at 9:30 a.m. ET | Frankfurt Stadium in Frankfurt, Germany

RELATED: NFL’s 2023 international games full of “star power”

When is the Super Bowl and where will it be taking place?

Stars will be shining bright in Las Vegas, Nevada, for Super Bowl LVIII, set to take place on Feb. 11, 2024, at the home of the Raiders in Allegiant Stadium.

This will be the first Super Bowl to ever take place in Las Vegas, which hosted the 2023 Pro Bowl and 2022 NFL Draft.

Be sure to follow ProFootballTalk for the latest news, updates, and storylines about the upcoming NFL season!