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

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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

What to know about the 2023 Pro Bowl: Dates, how to watch/live stream info, AFC, NFC coaches, competition schedule, and more

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The 2023 NFL Pro Bowl will take place over the course of two days at Allegiant Stadium–home of the Las Vegas Raiders–in Paradise, Nevada. The excitement begins on Thursday, February 2 as NFL fan-favorites compete in a brand-new skills challenge featuring the following events: Epic Pro Bowl Dodgeball, Lightning Round, Longest Drive, Precision Passion, and Best Catch.

Sunday, February 5 will feature the following: the Best Catch Finale, Gridiron Gauntlet, Kick Tack Toe, Move the Chains, and three seven-on-seven non-contact Flag football games between the league’s best players.

See below for additional information on how to watch the 2023 Pro Bowl as well as answers to all of your frequently asked questions.

RELATED: What to know about Super Bowl 2023 – Date, location, halftime performance info, and much more

Who are the coaches for the 2023 Pro Bowl?

AFC Coaches:

  • Peyton Manning – Head Coach
  • Ray Lewis – Defensive Coordinator
  • Diana Flores – Offensive Coordinator

NFC Coaches:

  • Eli Manning – Head Coach
  • Demarcus Ware – Defensive Coordinator
  • Vanita Krouch – Offensive Coordinator

How will the 2023 Pro Bowl be different from previous editions of the event?

Rather than the traditional tackle football game, this year’s Pro Bowl will debut a skills competition and a non-contact flag football game.

How will scoring work?

According to the NFL, points will be calculated in the following way:

  • The winning conference of each skill competition earns three points towards their team’s overall score, with 24 total points available across the eight skills events.
  • The winning conference from each of the first two Flag football games on Sunday will earn six points for their team, for a total of 12 available points.
  • Points from the skills competitions and first two Flag games will be added together and will be the score at the beginning of the third and final Flag game, which will determine the winning conference for The Pro Bowl Games.

How to watch the 2023 Pro Bowl:

  • Where: Allegiant Stadium in Paradise, Nevada
  • When: Thursday, February 2 (7:00 PM ET) and Sunday, February 5 (3:00 PM ET)
  • TV Channel: ESPN, ABC, and Disney XD

When is Super Bowl 2023?

Super Bowl 2023 takes place on Sunday, February 12 at 6:30 p.m. ET on Fox.

Where is Super Bowl 2023?

Super Bowl 2023 will be contested at State Farm Stadium–home of the Arizona Cardinals– in Glendale, Arizona.

What teams are playing in Super Bowl 2023?

The Philadelphia Eagles will face the Kansas City Chiefs marking the first time since 2017 that both top seeds qualified for the Super Bowl.


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Super Bowl food 2023: Appetizer, entrée, and dessert ideas for Super Bowl LVII inspired by the Eagles and Chiefs

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As the countdown continues toward Super Bowl LVII, the Philadelphia Eagles and Kansas City Chiefs are getting their game plans set. But while they go over their plays, the rest of America goes over their menus in preparation for the big day. When it comes to the Super Bowl, everything is always the best — the best teams, the best performers and, of course, the best food.

But how can you impress your party in the kitchen while showing support for your favorite team? Let’s take a look at some iconic food from each of the Super Bowl team cities to prepare for Super Bowl LVII.

RELATED: What to know about Super Bowl LVII: Date, location, how to watch

Philadelphia Super Bowl food

Crabfries

Why have plain old fries when you could have crabfries? That’s exactly what Pete Ciarrocchi, the CEO of the legendary Philadelphia restaurant Chickie and Pete’s, said one day when creating this intriguing concoction.

While the name may be misleading, crabfries do not contain any actual crab, but rather a blend of spices and Old Bay seasoning that allow the dish to take on a subtle seafood flavor. Topped with a creamy, cheesy dipping sauce, the crinkle-cut fries are sure to take your taste buds to the next level.

Cheesesteak sloppy joes

It simply isn’t Philly without a cheesesteak. Keep it casual in your kitchen on Super Bowl Sunday with Katie Lee Biegel’s Philly Cheesesteak sloppy joes, an easy way to rep the Birds.

Can’t get enough of the cheesesteak? Bring some more Philly specials to the table with this cheesesteak dip, the perfect way to amp up your appetizer game and leave party guests feeling like they just took a trip to the City of Brotherly Love.

RELATED: Rob Gronkowski predicts Eagles to win Super Bowl LVII

Water ice

Is the action of the game heating up? Cool down with a classic Philly treat, water ice. First originating in Bensalem, Pennsylvania in 1984, the icy dessert is now sold in over 600 stores nationwide. The original Rita’s Water Ice shop, however, still remains open for business.

You can even show a little extra passion for the Birds by whipping up this green apple variation, sure to leave you refreshed and ready for the Lombardi.

Kansas City Super Bowl food

Cheese slippers

If you’re looking for a classy, yet authentic appetizer to bring to the table, there’s no better fit than the cheese slipper. This ciabatta loaf baked with melty cheeses and topped with seasonal vegetables and herbs has Kansas City natives hooked.

While the bread is typically baked to perfection by local shops, test your own skill level with this gourmet slipper bread recipe that you can complete with the mouth-watering toppings of your choice.

RELATED: How many Super Bowls have the Chiefs been to, won?

BBQ burnt ends

It’s rare to hear the words Kansas City without barbeque following short after. If you’re looking to impress your guests with your Super Bowl food spread, get out to the grill and start showing off.

While many cities in America know how to cook up some excellent BBQ, the combination of the sweet flavors and mouth-watering sauce has made Kansas City a hub for barbeque lovers for decades.

BBQ burnt ends, while a bit time-consuming, are  well worth a little elbow grease. The dish is also one of the few in Kansas City with a distinct origin story. The meal first found its creation at Arthur Bryant’s Barbeque, a legendary African American restaurant in KC. Bryant originally made the burnt ends from the trimmings of pork belly, but since then, BBQ lovers have made incredible bites out of many styles of meat.

And if you’re feeling extra ambitious, try fixing up some classic Kansas City sides to pair with your entrée to perfection.

RELATED: What to know about Rihanna, the Super Bowl LVII halftime performer

Chiefs chocolate chip cookies

While there is no specific dessert that defines the Heart of America, you can still show your Kansas City pride with these ever-colorful Chiefs chocolate chip cookies.

Make sure to have your food dye handy, because the red and yellow hue of these cookies are sure to show everyone whose side you are on.

Or, if you’re feeling artistic, design an eye-catching Chiefs jersey out of the fan-favorite rice krispie treats. Whether you make Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce or Chris Jones, you’ll have the tastiest Super Bowl jerseys around.

How to watch the Super Bowl 2023 – Philadelphia Eagles vs Kansas City Chiefs:

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