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Ten Thoughts on the NFL: Chicago Bears and beyond

We're getting closer to the NFL's regular season. I can actually feel the excitement building. Check out some of my Thoughts on the NFL this week...

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1) Last week ESPN The Magazine had a revealing story about how recently retired San Francisco 49ers linebacker Chris Borland was dealing with life after football, some of the events leading up to his retirement and some odd stuff that has happened before and after his decision.

In my opinion, the craziest thing that ESPN revealed was Borland's story about the rookie symposium. He recounted a speech given by a former player.

"Get yourself a fall guy," Borland says one of the former players advised. The former player, whom Borland declined to name*, told the rookies that if they ran into legal trouble, their designated fall guy would be there to take the blame and, if necessary, go to jail. "'We'll bail him out,'" Borland says the former player assured them.

Borland was appalled. "I was just sitting there thinking, 'Should I walk out? What am I supposed to do?' " he recalls. He says he didn't leave the room because he didn't want to cause a scene, but the incident stayed with him.

* But wait there's more...

2) We now know that the former player that Borland refused to name, was in fact ESPN on air talent and NFL Hall Of Famer Cris Carter. What makes this story even worse was the fact that the NFL had the clip from the rookie event on their website. If you haven't seen it yet, it's worth a look-see.

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I'm sure Carter was trying to play the cool older brother role with the rookies, but he just comes across like an entitled jackass. This is a guy that had some troubles early in his career, that should have know better than to give advice that borders on illegal.

What makes this clip even more preposterous is the presence of noted dumbass Warren Sapp.

Carter has since apologized for his asinine advice.

3) The Green Bay Packers may have lost wide out Jordy Nelson for the 2015 season because of an ACL injury suffered in a meaningless preseason game. In that same game, the Pittsburgh Steelers lost center Maurkice Pouncey to a broken ankle. While I understand the disappointment in losing an important player on your favorite team, rallying against the preseason is pointless.

Players are going to get hurt whether it's in a preseason game, at practice (see Kelvin Benjamin), or off the field (see Jason Pierre-Paul).

There's nothing that can be done to prevent injuries. It happens.

3a) I honestly don't think the Packers will miss a beat with Nelson out. Someone will step up, and besides, they still have Aaron Rodgers throwing the ball.

4) One more thought on preseason games; There's no way the NFL owners will allow the league to cut back from the current slate of 4 games. Four meaningless preseason games per season equals 2 more sold out stadiums to watch their product. The only way I see a change to the preseason is if they lengthen the regular season and I don't see that one flying either.

5) I didn't even realize that the New Orleans Superdome was now called the Mercedez-Benz Superdome until I read about the Atlanta Falcons selling the naming rights for their stadium to Mercedes-Benz.

Perhaps the Carolina Panthers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the other 2 NFC South teams, should double check the agreements for their stadium naming rights. Mercedes-Benz may be going for the southern quadruplet.

6) Last week we talking about rugby star turned NFL running back Jarryd Hayne making a push for a roster spot on the San Francisco 49ers. After another good preseason game this week, I can't see any way the Niners cut ties with him. Doing work as a running back against 3rd stringers is one thing, but Hayne has been working as the #1 returner and he has shown impressive vision.

7) With the recent slew of receiver injuries around the NFL, I figured the 36 year old Reggie Wayne would get a one year deal at some point. Just today he inked with the New England Patriots who are struggling to fill up the receiver's meeting room with healthy bodies. Wayne will need to prove he's physically ready for a 15th season, but if able, he'll provide a presence that could be a move the chains type of player working to get open on his veteran instinct and guile.

8) Chicago Bears' quarterback Jay Cutler with a juke and a truck!

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">.<a href="">@ChicagoBears</a> QB Jay Cutler shakes a defender out of his shoes on 13-yard scramble.&#10;&#10;Yes. You read that correctly. <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; NFL (@NFL) <a href="">August 23, 2015</a></blockquote>

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Someone call EA Sports and get his Madden ratings adjusted immediately!

But in all seriousness, running over a guy in a preseason game probably isn't the best thing, but it's hard for competitive athletes to simply turn it off once they get between the lines.

9) Speaking of Madden. Did you see the Madden Movie?

A warning before watching; Once you start, it's like a train wreck and you'll struggle to avert your eyes.

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10) Yesterday the Chicago Bears unveiled a statue honoring the team's founder George Halas.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">The new George Halas statue in front of Halas Hall, the home of the <a href="">#Bears</a> <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; Zach Zaidman (@ZachZaidman) <a href="">August 24, 2015</a></blockquote>

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Current Bears chairman George McCaskey said there was internal discussion amongst the family about whether the stature should be facing Halas Hall, as if he were saying "Get in there and get to work!" or away from the facility, as if he was saying, "Let's go get em!"

Halas' oldest daughter, Virginia McCaskey, George's mother, ultimately made the call that the statue should be pointing outward.

Hall of Famers Dick Butkus and Gale Sayers were both in attendance at the ceremony and Butkus said a few words about his former coach.

"I was born in Chicago, born to be a Bear, born to play for Papa Bear (Halas). Now, I'm not sure what this statue is made out of, but I do know this: Whatever it is, it's not as strong, nor as tough as George Halas was in the flesh."

What are some of your thoughts from the last week?