New coach Matt Nagy looked out his window Tuesday morning and saw a group working in unison to create something bigger and better for the Chicago Bears.
He was impressed.
The construction workers laying the foundation for an expanded practice facility were putting on a clinic in teamwork.
"The communication of the guys who are building Justin Reid Jersey , pouring the concrete and the cement and people in the background talking," he said Tuesday. "How do you do this? How do you do that? That's what we're doing right now as a team."
The Bears are trying to build something bigger and better after finishing last in the NFC North four straight years.
General manager Ryan Pace fired John Fox after three seasons and replaced him with Nagy, hoping a coach with an offensive background will get the most out of quarterback Mitchell Trubisky.
There's a growing buzz for a team coming off a 5-11 season. But there's also plenty of work to do, particularly for an offense learning a new system, and the job kicked into another gear with the start of a voluntary veteran minicamp on Tuesday.
For Nagy, it's his first shot as a head coach after 10 seasons working under Andy Reid in Philadelphia and Kansas City. He's trying to help lift a franchise with one playoff appearance in 11 years and nothing but .500 or losing records since 2012.
"Just very obsessive about being detailed and having us be detailed," defensive end Akiem Hicks said. "And watching his morning meetings, you always get a good feel for a coach with how he addresses the entire team, and he makes sure he hits all his points, he has his (index) cards out and making sure that he gets everybody in line and knowing what we've got for the day and stuff like that."
While a defense that ranked 10th overall last season has many of its top players back as well as coordinator Vic Fangio, the offense is adjusting to a new system. Trubisky's development could ultimately determine the fate of Pace and Nagy in Chicago. But there are other issues facing the Bears.
Though they signed free agent receiver Allen Robinson and gave Trubisky a new No. 1 target, depth at the position remains an issue. Robinson is working his way back after tearing his ACL in last year's opener with Jacksonville, and guard Kyle Long is recovering from ankle, shoulder and neck surgeries.
Neither player participated in team drills Tuesday. And Nagy had no timetable for when they will start.
Another issue is the mindset of running back Jordan Howard after Bears-related photos disappeared from his Instagram account a few weeks ago amid trade rumors. He sidestepped questions about that while insisting he has a future in Chicago and can be a productive player in Nagy's system despite his struggles catching passes.
"They told my agent they had no plans to trade me or anything like that Thurman Thomas Jersey ," Howard said. "So that's comforting."
He said he "really wasn't hurt" by the rumors.
With more than 2,400 yards since the Bears took him in the fifth round in 2016, Howard has been one of Pace's most successful draft picks. He ran for 1,122 yards last season after finishing second in the NFL with 1,313 as a rookie.
But there's a perception his struggles in the passing game make him an odd fit in a system that demands the running backs catch the ball.
"I feel like I can fit in pretty much (any) offense," Howard said. "Yeah, I have had struggles receiving but anytime people doubt me, they just push me to do better and improve. That is definitely one thing I want to improve on."
Nagy also dismissed that idea, saying, "To sit there and say he doesn't fit this offense I don't think is very fair."
He said Howard "absolutely" will be a featured running back in 2018 and envisions him and Tarik Cohen once again forming a dynamic tandem.
As for the Instagram issue, Howard said there was "nothing to it" and wouldn't acknowledge removing Bears-related pictures. There were plenty on Tuesday.
"I don't know," he said. "You can go on there now and see if they're on there. I don't know."
NOTE: The Bears said defensive back Bryce Callahan signed his one-year restricted free agent tender.
Stephen Curry shook, shimmied and screamed, letting his adoring fans and the Rockets know that Oracle Arena was his house.
Once the two-time MVP got his groove back Todd Gurley Jersey , Houston was helpless.
Curry scored 35 points with five 3-pointers, shooting over James Harden and driving past him as the Golden State Warriors made a second-half statement to beat the Rockets 126-85 on Sunday night for a 2-1 lead in the Western Conference finals.
Curry had 18 points on 7-for-7 shooting in the third quarter, lying with his back flat on the court for his unique version of a snow angel and even following one basket with an expletive, shouting ”This is my … house!” to the thousands who cheered and exhaled, exhilarated by his every move and rumble.
”There’s obviously that anticipation when you come in transition and you find an open look and there’s a collective hush in the crowd, especially in this building,” Curry said. ”It’s a cool moment. I was searching for it in the first half. I had plenty of opportunities, I just couldn’t knock it down. Third quarter it opened up. I’ve been doing it for a while. I won’t let two tough games shooting keep me frustrated.”
The 41-point victory was the largest in franchise history during the postseason, topping a 39-point win – 85-46 – by the Philadelphia Warriors against the St. Louis Bombers on April 6, 1948.
Kevin Durant added 25 points, six rebounds and six assists, while Draymond Green grabbed 17 rebounds to go with 10 points and six assists. The Warriors won an NBA-record 16th consecutive home postseason game, surpassing the Chicago Bulls’ mark of 15 in a row from April 27, 1990-May 21 Taven Bryan Jersey , 1991.
”We’re in the middle of a hell of a run, obviously,” coach Steve Kerr said.
The defending champions got defensive – and maybe a little mad – after a 127-105 Game 2 defeat Wednesday night at Houston, determined to make stops to ignite the transition game and open up 3-point shooters.
Especially Curry, who snapped out of his slump with four in the second half.
”I’ve seen those explosions happen everywhere, not just here,” Green said. ”His 3 is similar to some people’s dunk. You go to certain arenas and a guy gets a dunk it’s just absurd. That’s how his 3 ball is. … Don’t mean to disappoint, but I’ve seen crazier from him.”
Harden had 20 points and nine assists, while Chris Paul added 13 points and 10 rebounds as they combined to shoot just 12 for 32.
Game 4 is Tuesday night at Oracle Arena.
Curry and Durant each scored five quick points as Golden State opened the third quarter with a 10-0 burst to go ahead 64-43.
Of riding the emotion with his shot – after so many questions about his perceived struggles so far this series – Curry noted, ”You’ve got to be your biggest fan sometimes.”
Under pressure from Paul, Curry swished a 3 from way back with 5:06 left in the third. He struggled with his long-range shot again early but drove through the paint at every chance.
Curry hit a baseline 3-pointer at the 9:02 mark of the first but missed his next five 3s before going 4 for 5 in the second half. He is now 7 of 25 from long range – he made one in each of the first two games.
”All it takes is one,” Kerr said.
Both potent offenses were slow getting rolling as the teams played strong defense.
Harden and Paul began 3 for 14 with Paul missing six shots before getting his first basket on goaltending against Andre Iguodala 2:39 before halftime.
”Offensively we didn’t have any thrust, and they exploited it,” Harden said.
Golden State began getting the looks it liked after halftime. The Warriors faced more stingy Clark Harris Jersey , in-the-face pressure from Houston, making it hard to get any early flow shooting. Durant hit his first 3 6:27 before halftime then missed from the deep the next time down.
A moment of silence was held before the national anthem for victims of the Houston school shooting.
Rockets: Trevor Ariza and Green received a double-technical with 6:49 to play when Ariza shoved Green as they traded words. … The Rockets surrendered 10 fast-break points in the first period while getting none of their own. … They were outrebounded 49-41, committed 19 turnovers and shot 32 for 81 from the floor.
Warriors: Kevon Looney had two key blocks off the bench in the first. … Durant notched his 20th straight postseason game with 20 or more points. … Golden State is 36-5 at home in the playoffs since the 2015 postseason. … Thompson (1,786) moved past Rick Barry (1,776) for second place on the Warriors’ career postseason scoring list. … Curry (712) moved past Barry (699) into sole possession for most postseason baskets in franchise history. … The ”Run TMC” trio of Tim Hardaway, Mitch Richmond and Chris Mullin were honored with a standing ovation during a first-quarter timeout. On Monday, Richmond will introduce Hardaway as he goes into the Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame of which Richmond and Mullin are already members.
Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni made the point once again about Paul being healthy: ”There’s nothing wrong at all.”
”We’re not going to win without him,” D’Antoni said. ”So if he’s got to limp and drag his leg to the finish line, so be it. And he’s ready to do that.”
That deafening, bright yellow sellout crowd was imposing once again.
”Somebody asked me, `Is Oracle tough to play?̵.