A New Hope With Caleb, DeMarcus Walker is Hyped, State of the D-Line, and Other Bears Bullets

demarcus walker bears #1

May the 4th be with you and with your spirits.

  • I love the behind-the-scenes stuff. It doesn’t matter where it comes from — here, there, anywhere — I want it in my life. So when I saw this DeMarcus Walker tweet, I knew it was going to lead today’s Bears Bullets:
  • If you were worrying about the potential of a fractured locker room in the post-Justin Fields era, then I think you can put that to rest.
  • While I have your attention, let’s discuss DeMarcus Walker and his fit on the 2024 Chicago Bears defense. The Bears signed Walker to a two-year deal worth up to $14 million last offseason. At the time, he was coming off a season with the Tennessee Titans in which he put up career bests in sacks (7), tackles-for-loss (10), and quarterback hits (16). Walker didn’t replicate the sack number (just 3.5 last year), but came close on the TFL (9) and QB hits (16) counter. But still … Walker is a nice player to have on a defense that has impact players at other positions.
  • I like how Bears Head Coach Matt Eberflus deployed Walker after the Montez Sweat trade, using him in multiple places along the defensive line. As of right now, I expect Walker to begin the year starting opposite Sweat as the other defensive end. My hope is that Walker can play well enough for long enough to give the team time to develop rookie fifth-round pick Austin Booker. And if Booker is slow to develop, there shouldn’t be too much worrying because Walker is a pro’s pro. He can hold down the fort in 2024.
<img src=”data:;base64,” alt=”demarcus walker bears #2″ width=”1210″ height=”600″ data-lazy-srcset=”https://www.bleachernation.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/03/demarcus-walker-feat-USATSI_21858695.jpg 1210w, https://www.bleachernation.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/03/demarcus-walker-feat-USATSI_21858695-300×149.jpg 300w, https://www.bleachernation.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/03/demarcus-walker-feat-USATSI_21858695-1024×508.jpg 1024w, https://www.bleachernation.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/03/demarcus-walker-feat-USATSI_21858695-768×381.jpg 768w” data-lazy-sizes=”(max-width: 1210px) 100vw, 1210px” data-lazy-src=”https://www.bleachernation.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/03/demarcus-walker-feat-USATSI_21858695.jpg” />
Nov 9, 2023; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Chicago Bears defensive lineman DeMarcus Walker (95) celebrates a defensive play against the Carolina Panthers during the second quarter at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Bartel-USA TODAY Sports
  • With that being said, I still wouldn’t be opposed to adding another defensive end to the mix. Because just like you can’t have too much pitching in base ball, you can’t ever have too much defensive line help.
  • Maybe it is the spring air making me feel optimistic. But the overall look of the defensive line is solid. It has a star performer (Montez Sweat), a run-stuffing and space-eating nose-tackle type (Andrew Billings), an up-and-comer with loud tools and oodles of potential (Gervon Dexter Sr.), useful depth on the interior (Zacch Pickens), and an upstart rookie (Austin Booker). I know we’ll obsess over the quarterback this summer. But keep an eye on the defensive line when training camp rolls around.
  • Circling back to that baseball analogy … if you see Caleb Williams at Wrigley, be kind:
  • Hear me out: Rome Odunze pitches the seventh, Teven Jenkins gets the eighth, and Caleb Williams closes it out in the ninth.
  • I just couldn’t help myself:
  • Brett nails it in the discussion following Adbert Alzolay’s latest blown save in a Cubs loss:

It’s not like we haven’t seen semi-established relievers struggle for long stretches like this, work in low-leverage for a while, and then turn it around. Heck, just last year, Michael Fulmer, signed to be a key part of the bullpen, posted a 9.35 ERA from April 10 to May 27, and it seemed like maybe he just wasn’t the guy the Cubs thought he was when they targeted him. And then, poof, the guy posted a 2.48 ERA the rest of the way, and was so key to the bullpen that his injury late in the year – together with Alzolay’s injury! – really crushed the pen.

  • I’m so glad to have Brett back in the fold full time. Among the many lessons I’ve learned from him is the importance of letting something marinate before exploring and analyzing it in writing. You’d think that is something I’d know from my cooking exploits. And maybe it should’ve been. Nevertheless, it is a good lesson to hold.
  • Episode II of the 2024 NHL Mock Draft Lottery Simulator Fun is loaded over at BN’s Blackhawks wing.
  • Some big NBA news from our friends at BN Bulls: The Los Angeles Lakers fired head coach Darvin Ham. Because someone has to be LeBron’s fall guy. P.S. – That makes six coaches fired under LBJ’s watch. At least the list of possible replacements is fancy.
  • Ahem! Mother’s Day is next week:
  • Look … just because my mother is among the Force Ghosts in the great beyond it doesn’t mean I can’t nudge you toward making sure you duo something nice for you mother while she is still here.


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