Tag:Chicago Bears
Posted on: August 29, 2011 5:45 pm
Edited on: August 29, 2011 5:52 pm

Chester Taylor actually NOT cut from Bears

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Earlier today, we wrote about the Bears cutting third-string running back Chester Taylor and how one reason could have been that the organization was tired of Taylor asking for more playing time. That was news to Chicago coach Lovie Smith. Because Taylor, in fact, has not been cut.

Bears RB Problems
"I guess there was a little bit of a misunderstanding on what we talked about," Smith told reporters after practice, via the Chicago Tribune. "Chester Taylor is still a part of the team."

The misunderstanding stems from the conversation Smith and Taylor had when Smith told Taylor he wasn’t in the Bears plans. Taylor thought that meant he was cut (and I can see why he’d think that). But that’s not the case. Not yet, at least.

Hell, maybe the Bears won’t cut Taylor, because general manager Jerry Angelo told Taylor after the misunderstanding that the team actually likes him. Furthermore, Smith said he was talking to Taylor about last Saturday’s game at Tennessee and not necessarily about the future.

It’s all very confusing.

"If a player is released, I will tell him that, 'You're released, thank you,'" Smith said. “That is not the case. Misunderstanding. I talked to him about what happened in the last game in a private conversation. No more than that. As far as what is going to happen later on, we have cuts coming up. We’ll let everyone know who is a part of it then, they’ll know. I don’t talk any more than that. I talked about what happened the last game.

“He was coming up, he wanted to talk to me, but guys talk to me always. I’m the head football coach. Players who are wondering a little bit about what is going on, I want them to come up and talk with me. Thought we had a good conversation. I guess it didn’t go exactly like I thought it did.”

I guess we’ll get our next indication about the Bears plans for Taylor when they face Browns on Thursday. But for now, your guess is as good as anybody’s how much longer Taylor will be a part of the team.

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Posted on: August 29, 2011 2:55 pm
Edited on: August 29, 2011 7:31 pm

Ndamukong Suh: I'm dirty 'when my mom tells me'

Posted by Will Brinson

Following the recent Detroit whipping of New England, CBSSports.com's Mike Freeman wrote a column about Ndamukong Suh and how he's offically become a dirty player at this (early) point in his career.

The piece generated a groundswell of opinion from fans and media alike and on Monday, Suh was asked what he thought about being dirty. And he continued to defend his play, as well as use his mother as a reference for clean play in the NFL.

"I’m going to continue to play hard and play within the rules as I have been," Suh told CBSSports.com's Lions Rapid Reporter John Kreger. "When I'll consider myself a dirty player is when my mom tells me [I am]."

Suh also discussed the "punch" he threw at Logan Mankins, which he claims was necessary for the defense of a teammate.

"Everything happens in the trenches," Suh said. "You’re not just going to sit there [as a] teammate and walk away from ... your (teammate) being grabbed by his facemask."

Additionally, Suh said he didn't regret the incident and that he felt it fell within the "legal" boundaries of what's acceptable on a football field.

"Do I regret (the incident)? No," Suh told Kreger. "The funny thing about the whole situation is that I wasn’t the one who got the 15-yard penalty for grabbing the facemask ... I didn’t know you can’t help protect one of your teammates."

You can protect your teammates, but throwing punches at another player is a pretty quick way to pick up a large fine from the league. Suh said he didn't receive any penalty, however, because he discussed the incident with the officials at Saturday's game.

"I had a great conversation with the ref who saw the (incident)," Suh told Kreger. "He said, 'Next time, make sure you let me handle the situation, but I understand what you were doing, helping your teammate out.'"

The question is whether or not the league will understand what Suh was doing. And even if the guys who hand out fines at the NFL do get that he was protecting his teammate, it might not matter much, as Suh could certainly be facing a fine from the 280 Park Avenue.

In the meantime, expect plenty of continued debate about whether or not Suh is a dirty player (and feel free to weigh in below!). I'm personally of the opinion that he's so freaking strong it's nearly impossible for him not to look dirty and that certain incidents -- namely, the Jake Delhomme rag-doll toss in the 2010 preseason -- have led to the development of a reputation that Suh will find very hard to shake.

That's precisely why everyone was in an uproar (the league to the tune of $20,000) when he accidentally popped off Andy Dalton's helmet, and it's precisely why when he throws a punch there's more concern than if another NFL player did so.

But that's also part of being a defensive superstar with freakishly terrifying strength -- people are going to be keeping a closer eye on you.

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Posted on: August 29, 2011 12:59 pm

Report: Bears cut RB Chester Taylor

Posted by Will Brinson

On Sunday we mentioned that both running back Chester Taylor and linebacker Lance Briggs were unhappy with their situation on the Bears. Taylor wanted more playing time and Briggs wanted more money.

Taylor is not going to get what he wants -- or at least not get it with the Bears anyway, as it appears the backup-to-the-backup running back will be cut before teams are required to get down to 80-man rosters by Tuesday (follow the latest updates and cuts here).

That's according to Sean Jensen of the Chicago Sun-Times, who says the Bears have already informed Taylor of his release.

Taylor signed a four-year, $12 million contract before the 2010 season (he was the other "big" free-agent signing to go with defensive end Julius Peppers), but was unproductive with Chicago last season, rushing for 267 yards on 112 attempts (2.4 yards per carry) over the course of 16 games. Though, in fairness, the rushing attack out of Chicago wasn't exactly potent last season.

The Bears made their "splash" this offseason by bringing in former Cowboy Marion Barber, and given that Taylor remains behind Matt Forte, Barber and, apparently, Khalil Bell on the depth chart, it shouldn't be surprising that Taylor's being given his pink slip.

So maybe he will get what he wants ... just with another team.

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Posted on: August 28, 2011 4:58 pm
Edited on: August 28, 2011 5:00 pm

Taylor, Briggs both unhappy with Bears

Posted by Will Brinson

The Chicago Bears have plenty to worry about in 2011 -- namely, as Pete Prisco wrote Sunday, making sure their offensive line keep Jay Cutler upright.

Add to the list of concerns: the happiness of linebacker Lance Briggs and running back Chester Taylor.

According to Vaughn McClure of the Chicago Tribune, Taylor was informed by running backs coach Tim Spencer just before the Bears game Saturday (a 14-13 loss to Tennessee) that he wouldn't be playing against the Titans. Taylor didn't sound thrilled about the news.

"Yeah, I'm disappointed,'' Taylor said. "I'm practicing all week thinking I'm going to play. Just for them to come out of the blue and say that, yeah, I'm disappointed."

Taylor's seen a reduced role since the team signed Marion Barber this past offseason, but didn't get action even when Barber left with an injury. Instead, Kahlil Bell got 11 carries, turned them into 48 yards and beefed up the possibility that Taylor could be cut.

Briggs doesn't have the same issue, but his concern -- money -- is much more problematic for Chicago, considering that the 30-year-old linebacker isn't as expendable as Taylor.

Per McClure, he approached the Bears requesting more money on a deal that already has three years remaining, primarily because of the large number of linebackers (A.J. Hawk, Jon Beason, Thomas Davis, Lawrence Timmons, to name a few) who received big contracts this offseason.

McClure also notes that Jerry Angelo, when asked about the possibility of giving the linebacker a raise, "obviously isn't too thrilled with Briggs' request."

And it's likely that he'll be less thrilled if Briggs demands a trade in the event he's not handed any more money, as McClure believes he will. (The linebacker has apparently "made it clear" that such a demand is coming.)

It's possible the Bears could consider giving him more cash, but given his age and injury concerns (he hasn't played in the last two preseason games because of a knee bruise) and, most importantly, the three years left on his deal, it seems relatively unlikely.

Especially when you consider all the issues Briggs had with his last contract, which came a year after he made a serious stink about signing his franchise tender and never playing for the Bears again.

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Posted on: August 24, 2011 8:23 pm

Bears WR coach puts Roy Williams on notice

Posted by Will Brinson

Ever since the Bears signed Roy Williams, they've made much ado about how swell he'll be in Mike Martz offense. In fact, they went far enough to demote wideout Johnny Knox by putting Williams in his starting spot alongside Devin Hester.

That might not last long, though, because Williams is apparently out of shape and it's not making the guy in charge of his playing time, Bears wide receiver coach Darryl Drake, too happy.

"I understand that Roy’s got some things to do, as far as getting in shape, but that’s not my fault, and that’s not my concern," Drake said, per Sean Jensen of the Chicago Sun-Times. "My concern is making sure, when we play Atlanta, we got the best guys out there, that is going to give us the best chance to win.

"And if Johnny Knox is that guy, then he needs to be out there."

Drake also said that he and Williams talked and that Williams understands that Knox "is hungry" and just waiting to take the other starting spot from him.

As Jensen points out, Drake was Williams coach at Texas, so it's entirely possible that this is a motivational ploy designed to actually make Williams work hard.

But it's also likely that the Bears will go with the wideout best suited to produce immediately. If I were a betting man and I believed that Mike Martz was a sane and rational person, I'd lay some of my blog-earned money on Knox.

Both of those things aren't necessarily true though, so it's still entirely possible that Williams loafs his way through the preseason and ends up starting anyway.

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Posted on: August 23, 2011 10:06 am
Edited on: August 23, 2011 12:52 pm

Gholston: Rex didn't give him a chance with Jets

Posted by Will Brinson

The Jets and coach Rex Ryan didn't take long to move on from 2008 draft bust Vernon Gholston, who was released shortly before the NFL lockout began, way back when at the end of February.

Since then, Ryan has even publicly blamed himself for Gholston's failure to really grow into a legit player and/or just unlock the easy-as-pie $9 million escalator clause in his contract. Gholston apparently feels the same way -- that it's Rex's fault.

"I heard how he was perceiving me before the [2008] draft, before he knew me, and I was the same way -- I wasn't hoping for him to be [my] first coach of the Jets when I was there, either," Gholston told Bart Hubbuch of the New York Post recently.

Hubbuch notes that Gholston, who was drafted by Eric Mangini's regime, "still feels he didn't get a fair shot with Ryan" or the current Jets coaching staff.

"Being a first-round pick, you would have hoped for more [of a chance]," said Gholston.

The defensive end, who was signed by Chicago this offseason, apparently believes that Ryan's preconceived notions about Gholston as a player are the reason he never got a fair shake of things.

"Rex made a comment to me when he first came in that he thought I wasn't liked by the guys on the team, then once he got there he saw that wasn't the case," Gholston said. "Those perceptions kind of determine the outcome, and it's sad to say."

Oh yes, and Ryan's bias towards Ravens players.

"Whenever you have a new coach, you hope everything's fair," Gholston said. "But obviously, he was in Baltimore for a number of years and has a passion for those guys."

Look, the long-and-short of it is that Gholston's just a bust. Period. The Jets used the No. 6 overall pick in the 2008 draft on him, and in three years, playing as a defensive end who was supposed to beef up their pass rush, he never recorded a single sack.

Or an interception. Or a forced fumble. Or a ... you know what? You don't need me to write this out for you. If you're on Gholston's side of things and you actually think he might not be a bust, well, you can just as easily find out about Gholston's career from our good friend and debate-ending champion Google:

/slams mic
//walks away

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Posted on: August 15, 2011 9:17 am

Ndamukong Suh: 'I haven't crossed any line'

Posted by Will Brinson

There are a number of folks that believe Lions defensive lineman and general manchild Ndamukong Suh is a "dirty" player. He got this reputation partially from two preseason games -- in 2010 he treated Jake Delhomme like a rag doll against Cleveland (he was eventually fined $7,500 after the NFL reviewed the hit) and then this past weekend he squeezed Andy Dalton so hard the rookie's helmet popped off.

Oh right, and for the hit on Jay Cutler that ended up costing him $15,000 last year. But Suh said Sunday that he doesn't believe he's "dirty."

"There's always a fine line of dirtiness and a fine line of aggressiveness," Suh said Sunday, per Carlos Monarrez of the Detroit Free-Press. "I know to this point that in my own heart that I haven't crossed that line by any means."

I've spoken to Suh a couple times and on occasion (one happened to be right after the Cutler hit), I've asked him about whether he plays dirty or not. And he always says the same thing -- he's not dirty. He's aggressive.

And I think there's an argument to be made for both sides. Suh's actions against Delhomme were clearly dirty, especially considering he extended the play beyond the actual contact with the quarterback (read: the sack). But I didn't feel like his "hit" on Dalton necessarily was "dirty" insomuch as it was "aggressive."

But Suh is -- quite obviously -- developing a reputation for being a dirty player. Whether or not he actually is won't matter when there's a call that's close.

Because in those situations the referees will continue to flag him and the league will continue to fine him. Although those hits may not matter much if Suh keeps playing as well as he does the rest of the time.

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Posted on: August 13, 2011 9:51 pm
Edited on: August 13, 2011 10:09 pm

Bears kicked off at the 30-yard-line: Why?

Posted by Will Brinson

You've certainly heard about the NFL's new rule on kickoffs: they're happening from the 35-yard-line now. Not the 30.

Maybe the Chicago Bears missed the memo?

Because they spent their first preseason game on Saturday night (as you can see from the photo to your right) kicking off from the 30-yard-line.

Per Jeff Dickerson of ESPN Chicago, the press box official at Soldier Field has been screaming at the Bears -- "They cannot kickoff from the 30!" -- in vain. (It's very far away from the field, as you might guess.)

For whatever reason, Chicago's simply refusing to kick from the 35-yard-line.

"The team is simply evaluating our kickoff coverage unit," a Bears spokesman told CBSSports.com.

So then it's not anything to do with the fac that three teams truly got hosed by the NFL's decision to change things up: the Bears, the Seahawks and the Browns. The latter two recently extended return specialists (Leon Washington and Josh Cribbs, respectively) and the Bears rely on Devin Hester to be a gamechanger on special teams.

That's good. Although Mike Pereira, former VP of Officiating at the NFL, tweeted that "Carl Johnson called and put a stop to it." So clearly someone at the NFL wasn't too thrilled that the Bears were using the preseason to practice kickoff coverage by sacrificing safety.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com