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Tag:Chicago Bears
Posted on: August 12, 2011 9:16 am
 

NFC North podcast preview featuring Dale Jr Jr

Posted by Will Brinson

We're taking a spin around the NFL with our Podcast Preview series this week and our latest stop is in the NFC North. Ryan and I break down a slew of issues relating to the division and I'm joined later by Josh Epstein of the white-hot band Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jr. (buy their new album "It's a Corporate World" on iTunes here; check them out on Facebook here).

Lest you think it's just random awesomeness, Josh is actually a huge Lions fan. And, hey, speaking of the Lions, can they finally "make the leap" to become a non-terrible team this year? Because that's one of the questions we ask. We also wonder if Donovan McNabb is the worst quarterback in the division, if the Vikings are destined for a last-place finish, whether anyone in the entire world will have the stones to pick against Green Bay, if we actually remembered that Chicago won the division last year.

All that -- and much, much, more -- by clicking the play button below. Also, SUBSCRIBE VIA ITUNES.


If you can't view the podcast, click here to download.



For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.


For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.
Posted on: August 10, 2011 10:41 am
 

Jones-Drew has no plans to apologize to Cutler

Posted by Ryan Wilson

It all started in January, barely halfway through the NFC Championship Game between the Packers and Bears. Chicago quarterback Jay Culter left early in the third quarter with a knee injuy and didn't return. The problem: he didn't appeared injured enough for some fans, media and players. (Turns out, Cutler had Grade II MCL sprain so, yeah, it was plenty serious.) As a result, Twitter promptly blew up with thoughts from, well, everybody.

One of the most memorable tweets came courtesy of Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew: “Hey I think the urban meyer rule is effect right now... When the going gets tough........QUIT.. … All I'm saying is that he can finish the game on a hurt knee... I played the whole season on one...”

Surprisingly, that didn't go over well in Chicago. A few days later, Jones-Drew clarified his remarks to the Associated Press: “I never attacked him, called him soft or a sore loser. I never questioned his toughness. I think people took my joke out of context. I was taking at shot at Florida fans."

Fast-forward seven months and Jones-Drew was still being asked about the incident. In an interview with NFL Network, the Jags running back says he hasn't seen Cutler and he has no plans on apologizing if he does.

“I don’t regret anything I do,” Jones-Drew said, according to PFT.com. “You think about everything you put out there. I’m not going to be one of those guys to say, ‘I shouldn’t have done it.’ Because I did it. I knew what I was doing when I tweeted it. I just didn’t know that many people were following me at the time.”

We believe this is commonly referred to as the "Anthony Weiner defense" (made popular by Kenny Britt earlier this offseason).

“I haven’t gotten a chance to (talk to Cutler), but I wouldn’t apologize because I didn’t do anything wrong, I don’t think,” Jones-Drew said. “I didn’t commit a crime. I didn’t kill anyone or rape anyone or anything like that. I mean, I stated my opinion, and it seems like you get more backlash for that than committing a real crime in some sense. I feel like I didn’t do anything wrong, I just said what everybody else was thinking.”

Jones-Drew is right about that last part. Everybody was thinking that as they watched Cutler on the bench, appearing, well, uninjured.

But hey, it wasn't like MJD was the only guy making jokes about Cutler in recent months.

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Posted on: August 6, 2011 12:21 pm
Edited on: August 6, 2011 1:14 pm
 

Don't forget Canton's getting hosed this weekend

Posted by Will Brinson

If anyone does a list of lockout winners and losers, the city of Canton, Ohio has to top the list.

That's because Canton will end up losing many millions of dollars and many wasted hours of volunteer work while the Hall of Fame induction takes place.

That's a direct result of the lockout and the fact that the Rams and Bears aren't playing the (now) traditional Hall of Fame Game, which, according to the NFL, brings in $30 million for Canton in terms of an economic impact.

"We are unfortunately going to have to cancel the Hall of Fame Game this year," NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said recently. "The time is just too short and we feel that it’s important for all 32 teams to be operating with the same number of preseason games and also starting camp at the same date or near the same date."

There will still be money spent, but it won't be the same -- instead of thousands of Bears/Rams fans pouring into Canton, freely dropping coins and buying swag and pumping cash into the local economy, there will be some fans and a slew of family members for those people being inducted.

In fact, per Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, the city's losting $3 million in revenue from the game alone. The NFL has apparently pledged to "compensate the committee" for its losses from that revenue.

That's nice and all but it's not going to fill up hotels, it's not going to send thousands of people to local restaurants and it's not going to fix the city's now-wrecked budget line.

Sorry for being pessimistic and pedantic and whatnot, but this is important, because we (myself included) have now been successfully trained to believe that with the lockout over and 10 years of labor peace on the books, no one was harmed by the NFL's labor strife.

That's obviously not true, and Canton's being nice about the whole process.

"The trickle-down effect is just the confusion," Joe Horrigan, VP of communications and exhibits at Canton, said recently. "If the world talks about the Hall of Fame Game being canceled, then if it's not played, a lot of people assume nothing else is happening. And that's not the case. It's the last day of a 10-day festival."

That's the nice way of handling things, and Horrigan's comments came before the game was actually canceled. You best believe that behind closed doors, the message is a lot less kind.

There's not a whole lot the league can do, though. Donate $30 million to Canton to make up for the lost money? Ha. How does "we'll let you keep the Pro Football Hall of Fame" sound?

About right, yes? That's the nature of this business and it's fine.

Well, not fine. A small city that depends on a part of the NFL is suffering financially this weekend.

And despite how much fluff is given to the ceremony because of the big names -- Deion Sanders and, ahem, NFL Network analyst Marshall Faulk -- they won't be making the same amount of money as they would if the ceremony were going full-steam and featuring the first preseason game of the year.

It's great that we have football back, of course. And it's great that we're going to avoid a lockout for 10 years. But that shouldn't make us forget that everything's not sunshine and rainbows in Canton, where a community that's the perfect representative of the average NFL fan is going to be a lot less financially enthralled this year.

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Posted on: August 3, 2011 2:06 pm
 

Obama invites Packers to White House



Posted by Ryan Wilson

Charles Woodson is a man of his word. After President Barack Obama announced that he would attend the Super Bowl if his hometown Chicago Bears beat the Packers in the NFC Championship Game last January, Woodson spoke bluntly.

"The president don't want to come watch us at the Super Bowl, guess what?" Woodson said after the Packers beat the Bears but before they faced the Steelers. "We're going to see him."


And so the Packers will. The President has invited the team to visit the White House on August 12 to honor them as Super Bowl champions. We can only hope that when the team presents President Obama with his very own Packers jersey, Woodson is allowed to do the honors. And given Obama's comments some seven months ago (see video below), it sounds like this will be the latest addition to his extensive Packers jersey collection.
 
Also: it's worth noting that shortly after Green Bay defeated Chicago, Obama, appearing at a technology and clean energy company in Manitowoc, WI, acknowledged that "[The NFC Championship Game] was a tough day for Bears fans. … But even if it didn't go the way that I wanted, I am glad to see that one of the greatest rivalries in sports is still there. And we will get you next year -- I'm just letting you know. Congratulations. In the spirit of sportsmanship, I wish you good luck in the Super Bowl."


As for the "we will get you next year" promise, Wisconsin congressmen Paul Ryan might take issue with that.

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Posted on: August 2, 2011 9:07 pm
Edited on: August 3, 2011 7:06 am
 

Colts give Tommie Harris 1-year deal

Posted by Ryan Wilson

For as much as the NFL Draft and free agency are about emerging young talents, either entering the league or getting that big second contract, it's also about veteran players coming to grips with the reality of a sport notorious for short, injury-filled careers.

It wasn't long ago that Tommie Harris was one of those emerging young talents. An undersized defensive tackle from Oklahoma who relied on his quickness to get into the backfield and disrupt an offense's rhythm, Harris was selected by the Bears with the 14th overall pick in the 2004 draft.

A three-time Pro Bowler and runner-up in Defensive Rookie of the Year voting, injuries slowed Harris in recent years and the Bears released him in February 2011.

On Tuesday, Harris agreed to terms on a one-year deal with the Colts, where he will play in a defense similar to the one the Bears ran during his time there. Harris also visited the Patriots, who eventually landed Albert Haynesworth for the NFL roster equivalent of a bag of doughnuts. (The going rate for a dozen Krispy Kremes? A fifth-rounder.)

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Posted on: July 31, 2011 10:54 am
Edited on: July 31, 2011 4:15 pm
 

Report: Bears, Kreutz only $500K apart

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

The Bears and free agent C Olin Kreutz still haven’t come to an agreement on a new contract, and apparently, the two sides are only $500,000 apart.

That’s the word from the Chicago Tribune, which writes that the Bears have offered Kreutz a one-year deal worth $4 million while Kreutz is seeking $4.5 million.

KreutzDoesn’t sound like a big difference, does it? Especially when you consider Kreutz is a long-time emotional leader on the team and word is that real damage could be done to the team’s psyche if Chicago doesn’t retain his services (not to mention that G Roberto Garza -- who has one career start at center -- might have to slide over if Kreutz doesn’t return).

The paper reports that the Bears initially offered a one-year, $3 million deal while Kreutz’s agent countered with $5 million. Chicago apparently refuses to go above the $4 million mark, and because of that, writer Brad Biggs wonders if there’s a divide between the coaching staff and the front office (the assumption here being that coach Lovie Smith would give Kreutz the extra $500,000).

One team source called the situation a “ticking time bomb,” which certainly doesn’t sound like a positive development. Particularly when, according to Biggs, there were at least six botched snaps at Saturday’s practice.

UPDATED (4:13 p.m. ET): It's been reported that the Bears have signed former Seahawks C Chris Spencer. This means Kreutz is done in Chicago.

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Posted on: July 30, 2011 9:40 pm
 

Bears land Marion Barber, Amobi Okoye

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

It took a couple days, but the Bears have finally gotten going in free agency.

Already, they had signed former Cowboys WR Roy Williams and taken a chance on former Jets LB Vernon Gholston, and Saturday night, the team added more pieces, announcing that it’s come to terms with former Cowboys RB Marion Barber and former Texans DT Amobi Okoye.

The team said Okoye’s contract is a one-year deal, while NFL.com’s Jason LaCanfora writes Barber’s contract is for two years and $5 million.

Considering Bears RB Matt Forte isn’t happy right now and has threatened to hold out because he’s slated to make only $550,000 in base salary this year -- he has reported, by the way -- Chicago’s move seems like one that could help change Forte’s attitude. As Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune pointed out, you also have to wonder about Chester Taylor's future with the organization. 

Barber had a hard time staying healthy in Dallas, and earlier this week, he was dropped in favor of rookie DeMarco Murray. Meanwhile, Okoye, a former first-round pick, hasn’t been all that productive since he recorded 5 ½ sacks in his 2007 rookie season, recording just 5 ½ sacks since then.

Now, both get a chance to rejuvenate their careers in Chicago.

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Posted on: July 29, 2011 8:30 pm
 

Bears sign Roy Williams, Vernon Gholston

Posted by Will Brinson

People have been wondering why the Bears didn't make a splash in free agency this year. Obviously $90 million to Julius Peppers in 2010 just isn't enough commitment.

So here's some, um, news: they've now (officially) signed both Roy Williams and Vernon Gholston.

No it's not the sexiest of offseason maneuvers, but both players do have upside. Particularly Williams -- at least if you're asking Bears' coach Lovie Smith.

"Roy Williams has number one receiver skill. Devin Hester does also," said Smith, per Zach Zaidman of the Bears Radio Network. "At least about five of the guys we have right now that I know of have that type of ability."

Williams does have No. 1 receiver ability. Otherwise he wouldn't have been a No. 1 receiver on several teams and Jerry Jones wouldn't have packaged the farm to Detroit in exchange for him. Of course, if he still was a No. 1 receiver, it's a lot less likely that he would have gotten cut by the Cowboys.

And as for Gholston, well, he's clearly got upside. After all, he was selected No. 6 overall in the 2008 NFL Draft. But start to Google his name and see what the second result is (hint: it rhymes with "rust").

But it's going to take a lot for the Bears to justify to fans that his signing was their "big move" this offseason. (Though in fairness they're still working on Olin Kreutz and they did land Nick Roach and Anthony Adams. So there's that.)

The harder sell might be that Williams is the answer to their lengthy issues at wideout, even if he has played in a Mike Martz offense before.

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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