Tag:Chicago Bears
Posted on: March 21, 2011 3:01 pm

Bill Belichick doesn't like new kickoff idea

Posted by Andy Benoit

You can always count on Bill Belichick to run his mouth for the media, right? The outspoken, always honest Patriots head coach actually said something at the NFL owners meetings on Monday that flies in the face of this sarcastic intro.

Belichick voiced his displeasure about the idea of moving kickoffs to the 35-yardline and touchbacks to the 25.

“Pretty complicated proposal," Belichick said according to ESPN.com. "I don't like the idea of eliminating the kickoff from the game. I think it's one of the most exciting plays in football. It looks like the competition committee is trying to eliminate that play. I don't know that's really good for the game."

Belichick isn’t alone in this assessment (it’s become well known that the Bears, not surprisingly, dislike the idea. But before rushing to judgment, the league may try to convince teams that this rule change would actually enhance kickoffs.

Then again, sounds like maybe they’ve already tried that.

"From the presentation last night, I don't know that it's because of head injuries," Belichick said. "And the ones they showed, there weren't very many of them. So I don't know. I think you should really talk to the competition committee. They're the ones, really, that proposed the rule.

"There's a lot of components to it, four different elements to it. It's kind of a complicated rule. ... It's pretty confusing. I mean, we're moving the kickoff up and the touchbacks out."

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Posted on: March 14, 2011 12:33 pm

Hot Routes 3.14.11: Interest-free loans

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

  • The Panthers will get an up-close look at Ryan Mallett on Tuesday when they conduct a private workout for the Arkansas QB. This obviously is big news because Carolina holds the No. 1 pick.
  • Several teams, according to a report in SI (via the Baltimore Sun) , have dropped the name of Colorado CB Jimmy Smith off their draft boards. Plenty of questions about his character.
  • George Whitfield, who’s coaching Cam Newton these days, tells Chris Russell of ESPN 980 in Washington that Newton is so far from a finished product that it’s scary. He also said Newton’s QB model is that of Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger.
  • According to Ravens S/prize fighter Tom Zbikowski, his next fight is set for March 26 in Atlantic City against the dreaded TBA. So far, Zbikowski is 2-0 with two first-round knockouts. Chances are good that, in a couple weeks, he’ll be 3-0 with three knockouts.

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Posted on: March 5, 2011 3:20 pm
Edited on: March 5, 2011 4:17 pm

Tommie Harris exits Chicago with class

Posted by Andy Benoit

It’s not often that a three-time Pro Bowler under the age of 30 a.) gets cut and b.) shows such gratitude to his former team and city. But defensive tackle Tommie Harris says he doesn’t burn any bridges. In fact, reading the heartfelt full page Chicago Tribune thank you ad that Harris did for fans Thursday, you could say the man actually builds bridges.
T. Harris (US Presswire)
Harris wrote:

Words cannot express my heartfelt appreciation for your support throughout my seven seasons with the Chicago Bears.

From the moment I first stepped off the plane back in 2004, I have felt the warmth of your welcome. I have been embraced by this great city and have come to know it as my home. I consider myself as much as a Chicagoan as a Texan.

You have cheered with me in our victories, and I don't think I could ever get tired of hearing your roar as I am introduced before a game!

You have expressed your concern over my injuries. Thousands of you have sent letters, cards and e-mails over the years wishing me well.

I will deeply miss my teammates whose camaraderie on and off the field is unmatched. I could not imagine going into battle with a better group of guys.

I have met so many of you in person, and you are always so kind and friendly. I will miss each and every one of you.

I could have never asked for better teammates, better fans or a better city.

So, thank you, Chicago. It's been a great run!

Harris’ tenure in Chicago will be remembered with both fondness and glumness. His initial quickness made him the most brilliant one-gap defensive tackle in football early in his career. But after signing a long-term mega deal in 2008, injuries and whispers about focus and work ethic dogged Harris. Overall, he lived up to his first-round billing, but Bears fans (and perhaps Harris, as well) probably won’t be able to help but wonder about what could have been.

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Category: NFL
Posted on: February 28, 2011 1:19 pm
Edited on: February 28, 2011 1:35 pm

Bears release Tommie Harris

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Tommie Harris had been a standout Bears DT for five years, beginning in 2004 and leading to three Pro Bowl berths and the 2007 Ed Block Courage Award.

The past two years, though, you could see a decline – he combined for only four sacks in the past two years – and based partly on that, the Bears announced today they’ve released him (along with LB Hunter Hillenmeyer and T Kevin Shaffer).

Harris made only six starts last season (out of 15 games), and considering he was due a $2.5 million bonus before training camp (and a $500,000 workout bonus) and was scheduled to make a base salary of $2.3 million, the move makes financial sense.

But Harris was coach Lovie Smith’s first draft pick, so the move likely saddens the player and the coach.

Also, Bears Rapid Reporter Gene Chamberlain had this to write about Hillenmeyer and a potential controversy that could come from his release.

Writes Chamberlain: "Conspiracy theorists might point to the fact that LB Hunter Hillenmeyer was the Bears' former player rep and a current alternate player rep as a reason he was cut Monday, but the season-ending concussion he suffered in preseason -- as well as past concussion problems -- made his return questionable at best."

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Posted on: February 25, 2011 7:54 pm
Edited on: February 26, 2011 1:47 am

Desmond Clark has Fla. property seized (UPDATED)

D. Clark's rental home in Lakeland, Fla. (Bay News 9) Posted by Josh Katzowitz

UPDATED (9:15 p.m.):
Here is Clark's response, via text message to the Chicago Sun Times:

"People know who I am and what I stand for and if the city wants to play hardball because I had bad tenants, then that's fine. I've been trying to help them help me for the last year and a half to get the bad tenants out.

"Does any(one) think I want that going on in one of my many rental properties?


According to Bay News 9, a home owned by Bears TE Desmond Clark has been seized by Lakeland, Fla., police, because known prostitutes and drug dealers frequently were spotted spending time there.

"This has been a thorn in our side, I want to say for at least four years," officer Adrian Rodriguez told the TV station.

Rodriguez said he and Clark have had phone conversations and that Clark agreed that the property is a problem.

But on Jan. 15, after seeing no progress, the City’s Nuisance Abatement Board decided to shutter up the rental property, meaning Clark and his landlord brother, Ralph Wilson, lose ownership rights for a year.

Here’s hoping Clark isn’t counting on those rental fees in lieu of a lockout. Because he’s not going to be making any money on it for 2011.

Photo courtesy of Bay News 9

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Category: NFL
Posted on: February 25, 2011 1:24 pm
Edited on: February 25, 2011 1:31 pm

Hot Routes 2.25.11: Happy birthday, forward pass

Posted by Will Brinson

Got a link for the Hot Routes? Hit us up on Twitter (@CBSSportsNFL).
  • So, the forward pass turned 78 years old today. Two things: 1) It's really held up well in it's old age, and 2) Can you imagine how many billions of dollars the NFL would be fighting over if it hadn't been invented? Because I bet it would be like five. Except without the billion part.
  • Leonard Hankerson wants to carry on the "tradition" of "The U." He must not have watched the movie about what happened there. Just kidding, as you can see, he seems like a nice kid.

Posted on: February 25, 2011 9:17 am
Edited on: February 25, 2011 10:18 am

Lovie Smith gets 2-year extension from Bears

Posted by Will Brinson

Before the 2010 season, Lovie Smith -- and the entire Bears front office -- was on the hot seat. After winning a division title last year, though, he's received a two-year extension from Chicago that keeps him with the team through 2013, the Bears announced Friday.

"Of course I feel great about the extension like I have every year I have been on the job," Smith, the fifth-longest tenured coach in the NFL, said Friday at the combine.

Smith's extension is based on Chicago's performance in 2010 -- after three-straight middling seasons to follow up their 2006 Super Bowl appearance, the Bears bounced back and posted an 11-5 record en route to winning the NFC North.

That doesn't mean that their place in the division is anything close to secure.

"We realize we have the Super Bowl champs in our division and we're looking up to them," Smith said Friday at the combine.

Although he's taken some grief for various coaching decisions, Smith has led Chicago to three division titles since 2005 (second-most in the NFC) and three double-digit win seasons (one of only two teams to do so int hat time span).

Oftentimes, fans and the media lament some of Lovie's gameday decisions, including his use of challenges and willingness to go for it on fourth down. But the 13th coach in Bears history has still come quite close to winning a Super Bowl and showed tremendous improvement in 2010, leading to the reward from the Bears' ownership.

Also worth noting? Lovie's contract now runs up at the same time as Jerry Angelo (2013), meaning they are, once again, in the same boat together. Just like last year.

"Jerry and I work together well," Smith said Friday. "We feel like we're a good combination."

They certainly were last year, and it the Bears apparently believe their combo -- along with Jay Cutler, who happens to be signed through 2013 as well -- is a winner for the future.

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Posted on: February 22, 2011 4:44 pm

Dave Duerson filed for bankruptcy before death

Posted by Will Brinson

The details surrounding Dave Duerson's suicide continue to become more disturbing -- it appears that at the time of his death, Duerson had a bankruptcy case pending in Florida.

Chicago Breaking Sports reports Duerson filed for voluntary personal bankruptcy last September in a case that is still pending.

The legal proceedings detail that Duerson had $34.6 million in assets and $14.7 million in liabilities -- however, the majority of his assets were located in a lawsuit (his company Duerson Foods, LLC, won a judgment but apparently hadn't collected) that he won.

Even that money wasn't guaranteed for Duerson, though.

"Debtor's ex-wife is entitled to 30 percent to 50 percent of judgment if collected," the bankruptcy filing showed.

The bankruptcy case also showed that his wife claimed Duerson still owed her $70,000 and that he was "trying to conceal certain assets."

All of these details indicate that while Duerson may have struggled with the mental aspect of post-football-life, he also had some serious personal issues present in his life that may have contributed to his decision to take his own life.

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