Tag:Chicago Bears
Posted on: August 22, 2010 9:10 am

So much for vanilla

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

An interesting trend has emerged this preseason – defenses which normally would play fairly vanilla against offenses who were doing much of the same are being more aggressive in exhibition games.

The National Football Post takes a look at these occurrences.

In fact, when the Chargers faced the Bears, San Diego blitzed so much (I saw a report where it was six of the first eight snaps) coach Lovie Smith decided to get QB Jay Cutler the hell out of there.

The Giants blitzed 24 times against the Jets. The list goes on.

“For me, I would just say I was trying to set a mentality,” Giants defensive coordinator Perry Fewell told the Post. “I’m going to be very aggressive. Yes, we want to play base, fundamental defense and we want to see people take on a block, shed a block, that kind of thing.”

Packers defensive coordinator Dom Capers provides a dissenting opinion.

“Sometimes you can cover up some ills by blitzing all the time,” he told the Post. “If you feel like you have nothing to lose, that’s fine. But if you go into the season feeling you have to rely on the blitz all the time, sooner or later it catches up with you. Now is the time when we can see if we can play base, fundamental football. And if we can’t, and do it well, the blitzing might disguise it for a little bit. But it’s not going to disguise it for long. People figure you out too much in this game. For us, it starts with stopping the run. If we can stop the run, then we can do a lot more things.”

I’m sure this is a trend that opposing quarterbacks who are just trying to get down their timing before retiring to the sidelines for the second half would like to see end. As would their coaches.

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Posted on: August 21, 2010 9:32 pm

Urlacher injures his calf

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

When Andy and I rated Brian Urlacher as one of the top five inside linebackers in the NFL – we both had him ranked No. 2 – we assumed he would be healthy this season (unlike last year) and would live up to his billing.

Well, that might not be the case once again.

As the Chicago Tribune notes, Urlacher injured himself on the first series of tonight’s preseason game against the Raiders and is out for the night with a calf injury.

His left calf was heavily wrapped on the sideline.

No other details have emerged yet on the severity of the injury.

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Category: NFL
Posted on: August 18, 2010 12:10 am

Major Wright's starting outlook in Chicago

Posted by Andy Benoit

Chances are within the last four years, you, or someone you know, has had an opportunity to start at safety for the Chicago Bears. Major Wright, a third-round rookie from Florida, was hoping to join this far-reaching club by Week 1. The Bears were hoping for it, too.

When drafted, the versatile Wright was expected to snag the starting free safety job right away. His development was a tad slow at first, but he’s been impressive as of late. However, after missing a week of camp with a bad hamstring, Wright has hit another obstacle. The Chicago Tribune reported over the weekend that Wright will have surgery on his broken index finger this week. He’s not expected to miss any regular season action, but he’ll lose more valuable practice and preseason reps.

The Bears have been using veterans Chris Harris and Danieal Manning at safety thus far. Both have been starters in the past, but both have also lost their jobs in the past (Harris was traded to Carolina a few years ago, Manning has been benched and relocated to cornerback multiple times).

Expect Wright to get a trial run as a starter at some point this season. That point probably won’t be in September as originally hoped.

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Posted on: August 17, 2010 4:25 pm

The Bears' backup QB situation is getting awkward

Posted by Will Brinson

Currently the Chicago Bears have Jay Cutler (the starter), Caleb Hanie (the injured backup) and Dan LeFevour (the 12-year* college vet turned NFL rook) as quarterbacks on their roster.

With Hanie's injury and Lefevour throwing picks at a rate that makes Cutler look like Sammy Baugh, Mike Martz and Lovie Smith have been very interested in bringing in a solid veteran backup to ensure that if Cutler gets hurt their entire season isn't sunk.

So, Martz asked his (literally) old pal Trent Green if he'd be interested in joining the Bears' roster. He said no . Twice .

Next up? Damon Huard who has no interest in the job and would prefer to remain retired .

How about you, Todd Collins? Nope. He's not interested either .

So where will the Bears turn next? Jeff Garcia would be my guess if only because a) he's old b) he seems interested in playing and c) anyone else they might have on their radar is either deceased or retired.

*Probably not accurate but sure seems that way, no?

Posted on: August 16, 2010 7:51 pm

An update on the supplemental draft picks

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

One is performing well and impressing coaches. One is on injured reserve and will have to look to next year to try to make his team.

Josh Brent, as Todd Archer of the Dallas Morning News writes, has come off well since the Cowboys drafted him in the seventh round of the NFL supplemental draft.

Writes Archer:

(Coach Wade) Phillips lauded Brent's effort on a tackle vs. Oakland on Thursday that came on a screen pass to running back Michael Bennett. The 312-pound Brent tracked down Bennett about 20 yards down field. Brent also had a tackle in which he was engaged with a blocker but snagged a runner with one hand.

It was something Jay Ratliff would do.

"I wouldn't say that was a 'Ratliff play,'" Brent said. "He would've made it a lot sooner. Coach talks about running to the ball and that's all I was doing. Not that you don't go down there thinking you'll make a play but I was just making sure if he broke back my way I was there."

Brent is still fighting to make the team, but he’s apparently made a good first impression.

Meanwhile, Harvey Unga – the seventh-round RB/FB hybrid who hurt his right hamstring early in training camp with the Bears – is out for the season. Tough break for what seems like a nice dude.

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Posted on: August 16, 2010 5:24 pm
Edited on: August 16, 2010 8:41 pm

Chicago appears to have dodged big injuries

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

A couple of Bears injury notes, though fortunately for Chicago’s fans, neither appears to be serious.

Backup QB Caleb Hanie, who was hurt Saturday when Chargers LB Antwan Applewhite drove his shoulder into the ground during a sack, said his shoulder won’t require surgery.

According to Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune , Hanie – who’s still waiting for the results of a precautionary MRI but said he suffered an injury to the AC joint – doesn’t think he’s in danger of losing his No. 2 spot, behind Jay Cutler and ahead of rookie Dan LeFevour.

"I've never missed any games, so if I have to miss a game this is new territory," Hanie told reporters. "I'm not worried about losing my (No. 2) job. That's not even a worry for me. What I have is not a season-ending injury, not half-season, not even beginning of the season. I am definitely not worried about losing my position.”

Also, the Bears said today rookie safety Major Wright will have surgery on his broken left index finger . That means Wright might not open the season as a starting safety and it could mean the experienced Chris Harris could fill that role. But it’s not a major injury for the third-round pick, and for now, that’s what counts.

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Posted on: August 16, 2010 9:31 am
Edited on: August 16, 2010 11:46 am

Hot Routes 8.16.10: Media wants Tebow's autograph

Posted by Will Brinson

Got a link we should feature in the Hot Routes? Follow us on Twitter (@CBSSportsNFL) or email will [dot] brinson [at] cbs [dot] com .
  • Unsurprisingly, the comments on my "Tebow was impressive" article were all like "WHAT GAME DID YOU WATCH?!? HE PLAYED AGAINST SECOND- AND THIRD-STRINGERS!" That's true. But you know what? Tebow is so freaking amazing that he's inspiring media members to ask him for autographs -- according to Alex Marvez on Twitter , two members of the press walked up to Tebow after the game and asked for his signature. That's a big no-no (doi), because not only do you immediately shred any sense of objectivity about the person you're covering, but it's a clear-cut case of abusing the access that press members have. Next thing you know, they'll start serving us delicious food at games too! No, but seriously, this is embarrassing; a quick Twitter-poll reveals that most people agree what they did was quite annoying, etc.
  • Of course, all the Tebow love in the world won't change the top spot on the Broncos' depth chart -- Dave Krieger of the Denver Post writes that "it's not close" when it comes to how far ahead Kyle Orton is. That's true, but as a I mentioned last night, it would be somewhat surprising if Tebow didn't hop Brady Quinn for the No. 2 spot in Denver.
  • There were three No. 1 overall quarterbacks involved in the San Francisco - Indy tilt, with David Carr, Peyton Manning and Alex Smith all getting action during the game. That may be a fact that interests only me. (And it only interests me because I have a weird obsession with Carr, aka "Mister Mittens." )
  • Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News has a handy "10 things to watch" list for the Jets preseason opener. You'll never believe it, but a Darrelle Revis-less defense's play is near the top. On a fairly random note, my girlfriend (who does NOT care for football) watched "Hard Knocks" and freaking loved it. Downside: she asked if it was okay to cheer for the Jets in 2010. I begrudgingly said yes.
  • Kent Somers notes that Larry Fitzgerald -- he of the recently sprained MCL -- was prepping to have his best season ever as a pro and wants people to not "write him off." Geez, Larry. That's a lot to ask. From what I hear, he's going undrafted in almost every fantasy league after this injury.
  • Chicago Breaking Sports has video of Jay Cutler stating that the Bears were just "a few blocks away from some big runs." Yeah, and I'm just "a few hundred thousand dollars away from being a millionaire." (10 to be exact.)

Posted on: August 13, 2010 3:30 pm
Edited on: August 25, 2010 11:09 pm

NFC North Preview, Podcast Style

It's that time again, folks -- yes, Friday afternoon. And what else would make the last few hours of work go by faster than checking out an NFC North Preview Podcast? Nothing, that's what.

(Well, maybe getting fired, but that won't work well for anyone.)

Andy Benoit joins me to discuss whether the Packers should be the runaway favorites in the division, why the Bears are so consistently mediocre (and whether Julius Peppers can change that), what the Vikings can do if Brett Favre decides to hang the old cleats up, and whether the Lions are a dangerous sleeper team. (OH THEY ARE, JUST YOU TRUST ME. Sigh.)

So, go ahead. Click the play button. Got a question you want answered on the show? Hit us up on Twitter (@CBSSportsNFL) or email will.brinson [at] cbs [dot] com

We'll be running out a few of these a week, so there's plenty of time. Oh, and also, be a friend and subscribe either by RSS or iTunes below.

If you can't view the podcast, click here to download .
Or, make it easy on yourself and  Subscribe via iTunes .

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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