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Tag:Chicago Bears
Posted on: July 15, 2010 2:49 pm
 

Unga, Price-Brent drafted

Former BYU running back Harvey Unga – the subject of our “Five questions (or more)” segment Wednesday – was drafted in the seventh round of the NFL supplemental draft by the Chicago Bears this afternoon.

Unga, who was seen as a running back/fullback hybrid coming out of school, was the all-time leading rusher in Cougars history, and he’ll look to make the team while competing against Garrett Wolfe, Chester Taylor and Kahlil Bell to back up starter Matt Forte.

Considering the Bears rushing game was ranked No. 29 in the NFL last year, averaging 93.2 yards per game, it makes sense to give Unga – who rushed for 3,455 yards and 36 touchdowns at BYU – a chance to contribute to a team that needs offensive production.

Either way, it could be a great value for the Bears, who now will lose a seventh-round pick in the 2011 NFL Draft.

Also in the supplemental draft, the Dallas Cowboys selected former Illinois DT Joshua Price-Bent in the seventh round.

--Josh Katzowitz

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter.


Posted on: July 15, 2010 2:15 pm
 

Gabe Reid gets nice payday

According to the Chicago Tribune , former Bears tight end Gabe Reid has been awarded $325,000 for a right knee injury he suffered while playing in Chicago from 2003-06. It’s the largest injury settlement for a pro athlete in the state of Illinois.

Reid hasn’t played since 2006.

Also, Chiefs safety Mike Brown, who played for the Bears from 2000-08 and made the Pro Bowl in 2005, was given $140,000 for foot and leg injuries.

--Josh Katzowitz

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter.



Category: NFL
Posted on: July 12, 2010 6:29 pm
 

The importance of Brian Urlacher

B. Urlacher (Getty) Coming off our discussion about inside linebackers from a few days ago, Matt Bowen of the National Football Post gives his take on Chicago LB Brian Urlacher and his importance to the team’s Cover 2 defensive scheme.

Andy and I ranked Urlacher No. 2 in our top five lists behind San Francisco’s Patrick Willis – though many readers thought Urlacher should be nowhere near our rankings, based on what he’s done, or hasn’t done, the past two years – and Bowen argues here that Urlacher might be the key to the Bears defensive success this season.

An excerpt from the article:

We have to understand that to play in Lovie Smith’s or Rod Marinelli’s version of the Tampa 2 defense, there has to be a playmaker at the MLB position. Someone who can run with any inside vertical scheme, show up on tape in the run front and make plays behind the line of scrimmage.  You have to get that out of the Mike Backer.

From what I hear, Urlacher has used this offseason to get himself in great shape, but we are talking about a guy who hasn’t really seen much action since the 2008 season. We know he isn't the same player he once was, but that still doesn’t hide the fact that he has to show up on film this season.

As Bowen discusses, the defensive tackles and the weak-side linebackers are the cogs that make this defensive scheme work, but the middle linebackers have to be good at so many different areas of defense – covering receivers while playing the run – that you need to have a solid guy in the middle of your defense.

“Beyond his leadership in the huddle and in the locker room, they need a player who can still provide that impact and still produce,” Bowen writes. “A lot to ask from a veteran who hasn’t seen valuable minutes for some time? Of course, but the success of this team depends on it.”


--Josh Katzowitz

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter.


Category: NFL
Posted on: July 9, 2010 8:00 pm
Edited on: July 9, 2010 8:12 pm
 

Two sad tales of former NFL players

E. Lockhart in 1990 (Getty) A couple of former NFL players are having money problems today. One is in trouble with the law, and one has grabbed the attention of the IRS.

Former Cowboys LB Eugene Lockhart Jr. – who played from 1984-92 – was taken into custody Friday morning and accused of violating the terms of his release as he waits to stand trial in a federal mortgage fraud case, the Dallas Morning News reported.

Meanwhile, the Chicago Tribune has the scoop on the latest from former Bears DT Chris Zorich, who can’t find the missing $864,645 that was held by his now-defunct charitable foundation.

Neither saga sounds promising.

Lockhart, as the Morning News writes, is charged with “conspiracy to commit bank and wire fraud, and aiding and abetting. … Initially, he and eight others were indicted on charges that they allegedly profited by arranging mortgages based on inflated sale prices around North Texas. The case has now expanded to 11 defendants. One of them, Michael Anthony Caldwell, pleaded guilty Feb. 17 and faces up to two years in prison.”

Lockhart apparently failed a drug test that was a condition of his release as he waits for the trial that is set to begin in October.

Zorich, who played from 1991-97, e-mailed the Tribune this week, writing, "I haven't found the statement yet. When I do, I'll let you know.”

C. Zorich in 1994 (Getty) From the Tribune story:

  In an article published in June, the Tribune reported that Zorich's foundation was in disarray and that Zorich didn't know the location of the assets listed on its 2002 tax return, apparently the last one filed with the Internal Revenue Service. The article also chronicled how the IRS filed a $10,000 lien in April against the Chris Zorich Charitable Foundation.

The Illinois attorney general's office canceled the charity's registration in 2004, rendering it ineligible to solicit, receive or hold onto funds in Illinois.

In an e-mail exchange this week with the newspaper, Zorich did not directly address questions about where the money is located and how much remains. Instead, he offered the following response:

"I'm in the process of hiring an accounting firm to help me sort through all of the information. The attorney general's office has contacted me. Other than that, that's all the progress that has been made."


Zorich now works in the Notre Dame athletic office as the manager for youth programming and community outreach. 


--Josh Katzowitz

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter.





Posted on: July 6, 2010 4:10 pm
 

Bears counting on the wrong guy?

Bears writer Brad Biggs wrote on National Football Post today about how the team is replacing Alex Brown in Chicago:

“When I first heard it, I was pissed," Pro Bowl linebacker Lance Briggs told Comcast Sportsnet Chicago. “I was hurt. I thought bringing in Peppers was one of the greatest moves that the Bears had made, and then you get rid of you know, the other side. I mean, I just saw Alex having the highest sack total he's ever had. But when I sat down and thought about it for a while, I understand the move. I don't like it, but I understand the move.”M. Anderson (US Presswire)

Players are really not going to like the move if Anderson cannot elevate his game. The pressure will be on him because the Bears don’t have many other options. Israel Idonije will figure in the mix but he’s a role player and will probably be at left end in the rotation. If Anderson has a big season – and he should playing opposite Peppers – then players won’t be as pissed.


Anderson is a curious player. He’s the defensive version of Bucs receiver Michael Clayton. Anderson was semi-dominant as a rookie in ’06, posting 12 sacks, primarily as a pass-rushing specialist off the bench. The Bears made him a starter the following season, but in 14 games he generated just five sacks. And, at roughly 260 pounds, he was a liability against the run.

Anderson has phenomenal speed and initial quickness, but in the past two seasons (once again coming off the bench) his playing time has become fragmented, as he has tallied just 4.5 total sacks. The Bears are now counting on him to replace Brown, though don’t be surprised if Israel Idonije ends up getting a majority of the work.

--Andy Benoit

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter.
Category: NFL
Posted on: June 30, 2010 8:52 pm
 

Briggs speaks candidly about Alex Brown release

You can always count Lance Briggs to speak his mind. That’s what the Bears linebacker did for Comcast’s Insider Look today (the interview will air July 5).

Briggs had this to say about the team’s decision to release veteran defensive end Alex Brown:

"When I first heard it, I was pissed. I was hurt. I thought bringing in (Julius) Peppers was one of the greatest moves that the Bears had made, and then you get rid of you know, the other side. I mean, I just saw Alex having the highest sack total he's ever had. But when I sat down and thought about it for a while, I understand the move. I don't like it, but I understand the move."If Briggs understood the move, then he must have decided that Brown, while a solid player, was not worth serious starter money once Peppers signed. Peppers is raking in $40.5 million over the next three years. Brown is quick off the edge, but he’s not an elite speed-rusher.


--Andy Benoit

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter.

Category: NFL
Posted on: June 29, 2010 9:17 am
 

Bears say they're all set at cornerback

The Chicago Bears have no interest in bringing in veteran cornerback Shawn Springs, according to Brad Biggs of ChicaoBreakingSports.com. There has been speculation that the Bears could be looking to improve their depth at the corner position. However, the team is said to essentially be done with investments for 2010, and it’s doubtful Springs would accept the veteran minimum.

Charles Tillman is secure as the No. 1 corner. Across from him will either be Zack Bowman or Corey Graham. Both lack elite top-end speed and the swift hips needed to play consistent tight coverage, though. No. 4 corner Danieal Manning is more of a safety. With no new veterans likely to come aboard, the Bears may want to consider giving reps to former Colt Tim Jennings.

--Andy Benoit

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter.

Category: NFL
Posted on: June 24, 2010 8:16 pm
 

Lovie likes his squad

Coming off a 7-9 season – causing some observers to wonder whether Bears coach Lovie Smith should be replaced – the Bears have restocked their organization for what they hope will be a Super Bowl run.

As the Chicago Tribune writes, the front office expects results. And it wants results now.

From Tribune reporter Brad Biggs:

Three things have changed since the offseason began with President Ted Phillips announcing general manager Jerry Angelo and Smith were returning but that the "status quo wasn't acceptable."

First, Smith cleaned house with his offensive coaching staff. Next, ownership opened the vault like never before, dropping $55 million guaranteed in free agency. Finally, there was significant turnover in the front office.

All moves have Smith at least coming across as impervious to the win-or-else situation in which he finds himself as he maintains his goal is not merely to compete for a playoff spot but rather to win the Super Bowl.


In response to a third-place finish in the NFC North, Chicago added DE Julius Peppers on defense, and on offense, the Bears have married QB Jay Cutler and new offensive coordinator Mike Martz in what they hope will be a harmonious relationship.

"We know what a good football team looks like," Smith said. "And this is a good football team."

He’d better hope that’s the case. Otherwise, his seat might begin to feel warmer.

--Josh Katzowitz

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter.



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