Bears

Bears ink Toub to two-year deal

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Bears ink Toub to two-year deal

Dave Toub, one of the originals on coach Lovie Smiths staff, will be on that staff for at least another year as the widely respected special teams coach has signed a two-year deal with the Bears.

Toub interviewed with the Miami Dolphins for their head coaching vacancy and is considered a likely head coach at some point.

Toub has fashioned arguably the top special teams units in the NFL over his time at Halas Hall. Eight times a Bear has gone to the Pro Bowl under Toub, most recently top cover man Corey Graham this season.

Toub has overseen the emergence, sometimes erratic, of Devin Hester as the NFLs greatest returner, and Robbie Gould, one of three special teams Pro Bowl selections in 2006, has become the fifth most accurate kicker in NFL history.

Bears special teams finished third in the NFL in 2011 based on a ranking system designed by Rick Gosselin of the Dallas Morning News. Chicagos special teams has now ranked in the top third of the league for eight straight seasons under Toub, including finishing No. 1 overall in 2006 and 2007 and in the top six in five of the last six seasons (fourth in 2010 and sixth in 2009).

During Toubs tenure, the Bears have an NFL-high 22 kick return touchdowns compiled by six different players, which does not include two missed field goals returned for touchdowns or Hesters 92-yard kickoff return touchdown in Super Bowl XLI.

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Who deserves the most blame for Bears losses?

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USA TODAY

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Who deserves the most blame for Bears losses?

Mark Potash (Chicago Sun-Times), Ben Finfer (ESPN 1000) and Kevin Fishbain (The Athletic) join Kap on the panel. It’s another losing season for the Bears. So who deserves the most blame: Ryan Pace, John Fox or the players? Plus Mark Schanowski drops by to talk about the Bulls future and if the Celtics will win the East.

Brian Urlacher named semifinalist for Hall of Fame

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USA TODAY

Brian Urlacher named semifinalist for Hall of Fame

In his first year as an eligible candidate, Brian Urlacher was named as one of the 27 semifinalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.  

The announcement doesn't come as much of a surprise considering the brilliant career the legendary Bears linebacker had. In 13 seasons with Da Bears, Urlacher proved how valuable he was against both the run and pass, tallying 22 interceptions, 41.5 sacks and 1,040 tackles.

In other words, yeah, he's a worthy first-ballot inductee. 

As the captain of those tremendous Bears defenses in the 2000s, Urlacher made the Pro Bowl eight times, All-Pro teams five times and was honored as Defensive Player of the Year in 2005. And despite falling just short of capturing the team's first Super Bowl since 1985, the Bears were usually competitive even with consistent offensive woes and a revolving door for quarterbacks. 

There are a few more hurdles to clear before No. 54 dons a Hall of Fame jacket, though. The list of 27 gets cut to 15 before voters make their final decisions as to who ultimately gets the call to Canton, Ohio, and there are several other deserving players. Ray Lewis, Randy Moss, Ronde Barber and Terrell Owens are just some of the other headliners in the Class of 2018: 

The Bears will soon have their first Hall of Famer since Richard Dent, who received the nod in 2011. The only question now is whether the voters make Urlacher wait a year.