Bears

Ex-Bear Anderson knew who not to hit

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Ex-Bear Anderson knew who not to hit

Mark Anderson landed in the NFL with a splash: runner-up in defensive rookie of the year voting after 12 sacks in just situation duty as a pass rusher.

When he got to the New England Patriots, he understood why he was there: to tackle quarterbacks. All but one.

If I touched Tom Brady I would be out of there the next day, Anderson said, laughing. I never hit him. But when I came here, kind of like in my rookie year, I wanted to show the team what I could do. I love the system. Its fun right now.

It was definitely fun for Anderson again in 2011 as he signed with New England last Aug. 5 and tied for the team high with 10 sacks. Actually it was more than fun; it was a career rebirth after he had gone from his lofty rookie results (including a Super Bowl trip) to being handed Alex Browns starting job to being cut as his production declined to miniscule.

After the Bears released Anderson in 2010, he had a brief stop with the Houston Texans. Not a high point, more like a stopover, he said.

Then New England called and didnt have to ask twice, particularly with the impression Bill Belichicks made on Anderson. Call it a touch of awe.

He knows everything, Anderson said, shaking his head. He knows about players from other teams. He knows about backups on other teams. He knows weaknesses and tendencies. You have to admire a guy like that. He knew my strengths and weaknesses before I joined the team.

Things did not end well in Chicago for Anderson, although there is no rancor or bitterness in his tone, only a little sadness, as he recalls times there. He still stays in touch with former teammates Anthony Adams, Adewale Ogunleye and Tommie Harris and still holds coach Lovie Smith in the highest possible regard.

Coach Smith and coach Belichick are similar in that they are both players coaches, Anderson said. They know when it is time to work and they know when it is time to rest your guys...

Chicago was a good experience because I learned a lot. I learned what to do and what not to do. I learned how to approach certain situations. I used what I learned in Chicago and Houston to help me when I came here. It has worked out for me.

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Who might be the next Bears head coach?

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USA TODAY

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Who might be the next Bears head coach?

Hub Arkush (Pro Football Weekly/670 The Score), Teddy Greenstein (Chicago Tribune) and Danny Parkins (670 The Score) join Kap on the panel. Fox Watch continues. Is his dismissal a foregone conclusion? And how many other coaches will be fired after this season? Plus, the guys discuss Jerry Jones vs. the NFL and the latest installment of “As The Bulls Turn.” 

Listen to the full SportsTalk Live Podcast right here:

With matchup against Golden Tate looming, Bears need Kyle Fuller to have a short memory

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USA Today

With matchup against Golden Tate looming, Bears need Kyle Fuller to have a short memory

A couple of relevant stats on Detroit Lions receiver Golden Tate: Passes toward him average 6.5 yards in the air, the second-lowest average among NFL receivers this year (via NFL Next Gen Stats). Tate, though, leads receivers with 315 yards after the catch, and is ninth in the league with 659 total receiving yards. 

The point: Matthew Stafford gets Tate the ball quickly, and when he gets the ball, he’s a dangerous weapon. 

“He’s kind of built like a running back and runs like one,” Bears defensive coordinator Vic Fangio said. “Once he gets the ball in his hands, he’s a double threat – not just catching it but then after he catches it what he does with it. He’s good on the low routes but yet he can get deep balls also, too. He’s kind of a complete receiver with really good running ability after the catch.”

This is especially relevant for Kyle Fuller, who whiffed on a third down tackle attempt on Green Bay’s first drive last weekend, resulting in a 38-yard gain for Randall Cobb. Fuller went on to have his worst game of the season, allowing 127 yards and a touchdown on 10 targets and missing five tackles, according to Pro Football Focus. 

Fuller was one of the Bears’ best defensive players in October, and with free agency looming after this year looked like he could be setting himself up for a sizable payday. But he’ll need a short memory to move on from his struggles against the Packers. 

“I hope (he has that),” Fangio said. “You need to at that position in this league.”

If Fuller’s tackling issues re-surface this weekend, Tate could be in for some gaudy numbers. Or Fuller could find his starting spot in jeopardy, with Marcus Cooper — who signed a three-year, $16 million contract in March but has only played 14 defensive snaps in the last three weeks — in position to play if coaches make that call. 

“Anything but your best effort in tackling, both from a mindset and technique stand point, is going to be needed when you are going up against a guy like this,” Fangio said.