Bears

Mullin: Extension for Forte won't be easy

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Mullin: Extension for Forte won't be easy

Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2011
Posted: 11:28 p.m.

By JohnMullin
CSNChicago.com BearsInsider Follow@CSNMoonMullin
Moneyballin

The two-week performance by Matt Forte, 324 total yards between rushing, receiving and the yards-after-catch thing he does very well, has been the most productive two-game combo in Fortes career.

But not by much.

More amazing than the last two games is the fact that he has topped 130 total yards in each of the last six games. Counting backwards:

166 New Orleans (49 rushing, 117 receiving)

158 Atlanta (6890)

160 Green Bay, NFC Championship (7090)

134 Seattle, divisional playoff (8054)

151 Green Bay (9160)

169 N.Y. Jets (11358)

All of which says the meter is running as far as a contract extension. The guess here is that something will get done (Jerry Angelo and the Bears have lost only one player Bernard Berrian that they really wanted back).

But it wont be easy. Heres why:

First of all, the Bears never remotely denigrated Fortes value as a football player. They offered him a lot of money as far back as the outset of training camp. Thats not the issue.

The Bears will increase their offer, which already was more that a number of other top backs were getting, despite the Bears holding all leverage in the form of a contract in place and a franchise-tag-in-waiting.

But Forte and the Bears didnt get an extension resolved, not because the Bears are cheap or Forte is greedy, but because the two sides simply disagreed on value.

So while the Bears will up their offering because they recognized increased value, Fortes side will increase their lets-do-it point because they see precisely the same thing, that Forte is to the Bears what Marshall Faulk once was to Mike Martz and the St. Louis Rams. Put another way, the Bears could bump their offer up significantly and still be short, because the Forte side moved the goal posts.

And the waiting game will still continue until one side makes a big change. Right now, that doesnt look to be Forte anytime soon.
Just a thought
Judging from Lovie Smiths words and tone, the Bears offense will not be so pass-run lopsided for the foreseeable future. But Mike Martz probably had something to show his boss, a reason for firing passes all over Soldier Field:

The last two quarterbacks who faced the Green Bay Packers defense threw for 419 yards (Drew Brees) and 432 yards (Cam Newton) and their teams, respectively, scored 34 and 23 points on the Packers.

So, obviously, air it out against these Packer guys, the No. 2 scoring defense in the NFL for 2010?

Except that both of those 400-yard passers lost.

Tough enough for you?

Is everyone, including assorted NFL players, finally clear on Jay Cutlers toughness? If anyone is still chirping about the quarterback taking an injury out in the NFC Championship game, when hed been sacked just twice and the Bears had the ball on their 40 to start the third quarter, check out Sundays fourth quarter when hed been kicked in the throat, the Bears were down 30-13 and he was being sacked five times on the final four possessions.

Whether Cutler should even have been in the game at that point is another question. Cutlers toughness never should have been.

Cutler may be a fan of Mike Martzs offensive scheme and philosophy. But he was sacked just 11 times in his final season in Denver, in a supposedly confining West Coast scheme. He has been sacked 11 times in two games this year and 52 in 14-12 games last season.

John "Moon" Mullin is CSNChicago.com's Bears Insider and appears regularly on Bears Postgame Live and Chicago Tribune Live. Follow Moon on Twitter for up-to-the-minute Bears information.

How ‘spatula hands’ Adrian Amos is a perfect representation of the Bears’ defense 

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USA Today

How ‘spatula hands’ Adrian Amos is a perfect representation of the Bears’ defense 

Adrian Amos grew up a Ravens fan, and would go play football with his dad on a field in the shadow of M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore. So what was the best game of his career on Sunday — eight tackles and a 90-yard pick six — carried more meaning for the Bears’ safety. 

“This was a dream come true coming back to play in this stadium,” Amos said. “That’s a blessing in itself. Not a lot of people from Baltimore get the chance to do that, to be in this stadium.”

Amos played nearly 2,000 career snaps before recording his first NFL interception on Sunday, when he was in the right place to snag a ball Kyle Fuller — another Baltimore native who was outstanding against the Ravens — tipped pass. Amos always was regarded as a sure tackler who could be counted on to stick to his assignments, but for whatever reason he never was able to get himself an interception. 

“Sometimes, I call him ‘spatula hands’ because he doesn’t catch a lot of balls,” defensive end Akiem Hicks said. 

“Akiem’s always got the jokes,” Amos said. Hicks never actually called Amos “spatula hands” to his face, and after dropping that line to the media, he told Amos what he said (“He’s got jokes for everybody,” Amos added). 

Homecomings and jokes aside, Amos is playing his best football right now, and that’s been huge for a Bears defense that’s needed to replace plenty of key players before the halfway point of the season. Amos, who lost his job when the Bears added Quintin Demps and Eddie Jackson in the offseason, is starting in place of Demps, who broke his arm Week 3 against the Pittsburgh Steelers. 

“At that time, there was a guy playing better than him,” coach John Fox said of Amos losing his starting job in training camp. “And, at this time, he’s playing the best in the group. And that’s why he’s playing out there.”

Amos played a grand total of one defensive snap in Weeks 1 and 2, but has played every single defensive snap — as well as 26 special teams snaps — in the last two weeks. He had eight tackles against both Minnesota and Baltimore, and against the Ravens, he notched a tackle for a loss and two pass break-ups. 

This Bears defense showed in the first five weeks of the season to be a “fine” group, one that wouldn’t make many mistakes, but also wouldn’t make a lot of plays. That changed on Sunday, with Bryce Callahan picking off a pass, Christian Jones forcing a fumble and Amos notching an interception. 

Like the Bears defense this year, Amos was a solid player who hadn’t made a lot of big plays in his career. And like the Bears’ defense on Sunday, Amos finally made a critical play when it counted. 

“It’s just a mindset thing,” Amos said. “Just staying focused. Stay confident in my ability. Just keep working, being aggressive, just put my head down and work, that’s all I know.”

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Should the Bears let Mitch Trubisky throw more?

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USA TODAY

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Should the Bears let Mitch Trubisky throw more?

Adam Jahns (Chicago Sun-Times), Ben Finfer (ESPN 1000) and Jordan Cornette (The U/ESPN 1000) join Kap on the panel. Justin Turner hits a walk-off 3-run HR off of John Lackey to give the Dodgers a 2-0 lead in the NLCS. So why was Lackey even in the game? How much blame should Joe Maddon get for the loss?

The Bears run the ball over and over and over again to beat the Ravens in overtime, but should they have let Mitch Trubisky throw the ball more?