NFL in a rush for Super Bowl in cold weather city?


NFL in a rush for Super Bowl in cold weather city?

Tuesday, Feb. 1, 2011
9:04 a.m.

By John Mullin

Dan Patrick said it: Would you want the Super Bowl played in these conditions?

And the lingering question after that is whether or not the NFL is going to be in any rush to award Super Bowls to weather-vulnerable cities (any come to mind?)

Flipping on The Dan Patrick Show and seeing Dan and his guys in parkas, sniffling and hunkering in an outdoor broadcast at Dallas, which is getting whacked with freezing rain and wind this is a first.

Daryl Johnston dropped by and didnt put in a vote for Super Bowls in this kind of weather.

Im not a fan of that, Johnston said. And he nailed the big concern: If this happened Thursday or Friday when people were traveling to the game, that would be a big problem.

Johnston recounted a chat with Brian Urlacher before the Seattle playoff game and said that Urlacher was leaning toward Troy Polamalu, then caught himself, saying, Of course, behind Julius Peppers.

Peppers (4th) and Urlacher (5th) lost out in voting for defensive player of the year, behind winner Polamalu for the Steelers, Green Bays Clay Matthews and Pittsburghs James Harrison. Hard to argue with the results. If you were having a pickup game and had first pick, for your defense, which would you take?

Best ever?

Dan veered into the debate over the greatest team in NFL history and his call was the 70s Pittsburgh Steelers, although he didnt clarify whether it was for one particular season or just overall.

No argument on the greatest overall. But the 85 Bears still command that honor for a single season. As John Madden said in doing the Forward for my book, The Rise and Self-Destruction of the Greatest Football Team in History, I coached against those Steelers teams; the Bears were better.

Good enough for me.

But Dan is spot-on about Terry Bradshaw never receiving proper credit among the all-time greats at quarterback. Bradshaw won four rings with those Steelers and suffers in the greatest debates because the rest of his team was so off-the-charts good.

You wonder if that is going to be the fate of Ben Roethlisberger, who is within sight on his third Super Bowl win and hasnt turned 29 yet.

Just a random thought here: The greatest quarterback of all time is one of Joe Montana, Otto Graham or Tom Brady.

But after them: Peyton Manning has won a Super Bowl and lost last years. Bradshaw won all four he reached and delivered winning plays in more than one. Roethlisberger plays his best in big games.

So youre in a Super Bowl and you have your choice of Bradshaw, Manning or Roethlisberger your call?

Remember, its a passer rating, not a quarterback rating. A quarterback is the sine qua non of a football team, and as good as Manning ishas been, how does he compare in the overall?

After the Big Three, the call here is easy: 1) Bradshaw; 2) Roethlisberger; 3) Manning.

John "Moon" Mullin is'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.

With Leonard Floyd going on injured reserve, will the Bears have a pressing need at outside linebacker in 2018?


With Leonard Floyd going on injured reserve, will the Bears have a pressing need at outside linebacker in 2018?

The Bears placed Leonard Floyd on injured reserve Thursday morning, ending the second-year outside linebacker’s season following a knee injury suffered Sunday against the Detroit Lions. Floyd suffered an MCL and PCL injury and will have surgery in the next week, coach John Fox said, and the Bears do not have a timetable for his recovery yet. But that Floyd didn't suffer damage to his ACL is potentially good news for Floyd's recovery timetable. 

Still, with Floyd on injured reserve and out for the season, the Bears’ current outside linebacker depth chart consists of two veterans (Pernell McPhee and Sam Acho) and two practice squad signees (Isaiah Irving and Howard Jones). These final six games of the 2017 season could serve as auditions for all four players for roles on the 2018 Bears. 

If every team needs at least three good pass rushers, the Bears can count on Akiem Hicks and Floyd for 2018, provided Floyd comes back healthy. But who’s the third?

The Bears could save about $7.5 million in cap space if they release McPhee in 2018; if they were to cut ties with Willie Young, who’s on injured reserve right now as well, it would provide $4.5 million in cap relief. McPhee will be 29 in December, while Young will turn 33 next September. 

The Bears won’t necessarily need the cap relief next year, and could certainly decide to keep both players, who’ve shown they’re still productive when healthy. But even if both players are back, the Bears may need to add another outside linebacker via free agency of the draft — remember, the team could’ve began the season with Floyd, Young, McPhee, Acho and Lamarr Houston as their outside linebackers; an injury Houston suffered in the fourth preseason game ended his time in Chicago. 

Needs at wide receiver and cornerback are pressing, but outside linebacker may need to be in that same conversation. If the Bears have a top-10 pick for the fourth consecutive year, plus some cap space, they perhaps could have the ability to address all three needs in March and April. 

That may be looking a little too far into the future, though. The best-case for the Bears is McPhee finishes the season strong and Irving and/or Jones shows something in the opportunities they receive in these final six games (Jones, for what it’s worth, had five sacks as a rookie with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2015). But the worst-case — and perhaps the most realistic — is that the Bears go into the offseason needing to fill at least one pass-rushing spot. 

Under Center Podcast: Can Mitch Trubisky follow Carson Wentz’s path to stardom?


Under Center Podcast: Can Mitch Trubisky follow Carson Wentz’s path to stardom?

JJ Stankevitz and John “Moon” Mullin are joined by NBC Sports Philadelphia Eagles reporter Dave Zangaro to offer an encouraging connection between Carson Wentz’s growth and that of Mitchell Trubisky.

Check out the entire podcast here: