Bears

Noah goes to bat for Tebow

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Noah goes to bat for Tebow

"Tim Tebow-mania" has taken the sports world by storm in recent weeks. Turn on the news, read the newspapers and surf the internet, everything you see is Tebow this and Tebow that. You may not agree with his religious beliefs or you may think Denver's defense is the sole reason why the Broncos sit on top the AFC West.

One thing is for certain, he's got a believer in fellow Florida Gator, Joakim Noah. The two spent time in Gainesville together and both won a National Championship in their respective sport.

When asked if he's taking Tebow or the Bears on Sunday, Noah's answer may have disappointed quite a few people in Chicago.

"Timothy! We got to show Timothy a little love here. You know for all the haters out there you know, the guy is kicking ass. Making me very proud to be a Gator boy," Noah said.

Noah is known to be hated around the NBA by other team's fan-bases, but Bulls' fans and his teammates love him. The same could be said about Tebow.

"I had a class with him, but you know, he's the real deal. You know he's a very humble guy and somebody who you know his teammates love him and you see they battle with him every night," Noah said.

It's no secret that Tebow doesn't have the most orthodox throwing style, but he's been a winner at every stop in his football career.

"He might not throw the ball great and that's all everybody wants to talk about. At the same time, people really underestimate the fact that you know his guys really go to bat for him. It was the same way at Florida and I can see is the same way with his team in Denver," Noah said.

Will the Bears be able to stop Denver's winning streak? What are your feelings on Tebow? Share them in the comment box below.

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

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USA TODAY

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?

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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: