Bears

Ravens' payback? Bears don't owe Baltimore

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Ravens' payback? Bears don't owe Baltimore

Saturday, April 30, 2011
Posted: 10:14 a.m.

By John Mullin
CSNChicago.com

Maybe the Baltimore Ravens really owe the Bears a thank-you instead of thinking the Bears owe them a draft pick.

Maybe the Ravens should cut the Bears a check.

Or maybe the trade snafu between the Bears and Baltimore Ravens was really just a matter of some sort of justice-scale balancing.

Somehow you have to think that Mike Tice probably thinks so.

It was Tice as Minnesota Vikings head coach in 2003 who thought a first-round deal was done with the Ravens and GM Ozzie Newsome. The Ravens didnt get their part of the trade completed with a phone call to the league, the trade didnt happen, Minnesota fell down a couple of places and the Vikings didnt get the draft picks they thought they had along with the player they wanted, Oklahoma State defensive tackle Kevin Williams.

Tice was miffed and he didnt even get so much as an apology from Newsome, whose comment was interesting: A deal is not a deal until I talk to Joel Bussert, and I never talked to Joel Bussert.

This was the same Joel Bussert who never got the Bears call Thursday night.

Bears GM Jerry Angelo offered an apology to the Ravens for the foul-up that resulted in the non-trade between the two teams, the Bears getting Gabe Carimi without giving the Ravens a fourth-round pick, and the Ravens missing their turn and falling behind the Kansas City Chiefs in the draft order.

Commissioner Roger Goodell encouraged Angelo to give the Ravens a make-good on the deal and send them the pick they originally were going to. Angelo stood firm that the apology was all Baltimore was getting.

The only thing Im going to say is they have rules when you do something wrong, not when people make mistakes, Angelo said Friday night. A mistake was made, no rule was broken, okay, lets just make that clear here, and as Ive said last night, I think we made the proper amends from our part and certainly there was no intent other than to do the best we could and it just didnt work out.

Angelo isnt worried about his reputation or that of the Bears either, for that matter.

No, there isnt anyone in this media room that hasnt made a mistake, he said. We made an honest mistake, no more than that; theres total transparency. You make your apologies and we did. If there are consequences, you accept those consequences and then you move on. So be it. It wont be my last.

For that matter as well, maybe the Ravens should at least appreciate that the Bears saved them some money. Baltimore got the player it wanted in Colorado cornerback Jimmy Smith but got him at No. 27 instead of 26, meaning a notch lower on the pay scale for rookies, whatever that ends up being based on negotiations for the upcoming collective bargaining agreement.

At last years rookie rates, the difference between the five-year contracts given to the Nos. 26 and 27 picks was about 600,000.

So, wonder if Ozzie Newsome or Ravens owner Steve Biscotti send the Bears a thank-you note, you know, with one of those white gift envelopes that have that little round hole where only the face on the money shows?

Maybe.

Maybe not.

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.

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Did the Bears technically "win" on Sunday?

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USA TODAY

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Did the Bears technically "win" on Sunday?

David Haugh (Chicago Tribune), Adam Jahns (Chicago Sun-Times) and Patrick Finley (Chicago Sun-Times) join Kap on the panel.  Kap is happy that Mitch Trubisky played ok and John Fox’s team lost again.  The panel disagrees.

Plus Leonard Floyd doesn’t have an ACL tear…. Yet. Should the Bears shut him down even if he gets good news?

Bears need Mitch Trubisky to become a closer, but teammates see it coming

Bears need Mitch Trubisky to become a closer, but teammates see it coming

With Sunday’s game on the line and the Bears owning the football at their 17-yard line, the offense needed a drive for field goal position to tie the Detroit Lions. But rookie quarterback Mitch Trubisky, with 1:03 on the clock, wasn’t thinking 3 points. He was thinking touchdown and a win, and the huddle knew it.

“I think that's his mindset all the time,” said guard Josh Sitton, who recognized something familiar in Trubisky’s face that Sitton had seen over his years with Aaron Rodgers in Green Bay. “He's a play-maker, he's got all the confidence in the world in himself and the guys around him.

“You can just see it on his face. I don't think he really says anything, he doesn't really need to say anything, you can kind of see it, by that look in his eyes. He's got what it takes to be a great player in this league.”

It was not intended to be any even remote comparison with Rodgers. More than eyes are involved in that. But while the drive Sunday ended in failure in the form of a missed field goal, something was noted in the process.

The 13-play drive for the Bears’ first touchdown Sunday was the longest sustained by the offense under Trubisky. And it was a statement possession for an offense that had not scored a first-quarter touchdown in nine prior games.

But if a negative among the many Trubisky positives was the fourth time in five situations that Trubisky has failed to direct a game-winning or –tying drive, which goes a long way to answering why the Bears are 2-4 under him. Actually the number of come-up-short drives is more than those if you count things like a three-and-out at Baltimore in regulation before Trubisky led a seven-play drive for a winning overtime field goal.

Still, looking a little deeper, Trubisky has gotten progressively “closer” to being the kind of finisher that the Bears have needed for decades. At the very least, Trubisky is keeping drives alive longer and longer, if not ending them with points. In these situations:

Vs.                     4th qtr/OT situation

Minnesota         1 play, interception ends potential winning drive

Baltimore          3 plays, punt, regulation ends in tie

                           7 plays, game-winning FG in OT

Carolina            Game already decided

New Orleans    2 plays, interception ends drive for tie

Green Bay        5 plays, ball over on downs on drive for tie

Detroit               11 plays, missed FG for tie

Within the huddle, the team confidence in Trubisky and vice versa has clearly grown, regardless of outcome, and that is something the offense did not consistently have in Mike Glennon, Matt Barkley, Brian Hoyer, Jay Cutler, Jimmy Clausen or even Josh McCown.

“[Trubisky] is just growing and growing and you just see it,” Sittyon said. “You saw the talent right away and he just keeps ... the nuances of the game, he just keeps learning and learning. He gives you all the confidence in the world as a guy in the locker room and on the field, in the huddle.

“He has that look in his eye where you're thinking 'All right, he's going to get the job done.’”

Staff addition? Probably not but Bears have an opening

Taking a morning-after look around the NFL after the Bears’ 27-24 loss to the Detroit Lions:

Something to probably dismiss but at least worth mentioning… .

The Denver Broncos on Monday fired offensive coordinator Mike McCoy, the same Mike McCoy who handled the Denver offense as John Fox’s OC. Don’t expect anything in-season, certainly not at this point, but the situation does offer an interesting future option if somehow Fox sees the fourth and final year of his contract, even looking further down the coaching road irrespective of Fox’s presence.

McCoy was ousted from a foundering Broncos situation, presumably over not being able to make anything much out of Trevor Simian

McCoy, who was the mix of candidates and interviewed to succeed Lovie Smith back in 2012, wouldn’t necessarily be brought in as offensive coordinator by Fox or anyone else. What about the role of “consultant” or “assistant head coach” added to the Bears offensive staff?

The Bears have neither position on the staff currently, and haven’t had an assistant head coach since Rod Marinelli had that as part of his title from 2009-2012 under Lovie Smith. Marinelli, like McCoy, had been a head coach as well.

Notably, Fox kept McCoy on his staffs when Fox was hired both in Carolina and Denver, a good measure of Fox’s take on McCoy’s offensive-coaching skills. Fox added the job of passing-game coordinator to McCoy’s duties as quarterbacks coach with Carolina in 2007-08. Since then McCoy coached Peyton Manning in Denver and Philip Rivers in San Diego.

Also notably, perhaps in the other direction, Fox might have brought McCoy to Chicago after the latter was fired as Chargers head coach after last season. That didn’t happen, possibly because McCoy instead wanted a full OC position, which wasn’t open with Loggains in place.

Offensive consultants aren’t necessarily staff bloating; they have been referred to as “coaches for coaches.” Bruce Arians brought in longtime OC Tom Moore when Arians became Arizona Cardinals head coach (following Phil Emery’s decision to go with Marc Trestman over Arians). Moore previously served as offensive coordinator, then senior offensive coordinator, then offensive consultant through the Peyton Manning years in Indianapolis. Moore subsequently became offensive consultant for the Jets (2011) and Tennessee Titans (2012), the latter stint while Loggains was offensive coordinator.

Longtime offensive line coach Jim McNally has been a “consultant” with the Jets (2011-12) and Bengals (2012-this season). Randy Brown was a kicking consultant working under Bears special teams coaches in the Dave Wannstedt and Dick Jauron regimes, going on to work under John Harbaugh in Philadelphia and Baltimore.