View from the Moon: Vikings' stadium shuffle


View from the Moon: Vikings' stadium shuffle

Tuesday, Dec. 14, 2010
11:15 AM
By John Mullin

Best guess now for a decision on the venue for the Bears game Monday night is set for today after repair crews have taken a more thorough look at the collapsed Metrodome roof and there is a clearer idea whether or not the University of Minnesotas TCF Bank Stadium could be readied in time to keep the game at least in the area, according to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune Access Vikings" blog by Chip Scoggins and Judd Zulgad.

The situation is shaping up like a small domino chain. The state of the Metrodome needs to be clarified in order to decide on the need for TCF Stadium. And officials at Minnesota need some time to get that stadium ready for an NFL game. Ford Field in Detroit is the third option but at this point is the only sure thing, if the Vikings in fact would even want to go back there after being routed 21-3 Monday night to the New York Giants.

If theyre asking me, I vote Detroit. The amount of snow removal and start-up staffing and provisioning needed for TCF Bank Stadium will require most of this week and still not have a first-rate facility for an NFL game. Questions are rightfully raised as to whether the Metrodome is truly safe after the repair, at least until there has been another snow test -- and what if snow shows up Saturday, Sunday or Monday, the dome isnt deemed OK, and now the scrambling starts.

Besides, I can drive to Detroit and sit out a dance with TSA screening. Come to think of it, Ill drive a team bus over to Motown, if thatll help.

Good win

Make no mistake: The Giants pasting of the Vikings on Monday night was a positive for the Bears. The Vikings had won two straight under interim coach Leslie Frazier and were building some late-season momentum much as the Dallas Cowboys were under Jason Garrett, and you do want teams that are down to stay down and not start playing like it matters for a new coach.

Interesting perspective

Longtime Patriots guy and colleague Kevin Curran at puts a wrap on the New England game that Bears fans may find strangely encouraging. Kevin looks at how the Patriots have gone from rebuilding to remarkable, from a team that had few outside expectations going into this season and then even fewer after they let Randy Moss go.

The Bears have not gone anywhere near remarkable to this point but from where consensus expectations had to where they are now even after the New England embarrassment is something most fans wouldve gladly accepted three months ago when this season was starting. ...

If Brett Favres career has come to a close, he will leave with a spectrum of passing records. Hell also walk away as a true anomaly, particularly for a great quarterback:

Favre will have played for four different NFL teams. His last pass for each of them was intercepted. His final pass in each of his last four seasons was intercepted as well.

In his rookie, one year as an Atlanta Falcon in 1991, Favre threw four passes. The first one was intercepted and returned for a touchdown. His last one also was picked off in mop-up duty in a rout by the Washington Redskins.

His final pass as a Packer, an inane heave in overtime of the NFC Championship game, was intercepted.

His final pass as a New York Jet in 2008 was picked off.

And Minnesota gets a two-fer of final-Brett picks. His final throw of 2009 was intercepted by the New Orleans Saints in the NFC Championship game loss for the Vikings.

Favres current last pass as a Viking, thrown as he was taking the hit that injured his shoulder and ended the streak, was intercepted.

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.

Plenty of possibilities loom ahead of Bears' draft pick

Plenty of possibilities loom ahead of Bears' draft pick

As the Bears begin to fill out their draft board in earnest, they’ll do so by evaluating the players they like and the players they think will be available when they pick eighth in April. And what players check both those boxes and go into their draft “clouds,” as Ryan Pace calls them, will depend largely on how many quarterbacks are taken ahead of the Bears’ pick. 

With about a month until the draft, it seems clear two teams will take a quarterback with a top-seven pick: the Cleveland Browns and New York Jets. The Browns own the Nos. 1 and 4 picks; the Jets traded up from No. 6 to No. 3, and teams rarely invest that kind of draft capital to not draft a quarterback. 

That leaves a few hinge points in how many quarterbacks are picked by the time the Bears are on the clock:

New York Giants (No. 2 overall)

The Giants still have an aging Eli Manning but could move to use the second pick to draft his long-term replacement. Or, alternatively, they could use this deep class of top-end quarterbacks as an avenue to trade down, add some picks and build out a young core that way. Either of these scenarios would be good news for the Bears, as we’ve seen Penn State running back Saquon Barkley, N.C. State defensive end Bradley Chubb and Notre Dame guard Quenton Nelson connected to the Giants at No. 2 as well, if they were to stay there. The Buffalo Bills could be motivated to trade up to No. 2 to make sure they get the guy they want with quarterbacks almost assuredly going off the board at Nos. 1 and 3. 

Cleveland Browns (No. 4 overall)

If the Browns get their quarterback with the first pick — Sam Darnold? — they could be sitting in an ideal spot at No. 4. If the Giants draft a quarterback, Cleveland could play hardball and tell teams they’re fine keeping the fourth pick and drafting Barkley with it. That could create a bidding war between the Buffalo Bills (No. 12) and Denver Broncos (No. 5) to trade up and draft the last of the four clear-cut top quarterbacks in this class. In this scenario, Cleveland adds a bunch of picks to an already-sizable stash and accelerates their growth through the draft. 

If the Giants were to trade out of the No. 2 pick, let’s say to the Bills, it may lessen Cleveland’s desire to trade down from No. 4 unless a team in need of a quarterback like the Arizona Cardinals (No. 15) or Miami Dolphins (No. 11) starts lurking around. But as we saw last year with the Bears trading up one spot to draft Mitch Trubisky, teams don’t want to leave things to chance if they have conviction on the quarterback they want. So that brings us to the…

Denver Broncos (No. 5 overall)

The Broncos signed Case Keenum to a two-year deal and still have 2016 first-round pick Paxton Lynch on their roster, though he hasn’t shown much in only five games as a pro. Does Denver absolutely, positively have to draft a quarterback? No. They’re probably in the same boat as the Giants in that regard. But what if they really like Josh Allen and/or Baker Mayfield, both of whom their coaching staff worked with at the Senior Bowl, and one of them is still on the board when the Browns’ pick comes up at No. 4? Or what if Josh Rosen has been their guy all along? 

In that case, John Elway may make an aggressive move to guarantee he gets the quarterback he wants, and not risk losing that guy if a team were to cut the line by trading with the Browns. 

The other scenario is less positive for the Bears: Maybe the Broncos only have one or two quarterbacks out of this group they want, and they either can’t find a trade partner to move out of No. 5 or don’t want to. If three quarterbacks are drafted in the first seven picks, the Bears may not have the opportunity to draft one of Nelson, Chubb or Alabama defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick. That’s not necessarily a bad thing — Virginia Tech’s Tremaine Edmunds, for example, is a super-talented prospect — but we seem to be moving toward a consensus that Nelson, Fitzpatrick, Chubb and Barkley are the four best non-quarterback prospects in this draft. And in all likelihood, the Bears will only be able to draft one of them four quarterbacks are taken before they pick. 

The wild card here is Nelson, given his position (guard) is rarely seen as worthy of being a top-10 pick. But those who saw him up close in college believe he’s a future perennial Pro Bowler, possibly beginning as soon as his rookie year. The Bears’ fit is obvious, with Harry Hiestand coming to coach the offensive line from Notre Dame and the team — as of right now — still having a fairly clear need for another interior offensive lineman. Perhaps Nelson falls to the Bears even if there are only three quarterbacks off the board before they pick, but having four go off the board would make things a little less stressful at Halas Hall in late April. 

Indianapolis Colts (No. 6 overall) and Tampa Bay Buccaneers (No. 7 overall)

The Colts already traded down once, and likely did so with the confidence that Chubb would still be on the board at No. 6 to help their limp pass rush. Fitzpatrick seems to be a good fit with Tampa Bay, though a player of his caliber would be a good fit anywhere. Either of these teams still could be persuaded to trade down, especially if the Giants and/or Broncos pass on a quarterback.

Chicago Bears (No. 8 overall)

If four quarterbacks are off the board by the time the Bears pick, that’s ideal for Pace. If three are, he still could get someone from his No. 8 pick “cloud” and be content staying there. If only two are — and this doesn’t appear to be a likely scenario — that means the Bills haven’t found a trade partner and may want to leapfrog the Dolphins at No. 11 to get their guy. More likely, if the Bears are able to trade down from No. 8, it would be because a team like Arizona wants to make sure the quarterback they want isn’t snagged by an opportunistic team ahead of them. 

But Pace's draft history has seen him trade up far more frequently than trade down. If someone who's in his draft cloud is available when the Bears go on the clock, chances are he'll pick that guy and not trade down. 

Plenty can and will change between now and when the draft begins on April 26. But for right now, the landscape ahead of the Bears suggests only positive things setting up for their first-round pick. 

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Will Cam Meredith return to the Bears?


SportsTalk Live Podcast: Will Cam Meredith return to the Bears?

Hub Arkush (Pro Football Weekly/670 The Score), Mark Grote (670 The Score) and Mark Carman (WGN Radio) join Luke Stuckmeyer on the panel. Quenton Nelson works out at Notre Dame’s pro day. If he’s still on the board at 8, should the Bears take him? Plus the panel talks about the Cubs outfield heading into 2018 and if it’s time to shut down both Jonathan Toews and Lauri Markkanen.