Bears

Vikings name Frazier interim, could've been Bears'?

321490.jpg

Vikings name Frazier interim, could've been Bears'?

Monday, Nov. 22, 2010
12:50 p.m.
By John Mullin
CSNChicago.com

The Bears remaining schedule appears to have just gotten ever so slightly tougher.

The Minnesota Vikings firing head coach Brad Childress and replacing him with former Bear Leslie Frazier could well slow and possibly even reverse the death spiral which Childress, Brett Favre and other elements created.

The Vikings have gone from within a Favre turnover of the Super Bowl to near-laughingstock in the NFC, which no one in Chicago certainly will lament. If theres any wish that Bears fans might have, it would be that ownership have made this change before the debacle against the Green Bay Packers Sunday. The team Frazier wouldve sent out vs. the Packers could scarcely have played worse than Childress last one.

The Bears dont face Minnesota until Monday Dec. 20, by which time any initial emotional upsurge from the Frazier-for-Childress might have dissipated. Teams routinely ramp up after a change at the top, as the Cubs did last summer after Mike Quade replaced Lou Pinella, whether out of guilt, fear (the next firing wont be the new head coach; itll be players) or whatever.

The Vikings are at Washington this Sunday, then host Buffalo and then the New York Giants before the Bears show up. The Redskins and Bills both won Sunday and the Giants will be coming off a game vs. Washington the week before. Hard to say what mental state the Vikings will be in by the time they meet the Bears. Or if Favre is out and Tavaris Jackson is the interim quarterback by then.

Ironically, Frazier might well have been head coach of the Chicago Bears, not the Minnesota Vikings, by now. Frazier was to be the defensive coordinator on Dave McGinnis staff in 1999 before negotiations blew up between McGinnis and Michael McCaskey (the premature press release myth is just that, myth).

Paths to top jobs seldom follow straight lines and it might have needed McGinnis foundering for Frazier to have been elevated to the interim spot he now holds with the Vikings following Brad Childress ouster. Also, GM Jerry Angelo had replaced Mark Hatley by that time and quite possibly wouldve wanted his own head coach candidates rather than be in a situation where Frazier mightve been forced on him.

Funny how history works out sometimes. Or doesnt.

Remembering

It didnt directly involve football (although the NFL played its regular slate of games the following weekend no, it really did, seriously), but it was on this date in 1963 that President John Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas. Politics or opinions of Kennedy aside, the world turned upside down that day.
Lets talk

Ill do the regular Monday visit with the guys SportsRadio 1450 WFMB-AM in Springfield. Then drop by the Monday night 7-8 p.m. chat on CSNChicago.com.

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.

Bears do not believe Leonard Floyd tore his ACL, but expect him to ‘miss some time’

Bears do not believe Leonard Floyd tore his ACL, but expect him to ‘miss some time’

Bears coach John Fox said doctors do not believe linebacker Leonard Floyd tore his ACL, but stressed the 2016 first-round pick is still being evaluated to determine the exact nature of his knee injury. 

Fox, though, admitted Floyd is “going to miss some time” due to the injury, which was suffered when cornerback Kyle Fuller awkwardly fell into Floyd’s leg early in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s 27-24 loss to the Detroit Lions. Placing Floyd on injured reserve, which would end his season with six games remaining, is an option, per Fox.

“He’s one of our top players,” Fox said. “Obviously disappointing. He was having a heck of a game, he was playing extremely well. It’s unfortunate, but it’s reality.”

With Floyd out, the Bears are down to three healthy outside linebackers in Pernell McPhee, Sam Acho and Isaiah Irving. McPhee is third on the Bears with four sacks and 10 hurries, while Acho has half of a sack and four hurries this year. Irving — an undrafted free agent signed off the practice squad last month — has only played three defensive snaps in six games, and mostly has received special teams snaps. 

“I think (Irving’s) kind of caught our eye on some special teams, our fourth down things,” Fox said. “He’s played sparingly as an outside backer but he’s a guy that obviously we’ve had in the system and he’s been working and I think he’ll get more opportunities moving forward.”
 

With Connor Barth waived, trying to make sense of why the Bears signed him in the first place

With Connor Barth waived, trying to make sense of why the Bears signed him in the first place

The Bears addressed an open wound at the core of their special teams with the waiver of kicker Connor Barth and signing of former Kansas City Chiefs kicker Cairo Santos.

Not to spend too much time looking in the rearview mirror, but a question still lingers, the kind of inevitable second-guessing that follows any failed personnel decision, because so many of those moves made a lot of sense at the time: What were the Bears thinking when they opted at the end of the 2016 preseason to replace Robbie Gould with Barth?

An easy question to ask at this point, with Barth missing a game-tying field-goal try from 46 yards to leave the final Bears-Lions score at 27-24 on Sunday. It’s also easy to forget that Gould’s exit traced to a missed 36-yarder for a win over San Francisco to reach .500, followed a week later by a 50-yard miss for a tie to reach overtime against Washington. Even though Gould made his final seven field-goal attempts of that season, he missed two PATs during the 2016 preseason, reopening a confidence wound and sealing the deal, because when the head coach loses confidence in a player, that player is gone.

Easiest to forget, particularly right now, is that Barth converted 15 of 16 field-goal attempts in 2014 with the Denver Broncos — coached by John Fox. Barth was successful that year on four of his five attempts from beyond 40 yards, a range at which Sunday’s miss against Detroit left him 6-for-10 as a Bear.

Jettisoning Gould two years into the four-year, $15 million contract he signed in late 2013 wasn’t entirely about money. But it remains head-scratching if only because Gould was successful on 84.6 percent of his field goals in 2015. But in fairness to Fox, general manager Ryan Pace and Bears evaluators, Barth had been successful on 86.5 percent of his field goals (115-for-133) in the five seasons before the Bears signed him.