Bears

Word on the Street: Bears' backs brawling?

Word on the Street: Bears' backs brawling?

Friday, Dec. 3, 2010
CSNChicago.com

Bears' backs brawling?

Bears running backs Chester Taylor and Kahlil Bell nearly came to blows Thursday afternoon during practice. The situation was resolved before it escalated, according to a source for Chicago Tribune writer Brad Biggs, but there was rumor that this was a long time coming, as the two may have been at odds for a while.

This isn't the first bout with a teammate Taylor has endured throughout his veteran career, having already fought Vikings defensive end Erasmus James in 2007. He also reportedly threw a chair at offensive tackle Orlando Brown when both players were on the Baltimore Ravens.

This isn't the first time Bears' running backs have gotten into a fight, either, but the dispute may come with a silver lining. The last time came in 2006 when Thomas Jones and Cedric Benson dueled. At one point, Jones even punched Benson in the head at practice. However, the Bears went to the Super Bowl that year, so Thurday's tiff could be a good omen. (Chicago Tribune)

Cubs interested in trading for Gonzalez?

The Cubs are reportedly still interested in trying to work out a deal for All Star first baseman Adrian Gonzalez. The Cubs are looking into acquiring a left-handed hitting first baseman in the offseason and are also interested in Carlos Pena and Lance Berkman. No trade offer has been reported, but the Cubs and Red Sox are front runners at the moment. (FoxSports)

Santo's wake and funeral announced

Ron Santo, the beloved former Cubs player and radio broadcaster, passed away early Friday morning from complications with bladder cancer. A public visitation for the Hall of Fame hopeful will be held at 4 p.m. Thursday at Holy Name Cathedral, 730 N. Wabash St.

The funeral will be held at 10 a.m. Friday at Holy Name. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Ron's memory to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Follow the link for more information. (Chicago Sun-Times)

Canucks coach still feels Hawks ran up score

Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville and Canucks head coach Alain Vigneault are still at odds over whether Chicago ran up the score during its 7-1 win over Vancouver on Nov. 20. Vigneault is still steamed and Quenneville is still defending his team and his decisions. The rivalry between the two teams has grown thanks to the meetings in the playoffs the last couple of years, both ending in the Hawks eliminating the Canucks from contention. (Vancouver Sun)

Super Bowl Shuffle owner files lawsuit

Julia Meyer, the owner of the popular ditty "Super Bowl Shuffle" from the 1985 Chicago Bears Super Bowl team, filed a lawsuit this week against Viacom, claiming the media conglomerate used the video on MTV and VH1 without permission. (Wall Street Journal)

Lions likely to be without top defensive end

The bad news just keeps rolling in for the Detroit Lions, who are already without their top two quarterbacks Sunday against the Bears. Now, they are likely going to face off against Jay Cutler and the red-hot Chicago offense without the aid of their top pass-rusher Kyle Vanden Bosch.

Vanden Bosch missed practice for the fourth straight day Friday and has not practiced since leaving the Lions' loss to New England on Thanksgiving Day last week with a neck injury. (Freep.com)

Cutler avoids fine

Despite the fact that the Bears won the game, quarterback Jay Cutler was still apt to yell at an official, but has avoided a fine for his behavior. Cutler was penalized 15 yards for unsportsmanlike conduct after screaming at an official for not calling what he believed to be pass interference on running back Matt Forte. The Bears' signal-caller was fined 20,000 for abusive conduct toward an official after the Cardinals beat Chicago 41-21 at Soldier Field last year. (Chicago Tribune)

Bedard won't be a Cub, but will Bonderman?

The Chicago Cubs have officially lost out on the Erik Bedard sweepstakes as the Seattle Mariners signed the oft-injured southpaw starter to a one-year, non-guaranteed contract. The Cubs were reportedly interested in signing Bedard, but may just come out winners now that they don't have to deal with him. Bedard has gone to the disabled list every season in his professional career. The Cubs have had enough of those types of pitchers after Mark Prior and Kerry Wood in the early 2000's.

However, the Loveable Losers may be interested in Jeremy Bonderman, the former Detroit Lions starter who has battled arm injuries for the past few seasons. Cubbies Crib blogger Jordan Campbell believes Bonderman should be the Cubs' fallback option if they are unable to sign former Arizona Diamondbacks ace Brandon Webb. (CubbiesCrib.com)

View from the Moon: Bears 'siestas' continue, leaving progress difficult to find, but it’s there ... somewhat

View from the Moon: Bears 'siestas' continue, leaving progress difficult to find, but it’s there ... somewhat

Consider this a connect-the-dots exercise, with the end game being to figure out what the overall picture is. Because the Bears’ 27-24 loss to the Detroit Lions was many things, a couple actually very good, but too many of them kinda-to-very bad...

The overarching point of the 2017 season, per senior Bears management, is progress. Not just on the part of rookie quarterback Mitch Trubisky, who had a fourth solid performance in six NFL starts; but on the Bears as a whole. A week after showing anything but, the Bears showed something that could masquerade as progress.

How real is it? The Bears in the past eight days have given few reasons to trust it.

Because while coming close against a respectable Lions (6-4) team counts for something, the Bears are still 3-7 at the end of the day and 3-13 under John Fox against the NFC North – a division winning percentage of .188, which would be lower than that of the Marc Trestman Bears (.250), who managed to win their three NFC North games in two seasons vs. Fox’s three.

As concerning perhaps, the loss left the Bears 3-9 under Fox in games decided by three or fewer points, the hallmark of what simplistically can be ID’d as “losing” teams.

“We’ve had a lot of close games, and it’s just finding a way to close those out,” Trubisky said. “We’re going to work towards that, and figure it out for sure.”

What makes “progress” difficult to see, though, is that the Bears do not play like a team either coached to be or with the proven ability to play at a professional level all the time. Teams with that problem typically make coaching changes at the ends of seasons, since the conclusion usually is that the talent can be there, just that the coach in hand, fair or not, can’t get it out of the roster.

“We’ve shown spurts and moments, like we have for some time now,” Fox summarized. “But we have lulls. We have siestas. We just don’t do it for 60 minutes. ... People have ups and downs. Well, we’re in a stage as a football team where we have those moments in games. We have to do a better job of coaching it and we have to do a better job of executing it in games.”

The Green Bay Packers were one kind of measuring standard last week, and the 3-7 Bears were embarrassed against a foundering team that had been soundly beaten by the Lions the week before the Bears faced them, and buried 23-0 at home Sunday by the Baltimore Ravens.

The Lions were a different kind of quiz, a real offense putting up more than 27 points per game. The Bears allowed the Lions their requisite 27 points (seven of those coming on a touchdown return of a Trubisky fumble), but put up nearly 400 yards and 24 points of their own in a game that ended on a Connor Barth missed field goal from 46 yards, Barth’s fifth miss in 11 attempts from beyond 40 yards.

(Barth’s miss may have been particularly bitter for Fox, after watching Detroit’s Matt Prater win the game from 52 yards – the same Matt Prater who kicked for Fox in Denver in 2011 when Fox’s Broncos beat the Bears in the Marion Barber Game with Prater field goals from 59 yards to tie with 3 seconds left, and from 51 yards to win in OT.)

“All these games in the NFL – they’re hard games – but when you have a game like this that you should win, you just have to win those games,” said wide receiver Kendall Wright. “I think with us, when we win one of those close games, it will help us get over the edge and we’ll start stacking them up on top of each other.”

Then again...

The Bears seemed to lose their compass in the third quarter, with one rushing yard on four attempts. But they finished with 222 yards and the way they amassed them mattered: 125 and a touchdown for Jordan Howard; 53 for Trubisky, a number of them on designed runs; and 44 plus a TD for Tarik Cohen – all combining to average 7.4 yards per carry.

Bigger picture, the Bears were in the position of having at least a chance to tie because Trubisky managed to drive the Bears 55 yards in the final 1:32 from the Chicago 17 to the Detroit 28. This would constitute something shiny lying there in the mud, and make no mistake: This is a big deal.

To put Trubisky in some kind of context: Rookie quarterback Nathan Peterman, the fifth-round pick of the Buffalo Bills, replaced Tyrod Taylor in the Bills starting lineup Sunday, against a Los Angeles Chargers defense allowing opponents to complete more than 64 percent of their passes. Peterman completed 11 of 14 in the first half, about 79 percent. But – five of the Peterman “completions” were to Chargers.

DeShone Kizer has been in and out and back in the starting lineup for the Cleveland Browns, suffering through a rookie season with one of the worst teams arguably in NFL history. But – Kizer, with 12 interceptions vs. four TD passes, is one of the reasons the Browns are in various “worst ever” discussions.

Trubisky threw 30 passes without an interception on Sunday, and 65 without a pick over his past two games. He’s thrown 145 NFL passes with just two interceptions, an INT rate of 1.4 percent that ranks ahead of Aaron Rodgers, Carson Wentz, Deshaun Watson, Matt Ryan and a list of others. Critics of his development can have their points, but the kid has learned ball security at an early NFL age even while averaging 32.4 pass plays per game.

The next step is getting his team over the top, because he is still completing just 53.1 percent of his passes and was missed badly on a number of throws on Sunday. His deft TD pass to tight end Adam Shaheen in the first half was NFL-perfect (where his guy or nobody catches it), but his throw low and behind running back Benny Cunningham at the goal line in the first quarter forced the Bears to settle for a field goal in a game decided ultimately by three points.

Trubisky clearly gets the big picture, too, pointing the thumb and not any fingers. He paused before answering a question about his rookie learning curve:

“I think adversity is a great teacher,” he said. “Overcoming the struggle is a great teacher. There’s no rookie excuse. You don’t get a freebie because you’re a rookie.

“My teammates trust me and they have confidence in me, so I’m preparing as I should. Coaches have me prepared and my teammates have my back. New situations are going to arise every time, but there are no excuses. I’m just looking at these opportunities as chances to overcome, and not dwell on it.”

Under Center Podcast: Alex Brown goes off on Connor Barth

11-19_barth_usat.jpg
USA TODAY

Under Center Podcast: Alex Brown goes off on Connor Barth

On the latest Under Center Podcast, Laurence Holmes, Alex Brown and Jim Miller break down the Bears loss to the Lions on Sunday following Conner Barth’s missed field goal in the last seconds of the game and debate whether or not Tarik Cohen should be a part of the Bears two-minute offensive packages.

Plus, if the Bears hope to keep Vic Fangio past 2017, does he need to finish out the season as the Bears interim head coach?

Listen to the full Under Center Podcast right here: