Bears

John Fox beginning ESPN work, becomes latest analyst from Bears' Cradle of Analysts

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USA TODAY

John Fox beginning ESPN work, becomes latest analyst from Bears' Cradle of Analysts

“Chicago Bears, Cradle of Analysts?”

You could say that.

This week is scheduled to be the ESPN debut of former Bears coach John Fox, with his first on-camera spot expected to be on the 8 a.m. “SportsCenter” on Tuesday.

“I’m not sure what my fall schedule will be, but it’ll be more intense,” Fox told MMQB’s Jonathan Jones last week. “I’m just going to kind of get my feet wet. I’m going to be in studio—not doing games. And what that entails yet, I don’t know.”

Fox holds the distinction of being one of only six men in NFL history to coach two different teams (Carolina, Denver) to Super Bowls, in the select company of Mike Holmgren (Green Bay, Seattle), Bill Parcells (New England, NY Giants), Dan Reeves (Denver, Atlanta), Don Shula (Miami, Baltimore Colts), and Dick Vermeil (Philadelphia, St. Louis Rams).

NFL and football commentary in general stand to take on a distinctly Bears flavor this coming season. Among the Bears presences in booths and studios:

Besides Tom Thayer, WBBM’s color commentator for Bears broadcasts, and Tom Waddle, whose daily work at WMVP ESPN-1000 radio locally has been augmented by duties with FOX and NFL Network, Jay Cutler may resurface with FOX as a game commentator unless someone again wants him as an emergency quarterback.

Wide receiver Brandon Marshall was let go by the New York Giants, leaving him more time to devote to his “Inside the NFL” gig with Showtime, although his standing wasn’t enhanced by a January rant that the NFL should be “ashamed” for letting the New England Patriots dynasty endure.

Safety Shaun Gayle works as an NFL analyst for Sky Sports in the United Kingdom. And wideout Curtis Conway serves as cohost of Total Access for the NFL Network. Quarterback Jim Miller is a host for SiriusXM NFL radio, while defensive tackle Tim Ryan is out in the Bay Area as a radio color analyst for San Francisco 49ers broadcasts.

On the college level, quarterback Brian Griese serves as a color commentator on ESPN College Gameday, and offensive lineman Jay Leeuwenburg contributes as an analyst for The MTN television network for the Mountain West Conference.

Under Center Podcast: Checking in on the Lions with ESPN’s Mike Rothstein

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USA TODAY

Under Center Podcast: Checking in on the Lions with ESPN’s Mike Rothstein

JJ Stankevitz is joined by ESPN Lions reporter Mike Rothstein to dive into how close Detroit is to cleaning house (1:00), expectations for Matthew Stafford (5:50) and T.J. Hockenson (10:00), what new offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell’s scheme looks like (13:45), where the Lions are strongest and weakest on defense (16:50) and if this team actually respects Matt Patricia (22:20).

Plus, Mike discusses the story he co-wrote on the rise and fall of the AAF and what it would take for a spring football league to succeed (26:10).

Listen to the full episode in the embedded player below:

Under Center Podcast

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Bears rookie WR Riley Ridley motivated by older brother, family name

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USA Today

Bears rookie WR Riley Ridley motivated by older brother, family name

Bears fourth-round pick Riley Ridley knew what to expect coming into the NFL thanks to his older brother Calvin, the Atlanta Falcons wide receiver.

Their family bond kept them close even as they played for rival colleges and now competing professional teams, and they both take a lot of motivation from the name on the back of their jerseys.

The two receivers came together on camera for the Bears’ “Meet the Rookies” series.

“We do what we do, not just for the family, but for our name, our brand,” Riley Ridley said. “We want to take that as far as it can go. That Ridley name is strong, and that’s how we view it.”

Ridley opened up about growing up with his mother raising him and his three brothers. He said he’s going to be his own biggest critic and do everything he can to help his teammates.

His brother Calvin added some color to the image of Riley that’s starting to take shape.

“Very funny, really cool, laid back,” Calvin Ridley said. “He’s a different person on the field. I would say he has a lot of anger on the field — very physical.”

Matt Nagy should find good use for that physicality in the Bears offense, plugging Ridley in a wide receiver group already deep with young talent.

Ridley doesn’t seem like the type of player who will allow himself to get buried on the depth chart.