Bears

NBC Sports Chicago to debut new weeknight Bears playoff show

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USA TODAY

NBC Sports Chicago to debut new weeknight Bears playoff show

“Da Playoff Show,” hosted by Luke Stuckmeyer and featuring analysts Dave Wannstedt, Lance Briggs, Alex Brown, Matt Forte, Hub Arkush, and Olin Kreutz,

to air weeknights at 6:00 PM CT throughout the Bears playoffs run!   

NBC Sports Chicago live stream available on NBCSportsChicago.com/WatchLive or via the NEW “MyTeams by NBC Sports” app!

Chicago, IL (December 27, 2018) – NBC Sports Chicago - THE Home of the #AuthenticFan - has announced it will launch Da Playoff Show, a brand new, 30-minute Chicago Bears/NFL Playoffs discussion and analysis show airing weeknights at 6:00 PM CT (re-airs at 11:00 PM) throughout the entire Bears playoffs run.  NOTE: Da Playoff Show will also stream live to authenticated NBC Sports Chicago subscribers on NBCSportsChicago.com/WatchLive and via the new “MyTeams by NBC Sports” app available on iOS and Android devices, at no cost, to fans anywhere in the U.S. and can be downloaded from the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. 

Beginning Wednesday, January 2 at 6:00 PM CT, Da Playoff Show host Luke Stuckmeyer (@LukeStuckmeyer) will be joined by a rotation of Bears experts, which will include former head coach/current NBC Sports Chicago analyst Dave Wannstedt, former Bears linebacker/seven-time Pro Bowler Lance Briggs (@LanceBriggs), former Bears defensive end standout Alex Brown (@alexbrown96), former Bears running back/two-time Pro Bowler Matt Forte (@MattForte22), former Bears center/six-time Pro Bowler Olin Kreutz (@olin_kreutz), and Pro Football Weekly founder/veteran NFL expert Hub Arkush.

Every edition of Da Playoff Show will delve deep into the very latest Bears playoffs team news and player status updates, along with a detailed breakdown of their upcoming opponent and all player match-ups, plus, the show will provide analysis of every other NFL Playoffs battle taking place from coast-to-coast.  Among the featured segments in Da Playoff Show to include:

  • “Film Study” – Coach Wannstedt and the former Bears greats will break down the key plays that have worked (and the ones that haven’t worked) for the Bears this season with deep analysis on the specific plays the Bears should consider implementing against their upcoming opponent.
  • “What would Wanny do?” – Coach Wannstedt provides fans with a look at how he would address the Bears locker room with his always-inspiring motivational speech.
  • “Press Pass” – Hub Arkush takes a look at the overall media vibe for the Bears upcoming playoff match-up and highlights the specific concerns being pointed out by various members of the press.
  • “2-minute drill” – Every show will conclude with this face-paced segment featuring a variety of topics being served up to the show’s roster of Bears/NFL experts.

“The 2018 Bears season has been one of the most exciting in recent memory, so we have created a new program for Bears fans that will both educate and entertain them during this incredible run,” said Kevin Cross, Vice President of Content for NBC Sports Chicago. 

PROGRAMMING NOTE: The regular season finale of Football Aftershow presented by Buffalo Wild Wings will air on NBC Sports Chicago+ on Sunday, December 30 at 6:30 PM CT (time approx.), and will also be streamed live on NBCSportsChicago.com/WatchLive  and via the MyTeams by NBC Sports app. NBC Sports Chicago will also be carrying Football Aftershow immediately following EVERY Bears/NFL Playoffs match-up beginning the weekend of January 5-6. In addition, Bears fans are urged to follow NBC Sports Chicago’s dedicated Bears Twitter handle (@NBCSBears) for up-to-the-minute Bears news 24/7. 

Former teammates, now rivals, Tarik Cohen, Adrian Amos exchange Bears-Packers trash talk on Twitter

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USA TODAY

Former teammates, now rivals, Tarik Cohen, Adrian Amos exchange Bears-Packers trash talk on Twitter

For the last two years Tarik Cohen and Adrian Amos were teammates on the Bears. Now the two are exchanging trash talk on Twitter about the Bears-Packers rivalry.

On Monday it was made official that the 2019 NFL season opener will be Packers at Bears on a Thursday night on Sept. 5. Cohen opened the sparring in the direction of Amos, who signed a $37 million deal with the Packers earlier this month.

Amos had fun in his response.

All kidding aside, Amos' return to Soldier Field as a member of the rival Packers will be one of the main storylines of the game. Cohen and other members of the Bears offense will surely be looking to make a play on their former teammate.

 

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OK, Bears GM Ryan Pace is NFL EOTY for ’18 – but what is he really up to now?

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USA Today

OK, Bears GM Ryan Pace is NFL EOTY for ’18 – but what is he really up to now?

What did Bears GM Ryan Pace know, and when did he know it?

And what is he really, really up to now?

Because a gnawing suspicion is that Pace has positioned the Bears to make NFL news again when the inevitable surprise cut is made closer to the end of training camps and the start of the season. Pace had the Bears in position to move on a Pro Bowl guard (Josh Sitton) when Green Bay released him at that point of the 2016 offseason. Pace had the Bears positioned to move on Khalil Mack late last preseason. And he presumably did not restructure the contracts of Mack and defensive tackle Eddie Goldman, pushing cap hits totaling $3 million annually into years 2020-2022 just to give capologist Joey Laine some math practice.

The Bears general manager was named the NFL’s Executive of the Year over the weekend after a season that produced the second-biggest jump in win total (seven games, from five to 12) in the history of the NFL’s charter franchise, topped only by the eight-game bump from five in 2000 to 13 in 2001 under the late Mark Hatley.

But that was a long time ago, in NFL years, the past being for cowards and losers and all that. And so is 2018, for that matter. It’s what’s percolating now that becomes the interesting part of this time leading up to the 2019 season.

The reasons for the EOTY award were pretty simple. Pace hired rookie head coach Matt Nagy to replace John Fox. Then he put the Bears squarely on a win-right-now footing when he mortgaged a significant piece of the franchise’s future by trading away two No. 1 draft choices eight days before the season for rush-linebacker Mack.

What was intriguing about the Mack deal, which in one epic strike effectively replaced the entire sack/forced fumble production (14-1/2; three) lost in free agency to that point, was that Pace had known for weeks that Mack and the Oakland Raiders were having serious contract problems. Best suspicion is that Pace had gotten a whiff of the Oakland mess even before that, which is hugely to his credit.

So what is he up to now? Who does he suspect is going to (yet?) come available? And has he been stashing and keeping his powder dry for a move for, say, a Ndamukong Suh or Muhammad Wilkerson in the unfortunate case of an injury to Goldman or Akiem Hicks, for instance? The Bears dodged injury nightmares last season but Pace knows too well not having quality fills for a Pernell McPhee or Willie Young can do.

What a difference a year makes

In the meantime, the EOTY award does come with some of those ironic chuckles looking back at what problems conspired to make Pace a decided non-exec of the year for his 14-34 previous three years. What a difference a year indeed makes.

Pace in the 2017 offseason outbid himself for Mike Glennon, paying $18.5 million for four games of quarterback. Pace of course is hardly the only one misguessing on Glennon. The Arizona Cardinals signed him for $8 million over 2018-19, then cut him two weeks ago and are carrying $3 million in dead cap after a 3-13 season in which they skipped over him and went straight from Sam Bradford to rookie Josh Rosen, then fired their head coach after one year.

Pace’s 2017 included defensive backs Quintin Demps and Marcus Cooper on top of receiver Markus Wheaton, tight end Dion Sims and a revolving door at kicker (Connor Barth, Mike Nugent, Cairo Santos) and then on to Cody Parkey.

But two bigger points fold into any evaluation of Pace, more significant than the so-so record in free agency and beyond the Mack deal.

First, Pace has produced one of the NFL’s best hit rates in the draft, even folding in a shaky start in 2015 that produced Goldman, Adrian Amos and little else (Kevin White, Hroniss Grasu, Jeremy Langford, Tayo Fabuluge). Pace’s last three drafts have yielded more than a dozen starters on offense, defense and special teams. Four of his top five picks last year (Roquan Smith, James Daniels, Anthony Miller, Bilal Nichols) were regular or rotational starters, and the fifth (Joel Iyiegbuuniwe) tied for team high in special-teams tackles.

And second, Pace has established himself as having an aptitude for recognizing talent in a head coach. This second point takes in more than Nagy. Fox wasn’t necessarily forced on Pace, but the GM’s first choice was then-Seattle defensive coordinator Dan Quinn, who was hired by Atlanta and had the Falcons in the Super Bowl two seasons later and in the divisional round his third season. Pace went along with the hiring of Fox in 2015 when the organization, using consultant Ernie Accorsi’s referral services, agreeing to a bridge coach with a record for turnarounds and who ostensibly brought a veteran perspective under which Pace could learn. Neither Fox nor Pace worked out for three years but the organization gambled on continuity at the higher position.

Pace also made do with Jay Cutler as his quarterback for two seasons. While George McCaskey said at the outset of Pace’s tenure that the Bears Chairman would not impose personnel directives on Pace based on money, the organization was not unhappy that Pace did not choose to eat the massive guaranteed money remaining on Cutler’s deal from Phil Emery and go all-in trading up for Marcus Mariota in ’15.

All that was then; this is now. But what is next is the bigger question.

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