Why Zach Miller's TD was overturned, and what Kendall Wright thought was ‘disrespectful’ about it

USA Today

Why Zach Miller's TD was overturned, and what Kendall Wright thought was ‘disrespectful’ about it

NEW ORLEANS — Referee Carl Cheffers offered this explanation as to why Zach Miller’s third quarter touchdown was overturned in the Bears’ 20-12 loss to the New Orleans Saints on Sunday:

“Obviously we are all familiar with the process of a catch at this point,” Cheffers said via pool reporter Herbie Teope of the New Orleans Times-Picayune. “So we ruled that he was going to the ground as part of the process of the catch. So when he goes to the ground, he has to survive the ground. He went to the ground, he temporarily lost control of the ball. The ball hit the ground, therefore it’s incomplete. The ball hit the ground out of his control. So as part of the process of the catch, he did not complete that process, and therefore it was incomplete and they overturned the call on the field.

“… They are always close, but that process has been in place for some time now. So, that is what we ended up ruling.”

The replay of Miller’s catch is hard to watch, with the tight end’s left knee gruesomely snapping in the end zone turf (coach John Fox said the initial diagnosis is a dislocated knee, though he’ll continue to be evaluated in a hospital in the area). The issue is the play was ruled a touchdown on the field, and was overturned with seemingly spurious video evidence — at least what was made available on the television broadcast and at the Superdome. While Cheffers said everyone has a knowledge of what a catch is, it doesn’t seem like that’s the case — players, officials, fans, coaches included. 

“It looked like a touchdown to me,” wide receiver Kendall Wright said. 

Wright took issue with the Superdome showing the replay of Miller’s catch/non-catch — which included that stomach-churning injury — over and over again before, during and after he was carted off the field. 

“I think it was really, really disrespectful of the Saints — I don’t care if they were challenging or not — I think it was really disrespectful to show that play on the replay screen more than five times,” Wright said. “I don’t know what you get out of that, and I’m sure I don’t know what other people — like, I’m sure people don’t want to look at that.”

The Bears were able to respond after the shock of having Miller’s touchdown taken away, but the loss of a veteran tight end and pillar of the locker room will be felt for much longer.  

“Zach works hard, he’s a leader on our team,” center Cody Whitehair said. “We’ll keep Zach in our prayers for sure.”

Making matters more difficult to swallow for the Bears: Miller’s season ended prematurely last year due to a broken foot, and a separate foot injury kept him sidelined for the entire 2014 season. He’s missed time due to various other injuries, too, and fell out of the league from 2012-2014 due to them. 

“He is a fantastic person, he’s a great teammate,” coach John Fox said. “He is loved in our locker room. You hate to see it happen to anybody, especially somebody like that.”

“We lost a soldier, a leader, and just a good guy,” Wright said. “He’s a guy you want to be around all the time. He’s one of our leaders and one of our best playmakers. We’ll miss him."

Mike Trout says Browns will win more games than Bears in 2018

Mike Trout says Browns will win more games than Bears in 2018

Los Angeles Angels superstar Mike Trout is quickly becoming an icon in American sports. The two-time American League MVP is enjoying another dominant season batting .335 with 23 home runs and 48 RBI.

On Tuesday, he took a swing at what Bears fans may consider a shocking NFL prediction.

“I’ve got the Browns having a better record than the Bears,” Trout told a radio reporter, according to the Los Angeles Times. Trout's comments were made in response the reporter "talking up" Chicago.

Both the Browns and Bears have had productive offseasons that involved headline-grabbing acquisitions on offense. Cleveland drafted QB Baker Mayfield with the No. 1 overall pick, traded for WR Jarvis Landry, signed RB Carlos Hyde and drafted a backfield mate for him in Georgia's Nick Chubb. They added potential lockdown corner Denzel Ward with the fourth overall pick, too. Add all that to a motivated Josh Gordon ready to contribute for a full season, and there's good reason to be excited in Cleveland.

Still, it's hard imagining Trout can be that confident in a team that's won only one game over the last two seasons. And let's not forget what GM Ryan Pace has done this offseason, one that's been praised by analysts from all corners of the NFL universe. From new coach Matt Nagy to free-agent WR Allen Robinson and all the skill players in between, the Bears are ready to make a legitimate run in the NFC North.

Trout doesn't strike out much in the major leagues, but this prediction feels like it could be a back-straining whiff.

Is Matt Forte pushing for a coaching job with the Bears?

Is Matt Forte pushing for a coaching job with the Bears?

Is former Bears star Matt Forte going to be the team’s new running backs coach?

For now, that’s Charles London’s job, who was hired to head coach Matt Nagy’s staff earlier this year.

But on Tuesday night, Forte tweeted that he would like a coaching spot with Chicago sometime in the near future.

Serving as evidence, the now-retired running back responded to a tweet from ESPN’s Adam Schefter, which announced the Broncos’ hiring of former linebacker Demarcus Ware as a “pass-rush consultant on a part-time basis.” Forte tweeted at the Bears, saying that he is “available” to take on a similar role to Ware’s new Denver gig.

Forte’s tweet was relatively cryptic, and he never specified exactly what type of job he would want with the Bears. After finishing up a storied career this past season and solidifying his name as a Bears legend, Forte has proven that he could easily coach young running backs or even wide receivers at some point.

But isn’t this all just a joke?

Forte silenced the doubters by tweeting “I wasn’t joking” as a response to an article saying that his desire for a new occupation with the Bears was simply a gag. The former workhorse was also intrigued by a fan’s tweet asking “Coach Forte??”

The mere thought of having Forte back in Chicago with the Bears’ coaching staff sent fans on Twitter into a frenzy. In April, Forte came back to Halas Hall to ink his name on a one-day contract, successfully allowing him to retire as a Bear. Now, Forte wants a lengthier stay in the Windy City.

Ware’s role with Denver is not extensive by any means and, according to Schefter, he will work a pretty scattered schedule with Broncos players. What Forte’s role would look like with the Bears is completely unknown if his plan to coach becomes a reality.

Forte has the running back credentials to take on a coaching position. In eight seasons with the Bears, Forte racked up a combined 8,602 rushing yards, second to only the great Walter Payton. Forte’s 4,116 receiving yards as a running back, 12,718 yards from scrimmage, 24 games with 100 rushing yards and 25 games with at least 150 yards from scrimmage also ranks second behind Payton.

Maybe this will be a new development in Chicago’s offseason plans, but there is no real talk of bringing one of the team’s all-time leading rushers back to the team as of right now.

Last month, NBC Sports Chicago announced Forte will be joining the network as a Bears game day studio analyst for the upcoming 2018 NFL season. And we're not joking about that.