Bears

Bears honor Adrian Amos, Zach Miller as Piccolo Award winners

Bears honor Adrian Amos, Zach Miller as Piccolo Award winners

In its fifth decade, the Piccolo Award — named for running back Brian Piccolo, who lost his battle with cancer in 1970 — still remains one of the most prestigious honors within the Bears organization. On Tuesday the awards — one for a rookie and one for a veteran judged by teammates to best exemplify courage, loyalty, dedication and sense of humor in the Brian Piccolo tradition — were presented to tight end Zach Miller and rookie safety Adrian Amos.

“I’m grateful for this award because it’s voted on by my teammates,” said Amos, a 2015 fifth-round draft pick who started all 16 games and led the Bears with 108 tackles. Amos gave special thanks to “my mother and father, who were always there when things didn’t go right, and there to congratulate me when they did.”

For Miller, the 2015 season was a redemption of sorts, playing 15 games after sitting out from early 2011 through last season because of a discouraging run of injuries. His thanks included the Bears’ organization for taking a chance on him after his lost years.

“They gave me a chance to revitalize my career,” said Miller, who led the Bears with five receiving touchdowns from his 34 receptions, topped by an 87-yard catch-and-run against the then-St. Louis Rams, the longest TD catch by a tight end last season.

“Being out of the league for those couple of years,” Miller said, “I’m just blessed to be here.”

Some of that “blessed” was reciprocal, with the Bears benefitting from having a second option when Martellus Bennett had in-season issues with his role in the offense. The Bears were in search of a second tight end before last season when tight ends coach Frank Smith told the staff, “We already have a second tight end,” which was Miller’s opportunity.

Bears logo ranked in bottom five of NFL in recent fan poll

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USA Today

Bears logo ranked in bottom five of NFL in recent fan poll

The Chicago Bears logo has withstood the test of time. In a sports era full of uniform changes, the Bears have maintained the classic orange 'C' for most of their nearly 100 years in Chicago.

Unfortunately, tradition doesn't equate to popularity.

Chicago's logo ranked 28th in the NFL, according to a recent poll of nearly 1,500 football fans. Only the Redskins (29), Bengals (30), Jets (31) and Browns (32) were worse.

I’m not sure how I feel about the underbite on the “C.” I can see how this would be a polarizing feature of this logo. I wish to an extent that it met up more evenly. I think they could have had the bottom meet up in a more even fashion and still maintained the sharpness, of the “C,” which I like. I don’t mind the point [ON THE BACK SIDE OF THE “C”], without the point it would be super boring. The point actually does add something from a design standpoint that makes it stand out.

Bears fans will take exception with the results. Wins have been hard to come by in recent seasons, but there's still something special about seeing the familiar navy and orange on Sundays in the fall. The 'C' is arguably the biggest part of that. Sure, it's not a complex design overflowing with colors, but it represents a long and storied history. 

It's interesting that each of the bottom five teams have struggled to string together winning seasons. On the flipside, teams like the Saints, Falcons, Rams, Vikings and Eagles rank in the top six. Maybe it's recency bias.

In the NFC North, the Lions rank No. 2 (which is a shocker) and the Packers are No. 20. 

Matt Nagy calls Kevin White a 'great weapon' with a new future

Matt Nagy calls Kevin White a 'great weapon' with a new future

Former first-round pick Kevin White hasn't caught a break -- or a touchdown -- through the first three years of his career. He has more season-ending injuries than 100-yard games and after an offseason focused on upgrades at wide receiver, White's future in Chicago beyond 2018 is very much in doubt.

Ryan Pace declined the fifth-year option in White's rookie contract, making this a prove-it year for the pass-catcher who once resembled a blend of Larry Fitzgerald and Dez Bryant during his time at West Virginia.

He's getting a fresh start from new coach Matt Nagy.

"He is healthy and he's really doing well," Nagy told Danny Kanell and Steve Torre Friday on SiriusXM's Dog Days Sports. "We're trying to keep him at one position right now so he can focus in on that."

White can't take all the blame for his 21 catches, 193 yards and zero scores through 48 possible games. He's only suited up for five. Whether it's bad luck or bad bone density, White hasn't had a legitimate chance to prove, on the field, that he belongs.

Nagy's looking forward, not backward, when it comes to 2015's seventh pick overall.

"That's gone, that's in the past," Nagy said of White's first three years. "This kid has a new future with us."

White won't be handed a job, however.

"He's gotta work for it, he's gotta put in the time and effort to do it," Nagy said. "But he will do that, he's been doing it. He's a great weapon, he's worked really hard. He has great size, good speed. We just want him to play football and not worry about anything else."