Bears OL Draft Preview: Rebound in 2015 a must but not via draft


Bears OL Draft Preview: Rebound in 2015 a must but not via draft Bears Insider John "Moon" Mullin goes position-by-position as the Bears approach the 2015 NFL Draft, taking a look at what the Bears have, what they might need and what could be in store.

Bears pre-draft situation

The offensive line went from a strength in 2013, with the same five starting all 16 games, to a mess in 2014 because of injuries and substandard play in some areas. The brightest spot was Kyle Long taking another step toward “elite” status with a second Pro Bowl in as many NFL seasons, and developing to the point of prompting a discussion of where best he fits.

Whether Long remains at guard or moves to tackle, the Bears are generally set with Long, tackle Jermon Bushrod and left guard Matt Slauson, who missed 11 games with ankle and chest injuries.

[DRAFT PREVIEW: Lack of deep speed makes WR 'high' need]

The offense lost center Roberto Garza, who had established a rapport and trust level with Jay Cutler after Olin Kreutz stayed away from training camp in 2011 and eventually went to New Orleans. But the transition is eased with the signing of Will Montgomery, joining his fifth team after playing for John Fox in Denver last season and in Carolina in 2006.

The situation at the fifth line spot is relatively open, only because Jordan Mills struggled with coming back from a broken foot. At one point the Marc Trestman coaching staff considered shifting him to guard before leaving him at right tackle. Mills may still secure the fifth starting position but that will be up to a new coaching staff to determine.

Bears draft priority: Low

Bears offensive line draft selections have been spotty at best, save the occasional Long, Kreutz or Jimbo Covert. It is a difficult evaluation gap between college and NFL levels of performance.

[NBC SPORTS SHOP: Gear up, Bears fans]

Fortunately the Bears are not in the position they were when they had to add an offensive lineman and snagged Long. Or when they needed a tackle and used No. 1’s for Chris Williams and Gabe Carimi. Free agency provided for the center transition from Garza at least for the next couple years.

Keep an eye on..

Jamon Brown, Louisville: A right tackle coming from a good program taking care of Teddy Bridgewater.

T.J. Clemmings, Pittsburgh: Possible second-rounder visited Bears; converted D-lineman with big upside.

Rob Havenstein, Wisconsin: Massive (6-7, 324) right tackle proven run blocker for Melvin Gordon and Monte Ball.

ICYMI: The Bears lose in OT, the Bulls season nears, the Blackhawks make history


ICYMI: The Bears lose in OT, the Bulls season nears, the Blackhawks make history

The Bears suffered a heartbreaking defeat (that makes two of those), but the Bulls are days away from the start of a new season and the Blackhawks did something that has never happened before in sports history.


The Bears had a slow first half, failing to score against the shorthanded Dolphins, but picked things up in the third quarter. It all fell apart late in the fourth quarter and then again in overtime in a 31-28 defeat. Miami went up against the Bears without starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill, but Brock Osweiler threw for 380 yards and three touchdowns. What does that say about the Bears' defense?

Matt Nagy was a bit chippy with the media after the game, but there were still positive signs from the offense.

Plus, Dwyane Wade was there and repped the Bears on the road.


The Bulls wrapped up the preseason Friday with a 98-93 loss to the Nuggets. Wendell Carter Jr. and Bobby Portis both showed well in the preseason finale and Jabari Parker flashed his potential as well.

With the preseason complete, Mark Strotman graded each player on the Bulls roster. You may not want to calculate the team GPA.

The roster is being finalized as well, with Ryan Arcidiacono making the team and local product Tyler Ulis getting picked up off waivers.


Saturday was an eventful day for the Blackhawks. First, it marked the 1,000th career game for Duncan Keith. Keith talked about the emotional night after the game.

As for the game itself, the Blackhawks beat the Blues 4-3 in overtime. That was the second time the Hawks beat the Blues in OT this season, adding to a 5-4 OT win in St. Louis on Oct. 6.

Unbelievably, that was the fifth straight OT game for the Blackhawks. Every game has gone to overtime this season, and not one of those has even gone to a shootout. No NHL team has done that since the league introduced a regular-season overtime period in 1983-84, per the Elias Sports Bureau. Overtimes are more rare in other sports, but that also holds true for the NBA, NFL and MLB.

The Hawks don't play against until Thursday, when the host Arizona.

Bears notes: Was Trey Burton’s penalty justified?

Bears notes: Was Trey Burton’s penalty justified?

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — In a game full of pivotal moments, one seemed to irk the Bears in particular following Sunday’s 31-28 overtime loss to the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium.

Driving on the Dolphins three-yard line, the Bears lined up in a T formation with Jordan Howard, Trey Burton and Tarik Cohen lined up left to right in the backfield behind Mitch Trubisky, who was under center. Burton motioned out of the backfield and to the right, and ran his route into linebacker Kiko Alonso.

Trubisky threw a short pass to a wide open Cohen for a touchdown, with Alonso late getting to the running back after being hit by Burton. But that score was taken off the board for offensive pass interference, with officials ruling what Burton did amounted to an illegal pick play.

“Trey did everything I asked him to do,” Matt Nagy said, sharply.

On the next play, Trubisky forced a pass into double coverage in the end zone, which was easily picked off by Dolphins safety T.J. McDonald. Miami turned that interception into eight points on Albert Wilson’s 43-yard touchdown and an ensuing two-point conversion.

The way Burton understood the rule was that offensive pass interference was only assessed on a pick play if he intentionally ran into a defender without running a true route. That’s what Burton felt he did; the officiating crew disagreed.

“I thought I ran a route and the guy ran into me,” Burton said. “I thought they changed the rule this year or last year — if you run the route, it doesn’t matter if you pick the guy or not, you’re good. Obviously they called it.”

A Rough Return

The conversations surrounding the Bears Sunday into Monday would be awfully different had a number of things happened — Trubisky doesn’t throw that interception, the Bears’ defense gets a stop, Tarik Cohen doesn’t fumble near midfield, etc. In that same group: If Cody Parkey hits what would’ve been a game-winning 53-yard field goal in overtime.

Parkey, instead, missed that kick wide right. His career long is 54 yards, which he hit last year while with the Miami Dolphins (and that was a game-winner with about a minute left against the Los Angeles Chargers).

“I had the distance, I just didn’t kick it straight enough, bottom line,” Parkey said. “But you’ve got to move on. I’ve made game winners, I’ve missed game winners. As long as I keep playing, I’m just going to keep trying to kick my best.

“… I control what I can control, and unfortunately I missed a field goal. I’d like to have that one back, but it is what it is and I’m just going to focus on the next game. That’s all I can do.”