Bears

Bears were closer to landing Nick Saban than either Colts, Giants

nicksabanbearsstory.png

Bears were closer to landing Nick Saban than either Colts, Giants

Add the Indianapolis Colts to the list of NFL teams — including the Bears — that had brushes with Nick Saban but weren’t willing to cede to him the kind of organizational control, or money, that he has brandished at successful coaching stints with LSU and Alabama.

Based on an upcoming biography of Saban, the Colts were close to offering their head coaching job to Saban in 1998, the same year that they would choose Peyton Manning over Ryan Leaf with the top pick of the draft. Like the New York Giants two years earlier, the Colts eventually veered away after Saban insisted on roster and staff control that the Giants refused to give to a coach.

[MORE BEARS: How quickly can the defense improve?]

The Bears were part of the broader Saban discussion.

Back in 2004 the Bears made a run at hiring Saban, a friend of Jerry Angelo’s from the year (1977) that Saban spent as an assistant to Angelo on the Syracuse coaching staff. Saban was the first choice to succeed Dick Jauron after the latter was fired following the 2003 season.

Sources told CSNChicago.com that after long hours of negotiations, Angelo and Saban had reached an understanding on the issue of personnel. The situation blew up, however, when President Ted Phillips refused to commit the Bears to money in the range of the $4 million Saban demanded.

[NBC SPORTS SHOP: Gear up Bears fans!]

Phillips did the Bears a favor.

Saban did take an NFL job, coaching the Miami Dolphins in 2005-06. After two seasons with a combined 15-17 record, Saban repeatedly denied he would leave to coach Alabama, which he did in early January 2007.

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Who deserves the blame in the Bears loss to Miami?

stl_oct_15.jpg
USA TODAY

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Who deserves the blame in the Bears loss to Miami?

David Haugh, Adam Jahns and Patrick Finley join Kap on the panel. The Bears lose a rough one in Miami as Matt Nagy goes conservative at the end zone. Does the rookie coach deserve all of the blame? Dave Wannstedt joins the guys to discuss.

Plus the guys discuss the Cubs’ newest hitting coach/scapegoat, Brandon Saad’s upcoming healthy scratch and Bobby Portis betting on himself this season. 

Listen here or in the embedded player below!

Akiem Hicks makes Pro Football Focus Team of the Week after strong game against Dolphins

hicks_pff.jpg
USA TODAY

Akiem Hicks makes Pro Football Focus Team of the Week after strong game against Dolphins

The Bears defense was not its usual self in their overtime loss to the Miami Dolphins on Sunday. The pass rush was minimal and tackling looked optional, and Brock Osweiler threw for almost 400 yards.

There was plenty of blame to go around, but a few individual defenders had success while their teammates struggled.

Defensive lineman Akiem Hicks made the Pro Football Focus Team of the Week for Week 6 with a 92.2 overall grade.

He recorded seven tackles that resulted in a defensive “stop,” the most of any defensive lineman according to PFF.

Chicago’s next highest-graded player was cornerback Kyle Fuller (78.2), who intercepted Osweiler twice but also missed two tackles.

Offensively, wide receiver Taylor Gabriel led the way with a 76.9 mark. PFF credited four of his five catches coming against Dolphins cornerback Torry McTyer in coverage.

Meanwhile, outside linebacker Khalil Mack had the lowest-graded game of his career (47.8), while linebacker Danny Trevathan (29.9) and safety Adrian Amos Jr. (47.5) each had their second-worst games.

Some of the Bears’ best players were at their worst in Miami. They’re going to need to get their act together for the New England Patriots on Sunday.