Bears will not lament Lions replacing Ndamukong Suh with Haloti Ngata


Bears will not lament Lions replacing Ndamukong Suh with Haloti Ngata

The Oakland Raiders of Al Davis went into the 1967 draft looking for an offensive lineman with a specific task: give the Raiders an answer to Buck Buchanan and Ernie Ladd, the massive defensive tackles of the Kansas City Chiefs. The Raiders found Gene Upshaw, a Hall of Fame anchor at left guard to an offensive line on which Upshaw became the first player in NFL history to play in Super Bowls in three different decades.

When the Bears drafted Kyle Long, it wasn’t specifically to handle Ndamukong Suh, the Detroit Lions’ interior scourge of the NFC North. But Suh undeniably added a degree of urgency that resulted in the Bears drafting a guard at No. 20 of the first round. Among Bears offensive linemen, only tackle Chris Williams (No. 14, 2008) was selected higher in the 30 years since the Bears grabbed Jimbo Covert at No. 6 in 1983.

[MORE NFC NORTH: Ex-Packer sees 'similarities' between Rodgers, Bridgewater]

But now Suh is a Miami Dolphin, and matchups do influence both drafts and position decisions. If Long is ticketed, as expected, for tackle after two Pro Bowl seasons at right guard – where he faced Suh twice a year – it won’t be because Suh isn’t on the schedule (other than the Aug. 13 first preseason game). But still.

In Suh’s place the Bears will see Haloti Ngata, an All-Pro run stopper acquired via trade from the Baltimore Ravens. But Suh has averaged 7.2 sacks per season; Ngata has never had more than 5.5 and the only time he hit that total was five years ago. Ngata, 31 this season, had two sacks last season, same as Bears rookie Ego Ferguson.

Ngata struggles?

Perhaps not surprisingly, Ngata’s transition has not been entirely smooth, either to Detroit or to a scheme change. He has been a five-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle but is also 31, meaning that Jared Allen is not the only 30-something Pro Bowl defensive lineman in the NFC North trying to start over in a new scheme, albeit in opposite directions.

[NBC SPORTS SHOP: Gear up, Bears fans!]

Allen has been a career 4-3 defensive end. Ngata spent most of his early career in a Baltimore Ravens’ 3-4 and now finds himself in a 4-3 with the Lions.

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.

Prince Amukamara and CDW surprise teens at MSI event


Prince Amukamara and CDW surprise teens at MSI event

This past Saturday, Prince Amukamara provided a great surprise when he showed up during a graduation ceremony to honor high school seniors who had been a part of the Museum of Science and Industry's (MSI) "Welcome to Science" initiative.

Students listened to brief speeches from CDW Vice President of Networking, Digital Workspace and Security Solutions, Bob Rossi, a number of Bears employees and Amukamara. 

Students engaged in open discussions on how they can further their dreams with science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).  And through a donation from CDW’s Tech Fore! Kids program, students got perhaps the biggest surpise of all, as they were provided new laptops. CDW continues to help enable the MSI the opportunity to work with youth and further their interaction with STEM.

CDW Tech Fore! has done previous work with Chicago Bulls College Prep, and other schools and Boys and Girls clubs over time. The MSI's program looks to provide a diverse array of teens the chance to dive deeper into what it takes to have a career in science. On top of this, students are able to collect service leearning hours while simultaneously furthering their leadership and public speaking skills.