Ex-Bears QB Jim McMahon opens up on CSN's Inside Look


Ex-Bears QB Jim McMahon opens up on CSN's Inside Look

One thing in common between the current Bears quarterback and the one that led them to their only Super Bowl thirty years ago is they're not crazy about talking with the media. And while that's evident with Jay Cutler, he still agrees to regular, if not very revealing, twice-a-week access to reporters. Even if it's guarded and processed and answered the way he wants to respond with an occasional air of superiority, he's still available.

During his seven seasons in Chicago, the NFL-mandated requirements for quarterbacks weren't in place. With the exception of postgame access, he was a much tougher quarterback to chase down. And when the mainstream media with whom he hadn't established a relationship would find him, it was very difficult to get him to stop and talk. It was part of a love-hate relationship with reporters here all the way up until his trade to San Diego before the 1989 season.

Friday on Comcast SportsNet's newest edition of "Inside Look, presented by Cadillac," Jim McMahon opened up with thoughts and memories he's rarely shared publicly about his playing days here, along with the challenges he's facing in his post-football career.

[SHOP: Buy a Walter Payton retro jersey]

McMahon agreed to sit down with CSN's producer extraordinaire Willie Parker for a two-part interview while in town for events last August and December, and the 30-minute compilation also includes a wide variety of other topics. He discussed a "weight" lifted off his shoulders over the past year by finally getting his college degree at BYU, with a helping hand from his former coach with the Cougars, LaVell Edwards. He goes in-depth about his Week 3 Thursday Night Miracle off the bench in Minnesota during that 1985 season, and how he and Mike Ditka were still screaming at each other on the sidelines, even though he'd just thrown for a touchdown on his first pass. He detailed the treatment for and the injury that almost kept him from Super Bowl XX. And takes us back to the game of "Cowboys and Indians" he was playing at age six, which eventually led to his eye injury that causes him to wear sunglasses virtually all the time.

There's also his introductory press conference in Chicago after being drafted in 1982, overshadowed by the controversy created when he emerged from a limousine with an open beer in his hand. It would foreshadow the relationship that would unfold for several years between him, the franchise, and this city.

"It wasn't like I was 18. I think I was almost 23. I'd just taken a three-hour flight from Utah, a 45-minute limo ride," McMahon recalls. "The only thing they had to drink was beer. They had some water too. But I wasn't ready for water. They weren't my first, and they certainly won't be my last."

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More on his relationship as Ditka's quarterback:

"It was fine if he'd just leave me alone. I told him,`Look, I'm trying to win games.'  Because he'd be sending in plays and I'm like, `You've gotta be kiddin' me.' I would've loved to play with Mike. He was a great player. And had he ever been in my huddle, he would've understood me."

Finally, McMahon opens up about the physical challenges he's faced in recent years regarding memory loss, being a part of ex-players' lawsuit against the NFL and coming across recent treatments that've helped him cope better with symptoms.

Encore airings of "Inside Look: Jim McMahon" will air Sunday, July 19th (noon), Monday, July 20th (1:30 p.m.), Saturday, July 25th (5 p.m.), Sunday, July 26th (4 p.m.), Monday, July 27th (10:30 p.m.), Tuesday, August 11th (1 p.m.), Thursday, August 13th (7 p.m.), Sunday, August 16th (4:30 p.m.), & Friday, August 21st (7 p.m.). Schedule subject to change.

Watch the complete episode of "Inside Look: Jim McMahon" below:

Inside Look: Jim McMahon, Part 1

Inside Look: Jim McMahon, Part 2

Inside Look: Jim McMahon, Part 3

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


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


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.