Bears

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

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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."

[MORE BEARS: Analyzing Lions' swap of Suh for Ngata]

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

Postcard from Bears camp: Not a great Mitch Trubisky day but another good one for rookie CB, plus Peter King’s look at the ’18 Bears

Postcard from Bears camp: Not a great Mitch Trubisky day but another good one for rookie CB, plus Peter King’s look at the ’18 Bears

 BOURBONNAIS, Ill. – Dear Tolliver clan:
 
I think most of you were there at practice today in your “Toliver II 33” T-shirts, including the three little guys in their “K. T. II Cousin” T’s. That’s pretty amazing support for an undrafted rookie free agent cornerback out of LSU, so you know I just had to intercept another pass for you guys, after the two yesterday. This one was off Tyler Bray throwing a ball to Anthony Miller, a rookie wide receiver who’s playing like anything but a rookie. Miller has amazing speed and is catching balls all over the field and having fun with the crowd. He stopped short of the end zone after one long catch, fans started yelling for him to score, so he backtracked fast and broke the plane of the goal line. Fans loved it.
 
Anthony made a diving catch 45 yards downfield off a throw from Chase Daniel (I won’t say against whom) and Mitch Trubisky and I think half the offense sprinted downfield to give him high-fives. Lotta energy on that side of the football. 
 
And we had some great defensive moments, too. Prince Amukamara broke and nearly intercepted at Mitch pass to Kevin White, and Bryce Callahan broke up one to Josh Bellamy one play later.
 
Meanwhile, the fans loved just about everything, this being the first practice the public could watch. They were even cheering completions in drills, especially Tarik Cohen, who seems like everybody’s favorite. They loved it (and so did the players) when tight ends coach Kevin Gilbride was up tight on guys to simulate press coverage and got faked right off his feet by Trey Burton working his release. But it was all in good fun, and Trey is a tough cover for us DB’s, let alone a coach.
 
Speaking of “coach,” coach Nagy said some nice things about me after practice, saying I’d flashed a few times and gotten turnovers, and “we stressed takeaways on defense and having interceptions is important. [Kevin’s] done that now the last couple of days. Kevin’s a big kid. He’s a tall, rangy, lengthy corner that really almost looks like a safety. So for him to be able to move around out here, it’s about getting confidence. So any time he gets some interceptions, you’re going to build confidence.”
 
Coach Nagy said he needs to see me do it in pads, and we go in pads tomorrow for the first time. The hitting’ll really start then.
 
[signed] Your favorite family cornerback,
 
Kevin

 
Wanted: QB accuracy
 
Improving on the 59.4-percent completion rate he posted as a rookie was a prime directive for quarterback Mitch Trubisky, but Saturday’s session was not a step in the right direction. Trubisky completed less than half of his throws in two 7-on-7 sessions that normally favor the quarterback and receiver. His accuracy rate was no better in the first full-team session but in the second he completed eight of 10, two for touchdowns.
 
Whether the issues were throwing accuracy, route-running or combination of elements wasn’t easily apparent, and coach Matt Nagy did not seem concerned.
 
“There’s going to be a lot of mistakes made out here; that’s what training camp’s all about,” Nagy said.
 
*                          *                          *
Sick bay
 
Guard Kyle Long, coming back from multiple surgeries, was given the first of his scheduled days off on Saturday. Veteran Earl Watford stepped in at right guard. Linebacker Danny Trevathan remained out with a hamstring issue, as did cornerback Sherrick McManis.
 
More concerning was the absence of outside linebacker Aaron Lynch, who injured a hamstring in Friday’s relatively light practice. It marked the third time this offseason that Lynch has been sidelined with injuries, following ankle and hamstring problems through OTA’s and minicamp.
 
*                          *                          *
 
It could happen….
 
Legendary NFL writer Peter King, who joined NBC Sports full time this year after nearly 30 years with Sports Illustrated, dropped by training camp as part of his annual “North American tour” and sat down for chats with this writer, which was a chance to recall some good times and stories as far back as Platteville. Peter and I did a little podcast that includes some Brian Urlacher, Mike Ditka and other tales, as well as Peter’s assessment of the Bears’ situation.
 
Interestingly, Peter does not rule out a season with as many as 10 W’s, despite being in one of the NFL’s toughest divisions with a first-year combination of coach-quarterback-system.
 
It could happen…..
 

 

Training Camp Daily: Peter King Talks Bears Upside

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USA TODAY

Training Camp Daily: Peter King Talks Bears Upside

Training camp Daily: Peter King joins the Under Center Podcast on Day 2 of practice in Bourbonnais. King and John "Moon" Mullin talk Trubisky year 2, Trubisky comparison, Bears upside this season and Urlacher's Hall of Fame Induction.

Listen to the full podcast here or via the embedded link below: