Jeremy Langford has more on his mind than besting Rams' Todd Gurley


Jeremy Langford has more on his mind than besting Rams' Todd Gurley

Legendary Bears center Jay Hilgenberg made no secret of how much he liked going head-up, particularly against defensive tackles who had been No. 1 draft choices coming into the NFL. Hilgenberg was undrafted, took a special relish in whipping the biggest names, and was rewarded with seven Pro Bowl selections.

Hall of Fame defensive tackle John Randle, also undrafted out of Texas A&M University-Kingsville (which also produced Hall of Fame’rs Gene Upshaw and Darrell Green), used draft others’ draft status for himself and as psychological warfare against the supposed elite offensive linemen even on his own team.

“I remember training camp and these big guys would come in from Michigan, Alabama, Notre Dame, and I would go all Andy Griffith on them: ‘Boy, that’s sure a nice school,’” Randle told, laughing. “I came from a town of 150. So here’s training camp, no big crowds, and ‘it’s just you and I. Michigan vs. Texas A&I. You’re supposed to beat me. But what it you don’t?’

“That was part of my mentality.”

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Bears rookie Jeremy Langford could let himself use his fourth-round draft selection this year as motivation. After all Langford was among the NCAA’s leading rushers last season (1,522) yet was the ninth running back taken in this year’s draft in spite of rushing for 40 touchdowns and nearly 3,000 yards in his two seasons starting at Michigan State.

Now, for the second week in a row, Langford is on the same field with one of the running backs selected ahead of him – far ahead of him, in fact.

Last Monday it was Melvin Gordon, taken 15th overall by the San Diego Chargers. Langford had the far better day, besides winning, with 72 yards and 4.0 per carry vs. Gordon’s 31 yards and 2.8 per carry.

Sunday in St. Louis it will be Todd Gurley, drafted 10th overall despite coming off a torn ACL. Gurley has made history with his rookie run of four 100-yard games (ended last Sunday vs. Minnesota).

[SHOP: Gear up Bears fans!

Langford, however, is less concerned about showing that he was the better back than with blitz pickup against a rush that ranks second in the NFL in sack percentage with 27 sacks spread among 14 different players (the Bears’ current roster has five players with sacks).

“I wouldn’t say it’s on my mind, really,” Langford said. “We won’t actually be competing against each other, except maybe to have fun with it.

“That’s never really been me. I’ll be looking at the scoreboard as far as who’s winning. But I’ll have enough to worry about with taking care of my quarterback against that defense.”

Bears logo ranked in bottom five of NFL in recent fan poll

USA Today

Bears logo ranked in bottom five of NFL in recent fan poll

The Chicago Bears logo has withstood the test of time. In a sports era full of uniform changes, the Bears have maintained the classic orange 'C' for most of their nearly 100 years in Chicago.

Unfortunately, tradition doesn't equate to popularity.

Chicago's logo ranked 28th in the NFL, according to a recent poll of nearly 1,500 football fans. Only the Redskins (29), Bengals (30), Jets (31) and Browns (32) were worse.

I’m not sure how I feel about the underbite on the “C.” I can see how this would be a polarizing feature of this logo. I wish to an extent that it met up more evenly. I think they could have had the bottom meet up in a more even fashion and still maintained the sharpness, of the “C,” which I like. I don’t mind the point [ON THE BACK SIDE OF THE “C”], without the point it would be super boring. The point actually does add something from a design standpoint that makes it stand out.

Bears fans will take exception with the results. Wins have been hard to come by in recent seasons, but there's still something special about seeing the familiar navy and orange on Sundays in the fall. The 'C' is arguably the biggest part of that. Sure, it's not a complex design overflowing with colors, but it represents a long and storied history. 

It's interesting that each of the bottom five teams have struggled to string together winning seasons. On the flipside, teams like the Saints, Falcons, Rams, Vikings and Eagles rank in the top six. Maybe it's recency bias.

In the NFC North, the Lions rank No. 2 (which is a shocker) and the Packers are No. 20. 

Matt Nagy calls Kevin White a 'great weapon' with a new future

Matt Nagy calls Kevin White a 'great weapon' with a new future

Former first-round pick Kevin White hasn't caught a break -- or a touchdown -- through the first three years of his career. He has more season-ending injuries than 100-yard games and after an offseason focused on upgrades at wide receiver, White's future in Chicago beyond 2018 is very much in doubt.

Ryan Pace declined the fifth-year option in White's rookie contract, making this a prove-it year for the pass-catcher who once resembled a blend of Larry Fitzgerald and Dez Bryant during his time at West Virginia.

He's getting a fresh start from new coach Matt Nagy.

"He is healthy and he's really doing well," Nagy told Danny Kanell and Steve Torre Friday on SiriusXM's Dog Days Sports. "We're trying to keep him at one position right now so he can focus in on that."

White can't take all the blame for his 21 catches, 193 yards and zero scores through 48 possible games. He's only suited up for five. Whether it's bad luck or bad bone density, White hasn't had a legitimate chance to prove, on the field, that he belongs.

Nagy's looking forward, not backward, when it comes to 2015's seventh pick overall.

"That's gone, that's in the past," Nagy said of White's first three years. "This kid has a new future with us."

White won't be handed a job, however.

"He's gotta work for it, he's gotta put in the time and effort to do it," Nagy said. "But he will do that, he's been doing it. He's a great weapon, he's worked really hard. He has great size, good speed. We just want him to play football and not worry about anything else."