Bears

Miller: Common sense needed in Toradol discussion

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Miller: Common sense needed in Toradol discussion

There has been much discussion concerning Bears star middle linebacker Brian Urlachers interview with Andrea Kremer on HBOs Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel. It was eye-opening for me as a former player to learn the news about the magic potion shot Toradol. I, along with Brian, and many other NFL players took the shot unaware of its medical risks. Obviously, news of Toradols destructive nature on a player joints, kidney, liver, and stomach are alarming. I have a few thoughts since digesting the news and thinking about it.

I have discussed this topic before on SiriusXM NFL radio. I personally place this topic in the category of player safety. All parties involved share responsibility concerning medications players ingestinject to perform on Sundays. The NFL, teams, team training staffs, team doctors, and players all share responsibility for players to make an informed decision when they elect to take powerful drugs. As a player, you are aware there are some inherent risks playing and are preached to at nauseum, through the NFLs drug policy, that you are responsible for what goes into your body. But I also believe the NFL and organizations are culpable for informing players as well when it comes to their safety. Specifically, when it comes to powerful medications injected into their bodies.

Certain teams staffs are better at communicating information than others and the NFL does conduct an annual doctor convention. This is a meeting through the NFL where all team doctors, trainers and staffs get together to discuss safety along with any moral, ethical responsibilities. Now whether they adhere to them is quite another discussion, but the NFL and clubs do conduct them.

I know it seems shocking to many to hear Urlacher acknowledge he will continue taking Toradol injections. But, for the record, this needs to be calmed down somewhat. Let me explain it this way. If you get a headache, you take an aspirin. Do you really know what is in an aspirin? Or how it can help or hurt your body? Most of us do not; we just know it takes our headache away. It is really the same thing. When I took my first Toradol shot before a game, I questioned the doctor as to what it does. The answer I received seemed reasonable and Toradol got me through some pinches with injuries like it did that particular day. Players are NOT receiving injections of Toradol everyday! Toradol is a tool utilized on game day enabling a player to perform his craft. Some players will never do it, some need it weekly and others like me would pick and choose occasions where it needed to be utilized.

I am not a doctor nor am I pretending to preach from the pulpit. But I think we can all inject a little common sense into this conversation. Common sense is something very rarely used even by most doctors' standards in moderation. There are risks and there are hazards to many demanding jobs like policeman, fireman, military and definitely playing professional football.

Matt Nagy is winning over his players by being himself

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USA Today Sports Images

Matt Nagy is winning over his players by being himself

Despite losing 34 of his 48 games as the Bears’ head coach, John Fox’s players generally liked him and were disappointed to see him fired on New Year’s Day. That’s not to say they were blindsided by it — losing leads to people losing their jobs, even if the culture at Halas Hall had changed for the better following the disastrous end of the Marc Trestman-Phil Emery era. 

It was with that backdrop that Matt Nagy was offered and accepted the position of Bears head coach a week after Fox’s firing. Four and a half months later, Nagy has seemingly made a strong first impression on his new team, with one reason standing out among many: He’s genuine in who he is and what he does.

“I would say Nagy can be stern, and he can be playful also,” cornerback Prince Amukamara said. “I think when you’re a first-year coach, you want to win (over) your guys, and you want to be firm, and he’s doing that. You can’t really tell he’s a rookie coach or whatever. I feel like he was born for this, and he’s doing a great job.”

Granted, no player is going to publicly blast their new boss — especially not before he’s even coached a game yet. But veteran players also aren’t oblivious to who can and cannot work out as a head coach, and there haven’t been any “damning with faint praise” types of comments that were more common five years ago at the beginning of the Trestman era.

Will this win Nagy any games come September? No. But consider this sort of like team chemistry: It won't win a team anything, but if a team doesn't have it, it can be costly. 

“He’s a cool coach, man,” linebacker Danny Trevathan — who played for Fox in both Denver and Chicago — said. “He’s always giving us little details and smiling but we know he’s a hard worker just like we are. He’s up there working just like we are. He’s always putting us in the right position and he takes care of us. On the back end, where I come from, you take care of coaches like that. You go out and make plays for those coaches.”

From an observational standpoint, Nagy comes across as genuinely excited not just to be a head coach, but the head coach of the Bears. Players respect that approach — he's not coming in acting like a hired gun, and he's shown through these OTAs and practices that he cares about them, even if they haven't spent much time together yet. And he's also not strutting into Halas Hall every day with an over-inflated ego based on his promotion. That resonates, too. 

“I like the way he came in,” Trevathan said. “He came in humble but he was hungry. He came anxious, moving around in the meetings. I like that. That gets me fired up. I feel like we’ve got a good leader up here in the head coach.”

Anthony Miller sports Bears uniform at NFLPA Rookie Premiere

Anthony Miller sports Bears uniform at NFLPA Rookie Premiere

Anthony Miller has quickly become a fan favorite on social media. He has the confidence and swagger found in most top wide receivers and it comes through on his Twitter and Instagram accounts.

Miller was one of 40 players in attendance at the 2018 NFLPA Rookie Premiere where he not only learned about the business and marketing side of football, but also suited up in his Bears gameday uniform for the first time. Of course, he shared the moment on Twitter:

Panini America, a sports collectible company, snapped a picture of Miller with fellow rookie receiver Calvin Ridley (Falcons) and quarterback Mason Rudolph (Steelers):

Miller has become something of a standout for the Bears despite not playing a single snap. He's expected to have a big role in an offense that has several new pieces and roles that are up for grabs.

Miller will compete with former first-round pick Kevin White and free-agent addition Taylor Gabriel for reps opposite Allen Robinson. Miller has the necessary skill set to play as both an outside receiver and in the slot which should give him an even greater opportunity to be on the field quite a bit.

The Bears first three draft picks are all vying for starting jobs in 2018. Roquan Smith (first round) is a lock to start next to Danny Trevathan and James Daniels (second round) will start at guard. Miller should make it three-for-three in a draft class that could end up the best of Ryan Pace's tenure.