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.

2019 NFL Draft: Dates, Times, Channels, and everything else you need to know

2019 NFL Draft: Dates, Times, Channels, and everything else you need to know

The 2019 NFL Draft starts tonight, in case you haven't happened to catch 10 seconds of literally any sports channel over the last 12 weeks. This year Nashville, Tennessee gets the esteemed honor of hosting angry Jets fans. 

Live coverage of the first round has already started, because obviously, but the ACTUAL 2019 NFL Draft starts on Thursday night at 8 p.m. ET. It then picks up again on Friday at 7 p.m. ET for the second and third rounds, before wrapping up Saturday (start time: 12 p.m. ET). 

2019 NFL Draft Schedule

Round 1: Thursday, April 25, 8 p.m. ET (ABC, ESPN, NFL Network, ESPN Deportes)
Rounds 2-3: Friday, April 26, 7 p.m. ET (ABC, ESPN, ESPN2, NFL Network, ESPN Deportes)
Rounds 4-7: Saturday, April 27, 12 p.m. ET (ABC, ESPN, NFL Network, ESPN Deportes)

1st Round Draft Order

1. Arizona Cardinals
2. San Francisco 49ers 
3. New York Jets 
4. Oakland Raiders 
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 
6. New York Giants 
7. Jacksonville Jaguars
8. Detroit Lions
9. Buffalo Bills
10. Denver Broncos
11. Cincinnati Bengals
12. Green Bay Packers
13. Miami Dolphins
14. Atlanta Falcons
15. Washington Redskins
16. Carolina Panthers
17. New York Giants (from Cleveland Browns)
18. Minnesota Vikings
19. Tennessee Titans
20. Pittsburgh Steelers
21. Seattle Seahawks
22. Baltimore Ravens
23. Houston Texans (7)
24. Oakland Raiders (from Chicago Bears)
25. Philadelphia Eagles
26. Indianapolis Colts
27. Oakland Raiders (from Dallas Cowboys)
28. Los Angeles Chargers
29. Seattle Seahawks (from Kansas City Chiefs)
30. Green Bay Packers (from New Orleans Saints)
31. Los Angeles Rams
32. New England Patriots

Bears 2019 Draft picks 

Round 3 (87)    
Round 4 (126)    
Round 5 (162)    
Round 7 (222) *From Denver through Philadelphia
Round 7 (238)

Follow Bears Talk and Insider J.J. Stankevitz for Bears draft insight and analysis all weekend long. Happy Drafting! 

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No extra ’19 draft pressure on Bears GM Ryan Pace? Don’t believe it.

No extra ’19 draft pressure on Bears GM Ryan Pace? Don’t believe it.

There is never – well, pretty much never – a time without at least some modicum of personal pressure in the NFL, whether it’s to win, develop, save money, whatever.

But some times are more pressurized than others or involve different pressures. So it is for Bears GM Ryan Pace.

Because one of the realities of sport, or lots of other endeavors for that matter, is that it is so often more difficult to stay at the top than to reach it a first time. Complacency can set in after success; opponents and other forces can chip away at what worked on the way up. Worst (or best) of all, expectations rise.

It is arguably much easier to go from three wins to six than to go from, say, 12 to 13.

When Pace was hired to replace Phil Emery, there were the obvious pressures: first-time GM, need to overhaul turn around a roster and culture, all that stuff. But expectations weren’t outlandish; short of abject collapse or some aberrant new level of dysfunction, the true expectations were not to reach the playoffs in 2015, for instance.

And every indication was that Pace was going to get a second coaching hire anyway if bridge-hire John Fox didn’t work out. Pace got an extension with the same win-loss record that got Fox fired.

The pressure then ratcheted up several notches with Pace investing the draft capital he did in Mitchell Trubisky, then hiring his own head coach in Matt Nagy. A consultant and senior management weren’t directing things in either of those cases. Those are on him.

So then Pace’s coach and quarterback went and won 12 games and were within a kicking malfunction of winning a playoff game. Accordingly, with all that, they sent the franchise into a draft (Pace’s first) without top-10 picks in early draft rounds. Pace has not gone into a draft holding fewer than two selections in the top 45 (2017).

This year, with the added expectations from a 12-4 season, Pace starts with none in the first 86.

Pace said this week that the pressure feels the same to him, and it probably does; no one puts more pressure on Pace than he does on himself.

But the expectations are there, or more accurately, the overall need is there, definitely there. After the better part of a decade without any, the Bears have some organizational momentum now and losing that invites dark thoughts.

“I feel like I feel like with fewer picks and with later picks, the onus is on us as scouts to hit on these picks, and to keep this momentum that we’ve got,” Pace said. “I feel like we have this momentum. To keep this momentum going…we need to nail this draft.”

But what if they don’t?

There are no unimportant drafts, or seasons, for that matter. But in the what-have-you-done-for-me-lately world that is the NFL, getting it right does matter. A lot.

The Oakland Raiders went 12-4 in 2016 largely on the fruits of GM Reggie McKenzie draftees Derek Carr, Amari Cooper and Khalil Mack. McKenzie was Pro Football Writers of America’s NFL executive of the year and had a contract extension. (Pace received both of those in a 14-month span.)

The Raiders fell off to 6-10 in 2017, fired coach Jack Del Rio and hired Jon Gruden, who traded away Cooper and Mack, and had McKenzie fired a week after the Raiders were the first AFC team mathematically eliminated from the 2018 playoffs.

Much closer to home, the Bears went to the NFC Championship game in 2010 with a team built by then-GM Jerry Angelo. They again stood atop the NFC North at 7-3 in 2011, at which point Jay Cutler broke his thumb and the Bears lost five of their final six.
Angelo was fired two days after the final ’11 game – a win at Minnesota, the last one of those before finishing 2018 with a victory up there.

Emery was fired after three seasons of decline from 10 to 8 to 5 wins from 2012-14.

Pace is in less than zero danger. Indeed, if the Fox hiring process vs. that of Nagy’s taught Bears management anything, it would start with the presumption that, left to his own devices, Pace is better at picking head coaches than a lot of other people around Halas Hall.

And the fact that 10 of the 12 Bears Pro Bowl’ers or alternates were Pace draft picks or trade/free agent acquisitions suggests that he has improved exponentially from first-draft selections of Kevin White and Hroniss Grasu.

Now all he has to do is do it again. And then again. And then….

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