Bears

Miller: Who will be the next Bears GM?

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Miller: Who will be the next Bears GM?

With another potential general manager for the Bears now off the list, lets focus on some potential candidates in president Ted Phillips league-wide search for the Bears' next GM. Eagles Director of Player Personnel Ryan Grigson has agreed in principle today to become the next general manager of the Indianapolis Colts. Here are some names worth noting before the Bears potentially settle for Tim Ruskell.

Bill and Chris Polian
Former Chairman and GM of the Indianapolis Colts respectively.
It is hard to argue with Bill Polians track record. Polian built the Buffalo Bills into a powerhouse in the late 80s-early 90s. The Bills represented the AFC in four consecutive Super Bowls. After Buffalo, Polian put the Carolina Panthers on the map before directing the Colts to unprecedented success. Bill was grooming his son Chris to take over day to day operations of the Indianapolis Colts before 2011s devastating injury to Peyton Manning which derailed a decade of success. The Colts achieved seven years of 12 win seasons with two Super Bowl appearances. One of them being a World Championship by defeating the Chicago Bears. Chris is a tireless worker always on the road evaluating talent. The one caveat is the Polians services were no longer needed due to not having a backup plan for Manning. Peyton had not missed one game his entire NFL career. Potentially, the Polians could be hired in the same capacity for the Bears or Bill Sr as consultant with Chris Polian as GM. The positive is the Polians have drafted for a Tampa 2 defense numerous seasons in Indianapolis.

Tom Telesco
Director of Player Personnel of the Indianapolis Colts.
Telescos name has popped up on numerous teams radar. Most likely, because of Bill Polian and the Colts' unprecedented success in the AFC South. Telescos resume starts and stops with the Polians.

Nick Casario
Director of Player Personnel of the New England Patriots.

Nick is in his 11th season with the Patriots. Casario is another tireless worker who spent a number of seasons under GM Scott Pioli (now Chiefs GM). Nick understands day to day operations and works in close concert with Bill Belicheck on personnel decisions.

Steve Kiem
Director of Player Personnel of the Arizona Cardinals.

Kiem is in his 13th season with the Cardinals elevating from College Player Personnel to the pro side of things. Kiem is also well taught under current GM Rod Graves tutelage. The Cardinals have been one of the better drafting teams in terms of talent and finding diamonds in the rough that fit their scheme. Dont go by the Cardinals record this season! They were 8-8, but won seven out of their last nine games. The Cardinals were overhauling their team, restocking from a Super Bowl appearance two years ago. Off the current Cardinal 53 man roster, 51 new Cardinals were signed after the lockout.

John Dorsey
Director of College Scouting Green Bay Packers

Eliot Wolf
Asst. Director of Pro Personnel Green Bay Packers

They are good names, but not quite groomed completely in day to day operations like what Reggie McKenzie was doing alongside Ted Thompson before leaving to take the general manager position of the Oakland Raiders.

Rob Gronkowski 'highly unlikely' to play Sunday against the Bears

Rob Gronkowski 'highly unlikely' to play Sunday against the Bears

Sunday's game against Tom Brady and the Patriots will be a tough test for the Bears, but it looks like they're going to receive a big break.

According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski didn't travel with the Patriots to Chicago and is "highly unlikely" to play Sunday.

Avoiding Gronkowski, who is one of Brady's favorite targets, would be a huge break for the Bears' defense. In six games this season, the tight end has 26 receptions for 405 yards and a touchdown; in 14 games last season, Gronkowski had 69 catches for 1,084 yards and eight touchdowns.

Gronkowski has not officially been ruled out yet, though time is running out for the Patriots to make a decision.

Meanwhile, Khalil Mack appears set to play Sunday despite dealing with an ankle injury. Between having Mack on the field and Gronkowski off of it, good news keeps coming for the Bears' defense.

Final thoughts: Cody Parkey quickly moves on from missed game-winning kick

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USA Today Sports Images

Final thoughts: Cody Parkey quickly moves on from missed game-winning kick

There’s, probably, only one position in sports that can match the you-had-one-job scrutiny of a placekicker attempting a critical field goal late in a football game. As in: If you make the kick, it was expected; if you miss it, well, you didn’t do the one thing you were brought on to do. 

The comparison here is a closer in baseball. The expectation is whoever is called upon with a one-to-three-run lead in the ninth inning will convert the save and win his team the game. 

But when a closer blows a save and is in the spotlight during baseball’s regular season, there’s always a game the next day or, at worst, in two days. The immediacy and pace of a Major League Baseball team’s schedule lends itself to closers having to “flush” a bad outing and move on to the next one, since it might be tomorrow. 

For Bears kicker Cody Parkey, though, he’s had to wait a week until he gets his next “meaningful” chance at making a field goal after missing a game-winning 53-yard attempt last weekend against the Miami Dolphins. But moving on from a critical missed kick has never, and is not, a problem for the fifth-year veteran. 

“(It takes) five minutes,” Parkey said. “You kick the ball, and if it doesn’t go in you’re not going to sit there and cry on the field, you’re going to continue to move on with your life. I don’t think there’s really much to it other than knowing you’re going to have to kick another one sometime throughout the season, next game, in the next week, you never know. You stay ready so you’ll be ready for the next week.”

Not allowing those missed kicks to fester is an important trait for a placekicker to possess. What helps Parkey quickly work through his misses is focusing on having a good week of kicking in practice, and also an even-keel mindset that’s been instilled in him since a young age. 

“I think I’ve always been pretty mellow,” Parkey said. “At a young age, my coaches told me never let the highs get to high, never let the lows get too low. And I’ve kind of taken that to heart. If I miss a game winner, make a game winner, I’m going to have the same demeanor. I’m just going to be super chill and knowing it’s a game, it’s supposed to be fun, we’re supposed to go out there and try our best. I put in a lot of work and I try my best on the field.”

That’s something, too, that special teams coach Chris Tabor sees in Parkey. 

“He's always been like that,” Tabor said. “He hit a good ball, his line was just off. In his career going in he was 7-of-8 over 50 yards. I'll be honest with you, I thought he was going to make it. And next time we have that situation, I know he will make it.” 

Age is just a number

Sunday will mark the 6th time in Tom Brady’s career that the 41-year-old has faced a head coach younger than him, but the first time it’ll be a coach other than Miami’s Adam Gase (who’s 40). Brady is 3-2 against Gase’s Dophins. 

Matt Nagy, meanwhile, is also 40. Brady just missed playing Kyle Shanahan (38) and Sean McVay (32), facing the San Francisco 49ers and Los Angeles Rams in 2016, a year before both those youthful coaches were hired. 

Meanwhile, the youngest player on the Bears — 21-year-old Roquan Smith — was three years old when Brady made his unassuming NFL debut on Nov. 23, 2000. 

They said it

A couple of amusing one-liners out of Halas Hall this week…

Nagy, when it was brought to his attention that Mitch Trubisky (105.6) has a better passer rating than Brady (98.2), chuckled: “You want to say that one more time?” 

Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski, when asked if he’d ever heard of “Baby Gronk” Adam Shaheen: “(long pause)… Sometimes.”