Bears

Moon: Changing of the guard?

552858.jpg

Moon: Changing of the guard?

But whos counting?

The 4-0 start for the Detroit Lions is all that ultimately matters right now but what coach Jim Schwartz and the infusion of new talent to go with a core the likes of wideout Calvin Johnson and left tackle Jeff Backus has the Lions on a 12-game winning streak, which is the stuff of culture-changing.

Detroit won its last four in 2010, all four in the 2011 preseason and now the current run of four. If the Lions arent for real this year.

Of course, carriages do turn into pumpkins, as the 2009 Denver Broncos illustrated. Kyle Orton got them to 6-0 with wins over Cincinnati, Dallas, New England and San Diego, all eventual division champions and a far more impressive conquest card than the Lions that is a combined 6-10. The Denver Cinderella lost eight of the next 10 to finish out of the postseason.

The 2007 Lions with Mike Martz coordinating the offense went pumpkin after a 6-2 start to finish 7-9.

Still, even with the jaw-dropping second-half stupidities by the Minnesota Vikings and Dallas Cowboys to blow 20-point leads to Detroit, the 2011 Lions believe theyre good. That makes them dangerous. And it doesnt altogether surprise the Bears.

Ive seen it coming over the past few years, said cornerback Charles Tillman. I never thought they were a terrible team. I just think that they never jelled together. Now theyre getting all the jelling, theyre believing and theyre winning games. Theyre doing a helluva a job.

But the Lions are skating around the edge of a hype volcano. Sports Illustrated is putting the Lions on this weeks cover, and Michael David Smith over at ProFootballTalk.com captures the growing mania that has even reached the point of declaring Ndamukong Suh a better draft choice than Barry Sanders (http:tinyurl.com42ydoo3).

This is a fork in the emotional road. Just one, but its a national stage for a team that hasnt been on it since 2001, and when the whole world is telling you how good you are, it only takes a few in a locker room to start believing it for some unraveling to start.

The Bears would like to help that get started.

Help wanted

Linebacker Pisa Tinoisamoa will be working out for the Bears on Wednesday, according to various sources. The veteran started 10 of the first 11 games last season, was hampered by the knee injuries that have plagued his career and missed four games, then returned and started the NFC Championship game.

Another offseason knee surgery sent the Bears committing to Nick Roach as the starter on the strong side. But the linebacking group is seriously thin on experience and Tinoisamoa has been a favorite of Lovie Smiths since Tinoisamoas 2003 rookie season with the St. Louis Rams under Smith as defensive coordinator.

Worthy nominee

Not surprisingly, Matt Forte is among the nominees for the FedEx Ground NFL player of the week after 205 rushing yards and a touchdown. If he doesnt win this one, there shouldnt be a recount; there ought to be an investigation.

Arian Foster rushed for 155 yards and a TD in the Houston Texans win over Pittsburgh and Ryan Torain picked up 135 in Washingtons victory over the St. Louis Rams.

Forte has now had games of 158, 166 and 228 yards in the span of four weeks.

Fans are now part of the award process and can post ballots from now until 2 p.m. Friday on NFL.comFedEx.

John "Moon" Mullin is CSNChicago.com's Bears Insider and appears regularly on Bears Postgame Live and Chicago Tribune Live. Follow Moon on Twitter for up-to-the-minute Bears information.

Did Patriots owner Robert Kraft crush Bears' hope for Tom Brady?

Did Patriots owner Robert Kraft crush Bears' hope for Tom Brady?

The Bears are one of the first teams mentioned when speculation about where New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady could play in 2020. The Bears are the most quarterback-needy club that also has a chance to make a Super Bowl run with a player like Brady under center, so it's logical to assume the soon-to-be free agent will at least entertain the idea of playing home games at Soldier Field next year.

Much of what happens with Brady will come down to how the Patriots view the 42-year-old (he'll be 43 at the start of next season). If all things are equal, and New England makes him a fair offer to come back, it's likely Brady would return to the only franchise he's ever played for. And if owner Robert Kraft's recent comments are sincere, it's more than likely that he will.

RELATED: Top 30 free agents of the 2020 NFL offseason

Kraft, who was in New York City on Tuesday, was asked by TMZ reporters whether the Patriots will re-sign Brady this offseason. His response? 

"We plan to," Kraft said.

Well, there you have it, right? If the Patriots plan to re-sign Brady, then the Patriots are going to re-sign Brady; assuming, of course, you believe what Kraft is saying in January before New England's decision-makers have had enough time to assess their quarterback situation with, and maybe without, No. 12 under center.

Brady is coming off of one of his worst seasons as a pro, which is saying something considering he's been playing for two decades. His completion percentage was the lowest it's been in six years, his yardage total was the second-lowest in the last 10 years, and his 24 touchdown passes were the fewest he's thrown in a season since 2006. 

It's natural to wonder whether Father Time has finally caught up to him. Maybe, however, his down year was a result of lacking talent at wide receiver and tight end. Regardless of the reason, his 2019 campaign has called into question where he'll be in 2020.

But there are those three words Kraft said — 'we plan to' — that can't be ignored. At the very least, Bears fans can't get their hopes up. The Patriots tend to get what they want, and if they want Brady back in 2020, they'll have him.

Bears showing strong interest in Dayton TE Adam Trautman

Bears showing strong interest in Dayton TE Adam Trautman

Add Dayton tight end Adam Trautman  to the growing list of tight ends the Bears have met with at the 2020 Senior Bowl.

After confirming Purdue's Brycen Hopkins and Vanderbilt's Jared Pinkney spent time with Bears scouts (in the case of Pinkney, nearly 35 minutes), Trautman told NFL.com's Chase Goodbread that Chicago's scouts have expressed a strong interest in his skill set.

"They're interested in me," Trautman said of the Bears. "They tell me they like what they see."

RELATED: Top 30 free agents of 2020 NFL offseason

Trautman had one of the best lines of the week when he said he prefers driving opposing defenders into the ground against their will over scoring touchdowns, and at a well-built 6-foot-5, 251 pounds, he has the perfect physical makeup to project as a guy who will do that on the next level. He needs development in that area of his game (run blocker), but his 'want-to' is half the battle.

Trautman wasn't the best tight end this week, but he was far from the worst. He's been consistent, and for a team like the Bears who are searching for a tight end who can be relied on as a second-level target for whoever is playing quarterback in Matt Nagy's offense, Trautman's consistency will be viewed as a plus.

Trautman had 916 yards and 14 touchdowns for Dayton in 2019. Scouts wanted to see whether he could handle the jump in competition at the Senior Bowl, and he's answered that question with a resounding yes.

He projects as a Day 3 pick with upside to develop into a starting quality tight end.