Bears

Moon: A new idea to end the CBA stalemate

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Moon: A new idea to end the CBA stalemate

Thursday, Feb. 17, 20111:45 p.m.
By John Mullin
CSNChicago.com

Untying the Gordian knot of the NFLs collective bargaining agreement has been and will continue to be difficult. A proposed solution from Mike Florio at ProFootballTalk.com might offer at least a new tack to take in the direction that the NFL players want to go but without sacrificing core confidentiality that owners require.

Mikes idea on the disclosure of financial information, using an independent accounting firm acting in strict confidence, is along a line that should work for the owners, if they indeed want to reach an agreement with a group comprised of their de facto business partners.

The league in the past has used what was called an independent verifier for contract proposals. Team negotiators and agents could verify the accuracy of claims that a particular contract proposal had been put forward. Players are saying that they will work with the numbers proposed by ownership but would like books opened as a way of verifying the level of need the owners are claiming.

Applying that sort of mechanism here might clear one big hurdle in a mess that seems to have shrinking chances of clearing up as time goes along.

NFL Networks Rich Eisen visited with Dan Patrick on The Dan Patrick Show and tossed around with Dan an overhaul that would expand the number of regular-season games as well as playoff teams. The net would be an increase of meaningful (i.e. not preseason) television weeks from 21 now (17 regular season, three conference playoffs, Super Bowl) to 23.

Sold, Rich said. Good thought.
Market-setting

The Green Bay Packers are finishing up the details of a three-year contract extension for coach Mike McCarthy, a deal that expected to pay McCarthy 5 million per season and likely to cap the pay grade for Lovie Smith.

Bob McGinn reports in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinal that McCarthys current contract runs through 2012 and the new deal signs him through 2015.

There are coaches with bigger paychecks but not many, and as we have been noting for some time, the market is dipping for head-coach salaries as teams follow the course the Pittsburgh Steelers did with Mike Tomlin with great success. First-time coaches at more modest prices have been as or more successful than bigger-ticket field bosses like Mike Shanahan.

The Washington Redskins needed to wave 7 million in front of Shanahan but he listed two Super Bowl wins on his resume. The San Francisco 49ers did give first-timer Jim Harbaugh 5 million per season but insiders said ownership effectively told the front office that Harbaugh was the pick, leaving little room for negotiation.

The expectation remains that the Bears will at least offer Smith an extension at his current rate of about 5 million. Two additional years in this market should be good enough for Smith, who did not win his Super Bowl, whereas McCarthy did.

McCarthys new contract will place him in the top 10 of NFL coach salaries. Smith already is there.
Duly noted

ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay is of the mind that the successes of mobile quarterbacks like Aaron Rodgers and Ben Roethlisberger, on top of a solid, sustained career run by Donovan McNabb (add 2010s Jay Cutler to that discussion), will weigh heavily in favor of Auburns Cam Newton. The more of these mobile quarterbacks that succeed in the NFL, McShay said Wednesday, the more teams will be willing to look outside the usual parameters."

Bears tight end Brandon Manumaleuna will undergo arthroscopic surgery on his right knee this offseason, the Chicago Tribune reports. Manumaleuna had a similar procedure last offseason and missed considerable training camp time. Sources told CSNChicago.com that Manumaleuna was regularly fined for being overweight during last season and it may be interesting to see if he downsizes to add quickness as well as take stress off his knees.

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.

Putting Bill Belichick’s complimentary comments about the Bears in context

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USA TODAY

Putting Bill Belichick’s complimentary comments about the Bears in context

Bill Belichick had plenty of good things to say about Matt Nagy and the 2018 Bears during a conference call with reporters on Wednesday. Some of the highlights:

 

On the Bears’ season as a whole:

 

“The Bears have lost two games, one on a game when they were in control of the game and another one they lost in overtime. This really looks like a 5-0 team to me, if you change one or two plays. You can say that about a lot of teams, but that’s the league we’re in.”

 

On Mitch Trubisky:

 

“I think he’s done a good job of getting ball to the players that are open or in space and letting them be playmakers. He has a lot of them. That’s the quarterback’s job is to deliver the ball to the playmakers and let them go. I think he’s done a good job of that. He’s a tough kid, which I respect. That’s what we would ask our quarterbacks to do, to make plays to help our team win, to get the ball to the players that are open and in space. It’s not about stats. It’s about doing what you need to do to win.”

 

On Tarik Cohen’s usage:

 

“He plays about a little bit less than 50 percent of the time and he’s in a lot of different places, he’s hard to find. He’s a dynamic player that can run, catch, really threaten every yard of the field from sideline to sideline, up the middle, deep. You can throw it to him, you can hand it to him and he’s elusive with the ball and he’s elusive to be able to get open so the quarterback can get him the ball. Those are great skills to have. Any one of those is good and he’s got several of them.

 

“He’s very hard to tackle. But they do a great job mixing him, not just putting him in the game but who he’s in the game with, what the combinations are and then where they locate him and so forth. There are a lot of multiples. It’s hard. Coach Nagy does a good job with that and he’s a special player that you gotta know where he is at all times.”

 

On Trubisky’s 54-yard bomb to Taylor Gabriel on Sunday:

 

“That’s about as good a throw and catch as I’ve seen all year. The execution on that was like 99 out of 100. It was a great, great throw, great route, great catch. There was like a few inches to get the ball in there 50 yards downfield and that’s where it was.”

 

On Akiem Hicks’ impact, who played for the Patriots in 2015:

 

“He’s hard to block. It doesn’t make any difference what the play is, you can run to him and he’s hard to block. You can run away from him, and he makes tackles for loss on the back side. He’s quick and can get around those blocks when there’s more space back there because everybody is going to the front side. He can power rush. He can rush the edges with his quickness. He’s a very, very disruptive player. He’s hard to block on everything.

 

“I appreciate all of the plays he makes. He makes plays on all three downs, against all types of plays, whether it’s reading screen passes or power rushing the pocket to help the ends, to help (Leonard) Floyd and Mack and (Aaron) Lynch rush on the edge. He’s a powerful, disruptive guy. (Eddie) Goldman has done a good job of that. (Bilal) Nichols has done a good job of that too. They have some really powerful guys inside that are hard to block, and they change the line of scrimmage in the running game and the passing game. It really creates a problem, frees up the linebackers in the running game and helps the ends because the quarterback can’t step up in the pocket in the passing game.”

 

On Matt Nagy:

 

“Obviously he's done a great job, as has Ryan with building the team. They have a lot of good players. They have a really experienced staff and they do a great job in all three areas of the game. They're good in the kicking game, they're good on defense they're good on offense. They have highly-skilled players in all three areas.

 

“It's a well-balanced football team that does a lot of things well. Run the ball. Stop the run. Throw the ball. Rush the passer. Intercept passes. Return kicks. Cover kicks. Cover punts. They're at the top of the league in all those categories. Turnovers. Points off turnovers. It doesn't really matter what area you want to talk about, they're pretty good at all of them. That's why they're a good football team.

 

“Coach Nagy and his staff certainly deserve a lot of credit. It's not a one-man band. They're all doing a good job. It's a good football team. I'm sure there will be a lot of energy in the stadium this week. It will be a great test for us to go into Chicago and be competitive against them.”

 

While listening to Belichick rave about the Bears, this missive from former Patriots general manager Michael Lombardi stands out:

 

“Whenever Belichick tells the media on Mondays or Tuesdays that he has already moved on to the next game, trust me, he’s not lying. I worked with Bill for five years in Cleveland, and then during the 2014 and 2015 seasons in New England. Belichick treats every game like a Super Bowl; no detail is too small, no possible scenario or situation goes overlooked. I have heard Belichick break down a bumbling Jaguars team as if it was the reigning two-time Super Bowl winner and treat Blake Bortles like he’s the second coming of Aaron Rodgers. Belichick does it with tape to back up his claims, only showing his team the opponent’s greatest strengths. (With Bortles, I swear, he must have used George Lucas to doctor the video.) No Patriots opponent is underestimated or taken lightly — EVER.”

 

One of the myriad things that make Belichick the best coach in the NFL — and maybe the best coach in NFL history — is how he never takes an opponent lightly, and then how he’s so successful at scheming against what an opponent does best.

 

The Bears are undoubtedly better in 2018 than they were in the John Fox era, or when these two teams last met in 2014 (when New England waxed a moribund Marc Trestman side, 51-23). And a lot of Belichick’s points are valid – that throw Trubisky made to Gabriel was outstanding, for example.

 

But Belichick talks this way about every team he faces. And that, again, is part of what makes him the best at what he does.

Under Center Podcast: What will we learn about the Bears against the Patriots?

Under Center Podcast: What will we learn about the Bears against the Patriots?

On this week's Under Center podcast, JJ Stankevitz and John “Moon” Mullin look at how Bill Belichick and New England will attack Matt Nagy and the Bears on Sunday, and if Mitch Trubisky can get to the point where he can reliably lead a late-game scoring drive like Tom Brady is so good at doing.

You can listen to the whole thing here, or in the embedded player below: