Bears

Moon: Will the Bears pursue Shaun Rogers?

384527.jpg

Moon: Will the Bears pursue Shaun Rogers?

Thursday, Feb. 10, 2011
Posted 10:25 a.m. Updated 2:30 p.m.
By John Mullin
CSNChicago.com

The Cleveland Browns created a bit of a ripple when they released defensive tackle Shaun Rogers, who becomes an immediate unrestricted free agent by virtue of having at least four years of service.

The Bears are looking (always) to fortify the defensive line and Rogers has been a force throughout his 10 seasons. But the Bears making a play for Rogers would be a major surprise, for multiple reasons.

Rogers is a master at blocking kicks (ask long snapper Pat Mannelly) and at controlling areas on the line of scrimmage. But he is a classic two-gap tackle in the mold of Ted Washington when he was a Bear or Pat Williams in Minnesota, rather than a fit for a one-gap scheme similar to the one espoused by Lovie Smith and Rod Marinelli.

Rogers controls blockers so linebackers can run and make tackles, meaning that Lance Briggs and Brian Urlacher would no doubt go pick him up at the airport if he were coming. But his days as a rush threat are past, and the Bears are looking for more impact inside than theyve gotten from Tommie Harris and Marcus Harrison at this point.

Look for a trickle of players onto the market in the next couple of weeks before the Mar. 3 expiration of the collective bargaining agreement. But dont look for teams to rush into signings, of their own or others players, given the uncertain state of negotiations. No need to add players until theres more indication when and where the season is going.

More important, nearly 500 players are poised to hit the free-agency markets. It will be a buyers market, much to the disappointment of more than a few players.

Theres a lesson here...

Really nice to see former Bears center Jerry Fontenot and wifeStephanie at the Eggshell Caf in Northbrook Thursday. Jerry, one ofthe class individuals Ive had the pleasure to know and cover with thisteam, had that unmistakable glow that only comes from winning a SuperBowl, which he just helped the Green Bay Packers accomplish lastweekend as their assistant offensive line coach.

I did get to actually hold the trophy, for a little while, Jerry said, laughing. On the bus.

Jerry, who succeeded Jay Hilgenberg over the ball in 92, played 239games for the Bears, New Orleans Saints and Cincinnati Bengals, and hewas the Saints starting center when Green Bay coach Mike McCarthy wasNew Orleans offensive coordinator. Hes looking great and is having aball with a very, very good young offensive line up in Green Bay.

Best Jerry story: I happened to see Jerry, a good friend of actor BillPeterson (CSI, To Live and Die in L.A. and more), one evening up inPlatteville during a training camp. I think it was at the Dairy Queenthere on Rte. 151. He looked shaky.

You OK? I asked.

Oh, man, he said, shaking his head. Stephanies pregnant and I just took her to see the movie Seven.

Now, if youve seen Seven and remember how it ends, youll feel for Jerry.

Great guy. Good to see Stephanie and him doing well.

Lesson: Make sure you check out movie details before taking your lovely wife to one.

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.

Matt Nagy, Bears may be facing ironic end to 2020 preseason plans

Matt Nagy, Bears may be facing ironic end to 2020 preseason plans

Just when Matt Nagy actually wants to play his starters in preseason games, there might not be a preseason. 

Ironic, right?  

On Wednesday, Pro Football Talk reported what’s been anticipated for weeks: The NFL will cut its preseason schedule from four to two games. But, per NFL Network, the NFLPA hasn’t signed off on that reduction just yet – potentially because they’re hoping to not play any preseason games at all in 2020. 

Click to download the MyTeams App for the latest Bears news and analysis.

And why would the players want those games? All it’d be is another opportunity for team-to-team transmission of the novel coronavirus that’s still raging across the United States. And the NFL has very little monetary incentive to play these games, too, which would happen in front of empty stadiums and presumably don’t bring in much TV revenue anyway. 

So if playing these games would risk COVID-19 exposure – which is way more important than the next words you’re about to read – and wouldn’t negatively affect anyone’s bottom line, why play them?

Some coaches will argue they’re critical for getting players ready for the regular season. Nagy, up until this year, wasn’t among those coaches. Remember these tweets from last August?

“My biggest thing is I’m trying to do what’s best for the Chicago Bears, and every team is different, and that’s okay,” Nagy said last summer. “… We love where we’re at right now in regards to our starters. We feel really good about it.”

All the NFLPA has to do to argue against preseason games is point to how Nagy – as well as Los Angeles Rams coach Sean McVay – viewed the importance of those in the past. If teams felt prepared for the regular season without playing their starters in the preseason, why should that change in the midst of a pandemic? 

Nagy has since switched his thinking – this after a truly awful start on offense to the 2019 season – and committed to playing his starters during 2020’s preseason. Not only does Nagy need as many preseason games as possible to evaluate Mitch Trubisky and Nick Foles, but he needs it for the rest of his offense to find an identity and rhythm quicker than they did last year (if they ever found one at all). 

So that means having Anthony Miller catch passes from both Trubisky and Foles in preseason games. That means getting the interior of the offensive line – whether it includes Germain Ifedi or Rashaad Coward at right guard – reps together in live action. That means getting Cole Kmet’s feet wet before throwing him into the deep end of the “Y” tight end position in September. 

“As we talk, that's one of the things that I look back at from last year that I'm not happy about that I made a decision to do in the preseason," Nagy said on the Waddle & Silvy Show in May. "Number one, I think it's good for them to have it, but number two it sets the mentality. 

“So that's not going to happen this year."

Except it might not happen. And probably shouldn’t. 

 

SUBSCRIBE TO THE UNDER CENTER PODCAST FOR FREE.

Bears' Allen Robinson included in Big 10's All-Decade team

Bears' Allen Robinson included in Big 10's All-Decade team

Here's some fun news for your holiday weekend. 

Bears WR Allen Robinson has been named to the Big 10 All-Decade team: 

A two-time Big 10 receiver of the year, Robinson finished his three-year career at Penn State with 177 catches for 2479 yards and 17 touchdowns. Seven years after he went into the NFL, Robinson's name is still all over the Penn State record board. Currently, he's: 

- 3rd all time in receptions
- 1st in single season receptions (97 in '13)
- 3rd in single game receptions (12)
- 4th in receiving yards
- 1st in single season receiving yards (1432, '13)
- 2nd in single season TD's (11, '12) 

He's also one of two receivers in Nittany Lion history to catch three touchdowns in multiple games. Allen Robinson: underrated in the NFL, but now properly rated by the NCAA.