Bears

Mullin: Some early Vick-ing

Mullin: Some early Vick-ing

Sunday, Nov. 21, 2010
Posted: 11:05 p.m.

By John Mullin
CSNChicago.com

For all of the Vicks-ation on Michael, and it will do nothing but increase as this pre-Eagles week plays out, certain members of the Bears can boast a very respectable record against him.

The Bears virtually owned Vick when he was against them as a member of the Atlanta Falcons and it wasn't always pretty for Vick.

Brian Urlacher had one of the greatest games of his very distinguished career against Vick in 2001 when Urlacher registered an interception, sack, tackle for loss and a 90-yard touchdown return of a fumble in a 31-3 destruction in Atlanta. In an icebox game late in 2005, Vick clearly had no real interest in being anywhere in Soldier Field and went turtle when Urlacher and others assaulted him to the point that he angrily flipped the ball at his tormentors after one failed play.

Julius Peppers saw Vick twice a year for many of Peppers' early seasons as a Carolina Panther and has 7 career sacks in nine games against Vick. The left-hander, however, owns a 5-4 record against Carolina teams with Peppers in the lineup.

"We're going to have our hands full with Michael Vick," said cornerback Charles Tillman. "Everyone knows the kind of year he's having this year. He's having an MVP year right now. So he'll give us our money's worth."

The problem for the Bears is there is more than one problem when they play Philadelphia. For all of the broadcast attention paid to Vick, the game turned on 149 rushing yards by the Eagles vs. 55 by the supposedly superior running Giants. Vick ran for 35 yards and a TD, but the real damage was by tailback LeSean McCoy with 111 yards and a score on 14 carries.

"The Eagles are a tough team," said running back Matt Forte. "They are a really good team. We have to prepare for them". We have home-field advantage and we have to get a win there."

Interesting commentary from NBC's Cris Collinsworth, who on more than one occasion of Sunday night's broadcast noted how pressure on Vick from Vick's left side forces the Philadelphia quarterback to his right. And when that happens, Collinsworth said, Vick tends to become a runner first rather than passer, which this season is a decidedly a good thing.

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.

Bears rookie WR Riley Ridley motivated by older brother, family name

ridley.jpg
USA Today

Bears rookie WR Riley Ridley motivated by older brother, family name

Bears fourth-round pick Riley Ridley knew what to expect coming into the NFL thanks to his older brother Calvin, the Atlanta Falcons wide receiver.

Their family bond kept them close even as they played for rival colleges and now competing professional teams, and they both take a lot of motivation from the name on the back of their jerseys.

The two receivers came together on camera for the Bears’ “Meet the Rookies” series.

“We do what we do, not just for the family, but for our name, our brand,” Riley Ridley said. “We want to take that as far as it can go. That Ridley name is strong, and that’s how we view it.”

Ridley opened up about growing up with his mother raising him and his three brothers. He said he’s going to be his own biggest critic and do everything he can to help his teammates.

His brother Calvin added some color to the image of Riley that’s starting to take shape.

“Very funny, really cool, laid back,” Calvin Ridley said. “He’s a different person on the field. I would say he has a lot of anger on the field — very physical.”

Matt Nagy should find good use for that physicality in the Bears offense, plugging Ridley in a wide receiver group already deep with young talent.

Ridley doesn’t seem like the type of player who will allow himself to get buried on the depth chart.

Akiem Hicks reveals what makes him so good against the run

Akiem Hicks reveals what makes him so good against the run

Akiem Hicks finally earned the recognition he deserved in 2018 with his first trip to the Pro Bowl, and playing on the NFL’s No. 1 defense provided the national attention he should have received in his first two years with the Bears.

He’s a solid interior pass rusher, but where he dominates is in run defense, leading the NFL in run stops last season according to Pro Football Focus.

When Hicks beats an offensive lineman at the line of scrimmage to make a big tackle in the backfield, it’s a work of art, and he revealed the secret to those flashy plays on NFL Game Pass.

He broke down the film of a play against the Green Bay Packers where he beats center Corey Linsley because he knew right guard Jordan McCray was going to pull to the left.

“I read it before the snap happens. I know that McCray is going to pull just based off his stance,” Hicks said. “I know his stance for every play that he’s going to do. I’m going to be at least 75 percent right.”

Hicks looks at how much weight an offensive lineman is putting on his hand, how far apart his legs are and how much bend is in his hips.

“If you do your due-diligence as a defensive lineman and prepare like a professional during the week, you’re going to know,” Hicks said.

Any little deviation from a normal stance is an indicator to Hicks of what the play is going to be, and that pre-snap knowledge keeps him a step ahead of the blocker in front of him.

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