Phillips: 'We expect to play football in 2011'


Phillips: 'We expect to play football in 2011'

Saturday, March 12, 2011
Posted: 12:02 p.m. Updated: 2:24 p.m.

By John Mullin

Bears President Ted Phillips said on Friday that he believed an agreement will be worked out between NFL ownership and players. In the wake of the unions move to decertify and leagues step to impose a lockout, Phillips expressed disappointment but stressed that a focus is still being kept on the 2011 season.

Were disappointed in the need to take this lockout step, but it is necessary for the long- term health of our league, Phillips said in a statement. Ultimately we believe an agreement will be reached at the bargaining table. As an individual club, our team focus is on our preparation for the 2011 season and we want Bears fans to know we are going to continue to do everything we can within the League rules to prepare for a championship season.

Our immediate focus is on preparing for the draft. We also continue to evaluate our team and will be ready to take advantage of all avenues to improve our team once a new collective bargaining agreement is reached.

Phillips said Friday that the Bears will not be laying off or furloughing staff, including coaches, and no pay cuts or scale-backs have been enacted or are expected.

Still, some aspects of this offseason may look different, but our commitment to winning remains the same, Phillips said. We need to build off the success we had in 2010. We are committed to our fan base and appreciate their patience throughout this process. We will do our best to create opportunities for Bears fans to ask questions and keep them informed of what is happening with their team and the labor discussions. We still plan to host fan events this offseason starting with our Ultimate Weekend which includes our Draft Party and Bears Expo at Soldier Field.

A deal will get done and we expect to play football in 2011. Our goal remains the same as we prepare to play, bringing a Super Bowl title back to Chicago.

John "Moon" Mullin is'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.

Who is Ryan Pace's best draft pick as Bears general manager?

Who is Ryan Pace's best draft pick as Bears general manager?

Ryan Pace has been the Chicago Bears' general manager since 2015, and while some of his most memorable moments aren't the kind GMs want to be known for, like trading up for Mitch Trubisky in a draft class that included Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watston, he hasn't been a complete failure on draft weekend.

Former Super Bowl-winning GM of the Washington Redskins, Charley Casserly, published a scouting report of sorts for all of the league's top decision-makers that offered a somewhat positive spin on Pace's track record.

After five drafts, Pace has selected five Pro Bowlers: Tarik Cohen, Jordan Howard, Eddie Jackson, Cody Whitehair and Trubisky.

OK, so, maybe we should give him credit for four; Trubisky is entering a training-camp battle for the starting job with Nick Foles this summer. His Pro Bowl berth feels like ancient history.

According to Casserly, Roquan Smith has been Pace's best pick so far.

"He is the complete package as a linebacker," Casserly wrote of Smith, "who has the speed to cover sideline to sideline, excelling vs. the run."

Cody Whitehair checked-in as Pace's best value pick after selecting the team's starting center in the second round of the 2016 draft. 

As for how Pace conducts draft weekend?

"There seems to be a very close working relationship between Pace and head coach Matt Nagy," wrote Casserly. "It is a collaborative effort between those two, as well as other scouts and coaches -- all must agree on how the player's skill set fits into the scheme. The organization believes in being aggressive to acquire players, including when they traded draft picks for Khalil Mack, traded up for safety Eddie Jackson and back for OL Cody Whitehair. Those were all good trades for the Bears."

Pace has some ammunition to make a move up the board in the 2020 NFL draft if he so chooses. Armed with two second-round picks (No.s 43 and 50 overall), he'll have the ability to move into the back-half of the first round if a must-have player slides further than expected. This year's virtual draft environment may make trades tougher to execute, but there's no doubt Pace will be active in an attempt to slide up or down the board.

NFL teams seriously concerned about tech safety for virtual 2020 NFL draft

NFL teams seriously concerned about tech safety for virtual 2020 NFL draft

The NFL Draft is going "fully virtual" this year, which means the Bears won't get to witness the firepower of their fully armed and operational battle station. 

And because the NFL is ultimately a league run by dads, concerns about technology use are HIGH:

The article goes on to quote several people within the organization, including head coach John Harbaugh/your dad:

"It's a big concern," Harbaugh said during the Ravens' pre-draft news conference. "Hopefully we'll be okay. I really wouldn't want the opposing coaches to have our playbook or our draft meetings. That would be preferable, if we can stay away from that."

Everything is awful right now, but the idea of John Harbaugh going Full Dad (never go Full Dad) with his newest draft picks is undeniably less awful than most things. Kenneth Murray's going to have to confirm that it's really him three different ways. Jonathan Taylor's going to get three digits into sending his phone number to the team before Harbaugh sends an all-caps email forcing him to stop. Michael Pittman Jr.'s explanation of TikTok will be pointless. 

NFL front offices have spent decades trying to outsmart and outposition each other, and that's all going to be worthless because they have to log on to the internet on their own. It's going to be great.

RELATED: Bears won't get to use state-of-the-art draft room this year

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