Still think Bears absolutely had to have Moss or T.O.?


Still think Bears absolutely had to have Moss or T.O.?

Monday, Dec. 27, 2010
9:05 AM

By John Mullin

Cleaning out the notebook the day after....

Spot-on colleague and friend Jim Miller, who has been beyond question the most insightful and thorough analyst of quarterback Jay Cutlers play over the last two seasons, takes a quality look at what the Jets game revealed about the play of Cutler and the overall offense in the context of a Super Bowl prospect.

Jim, who knows, oh, just little bit about NFL quarterbacking (check out the 2001 Bears sometime), gets inside the way Cutler attacked the Jets defense. And Jim looks at the things, like pass protection and the wide receivers (T.O. who?), that make the strongest case for the Bears being a whole lot more than just a lucky team at this point of 2010.

And along that line, a good friend and former Big Ten player (and a Bear doubter in the early 010 going) texted me after Sunday with a simple message: That is one good football team. I am a believer.

The Bears may stumble in the playoffs. Someone always does. But this is indeed a good football team. And whats easy to overlook is the fact that on that offense, the quarterback, wide receivers and offensive line are just starting to be what theyre going to be before theyre all finished.


One of the top national writers on hand for Sundays game (name withheld because it was casual conversation among friends) looked beyond the nonsense in New York and directly at the bizarre fake-punt call that was the point at which that game nosed over and started down for the Jets.

What he saw was the first glimpse of the end of Rex Ryan in New York. The schtick wont be enough was his observation, meaning that as likeable and entertaining as Ryan is, the coaching gaffes will count for far more in the wrong direction and ultimately be his undoing."

Rashied Davis, the Bears special teamer who broke up the Mark Sanchez pass on that play, didnt disagree that some element of arrogance could have played into Ryans decision. Not only on that play, but on the whole business of kicking to Devin Hester, another stupid call after a week of bogus feigning fear of the greatest returner in NFL history, and then tugging on Supermans cape. Bad idea.

From watching HBOs Hard Knocks, he seemed like an arrogant guy, Davis said. So we thought they would kick it to Devin, because all week he was saying Were not going to kick to Devin. But he loves his special teams.

Last laugh I

Anybody really think a couple of Bears assistants havent totally enjoyed the last two weeks?

First theres Mike Tice savoring the second blowout win over the Minnesota Vikings, the team that fired him as head coach via press release in the locker room after a loss.

And now there is Mike Martz, who was fired by Mike Singletary after 2008 when Singletary was in as San Francisco 49ers coach. Singletarys colorful tenure ended 15 games into this season when he was bounced after another highlight sideline scene (for all the wrong reasons) and more poor play.

Martzs season is going along quite nicely, thank you very much.

One head-shaker of full-circle irony here is that Singletarys final deal-killer was his in-game handling of a quarterback situation and his successor could be Jim Harbaugh, whos working wonders at Stanford. Singletary is one of the coaches from the Mike Ditka tree (Ron Rivera, Leslie Frazier, Harbaugh, Ken Margerum) and it was Ditkas bombastic in-game handling of a quarterback situation in 92 that led to his ultimate ouster.

The quarterback back in 92: Jim Harbaugh.

Last laugh II

They wont make a public spectacle of it because thats just not how they and their coach are, but anybody happen to notice what Bears wide receivers did Sunday against perhaps the top cornerback tandem (Darrelle RevisAntonio Cromartie) in the NFL?

Darryl Drake has quietly and very firmly backed his guys ever since the start of last year when the group of Johnny Knox, Hester, Earl Bennett and Devin Aromashodu (with a sprinkling of Rashied Davis) was coming together amid major public doubts.

Anybody still think the Bears absolutely had to have Terrell Owens or Randy Moss?


Sunday's Bears-Packers game at Lambeau Field has been moved to a 3:15 p.m. start.

Checking in

We wont have our regular chat tonight at 7 p.m. because I need to get in-studio to finish off our Top 10 of 2010 highlights for the Bears (OK, OK, I know, I have a face for radio...).

But well toss around some Bears thoughts on Chicago Tribune Live at 5:30 p.m. And for those of you downstate, well pick it up at 4:40 p.m. on WFMB-AM SportsRadio 1450 as usual this afternoon.

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.

Takeaways from Bears win over Vikings: Camaraderie building, Mitch Trubisky progressing, the REAL defensive stopper


Takeaways from Bears win over Vikings: Camaraderie building, Mitch Trubisky progressing, the REAL defensive stopper

A short week between games also means condensed timeframe for looking both back at what just transpired in the Bears 25-20 win over the Minnesota Vikings, and ahead to what those things might foreshadow in Thursday’s rematch in Detroit with the Lions.

The Bears are averaging 3.5 touchdowns per game this season, approaching double the 1.9 per game last year. So it figures that their celebrations of those scores should step up appropriately.

Team chemistry/unity/personality/whatever is always easier to detect when said team is winning. But the touchdown celebrations orchestrated (literally and figuratively) by wide receiver Anthony Miller and safety Eddie Jackson are worth a footnote.

Not so much for the amusing creativity of Miller’s “boys in the boat” rowing team, or Jackson’s musical-conductor performance with the assembled defense. More for, as more than a few folks noted on Monday, the fact that the whole team jumped into the skits. These were not look-at-me, solo-showboating exercises by the player scoring the touchdown; they were the kind of group endeavors that teams do.

The Bears can be excused for being a bit out of practice celebrating touchdowns after their miseries of the last five years. Now that it’s happening with increasing frequency, the performances figure to step up in style.

Matt Nagy has set the tone for more than just offensive schemes, remarking, “If you’re not enjoying the moment, then why are you playing?... I like our players to have fun when they play.”

Duly noted

Besides being his 22nd consecutive start and moving him ahead of Rex Grossman on the consecutive-start list, the win over the Minnesota Vikings got Mitchell Trubisky to .500 as a starting quarterback (11-11).

Much is usually made about an offense distributing the football among an array of receivers. Matt Nagy and the Bears offense went a different direction with six different ball carriers against the Vikings, and got those six the football in the first half alone.

The Bears may have opened as four-point favorites over the Lions for Thursday’s game, but the Lions have beaten the Bears four of the last five times the teams met on Thanksgiving Day.

How much more accurate has Mitchell Trubisky become from last year to this? He wasn’t happy with his performance against the Vikings (20-for-31 passing) but Trubisky had just four of his 12 starts in 2017 in which he posted a completion percentage higher than 60. Of his 10 starts in 2018 he has just two starts in which his success rate was BELOW 60 percent.

THE defensive stopper

Take a quick read of another outstanding piece by reporter Jim Trotter if you want a glimpse at one of the stories behind the big story of the 2018 Bears defense.

JT, a longtime pal dating back to a chance meeting too many years ago while waiting together to chat with Terrell Davis after a Denver Super Bowl win, is simply one of the best covering this league and was in town for Bears-Vikings.

What he delivered out of Sunday night was a look at how important it was that the Bears retained Vic Fangio as their defensive coordinator, which wasn’t a done deal after the shakeup that ended the tenure of John Fox. Fangio was interviewed but never a serious candidate for the head-coaching job, but his retention was pivotal to some of the linchpins of what has become a contender for title of the best defense in the NFL.

"When we didn't know if Vic was going to be back or not, and then we found out that he was going to be here, there was so much enthusiasm with all the guys," defensive lineman Akiem Hicks told JT. "We were texting each other and we were excited about having that opportunity to have that same defense again, because it makes it easier on you as a player. So it was big, huge, monumental. We would not be here without that. Not even possible."


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This video of Mitch Trubisky's pregame speech will get you fired up

This video of Mitch Trubisky's pregame speech will get you fired up

You may have seen that hilarious video of Kirk Cousins hyping up the Vikings make the rounds over the last month and think to yourself 'wow, the NFC North's most hype quarterback is clearly Kirk Cousins, now I am sure.'

You'd of course be wrong, because the NFC North's most hype quarterback is bearded, orange-jersey wearin' Mitch Tubisky. In a 6-minute montage of Akiem Hicks mic'd up, one shot catches Trubisky giving the Bears his best Coach Taylor speech: 

He's ... doing ok?! I'm kinda here for preaching Mitch Trubisky if we're being honest. 

The whole video is worth a watch, because mic'd up videos literally always are - though this one is particularly great, because Akiem Hicks is particularly great.