Bears

Turnovers prove costly as Bears get routed by Buccaneers

Turnovers prove costly as Bears get routed by Buccaneers

TAMPA, Fla. - Jameis Winston kept retreating toward his own goal line, seemingly in disregard for the best interests of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The second-year quarterback often is at his best when he's improvising, though, and the first overall pick from the 2015 draft kept scrambling into the end zone and back out before heaving a 38-yard completion to Mike Evans.

The play started at his own 23 and ended at the Chicago 38, where Evans made a leaping catch. On the next play, Winston threw his second TD pass in a 36-10 rout of the Bears on Sunday.

"That's Jameis making plays," Bucs coach Dirk Koetter said, though that hardly crossed the coach's mind while Winston was heading the wrong way with the Bucs clinging to a seven-point lead early in the third quarter.

"Throw it away. Throw it away. Do anything. Don't take a safety," Koetter recalled himself thinking.

"But, the thing about Jameis, Jameis is going to do some things that we don't plan for and he's going to do some things that sometimes I don't like," the coach added. "But Jameis is going to make some plays. That's who he is. ... You can't coach that out of him. He's a special player in that respect."

Winston finished 23 of 33 for 312 yards with one interception, helping the Bucs (4-5) win at home for the first time this season. The Bears (2-7) are winless in five road games.

"That was a great play by him. ... He retreated. I tried to get him again and he stepped up in the pocket and let it rip," Bears linebacker Leonard Floyd said. "Great play by him."

Winston threw for TDs of 10 yards to Cameron Brate and 43 yards to Freddie Martino, a former practice squad player with two career receptions.

Two weeks after returning from injury and helping the Bears (2-7) beat NFC North leader Minnesota, Jay Cutler threw two interceptions and fumbled twice, one resulting in a third-quarter safety that put the Bucs up 29-10.

The Bucs forced four turnovers overall and sacked Cutler four times. Even though the Bears are last in the league in scoring, it was a confidence-building performance for a defense that yielded 73 points and 1,087 yards - including 857 passing - in home losses to Oakland and Atlanta the previous two weeks.

Cutler missed five games with a sprained right thumb before playing well and not turning the ball over against the Vikings. The Bears had a bye last week, but the momentum they built against Minnesota didn't carry over to the trip to Tampa.

The Bears scored on Cameron Meredith's 50-yard TD reception on the final play of the first half. Cutler finished 16 of 30 for 182 yards, and Tampa Bay's Chris Conte returned a first-quarter interception 20 yards to give the Bucs a 7-0 lead.

"Any given week, you can win, you can lose. It depends on how you execute," Cutler said. "Obviously, we didn't get the job done today."

Robbie Gould-Bears reunion appears to be all but dead

Robbie Gould-Bears reunion appears to be all but dead

Any chance of a Robbie Gould-Bears reunion happening for the 2019 season seems to be all but dead.

Monday, 49ers general manager John Lynch said that Gould will be with the team in 2019.

“Robbie is going to be a part of us this coming year, I know that,” Lynch said. “We would like it to be longer than that. We’ve made an attempt to make it happen. We haven’t come to an agreement as of yet, and we’ll see where that goes.

“But Robbie will be a part of us this coming year, and we’re excited for that because he’s very good at what he does and he’s also a big part of this team.”

Gould joined the 49ers in March 2017 on a two-year, $4 million contract. The 49ers placed the franchise tag on Gould on February 26, though the 36-year-old kicker has yet to sign the one-year, $4.9 million tender.

According to NBC Sports Bay Area, Gould is not participating in the 49ers' offseason program—he isn't obligated to do so— instead working out in the Chicago area. NBC Sports Bay Area also reported that the 49ers hope to re-sign Gould to a multi-year deal and spoke to the kicker's representation at the NFL Combine.

Lynch's declaration doesn't guarantee that Gould will sign the franchise tender, but it does indicate that he isn't on the market. Essentially, if Gould plays in the NFL in 2019, he will be with the 49ers. 

The Bears released Cody Parkey on March 13 after a rough first season in Chicago. This offseason, the team has added kickers Redford JonesChris Blewitt and Elliott Fry. The Bears are expected to add more kickers to the competition as the offseason moves along.

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Tarik Cohen admits losing Jordan Howard ‘hurt me a little bit’

Tarik Cohen admits losing Jordan Howard ‘hurt me a little bit’

The Jordan Howard trade was tough for Tarik Cohen.

The two Bears running backs had formed a backfield bond over the last two seasons, and Cohen was there to support him during the rumors and eventual move to Philadelphia.

“I was really following after him as soon as I came to the Bears because I was one year behind him, so he could tell me everything to do because he had already been through it,” Cohen said Monday. “Losing him, it hurt me a little bit. I’m not going to lie. It hurt me, because that’s like my brother.”

Both running backs understand football is a business as they go their separate ways. Cohen’s “brother” will get to work in the city of brotherly love, while the North Carolina native continues to go out in his adopted community.

Cohen and Bears chairman George McCaskey met with members of Heartland Alliance’s Rapid Employment and Development Initiative in Chicago as part of the team’s effort to combat gun violence.

“I wear a ‘C’ on my helmet every Sunday, and every time I play a game,” Cohen said. “So I feel like it’s necessary for me to get inside the community and see what’s going on, and to help any way I can.”

With Howard exchanging his “C” for green wings, Cohen is now the running back a year ahead in Matt Nagy’s offense as Mike Davis joins the backfield.

The former Seattle Seahawk is just getting to know Halas Hall in the first phase of the offseason program, but he and Cohen had already connected through a mutual friend — fellow North Carolina native Todd Gurley.

“Mike, he’s like one of the guys,” Cohen said. “He’s already fitting in the locker room. Everybody’s already getting along cool.”

Just like that, life moves on without Howard in Chicago. Cohen expects Ryan Pace to add a rookie to the backfield too, and then it’ll be his turn to be the mentor.

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