Bears

View from the Moon: Vikings' stadium shuffle

340011.jpg

View from the Moon: Vikings' stadium shuffle

Tuesday, Dec. 14, 2010
11:15 AM
By John Mullin
CSNChicago.com

Best guess now for a decision on the venue for the Bears game Monday night is set for today after repair crews have taken a more thorough look at the collapsed Metrodome roof and there is a clearer idea whether or not the University of Minnesotas TCF Bank Stadium could be readied in time to keep the game at least in the area, according to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune Access Vikings" blog by Chip Scoggins and Judd Zulgad.

The situation is shaping up like a small domino chain. The state of the Metrodome needs to be clarified in order to decide on the need for TCF Stadium. And officials at Minnesota need some time to get that stadium ready for an NFL game. Ford Field in Detroit is the third option but at this point is the only sure thing, if the Vikings in fact would even want to go back there after being routed 21-3 Monday night to the New York Giants.

If theyre asking me, I vote Detroit. The amount of snow removal and start-up staffing and provisioning needed for TCF Bank Stadium will require most of this week and still not have a first-rate facility for an NFL game. Questions are rightfully raised as to whether the Metrodome is truly safe after the repair, at least until there has been another snow test -- and what if snow shows up Saturday, Sunday or Monday, the dome isnt deemed OK, and now the scrambling starts.

Besides, I can drive to Detroit and sit out a dance with TSA screening. Come to think of it, Ill drive a team bus over to Motown, if thatll help.

Good win

Make no mistake: The Giants pasting of the Vikings on Monday night was a positive for the Bears. The Vikings had won two straight under interim coach Leslie Frazier and were building some late-season momentum much as the Dallas Cowboys were under Jason Garrett, and you do want teams that are down to stay down and not start playing like it matters for a new coach.

Interesting perspective

Longtime Patriots guy and colleague Kevin Curran at CSNNE.com puts a wrap on the New England game that Bears fans may find strangely encouraging. Kevin looks at how the Patriots have gone from rebuilding to remarkable, from a team that had few outside expectations going into this season and then even fewer after they let Randy Moss go.

The Bears have not gone anywhere near remarkable to this point but from where consensus expectations had to where they are now even after the New England embarrassment is something most fans wouldve gladly accepted three months ago when this season was starting. ...

If Brett Favres career has come to a close, he will leave with a spectrum of passing records. Hell also walk away as a true anomaly, particularly for a great quarterback:

Favre will have played for four different NFL teams. His last pass for each of them was intercepted. His final pass in each of his last four seasons was intercepted as well.

In his rookie, one year as an Atlanta Falcon in 1991, Favre threw four passes. The first one was intercepted and returned for a touchdown. His last one also was picked off in mop-up duty in a rout by the Washington Redskins.

His final pass as a Packer, an inane heave in overtime of the NFC Championship game, was intercepted.

His final pass as a New York Jet in 2008 was picked off.

And Minnesota gets a two-fer of final-Brett picks. His final throw of 2009 was intercepted by the New Orleans Saints in the NFC Championship game loss for the Vikings.

Favres current last pass as a Viking, thrown as he was taking the hit that injured his shoulder and ended the streak, was intercepted.

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.

Why coming to the Bears was the right opportunity for Harry Hiestand to leave Notre Dame

1-10harryhiestand.jpg
AP

Why coming to the Bears was the right opportunity for Harry Hiestand to leave Notre Dame

There wasn’t a single game Harry Hiestand coached while at Notre Dame — 77 in total — in which he didn’t have a future top-20 pick starting at left tackle. 

Zack Martin (16th overall, 2014) was followed by Ronnie Stanley (6th overall, 2016), who gave way to Mike McGlinchey (9th overall, 2018). Hiestand also developed Quenton Nelson, who went on to be the highest interior offensive lineman drafted (6th overall, 2018) since 1986. Nelson and McGlinchey became the first pair of college offensive line teammates to be drafted in the first 10 picks since 1991, when Tennessee had tackles Charles McRae and Antone Davis go seventh and eighth. 

“It wasn’t surprising because the kind of guys they are, they absolutely did everything the right way, the way they took care of themselves, the way they trained, the teammates that they are and were,” Hiestand said. “They just did it all the way you wanted them to do it. So it was. It was a good moment.”

Hiestand said he had a sense of pride after seeing his two former players be drafted so high, even if he wasn't able to re-unite with either of them. The Bears, of course, didn’t have a chance to draft Nelson, and had conviction on using the eighth overall pick on linebacker Roquan Smith (as well as having tackles Charles Leno and Bobby Massie in place for the 2018 season). 

Anecdotally, one former Notre Dame player said (maybe half-jokingly) that Nelson and McGlinchey were fighting each other to see who could get drafted by the Bears to play with Hiestand again.

“There’s nobody that I’ve been around in this game that’s more passionate about what he does,” McGlinchey, now with the San Francisco 49ers, said of Hiestand at Notre Dame’s pro day in March. “There’s really only two things that are important to him, and that’s his family and then his offensive linemen. There’s a lot to be said for that. 

“In this game, everybody’s always trying to work an angle to up their own career — he doesn’t want to do anything but coach O-line, and that’s what really sticks out to us as players. He cares for us like we’re his own. Obviously he coaches extremely hard and is very demanding of his players, which I loved — he pushed me to be the player that I am.

“I’m standing in front of all you guys because of Harry Hiestand. But the amount of passion and care that he has not only for his job but his teaching abilities and his players is what sets him apart.”

Hiestand could’ve stayed as long as he wanted at Notre Dame, presumably, given how much success he had recruiting and developing players there. But six years at one spot is a long time for a position coach, especially at the college level, where the grind of recruiting is so vital to the success of a program. It’s also not like every one of the blue-chip prospects Hiestand recruited to South Bend panned out, either. 

So Hiestand knew he wanted to get back to the NFL after coaching with the Bears under Lovie Smith from 2005-2009. It’s a new challenge for him now, not only to develop second-round pick James Daniels but to continue the growth of Cody Whitehair and Leno while getting the most out of Kyle Long, Massie and the rest of the group (back during his first stint with the Bears, Hiestand had the luxury of coaching experienced, more ready-made offensive lines). 

As one of the more highly-regarded offensive line coaches in the country, though, Hiestand could’ve jumped back into the NFL whenever, and nearly wherever, he wanted. And for him, coming back to the Bears was the perfect fit. 

“That’s an awesome, awesome place, a great franchise,” Hiestand said. “It was something, I always wanted to go back, I didn’t know where I would get the opportunity. So I’m just very fortunate it just happened to be back at the same place that I was before. There are a lot of things that are different but there’s also a lot that’s the same. 

“But it’s one of the — it is the greatest organization. Historically, this is where it all began, and being part of it — and the other thing, and I told those guys when I got here, when we get it done here, you guys are going to see this city like you’ve never seen it. And I remember that. That’s what we’re after.” 

On a scale of 1-10, Tarik Cohen says his dangerous level is 12

125tarikcohen.jpg
USA Today

On a scale of 1-10, Tarik Cohen says his dangerous level is 12

Don't be fooled by Tarik Cohen's height. He has towering confidence and he's setting up to have a big role in coach Matt Nagy's offense in 2018.

“On a scale of 1-10, the dangerous level is probably 12,” Cohen said Wednesday at Halas Hall about the impact he can have in the Bears' new system. “Because in backyard football, it’s really anything goes, and it’s really whoever gets tired first, that’s who’s going to lose. I’m running around pretty good out here, so I feel like I’m doing a good job.”

Cohen proved last season he can thrive in space. He made an impact as a runner, receiver and return man and will have a chance at an even bigger workload this fall, assuming he can handle it.

With Jordan Howard established as the starting running back, Cohen knows his touches will come in a variety of ways.

“It might not necessarily be rushes,” he said. “But it’s going to be all over the field, and that’s what I like to do. Any way I can get the ball or make a play for my team, that’s what I’m looking forward to doing.”

Cohen averaged 4.3 yards-per-carry as a rookie and led all NFL running backs in the percentage of carries that went for at least 15 yards. He's a big play waiting to happen.