Bears

Webb in for Favre? Cutler can't believe it

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Webb in for Favre? Cutler can't believe it

Thursday, Dec. 16, 2010
Posted 9:22 PM

By John Mullin
CSNChicago.com

Minnesota Vikings quarterback Brett Favre didnt practice Thursday, the first day of real on-field work before Mondays game against the Bears. Hes still having numbness in his hand and shoulder from a tackle that ended his string of consecutive starts at 297. Hes not expected to play against the Bears.

And at least one of the Bears doesnt believe it, or that the Vikings would start rookie Joe Webb even with their season effectively over.

They have a rookie starting? quarterback Jay Cutler said with a touch of incredulity. Possibly, was the response.

Possibly, Cutler said, then chuckled. I wouldnt be surprised if Brett was out there.

If he isnt, or if the Vikings do go with journeyman veteran Patrick Ramsey, the situation will be exponentially more difficult for the Vikings.

With erratic veteran Tarvaris Jackson headed for injured reserve this season and somewhere else next, Webb is an option for the Vikings.

Youve seen it, a few rookies, a few first-time starters going against this defense and its tough, said Cutler, who knows some things about the difficulties posed by the Bears defense. Theyre flying around in that Cover-2 and they play it well and its tough.

Ramsey, who is on his ninth NFL team since being a No. 1 pick of the Washington Redskins in 2002, would help.

Great guy, great teammate, said Cutler, who played with Ramsey in Denver. I really enjoyed my time with Patrick. Smart guy. Hes not going to hurt them. Hes going to take what our defense gives him, going against a Cover-2 team like we are. Hes done it before so he knows what hes up against. Hes a guy who could learn a system in a week and be ready to play. If he has to start, hell do the job, hell do well.

Sick bay

The Bears got some good news Thursday when strong-side linebacker Pisa Tinoisamoa, who has missed three of the last four games with knee surgery, was able to practice on a limited basis and is likely to be available Monday for Minnesota, wherever that game ends up being. Running back Chester Taylor also was limited with knee soreness.

Cornerback Charles Tillman did not practice due to foot soreness.

For their part the Vikings were in considerably worse shape. Besides Favre, guard Steve Hutchinson (thumb), running back Adrian Peterson (ankleknee), safety Tyrell Johnson (knee) and safety Jamarca Sanford (concussion) were unable to practice. Defensive end Ray Edwards (ankle) was limited in practice.

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 still see Dion Sims as a valuable piece to their offensive puzzle

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USA Today Sports Images

Bears still see Dion Sims as a valuable piece to their offensive puzzle

Dion Sims is still here, which is the outcome he expected but perhaps wasn’t a slam dunk — at least to those outside the walls at Halas Hall. 

The Bears could’ve cut ties with Sims prior to March 16 and saved $5.666 million against the cap, quite a figure for a guy coming off a disappointing 2017 season (15 catches, 180 yards, one touchdown). But the Bears are sticking with Sims, even after splashing eight figures to land Trey Burton in free agency earlier this year. 

“In my mind, I thought I was coming back,” Sims said. “I signed to be here three years and that’s what I expect. But I understand how things go and my job is come out here and work hard every day and play with a chip on my shoulder to prove myself and just be a team guy.”

The Bears signed Sims to that three-year, $18 million contract 14 months ago viewing him as a rock-solid blocking tight end with some receiving upside. The receiving upside never materialized, and his blocking was uneven at times as the Bears’ offense slogged through a bleak 11-loss season. 

“The situation we were in, we weren’t — we could’ve done a better job of being successful,” Sims said. “Things didn’t go how we thought it would. We just had to pretty much try to figure out how to come together and build momentum into coming into this year. I just think there were a lot of things we could have done, but because of the circumstances we were limited a little bit. 

“… It was a lot of things going on. Guys hurt, situations — it was tough for us. We couldn’t figure it out, along with losing, that was a big part of it too.”

Sims will be given a fresh start in 2018, even as Adam Shaheen will be expected to compete to cut into Sims’ playing time at the “Y” tight end position this year. The other side of that thought: Shaheen won’t necessarily slide into being the Bears’ primary in-line tight end this year. 

Sims averaged 23 receptions, 222 yards and two touchdowns from 2014-2016; that might be a good starting point for his 2018 numbers, even if it would represent an improvement from 2017. More important, perhaps, is what Sims does as a run blocker — and that was the first thing Nagy mentioned when talking about how Sims fits into his offense. 

“The nice thing with Dion is that he’s a guy that’s proven to be a solid blocker,” Nagy said. “He can be in there and be your Y-tight end, but yet he still has really good hands. He can make plays on intermediate routes. He’s not going to be anybody that’s a downfield threat — I think he knows that, we all know that — but he’s a valuable piece of this puzzle.”

Bears logo ranked in bottom five of NFL in recent fan poll

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USA Today

Bears logo ranked in bottom five of NFL in recent fan poll

The Chicago Bears logo has withstood the test of time. In a sports era full of uniform changes, the Bears have maintained the classic orange 'C' for most of their nearly 100 years in Chicago.

Unfortunately, tradition doesn't equate to popularity.

Chicago's logo ranked 28th in the NFL, according to a recent poll of nearly 1,500 football fans. Only the Redskins (29), Bengals (30), Jets (31) and Browns (32) were worse.

I’m not sure how I feel about the underbite on the “C.” I can see how this would be a polarizing feature of this logo. I wish to an extent that it met up more evenly. I think they could have had the bottom meet up in a more even fashion and still maintained the sharpness, of the “C,” which I like. I don’t mind the point [ON THE BACK SIDE OF THE “C”], without the point it would be super boring. The point actually does add something from a design standpoint that makes it stand out.

Bears fans will take exception with the results. Wins have been hard to come by in recent seasons, but there's still something special about seeing the familiar navy and orange on Sundays in the fall. The 'C' is arguably the biggest part of that. Sure, it's not a complex design overflowing with colors, but it represents a long and storied history. 

It's interesting that each of the bottom five teams have struggled to string together winning seasons. On the flipside, teams like the Saints, Falcons, Rams, Vikings and Eagles rank in the top six. Maybe it's recency bias.

In the NFC North, the Lions rank No. 2 (which is a shocker) and the Packers are No. 20.