When it comes to Bears camp news, don't fall for banana in tailpipe


When it comes to Bears camp news, don't fall for banana in tailpipe

BOURBONNAIS — Somewhere John Fox and Eddie Murphy have to be really enjoying this.

The old banana in the tailpipe.

If you don’t know about it, check it out in “Beverly Hills Cop.” It refers to something being put over on you, and you not falling for it. While Fox isn’t trying to put anything over on anyone, there’s something vaguely Murphy-esque now.

On Tuesday's edition of the “Jim Rome Show,” the Bears coach was asked by the hosts for information on the shin injury still sidelining rookie wide receiver Kevin White. Fox allowed that “you can call it shin splints or his shin just flared up.”

On Wednesday, Fox repeated his “assessment:” “He's got a shin. You can call it splints, call it whatever you want.”

Later on, I was asked, “Did you hear? Fox said Kevin White has shin splints.”

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Actually, no, Fox didn’t say White has shin splints. White might have shin splints (I doubt it). But all Fox said was that you can call it shin splints or call it whatever you want. Because he’s not calling it anything. “I just know we’re doing what’s right for the kid and Chicago Bears,” Fox said.

So don’t fall for the old banana in the tailpipe. White will practice when he’s allowed to — “He's (chomping) at the bit, he's mad at me right now because I won't let him practice,” Fox said — and until he does, Marquess Wilson is getting an extended chance and he seriously needs to do more to take advantage of it.

“I think this year he’s done things this spring and camp so far to take that (next) step,” quarterback Jay Cutler said. “But he needs to take one more step and become the guy we think he can become.”

No banana, just fact.

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Tailpipe banana II

Reactions to camp news are always interesting.

A simple report a couple days ago and one that still holds: Jay Cutler hasn’t thrown an interception or lost a fumble in the course of training camp. If this is construed as declaring Cutler turnover history to be history, that would be falling for the banana in the tailpipe.

It’s just a simple fact. Take it however you want. If he were throwing a pick a day, that would probably be news and possibly disturbing indicator that Cutler is reverting to his career base course, glowing platitudes from or about his latest offensive coordinator notwithstanding.

But Cutler isn’t turning the football over. And he’s not doing it against a defense that is doing not showing everything, but neither is it holding back for the benefit of the offense.

“(Defensive coordinator Vic Fangio) is not afraid to drop eight (into coverage) or to (rush) eight,” Cutler said. “Throws a lot of different things at you — three-down, four-down, nickel, dime. He’s got an extensive package, so it makes you think.”

Said offensive coordinator Adam Gase: “Every play is something different from those guys, and we’re kind of adjusting as we go.”

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And maybe that’s the real point in all of this. Maybe that’s another banana in the tailpipe.

But Cutler and the Bears have been flummoxed more than a few times by 3-4 schemes: Green Bay twice annually, for instance. The Bears defeated San Francisco and the Jets last year, but only because of five combined interceptions by their defense in the two games. The offense netted 216 and 257 yards in the games.

So for Cutler to go interception-free for a week of camp against a blizzard of looks — that’s the whole point of why a 4-3 disciple like John Fox is all for the change to a 3-4 — shouldn’t be entirely dismissed.

Or maybe it’s me that’s falling for the banana.

Mitch Trubisky jersey sales trending in right direction

Mitch Trubisky jersey sales trending in right direction

Positive press about the Chicago Bears' offseason is having a strong impact on the jersey sales for the team's highest-profile player, Mitch Trubisky.

According to Dick's Sporting Goods, Trubisky's No. 10 is the fifth-most popular jersey among offensive players over the last 30 days. He's No. 6 among all players, regardless of position.

The Bears' offseason has been full of superlatives since their aggressive approach to free agency. The signings of Allen Robinson, Trey Burton and Taylor Gabriel put the spotlight on Trubisky and the potentially surging passing game. The second-round selection of Anthony Miller and word of Kevin White's offseason emergence has turned positive momentum into higher-than-anticipated expectations for Trubisky this season.

For Chicago to have any chance at meeting those expectations, Trubisky, who's entering his first full season as a starter with a new head coach and offensive system, has to thrive. Fans must be confident that he will, considering the investment they're making in his jersey.

Trubisky ended his rookie season with four wins in 12 starts, throwing for 2,193 yards with seven touchdowns and seven interceptions. He completed 59.4 percent of his passes. He should have a much more productive season in 2018 with his new arsenal of skill players and an innovative coaching staff, led by coach Matt Nagy and offensive coordinator Mark Helfrich.

These four Bears will be featured on 'Meet the Rookies' series

These four Bears will be featured on 'Meet the Rookies' series

The Chicago Bears will kick off the fourth season of "Meet the Rookies" on June 25, a series that profiles four of the team's 2018 draft picks for a behind-the-scenes look at their journey to the NFL.

The four-episode series will air on at 7:00 p.m from June 25 - 28 and will feature one rookie per night. 

Monday's episode will cover the Bears' first-round pick, Roquan Smith. Selected with the eighth-overall pick, Smith is expected to become an instant-impact player on defense. He's expected to make an impact off the field, too, as a high-character leader. Smith's linebacker-mate Joel Iyiegbuniwe is the focus of Tuesday's episode, with Anthony Miller (Wednesday) and James Daniels (Thursday) rounding out Season 4.

For a deeper dive into what's in store in "Meet the Rookies," check out this description.