Bears

CSN to air new edition of Bears program that looks at players lives off the field

CSN to air new edition of Bears program that looks at players lives off the field

Next episode of “Bears Life presented by Xfinity,” featuring a look into the private life of veteran Bears kicker ROBBIE GOULD, premieres Saturday, July 18 at 5:00 PM CT 

Chicago, IL (July 13, 2015) – Comcast SportsNet, the television home for the most comprehensive coverage of the Chicago Bears, will provide viewers with a new episode of its half-hour, documentary-style program entitled Bears Life presented by Xfinity, which takes viewers inside the private lives of some of the Bears most beloved players. 

The next edition of Bears Life will make its Comcast SportsNet debut on Saturday, July 18 at 5:00 PM CT, featuring a behind-the-scenes look into the personal life of Bears kicker ROBBIE GOULD, who is now just 36 points away from becoming the historic franchise’s all-time leading scorer. 

CSN gained exclusive access to capture Gould’s behind-the-scenes, dedicated efforts at his foundation’s annual golf outing for The Goulden Touch (gouldentouch.org), which has been instrumental in partnering with several Chicago-area charities to help raise funds and awareness in a number of key life initiatives, including education, social services, health and wellness, and medical research.  Among the interview topics Gould addresses include his life as a Chicago Bear (where he currently sits at the spot of being the third most-accurate kicker in NFL history), breaking legendary kicker Kevin Butler’s 23-year scoring record, his life as a father, along with his passion for sport of golf, which he hopes to parlay into a broadcasting career as an on-course analyst after his NFL career comes to an end.

In addition to Gould, Bears Life will feature interviews with a number of key individuals in Gould’s life, including Mark Rolfing (NBC/Golf Channel analyst), Patrick Mannelly (former Bears teammate), Pat O’Donnell (Bears punter), Chris Collins (Northwestern Head Men’s Basketball Coach), Jaren Allen (Bears defensive end), Joe Carter (former MLB standout/five-time All-Star), Kevin Butler (former Bears kicker/Super Bowl XX champion), and Grant Fuhr (five-time Stanley Cup champion goaltender) among others.

In addition, viewers are urged to check out Comcast SportsNet’s website, CSNChicago.com, for additional Bears Life content never before seen on TV.  Plus, fans will also be able to watch Bears Life online after its on-air debut.  Comcast SportsNet will also re-air Bears Life presented by Xfinity, featuring Robbie Gould, on the following dates/times: Sat, July 18 at 8:30 PM (on CSN+HD) - Sun, July 19 at 4:30 PM (on CSN+HD) - Fri, July 24 at 5:30 PM (on CSN+HD) - Sun, July 26 at 3:30 PM - Sun, Aug. 9 at 12:00 PM - Fri, Aug. 21 at 8:00 PM & Sun, Aug. 23 at 2:00 PM. (Schedule subject to change) 

Note the following quotes from the next edition of Bears Life presented by Xfinity, premiering Saturday, July 18 at 5:00 PM on Comcast SportsNet:

GOULD on entering his 11th NFL season:

“The fact that this is going to be 11 seasons for me is unbelievable. To go through a Super Bowl, to be at a Pro Bowl, to go through some seasons that weren’t so great, some that were on the cusp of being good…all life lessons, all learning lessons, all things that for me I will have stories to tell for years. If you told me I was going to play for 11 years, I would’ve told you that you were crazy.“

“To have the ability to play in one city for this long is pretty special. Chicago will always hold a special place in my heart. This is where my family is going to be raised. For me, it’s pretty special to be in one place.”

GOULD on Kevin Butler and being just 36 points from breaking the team scoring record:

“To have Kevin Butler here and to be able to listen to his stories and how he kicked at Soldier Field and talk about the record that he’s held for, I don’t want to date him at all, but think about it. In ’85, he had the rookie scoring record. He kicked 243 field goals. It’s pretty special to have him around and I’m looking forward to sharing that moment with him.”

BUTLER on Gould breaking his scoring record:

“Chicago Bears, that’s what we’re about. Honestly, to do what he’s done and to do it at the level he’s done, it’s just incredible. I’ve enjoyed watching him. I know how hard it is, that’s why I have a great appreciation for it. Anytime that you can witness somebody break a record that you were able to set, it’s a triumph for the whole organization, it’s an individual triumph for Robbie. He should be very proud of it and I know he is. It doesn’t come easy.“

MANNELLY on Gould’s work ethic:

“To watch him become as good as he is and then how hard he works to be that good, well, it made me work harder.“

ROLFING’s on Gould’s promising future as a golf analyst:

“When his kicking days are done, I don’t see him going back on a football field again because he’s a natural. When I’m sitting up there, I’ll get texts from him. I mean he’s got the analysis down. He can sit at home and he knows exactly what’s going on at Chambers Bay and what’s going on out there. He’s got a great eye and people obviously really like him.“

NOTE: New episodes of Bears Life presented by Xfinity will be announced at a later date.   

Bears notes: Was Trey Burton’s penalty justified?

Bears notes: Was Trey Burton’s penalty justified?

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — In a game full of pivotal moments, one seemed to irk the Bears in particular following Sunday’s 31-28 overtime loss to the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium.

Driving on the Dolphins three-yard line, the Bears lined up in a T formation with Jordan Howard, Trey Burton and Tarik Cohen lined up left to right in the backfield behind Mitch Trubisky, who was under center. Burton motioned out of the backfield and to the right, and ran his route into linebacker Kiko Alonso.

Trubisky threw a short pass to a wide open Cohen for a touchdown, with Alonso late getting to the running back after being hit by Burton. But that score was taken off the board for offensive pass interference, with officials ruling what Burton did amounted to an illegal pick play.

“Trey did everything I asked him to do,” Matt Nagy said, sharply.

On the next play, Trubisky forced a pass into double coverage in the end zone, which was easily picked off by Dolphins safety T.J. McDonald. Miami turned that interception into eight points on Albert Wilson’s 43-yard touchdown and an ensuing two-point conversion.

The way Burton understood the rule was that offensive pass interference was only assessed on a pick play if he intentionally ran into a defender without running a true route. That’s what Burton felt he did; the officiating crew disagreed.

“I thought I ran a route and the guy ran into me,” Burton said. “I thought they changed the rule this year or last year — if you run the route, it doesn’t matter if you pick the guy or not, you’re good. Obviously they called it.”

A Rough Return

The conversations surrounding the Bears Sunday into Monday would be awfully different had a number of things happened — Trubisky doesn’t throw that interception, the Bears’ defense gets a stop, Tarik Cohen doesn’t fumble near midfield, etc. In that same group: If Cody Parkey hits what would’ve been a game-winning 53-yard field goal in overtime.

Parkey, instead, missed that kick wide right. His career long is 54 yards, which he hit last year while with the Miami Dolphins (and that was a game-winner with about a minute left against the Los Angeles Chargers).

“I had the distance, I just didn’t kick it straight enough, bottom line,” Parkey said. “But you’ve got to move on. I’ve made game winners, I’ve missed game winners. As long as I keep playing, I’m just going to keep trying to kick my best.

“… I control what I can control, and unfortunately I missed a field goal. I’d like to have that one back, but it is what it is and I’m just going to focus on the next game. That’s all I can do.”

For an improving Bears offense vs. Dolphins, a day of maddening extremes

For an improving Bears offense vs. Dolphins, a day of maddening extremes

Their points production in the 31-28 overtime loss to the Miami Dolphins on Sunday marked the fourth time in five games under coach Matt Nagy that the Bears have scored 23 or more points. All of the 28 were heaped on the Dolphins by the offense, which churned for 467 yards one game after amassing 483 and 48 points against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

But the Bears did in fact lose, and not all of the reasons can be laid at the feet of the defense. Not nearly all of them.

In great position to put the game virtually out of reach for the struggling Dolphins, the Bears offense failed. The yardage total gave the Bears consecutive 400-yard games for the first time since games 14-15 in 2016, and well could have represented a statement that the offense of Nagy and coordinator Mark Helfrich was indeed hitting a potent stride.

It may be. But a combination of troubling factors gave Sunday’s output a hollow ring.

Against the Dolphins, 149 of the yards came on possessions ending in turnovers, including an interception thrown by quarterback Mitchell Trubisky and fumble by running back Jordan Howard both occurring in the red zone with points well within reach.

The offense hurt itself with a handful of pre-snap penalties, and the overarching sense is that the belief in Nagy and the overall offense is growing amid mistakes that clearly rest with players themselves.

“For sure, 100 percent trust in Coach Nagy and what he believes is best for this team,” Trubisky said. “What he believes is what I believe is best for this team. Whatever he calls, we're going to run it to the best of our ability. We put ourselves in a great chance, and I have faith in our guys that next time we get the opportunity we make it.”

Opportunities taken and opportunities missed

For Trubisky, the linchpin of the evolving offense, it was a day of extremes.

His production (316 yards) gave him consecutive 300-yard games for the first time in his 17-game career. His passer rating (122.5) was the seond-highest of his career, behind only the stratospheric 154.6 of the Tampa Bay game. His three TD passes are second only to his six against the Buccaneers. Trubisky’s yardage outputs this season are pointing in a decidedly upward arc: 171 at Green Bay, followed by 200-220-354-316.

But decision-making proved costly at tipping points against the Dolphins. From the Miami 13 with a 21-13 lead early in the fourth quarter, and holding a chance to create potentially decisive breathing room on the scoreboard, Trubisky forced a throw toward tight end Ben Braunecker, who was double-covered in the Miami end zone. The ball was intercepted by safety T.J. McDonald, and the Dolphins went from the touchback to a touchdown and subsequent game-tying two-point conversion.

“I just thought the safety went with the ‘over’ route,” Trubisky said. “He made a good play. I lost him when I was stepping up [in the pocket], and I forced one in the red zone when I shouldn't have… . I forced it and I put my team in a bad position, and I shouldn't have thrown that pass.”

The second-year quarterback started poorly, with an overthrow of a wide-open Anthony Miller on the third play from scrimmage, resulting in a three-and-out and a concerning start for what would be only scoreless Bears first half this season. A failed fourth-and-2 conversion gave Miami the football at its 41 later in the quarter.

Trubisky badly overthrew an open Miller in the second quarter, creating a third-and-long on which the Dolphins broke down his protection for a second sack in the span of just 11 plays. After a 47-yard completion to Taylor Gabriel, Trubisky threw an checkdown pass nowhere near running back Jordan Howard.

Fatigue factor overlooked?

Running back Tarik Cohen totaled 121 yards for the second straight game and the second time in his career. For the second straight week Cohen led or co-led the Bears with seven pass receptions.

But the last of the seven came with a disastrous finish. Cohen was hit by Miami linebacker Kiko Alonso after taking a swing pass and picking up 11 yards, fumbled and had the ball recovered by cornerback Xavien Howard at the Chicago 45. The defense did manage a stop, leading to the overtime, but the result was devastating.

“Personally for me, it’s [frustrating] because I know I took my team out of position to win the game late in the ball game,’ Cohen said. “So personally, that’s frustrating for me… . I feel like I had an opportunity to get ourselves down in scoring position. I let fatigue get the best of me, and I forgot about the fundamentals.”

That Cohen mentioned “fatigue” is perhaps noteworthy. A question was raised to Helfrich last week as to whether there was an optimal or max number of snaps for the diminutive Cohen, who had five carries and was targeted nine times – not including one punt return and plays on which he ran pass routes but was not thrown to in the south Florida heat.

“It was hot,” said defensive lineman Akiem Hicks. “It was hot out there.”

Weapons rising

Last offseason and millions in contracts were spent upgrading offensive weaponry. The investments produced in Miami.

Touchdown passes were caught by wide receivers Anthony Miller (drafted) and Allen Robinson (free agent) plus tight end Trey Burton (free agent). Wide receiver Taylor Gabriel (free agent) caught the five passes thrown to him for a team-high 110 yards, his second straight 100-yard game after none in his previous four NFL seasons.

Five different players posted plays of 20 yards or longer, including pass plays of 54 and 47 yards by Gabriel and a run of 21 yards and reception of 59 yards by Cohen.

Uncharacteristically for the normally fast-starting Bears offense, the group followed the scoreless first half with 21 points in the third quarter and 343 yards of combined offense in the second half and overtime.

“We came out with more energy and had the attitude that we were going to go down and score the ball,” Trubisky said, “and we played a lot better the second half.”