Bears

New Coaching Options for 2010 Bears

New Coaching Options for 2010 Bears

Sunday, November 29th

I am trying folks! Like I stated in an earlier Blog "I'm a glass is half full kind a guy", but it is becoming more and moredifficult drawing positives during a Bears season spiraling out of control. Here's one, "There's always next year"! But I've got one better, there are a lot of good Offensive Coordinators, QB coaches, and even some 'A' lister head coachesavailable this off season if the Bears decide to make some changes.Clearly, the dollars investedin Jay Cutler dictatethat he is the QB of the future. The front office of the Bears now has to build around him and it may start with a new play caller. Here are some early thoughts on who may be available:The 'A' listers we know about. Mike Shannahan, Bill Cowher, Mike Holmgren, Jon Gruden to name a few. They are only coming if they get full power and the Bears organization decides to make a change at the Head Coaching position. Otherwise, forget it.

Offensive CoordinatorsCharlie Weis - Maybe this hits too close to home because of hisfailures at Notre Dame as the head man, but Charlie was one of the better play callers I have ever been around. He is very demanding, detailed, and expects perfection from all offensive personnel. He can be tough to handle as a QB, thus, the Bears would need to hire an excellent QB coach to be a buffer betweenCharlie and Jay. Super Bowl victories are under his belt.Chan Gailey - Former Chiefs OC, Head Coach at Georgia Tech, Head Coach of Dallas Cowboys, Steelers and Denver OC. Chan is an excellent teacher and can bring along young QB's. He coached me in Pittsburgh and I thought he made the game easy how he broke it down. Chan stresses situational play from the QB spot.He worked miracles in Kansas City last year whenhe switched to a "Pistol" offense midseason whenTyler Thigpen became their starting QB. Tyler had never started an NFL game. Look up Tyler's numbers, and how KC performed offensively when he started to play, they are impressive. Super Bowl appearances and victories are under his belt as well.Mike Martz - I thought the Bears want to get off the bus running! I do like Martz'sfast break style and his offense has won Super Bowls as well. The Bears will need to run the football just due to weather concerns late in the year and it is not a priority for Martz. He is another demanding offensive coach, but his stops other places suggest Mike does not work well with others. He's clashed with front office personnel along with his fellow coaches on all his stops.Up andComersDarrel Bevel (Minnesota OC) - That's right! Steal from your enemy the Minnesota Vikings. Darrel has done a nice job with Farve and Tavarus Jackson incorporating what they do well and what to avoid. Also, think of the impact their rookies have made up in Minnesota and how other playmakers have emerged. PercyHarvin and Sydney Rice may both make thePro Bowl. Bevel is aMidwest guy as heplayed QB at Wisconsin and hascoached for Green Bay (QB coach), and now OC Minnesota the last two years. Kyle Shannahan (Houston OC) - This guy is awesome! They have no running game to speak of down in Houston, but Matt Shaub is lighting it up. He has brought the young Shaub along intoa top 10 NFL QB (numbers are sick!)and obviously his ties to Mike Shannahan would go over "Big Time" with Jay. It would be the same offense Jay ran in Denver. Jeremy Bates (OC USC) - This dudes a grinder! He learned underJon Gruden. Jeremy was Jay's OC last year out in Denver. They have a great relationship and Jeremy also brings the offense Jay knows best. Kyle and Darrel would require a new title other than just OC because the NFL does not allow lateral moves.Most teams get around this loophole withtagging a new coach as"Consultant" or "Assistant Head Coach".Is your glass half full yet or did you just slam itto drown your 2009 sorrows?

The Way We Hear It: Khalil Mack will probably play after all

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USA Today

The Way We Hear It: Khalil Mack will probably play after all

The Bears are back in Chicago and Tom Brady and the Patriots are in town! With a week of practice wrapping up today, here's what's been happening in the lead up to Sunday's Bears-Pats matchup: 

How Blackhawks plan to handle Corey Crawford's workload

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USA TODAY

How Blackhawks plan to handle Corey Crawford's workload

Corey Crawford is back and it didn't look like he skipped much of a beat. The Blackhawks were handed their first regulation loss of the season to the Arizona Coyotes on Thursday, but the 33-year-old netminder stopped 27 of 30 shots (.900 save percentage) in his season debut and made several timely saves to keep his team in it.

In the larger picture, it was a win based on how well Crawford looked between the pipes.

"Yeah, I think it is," coach Joel Quenneville said after practice on Friday. "It's one of things we were wondering, how he would handle post-game and how he came in today. Very encouraging signs. He felt good in all aspects of what he went through and dealt with, and practiced well today too, so that was good."

The first one is in the books.

But what's the plan going forward? Will Crawford be on a "pitch count" or will they treat him like they have in past seasons when he was healthy?

In the past, Crawford has generally started somewhere in between 55-58 games per season. Part of that has been because of injuries. Another part is the Blackhawks have had reliable backups, which allowed them to give Crawford an extra night off here and there to keep him fresh.

It's not unreasonable, though, to think Crawford could flirt with 50 starts, considering he missed only five games to start the season. And they can still accomplish that by playing it safe.

The Blackhawks have 13 more back-to-backs this season, which gives them the opportunity to start Cam Ward at some point in each of them. That leaves room for another 15 or so starts to sprinkle in for Ward that could serve as rest days for Crawford and still being on track to start around 50.

Obviously, the Blackhawks want to be careful with how much they ask of Crawford because concussions are tricky to deal with and every player responds differently to it.

His return comes at a time where the Blackhawks are slated to play seven games in 11 days after playing just two in the previous 10. Thursday marked the start of that stretch.

"He’ll tell us how he feels and we’ll go from there and make those decisions," Quenneville said.

The Blackhawks have been on record saying they prefer not to carry three goaltenders. But in this case it makes sense. At least in the short term.

Quenneville said Friday that the Blackhawks will reevaluate the situation at the end of the weekend following the beginning of a busy stretch where they'll play three games in four days.

"Yeah, that’s the mindset," he said. "Let’s see how we handle these three in four and then we’ll address it."

Crawford is expected to start on Saturday in Columbus, making it his second start in three days. That's when they'll get a better sense of how he's handling things.

If it were up to him, Crawford said he feels he's prepared for it.

"Yeah, sure," Crawford said. "Why not? I've been working hard with [strength and conditioning coach Paul Goodman]. He's got me where I need to be, so I'm in shape right now. Why not?"