Bears

NFL Power Rankings - Week 11: Texans back at the top

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NFL Power Rankings - Week 11: Texans back at the top

Each week throughout the regular season, we'll beranking all 32 NFL teams.

Take a look and offer up yourthoughts in the comment box below or to us on Twitter @BearsTalkCSN.

Previousrankings: Week1 Week2 Week3 Week4 Week5 Week6 Week7 Week8 Week9 Week 10

SK JFComments 1 SK: The defense KO'ed the Bears. Arguably the best in the NFL.
JF: Got past a tough Bears team in some even tougher playing conditions. 2 SK: Should get back in the win column with the fading Cardinals on tap.
JF: You can't stay perfect forever (unless you're the '72 Dolphins), still an elite team.
3 SK: Healthy: Class of the NFL. Not 100 percent: Still a Top 3 team.
JF: Lost to arguably the best team in the NFL and had Cutler knocked out of the game.
4 SK: Offense needs to find consistency if they want to hoist the Lombardi.
JF: Got some much-needed rest in Week 10. Can't have a slip-up at Detroit.
5 SK: Scary good. May not lose another game in the regular season.
JF: Just absolutely crushed Oakland. Possibly gearing up for a win streak?
6 SK: A tie...really? The league really needs to look into changing OT rules...again.
JF: Nobody likes a tie, but it's better than a home loss to the Rams.
7 SK:Won't score 55 again, but Baltimore finally put together an all-around game.
JF: Defense played out of its mind in Carolina. This team has its arrow pointing up.
8 SK: Nobody will want to play the Seahawks at CenturyLink Field if they make the postseason.
JF: Not a pretty win over Buffalo, but the Pats still got the job done.
9 SK: Offense is getting it done, can't say the same about that "young talented" defense.
JF: The Seahawks are looking more and more like a contender instead of a pretender.
10 SK: If the season ended today: Broncos would host the Colts in the playoffs...WOW.
JF: Drop three spots after a win? That's what happens after looking terrible vs. Kansas City.
11 SK: Roethlisberger out indefinitely. Bad news for a hobbled Steelers team.
JF: Luck not only can get it done through the air, but his legs helped Indy to 6-3.
12 SK: Looks like the Giants are in their annual mid-season swoon.
JF: Adrian Peterson...no further comment necessary.
13 SK: Could an offensive Juggernaut be forming in Tampa Bay?
JF: I don't know who this Eli Manning is. He and the rest of the G-Men have lost their mojo.
14 SK:Brees has the Saints back in the playoff hunt.
JF: Bucs win their third straight with impressive win over slumping Chargers.
15 SK:AP helped the Vikings to a much-needed victory over the Lions.
JF: Don't underestimate the power of Drew Brees and his New Orleans teammates.
16 SK: Nice win over NYG. Need to string some wins together to get back in playoff picture.
JF: The Bengals finally reached full potential in a game. Dalton is heating up.
17 SK:Question marks on both sides of the ball in Detroit.
JF: Can come off the BYE with a landmark victory over the Falcons. Good luck with that.
18 SK:What has happened to the Dolphins?
JF: Cowboys got better as the game went on for the first time in awhile. Could win next 3.
19 SK: Rivers gave it away in the second half. Seems to be the case all season.
JF:Proved they can stick with any team in the league with a tie in San Francisco.
20 SK:With Giants fading, Dallas can hop right back into the playoff hunt with a win Sunday.
JF: The losses keep piling up and it doesn't get any easier vs. Green Bay.
21 SK: Is Shanny's job in jeopardy following the season?
JF: Chargers are in about as bad of a spot as any team looking to make the playoffs.
22 SK:Been IN a lot of games, but W's only count in this league.
JF: Movin' on up following respectable effort in loss to Patriots.
23 SK: I think it's safe to say their losing skid will hit six this weekend.
JF: Took the BYE week to get healthy. Expect RG3 to shine again.
24 SK:Nick Foles, your table is ready.
JF: Ugly defeat placed on the Dolphins by Titans. Turn your head, tough to watch.
25 SK:Excited to see if Locker and Wright can create some chemistry down the stretch.
JF: Had to win vs. Dallas last week and didn't. Vick is concussed and it may be over.
26 SK:WHY is Carson Palmer throwing so much? Can't win in this league without a run game.
JF: Believe it or not, but the Titans are showing life.
27 SK:Jets are a joke this year. Nobody will be laughing when shown the door this offseason.
JF: Can really ruffle some feathers in Dallas with a win over the Cowboys.
28
SK:How do you lose a game with almost 500 yards of total offense.
JF: Just looked awful in Baltimore last week. At least Palmer is a good fantasy option.
29 SK:Have a chance to spoil some teams playoff chances down the stretch.
JF:It's hard to believe the Panthers are this bad...but they are.
30 SK:What is the Panthers identity?
JF:Identity crisis. Who are they? What do they do? Will they win again?
31 SK: Romeo says no more dancing in Kansas City.
JF: Showed a little spunk in Pittsburgh, but ultimately came up short, again.
32 SK:Worst team in the NFL and it's not even close.
JF: They can't run. They can't pass. They can't defend.

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

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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

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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.