Tim Jennings took a chance on himself in 2011 when he left the Indianapolis Colts, with whom he had won a Super Bowl ring at the Bears' expense in 2007, and signed with Chicago.His new team envisioned Zackary Bowman securing the starting left cornerback position, so much so that Charles Tillman was flipped over to the right side to set Bowman on the left.Three games into the 2010 season, Bowman was benched and Jennings was in. He stayed there for the 13 games to finish that year, plus two playoff games, and the first 14 of 2011. Then Bowman was inserted for the Week 16, Christmas night game against the Packers.Thereasoning was a bitfuzzy. One story was that it was for matchups against the taller Green Bay receivers (Bowman is 6-foot-1, Jennings 5-foot-9). But since it was the first Packers game in 2010 that exposed Bowman and led to his benching, the reason seemed simpler.Jennings had justone tackle and nothing else the previous week against Seattle, a woeful 38-14loss thatended the starting gigs ofCaleb Hanie, Marion Barber, Chris Conte and Johnny Knox, the last two for reasons of injury.Bowman's "chance" lasted one game and Jennings was back for the Week 17 regular season finale in Minnesota, an eventual 17-13 win for the Bears.Now, Jennings again finds himself in a starter's role as the off-season begins."It's kind of motivation but on the same token the coaches are going to make the decisions to kind of figure out what they want to do," Jennings, who punctuated last Wednesdays OTA with a lay-out diving interception of a Jay Cutler pass, said."So the opportunity was there. I wanted to come out and prove that next game against Minnesota that I was kind of your guy the whole season. Hopefully I'll continue being your guy moving forward in my career," he added.Despite the Bears signing Kelvin Hayden and Jonathan Wilhite this offseason, the unofficial money is on Jennings continuing to be the Bears' guy.Pro Football Focus' Sam Monsonhas identified Jennings as the Bears' "Secret Superstar" in an intriguing bit of analysis which deftly notes that Jennings, at 5-foot-9, may not be the prototypical man-to-man cornerback. But he is a complete fit in the Bears system."It's a buyer's market for Cover-2 corners at the moment, and the Bears have bought themselves a good one in Tim Jennings," Monson summarizes. "He may suffer the same slight that all Cover-2 corners have to live with, but the bottom line is that Tim Jennings makes things tough for opposing wide receivers, and isn't that the job of a cornerback, whatever the scheme? Tim Jennings is the Chicago Bears Secret Superstar."
In the latest Hawks Talk Podcast, Pat Boyle, Jamal Mayers and Charlie Roumeliotis recap Corey Crawford’s season debut after missing nearly 10 months with a concussion.
Mayers talks about the Kitty system that Niklas Hjalmarsson and Vinnie Hinostroza probably dealt with in their returns to Chicago.
The guys also discuss what’s next for Crawford, the upcoming matchup against Artemi Panarin and the Columbus Blue Jackets, and the Blackhawks’ biggest areas for improvement.
On this week’s Daily Line podcast, VSIN’s Sam Panayotovich joins Ryan McGuffey and Paul Aspan to take us inside the scene in Vegas as last week’s Bears-Dolphins line jumped from Bears -3.5 to Bears -7 on the news that Brock Osweiler would replace Ryan Tannehill (3:00). We look ahead to the Patriots (-2.5) at the Bears, discuss what kind of impact Khalil Mack’s injury could have on this week’s spread (6:30) and Sam gives us his best bets of the week (7:30). Joe Ostrowski of the Early Odds podcast also joins the show to discuss the how to get the best of the number (14:00) and whether home underdogs will stay hot. Plus, the guys make their picks for week 7 (18:00) and a quick thought on the Bulls over under. (32:00)
Listen to the full podcast here or via the embedded player below: