Chicago Bears News: Regular Season and Preseason Updates
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7/10/14: The Bears, and most professional football observers, never really considered Devin Hester much more than a great kick returner, even though he thought of himself as a wide receiver who could return kicks. Hester was released by the Bears earlier in the year, much to the dismay of former Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher (who cannot seem to grasp the concept of depleted skills due to age and injury). So there is a wide open competition in Bears camp for Hester's replacement. We do know that it will not be Brandon Marshall, who has been training this offseason with Bucs' rookie wide receiver Mike Evans.
7/3/14: For all the controversy that has surrounded Jay Cutler throughout his career (and most of it is contrived), the man is still one of the better quarterbacks in the NFL. That does not mean he could not be better. He is still not on the level as Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady or Peyton Manning. But he might be ready to make the leap. The Bears have asked him to make mechanical changes and Cutler has obliged. In fact, Bears QB Coach Matt Cavanaugh insists that Cutler has made incredible progress. Combine that with some good receivers and the Bears are looking at a very potent offense next season.
6/26/14: Its time for the annual post about a long snapper. The Bears Patrick Mannelly has decided to retire from football. Mannelly played all 16 of his professional seasons with the Chicago Bears, logging time in 245 games. Place kicker Robbie Gould says that he is 'probably the greatest long snapper to ever play the game". The Bears were open to having him back for another season. However, Mannelly is 39 and recovering from hip surgery (insert the old man joke here), and ultimately decided that was enough. Good luck to him in his post-NFL career, whatever he may end up doing.
6/19/14: Bears QB Jay Cutler has never gotten the recognition he deserves and is far better than most people give him credit for. Perhaps that is due to his notoriously surly demeanor or coming out of a playoff game with a fairly severe injury, but he is in the top 10 or 15 QBs in the league. He is back healthy this season and has put on some extra muscle to help withstand the beatings he takes behind the Bears offensive line. It also helps that he has a year's worth of experience in this offense, as well as big play threats like Matt Forte, Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jefferies at his disposal.
6/12/14: Traditionally, the Bears have not sported an explosive offense. They have been led by hard-nosed running and just enough passing to keep defenses honest. To be fair, the defense was the heart of the organization for decades. That has changed a lot over past few years. The defense has dropped a bit while the offense has added several quality skill players. In fact, running back Matt Forte believes that the team will have the best offense in the league next season. They could be up there, considering they have Forte, two top end receivers and a quality QB in Jay Cutler.
6/6/14: Brandon Marshall made news a few weeks ago when he signed a $30 million extension with the Bears and pledged $1 million to mental health research. He is continuing his good works with the Brandon Marshall Mental Health Awareness motorcycle ride, where he kicked off the festivities. Marshall has been plagued by mental health issues over the years but seems now to have a handle on his problems and is doing good deeds to help other. That is a wonderful new direction for a guy that kept getting in trouble in the past, but looks like he may have his life in order now.
5/29/14: Bears' wide receiver Brandon Marshall seems like a new man these days. Last week, he signed a $30 million extension on "The View" and pledged $1 million to mental health research and care. Marshall has battled mental health issues for some time, but his recent outlook and demeanor suggest that he is doing well. He praised the Bears organization and head coach Mark Trestman for their efforts, and says that getting out of Miami may have saved his career. Marshall really seems to have matured and improved over the past few years, and let's hope that this is a long-term growth.
5/22/14: The Bears did not use a late round draft pick to select QB Jordan Lynch from Northern Illinois, but signed him as an undrafted free agent. Lynch burst on to the national radar two years ago in leading the Huskies to a surprise Orange Bowl appearance (where they were routed by FSU). Last season was another great campaign for him as he ended up as a Heisman Trophy finalist (losing out to FSU's Jameis Winston). The Bears are set at QB with veteran Jay Cutler, but plan to try him out at running back. Lynch is okay with that plan and just wants to play in the NFL.
5/15/14: The Bears picked for need, and possibly to get back to their roots. Chicago, like Tampa and Pittsburgh, has been defined by their defense throughout their history. The Bears have taken a more offense-first approach for the past few years. While that has put points on the board, their defense has slipped noticeably and they have missed the playoffs for the past few years. With their first pick in the draft, the Bears took cornerback Kyle Fuller out of Virginia Tech. He may not be the flashiest pick in the draft, but certainly fills a hole for the team.
5/8/14: It is probably safe to say that Bears' GM Phil Emery has not endeared himself to Bears fans after letting several popular players walk instead of re-signing them. That being said, sometimes you have to let go of the past and focus on the future. Emery is not tipping his hand with the Bears' pick in the first round, which is slated at the #14 spot. Many speculate that the Bears will take defensive tackle Aaron Donald with that pick. Emery simply laughed at that suggestion and reminded everyone to not 'count on' projections. Now the question is if Emery is looking to trade up or down with the Bears first round pick.
5/1/14: This is not your grandfather's Chicago Bears. The team, for generations, has been defined by a tough and physically imposing defense, and even were that way two years ago. With Phil Emery (GM) and Marc Tressman (head coach) calling the shots, the team has transformed into a strong offensive unit. That has come at the cost of their defense. That would lead one to believe that the Bears will focus on defense in the draft. They did add defensive ends Jared Allen and Lamarr Houston in free agency, but there is still more work to be done.
4/24/14: When the Bears acquired Brandon Marshall a few years ago, it was the first time in forever that they had a true number one wide receiver. The drafted Alshon Jeffries not too long ago, and have a pretty powerful 1-2 punch. They may also have a third coming up. Marshall is raving about second year receiver Marquess Wilson, a seventh round pick in the 2013 draft. Wilson and Marshall have been working out together, and combined with Jeffries, could be one of the tallest receiving corps ever. The bears also signed veteran Josh Morgan to a one year deal, so it looks like they are intent on throwing the ball this year.
4/17/14: Just like every other team in the NFL, the Bears are preparing for the NFL draft. They have their needs, they are hosting college prospects, setting their draft board, resetting their draft board, and resetting it again (this could go on for quite a while). In other words, they are doing all the things one would expect an NFL team to do in the final weeks leading up to the draft. As a nice side note, the Copperas Cove Economic Development Corporation honored Bears cornerback Charles Tillman last week by naming a street after him. It may be a small town, but getting a street dedication is pretty exciting.
4/10/14: The Chicago Bears announced that they came to terms with offensive lineman Eben Britton on a one year contract. Britton was originally drafted by the Jacksonville Jaguars out of the University of Arizona in the second round of the 2009 draft. While doing time with the Jags, he started 30 games over four seasons, split between right tackle and left guard. He joined the Bears in 2013, playing in 13 games and starting four. He played well and fit in with the Bears' scheme. He may get some extra time with the first team in the near future as starting right tackle Jordan Mills recovers from foot surgery.
4/3/14: Just like the Cleveland Browns, the Bears did not send anyone to scout QB Johnny Manziel at his pro-day at Texas A&M. Heck even former President George Bush (the elder) was there. The Bears are set at starting QB for a while after signing Jay Cutler to an extension. They do need a backup QB now that Josh McCown is slated to be the starter in Tampa. One guy that is happy about Cutler's extension is WR Brandon Marshall. He knows that he was a contract coming up soon and wants to stay with the Bears. To his credit, he says he does not need $15 million a year like an elite WR, but wants to win and stay in Chicago.
3/27/14: The Chicago Bears continued their all-out assault on their roster last week by releasing wide receiver Earl Bennett, who declined to take a pay cut. Fellow wide receiver and special teams specialist Eric Weems may be next in line to suffer the same fate for the same reason - and he was only costing the team $1.1 million. Other cuts (or allowing to walk) are better known. Kick returner extraordinaire Devin Hester is gone (signed with Atlanta). So to is defensive lineman Julius Peppers (Green Bay) and backup QB Josh McCown (Tampa). This is also the front office that started a year ago and let Brian Urlacher go (retired).
3/20/14: The Bears front office, now in year two, is not getting any rave reviews from former players. The team let Brian Urlacher go a year ago, and have parted ways with Julius Peppers, Devin Hester, and Josh McCown this offseason. Urlacher is incredulous (publicly) about allowing Hester to go, and probably does not like the other moves. That being said, this front office does not have the ties to Bears' glory days from several years ago and sees the players as old and overpaid. They may have wanted to keep McCown, but after his performance last season, he was easily able to find a new employer in Tampa that will give him the chance to start.
3/13/14: Former Bears great Brian Urlacher took to the airwaves last week to blast his former team for lack of loyalty. The Bears decided to release long-time kick returner and sometime wide receiver Devin Hester to save some cap space. Urlacher felt that this was a disrespectful move by the team and that Hester should have the chance to set the all-time return touchdown mark (he is currently tied with Dieon Sanders at 19) as a Bear. That is a fine notion, but the reality is that Hester is 29 and was due $9 million. That is an awful lot for a returner, and using that money on Hester would restrict what the team could do to address other needs. Need more proof - look at the state of the Steelers right now.
3/6/14: This is probably the final days of Josh McCown as a member of the Chicago Bears. Until last season, he was just another journeyman backup quarterback. Then he took the league by storm when he got his chance as starter Jay Cutler was injured. For starters, he threw 13 touchdowns to one interception. But the Bears just re-signed Cutler for big money and McCown wants the chance to be a starter. Some teams that may be interested include the New York Jets, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, or even the Oakland Raiders. Chicago fans may want to keep him, but a guy cannot be faulted for trying to get on the field.
2/27/14: The Bears have a strong history built upon their defense. They are nicknamed the 'Monsters of the Midway' for good reason. Their 1985 Super Bowl winning team boasts one of the best defenses in NFL history, and that tradition continued under former head coach Lovie Smith. Mark Tressman took the reigns last season and Chicago had one of the better offenses in the league. Their defense, however, suffered. The Bears are looking to bolster the defense in the upcoming draft and may have their sights set on Kalil Mack from the University of Buffalo to be that dominant linebacker they need.
2/20/14: The Bears are going to have to improve, particularly on the defensive side of the ball, if they are going to compete for the NFC North in 2014. That actually sounds strange for a team that has historically been known for dominant defenses. The Bears certainly felt the loss of longtime linebacker Brian Urlacher last season, but they also did not get enough pressure on opposing QBs. Chicago signed journeyman Austen Lang this past week to bolster depth on the defensive line. Lang is rather unheralded and may not provide much, but he is best known for writing about his emotions when he was cut from a previous team.
2/13/14: The NFL certainly lucked out with the weather in New York. Not only did it not snow, it was not even the coldest Super Bowl on record. The snow storm came the following day, of course. So many so-called cold weather cities want a Super Bowl now, including Chicago. In fact, Chicago mayor Rahm Emmanuel is now on record stumping for not just the Super Bowl, but also the NFL Draft. The NFL seems reluctant to move the draft out of New York City, but other options could be enticing - including Chicago, Orlando, and Los Angeles.
2/6/14: This next season, 2014, could be a 'put up or shut up' year for the Chicago Bears. The team signed QB Jay Cutler to a long-term extension, so that position is locked up. They have some great playmakers on the roster with WRs Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffries, not mention running back Matt Forte. The offense is in tact and can be very effective if everyone is healthy. The defense figures to improve over last year (which is odd when speaking about the Bears), so this should be a team that contends for the NFC North title, and finally dethrones Green Bay.
1/30/14: The Bears would love to keep defensive end Julius Peppers - heck, who wouldn't want him on their team. However, they are going to have a hard time keeping him under his current contract. Peppers is scheduled to make $18.2 million against the salary cap next season, which is simply too much money. The eight-time pro bowler led the team in sacks, but he only had 7.5 all of last season. Even releasing Peppers is costly, as he would still count for $4.2 million in dead money for 2014 and 2015. Chicago better hope Peppers is in a mood to restructure his contract.
1/23/14: The Bears had two seasons end in agony when they did not have a suitable backup for Jay Cutler when he went down with injury. Last season was different, though. Chicago had Josh McCown ready to step in and he played great while filling in for Cutler this past season. Because the Bears only offered McCown the minimum (and it is now important to note not a dollar more), McCown will be an unrestricted free agent and the Bears cannot do a thing about it. Considering the need for starting QBs and lack of top prospects in the draft, McCown has an exellent chance to be a starter somewhere else next fall.
1/16/14: Unlike NFC North rivals Detroit Lions and Minnesota Vikings, the Bears are not looking for a new coach this offseason - and that is a good thing. Head coach Mark Tressman led the Bears to an 8-8 record in his first season (without the benefit of having linebacker Brian Urlacher), and has the confidence of ownership going forward. If there is one thing he did better than his predecessor, Lovie Smith, it was to open up the offense. To that end, wide receivers Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffries are both going to the Pro-Bowl, which has to be some sort of record in Chicago.
1/9/14: For everyone who thought (or hoped) that the Bears would cut ties with QB Jay Cutler and move forward with Josh McCown, that idea is now gone. The Bears agreed to a seven year deal with Cutler, so he will be staying in the Windy City for the foreseeable future. The Bears could do worse than Cutler. People forget the past two seasons when Cutler went down and the team completely faltered. McCown did a great job this season, but there is no guarantee that he would do that on a consistent basis. Cutler is the proper and consistent choice going forward.
1/2/14: There are a lot of questions surrounding the Bears, again, as they head into the offseason, again. Chicago lost to Green Bay in Week 17, giving the Cheeseheads the NFC North title. QB Jay Cutler is slated to be a free agent, and it is unsure if the team will use the Franchise Tag on him if they do not reach an agreement in the next two months. Backup QB Josh McCown is a free agent and the Bears cannot do anything about that because they did not pay him one more dollar on his contract. He may find work as a starter elsewhere, but has talked about retiring as well.
12/26/13: When Jay Cutler came back from injury a few weeks ago, there was a lot of speculation on whether or not he should get the start QB job considering how well Josh McCown performed. Cutlet got the job back and won his first game back. However, the Bears were stuffed by the Eagles defense last Sunday so there are more questions. The Bears are in a do or die situation this Sunday, as the rival Packers come to town to decide who is going to the playoffs. No word yet on if Aaron Rodgers is playing or not. However, this game is a must see!
12/19/13: Jay Cutler was back on the field for the first time in a month and shook off some early rust to lead the Bears to a 37-31 win over the Cleveland Browns. There was a lot of debate going into the game on whether or not a healthy Cutler should start over the red-hot Josh McNown. Cutler proved that he was the right pick as he threw three touchdown passes and racked up 265 yards in the air against a good Browns' defense. Chicago broke it open in the fourth quarter with 21 points to rally and seal the win. The Bears (8-6) head to Philadelphia (8-6) for the Sunday Night Game in Week 16.
12/12/13: Chicago looked like an offensive juggernaut against the hapless Cowboys defense last Monday night. Running back Matt Forte easily ran for over 100 yards and averaged over 5 yards per carry. Backup QB Josh McCown continues to impress. He went over 350 yards and tossed four TDs on the night. As good as they looked, this was a game with no defense. The Cowboys looked lost as the Bears scored on their first eight offensive possessions. Bears defense was not great, but the Bears won 45-28 to get their record to 7-6 and keep alive their playoff hopes. Chicago plays Cleveland this Sunday.
12/5/13: When Chicago fell in overtime to the Vikings last week, their playoff hopes may have fallen as well. The 23-20 loss was not on the offense - backup QB Josh McCown again played well (perhaps even well enough for the Bears to let Jay Cutler walk after the season ends). McCown threw for 355 yards and two TDs. But the run defense was again terrible and allowed Adrian Peterson to put up 211 yards on the ground. Chicago is now 6-6 and fighting for their playoff life. They will have to hold off Dallas (7-5) at home this Monday if they are going to have any shot at all.
11/28/13: The last few weeks have been telling for the Chicago Bears. Josh McCown has been a serviceable backup to Jay Cutler, who will be out a little longer with a high ankle sprain. However, the defense has been what has hurt the team this season. In particular, the rushing defense - which was a stalwart for so many years. The Bears allowed the Rams to run right through them and loss 42-21 in St. Louis last Sunday. The loss puts their playoff hopes in doubt at 6-5 with two losses to the division leading Detroit Lions. The Bears are on the road again this Sunday when they face the 2-8-1 Vikings.
11/21/13: This was a good week for the Chicago Bears. Not only did they knock off the Baltimore Ravens 23-20 in overtime, but every other NFC North team lost. The game was delayed two hours due to weather, meaning the playing field was not conducive to the forward pass. Josh McCown got the start at QB with Jay Cutler injured, and managed only 216 yards passing and a touchdown. Matt Forte added 83 yards rushing, but this was a good day for kicker Robbie Gould. Gould kicked a 38 yard game winning field goal in overtime to seal the win. There should be no such weather problems next week as the Bears (6-4) head down I-55 to take on the Rams (4-6), who beat the Colts in Indianapolis in their last outing.
11/14/13: Chicago fell into a tie for second place in the NFC North with a home loss to the Detroit Lions last Sunday. The Bears started Jay Cutler at QB, perhaps rushing him back into service too soon from an injured groin. Cutler was taken out of the game in the second half with another injury, leaving backup Josh McCown as the signal caller. Brandon Marshall had a strong performance with 139 yards receiving and two touchdowns, however, the Bears could not convert a late two point conversion, sealing a 29-27 loss. Chicago (5-4) hosts Baltimore (4-5) this Sunday.
11/7/13: The Bears notched a huge win on Monday against their arch rivals, defeating the Green Bay Packers 27-20 at Lambeau Field. The win puts the Bears (5-3) in a three way tie for first place in the NFC North with the Packers and the Detroit Lions. Starting Bears QB Jay Cutler is still out with an injury, leaving Josh McCown under center. McCown was serviceable with 272 yards and two TDs. The Bears knocked Packers QB Aaron Rodgers out of commission with a broken collar bone in the first quarter. Chicago also controlled the clock - embarking on a nine minute drive in the fourth quarter that sealed the game.
10/31/13: The Bears enjoyed their bye week in Week 8, sitting in a tie for second place in the NFC North with a 4-3 record. That is not a bad start, but the Bears will be without QB Jay Cutler for a month, and that has been disastrous in the past. Brandon Marshall is having another great season, with 540 yard receiving and five touchdowns. However, the real development has been WR Alshon Jeffries who has 561 yards receiving and two touchdowns. The Bears are set for a playoff push, but need to tread water until Cutler returns. Tough test this week as they head to Green Bay for the Monday Night Game.
10/24/13: The Bears suffered a costly defeat in Washington last Sunday, falling 45-41. The loss drops the Bears to 4-3 in the standings, tied with Detroit and behind the Packers. To make matters worse, Bears starting QB Jay Cutler left the game with a groin injury. Backup Josh McCown was solid in relief, going 14-20 for 204 yards and a TD pass to tight end Martellus Bennett. That gave the Bears a late lead, but Washington would go 80 yards and score with less than three minutes left for the win. Chicago has a bye in Week 8.
10/17/13: The Chicago Bears responded well to two consecutive losses by keeping the New York Giants winless with a 27-21 victory last Thursday night. The win puts the Bears at 4-2 on the season and in contention for the NFC North. It was a big game for the defense who picked off three Eli Manning passes and returned one for a touchdown. Brandon Marshall was back to form and contributed well with two touchdown receptions in the game as well. The Bears get an extra few days off and will play in Washington on Sunday October 20.
10/10/13: Chicago struggled for the second week in a row, this time losing to the New Orleans Saints 26-18. The Saints built up a 20-7 halftime lead then coasted in the rest of the way. Chicago tried to make it interesting at the end, but could not muster enough firepower in the fourth quarter. Bears QB Jay Cutler had a good game by most measures. He threw for 358 yards and a pair of touchdowns. WR Alshon Jeffries had 218 yards receiving and a score. But the Bears really needed to get the running game going and they could not. It is a short week for Chicago (3-2) as they host the Giants (0-5) on Thursday Night.
10/3/13: Chicago lost to the Detroit Lions last Sunday 40-32 in Detroit last Sunday, setting the NFC North up for a great battle throughout the year. Reggie Bush was the story of the day. He torched the Bears' vaunted defense for 139 yards rushing and a touchdown. Matt Forte was outstanding for the Bears. He totaled 95 yards on the ground and a touchdown himself. Jay Cutler threw for 317 yards and two touchdowns, but he also had 3 picks on the day. Chicago must regroup now. They host Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints in Week 5.
9/26/13: It's been said here before, but the Bears - over the past decade or so - are among the best September teams. They continued that streak with their third win of the season - a 40-23 victory over the winless Pittsburgh Steelers on Monday Night. In a game that looked much better on paper a couple months ago, the Bears defense went wild. They sacked Steelers' QB Ben Roethlisberger six times and scored two touchdowns. That kind of defensive performance can keep the Bears in the hunt all season if it continues. Chicago (3-0) now travels to Detroit (2-1) for a division game on Sunday.
9/19/13: Chicago is showing that they are still a great early season team. If the Super Bowl was awarded in September, then they may be defending that title several times. They made it to 2-0 by beating the Vikings at home 31-30. Jay Cutler threw a late TD to Martellus Bennett for the winning score. It is good to see the Bears spreading the ball around these days. Cutler also had 292 yards in the air, with three touchdowns and two interceptions in the game. Chicago will take their undefeated record on the road for the Sunday Night game in Pittsburgh (0-2).
9/12/13: The Chicago Bears showed off some of their new toys in their 24-21 win over the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday. There has been a lot of hand wringing about the Bears' offensive line (same as every other year), but the unit did not yield a single sack to the much heralded Bengals' defense. New tight end Martellus Bennett caught a touchdown pass, but the game was won by a pass from QB Jay Cutler to his favorite target, Brandon Marshall. The team has a few days to enjoy the victory before they host the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday.
9/4/13: The Bears open against the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday, but that air of optimism that usually envelopes Chicago this time of year is not there. The key reason is that their star wide receiver, Brandon Marshall, is dealing with a hip injury. That QB Jay Cutler likes to throw to Marshall is obvious - Cutler targeted Marshall over 50% of the time last year. So if Marshall is unable to play, or is limited, this could have a profound effect on the Bears offense. They need Marshall on Sunday, as the Bengals may have one of the best defenses in the league this season.
8/29/13: The Bears seem pretty impressed with rookie offensive guard Kyle Long - the son of Hall of Famer Howie Long and brother of Rams defensive end Chris Long. Long was selected 20th overall, but not given the starting right guard spot immediately. He has seemed to have won the job, starting in the second and third preseason games, and looking like the cream of the offensive line. He will still make rookie mistakes and is not a pro bowler yet, but anything to protect QB Jay Cutler improves the team. As we have seen, Cutler has taken a beating the last few years playing behind poor offensive lines, and when he gets hurt, the team loses.
8/22/13: There is quietly a growing concern among fans and fantasy football players about the role of new Bears tight end Martellus Bennett. Bennett was signed as a free agent (from the New York Giants) in the offseason, and is supposed to be an alternative target for QB Jay Cutler. Cutler loves throwing to WR Brandon Marshall, and that will not end. However, in two preseason games, Bennett has received a total of zero targets. He insists that he does not care as long as the team wins. Good line, but Cutler needs to use Bennett to help Marshall, as well as running back Matt Forte.
8/15/13: The Bears got some bad news from their preseason game with the Carolina Panthers - even worse than the sloppy game in which the teams seemed like they were trying to turn the ball over at every possession. Defensive tackle Henry Melton, the same player they used their franchise tag on, left early with a concussion. Melton is a Pro Bowler and is playing this season for a long term contract. There is no word yet on how long Melton may be sidelined, but losing a top defensive tackle is not good for the team, and a concussion is not good for Melton.
8/8/13: The Bears acquired tight end Martellus Bennett in the offseason to provide a complement to WR Brandon Marshall and to bring a bit of an edge to the team. We do not know if he will be able to haul in Jay Cutler passes and take coverage away from Marshall yet, but we do know that he is bringing some fieriness to the Bears. In the first week of training camp, he has found himself physically fighting at least three Bears defenders in practice. That being said, training camp fights are nothing new and usually get resolved quickly. The Bears do hope that Bennett can bring the same attitude on Sundays in the fall.
8/1/13: Bears general manager Phil Emery came out recently and said that he will not discuss new contracts or extensions with any player until the season is over. That does not matter to most players, but could affect QB Jay Cutler. Cutler is expected to get an extension at some point, and that is the logical thing to do for the team. An extension now would not get him Joe Flacco or Matt Ryan money, but probably get him a contract similar to Matt Stafford. The Bears would be wise to hang on to Cutler for a few more years. There is a shortage of quality and available QBs right now, meaning the team would have to draft and develop his replacement.
7/25/13: Former Bears head coach Mike Ditka is doing what he can to keep himself in the Chicago spotlight. Last week, he said that the rival Green Bay Packers have the best QB in the league, which angered some Bears fans. This week, he says that former Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher has to get over it - referring to Urlacher's statement that he does not want the Bears to win a Super Bowl without him. Urlacher was probably joking, but this is the kind of thing that media types should stay away from. Besides, the Bears are going to have enough challenges just to make the playoffs this season.
7/18/13: The Chicago Bears. The Monsters of the Midway. Team to such legends as Mike Singletary and Walter Payton. What they are not historically tied to is a great passing game. QB Jay Cutler has the arm to play in Chicago, and he has his old buddy Brandon Marshall to catch passes. But one receiver does not an offense make - and it showed last yaer. This time is different. The Bears drafted WR Alshon Jeffries, a strong and tall target out of South Carolina. With a true opposite threat, the team may be able to really open up the passing game this coming season.
7/11/13: An interesting news item came out last week about former Bears guard Chilo Rachal. Several sources indicate that he quit on the team last year once he was removed from the starting lineup. Rachal heavily disputes that claim and says he was told by then head coach Lovie Smith to take some time and get himself together. Rachal did not return when he was supposed to, so that may be where the inferences come from. Rachal is now with the the Arizona Cardinals, and must prove that he can be a potent member of an offensive line if he is going to stay on that roster as well.
7/4/13: The Bears have made a commitment to offense in recent years - well, at least as much as they ever have. However, they do have talent on the offensive side of the ball in QB Jay Cutler, WR Brandon Marshall, and RB Matt Forte. What they really need, and what has doomed them in the past few years, is protection around Cutler to keep him upright. Even though he was not named to the top 100 players in the NFL, and even though he has the propensity to come off as immature, he is still a good quarterback - probably the best in Chicago since Jim McMahaon. But no QB will succeed if their O-line cannot protect them. We'll see if the offseason moves help out or not.
6/27/13: For years, the Bears have tried to convince anyone who would listen that Devin Hester could be a number one wide receiver. Hester is one of the game's best return men, but could never quite make an impact as a WR. The new coaching staff has stopped that baloney and has made Hester a return man only. Hester actually likes the decision. He says he feels more energized than he has in years. If he can return to his form from his first couple of years, then the Bears will always have a chance to start with good field position or even a few kickoff return touchdowns.
6/20/13: The Bears released fullback Evan Rodriguez last week, and signed Tony Fiammetta as his apparent replacement. He is the only fullback on the Bears roster currently - which usually bodes well for job security. Fiammetta is a true fullback, and was graded higher than Rodriguez in fullback skills when he was drafted. However, Rodriguez was considered a better pass catcher. He was a converted tight end. That being said, the Bears rarely used him in the passing game: he caught only eight passes for 73 yards in two seasons. Chicago will probably bring in another fullback for camp, but it looks like they want to go with a traditional blocking fullback who gets a carry or two a game.
6/13/13: The last time the Bears were in the Super Bowl, the game was held in Miami. Since Miami is not renovating Dolphin Stadium, they appear to be out of the running to host future games. The Big Game will be played in New York (New Jersey) in 2014, and will be the first modern day Super Bowl in cold weather. Now Chicago wants to join in on that and the Mayor spoke to Commissioner Roger Goodell about hosting the game and the NFL draft. The game sites have been selected through 2017, so the first chance Chicago would have is in 2018. However, the draft is only slated to be in New York through 2014, meaning the NFL could move it in 2015.
6/6/13: The Bears are going to have a tough decision involving fullback Evan Rodriquez. E-Rod has been arrested twice this offseason for alcohol related offenses. The most recent was driving under the influence and speeding on Interstate 90 in the Chicago area. Evan is a second year player who was converted from tight end to fullback. He was not a go-to guy last season, but was expected to have a larger role in the offense this season. The Bears now must figure out if he is worth the trouble and risk. They may well decide to cut him and avoid any future problems that he may bring about.
5/30/13: Nothing but praise has been coming out of Chicago since Brian Urlacher decided to hang up the cleats last week. The Bears offered Urlacher a low ball contract which he rejected. After looking at other teams and considering his health, he simply decided to retire. He is just another in a long line of great Bears linebackers that includes Mike Singletary and Dick Butkis. Now the Bears have to find the next great one. The Bears also announced that they would retire Mike Ditka's number 89 later this year. It will be the 14th number retired by the franchise, and owner Mike McCaskey says it will be the last one retired. They kind of have to, they are running short on available numbers.
5/16/13: It is not often that a celebrated first round pick could be cut after only two years on the job, but such is the case with offensive lineman Gabe Carimi. Carimi was a first round pick of the Bears in 2011. He started two games at right tackle in 2011 before suffering a season ending knee injury. He played last year, though not very well. The Bears drafted Kyle Long to play right guard in this years draft and signed free agent Jermon Bushrod. Carimi will be competing for a roster spot with Edwin Williams, who can play both center and guard. That means there may be a young and talented O-lineman up for grabs in a few months, one that many teams would likely want.
5/9/13: Based upon size alone, J'Marcus Webb should be the proto-typical offensive tackle. He weighs in at 333 pounds and measures a gigantic 6'7. He is best known for getting bumped and chewed out by Bears QB Jay Cutler on a Monday Night Game last season after Cutler was sacked for what seemed like the 100th time that night. Webb was arrested in February on drug related charges (later dropped). Webb says that was a wake up call and has gotten sober. He said his off field issues affected his play. The Bears signed Jermon Bushrod, so Bushrod may get the call at left tackle, which would probably move Webb to the right side.
5/2/13: Chicago is taking a lot of heat from 'experts' for drafting Oregon offensive tackle Kyle Long with their first pick (20th overall). Kyle is the son of Hall of Famer Howie Long and the younger brother of St. Louis Rams defensive tackle Chris Long. Chris was the second overall selection a few years ago and has developed into a very good D lineman. Bears new general manager Phil Emery keeps saying that Kyle is no risk (always a lie). Chicago also took offensive tackle Jordan Mills in the fifth round. The point is that Chicago knows they need to protect QB Jay Cutler better, so they went and got him help.
4/25/13: The Chicago Bears went 10-6 last year and fired their coach. The Baltimore Ravens went 10-6, won their division, and won the Super Bowl. The Bears fired their coach, the Ravens gave a zillion dollars to their quarterback. It just goes to show how unfair the league is. The Bears were among the better teams in the league last year, but stumbled late in a tough division. It would not hurt the team to find a replacement for linebacker Brian Urlacher and get Brandon Marshall a complementary receiver. Oh, and don't forget to draft for that offensive line.
4/18/13: With a week to go before the draft, no one really knows what the Bears are planning on doing with their first round pick - and as everyone knows, only the first round picks mean anything. The projections from draft experts are all over the board. Many think that Chicago may take Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o to replace the erstwhile Brian Urlacher. Others are hoping for wide receiver Tayvon Austin - though he probably will not make it past St. Louis with the 16th pick. The Bears could also trade up or down, and move out of the 20th pick.
4/11/13: The Bears made a move that QB Jay Cutler has to love. They replace JaMarcus Webb with Jermon Bushrod at left tackle. Webb will compete with Gabe Carimi and Jonathan Scott for the right tackle position. Webb came to national attention last season during a nationally televised game when Cutler was seen berating and hitting Webb on the sideline. To Cutler's defense, he had just been sacked for about the 45th time in the game. Webb played 10 games at right tackle as a rookie in 2010. However, this is probably Carimi's job to lose at this point.
3/28/13: The Bears have a long and storied history of top notch linebackers, which has a large part of their nickname "The Monsters of the Midway". General Manager Phil Emery and the team now has the responsibility (obligation) of finding the next one, as the Bears and Brian Urlacher are parting ways. The team and player could not reach an agreement on a new contract, so now Urlacher is a free agent after spending his entire career in Chicago. Urlacher has lost a step and has been hampered by injuries for the past few years. There is no word yet on if he will retire or try to catch on with another team.
3/21/13: The Bears signing of Martellus Bennett may be telling in the near future. There is no doubt that wide receiver Brandon Marshall is QB Jay Cutler's favorite target. They set franchise records for receptions and yards last year. Don't expect that to change. But Cutler does need a plan "B", and that looks to be Bennett. He had a few good years with the Giants, is good friends with Marshall (calls him his Big Brother), and certainly fills a need in a league where the tight end is increasingly more important. This could be the start of a new offensive philosophy in Chicago.
3/14/13: Jay Cutler has another weapon to throw to. The Bears made one of the first moves in free agency by inking former New York Giants tight end Martellus Bennett. Bennett tweeted out that he was joining his big brother Brandon Marshall in Chicago. The two are not related, but are very close friends. Bennett was one of the top tight ends available, and gives the Bears another red zone option. Marshall may set franchise records in receiving, but a lot of that is because there is no one else to throw to. It also keeps Marshall happy, which a few teams have found out is important to get the most out of him.
3/7/13: Chicago was one of eight teams to use their franchise tag, and it looks like they made a good investment in tagging young veteran defensive tackle Henry Melton. Had the Bears let Melton walk, he surely would have been picked up in a hurry, possibly by the Dallas Cowboys. Melton had another great season in 2012 with six sacks (third among DT's) and forcing two fumbles. The franchise tag will cost the Bears almost $9 million next season, but gives the team several months to work out a long term contract for a likely annual Pro-Bowler.
2/14/13: The Chicago Bears made the somewhat unexpected move of cutting wide receiver Johnny Knox this week. Knox suffered a severe back injury against the Seahawks in September 2011 and has not played since. He had worked hard to get back into form, but the Bears may have felt that it was taking too long. He was productive when he played and had Jay Cutler's faith. It was hoped that he would be paired with Brandon Marshall, but it looks like that opportunity will go fully to Alshon Jefferies, who showed flashes of brilliance in his rookie season last year. Knox's career may be over, which is a sad fate for a talented player who was well respected by his teammates.
2/7/13: Trading for Brandon Marshall last offseason was a great move for the Bears. The team reforged its identity from a smash mouth, grinding team to an actual offensive threat. Marshall had one of the best receiving seasons in Bears history, including most receptions (118), receiving yards (1,508), as well as a personal best 11 TDs. The Bears' problem was that he was really the only receiving threat. Chicago may be looking for some help in that department in free agency, and possible candidates include Brandon Gibson of the Rams or Brian Hartline of the Miami Dolphins.
1/31/13: The Bears made a great trade last offseason when they acquired wide receiver Brandon Marshall from the Dolphins. Marshall is an All-Pro receiver, the likes of which have never been seen in Chicago before. Marshall and QB Jay Cutler had great success together in Denver, and the two were a lethal combination in the Windy City. But Marshall alone is not enough. New head coach Jim Trestman will have to find a complementary receiver to Marshall, and Cutler needs to have some faith in other players to catch the ball, if the Bears are going to compete with the Packers and Vikings next season.
1/24/13: Winning 10 games usually means a contract extension, or at least that you will return the following year. But the Bears fired Lovie Smith on December 31, citing lack of progress on offense, despite a 10-6 record (the Bears missed the playoffs again). Throughout the speculation of Lovie's successor, Marc Trestman's name kept popping up. Trestman has not coached in the NFL in quite a while and has spent the last five years coaching the Montreal Alouettes of the CFL. It will be interesting to see how this turns out: Will he be the gateway to future CFL coaches coming to the NFL, or will he flame out like many expect?
1/17/13: The Saints will send three players to the Pro Bowl in a few weeks: quarterback Drew Breese, left guard Jahri Evans, and punter Thomas Morstead. Evans was among the more consistent players this year for the Saints and is a big reason that New Orleans has one of the best offensive lines in the league. It is his fourth straight Pro-Bowl selection, and marks the first time in franchise history that a player has been selected to three consecutive all-star games. In other news, the team and Sean Payton formalized his extension through 2017, making him the highest paid coach in the game.
1/10/13: Lovie Smith was fired shortly after the team missed the playoffs again - becoming one of the rare coaches who loses their jobs after winning 10 games. The Bears claimed they wanted more consistency on offense, and the telling stat was that Chicago ranked only as high as the teens one time in Smith's tenure. But Lovie Smith should probably not be unemployed for too long. Considering there are openings in Cleveland, San Diego, Philadelphia and Arizona, someone is likely to hire a long time successful coach who has a Super Bowl appearance to his name.
1/3/13: Chicago won their final game against Detroit - a game they needed to both win and hope for a Vikings loss to get into the playoffs. Minnesota defeated Green Bay, so the Bears' season is over. Chicago ended the season at 10-6, a very good mark by most standards. But the team started 7-1 and missed the post season once again. Head Coach Lovie Smith was surprisingly fired on the day after the game, with the Bears GM claiming that the lack of offensive achievement being the primary reason. But Smith will not likely be unemployed long, and will be a candidate for other openings.
12/27/12: In a game that was allergic to offense, the Bears defense came through in a big way in a 28-13 over the host Arizona Cardinals in Week 16. Chicago's defense scored two touchdowns (Arizona blocked a kick and returned it for their only touchdown) and recorded four sacks. The win leaves the Bears at 9-7 and with a real shot at making the postseason. If the Bears beat the Lions (in Detroit) and the Packers beat the Vikings, then Chicago will earn a wild card spot. Tough position for Bears fans - they have to root for the Packers.
12/20/12: A few weeks ago the Chicago Bears controlled the NFC North and had the look of a contender. But with Brian Urlacher out and the offensive line failing to protect the quarterback, the Bears now have an uphill battle to even make the playoffs. Chicago hosted arch rival Green Bay this past Sunday in a game that would decide the division champion. But the Bears offense could not muster any sustained momentum, highlighted by quarterback Jay Cutler only managing 135 yards in the air in a 21-13 loss. The Bears still can make the playoffs, but they need to win and some losses by the Vikings, Giants, Cowboys, Seahawks, and Redskins. Next up for Chicago is the lowly Arizona Cardinals in a chance to right the ship.
12/13/12: Even though everyone on the Bears defense knew what was coming, they still could not stop Adrian Peterson. Peterson and the Vikings upset the Bears 21-14 at the Metrodome, with Peterson rushing for 154 yards and two touchdowns. Brian Urlacher is still mending his injuries, and Jay Cutler took a hard shot to the head that resulted in a strained neck. Chicago now sits at 8-5 after losing four of their past five games. The Bears need to focus now, as they host Green Bay next week. Should the Packers win, then Green Bay will be the NFC North champion for the season, and Chicago will have to scramble for a wild card spot.
12/6/12: The good news is that the Bears are much improved now that quarterback Jay Cutler is back in the line up. Chicago controlled the last game at home against the Seahawks, and only a last minute stunning touchdown prevented the win. Brandon Marshall led the offensive charge with 10 catches for 165 yards, and Cutler passed for two more scores. But Russell Wilson connected in overtime, giving Seattle a 23-17 win. The Bears are tied with Green Bay for the NFC North lead, this race will come down to the wire. Next up for the Bears is a trip to the Metrodome to face the Vikings
10/1/12:The Chicago Bears offense didn't need to do much against the Dallas Cowboys. The Bears defense took care of most of the work in Chicago?s 34-18 over the Dallas. The defense picked off Cowboys QB Tony Romo five times, returning two of them for touchdowns. Major Wright had two interceptions and Charles Tillman and Lance Briggs returned their picks for touchdowns. Bears QB Jay Cutler finished the day 18 of 24 with 275 yards passing and two touchdowns. Brandon Marshall caught seven of those passes for 138 yards and a touchdown. Romo threw for 307 yards but most of their drives were stalled because of turnovers. The Bears improve to 3-1 on the year.
4/12/12 The Chicago Bears were riding high with a 7-3 record when quarterback Jay Cutler went down with a season-ending injury that not only ended his year, but also the Bears' year as well. They couldn't recover without their starting quarterback and sputtered to an 8-8 finish, missing the playoffs only a year after their appearance in the NFC championship game. With Cutler back and at full-health in 2012, the Bears hope to return to the top again and give division rival Packers some competition for the NFC North title, along with the surprising, upstart Detroit Lions.
Chicago Bears Tickets - The Beginning
The genesis of a pure football team is the essence of the Chicago Bears, beginning as the Decatur Staleys in 1920. Co-owners George Halas and Dutch Sternaman were at the helm during that season but then moved the club to Chicago, renaming themselves the 'Chicago Staleys.' After winning their first World Championship in 1921, it was a sign of things to come -- christened the 'Chicago Bears' in 1922, a slew of winning championships in 1932, 1933, 1940, '41, '43', and '46 solidified their strength with sheer force and style. In 1985, the Bears reigned supreme in their Super Bowl Shuffle. Astonishingly, the team's entire record stands as 223-76-33. That's a lot of history for one team full of heart.
Chicago Bears Tickets - The Players
You have some of the most legendary players come directly from the Windy City -- such as Jim McMahon, William 'the Fridge' Perry, Walter Payton, and of course today's popular defensive captain Brian Urlacher. You have a team filled with titanic echoes of a legendary past leading to a prosperous future.
Chicago Bears Tickets - Check Them Out!
Besides the exciting splendor of Chi-town in Soldier Field, watching sweet magic Bears football from the hardcore defense to impenetrable running offense, there's no doubt that you have gridiron glory with the hopeful and immortal Chicago Bears. Get in there at Soldier Field and do your own Super Bowl Shuffle!
Chicago Bears Tickets - The Players
Da Bears have put their trust in Jay Cutler at QB. However he hasn't done too much so far. With Receivers like Johnny Knox, Devin Hester and newly acquired Roy Williams they're hoping for more production. Matt Forte has been a force on the ground and hasn't shown any sign of slowing down. Hester is always a threat on kick returns or punt returns. Its been the Bears defense that has been unstoppable. The Bears as an organization are based on defense and Brian Urlacher has led one of the best linebacker cores in the league for years. Julius Peppers will also shine on the line and give the Bears one of the best run defenses in the league, again.
Chicago Bears Schedule & Key Dates
Opening Day / Chicago Bears First Game 2013
Chicago Bears Regular Season Last Game 2013
Chicago Bears Preseason Beginning 2013
Dec 15, 2013 Chicago Bears 38 - 31 Cleveland Browns Dec 1, 2013 Chicago Bears 20 - 23 Minnesota Vikings Nov 24, 2013 Chicago Bears 21 - 42 St. Louis Rams Nov 17, 2013 Baltimore Ravens 20 - 23 Chicago Bears Nov 10, 2013 Detroit Lions 21 - 19 Chicago Bears Oct 10, 2013 New York Giants 21 - 27 Chicago Bears Oct 6, 2013 New Orleans Saints 26 - 18 Chicago Bears Sep 29, 2013 Chicago Bears 32 - 40 Detroit Lions Sep 15, 2013 Minnesota Vikings 30 - 31 Chicago Bears Sep 8, 2013 Cincinnati Bengals 21 - 24 Chicago Bears Aug 9, 2013 Preseason: Chicago Bears 17 - 24 Carolina Panthers
Aug 8, 2014 Philadelphia Eagles vs Chicago Bears Aug 14, 2014 Jacksonville Jaguars vs Chicago Bears Aug 22, 2014 Chicago Bears vs Seattle Seahawks Aug 28, 2014 Chicago Bears vs Cleveland Browns Sep 7, 2014 Buffalo Bills vs Chicago Bears Sep 14, 2014 Chicago Bears vs San Francisco 49ers Sep 22, 2014 Chicago Bears vs New York Jets Sep 28, 2014 Green Bay Packers vs Chicago Bears Oct 5, 2014 Chicago Bears vs Carolina Panthers Oct 12, 2014 Chicago Bears vs Atlanta Falcons Oct 19, 2014 Miami Dolphins vs Chicago Bears Oct 26, 2014 Chicago Bears vs New England Patriots Nov 9, 2014 Chicago Bears vs Green Bay Packers Nov 16, 2014 Minnesota Vikings vs Chicago Bears Nov 23, 2014 Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs Chicago Bears Nov 27, 2014 Chicago Bears vs Detroit Lions Dec 4, 2014 Dallas Cowboys vs Chicago Bears Dec 14, 2014 Cincinnati Bengals vs Cleveland Browns Dec 15, 2014 New Orleans Saints vs Chicago Bears Dec 21, 2014 Detroit Lions vs Chicago Bears Dec 28, 2014 Chicago Bears vs Minnesota Vikings