Bear Essentials

Bear Essentials

Roethlisberger in Cutler's corner

Posted by Bob LeGere on Wed, 02/02/2011 - 01:19
One Super Bowl quarterback, the Packers’ Aaron Rodgers, has already spoken out in defense of Bears QB Jay Cutler, but that was kind of expected since they’re buddies. But now the Steelers’ Ben Roethlisberger took to task those who have questioned Cutler’s toughness and criticized him for his failure to finish the NFC title game with a Grade 2 sprain of the MCL in his left knee. "We talk so much about a fraternity, and especially quarterbacks, I don't think I ever have or I ever will talk negatively about a quarterback,” Roethlisberger said Tuesday at media day in North Texas. “Just because you know what you go through and you know what they go through. So you kind of expect NFL players to feel the same way in general.

Local OT's have tough Super Bowl jobs

Posted by Bob LeGere on Tue, 02/01/2011 - 14:26
Both offensive right tackles in Super Bowl XLV are products of the Chicago area and both will have huge responsibilities on Sunday. Packers rookie Bryan Bulaga stepped into the starting lineup when veteran Mark Tauscher was injured early in the regular season and will make his 16th NFL start against the Steelers. The Crystal Lake resident, who was the Big Ten's offensive lineman of the year last season, must contend with Steelers outside linebacker Lamar Woodley, who had 9 ½ sacks in the regular season.

Like Cutler, Eagles WR can't play on sprained MCL

Posted by Bob LeGere on Fri, 01/28/2011 - 16:13
Very interesting story on NFL.com about Eagles WR DeSean Jackson pulling out of the Pro Bowl with a Grade 2 sprain of the MCL (medical collateral ligament) in his left knee. For all the Jay Cutler haters out there, that’s the identical injury that Cutler suffered in the NFC championship game. He’s been bad-rapped by blowhards like Deion Sanders and others for not finishing the game. But Jackson suffered the same injury three weeks ago, and he’s still not able to play. By the way, I’ve yet to read an opinion from anyone in the medical profession who says that Cutler could or should have played longer in the loss to the Packers with his MCL sprain.

Peppers fined $10,000 for hit on Rodgers

Posted by Bob LeGere on Thu, 01/27/2011 - 11:26
ESPN’s Adam Schefter is reporting that Bears DE Julius Peppers has been fined $10,000 for his helmet-to-helmet hit on Packers QB Aaron Rodgers in the NFC championship game that drew a 15-yard penalty. After the game, Peppers did not dispute the call, saying he’d have to review the film to determine if the penalty was justified. It appeared that Peppers, who is expected to start in Sunday’s Pro Bowl, originally hit Rodgers with his helmet just above the shoulder pads and then slid up into the quarterback’s helmet. “I don’t know,” Peppers said after the game, “I’m not sure if it was (helmet to helmet). I’d have to see it again.”

S-T assistant Tabor hired by Browns

Posted by Bob LeGere on Tue, 01/25/2011 - 18:17
Bears coach Lovie Smith realized that he might lose some of his assistant coaches in the off-season, based on the team's success, and he was right. The Cleveland Browns announced Tuesday afternoon that they had signed Bears assistant special teams coach Chris Tabor as their special-teams coordinator. "I think when you have a successful year, (when) you do some good things, people look at your staff," Smith said on Monday. "I wouldn't be surprised. I'm hoping that we'll be able to keep our same staff in place, but it seems like that never happens." Tabor, 39, spent the past three seasons as the assistant to Bears special-teams coordinator Dave Toub, whose units have been among the NFL's best in each of his seven seasons with the team.

Lovie extension on the agenda

Posted by Bob LeGere on Mon, 01/24/2011 - 16:16
Bears general manager said signing head coach Lovie Smith to a contract extension is a priority, but he could not offer a timetable for a new agreement. Smith’s contract is up after next season, but Angelo does not foresee going into the 2011 season without a new deal in place. “We very much want to extend Lovie (for) the job that he’s done and his staff,” Angelo said this afternoon at Halas Hall. “So our focus, our intent is to extend Lovie. “We wanted to wait until the (2010) season’s over. The season is officially over for us, and that will be part of the business at hand in these next several weeks.” Angelo did not say how long of an extension Smith would be offered.

Angelo defends Cutler

Posted by Bob LeGere on Mon, 01/24/2011 - 15:56
An irate Bears general manager Jerry Angelo fired back at NFL players like Kerry Rhodes, Maurice Jones-Drew and Darnell Dockett, who have ripped quarterback Jay Cutler for a perceived lack of toughness. “I’m very surprised,” Angelo said. “I think it’s crap. I thought they were a union. If that’s the way they unionize themselves, they got bigger issues than the one that they have with the owners (over the absence of a collective bargaining agreement for next season). I’m very disappointed in that. That, to me, is dirty pool. People are allowed to say what they want to say, but that doesn’t mean it’s right, and it’s certainly not grounded.” Angelo did not have an explanation for why Cutler seems to be a lightning rod for criticism.

FS Harris active despite hip injury

Posted by Bob LeGere on Sun, 01/23/2011 - 14:07
Free safety Chris Harris (hip pointer) is active today and will start. But it remains to be seen how effective he is and how long he can play through the injury that knocked him out of last week’s game and kept him out of practice this week for all but a limited portion on Friday. If Harris succumbs, promising rookie Major Wright will get the call. Wright has rotated in with Harris and strong safety Danieal Manning for much of the season, but he is more prone to mental mistakes than either of the two veterans, and that could be fatal against Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

Today's inactives

Posted by Bob LeGere on Sun, 01/23/2011 - 13:53
Today’s inactives for the Bears are wide receiver Devin Aromashodu (for just the second time all season), safety Craig Steltz, cornerback Joshua Moore (for the 15th time this season), running back Kahlil Bell (all 18 games), guard Herman Johnson, center-guard Edwin Williams and defensive tackle Marcus Harrison (13th time). The third quarterback is Caleb Hanie (for the 14th time). The Packers’ inactives are: Cornerback Pat Lee, running back Dimitri Nance, cornerback Josh Gordy, linebacker Frank Zombo (knee), offensive linemen Evan Dietrich-Smith and Nick McDonald and defensive end Jarius Wynn. Their third quarterback is Graham Harrell.

A perfect day for football

Posted by Bob LeGere on Sun, 01/23/2011 - 13:44
Fans attending today’s game couldn’t ask for better weather this time of year. It’s already 24 degrees without much wind and totally sunny. Makes it feel like 26 or 27. Almost balmy. The field on the other hand … Actually it doesn’t look that bad right now, especially if you can convince yourself that grass is supposed to be khaki colored. Traffic, on the way here from Elmhurst, was a bit worse than usual for a noon kickoff but not horrible. It did take about 30 minutes to go from Michigan Ave. and Roosevelt Road to the underground parking garage north of Soldier Field. It looks like a good deal of Packers fans were able to get tickets. I could tell they were Packers fans because of the camouflage clothing and the beer guts. The men didn’t look that great either.