Bear Essentials

Bear Essentials

Penalties, Hester doomed Pack in Week 3

Posted by Bob LeGere on Tue, 12/28/2010 - 01:50
It's not an exaggeration to say the Packers beat themselves in the Week Three 20-17 loss to the Bears at Soldier Field. The Packers were flagged a ridiculous 18 times for a whopping 152 yards. An apparent TD pass to Jermichael Finley that would have given the Packers a 17-7 lead in the third quarter was nullified by a holding call on Mark Tauscher against Julius Peppers. The Packers also had an apparent interception negated by a penalty.

Bears staying in Bourbonnais

Posted by Bob LeGere on Thu, 12/23/2010 - 12:43
The Bears and Olivet Nazarene University have signed a two-year agreement to hold the team’s training camp in Bourbonnais through 2012. The Bears also have an option to conduct camp at ONU in 2013. The ONU campus, approximately 60 miles south of Chicago, provides the Bears with four practice fields, air-conditioned locker rooms and dining facility, a weight room, meeting rooms and dorms for players and staff. It has enabled tens of thousands of Bears fans to enjoy training camp practices for the past nine years. The Bears-ONU partnership has been a success story from the start, and in years past crowds of up to 10,000 have attended individual admission-free practices. Parking is also free at the campus, with facilities to handle several thousand vehicles.

Jets won't kick to Hester

Posted by Bob LeGere on Wed, 12/22/2010 - 11:55
Devin Hester is anxious to add on to the NFL record he set Monday night for kick-return touchdowns, but he probably won’t get many opportunities against the Jets Sunday, especially on punts. “I think it’s pretty safe to say we’re planning on not kicking to him,” Jets coach Rex Ryan said during Wednesday morning’s conference call. “I think you can write that down, as everybody else I’m sure doesn’t want to kick to him. I don’t think you can deal with him. As a returner, it’s ridiculous. “He’s got to go down as the best punt returner in the history of the game.” Ryan said he’s also been impressed with Hester as a receiver, along with the rest of the Bears’ wideouts.

It's beginning to look a lot like football

Posted by Bob LeGere on Mon, 12/20/2010 - 18:40
The snow just keeps on coming. Now they’re saying 4-8 inches, but it’s expected to stop between 8 and 9 p.m. Despite the snow that’s already fallen, the field looks clearer than Soldier Field did last week. Using leaf blowers and tractors, all the yard lines and hash marks are already visible and the field should be completely clear in the next 15-20 minutes. The footing looks a little shaky but not that bad, especially the areas that have been cleared of snow. The two-mile cab ride over took about 35 minutes in rush hour but wasn’t that bad considering the four bald tires and the ice-covered windshield wipers.

It's getting interesting

Posted by Bob LeGere on Mon, 12/20/2010 - 16:46
Tonight’s game just keeps getting more and more interesting. A victory by the Bears clinches a playoff spot and would go a long way toward securing a first-round bye and at least one home game in the playoffs. But we already knew that. What we didn’t know until early afternoon was that Vikings QB Brett Favre would be upgraded from “out,” to “questionable,” which means there is a 50-50 chance he could play. Earlier in the week Vikings coach Leslie Frazier said third-stringer Joe Webb would make his first NFL start against the Bears, but that may not be the case anymore.

Planning ahead for snow days

Posted by Bob LeGere on Tue, 12/14/2010 - 01:09
Interesting piece by Michael Lombardi at NFL.com, discussing how Bill Belichick and the Patriots have a plan for games played in the cold and snow. It’s interesting because the Bears didn’t seem to have a functional plan on either side of the ball. The result was a total of 185 yards of offense, their second-lowest output of the season. On the other side of the ball, the Bears allowed 475 yards, by far their worst effort of the season. But the Bears shouldn’t feel bad. The Patriots have made a habit of embarrassing opponents in inclement weather. In their last three games, going back to the end of the 2008 season, the Patriots have outscored the opposition 142-14, while piling up an average of 536 yards per game.

Super pass rush needed Sunday

Posted by Bob LeGere on Wed, 12/08/2010 - 23:45
Calling Sunday’s game a Super Bowl preview might be wishful thinking -- for the Bears. While the 10-2 Patriots certainly looked Super Bowl-worthy in their 45-3 annihilation of the Jets last Monday night, the Bears, despite their 9-3 record, still have plenty of doubters. But a victory over the Patriots would legitimize the Bears’ credentials as Super Bowl contenders. For that to happen, several things must happen. The most important?

New light shed on future foes

Posted by Bob LeGere on Tue, 12/07/2010 - 00:04
The Bears can’t feel good about what they saw Monday night during the Patriots’ 45-3 dismantling of the Jets, considering they host New England Sunday. Well, they can feel good about their game against the Jets the day after Christmas at Soldier Field, because Rex Ryan’s team looked totally overmatched and could not move the ball with any consistency against what is statistically one of the NFL’s worst defenses. The Patriots’ defense, which had allowed an average of 28 points in its previous four games, did not live down to expectations Monday night. The offense, and Brady, were as advertised. In other words, they were explosive. That’s back-to-back games in which the Patriots have scored 45 points and four straight in which they’ve scored more than 30.

Improved cast makes Cutler better

Posted by Bob LeGere on Sat, 12/04/2010 - 17:12
During the Bears’ four-game win streak, Jay Cutler has thrown 9 TD passes and just 3 interceptions, while being sacked 10 times. In the previous four games, three of which were losses, Cutler had 1 TD pass and 5 interceptions. Despite playing just 10 quarters, he was sacked 19 times, including one in the Giants games that resulted in a concussion and caused him to miss the second half and all of the Panthers game, which was the only win. The reduction in sacks has helped, but it isn’t the only reason for Cutler’s improvement.

Marinelli makes a difference on defense

Posted by Bob LeGere on Fri, 12/03/2010 - 00:59
Since the Super Bowl season of 2006, the Bears’ defense went from dominant to mediocre, allowing more points for three straight seasons. But now, that dominant defense is back, and maybe even better than the ’06 version, according to linebacker Brian Urlacher. One of the main reasons for the return to elite status is defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli, whose squad is No. 2 in points and rushing yards allowed, first in third-down efficiency, No. 4 in total yards allowed and No. 6 in interception percentage. Marinelli keeps a low profile, but his players praise his attention to detail, enthusiasm and his ability to motivate even through the dog days of November and December, when practice becomes a chore.