Posted by Bob LeGere on Thu, 10/25/2012 - 19:50
The Bears have talked a lot this week about the Panthers’ two-pronged rushing attack of Jonathan Stewart and DeAngelo Williams. But quarterback Cam Newton is Carolina’s leading rusher with 273 yards and a 5.9-yard average.
Newton also torched the Bears for 374 passing yards last season, so they can’t overplay the run too much. But all three Panthers rushed for more than 700 yards last season, the first time that’s ever happened in NFL history. Even more impressive, all three players averaged at least 5.4 yards per carry in 2011, when the NFL average was 4.1
Posted by Bob LeGere on Thu, 10/25/2012 - 00:03
It’s interesting to think back to the start of training camp three months ago.
Just about everyone, myself included, was convinced that the Bears’ offense would be more explosive with the addition of Brandon Marshall, Michael Bush and Jason Campbell. And many feared the defense would begin to drop off because of the advancing age of its Pro Bowl players – Charles Tillman, Julius Peppers, Lance Briggs and Brian Urlacher.
Through seven weeks, the opposite has been true. The only impressive aspect of the team offense has been the run game, courtesy of Matt Forte. He has been every bit as good as he was last year when he was voted to his first Pro Bowl, and Bush has helped with some of the short-yardage chores.
Posted by Bob LeGere on Tue, 10/02/2012 - 23:29
If Hawk Harrelson covered the Bears, he would say they’re “in the catbird seat.”
That’s because, after humbling the Cowboys, the Bears are 3-1. Over the next month, simply by winning games they should, they’ll be 7-1 by the time they host the undefeated Texans on Nov. 11.
After what should be a pleasure trip to Jacksonville this week to face the 1-3 Jaguars, the Bears have their bye. They don’t have any significant injuries that need to heal up during the off week. But it will provide an extra week to prepare for the Lions, another reeling 1-3 team that comes to town the following week for yet another Monday night game.
Posted by Bob LeGere on Thu, 09/20/2012 - 23:10
Whatever happened to Devin Hester?
Not Devin Hester the greatest return specialist in the history of the NFL. That guy is still around. He led the NFL with a 16.2-yard punt-return average last season. He had a 23-yard punt return in the season opener.
But Devin Hester the wide receiver seems to have disappeared. He caught 2 passes for 27 against the Colts in Week One but was blanked against the Packers, when he was targeted just once.
His virtual absence from the passing game has been a fact for much longer than two weeks, though. In his last 11 games, Hester has a total of 7 catches for 88 yards and no touchdowns.
Posted by Bob LeGere on Mon, 09/03/2012 - 12:06
The Monday morning signing of free agent defensive tackle Amobi Okoye gives the Bears proven depth in the interior line and is an upgrade over Brian Price, who was waived.
The Bears acquired the 6-foot-1, 303-pound Price for a seventh-round draft pick early in training camp, but he was clearly not in football shape. The former second-round pick struggled to recover from hamstring injuries last season and a recent knee injury, and from the tragic death of his older sister in a hit-and-run traffic accident last spring.
Posted by Bob LeGere on Mon, 08/27/2012 - 12:17
If Dez Bryant isn’t embarrassed, he should be.
The Cowboys’ talented but clueless wide receiver apparently cannot be trusted to get himself to and from team functions, including practices and games, without a support staff. He cannot be trusted to stay out past midnight and, before he attends any nightclub, he must get team approval.
Strips clubs and alcohol are also prohibited under guidelines instituted by the team to keep Bryant from destroying a promising career.
The Cowboys say the guidelines have been established with the purpose of helping Bryant be more accountable, something that might be expected from a supposedly grown-up man of 23 making millions of dollars.
Posted by Bob LeGere on Tue, 08/21/2012 - 21:48
Unrestricted free agent wide receiver Eric Weems got off to a slow start, suffering a sprained ankle during training camp. But the 5-foot-9 Weems is starting to look like he could be one of the Bears’ biggest off-season additions.
Weems missed the preseason opener, but he flashed his overall talent in last Saturday’s second preseason game, catching 2 passes for 38 yards, returning 2 kickoffs for 71 yards and 1 punt for 14 yards. And that was on an ankle that he estimated is still only at about 80 percent.
And Weems will contribute heavily even in special teams phases that don’t show up in the box score, which is why special teams coordinator Dave Toub targeted him in the off-season.
Posted by Bob LeGere on Tue, 08/14/2012 - 13:53
At last, now the Bears know they’re without eight-time Pro Bowl middle linebacker Brian Urlacher for the remainder of the preseason.
The on-again, off-again availability of the face of the franchise had left everyone wondering about the severity of his knee, which was originally injured in last year's season finale. Now we know it's bad enough that it required a scope on Tuesday morning, but the hope is that the procedure will allow him to return healthier for the regular season.
Urlacher, his teammates and Bears coaches still believe he can return in time for the regular-season opener. There is no guarantee he’ll be 100 percent by then, but many players return in 2-4 weeks from similar minimally invasive surgeries.
Posted by Bob LeGere on Mon, 08/13/2012 - 22:38
The first thing the Bears’ offense needs to do Saturday against the Redskins is get the running game in gear, and with Matt Forte playing, that’s likely to happen.
Everyone’s worried about the pass protection, but Forte’s presence will make pass blocking easier. The Pro Bowl running back didn’t play in the opener because he doesn’t need to, but the offense needs him for balance.
“Since we're a running football team yes, we need to (get that going),” coach Lovie Smith said. “Matt Forte will play this week, and we need to get (backup) Michael Bush some quality reps.”
Bush only got 3 carries and 2 yards last week.
Posted by Bob LeGere on Sun, 08/12/2012 - 14:05
Eight-time Pro Bowl linebacker Brian Urlacher didn’t have a lot of definitive answers about his injured left knee when he finally spoke to the media Sunday afternoon, but he still says he’ll be 100 percent by opening day.
“Sept. 9, I’ll be ready to play for sure,” Urlacher said of the season opener against the Colts. “That’s really all that matters to me. Preseason games and all these practices, I’d love to be out there, but I’m not going to put myself in jeopardy of missing the first game.”