Bear Essentials

Bear Essentials


Posted by Bob LeGere on Tue, 09/16/2008 - 13:28
1. Dallas Cowboys (2-0): It seems like the only thing that can stop this offense is itself. QB Tony Romo just has too many weapons, although the Eagles gave them all they could handle in a 41-37 Monday night offensive orgy. Last week: 1. 2. Philadelphia Eagles (1-1): The way QB Donovan McNabb is playing it makes you wonder how the Bears' offense would look with him under center if off-season rumors of his trade to his hometown team had materialized. Last week: 7. 3. Pittsburgh Steelers (2-0): When the offense struggles behind sore-armed Ben Roethlisberger, the defense can shut down even a potent opponent as 10-6 victory over Browns proved. Last week: 2.

Replacing Devin

Posted by Bob LeGere on Mon, 09/15/2008 - 22:36
Injuries to Devin Hester and Brandon McGowan in the 20-17 loss to the Panthers could give Danieal Manning an increased presence in two phases of the game. McGowan's ankle injury should elevate Manning back to the nickel back job he lost in the preseason, and if Hester cannot recover from his rib cage injury, Manning would assume the kickoff-return duties. Manning has shown an aptitude for returning kicks, and his 36-yarder against Carolina, after Hester was injured, was the longest return of the afternoon for either team. Manning set the school record at Abilene Christian with 6 special-teams return touchdowns, 3 on kickoffs and 3 on punts.

Adams, Peterson inactive

Posted by Bob LeGere on Sun, 09/14/2008 - 11:19
Defensive tackle Anthony Adams, who started all four preseason games, was inactive for the second straight week. An even bigger surprise on the inactive list was backup running back and special teams standout Adrian Peterson, who missed his first game in nearly four years. The other inactives were defensive tackle Matt Toeaina, offensive linemen Chris Williams and Dan Buenning, wide receiver Earl Bennett, safety Craig Steltz and quarterback Caleb Hanie.

Heating up

Posted by Bob LeGere on Sun, 09/14/2008 - 10:42
Rode down in the elevator with quarterbacks coach Pep Hamilton this morning at 10 a.m. Charlotte time, and it was already 83 degrees with high humidity. “It's going to be a test of wills today,” he said. The predicted high today is in the low 90s, which would be warmer than any day during this year's training camp at Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais. Only twice during camp did the temperature reach as high as 91, on Aug. 1st and the 4th, but both days the Bears practiced at night.

Vasher could be key

Posted by Bob LeGere on Sat, 09/13/2008 - 17:53
If you're looking for a pick to click Sunday against the Panthers, cornerback Nate Vasher wouldn't be a bad pick. The last time Vasher faced the Panthers and their quarterback Jake Delhomme in a regular-season game, Nov. 20, 2005, he intercepted 2 passes in a 13-3 Bears victory. On Carolina's first possession, Vasher interception and 46-yard return to the Panthers' right-yard line. That set up a 3-yard TD pass from Kyle Orton to Muhsin Muhammad, who is now back with the Panthers. Muhammad has never been one to keep a low profile on or off the field, so Vasher was asked if there would be some words between them Sunday afternoon.

Bears lose draft pick Barton

Posted by Bob LeGere on Thu, 09/11/2008 - 17:50
Rookie offensive tackle Kirk Barton, who was waived on Wednesday to make room on the roster after 13-year veteran offensive tackle Fred Miller was re-signed, has been claimed by the Miami Dolphins, who added him to their 53-man roster. Barton, a 6-foot-4, 305-pound seventh-round pick out of Ohio State, was the Bears' only healthy backup tackle for the season opener at Indianapolis. He played in all four preseason games and probably would have been added to the Bears' practice squad if the Dolphins had not claimed him.

Moose on the loose

Posted by Bob LeGere on Wed, 09/10/2008 - 18:50
Former Bears wide receiver Muhsin Muhammad, who is now back with the Panthers after being waived by the Bears in the off-season, was quoted in Sports Illustrated during the preseason as saying “Chicago is where wide receivers go to die.” With the Bears traveling to Carolina this weekend to renew acquaintances with Muhammad, he was asked about the quote and typically spun it to absolve himself of all blame while at the same time tooting his own horn.

NFL power rankings

Posted by Bob LeGere on Tue, 09/09/2008 - 16:50
1. Dallas Cowboys (1-0): They trounced a solid Browns team in Cleveland, and just wait until the cornerback formerly known as Pacman knocks off the rust, they'll be even better. 2. Pittsburgh Steelers (1-0): Their o-line could be susceptible in pass protection, but with “Fast” Willie Parker (138 yards in opener) and Rashard Mendenhall, how often will they have to throw it? 3. San Diego Chargers (0-1): Phillip Rivers gets my vote for most overrated QB in the NFL, and they gave one away to the Panthers Sunday, but this team may still have the most talented roster in the NFL. 4. New York Giants (1-0): At some point they'll miss DE's Osi Umenyiora and Michael Strahan, but Eli Manning, Plaxico Burress and the offense can pick up the slack.

Davis is the pick

Posted by Bob LeGere on Sun, 09/07/2008 - 18:59
With uncertainty over who will get the most playing time at wide receiver this year, a hot topic for debate is who will catch the most passes. Put me down for Rashied Davis to win. He had just 17 catches last season, but Davis has more experience in Ron Turner's offense than any of his teammates, and he appears to be peaking. Davis is also tough and durable, willing to go over the middle and take a shot, and he rarely drops a ball. Marty Booker has 50 or more catches in six of the last seven seasons, Devin Hester is the popular pick because of his immense potential, Brandon Lloyd was impressive in the off-season and preseason, and Mark Bradley led the team with 8 preseason catches. I'll still take the 5-foot-9, 187-pound Davis.

Cedric the Saint?

Posted by Bob LeGere on Sun, 09/07/2008 - 09:20
Apparently there is some interest in former Bears running back Cedric Benson, though not much. New Orleans Saints general manager Mickey Loomis confirmed that the Saints brought in Benson and free-agent quarterback Joey Harrington for visits in recent weeks, though neither was offered a contract. It's tough to imagine what role Benson would play in New Orleans, considering they already have Reggie Bush and Deuce McAllister, although McAllister was hurt most of last season, and Bush averaged just 3.7 yards per carry, which was still significantly more than Benson's 3.4.