Bear Essentials

Bear Essentials

Gould still fine tuning

Posted by Bob LeGere on Tue, 08/30/2011 - 00:15
Robbie Gould has already missed as many field goals in three preseason games as he did in the entire 2006 regular season and the 2009 regular season. He’s already missed 1 more field goal than he did in the 2008 regular season. Gould has missed 4 of his 9 attempts in the preseason, but it’s not time to panic. Two of the misses came from 55 and 56 yards, but the other two were from 29 and 34 yards, which could be a cause for concern. It probably isn’t. Gould is working with a new holder, punter Adam Podlesh, who was signed as an unrestricted free agent after the Bears parted ways with their punter of the previous 10 years, Brad Maynard.

Get Knox back in starting lineup

Posted by Bob LeGere on Thu, 08/25/2011 - 23:05
Remember last season when Mike Martz made Todd Collins the Bears’ No. 2 quarterback ahead of Caleb Hanie? Remember how, even after Collins was intercepted 4 times against the Panthers and completed 6 of 16 passes for 32 yards and a passer rating of 6.2 in his only start, he remained the No. 2 quarterback because Martz felt better with a veteran quarterback backing up Cutler rather than Hanie? Remember how, after Cutler was injured in the NFC championship game how Collins was still No. 2 (insert your own joke here), and how he performed in that game?

Gholston needs to make a move

Posted by Bob LeGere on Wed, 08/17/2011 - 08:07
If there’s one player who needs a big game vs. the Giants next Monday night it’s free agent defensive end Vernon Gholston, the sixth overall pick in the 2008 draft, who failed to record a single sack in three seasons with the Jets. Gholston signed a one-year, $1 million contract with the Bears, one of the few teams that would even take a flier on the Ohio State product. His deal included a $250,000 signing bonus. And Gholston will certainly get his chances. With Corey Wootton out 3-4 weeks following arthroscopic knee surgery, Gholston should get more opportunities to salvage his NFL career by proving he can be a factor in pass-rush situations and back up starters Julius Peppers and Israel Idonije.

The 3 Bears suggestions

Posted by Bob LeGere on Mon, 08/15/2011 - 00:24
There are at least three changes I’d like to see the Bears make as soon as possible. No. 1: Make Marion Barber the undisputed short-yardage/goalline back. It took just one series Saturday night to see that he is clearly a more effective runner than Chester Taylor, who was a tremendous disappointment last season and hasn’t looked any better in training camp or the first preseason game. At 28 years olds, Barber clearly has more gas in the tank than the 31-year-old Taylor.

Undrafted rookie catching on

Posted by Bob LeGere on Mon, 08/08/2011 - 02:17
Undrafted rookie wide receiver Dane Sanzenbacher is way more than just a training camp feel-good story of an underdog who flashes talent for a couple days and then disappears into obscurity. The undersized, 5-foot-11, 180-pound Ohio State product has made his presence known on an almost daily basis, catching everything in his vicinity and managing to get open against bigger, faster, stronger defenders. And he’s caught the eye of coaches. “He's kind of the perfect guy to play in the slot,” coach Lovie Smith said after Sunday night’s practice. “He's not the biggest guy around, but he's got great quickness, runs great routes, and he has good hands. He's a confident player. He came here looking to earn a position on the team.”

Time's running out for DT Harrison

Posted by Bob LeGere on Thu, 08/04/2011 - 13:23
Fourth-year defensive tackle Marcus Harrison is in danger of being lost in the shuffle, much as he was last season, when he played in just five games and had only 1 tackle all season. Harrison has not practiced yet because he showed up 11 pounds over his prescribed weight of 316, and he could very well be wasting his last chance to stick with the Bears. “I'm concerned any time somebody's not practicing,” defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli said this morning. “I’m very concerned about it.”

Spencer must be man in the middle

Posted by Bob LeGere on Wed, 08/03/2011 - 01:08
If the Bears’ coaching staff is seriously considering leaving long-time right guard Roberto Garza at center, it would make the decision not re-sign center Olin Kreutz even worse. As it stands now, the Bears’ opening day lineup will have different players at three positions from the group that started the NFC championship game on Jan. 23. Rookie Gabe Carimi is the odds-on favorite to start at right tackle, which means last year’s right tackle, J’Marcus Webb, will move to left tackle, where Frank Omiyale was the starter at the end of last season.

Bears switch practice schedule

Posted by Bob LeGere on Sat, 07/30/2011 - 10:06
For any ffootball ans considering a trip next week to watch training camp, be advised: The Bears’ 7 p.m. practice on Wednesday, Aug. 3 at Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais has been moved to Thursday, Aug. 4 at 7 p.m. There will be no practice on Wednesday, Aug. 3. Bears Family Fest is still scheduled for 7 p.m., Friday, Aug. 5 at Soldier Field.

Pay that man his money

Posted by Bob LeGere on Fri, 07/29/2011 - 15:22
Matt Forte has decided against a training camp holdout in hopes of forcing the Bears into an extension of his rookie contract, which he clearly has outperformed. Forte is entering the final year of his original four-year deal that was worth a total of $3.8 million, including a $1.533 million signing bonus. His base pay for this season is $550,000, a pittance compared to the $12.5 million that the Bears wasted on Chester Taylor last year when he was an unrestricted free agent.

Two undrafted rookies to watch

Posted by Bob LeGere on Tue, 07/26/2011 - 19:46
While it’s easy to dismiss as training camp fodder the 26 undrafted college players whom the Bears signed on Tuesday, there are at least a few who could be worth watching once practices begin Saturday afternoon. Oregon State center Alex Linnenkohl and Ohio State wide receiver Dane Sanzenbacher are two players who most draft analysts expected to be drafted. Sanzenbacher will remind Bears fans old enough to remember Tom Waddle of the undersized, glue-fingered Boston College product who spent six seasons in Chicago.