- Wes Bunting keeps us all sane with draft rumors (it all we’ve got right now). Here’s what he’s got on the Bears:
“The Bears are said to have taken an interest in South Florida defensive tackle Terrell McClain and he could be an option for Chicago on day two of the draft.”
- The prominence of Bears coaches and team executives at the South Florida Pro Day apparently has generated quite a bit of speculation. Sean Jensen at the Chicago Sun-Times also puts in a good word for a potential Bear late round pick: linebacker Jacquian Williams.
- Dan Pompei writing for the National Football Post tells us about the things he didn’t used to know. Of relevance to the Bears:
“Purdue’s Ryan Kerrigan appears to be making a move and could be picked somewhere in the 20-to-30 range. What’s the reason for the jump? Kerrigan is perceived as safe. He might not have the top end potential some of the pass rushers have, but he isn’t as risky, either.”
- How Bart Hubbuch at the New York Post comes up with running back as the Bears second biggest need behind offensive line I don’t know. Its true that Chester Taylor’s production wasn’t great but the Bears aren’t going to throw the money they paid him away after one year. The competition behind Taylor will be fierce between Kahlil Bell and last year’s supplemental draft pick Harvey Unga. Though he wasn’t tendered an offer free agent Garrett Wolfe is an excellent special teamer and he may still be in the mix before the post draft dust has settled.
The Bears don’t need another running back.
“Bears TE Greg Olsen did what was asked of him last season — he improved as a blocker, which had always the weakest part of his game — and team observers say he’s a better all-around player heading into 2011. We hear the Bears have interest in extending Olsen’s deal beyond ’11, and Olsen would be receptive to those talks, but the league has told team employees not to discuss current players with agents during the lockout. Getting a deal done this year with Olsen, who will be looking to maximize his value in his prime years, could be difficult.”
- Neil Hayes at the Chicago Sun-Times describes an amazing gesture of generosity from an 11 year old boy who used $8500 of his college fund to buy William Perry’s Super Bowl ring:
“Instead of keeping it, young Cliff Forrest insisted on returning the ring to its rightful owner, which he did Saturday morning after flying to Chicago with his family.
“‘I Googled Mr. Perry and saw that he had a disease and had to sell it because of rough times,’ young Cliff said. ‘He only played in one Super Bowl. I thought he would want it more than I did.’”
- Dan Gantt at the Charlotte Observer writes about Auburn quarterback Cam Newton’s upcoming visit to Carolina. Most of this article was nonsense from former NFL quarterback and mentor Warren Moon and others that you can throw away. But this quote from Brad Franchione stood out as something that had the ring of truth. Franchione coached Newton at Blinn Junior College after he was thrown out of Florida:
“He was the kind of leader (who) would challenge the competitive nature of these guys. I’d say that during his year here, there were 25 or 30 practices that happened without coaches, because Cam was pushing his teammates.”
- Pompei also had this tidbit:
“Warren Moon isn’t the only person who thinks race may be a factor in the way the NFL world is perceiving Cam Newton. A high ranking NFL executive, who is white, came to the same conclusion before Moon made his comments. ‘If Newton were white, he’d be the first pick in the draft,’ he said.”
- Newton’s character concerns are magnified because he is a quarterback. But qualitatively they’re nothing compared to the ones about teammate defensive tackle Nick Fairly. Intangibles are one thing. Outright questions about football character are another thing all together. Hubbuch reports:
“There’s no doubting Fairley’s ability, but teams have been so put off by concerns about dirty play on the field and a questionable work ethic off it that some are privately comparing him with notorious head case Albert Haynesworth.”
- Omar Kelly at the South Florida Sun-Sentinel expresses the commonly held opinion that the Dolphins would very much like to trade down in the draft.
- Its not new news but its worth re-enforcing for Bear fans. The Lions are moving Ndamukong Suh around the defensive formation to make him, and them, even better. Something to watch for next year.
- Raiders wide receiver Louis Murphy was arrested for possession of drug without a valid prescription Sunday morning. “Steroids?” you ask. “Pain Killers?” “Amphetamines?” Try Viagra.
He didn’t want his girl friend to know he was taking it so he tore the label off.
“If the UFL coaches (Jim Fassel, Jerry Glanville, Denny Green and Marty Schottenheimer, among others), and the NFL coaches had a coach-off, might the UFL win?”
One Final Thought
Mike Tanier at the New York Times goes over the potential itinerary for first round draft picks in New York for the first day of the draft. For instance, this seminar sounds useful:
“Tweet Like the Pros Workshop
“Rookies get a crash course in social networking from the N.F.L.’s blandest players. Sample PowerPoint slide: “Good — ‘Rise ’n’ Grind’ and ‘Off 2 da gym.’ Bad — ‘I demand da ball more!’ and anything with standard grammar and syntax.”
But everyones favorite is, of course, the main event:
“8 TO 11 P.M.
“First Round of the Draft
“Smile. The entire blogosphere just branded you a reach.”