- Brad Biggs at the Chicago Tribune reports that Charles Tillman returned to practice Friday. Tillman had an awful game last week ad he needs to bounce back with a good performance against the Vikings.
- Biggs also points out that the Bears have among the fewest drops in the league. This is a very under-rated stat in my opinion. After penalties and sacks, dropped balls do more to eliminate big plays and put teams in third and long than any other factor.
- Vaughn McClure at the Tribune reports that Brett Favre has been ruled out for Monday nights’ game against the Vikings. Joe Webb will officially start. No surprise.
- Former NFL safety Matt Bowen reviews some classic cover-two for the Tribune. Its tough to play defensive back in this scheme, especially safety. Here’s hoping the Bears do a better job of playing it than they have the last couple weeks when they’ve given up some big plays.
- Aaron Rogers failed to receive medical clearance and will not be starting against the Patriots today. That’s good news because Flynn is much less likely to beat them (the Bears clinch the division if the Packers lose and they win). But more importantly it was undoubtedly the right thing to do for a player who sustained his second concussion of the season. Here’s hoping Jay Cutler avoids a similar incident.
- McClure also has this quote from Bryant McKinney on his poor performance against Julius Peppers last season:
“Nobody talked about the injuries I had in that game,” McKinnie said. “I had an ankle injury and I had plantar fasciitis. I couldn’t plant with my left ankle. I didn’t make a big deal about it. I just went out there and played. You catch me healthy and it’s a different story.”
I sympathize but no one is going to accept that as an excuse. Few players remain totally healthy through out an NFL season.
- Mike Kaszuba and Steve Brandt at the Minneapolis Star Tribune report that the Vikings are trying to make hay out of the collapse of the roof at the Metrodome. They are trying to use it as evidence that a new stadium is in order. But the political situation is complicated and with a six billion dollar state deficit looming, not everyone is buying in:
“‘A lot of people want things,’ said Sen. David Hann, R-Eden Prairie, an incoming assistant Senate majority leader. He said the Metrodome’s roof collapse ‘doesn’t elevate this to a crisis.’”
I disagree. Its fairly clear that there are real safety concerns when you have a building in Minnesota that can’t handle snow.
The Vikings really should be playing Monday nights’ game in Los Angeles so they can get a feel for the place. They may be seeing a lot of it in the near future.
One Final Thought
McClure also provided a somewhat humorous look at what its like to be shoveling at TCF Bank Stadium in Minnesota for the Tribune:
“‘You work for the Chicago Tribune? Man, I’m from Chicago,’ says [fellow shoveler, Keith] Ward, 47, who is in between jobs and came to suburban Minneapolis four months ago to spend time with his daughter.
“‘Hey, do me a favor? If Jay Cutler plays Monday, tell him that I said stop being so scared in the pocket and release it. … Get rid of it.’
“Memo to self: Don’t tell Cutler anything, because you know how he’ll react.”
Yes. Indeed, based upon what we see on the field, one wonders if he sometimes doesn’t react the same way when offensive coordinator Mike Martz tries to tell him similar things.