- Mark Potash at the Chicago Sun-Times quotes Lovie Smith on the possibility that Gabe Carimi might start at right tackle Monday:
‘‘’We don’t have to make any of those decisions yet,’ coach Lovie Smith said. ‘We’ll let him tell us exactly how far he’s come along. [He] looked good today, looked good last week. I assume we’ll have him available, and we love making those kinds of choices later in the week.’”
Smith might claim to not have to make that decision he technically right. But that’s deceptive since someone has to be designated to take the first team reps this week.
Current right tackle Lance Louis seems to block with an attitude and he looks pretty good in pass protection. But Carimi looks like a bigger and better run blocker. I doubt that the noise level at Lincoln Financial will match that in that domes in Detroit or New Orleans, where I’d hate to put a guy in his first game back. Given that to be the case, I’d start a healthy Carimi at right tackle and move Louis back to guard.
- Having said that, Vaughn McClure at the Chicago Tribune doesn’t think we’ll see Carimi play Monday.
- Neither does Jeff Dickerson at ESPN Chicago.
- Mike Mulligan at the Chicago Tribune points out that the Bears might get more chances than the usual to generate turnovers Monday night:
“As always, the game will come down to how well the Bears can play on defense and special teams. The Eagles want to score on big plays and make teams throw against their pass rush. The Bears need to counter by taking the ball away. Michael Vick has been a fumbling machine and stellar running back LeSean McCoy also keeps the ball away from his body.
“‘That is something we have noticed,’ cornerback Tim Jennings said. “That’s the style they run and (McCoy) feels comfortable when he gets hit, he’s tucking it. He’s not fumbling, but it’s out there. It’s out there so we are going to take our shots.”’
- Potash also quotes Bears safety Chris Conte on whether his former California teammate DeSean Jackson will be surprised to see him in an opposing uniform:
“‘He’ll be surprised when I hit him,’ Conte said with a laugh.”
- Brad Biggs at the Chicago Tribune thinks the Bears will probably have to finish on top of the Lions in the division to make the playoffs:
“Since the NFL expanded to eight divisions in 2002, there have been three playoff teams from the same division only three times. Most recently, in 2007, theEagles, Giants and Redskins made the postseason from the NFC East and the Colts, Jaguars and Titans did likewise from the AFC South.”
- We also have this interesting tidbit from Potash:
“With long runs from [Matt] Forte (22 and 32 yards) and Marion Barber (29 yards), the Bears had touchdown drives of 81 and 79 yards against the Buccaneers. That gave them six touchdown drives of 79 yards or longer this season. In 2010, they had four all season.”
- I think ESPN has overrated both the Lions and the Bears in their latest power rankings.
- But John Mullin at CSN Chicago might not agree.
- Mike Florio at profootballtalk.com thinks that there was no need for the league to meet with Ndamukong Suh:
“Since October 17, 2010, when a rash of illegal hits by defensive players on defenseless offensive players forced the league to enforce the rules more aggressively, players have been expressing confusion, disagreement, and/or outright defiance regarding rules that, frankly, aren’t that hard to understand. Teams — and, specifically, coaches — are in position to tell the players in no uncertain terms what is and isn’t allowed.
“But it’s not in a coach’s interests to risk neutering players, especially when coaches aren’t fined for the illegal hits. So coaches could be subtly manipulating their players, privately expressing confusion, disagreement, and/or outright defiance with the rules, which results in players publicly doing the same. More important for the interests of the coaches, the players continue to play aggressively on defense, which helps the coaches’ teams win more games. Which helps the coaches remain employed and, for the coaches that succeed, get paid a lot of money to do so.”
- According to multiple media reports, Minnesota governor Mark Dayton along with key members of the legislature have concluded that there’s going to have to be a referendum on the sales tax needed to build a new stadium there. The local officials concerned had already approved the new tax.The earliest date for such a vote would be November, 2012. The Vikings lease is up on January 1 and they have indicated that they will not sign a new one without the promise of a stadium. Florio comments:
“And so, when it’s time to write the story of why the Vikings left Minnesota, point to the legislature’s decision not to allow a community whose leadership is willing to embrace a sales tax for the privilege of hosting the stadium. All that’s left to figure out is whether the logos and the colors and the name and the records will be put into mothballs when owner Zygi Wilf moves the team to Los Angeles in 2012, where they’d play at the Rose Bowl or the Coliseum while waiting for a stadium to be built downtown or at Grand Crossing in the City of Industry.”
I can only agree. I understand the difficulties of raising revenue for such a project in the current environment. But this almost certainly dooms the chances that the Vikings will stay in Minnesota.
- How underrated was Buffalo running back Fred Jackson before the season? He couldn’t even get any respect in his own house. Jackson’s wife Danielle took Michael Vick in the first round and even took running back Michael Turner before finally drafting her husband. Via the Buffalo News:
“‘[I told her] I’m not going to continue to sit here if you’re skipping over me in these rounds. If you don’t take me, I’m going to call your brother and tell him to pick me up,’ Jackson said.”
- Former NFL safety Matt Bowen takes us inside of a key play from the Steelers-Patriots matchup for the National Football Post.The Patriots were playing cover two on this play as they did throughout the game. Poor tackling while allowing conversion of third and long after third and long doomed the Patriots in the first half as they failed to hold the Steelers to field goals. It was interesting to see this team trying to adjust their defensive philosophy to match the Bears when most Bear fans would just as soon see the team abandon the scheme.
- Former Bears head of college scouting Greg Gabriel, now at the National Football Post, rips into former Tribune columnist Skip Bayless, who is currently masquerading as a television personality at ESPN. The only thing I’ll say about him is that he’s better at that than he was here in Chicago. He is the only writer in America whose name tells you what to do with his columns.
One Final Thought
Kenny Mayne at ESPN instructs Nate Buleson and Calvin Johnson on the definition of a catch.
How about this? If you get up off the ground, turn around and hand the ball to the referee like Walter Payton did every game of his life, its definitely a catch.
End of story.