- Eric Washington has left the Bears to become the defensive line coach for the Carolina Panthers. He held the same position with the Bears but I’m sure everyone knows that, title aside, Rod Marinelli really hods that position here. Via Neil Hayes at the Chicago Sun-Times.
- Hayes also reports that the Eagles have requested permission to interview Jon Hoke, the Bears defensive backs coach, for their defensive coordinator position. this is all well and good but let’s see these teams show a little love for that wonderful Packer defense by raiding their staff.
- Dan Pompei answers you questions:
“Please tell me that you would not prefer any of [the backup quarterbacks on the free agent market], simply because of their experience over [Caleb] Hanie as the Bears backup QB. Tim Flynn, Denver”
“Look, the market for backup quarterbacks is not a pretty one. There aren’t enough good players go around to be starters, let alone backups. I wasn’t suggesting any of those players. I was just stating they may be available, and they may be fits for the type of players Martz is looking for. My suggestion would be to make Hanie the No. 2. He is as good an option as the Bears could find.”
Pompei is probably right. But you never know. Offensive coordinator Mike Martz obviously likes the veteran back ups…
- Brad Biggs, while breaking down the Bears quarterback situation, hits the nail on the head when addressing the Jay Cutler NFC Championship game fiasco:
“It’s not a story that is going to disappear for Cutler — it can’t after so many peers throughout the league kicked him while he was down. That was the bigger issue. It wasn’t that the Chicago Bears quarterback’s toughness, which is well-established, was questioned. It’s the fact that given an opening, so many chose to pounce on him, crossing unwritten lines in doing so.”
- But not all of the players are jumping on Cutler. Broncos right offensive tackle Ryan Harris, who played with him in 2008, had some nice things to say. Via Vaughn McClure at the Chicago Tribune:
“I know him from my experience with him, and my experience was that he was always tough and always focused on the game.”
Harris is a free agent this offseason and the Bears are widely believed to be shopping for offensive linemen. Coincidence? I think not.
- Biggs does a good job of highlighting Cutler’s inconsistency and brings forth statistics which suggest that the leaky offensive line was not an excuse for an elite quarterback.
- Biggs also highlights Cutler’s ability to run:
“Sometimes it’s considered hidden yardage, and Cutler sure supplied plenty of it with his legs. He rushed for 232 yards, 35 behind Chester Taylor for the second-most on the team.”
- Biggs rates the draft/free agency priority as “low”. But that depends upon your definition of “low”, I think. Assuming they’ll end up settling for Hanie as the number 2 (a big assumption) I’d think the Bears might look to draft a quarterback to develop as the number three. Angelo has said in the past that ideally he’d like to take one every year.
- Matt Forte speaking to profootballtalk.com about whether he’s heard anything from the organization about an extension. “I’ve expressed my interest.” Via Sean Jensen at the Chicago Sun-Times.
- Joe Reedy at the Cincinnati Enquirer reports that the Bengals have fired offensive coordinator Bob Bratkowski. You know how I know this is a bad move? Cedric Benson couldn’t wait to say that he thought it was a good idea. You’re all class, Ced.
- Scott Fowler at the Charlotte Observer thinks the Panthers should take Auburn defensive tackle Nick Fairley number one overall.
- Vikings defensive end Everson Griffen has been arrested. He allegedly assaulting an officer during a traffic stop.
- The NFL and the NFLPA have agreed to a “series of meetings” over the next few weeks to intensify labor talks. Gee, guys, what’s the rush? You’ve still got a whole month.
- Well, I admit I hadn’t thought of this one. While writing an article about how fans will watch football in the future, Sam Farmer at the Los Angeles Times points out this interesting fact:
“However, not everything about broadcasts is moving forward. When the NFL moved the umpire this season, bumping him from the middle of the defense to a spot behind the quarterback, it was a huge setback for TV.
“Why? Because the umpire wore a microphone in games, allowing him to pick up the sound of the quarterback and defensive players making their calls at the line of scrimmage, and get the ambient noise of bodies colliding.
“Broadcasts, [NBC's "Football Night in America" producer,Fred] Gaudelli said, “took a 20-year step backward when they moved the umpire… From a pure television technological standpoint, right now we’re so handcuffed that we’re putting out sounds that are not remotely close to being state of the art in 2011. We don’t have any sounds.”
One Final Thought
“It’s Super Bowl time, which means right now there are 30 NFL teams whose seasons are over. In other words, almost 1,600 players are sitting at home watching. (Okay, or maybe on vacation somewhere.) And guess what? Most of them couldn’t be happier.
“That’s because the majority of the guys — I’d say probably close to 70 percent — are in the game only for the money. They don’t care about winning. The editors showed me the story on Super Bowl rings, and, man, I couldn’t disagree more: Most players don’t care about championship bling. Sure, in interviews, 100 percent of them will say it’s all about winning championships. But they know that’s what the public wants to hear. I’m telling you, most of them are lying. They couldn’t care less about getting a ring.”
We can only hope this is just a cynical jerk popping off. I’d hate to think that these guys are throwing their bodies around and away every week for a pay check.