- Vaughn McClure at the Chicago Tribune writes that Israel Idonije is one of three finalists for the Walter Payton man of the year award.
- Bears quarterback Caleb Hanie tells the Chicago Sun-Times that he wants to go somewhere he can compete for a starting job. Its doubtful the Bears will give him a choice.
- Mike Phair is your new defensive line coach. Not that it matters because Rod Marinelli continues to run the unit. Brad Biggs at the Tribune points out that Phair has many connections to the current Bears coaches and to the front office.
- Jay Cutler took a shot of pain killer. Brian Urlacher has taken the same drug. Why is this a story?
- Current Steelers assistant offensive line coach Harold Goodwin had some good things to say about free agent Olin Kreutz. Goodwin has the same position with the Bears from 2004 to 2006: Via Jeff Dickerson at ESPNChicago.com:
“‘Bring him back,’ Goodwin said Thursday. ‘The biggest thing about Olin is his leadership. I’ve been watching film on him the last few games because we didn’t know who we were going to face in the Super Bowl. Let me tell you, he can still play. All the things I saw him do when I was with the Bears, he can still do now. It’s a no-brainer to re-sign him, No. 1 as a player, but No. 2 as a leader.’”
- Dan Pompei at the Chicago Tribune breaks the news that the Packers will likely be good for a long time to come:
“What has gotten the Packers to this point is good drafting, but not just that. It’s also solid player development. The Packers’ coaching staff prepares young players well, and then gives them opportunities.”
- A hotel is offering a $42,650 Super Bowl package. For one night. Via BenMaller.com.
- ESPN‘s NFC North blogger Kevin Seifert writes this interesting profile of Green Bay defensive coordinator Dom Capers:
“When you see the Packers’ defense jog onto the field Sunday, rest assured they will be guided neither by statistical tendencies nor computer “readouts.” Their game plan will be the work of a man who literally wrote the book on this system, a man who sat at a desk last week with a pen and an bag of multicolored highlighters and wrote down his plan to help win a Super Bowl championship. Based solely on his own knowledge, instincts and a file of reports from every game he has coached, Capers will almost certainly make a call or two that the NFL has never seen.”
- ESPN’s Sal Palatonio interviews B. J. Raji. Sounds like the Packers are depending on Raji to dominate as the Steelers are hurting at center:
- Jake Locker isn’t one of Mel Kiper‘s top 25 NFL prospects:
- For the Bear fans here are Kiper’s top five offensive tackle prospects at ESPN.com:
Nate Solder 6-9 315
Gabe Carimi 6-7 327
Tyron Smith 6-5 280
Anthony Castonzo 6-7 287
Derek Sherrod 6-6 305
One Final Thought
“That happens to a lot of these guys, the young kids who come in and have success. There’s a sense of entitlement. … It happens to all of us. Whether it’s someone who writes a bestseller, you look at yourself different. You feel pretty good about yourself.
“It’s the same thing as a coach. You win some ballgames, you feel pretty good about yourself. It’s different when that success kind of becomes who you are, and you stray away from your family and you roots and everything.
“It takes a punch in the nose to get you back.”