Offseason Brings Plenty of Off Field Player Troubles, Even More to Follow and Other Point of View


“Broncos executive vice president of football operations John Elway recently said it’s not a sure thing that QB Kyle Orton will be traded, but a PFW insider said it would be very tough to bring the veteran back. While QB Tim Tebow may not give the team the best chance to win, he does have the backing of the fans in Denver. Elway has talked about reconnecting with the fans and could lose some credibility by sticking with Orton. A daily team observer said he gets the feeling that fans would rather win three or four games with Tebow than six or seven with Orton.”


  • Barry Rozner at the Daily Herald thinks that there will be no games lost in 2011 due to a work stoppage.  I hope he is right.  I fear that he is wrong.  To every argument I can only say one thing:  “Remember 1994 when we lost and entire World Series”.
  • Daren Gannt at the Charlotte Observer highlights the decision of former Carolina Panthers defensive coordinator Mike Trgovac to leave for a defensive backs position in Green Bay for less money.  Trgovac seems happy but I wonder how pleased he’ll be when someone tries to interview him for a defensive coordinator position elsewhere only to have Green Bay head coach Mike McCarthy block the move.
  • Agent Drew Rosenhaus is doing what he can to keep Plaxico Burress in the back of the NFL’s mind.  Burress is serving out a two year sentence for accidentally shooting himself in the leg with unlicensed handgun while at a night club in November of 2008.  He is expected to be released June 6.

The Bears need a go to wide receiver and Burress would be an ideal candidate to fill the position.  But he hasn’t played in two years and he would have to come at the right price.

“Don’t be surprised if Matt Flynn follows the path of Matt Hasselbeck, Aaron Brooks, Mark Brunell and Kurt Warner and leaves Green Bay to become a starting quarterback elsewhere. Teams in need of a quarterback are taking a good look at Flynn, who performed exceptionally well against the Patriots in New England in December.”

“It seems there rarely are enough good cornerbacks to keep pace with all the good receivers. But the coming draft offers a deep group of cover men. April will provide the opportunity for teams to stock up and build depth at the position. As many as 19 corners could carry grades that would justify them being picked in the first four rounds.”

This fact has probably not been lost on the Bears.  Playing a base cover-2, they have not traditionally invested a lot in the position.  But they could arguably could use a good cover corner now as they mix in more single coverage against select NFL teams.

“On the same day Green Bay was dispatching the Steelers for the NFL title, the Bangor Daily News reported, a man was arrested on suspicion of breaking into an auto-parts store in Ellsworth, Maine.

“And in Iowa City, Iowa, The Des Moines Register reported, a man injured his back when an argument turned violent during a Super Bowl party.

“Their names: Vince Lombardi and Aaron Rogers.”

One Final Thought

Looks like there are plenty of players stirring up the usual amount of trouble as the offseason begins.  Here are some samples:

A work stoppage with no offseason workouts and some very bored players should bring some interesting things to the news this year.  Can’t wait.

Bears in a Bind if Titans Try to Take Mike Tice

Both Sean Jensen at the Chicago Sun-Times and Brad Biggs at the Chicago Tribune are reporting that the Tennessee Titans might have an interest in hiring Bears offensive line coach Mike Tice as their offensive coordinator.

Some interesting aspects to this:

1)  New head coach Mike Munchak was the offensive line coach there and he would certainly see Tice’s value to the team as a replacement for himself.  However Tice’s value as a coordinator is debatable.

Though he is definitely a leader of men and he would make a fine head coach, there’s been very little evidence that he would make a good X’s and O’s man.  He seemed to recognize the value of the tight ends that he had in Minnesota and he knew how to use them.  But I’m guessing that he had very little to do with designing any kind of a complex passing game involving multiple route combinations beyond creating some individual mismatches.

2)  Lovie Smith and the Bears must give the Titans permission to contact Tice about the job.  Ordinarily this is a no brainer.  Smith has always been supportive of assistants who were seeking to advance and it would take an extraordinary circumstance, indeed, to prevent him from doing that.  This might be that circumstance.

The Bears offensive line is a work in progress.  Tice has been crucial to the training of young players such as J’Marcus Webb and Lance Louis.  To lose him now would be a blow to thier development.  In addition, the Bears are likely to add at least two more linemen to the mix over the next few months, at least one of whom may be a draft pick.  Those linemen will need to be indoctrinated in the Bears offensive system.

But I don’t think that these factors would ultimately cause Smith to hold Tice back if it weren’t for one more major difficulty, as Biggs describes it:

“In mid-February, it would be difficult for the Bears to find a replacement for Tice, who Smith and general manager Jerry Angelo have called one of the league’s best line coaches. Most of the coach shuffling is complete so the pool of candidates isn’t deep.”

This may be part of the reason why the New York Jets denied the Titans permission to talk to offensive line coach/assistant head coach Bill Callahan.  Tice is not an assistant head coach.

3)  The fact that the Titans are looking to raid the Bears coaching staff rather than one of the Super Bowl staffs is as much of an indictment of Angelo as it is a compliment to Tice.

The Bears offensive line was roundly criticized and was generally believed to be one  of the worst in the league.  Its obvious that the Titans believe that Tice worked miracles with a talent depleted line and this offer is a general acknowledgement of this fact.  Teams know that if Tice had any players to work with, the Bears offensive line would have been one of the best units, if not the best unit, in the NFL.  Tice should be proud.  Angelo should be ashamed.

Perhaps the Bears can offer Tice an assistant head coaching position and a bump in pay for him to stay.  But if not, I think Smith knows what the right thing to do is.  Generally speaking, you want the people around you to be happy.  Good people do what they can to make that happen.  If nothing else, on a professional level you want to make it so that other coaches and players around the league want to work for you.  Long-term, that’s how you become the best.

Green Bay head coach Mike McCarthy was roundly criticized by this blogger when he held quarterbacks coach Tom Clements back from interviewing for the Bear offensive coordinator position.  I would hate to see the Bears sink so low.