“[Cutler] is financially secure and head strong. It’s probably too late for him to make a radical change. And the truth is he usually gets the ball where he wants it to be despite bad mechanics. The bigger issue with Cutler is getting him to make better decisions about where he wants the ball to go.”
I would say that decision making is a big issue. But if Cutler doesn’t improve his mechanics he’ll never be a consistent passer and we’ll be seeing a lot more performances like the NFC title game. Assuming Pompei is right, and I think he is, Cutler is wasting his talent. That’s a terrible shame.
Vaughn McClure at the Tribune has a source that claims the Bears placed a low tender on backup quarterback Caleb Hanie. This means the Bears can match an offer to Hanie but will get no compensation if he is signed elsewhere. It will be interesting to see if the rest of the league has higher opinion of Hanie than offensive coordinator Mike Martz and the Bears do.
ESPN continues to pump up the hype on Cam Newton despite the fact that he’s got character issues and, more importantly, that he’s shown no one he can be an accurate passer.
“If a player is not playing in 80% of the snaps, then you cannot take him in the first rounds or pay him elite money. This is why Running Backs are seldom taken in the 1st Round anymore. And many Linebackers, too. If you are not an every down player, then we cannot pay you and have enough cash to go around.”
I think this deserves a full blog entry at some point as it applies to the Bears.
I’m torn by this. On the one hand, its nice to see that money isn’t everything to Rogers. On the other, you’d like to see that translate into a desire to make your current team into a champion. Otherwise you end up like the situation in the NBA where there are a handful of good teams with the best players while the others suffer.
The Packers Brandon Underwoodhas entered a no contest plea to one count of having non-marital intercourse with a prostitute. What else is there to do up there?
“The drills a lot of times, for me, don’t tell a whole lot of the story because there’s no reaction. It’s all pre-determined movements. Defense is not that. It’s reaction. I do love watching guys vertical jump and broad jump because you can see their natural power.”
McClure also quotes Bears defensive line coach Mike Phair in the wake of the release of Tommie Harris:
“I’d say it’s a deep class, at least that’s what I’ve seen.”
Here’s one that almost got by me. ESPN.com is reporting that the Bears have tendered Danieal Manning, who would, indeed, be a restricted free agent under the current rules. If they hold up under the new agreement, this promises to irritate him no end.
Tim Ruskell might have an impact not only upon the personnel that the Bears select but also upon the way that the Bears approach the draft. Dan Pompei at the Tribuneasked him about trding up in the first two rounds, something general manager Jerry Angelo has never done:
“I don’t have the final call, but I wouldn’t have any problems moving up or down if something sounded right. If you can get an impact player right now, you have to look at that hard. I have a history of doing that.”
“A lot of times you look at average. We play in the elements. So you go through all of those things with him … he’s a holder for us, we have an athlete back there. There is no team player better than him. Believe me, we’re not trying to get rid of Brad. Brad knows that. He’s been our guy every year we’ve been here for a good reason because of how he played.”
Want to know why the Bears are a good defensive team? Read why Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmerthinks the Bengals are not one (from the Bengals website via Aaron Wilson at The National Football Post):
“[middle linebacker] Dhani [Jones] will miss a tackle and another guy will jump out of his gap and the safety comes down and doesn’t keep the ball on his proper shoulder. The defensive end has got him and he locks a guy out and he jumps inside too fast or he gets off a block or we jump offside on fourth and 1. All those things are discipline. We’re an undisciplined defensive team.”
Bob LeGere at the Daily Herald thinks Illinois LB Martez Wilson helped himself at the combine. The Bears have reportedly interviewed Wilson with an eye towards potentially drafting him. Though this was generally a positive entry, here’s the reason why alarms are going off in some heads:
“But there are still questions about whether Wilson has the instincts to be a first-round draft pick. His production on the field has rarely matched his physical gifts, and NFL teams will have to be sure that the neck injury that sidelined him for the entire 2009 season will not become a chronic condition.”
Top five pick Nick Fairley was disappointing at the Combine but not for the reason you might think (via ESPN). He can always get heavier but how are you going to correct the problem when a guy who’s reported to be 6’5″ turn out to actually be 6’3″? What are they going to do, put him on the rack?
The Sports Pickle asks which NFL Combine workout has the most relevance to playing real NFL football. Here’s a sample:
“broad jump — many a top NFL player has eluded police and continued their career by jumping over a dead broad/hooker”
Of course, you could go with the ever popular performance in the nose-pick. Watch number 34 on the right:
The Bears released defensive tackle Tommie Harris, linebacker Hunter Hillenmeyer and offensive tackle Kevin Shaffer.
I feel rather badly for Harris, who apparently matured a great deal as he struggled to recover from injury. Chicago Sun-Times beat writer Sean Jensenquotes Harris:
‘‘’I learned that it’s not what you go through, it’s how you go through it that will determine the outcome,’ Harris said days before an NFC Championship Game loss to the Packers. ‘You can either get in a situation where you can fold if things aren’t going the way you wanted or you can work harder to get out of that situation. I learned how to persevere through that.’’’
“’I grew up,’ he said. ‘I stopped pointing the finger at everybody else. I paid attention to myself, which was the most difficult thing to do.’’’
Hunter Hillenmeyer was released after problems with repeated concussions. It didn’t help that Hillenmeyer was the Bears union rep and was heavily involved with it. WSCR’s Zach Zaidmanput this loss to the Bears the best:
“It’s a shame there aren’t more professional athletes with the class and dignity routinely displayed by Hunter Hillenmeyer.”
These are high character players that have generally become the rule with the Bears over the last seven or eight years. It says something about both the team and the individuals that we will miss them not so much as players but as men.