- Fred Mitchell at the Chicago Tribune interviews Dan Hampton:
“I think they have basically done a poor job of utilizing Israel [Idonije]’s abilities. I’d put him in the three (technique) and just build a fire under him and say ‘go.’ He’s 275 or 280 … at 290 he could be a force. He’s a lot better than, you know, [Tommie] ‘Voodoo’ Harris. He would make one play a game and everyone thought he could play.”
They’ve played Idonije inside before. I think he does better with room to work and apparently the Bears agree. Hampton also goes on to praise Corey Wootton, something I was glad to read. I haven’t seen much from Wootton but its a good sign if Hampton thinks he can play.
- Sean Jensen at the Chicago Sun-Times highlights the fact that Danieal Manning and Israel Idonije are statistically two of the best tacklers in the NFL.
- From Pro Football Weekly’s Whispers:
“With no great options to replace Olin Kreutz at center on the roster, there is pressure on the Bears to make the right offer to the 13-year veteran whenever free agency begins. He’ll generate interest on the open market and losing him would cost the Bears a solid player and a true leader.”
Kreutz is more valuable to the Bears than anyone else. He’s an established leader with the Bears whereas he’d be the new guy on the block with any other team. On the field he struggles with power. I really don’t think he’ll generate that much interest elsewhere.
- Sean Jensen at the Chicago Sun-Times entertains the interesting possibility of signing free agent Brad Smith.
- ESPN NFC North blogger Kevin Seifert points out that under the new rules, there will be no third QB rule where he dresses but is technically inactive. The impact isn’t major but it is significant as he points out:
“Previously, the third quarterback couldn’t enter a game before the end of the third quarter. If he did, the rest of the team’s quarterbacks were rendered ineligible.”
“…it avoids teams facing the strategic dilemma the Chicago Bears dealt with in the NFC Championship Game. If you recall, starter Jay Cutler (knee) left the game in the third quarter and backup Todd Collins proved so ineffective that coach Lovie Smith decided to replace him with No. 3 quarterback Caleb Hanie.
“As it turned out, the Bears regained possession just before the end of the third quarter. Smith’s dilemma: Send in Hanie right away, thereby rendering Cutler and Collins ineligible for the rest of the game, or proceed two more plays with the quarterback he had already decided to bench.
“Smith chose the latter, running the risk of having no quarterbacks available if Hanie got hurt. Under the new rule, no coach would be forced to balance those awkward and unnecessary options.”
- Omar Kelly at the South FLorida Sun-Sentinel compares pursuing quarterback Vince Young to “courting that slutty chick at the club who might have herpes”. The man’s a poet.
- Guys like Lovie Smith apparently don’t believe much in the “rah, rah” pre-game speech. I understand why that might be. But there’s little doubt it can be effective and that’s evident in this article from Jon Machota at the Dallas Morning News as he describes how Rex Ryan used Jason Garrett before one game when he was with the Ravens.
- In a development that snuck under the radar, apparently the owners have chosen to address revenue sharing in addition to the new CBA (via Mike Florio at ProFootballTalk.com). It will involve a 10% “tax” on local revenue for high revenue teams. Why don’t they just share a percentage of the revenue amongst themselves? Better yet, why not implement an incentive plan where the more lower revenue teams try to generate )(e.g. through selling stadium naming rights), the more they get from the others? These options would have made more sense to me.
Frankly, I always thought that more sharing should involve more central NFL control of the franchise finances. That way no one can complain that the owners themselves aren’t doing enough to raise money.
“There are going to be so many injuries this year. There has been zero offseason training this year. All these guys coming off injuries have had to be off somewhere else rehabbing on their own. It’s scary when you look at some of the injuries a lot of big-time players have had to deal with. Peyton Manning had neck surgery. James Harrison is coming off a back. Frank Gore had a fractured hip. There’s a big benefit to working with the same doctor or same training staff. The lockout’s effect could be disastrous on the field.”
One Final Thought
E! News reports that Jay Cutler has broken up with Kristin Cavallari:
“’Jay got cold feet,’ a source close to the couple told E! News. ‘Kristin is stunned.’ The source said the couple had been disagreeing over some issues recently, particularly how Cavallari would balance her career while living in Chicago with Cutler during the football season.”
As usual, The Superficial writer has a perceptive comment:
“Maybe I’m something of a traditionalist, but I’m pretty sure you’re supposed to choose football over your wife after you marry her, not before so you can at least have sex one last time on your honeymoon. Also, that’s how you get her to angrily bring you a sandwich before telling you to fuck yourself and going shopping. Sure she just whipped it at your face and texted her old boyfriend on the way to Target, but the important thing is you didn’t have to get up off the couch.”