- Patrick Finley at the Chicago Sun-Times quotes Jay Cutler when asked about his 86 rating on Madden 15:
“You guys are bored.”
- Hub Arkush at chicagofootball.com asks some timely and relevant special teams questions:
“The Bears are clearly planning on potential starters Chris Conte, Ryan Mundy, Danny McCray, Kyle Fuller, Shea McClellin and Jon Bostic to answer the bell in coverage.
“While it’s not unusual to have a couple starters covering kicks, that many would be almost unheard of.
“There are two questions here that beg answers from either Phil Emery, Marc Trestman or both. The first is what really was the plan and why it is so unsettled so late in the game.
“The second is, is it possible the problem is that the bottom third of this roster, where your core special teams folks should come from, isn’t as talented as it was one, two or three years ago?
“We don’t have the answers yet, but you certainly have to ask.”
- Brad Biggs at the Chicago Tribune ranks the Bears 10th in the debut of his NFL Power Rankings. It sounds a tad high to me as I see a tough schedule and 8-8 or 9-7 written all over this team. But I can’t hardly blame anyone for being a tad optimistic this early and its not an unreasonable ranking. And if you are strong at the line of scrimmage, anything can happen. That’s where it all starts.
He doesn’t have much respect for the potentially improved Vikings and Lions, ranking both in the 20s. We’ll have to wait and see on them but I’d be willing to bet at least one of those teams exceeds expectations. The Vikings might not have enough talent to be really good but there’s a whole lot to like about what’s going on up there.
- Mark Potash at the Chicago Sun-Times says that Lance Briggs skipping practice to open a restaurant isn’t a big problem. But that didn’t stop him from telling it like it is:
“While teammates like Corey Wootton and Tim Jennings have sacrificed their comfort zone for the team — Wootton playing inside last season in a contract year; Jennings, a two-time Pro Bowl cornerback, playing nickel this season to ease rookie Kyle Fuller into the NFL — Briggs refused to move to the middle whenever Brian Urlacher was injured. He preferred the comfort of a position tailor-made for his skills in a defense tailor-made for his skills.
“Lance is very much into Lance.”
You have to take Briggs for who he is and this excerpt pretty much nails it. The problem is that the Bears lack leadership on the defensive side of the ball and it looked to me like the team was looking to Briggs to fill the void both last year and this year. This episode shows how misguided that notion is. Briggs will be ready to play on Sunday but setting an example for others to make sure that they are ready to play takes a backseat to his own issues or, more probably, simply never crosses his mind as being his responsibility.
- Potash continues:
“The Bears haven’t announced starting safeties for Sunday’s opener against the Bills, but at this point, does it really matter? Ryan Mundy, Danny McCray, Chris Conte and rookie Brock Vereen are all in the same boat at this point – competent players who will make plays in a good defense and not make plays in a bad one.”
My read on this is that the competition at safety isn’t over. The Bears know what Conte can do but didn’t get a good look at him in the preseason. So the bet here is that both McCray and Conte see time at free safety early in the season until someone grabs the job by the testicles and takes it. Its hard to say what Vereen’s status is at this point but it seems evident that the team thinks he needs development.
- Jerry Sullivan at the Buffalo News writing about the Bills backup quarterback situation before Thursday’s exhibition game but after former Bears backup Jordan Palmer was signed:
“[Bills head coach Doug] Marrone can’t be too thrilled about the situation. Tension seems to be rising within the operation. On Tuesday, Marrone had an animated discussion at practice with Russ Brandon and [general manager Doug] Whaley. According to media on the scene, some harsh words were uttered and Marrone threw his arms in the air.
“Someone should be angry. The Bills had a chance to address the backup QB situation. Chad Henne, Matt Cassel and Shaun Hill were available, not to mention [Ryan Fitz[patrick]. So was Tarvaris Jackson, who is good enough to be No. 2 for the Super Bowl champion Seahawks but couldn’t get on the field in Buffalo.”
Sounds like Palmer landed in a happy place. I suppose its not a surprise that he has since been released.
- I couldn’t care less about Michael Sam‘s personal life one way or another as long as he stays on the field and I have paid little attention to the story surrounding him. But Dallas is perfect for him. Its a defense that requires quick, penetrating linemen and Rod Marinelli will get everything possible out of him. He couldn’t have landed in a better spot.
One Final Thought
Drew Magary at Deadspin tells us why the Bears suck (Don’t worry. All the other teams suck, too.)
“Your coach: Marc Trestman, who has turned out to be pretty good! Sure, the defense is abominable, but look at all those deep passes that are actually completed! NICE. Trestman’s emergence as a sound football mind means we can now move on to the part where the Bears nickel-and-dime him at every turn, until he finally gives up and walks away.
Drew’s living about 20 years in the past. But it’s still pretty funny.