A New Perspective on the X’s and O’s of Bears Football and Other Points of View

Bears

“The Bears had gone away from holding the local workout day because many agents would not permit their players to actually work out. That left the team in a position where decision makers would then spend a few hours looking at players who were not going to be drafted or targeted as priority free agents. It wasn’t productive. Now, it appears the Bears must see value in holding the workouts again.”

“The Bears don’t have an immediate need at cornerback as they have several young corners with potential in Zack Bowman, D.J. Moore and Joshua Moore. But no team ever has enough and Charles Tillman, the Bears’ best, is 30.”

As I’ve said before, I think the Bear do need a third corner.

“Considering the talent likely to be available at each of these positions, the Bears could have plenty of options staring at them at No. 29. As such, they could be one of the teams at the end of the first round willing to trade back to allow a club desperate to snatch up a quarterback before the expected run on the position begins in the second round. “

No one would be surprised if that run began earlier, well before the Bears picked in the first round.

  • In an earlier post I noted a mock draft where an NFC scout had given the Bear nose tackle Phil TaylorI agree with Bob LeGere at the Daily Herald that Taylor is a bad fit for the Bears’ scheme.  But beyond that,  I was surprised that Taylor fell so far.  Now Rang is suggesting that there’s a problem with Taylor’s feet that might be causing teams concern.  That would be interesting for a couple of reasons.  First, nose tackle has become an extremely valuable position in the NFL.  Second, Taylor is the only one anybody thinks deserves a first round grade.  This could be bad news if you are a team that needs one.

Elsewhere

Jack Britt believes that his son, Titans receiver Kenny Britt, needs to be out of his hometown of Bayonne, New Jersey and back in Nashville.

“‘I’m worried about him all the time,’ Jack Britt told Conor Orr and Matthew Stanmyre of the Newark Star-Ledger in an article that takes a thorough look at Britt’s history of off-field issues.  ‘But my concern is not with Kenny, per se, it’s more with Kenny’s friends, and he knows that.  He has too many friends with too much free time.’

“‘He needs to be around more positive people.’”

“The day I got back, I took my nameplate from my locker — ‘Ben Roethlisberger, Super Bowl XLV’ — and it’s sitting underneath my mirror in my bathroom. I want to see that every day. It hurts a lot.”

“Don’t get too carried away with all the workouts. This is just what NFL teams do in the months between the Super Bowl and the draft. Keep in mind that they’re doing their homework not only for this year, but for the future. Maybe three years down the road, the Eagles will be in the market for a quarterback, even if it’s only a backup. And maybe the homework they do now will pay off then.”

“’Good running backs are hard to find, but big people are (harder) to find,’ Packers general manager Ted Thompson said. ‘Other people, the good Lord just made more of them.’”

  • The Denver Broncos are on the clock at ESPN:

“Just before Josh Sitton was drafted in the fourth round in 2008, he was in a mullet-tossing contest, in which people hurl the fish across the beach all as an excuse to throw a huge party.

“’Actually I just went and watched. I didn’t have the 20 bucks to enter it,’ said Sitton.”

I doubt its a problem now.

One Final Thought

Bear fans talk about a new and very unique strategy in this can’t be missed video:

Many Prospects Connected to Bears “Overrated” and Other Points of View

Bears

“Wilson competes with Nevada outside linebacker Dontay Moch as this year’s most impressive workout warrior linebacker. Wilson struggles locating the football, making him significantly slower on the field than the 6-4, 250-pounder timed at the combine (4.46-second electronic time). This is particularly troublesome for Wilson considering he’s played linebacker for three seasons with the Illini, as opposed to Moch, who starred as a defensive end. Wilson might measure like a first-rounder, but his tape says he’s closer to a third-round pick.”

Amongst the other potential Bears picks that Rang thinks are overrated are Titus Young, Nate Solder and Mike Pouncey.  Not good.  Amongst the potential underrated players, Rang has Ricki Stanzi as being undervalued.  The Bears probably are looking for a developmental quarterback but Stanzi may go higher in the middle rounds than they’d like.

  • The Bears are not known to take chances on players with character issues but former NFL safety Matt Bowen at the National Football Postthinks that if Colorado cornerback Jimmy Smith fell into the late first round, he might be hard to pass up.
  • On a related note, the experts at NFP take a look at the Bears draft room in a couple videos here.  For those who aren’t familiar with the staff at the Post, former Bears director of college scouting Greg Gabriel and Bowen, a former safety (and a Chicagoan) who played previously under head coach Love Smith with the Rams are on this panel.  Let’s just say they know the Bears pretty well.  This video is well worth watching.  Its a shame they won’t allow it to be embedded here.
  • Gabriel also breaks down offensive tackles Solder and Tyron Smith.  Some mock drafts have Solder falling to the Bears.  Gabriel has this interesting comment about him:

“Because of his narrow frame, you have to question whether or not he will get much stronger in the lower body. Over the years I have seen players like this make weight room gains but not functional strength gains.”

Elsewhere

  • Andy Benoit at The New York Times does another one of his “What the Film Revealed” studies, this time of the Pittsburgh Steelers.  Here’s an interesting take:

“Myth Buster

“3-4 defensive ends are just run anchors

“For most teams, this is true. But for the Steelers, the defensive end position is where favorable defensive mismatches in the run game are created. Brett Keisel’s agility, more than his power, makes him a force. (This is also true for Aaron Smith…when he’s healthy.) Keisel creates congestion along the line of scrimmage primarily through lateral movement and penetration. Having this kind of mobility at defensive end gives [defensive coordinator Dick] LeBeau more variations in his scheme.”

Joe Flacco, the prototype quarterback,  continued his growth, but he still wasn’t consistent between the numbers. Far too much of the passing game took place underneath and outside, where the reads tend to be simpler… The running game sputtered a bit compared with 2009, largely because the offensive line occasionally struggled to generate raw power. Michael Oher, moving to the left side, was disconcertingly average, at least given the hype around him. At this point, saying Oher is a budding star is akin to  nominating a folksy but cliché-ridden feel-good family sports movie for Best Picture simply to appease the mainstream audience.”

One Final Thought

Mike Freeman at CBSSports.com interviews former NFL quarterback Warren Moon who believes ciriticism of Newton is “racially biased” and that he is “extremely angry” about it.  Which makes me extremely angry.  Fortunately Mike Florio at profootballtalk.com does a good job of debunking this nonsense so I don’t have to.

Five Apps Every Sports Fan Needs and Other Points of View

Bears

“Asked if [Jay] Cutler would still be a Bronco if he were in charge at the time, Elway said, ‘There’s a good possibility, yeah.

“’I would say that. But I don’t know. I wasn’t in the middle of that. I didn’t know Jay real well.

“’But I would have done everything I can, especially when you have a talent like you have in Jay. Those guys don’t come around very often.’”

  • ESPN NFC North blogger Kevin Seifert answers your questions: including this one about whether the Bears need for a receiver:

“melliott74 writes: I remember a few years ago the Steelers were looking for a bigger receiver, and they drafted a ‘steal’ in the 2nd round named Limas Sweed. You’re welcome to take him.

“Kevin Seifert: Well, to be fair, Sweed’s career has been derailed for reasons other than being a big receiver who didn’t play that way. Most notably, he ruptured an Achilles tendon last spring.

But I understand what you’re saying. As they prepare for the draft and free agency, I don’t think the Bears should over-prioritize height for receivers. All I’m saying is that coach Lovie Smith is right to note that he doesn’t have a big receiving threat.

Tight end Greg Olsen could fill that role sometimes, but it’s not the same as having a speed-based threat who can ‘go up and get it.'”

Elsewhere

“Scouts say as many as nine outside linebackers are getting no worse than third-round grades from most teams, which is astounding.”

“I would say that one thing you definitely miss is that team camaraderie.  There’s a few guys that come out here daily, so we get a little bit of it. But it’s not the same as a traditional offseason, where it’s 50 guys out there and you’re all working towards one purpose. For the most part, though, we’ve been pushing each other very well.”

“The Jerry 2.0 years started with seemingly effectiveness, as he has retained many of the player templates installed in the [Bill] Parcells years.  Every player from Dallas ’08 draft remains in the league and the one player Dallas cut, 6th rounder Erik Walden, just earned a Super Bowl ring with the Packers.

“That said, the high-round gambling which dogged Jerry 1.0 [between Jimmy Johnson and Parcells] appears to be creeping back into the Cowboys drafts.  Martellus Bennett is a physically imposing, but equally immature tight end, a fact the ’08 Hard Knocks made plain.  Bennett continues to progress slowly, but thus far represents a poor return for a 2nd round pick.”

  • The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are on the clock at ESPN:

  • Of interest to Bears fans is this entry in the Whispers feature at Pro Football Weekly:

“Not many people expect the Patriots to keep both their first-round picks (Nos. 17 and 28). The Pats also start the second round with the 33rd overall selection. The 28th appears to be the one for sale, and a report surfaced from the owners meeting in New Orleans that the Chargers could be a suitor. The Patriots have more holes to fill than you would think for a team coming off a 14-2 record, with a young defense and an aging offensive line. However, that shouldn’t end the Draft Day tradition of Bill Belichick making a deal and trading an early pick for a future pick.”

The Bears have the 29th pick, the one immediately after the relevant Patriots spot.

One Final Thought

This time of year the news in the press (and subsequently much of what you find referenced in this blog) is dominated by what people say about the draft.  So these statements by Bears director of college scouting Greg Gabriel in the National Football Post have particular relevance, especially to the teams fans:

“I used to tell people in the last few weeks leading up to the draft that the first thing I have to do when the draft is over is go to confession and beg for forgiveness for all the lies I told the previous two months.”

“While I was with the Bears, I would change things every year so the media could not be certain as to why we were doing things. One year I may bring in for visits many of the players we were interested in and the next year not bring in any and then the next year only guys we may want as potential free agents. Of course then there were some years when you would bring in the big “smoke screen” candidate only to let other clubs “think” we were interested in that player. I felt you could never have a pattern on how you did business; you have to change from year to year especially when dealing with the draft. If I was ever asked about a certain player’s injury, I would always say that it was a concern even if it wasn’t. If that answer would throw off what a few clubs thought we may want to do then it was the right answer.

“The bottom line is the only things that you can really believe is what you know to be true.”

Is Brian Urlacher the Best #9 Pick? And Other Points of View

Bears

  • Bears guard Roberto Garza did a nice interview with George Vondracek at Corpus Christi Caller Times.  Interestingly, he thinks his job might be in jeopardy:

“‘Anytime you give up more than 55 sacks a year obviously there are some changes that are going to have to take place, and we’re ready for that,’ Garza said. ‘Obviously, my job’s going to be up for grabs. So I have to go out there and prove to them that I’m going to continue to be the starting right guard.'”

  • Neil Hayes at the Chicago Sun-Times says that the competition committee will not change the rule that resulted in an incomplete pass to Lions receiver Calvin Johnson in the first game against Detroit last season:

“If you read the rule, it’s not a catch,” [Giants president and competition committee member John] Mara said told the paper. “The reason it’s not a catch is you’ve got to control the ball when you hit the ground. It makes it easier to officiate. It’s a bright line that you can draw.”

Though its not a popular decision, I’ve made it clear that I’m with Mara on this one.  If Calvin Johnson or anyone else doesn’t like it, all I can say is get up and hand the referee the ball next time.  That’s what receivers on good teams are coached to do.

Orlando Franklin | OL | Miami (Fla.)

“Although GM Jerry Angelo might prefer to find a replacement for Tommie Harris with this pick, the board could be more favorably filled with OL talent. Franklin could be the most physical blocker in this year’s draft and perfectly fits the nasty disposition that OL coach Mike Tice seeks in the trenches.”

Elsewhere

  • The Green Bay Packers are on the clock:

  • And so are the Pittsburgh Steelers:

One Final Thought

Is Brian Urlacher the best #9?  Pro Football Weekly provides an answer:

Bears Top NFC Special Teams Unit and Other Points of View

Bears

  • Brad Biggs at the Chicago Tribune passes along  the fact that the Bears ended the season tied for the top spot in the NFC in special teams in the ratings system popularized by Dallas Morning News writer Rick Gosselin.

The Bears were only fourth overall in large part because they ranked last in gross punting at 40.1 yards.  Punter Brad Maynard has not been offered a contract and there is speculation that the Bears may be moving on without him.

Elsewhere

One Final Thought

For those who think the Bears should try to acquire Albert Haynesworth we have this.  According to the Associated Press a waitress claims that the Washington Redskins defensive lineman sexually abused her at a restaurant.

Upon tweeting the news, former Bear and current Redskins defensive end Phillip Daniels speaks for all of us: “Man does it ever end.”.


NFL Labor Talks Not Business as Usual and Other Points of View

Bears

  • John Glennon at The Tennessean updates the status of the Titan’s quest to fill out their coaching staff.  There’s been no comment from the Titans regarding the reports that they are interested in Bears offensive line coach Mike Tice. as an offensive coordinator.  It could be much ado about nothing.
  • The message is right but unfortunately the Packers aren’t the only thing that sucks in this video:

I will concede, however, that it’s better than I could do.

Elsewhere

  • Sports business analyst Rick Harrow tells ESPN that the labor negotiations are business as usual.  At the same time he contradicts himself by saying that NFLPA president DeMaurice Smith is inexperienced and doesn’t realize that its not a war with the owners.  That’s not business as usual.  That’s real trouble.

“According to sources familiar with the talks, last week’s negotiations between the NFLPA and the NFL broke off when the union characterized its documents as an “illustration” that NFL officials believed represented a proposal for revenue sharing between owners and players.”

“When the NFLPA characterized documents labeled “NFLPA Proposal” as something other than a collective bargaining proposal, the NFL ended the session, a source familiar with the talks said.”

Translation:  Misunderstandings aside, the NFL ultimately walked out of the talks because the union isn’t negotiating.  The owners were looking for a proposal from the union in response to their own.  They didn’t get it.

  • The Hall of Fame selection process is under scrutiny in the media, presumably in part because there’s not much else to talk about.  Toni Monkovic at the New York Times summarizes the arguments.
  • Mike Florio at profootballtalk.com provides a particularly interesting and thorough at the process.  He has suggestions for improving it.
  • Florio also points out the irony in the league assuming responsibility for the Super Bowl seating mess when it is, in fact, most closely related to the mistakes on the part of the Cowboys and owner Jerry Jones.  Jones is believed to be a strong voice in league meetings against more extensive revenue sharing:

“’Right now, we are subsidizing this market,’ Jones said in August 2009 regarding the Vikings and the place they currently call home.  ‘It’s unthinkable to think that you’ve got the market you got here — 3 ½ million people — and have teams like Kansas City and Green Bay subsidizing the market.  That will stop. . . .  That’s going to stop.  That’s on its way out.’

“So Jones doesn’t want his team to subsidize other teams by sharing revenues, but other teams will potentially be subsidizing the Cowboys by sharing in the expenses arising from his ultimately failed effort to cram 103,986-plus bodies into his new stadium for Super Bowl XLV.”

  • Brad Biggs, also writing for NFP, points out that the Williams Wall is crumbling, at least temporarily.  Both defensive tackles Pat and Kevin Williams have undergone offseason surgery.  They are also each facing possible four game suspensions and they are finally being forced to stand up and take personal responsibility for taking an illegal substance in the StarCaps fiasco.
  • Judd Zulgad at the Minneapolis Star Tribune interviews Vikings tight end Visanthe Shiancoe.  Shiancoe has looked closely at the Atlanta Falcon’s offense and likes what he sees.  Atlanta was the home of new offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave and they used the tight end a a primary target.  The bad news for Shiancoe?  He’s not Tony Gonzales.

One Final Thought

Zulgad says Shiancoe isn’t talking about a new contract as he enters the final season of the $18.2 million deal he signed as a free agent in 2007:

“The thing is that you don’t ever want to be that complainer.  You don’t want to bring any [problems] upon your team in any way, shape, form or fashion. It’s part of your job to know a when and where, a time and a place for certain things. That wasn’t a time or place to ever complain. That’s nothing you’ll ever see me do. I’ll never complain.”

Bookies Take a Bath on the Super Bowl and Other Points of View

Bears

Elsewhere

  • Michael Wilbon at ESPN talks about watching the Super Bowl at the White House with Bears fan Barak Obama.  Oh, yeah.  He’s the President of the United States, as well.

“The worst-case scenario is the type of grudge match that wiped out the 1994 World Series and the 2004-05 NHL season. Although possible, there are too many billions at stake for the sides not to eventually come to their senses.”

Baseball fans said the same  thing in 1994.

I’ve gotten a definite impression that there are a least some owners who are more interested in breaking the union than getting an agreement.  I get the impression that DeMaurice Smith is more interested in making sure he doesn’t give much if anything in his first negotiation than he is in looking after the best interests of the game and, therefore, the players.  Its a bad combination.

I’m not holding my breath waiting for the next season to start.

“Chargers: Is this their last season in San Diego? They are the clubhouse favorite to relocate to Los Angeles, and the NFL will be looking to move back into the nation’s second-largest market once the CBA is resolved. If the Chargers can’t get a stadium deal in San Diego — and the prospects of one are looking bleaker by the day — they will be looking to exercise the escape clause in their Qualcomm Stadium lease.”

I know that the Chargers are only one of many teams that have talked of relocating.  But I think this one might be the real thing.  There’s absolutely no way they’re going to get a stadium in San Diego.

  • Mike Munchak in the Titan’s new head coach:

“With players, the way we look at it when we’re going to new teams is the city appeal, how we feel about the location, and then it’s, ‘What was it like when I played that team?’  Certain teams you play against, you’re like, ‘Them guys were soft. I don’t want to be part of that organization. I don’t want to play for them.’ Or, ‘They were arguing on the sideline, I don’t want to be part of that type of disruption.’

“‘I know there’s some teams that we played, some guys were like, ‘It’d be all right to go to war with those guys. They show up on game day. They show up to fight.’ And that’s what we do.'”

I think the NFC North as a group holds up pretty well in this respect.  The Vikings, perhaps, didn’t show as much fight as you’d like to see.  Other than that, the the division has some pretty tough, high football character teams.

  • Charlie Walters at the Pioneer Press thinks the Vikings are looking at last place next year.  I’m not so sure.  There’s a lot of talent on that team.  If Les Frazier gets them to play like they did in 2009 with the addition of even a decent quarterback, they’ll be as dangerous as anyone.
  • On the other hand, Jeremy Fowler, also at the Pioneer Press, points out that DT Pat Williams is unlikely to be back.  If DE Ray Edwards leaves via free agency and DT Kevin Williams actually has to serve a suspension stemming from the Star Caps case, they could have some trouble on the defensive line next year.  That’s the strength of their team.
  • According to Geoff Mosher at the Delaware News Journal, the Eagles have shot down a rumor making the rounds through cyberspace that Jon Gruden, a former Super Bowl champion coach and current ESPN analyst, would be replacing Andy Reid as Eagles head coach.  Via benmaller.com.
  • Those who claim that sports books always go with the spread that gives them a 50:50 split, listen up.  The Las Vegas casinos as a whole made less than a million dollars on the Super Bowl with some suffering rare losses.  The books who lost stuck with the “dead number” not moving thier odds despite heavy betting on the Green Bay Packers.  The strategy is risky but it maximizes profits if the initial number turns out to be the right one.
  • George Bretherton at The New York Times thinks the Steelers should have run the ball more in the second half of Super Bowl XLV.  I generally agree, especially as he has laid it out.  But more generally the Steelers made it very tough on themselves throughout the game with harmful penalties that consistently put them in holes they had to try to pass their way out of.
  • The Sports Pickle tracked the NFL’s official Facebook page during Super Bowl XLV.

One Final Thought

Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic can’t understand people who don’t watch the Super Bowl.  Its really simple.  They haven’t discovered television.  Or fire.

The Sad Story of William “The Refrigerator” Perry and Other Points of View

Bears

  • In what has to be the saddest story I’ve read all year, Tom Friend at ESPN details the struggles of William Perry against his both his physical and mental disabilities.  Here is the accompanying video:

Elsewhere

  • The Super Bowl ads can be found here at the Chicago Tribune.  Here’s what was probably my favorite one:

  • Former Baltimore head coach Brian Billick talks to Joe Reedy at the Cincinnati Enquirer about new offensive coordinator Jay Gruden and the “West Coast offense”:

“’There’s no such thing as a West Coast offense anymore. It doesn’t exist,’ Billick said. ‘Everyone has taken different bits and pieces of it and its morphed into a number of different things. He may use some of the West Coast verbage but even the most ardent of west coast guys who came directly from the [Bill] Walsh lineage whether its be via [Mike] Holmgren to Andy Reid to Jon Gruden, they’ve all evolved it and it’s morphed into different forms almost like the Dungy 2 or Tampa 2, everyone uses a form of it. To identify a team like that, it’s kind of a misnomer because everyone is doing it.”

One Final Thought

Like Mayne’s vidoe above, “Vince Lombadi’s” final speech to players in both locker rooms is also no less moving for being posted late.  This was a nice series of video’s put together by the league.  I hope they do it again next year.

Super Bowl XLV Still Hasn’t Happened Yet and Other Points of View

Bears

“If you want to criticize something, let’s talk about the offensive line, let’s ask the decision-makers up in the front office in Chicago, and I know they’re going to hate me for this, but why is Jay Cutler and Matt Forte playing behind that? I’m not going to get on those guys, because you can’t even move outside until you fix inside.”

Elsewhere

“The key for the Steelers is their pre-snap disguise. Free safety Ryan Clark will show a single high safety look (Cover 1 to the offense) while strong safety Troy Polamalu will move to his blitz alignment and time the snap of the ball. What the Steelers create is a two-on-one blitz versus the running back in protection (strong safety and nickel back) with the outside linebacker “scooping” to attack the left tackle. This blitz will test the protection schemes of the Packers’ offensive line and could get a free runner at [Green Bay quarterback Aaron] Rodgers‘ blind side.”

“The Packers need to attack Ben Roethlisberger from his right side to push him left. That means the Steelers quarterback will have to throw across his body when he scrambles loose, rather than setting up in a more natural stance and finding his receivers.”

Hines Ward recalled how Tomlin initially instituted dress codes and included more contact than an MMA fight during his first training camp.

“‘He was very militant,’ Ward said. ‘Some veteran guys challenged his authority, and they’re no longer here. The guys that he kept, we bought into his belief and his system.'”

“When you walk in our building and you have pictures of Curly Lambeau, Vince Lombardi, Mike Holmgren — our history is among us all the time,” he said. “It creates a standard and expectation that fits right along with our visions.”

“Roethlisberger will be without Maurkice Pouncey, the outstanding rookie center who suffered a high ankle sprain early in the AFC championship game against the Jets. The Steelers switched to backup center Doug Legursky, a second-year player who finished the game.

“‘The NFL is made up of lots of players like him — guys who somehow got an opportunity and seized it,’ Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said. ‘We’re completely confident (in him). That’s why we’re not changing what we do.'”

“The Packers and Steelers are two reasons you shouldn’t get too enamored with free agents. Neither team usually is a player in the free agent market, and both are better because of it.”

Matt Cassel has Drew Brees to thank for his success last season. Cassel’s coach Todd Haley made Cassel watch a lot of tape on Brees’ footwork and his pass drops, and rode Cassel hard about trying to do it the way Brees does it. Brees is known for having the best footwork in the league, and Haley wants Cassel as close to that as possible. Haley asks some of the same things of Cassel that Sean Payton asks of Brees. Haley and Payton were co-workers in Dallas.”

“Even based solely on the regular season, I thought McCarthy should have been runner up [to Bill Belichick].”

I think McCarthy should have won.

“You don’t hire an offensive or defensive guy. You hire a leader.  That’s the No. 1 thing to look for is a leader, someone to stand in front of the room, command the respect of the organization and obviously the players, and somebody the owner feels good about.

“Because wherever their expertise is, they have to be able to hire around it. So No. 1 is leadership, the second thing is the ability to communicate, and the third for me is to hire and delegate.”

“ARLINGTON, TX—Despite the overwhelming media hype, countless interviews with players and coaches, and considerable speculation about the big game since the conference champions earned Super Bowl berths nearly two weeks ago, Super Bowl XLV still hasn’t happened yet. “It feels like it should have happened last Sunday, but it didn’t,” Ohio-area football fan Jared Britton told reporters Friday, adding that instead of the Super Bowl, the Pro Bowl happened.”

One Final Thought

Football con man Michael Vick won the AP Comeback Player of the Year award despite having attended a party just last June at which a man was shot in cold blood.  I’m wondering if he still gets this award if it had been a dog.

Fantuz Flakes Commercial and Other Points of View

Bears

  • But you know when you’ve really made it?  When you have your own dandruff shampoo (the video was made by the Hamilton Tiger-Cats).
  • Biggs continued his excellent positional analysis series with the running backs.  I thought this was an interesting choice of words:

Harvey Unga faced an uphill battle to make the 53-man roster as an addition in the supplemental draft and the Bears found a convenient way to redshirt him with a hamstring pull in training camp.”

Kevin Colbert, the Pittsburgh Steelers’ director of football operations, noted that nearly three-quarters of Pro Bowl players were selected in the first three rounds.

‘‘’So it’s very important that you get those players right,’ Colbert said, ‘and we really emphasize making sure we don’t make mistakes on the 1’s, 2’s and 3’s. If you get lucky on the later rounds, great. But the 1’s, 2’s and 3’s, if you miss on them, they can set you back for some years.’’’


Elsewhere

  • Pittsburgh defensive end Brett Keisel has been growing his beard for seven months.  He thinks it gives the Steelers’ “Super Bowl powers”.  From Sam Farmer at the Los Angeles Times.
  • NFL commissioner Roger Goodell addresses the negotiations with the Player’s Union in this video as he answers a queston from Chad Ochocinco:

One Final Thought

I am not going to pick the Super Bowl game, especially against the spread, because I think its too close to call.  But in what I consider to be a good sign for the Steelers, most of the money in Vegas is coming in on the Packers.

Most of the bets aren’t in yet.  But MGM Resorts International, which operates 10 sports books on the Las Vegas Strip, said about 70 percent of the money bet so far in its casinos is for a Packers victory.  Bookies aren’t in the business of losing money.