Tag Archives: chicago bears

The Fox and the Bears: John Fox Potential New Coach?

By Ellen Chlumecky

The Bears fired Marc Trestman was fired on December 29, 2014 along with general manager Phil Emery. Opening the dreaded head coach position for the Chicago Bears. A very heavy task filled with frustration, a rocky history, and aggressive fans. A dream come true, right?

Ryan Pace has only been the new general manager for a couple of weeks now and he made it his first mission to be on a serious “fox” hunt for a new coach. Now on Friday, January 16th, ESPN sources confirm that he’s already almost near to closing a deal with a new coach. Specifically they are looking at, former head coach of Denver Broncos, John Fox.  The Chicago Tribune have commented that Pace is just in the “getting to know you” phase with Fox. However, whatever the case may be there is a serious possibility that Fox may be the new head coach of the Bears.

If Fox were to get the job, he would be the third head coach since 2012, following the termination of Marc Trestman. Trestman’s two seasons went 13-19, which explains a great deal about his termination. The Bears have missed the postseason four consecutive years in a row due to the coaching of Marc Trestman and Lovie Smith. Not exactly an ideal situation for any new head coach to walk into, however Fox might be the man to rectify the somewhat permanent losing streak they seem to be stuck in.

Fox has been in the business for a long time and has a long list of accomplishments. Fox coached the Broncos to 49 overall wins from 2011 to 2014. In addition, he assisted them in winning four consecutive AFC West titles. He also led the Broncos to a Superbowl game, even though they ended up losing to the Seattle Seahawks, which is more than Trestman can attest. Fox also is a seasoned defensive coach and has been the defensive coordinator for teams such as: the Los Angeles Raiders and the New York Giants.

The Bears could use someone who has won multiple conference titles and a vast amount of experience being a defensive coach. John Fox holds a mentality of acquiring plays with mental and physical toughness, which could be a helpful attitude to hold. While Bears fans are upset, which is not at all unusual, about the deal, there seems to be no snags in the deal as of now. He may not be Ditka, but let’s be honest, who is?

It’s Ryan Pace’s Time to Shine

By Ellen Chlumecky

Ryan Pace is the new Chicago Bears general manager. He is now the youngest general manager in the NFL at 37 years old. While he may not be a native of Illinois, he seems to have orange and blue coursing through his veins. His main task is returning the Bears back to greatness. The first crucial step in this long process is to hiring the best head coach for the team.

Before Pace was chosen for the coveted position of general manager for the Chicago Bears, he had quite a track record. Pace was a four-year letterman as a defensive end at Eastern Illinois University. Pace was selected by the Saints to attend the Stanford Business School’s Executive Education NFL-Stanford Program for Managers. Pace spent the last two seasons with the Saints as the director of player personnel. He clearly has the qualifications and experience to take on this position.

George McCaskey, team chairman for the Bears, said that Pace won the job over very qualified candidates. The three other considerations were: Tennessee Titans vice president of player personnel Lake Dawson, Houston Texans director of pro personnel Brian Gaine, and Chris Ballard who was the former director of player personnel for Chicago and current director of player personnel for Kansas City Chiefs. McCaskey expressed that Pace just stood out. He said he was thorough, charismatic, and showed himself as a leader.

Immediately after signing the contract, Pace started conducting interviews with potential head coaches starting with Todd Bowles. Dan Quinn and Adam Gase have also been interviewed for the position prior to Pace’s contract being signed. While Pace wants the position filled as soon as possible, there is no indication that a hire will be found in the next coming weeks.

Pace’s next item of business is to evaluate the roster and the staff before making any serious decisions about trading or rehiring. An excessive amount of attention has been put on what Pace will be doing with the somewhat tumultuous career of Jay Cutler. He wants to get to know Cutler before making a final decision on his career.

This isn’t Pace’s first problem team that he’s had to deal with in his career. He had to deal with the New Orleans Saints during the height of Hurricane Katrina.  He clearly knows how to handle a tough situation but the Bears have been in a rocky spot for more than just a couple of years now. It is quite noble of him to take on such a mighty task as his first GM job. He’s clearly up to the challenge, but we’ll have to see if he can succeed.

Is One Game Enough for Dominic Raiola?

By Kaleb Page

The game of football is a violent game. No matter what the rules are or advancements made in the name of player safety; the game will always be a violent one. Within the confines of this modern-day gladiator sport, there has to be the mindset to play hard nonstop but at the same time there should be no intent to hurt someone intentionally.

Dominic Raiola is one of the key pieces to the offensive line of the Detroit Lions. As the center and a veteran in the league, Raiola is key in getting the line in sync and making protection calls to protect star quarterback Matthew Stafford. This past Sunday in a key divisional match-up with the rival Chicago Bears Raiola made a play that will compromise that offensive line.

After a short run that was stuffed by the Bears, the pile was still on the ground and the play was just ending. For Raiola it was an opportunity to take a shot at a downed player. Bears defensive lineman Ego Ferguson was still on the ground when Raiola ran off to the side where Ferguson was on the ground. As Raiola went to pass Ferguson he took a hop and stomp down on Ferguson’s ankle. This action instantly got the Bears furious and words exchanged between Raiola and Bears players.

Monday Raiola’s actions were punished by the NFL at the tune of one game without pay for the final week battle between the Lions and Packers. A game that will decide the division winner for the NFC North. The thing about this one game suspension that is leaving those not only in the league surprised but national analysts as well is that this isn’t the first time Raiola has acted this way.

Watching ESPN First Take this morning, both Skip Bayless and Stephen A. Smith agreed that suspending Raiola only a game is not enough. Just months ago Raiola was seen throwing a punch to the back of a defensive lineman for the Patriots head and then as the final kneel down was made he went at that same players’ knees intentionally (he admitted it himself). Over the course of his career Raiola has had up to six run-ins with the NFL league office sending him some sort of fine for his actions on the field. That is why many are thinking just a one game suspension isn’t sending the message to Raiola.

Antonio Pierce was a guest on First Take and brought up an interesting discussion point. He brought up what would happen to a defensive player if this same scenario happened, say a defensive lineman stomped on Tom Brady’s or Peyton Manning’s ankle; then what? Would there still be a one game suspension? He highly doubted that and I would have to agree with him. If the league really wanted to punish Raiola it should have been at least this final game and the Lions first playoff game (possibly even the entire playoffs).

If you haven’t had the chance to see the stomp by Raiola here is a video to show that along with some further commentary (start at 36 seconds).

After reading this post, seeing the video and its commentary, what are your thoughts? Think it was intentional? Think more punishment should have been issued? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below.

Chicago’s Quarterback Woes

By Savannah Malnar

As the NFL season winds down, teams are willing to make more chances with their starting lineups. This is the case for the Chicago Bears, who have decided to bench quarterback Jay Cutler who just signed on with the team for another seven years for a total of roughly $126 million after the end of last season.

The decision stems from a season of less than impressive performance from the Bears’ quarterback, leading the team to their current 5-9 record. Fans and media are questioning this choice, especially with the backup, Jimmy Clausen, who went 1-9 in his rookie season in Carolina and has only three career touchdowns.

Cutler was told Wednesday about the team’s decision and was obviously disappointed about being benched; already rumors are spreading that he has played his last game in Chicago. Many media outlets are publishing articles about the possible landing spots for Cutler along with analyzing the possibility of Bears’ coach Marc Trestman and general manager Phil Emery being fired after this season.

A more objective source, Sports Illustrated, published an article with the headline “By Benching Cutler, Bears Make Statement About Franchise’s Future.” It stated that Trestman’s fate as coach is “all but sealed,” but he could possibly make a strong argument for himself if he can pull off a win against the 10-4 Detroit Lions while starting Clausen.

Sports writer David Haugh for the Chicago Tribune is convinced that this move by the Bears definitely marks the end of Cutler’s reign as quarterback in Chicago. Haugh said, “Starting Clausen against the Lions accomplishes nothing other than make everyone wonder who decided after nine losses to hold Cutler accountable for leading the league in turnovers.”

Obviously there is a lot of pent-up frustration in Chicago about the quarterback and coaching situation. On one hand, the team does not want to put the waste the massive contract that they just entered in with the quarterback; on the other, they don’t want to be stuck with a “has-been” quarterback. The team will have to observe Clausen’s performance and make a decision on how they will end the season. If Clausen finishes the season against the Vikings, I thoroughly believe we won’t be seeing Cutler in Chicago next season.

Drama in Chicago

By Kia Tyus

Offensive Coordinator anonymously bashed star quarterback Jay Cutler, Cutler then gets benched, a locker room full of confused players, and the media making the team look like the coaches and executives have no control. Yes, there is “Drama in Chicago”.

The Chicago Bears are having a terrible season and will defiantly miss the 2014-15 playoffs sitting on a sub par record of 5-9. Frustrations have been brewing for some time now.

Lately, the Bears have been making headlines for all the wrong reasons. Jeff Dickerson wrote an article explaining the recent headlines of the Bears.

Dickerson’s first point was how the Bears offensive coordinator Aaron Kromer anonymously said that the Bears were having doubts about giving Cutler such a big contract. Eventually, Kromer came forward out of guilt and admitted that he was in fact the one that bashed Cutler anonymously to the media. The media tour the story apart and superstars like Aaron Rogers came forward and stood up for Cutler.

The second point Dickerson touched on was the recent benching of Cutler. The Bears announced recently that Jimmy Clausen would start verse the Detroit Lions on Sunday. This is an embarrassment to Cutler someone who has brought the Bears many wins, while Clausen has a terrible record in his stint in the NFL.

To me, this moves states that the Bears are throwing the white flag on the season. Why on Earth would you change the quarterback when you are getting ready to play against the best defense in the NFL? To me, it shows a lack of professionalism.

Insiders from the Bears organization feel that the coaches handled the Cutler benching way different from the Kromer incident. They feel as though Cutler’s mistakes were leaked to the media but Kromer received a slap on the wrist.

The last point that Dickerson made was that players are very confused about what is going on within the organization. While they chose to stay anonymous, they did say that they do not object to the benching they just feel it was handled the wrong way.

Yes, the Bears season is over and they have waved the white flag. Players have trust issues with the coaching staff which Dickerson says makes them feel “confused and uncomfortable”.

Dickerson did state however that the Bears could be playing the safety card with Cutler. In the 2014-15 season, Cutler is the highest paid offensive player banking $22.5 million. In 2015, $15.5 million and is guaranteed $10 million on March 12th. If they sit him out the last two games, he won’t get hurt and they could trade Cutler, which would save them $10 million.

Brandon Marshall Challenges Rival Fan to a Fight

By Savannah Malnar

Professional athletes are always expected to have professional interactions with fans of the sport. Whenever an athlete makes gestures or even yells at fans during a game, that gets media attention. But wide receiver Brandon Marshall of the Chicago Bears took interacting negatively with a fan to a whole new level on Thursday.

Many athletes run their own twitters and interact with fans through that social media outlet; it provides an environment for them to respond to fans’ questions and criticism publicly. This can be both good and bad, depending on the athlete’s composure on the site. Marshall lost his, actually challenging a Detroit Lions’ fan to a fight.

The fan tweeted at Marshall a screen shot of his own comments on an Instagram photo Marshall had recently posted. The fan, in these comments, said “Remember when you called Detroit the little brother?”, referencing a comment made by Marshall last season, and then two more comments highlighted with expletives and a personal insult to Marshall’s mother.

Now, Marshall could have ignored the tweet like many athletes often do to rude fans. Some athletes even reply with sarcastic or funny remarks if they feel the need to actually interact with the fan. But Marshall decided to reply with an “offer,” telling the fan that he would give him $5,000 to “get in a ring” with him. He then upped the ante, saying that if he (Marshall) lost, he would pay the fan an additional $10,000. If the fan lost, Marshall wanted him to do 100 hours of community service.

The fan replied asking him to raise the bid to $25,000. Marshall shockingly replied yes, and tweeted shortly after “And you have to apologize to my mom.” The fan never replied, and Marshall tweeted again saying “Deal or no deal bro? This is your chance to back up your talk and make 25k.”

Now, there may be differing opinions by fans on whether this is acceptable behavior by an athlete. But the media’s opinions need to be looked at.

First, both national and local Detroit (where the fan is from) media took it surprisingly lightly. The reports of the words exchanged were written in almost a humorous tone. What was most interesting was the local Chicago sport media. NBC Chicago published a short article on it, and in it was this statement: “There’s no word on whether or not the fight will happen, but in a time when the Bears’ locker room is already suffering from divisions, a lack of leadership, and a coach who is trying to hold it all together, something like this isn’t exactly a welcome distraction.”

Whether the fan knew what he was doing or not, he definitely hit a sensitive spot with Marshall. The underperforming Bears are 3-6 going into Week 11 of the NFL season compared to the Lions surprising record of 7-2.