The clock is ticking for the NFL as the regular season looms three months away and the lockout wages on.
One of the more recent concerns for the Chicago Bears has been the location of training camp if an agreement is reached later than anticipated.
But according to Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune, the Bears could open training camp on-time July 23.
If all goes as planned, the Bears will report to ONU on July 22 and the first practice will be July 23. The Bears and St. Louis Rams are both scheduled to open camps a week early because they meet in the Hall of Fame Game Aug. 7 in Canton, Ohio, a fifth preseason game that could be an advantage with offseason programs wiped out by the lockout, which is three months old now. But in order for the Bears to be practicing by July 23, a new collective bargaining agreement needs to be in place probably by about July 4.
Of course this is all contigent upon the Collective Bargaining Agreement mess. But reports have indicated that both sides may be nearing an agreement.
Looks like the Bears may report to training camp on time, after all.
This whole ‘Top 100 Players of 2011,’ while entertaining is beginning to get aggravating.
The fact that it is voted on by players just diminishes the impact. This is more of a popularity contest than it is an accurate measurement of the talent in the NFL.
Four Chicago Bears grace this list, with Lance Briggs landing at no. 92, and in the latest episode linebacker Brian Urlacher held the no. 49 spot.
This position seems too high in regards to one of the best linebackers playing the game today.
The 2000 Rookie of the Year, 2005 Defensive Player of the Year and seven-time Pro Bowler, Urlacher is the franchise leader with 1,556 tackles.
Urlacher’s mere presence has had a significant impact on the Bears win-loss record. They simply are better with him out on the field.
“He knows our defense and that’s all fine and dandy but you’ve got to be able to make plays,” said Bears Head Coach Lovie Smith in his presentation of Urlacher on the ‘Top 100 Players of 2011.’
“Every game we expect Brian to make a sack,” Smith said, “we expect him to make an interception, we expect him to make a big hit and then in crunch time we expect him to make a big play that tells everyone it’s time to go.”
Urlacher, while even on the decline, is still one of the best players in the NFL and certainly one of the best players in franchise history.
“I’ve seen him run down Michael Vick, I’ve seen him guard the best receivers in the game.,” Smith said. “Most linebackers don’t have good hands. Brian has a skill type position hands he can make all kind of different plays.”
The most entertaining portion of the package was when Urlacher ran over teammate Matt Toenia and a Washington Redskin asks, “Did you just knock the crap out of your own guy.” Urlacher responds with, “Yes, on accident.”
Urlacher can’t help himself. He was a born tackler.
BEARS ON THE ‘TOP 100 PLAYERS OF 2011’
92. Lance Briggs (LB)
49. Brian Urlacher (LB)
Chicago Bears defensive tackle Israel Idonije will be the Grand Marshal for Saturday’s NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Chicagoland Speedway.
“I’m honored to be a part of the pre-race ceremonies for the STP 300 at Chicagoland Speedway this weekend,” said Idonije. “To say the coveted words ‘drivers start your engines’ is very exciting, and I’m looking forward to taking in all the racing action this Saturday.”
For the last nine years, the Chicago Bears have called Bourbonnais, IL, and Olivet Nazarene University, their summer home for training camp.
That streak may end this year due to the lockout.
The Bears signed an extension last year to keep training camp in Bourbonnais for the next two summers but if the lockout remains unresolved–and ultimately postpones the start of training camp–the Bears will have to find another location to host training camp.
Student orientation at Olivet Nazarene University begins on August 27th and the Bears would have to be cleared out so the students can settle in.
With the NFL lockout still very much real, NFL Network is doing everything in their power to keep hope for the 2011 season alive.
The series “The Top 100 Players of 2011,” which is voted on by NFL players, is in full swing on NFL Network and four Chicago Bears have made the list.
Lance Briggs has been the only Bear announced–at No. 92–since the program kicked off and has counted down the Top 51 players already. This means that three more Bears are on the list and I think it’s safe to say that we know who those players are.
Brian Urlacher, Devin Hester, Julius Peppers all surely have made the Top 50.
More to note, we know who got snubbed from the list: one Jay Cutler.
One has to assume that Cutler’s controversial benching in the NFC Championship Game against the Green Bay Packers had something to do with this.
This is a list voted on by the players–those same players that questioned Cutler’s toughness for not returning to the game.
Cutler has seen his share of controversy since coming to Chicago two years ago but he has given a Bears franchise hope for an offense with a reputation that is downright ugly.
Behind a shoddy offensive line–in which he endured 56 sacks–and playing so-so receivers, Cutler had a great year for the Bears in guiding them to their first postseason berth since their 2006 Super Bowl appearance.
He missed just one game–after sustaining a concussion the previous game in which he was sacked nine times by the New York Giants–and led the Bears to an 11-5 record and the NFC North Championship. He passed for 3,274 passing yards, 23 touchdowns, 16 interceptions and added 232 rushing yards.
And yet the criticism will keep on coming.
Everyone loves to hate Jay Cutler, as evidenced by his snubbing by his fellow players.
Chicago Bears linebacker Lance Briggs was voted to a list of the top 100 players in the NFL of 2011 at number 92 in a poll conducted by NFL Network where current league players cast their votes.
Briggs was presented in the segment by current Bears offensive coordinator Mike Martz.
Briggs was elected to his six consecutive Pro Bowl last season, becoming just the sixth player in Bears history to do so.
“The position he plays is very demanding,” defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli told ChicagoBears.com. “It’s a playmaking position and that’s all Lance has always done. He makes plays and has great instincts. He’s always ready to play, and he’s a performer.”
There are four more Bears players left in the Top 100.
Be sure to check out The Top 100 Players of 2011 every Sunday night at 8 p.m. on NFL Network.
Here’s the list of The Top 100 so far:
100.D. McNabb Redskins, QB
99.C. Clifton Packers, OT
98.D. McFadden Raiders, RB
97.S. Phillips Chargers, DE
96.N. Collins Packers, S
95.J. Beason Panthers, LB
94.F. Gore 49ers, RB
93.E. Berry Chiefs, S
92.L. Briggs Bears, LB
91.T. Owens Bengals, WR
90.J. Flacco Ravens, QB
89.A. Wilson Cardinals, S
88.V. Davis 49ers, TE
87.J. Gross Panthers, OT
86.J. Freeman Buccaneers, QB
85.J. Babin Titans, DE
84.J. Cribbs Browns, QB
83.M. Williams Buccaneers, WR
82.L. Woodley Steelers, LB
81. B. Raji Packers, DT
Three members of the 2011 Chicago Bears rookie class have been assigned jersey numbers.
Larry Mayer of ChicagoBears.com announced in his ChalkTalk that top pick offensive tackle Gabe Carimi will wear No. 72, defensive tackle Stephen Paea will wear No. 92 and safety Chris Conte will wear No. 47.
The jersey numbers for quarterback Nathan Enderle and linebacker J.T. Thomas are not yet known.
In case you forgot, the Chicago Bears attempted a trade with the Baltimore Ravens during the first round of the NFL draft so they might move up a couple of spots to secure current Bears rookie offensive tackle Gabe Carimi.
With Jerry Angelo running things is it really any surprise that this went astray?
But it you look at it, Angelo’s failure to go through with the trade actually saved the Bears their fourth round draft selection (Idaho quarterback Nathan Enderle). So Chicago is certainly satisfied.
Baltimore is not but there’s not really much they or the NFL can do about it.
“The trade was not consummated,” NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said in an e-mail. “Therefore, there was no trade.
“Anything further with respect to it would be between the clubs.”
The Ravens feel like the Bears should compensate them for the pick that they lost with the failed trade attempt.
“I’m disappointed in the Bears and the McCaskeys,” Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti told the Baltimore Sun. “It is, in my opinion, a deviation from their great legacy. They concluded that their heartfelt and admirable apology was sufficient for our loss.
“All of us at the Ravens strongly disagree.”
But Chicago isn’t budging and doesn’t see fault in how the situation played itself out.
“We spoke to the Ravens about it, and we spoke to the league about it,” said George McCaskey. “We made a mistake. We apologized for it. The bottom line, as I understand it, the Ravens got the player they were wanting, and we got the player we were wanting.”
Can’t we all just get along and move on?
There is a report coming out of Boston University that says former Chicago Bear Dave Duerson had a brain disease that is associated with repeated concussions back when he committed suicide in February.
The Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy at the BU School of Medicine announced on Monday afternoon that Duerson suffered from chronic traumatic encephalopathy, the same disease found in at least 20 other deceased NFL players.
The Bears safety shot himself in the chest back on Feb. 18 and left a note requesting that his brain be donated to research. Duerson was just 50.
After 11 o’clock last night, President Barack Obama announced in a televised address to the nation that Osama Bin Laden is dead.
“Tonight I can report to the American people and the world that the United States has conducted an operation that killed Osama bin Laden,” Obama said during brief remarks at the White House.
His death was the result of a U.S. operation launched today in Abbottabad, Pakistan, against a compound where bin Laden was believed to be hiding, according to U.S. intelligence. After a firefight, a small team of American forces killed bin Laden and took possession of his body, the president said. Source
The news sent jubilation around the United States, including the Chicago Bears organization.
Here’s what some Bears had to say:
Rod Wilson: “What kills me is when something good or historical happens, you still have something negative to say.”
Chris Harris: “Big shout-out to the troops; the men and women who put countless hours, days and years into this mission. God Bless you, and to all the fallen troops, RIP.”
Devin Hester: “Is it me or is it really hard to believe Osama bin Laden is dead?”
Today is indeed a great day to be an American.