Monthly Archives: June 2011
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.