I was all in favorof Bears GMPhil Emery spreading his wings and interviewing a wide variety of potential head coaches until I heard one name--Mike Singletary.Mike Singletary? Seriously? Singletary? I must have read that report wrong. Mike Singletary? This is giving me doubts. Everyone can't be a candidate, can they? If so, I'm throwing my name in the ring.I have some great playbooks; the Packers offfense from 1992-2000 and my man Mouse Davis' run-and-shoot plays certainly can get first downs, and Jay Cutler can still take his same amount of hits and sacks. I'll even keep the "Tampa 2"scheme and all the current defensive coaches. They want Mike Singletary? I can draw up plays and coverages, and know how to run meetings; something people in the NFL have told me thatSingletary cannot do. If you can't run a meeting or draw up plays, why should you be a head coach? Last year, I spoke with someone that was in the room with Singletaryfor an interview for avacant head coaching job a few years ago. These are interviews that typically take several hours and as most people know by now, are very thorough.10 minutes intothis interview the peopleundergoing the hiring process literallylooked at each other, baffled by what they heard and saw. They knew the man in front of them was far from capable or qualified for the job, andwere unsure how to proceed. He could noteven answer basic questions without referring to a huge binder of information thathe hadbrought with him. In San Francisco, members of his staff talked about how he embarrassed himself when he went to the board and tried to do any real coaching. I was told it became laughable. The stories are countless, so I wonder why is Phil Emery wasting his time? Have I been fooled? Have you? Who is really making the decisions at Halas Hall? Because noonewith any background on Singletary would truly consider him a candidate to be ahead coach. Not even at my beloved Pop Warner team. Mike Singletary?
The bromance of Jay Cutler and Brandon Marshall began in Denver when they were drafted together in 2006, and then shifted to Chicago in 2012 via a trade to complete the reunion.
The two instantly hit it off and developed a close relationship on and off the field, a large reason why the Bears acquired Marshall to help spark some old magic.
But things took a turn when Marshall was traded to the New York Jets last offseason.
Asked on Twitter if he misses his former quarterback, Marshall responded with a genuine answer:
Of course. https://t.co/1YEey1q9ky— Machine Marshall (@BMarshall) June 24, 2016
Tony Moeaki is coming home.
The Bears announced on Thursday that they have signed the former Wheaton Warrenville South standout.
Moeaki attended Bears minicamp on a tryout and impressed the coaching staff enough to secure a deal.
The 29-year-old Moeaki appeared in 11 games for the Atlanta Falcons last season and recorded three catches for 58 yards and a touchdown. Moeaki was originally selected by the Kansas City Chiefs in the third-round (93rd overall) of the 2010 NFL Draft out of Iowa. He has 91 receptions for 1,201 yards and six touchdowns in 48 career games.
Moeaki is expected to provide tight end depth and compete for a backup spot behind starter Zach Miller.
The Bears also announced the signing of defensive lineman Marquis Jackson, the twin brother of former Denver Broncos Super Bowl champion and current Jacksonville Jaguars defensive lineman Malik Jackson. Marquis Jackson entered the NFL in 2013 with the Minnesota Vikings as an undrafted free agent out of Portland State, but has not appeared in a regular-season NFL game.
In corresponding roster moves, the Bears waived defensive lineman Kenton Adeyemi and linebacker Don Cherry.
The Bears concluded their three-day mandatory minicamp on Thursday, ending on a short-term feel-good — coach John Fox canceling the last offseason practice before training camp starts on July 27.
“They’ve earned it,” Fox said with a tone that suggested a degree of satisfaction in what he’d seen at this point of his 15th NFL head coaching season. “I don’t just do that because I feel like it. They worked real hard. We had great participation and they worked extremely hard. They earned it.”
Positive beliefs are frequently easy to find this far in advance of games that matter. But within the work of the OTA’s and minicamp were “tells,” signs that the Bears clearly believe they are nothing like the squad that wobbled through four losses in its final five games to finish 6-10.
But how exactly DO the Bears look as their pre-camp work wraps up? Three answers to that question emerged over the past several weeks:
1. They really AREN’T the same team from a year ago, or even six months ago.
Fox is among those who maintain that big jumps occur from year one to year two for players, particularly young ones. But more than individual players make year-one-to-year-two leaps.
Fox’s Carolina Panthers improved from seven to 11 wins from his first to second seasons with them, reaching the Super Bowl in year two (2003). His Denver Broncos teams went from eight wins in Fox’s year-one (2011) to 13 in year two.
“It’s hard to predict what’s going to happen,” Fox said. “But I’m pleased with where we are this year. If I had to compare to something, it would be this time last year and I feel much better about where we are now than I did at this time a year ago.”
Easy to say, but consider: This time a year ago, six current starters on defense (Mitch Unrein, Lamarr Houston, Willie Young, Tracy Porter, Harold Jones-Quartey) were not practicing. Jones-Quartey and Unrein were not even Bears.
This time a year ago, Jared Allen was trying to be a linebacker. Brock Vereen was a starting safety. Eddie Goldman was out of shape and barely practicing. Kevin White was busy stress-fracturing his left leg. Jordan Mills was the starting right tackle.
Yes, Fox should feel “much better.”
2. Bears D is visibly “night and day from last year”
The 2015 Bears defense went into Week 17 last season with exactly one defensive lineman (Will Sutton) who’d been with the team going into training camp. The unit finished 29th allowing third-down conversions and 30th in interception rate, among other less-than-stellar indicators.
Through this minicamp, the practice field frequently echoed with whoops from a defense that had picked off a pass or knocked a football loose. Quarterback Jay Cutler was rarely intercepted through camp last year, a sign of what was to come under coordinator Adam Gase through the regular season. This year he has not had his way with the defense.
“Just going against them from my perspective, it seems like night and day from last year,” Cutler said. “Just going against these guys, it’s a much different group, much different group. They’re faster, they’re quicker and they’ve got a confidence about them. I think Vic [Fangio, defensive coordinator] really doing a good job of mixing it up and showing us different looks.
“They’re going to help us out, get some short fields, get some turnovers, put some pressure on us to do our job on offense.”
3. Meshing vets adamant: “We can accomplish a lot here.”
Simply bringing a bunch of even talented veterans assures absolutely nothing (insert Daniel Snyder joke here). The Bears experienced that when in 2014 they brought in Allen, Houston and Young, then saw the defense remain at epic lows as the Bears went from 8-8 to 5-11.
This offseason the Bears brought in two starting inside linebackers (Jerrell Freeman, Danny Trevathan) behind a massive defensive end (Akiem Hicks). On offense, Kyle Long returned to guard from tackle as the Bears signed workout-mate Bobby Massie, among other changes.
And the result of bringing together multiple players from winning programs has contributed to a palpable attitude adjustment to one that was conspicuously absent last year.
“I feel like, that you know a lot of people doubt [teammates] or some guys were hurt last year or this and that,” said Trevathan, a Super Bowl winner with Denver last season and who had his ring on display for teammates on Wednesday. “But you know, they're playing like they're hungry, with a chip on their shoulder. They're playing like they're hungry and that's what I'm used to and that's where you need to start.”
“Hungry” in June doesn’t necessarily mean wins in Fall. But a lack of hunger or shoulder-chip typically does point to looming problems, so the strong attitude the other way does count for something.
“There’s a lot of great talent here,” said Massie, a playoff veteran from the Arizona Cardinals under coach Bruce Arians. “And this team can accomplish a lot of good things. From the past team I’ve been with I see a lot of the things that we had with those past teams here. So we can accomplish a lot here.”