Miller: Bears need "Homeland Security"

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Miller: Bears need "Homeland Security"

How many clichd times do we hear professional athletes say I dont want to be the guy to let the team down? In a weeks span, two former Dallas Cowboy players have basically derailed any realistic shot of the Bears making the playoffs. In my opinion, they may have also answered some recent questions concerning Bears GM Jerry Angelos consideration of retirement. One Cowboy who the Bears signed is veteran running back, Marion Barber, who doesnt know his main assignment when executing the four minute offense. The other would be Bears wide receiver Sam Hurd who allegedly spent more time lining up drug deals than any effort exerted playing for the Bears. Honestly, you cant make this stuff up!

It was absolutely astonishing to witness the lack of awareness that Barber displayed last Sunday against the Broncos because I love the guy! He has always played physical and was a devastating blocker in Dallas on third downs, but the bigger question is why would Dallas draft the running back position on three different occasions with Barber on the roster? Just to remind Bears fans, Dallas drafted Felix Jones in the first round of 2008's draft, Tashard Choice also in 2008, and DeMarco Murray this past April. Dallas had already drafted Julius Jones in 2004 in the first round out of Notre Dame, the same year they drafted Barber. Why draft the position subsequently that high when Jones and Barber should have been coming into their prime?

Hurd is a completely different situation. I can speak from experience that you can be in the same building as a co-workerplayer and be shocked with what their life entails. I have had the opportunity to play with some great players. One of them was running back Bam Morris, prior to his stint with the Bears; I played with him in Pittsburgh. I believe head coach Bill Cowher, my teammates, and the Steelers organization loved the player, but hated the baggage. Bam ultimately spent time in federal prison for his transgressions. Bam has since come clean acknowledging how many teammates, coaches, and organizations he let down, but why is history repeating itself?

It begs the bigger question currently facing the NFL and its 32 organizations about protecting the brandshield of the NFL. Every team conducts its business differently concerning background checks, medical competitive advantage, and adding inherent risk which explains the success or failure of every NFL team. Organizations will take note of Hurd realizing they need to do even more.

The timeline suggests the Bears honestly did not know the transgressions of Hurd. This is with the help of former FBI agents employed by the NFL. But I will say this: the team may want to employ a higher integrated power specifically related to protecting the Bears brand so this debacle does not repeat itself again. Homeland Security! I will have to do more research on how Homeland Security is affiliated with the NFL, but I do know of universities that have been so proactive with Homeland Security in terms of background checks concerning employees; background checks so in-depth that on game day, they know every outsourced employee in their stadium. Many were denied. How do the Bears not know everything about an employee that is within the building seven days a week? Better yet, why is the organization letting the team and coaching staff down? Too clich, I guess.

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Bears' Josh Sitton finds fourth Pro Bowl most meaningful yet

Bears' Josh Sitton finds fourth Pro Bowl most meaningful yet

Sometimes the passage of time makes things a little sweeter.
 
Josh Sitton had been selected to three Pro Bowls while a member of the Green Bay Packers. At the end of training camp last year, the Packers abruptly released Sitton.
 
On Monday, Sitton was named to his fourth Pro Bowl, replacing former Green Bay teammate T.J. Lang. At age 30, this Pro Bowl was special.
 
"It's a great honor, always a goal of mine every year," Sitton said via conference call. "It's an honor to me and to the guys I play with, the guys helping me along...
 
"I would say just the age thing, the older you get, the more you appreciate them. You can't play at a high level in this game so the whole age thing makes it even more special."

[SHOP: Gear up Bears fans!]
 
When the Bears were forced to go into Week 1 of the 2015 season with a shuffled offensive line, the situation wasn't ideal; Pro Bowl guard Kyle Long moving to right tackle as a hurried fill when neither Charles Leno nor Jordan Mills were an answer.
 
The 2016 season also began with an unexpected and significant shuffle, but this time with one that immediately bumped up the quality of the line. GM Ryan Pace moved quickly to sign Sitton after his release by the Green Bay Packers, a step that bumped rookie Cody Whitehair from guard to center, where he earned All-Rookie honors from the Pro Football Writers Association of America.
 
"It was challenging for sure," Sitton said. "It was something I haven't had to do for quite some time but it was stimulating being thrown in and needing to learn the offense in four or five days."
 
Sitton, who signed a three-year contract worth as much as $21 million with $10 million guaranteed, joins rookie running back Jordan Howard as the two Bears scheduled to play in the Pro Bowl. He started 12 of 13 games in 2016, missing time with an ankle injury but being a strong presence in a line that ranked No. 8 in sack percentage while getting Howard to a franchise-record 1,313 rushing yards even with a rookie center and a group that never played a game together before Week 1 in Houston against the Texans.
 
"I think we can only get better, now that we'll have an offseason together," Sitton said. "We'll see what we can do."