Miller: Common sense needed in Toradol discussion

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Miller: Common sense needed in Toradol discussion

There has been much discussion concerning Bears star middle linebacker Brian Urlachers interview with Andrea Kremer on HBOs Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel. It was eye-opening for me as a former player to learn the news about the magic potion shot Toradol. I, along with Brian, and many other NFL players took the shot unaware of its medical risks. Obviously, news of Toradols destructive nature on a player joints, kidney, liver, and stomach are alarming. I have a few thoughts since digesting the news and thinking about it.

I have discussed this topic before on SiriusXM NFL radio. I personally place this topic in the category of player safety. All parties involved share responsibility concerning medications players ingestinject to perform on Sundays. The NFL, teams, team training staffs, team doctors, and players all share responsibility for players to make an informed decision when they elect to take powerful drugs. As a player, you are aware there are some inherent risks playing and are preached to at nauseum, through the NFLs drug policy, that you are responsible for what goes into your body. But I also believe the NFL and organizations are culpable for informing players as well when it comes to their safety. Specifically, when it comes to powerful medications injected into their bodies.

Certain teams staffs are better at communicating information than others and the NFL does conduct an annual doctor convention. This is a meeting through the NFL where all team doctors, trainers and staffs get together to discuss safety along with any moral, ethical responsibilities. Now whether they adhere to them is quite another discussion, but the NFL and clubs do conduct them.

I know it seems shocking to many to hear Urlacher acknowledge he will continue taking Toradol injections. But, for the record, this needs to be calmed down somewhat. Let me explain it this way. If you get a headache, you take an aspirin. Do you really know what is in an aspirin? Or how it can help or hurt your body? Most of us do not; we just know it takes our headache away. It is really the same thing. When I took my first Toradol shot before a game, I questioned the doctor as to what it does. The answer I received seemed reasonable and Toradol got me through some pinches with injuries like it did that particular day. Players are NOT receiving injections of Toradol everyday! Toradol is a tool utilized on game day enabling a player to perform his craft. Some players will never do it, some need it weekly and others like me would pick and choose occasions where it needed to be utilized.

I am not a doctor nor am I pretending to preach from the pulpit. But I think we can all inject a little common sense into this conversation. Common sense is something very rarely used even by most doctors' standards in moderation. There are risks and there are hazards to many demanding jobs like policeman, fireman, military and definitely playing professional football.

Bears' best rookies will have another learning curve

Bears' best rookies will have another learning curve

There's a sense of irony and, to a certain degree, concern about what changes the Bears' coaching staff has undergone.

Think of the best of Ryan Pace's 2016 rookie class: Leonard Floyd, Cody Whitehair, and Jordan Howard. They were brought along under the position group tutelage of outside linebackers coach Clint Hurtt, offensive line coach Dave Magazu and running backs coach Stan Drayton. The latter was the first to depart, shortly after the season ended, to return to the collegiate ranks on Texas' new staff.

He's been replaced with former 49ers and Bills offensive coordinator Curtis Modkins (also serving as that position coach in Detroit, Buffalo, Arizona and Kansas City). Howard certainly adapted to the NFL game well, more than anyone expected, as the NFL's second-leading rusher. One would think Drayton played a part in that.

Longtime John Fox assistant Magazu was also let go after the season despite the impressive move of second-round pick Whitehair to center the week of the season opener after Josh Sitton was signed following his release by Green Bay. Whitehair was sold as a "quick study" following his selection out of Kansas State, where he was a four-year starter at three different positions (but not center).

[SHOP: Gear up Bears fans!]

Like Howard, he wound up making the All-Rookie team, but whether he remains in the middle of the line or not, he'll be getting his orders now from Jeremiah Washburn.

Rounding out the trio of All-Rookie selections was Floyd, who was brought along by Hurtt. He impressed Fox enough to be kept around from Marc Trestman's staff, and moved from defensive line to outside linebackers.

That's where he assisted Willie Young in morphing to a foreign role, yet still managing 14 sacks over the last two seasons. The Bears have yet to name a replacement for Hurtt, who's joined the Seahawks in taking over one of their strengths in recent years, the defensive line.

These three were already good, and the jewels of last year's draft. But if they're to grow and ascend into impact contributors if and when this team becomes a regular playoff contender, it'll come from new faces, new voices in their respective classrooms and position groups.

Bears announce additions to John Fox's coaching staff

Bears announce additions to John Fox's coaching staff

The Bears announced Monday several additions to John Fox's coaching staff in 2017.

Roy Anderson has been hired as the assistant defensive backs coach, Curtis Modkins has been named the new running backs coach and Jeremiah Washburn is the new offensive line coach. The team also announced that outside linebackers coach Clint Hurtt's contract was not renewed.

[SHOP: Gear up Bears fans!]

Anderson was the assistant defensive backs coach for the San Francisco 49ers last season, and spent his previous seven years with the Indianapolis Colts (2012-15) and Baltimore Ravens (2009-11). He replaces Sam Garnes.

Modkins has 22 years of coaching experience, and also spent the 2016 season with the 49ers as the team's offensive coordinator. His previous stops include the Detroit Lions (2013-15), Buffalo Bills (2010-12), Arizona Cardinals (2009) and Kansas City Chiefs (2008). Modkins replaces Stan Drayton.

Washburn served as the Miami Dolphins assistant offensive line coach last season, and spent his previous 14 years with the Lions (2009-15), Ravens (2003-08) and Carolina Panthers (2002). He replaces Dave Magazu.