Miller: New Bears uniforms don't mess with tradition

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Miller: New Bears uniforms don't mess with tradition

Many NFL fans have been excited about Nike taking over for Reebok as the official outfitter for NFL teams. College fans have known for years about the cutting-edge looks and styles Nike has provided their favorite college football programs. Nikes combat uniforms have been all the rage amongst college fans but new age, cutting-edge looks have kept the game fresh and intriguing.

The most notable new-age look would be from the University of Oregon. Nike has never made duck feathers look more fashionable, almost flapping in air, when placed on shoulder pads. Football fans in general tune into Ducks games just to see what uniforms they will be wearing that week.

I dont think Bear fans have anything to get excited or worried about concerning their traditional uniforms. It's how the McCaskeys like it. Tradition is sacred around Halas Hall and the Bears hold some of the richest history in the NFL. Traditions that have been passed on from George Halas to daughter Virginia McCaskey that will not be compromised.

George McCaskey looks to be the latest family member in a position of authority since being elected as Bears board chairman. New companies selling the NFL logo will lose any delusions of grandeur concerning any new marks or changes because NFL teams wont be straying from sacred traditions. Other traditional teams like the Steelers (Rooney family), Chiefs (Hunt family) or Giants (Mara family) know their traditional classic throwback style has national appeal and impact. It sells itself.

Uniform changes have to be approved by the team and the NFL. Nike knows it wouldnt be welcome disrupting the apple cart by trying to convince teams to change their looks. The NFL already sold jerseys without Nike -- Nike just happened to be the highest bidder to win the contract over any other outfitter.

Speaking of traditions or lack thereof; did you see the Seattle Seahawks unveiling of their new age Nike uniforms today (photos here)? When you dont have tradition or history to sell, you have to find something to package the fans. I suggest the Seahawks win or they could become the laughingstock of the league looking like that.

Bears-49ers: And the winner is?

Bears-49ers: And the winner is?

Both teams are on track to be drafting in the top five, and the inevitable “the loser is the winner” talk has made its rounds, meaning that a defeat moves the loser higher in the draft order. The reality is that neither team will tank the game for draft position.

But the chances of two woeful teams playing well are slim. The 49ers won in Week 1 and then have lost 10 straight. The Bears are trying to avoid losing four straight for the first time under John Fox.

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Quarterback Colin Kaepernick burst upon the NFL scene in 2012 with a blowout of the Bears in his first start. He has regained his starting job in San Francisco and is still one of the prototypical mobile quarterbacks.

But the 49ers are the NFL’s worst defense in both points and yardage allowed, and they are the worst rushing defense in the league. Expect the Bears to try exploiting that and give quarterback Matt Barkley a balanced run-pass game plan.

Prediction: Bears 24, 49ers 20

Bears hoping to get Kyle Fuller back in DB mix sooner rather than later

Bears hoping to get Kyle Fuller back in DB mix sooner rather than later

Kyle Fuller was one of the seeming fixtures in the Bears’ defense as it transitioned from the 4-3 of old to the 3-4 of Vic Fangio. And he may be again, the Bears hope very soon, as he has begun practicing after months on injured reserve following knee surgery in August.

The Bears could place Fuller on the active roster as late as Saturday after he practiced all three days this week. “He made it three days in practice, no setbacks,” said coach John Fox. “He seems to be adapting pretty well. He has another practice [Saturday] and we don’t have to make a decision until 3 p.m. because of where he is on the roster. We’ll evaluate that after tomorrow.”

Were Fuller to return — restoring one projected 2016 starter to a defense that has been forced to field five different starting secondaries in the span of 11 games — he may be phased back in with a managed number of snaps, as other certain other players returning from injury have been.

But getting Fuller back projects to be an instant upgrade for a defensive backfield among the NFL’s worst at producing takeaways.

“We all play different positions so we’re kind of used to it, people moving in and out over the year,” said Bryce Callahan, who was initially ticketed for nickel duty as the No. 3 cornerback this season but has been pressed into service starting at cornerback in four games.

“It’s always good to get someone like Kyle back.”

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The Bears would need to weigh what workload Fuller could handle vs. roster needs based on only having 46 players active on game day.

“You’re always a little bit cautious because it does affect your roster,” Fox said. “But if you feel like he makes you better, that’s a move you make. Now we’re just working through him medically, durability-wise, and how much he can play.”

Jay Cutler (shoulder) was officially declared out and is headed for surgery on Saturday, ultimately to injured reserve.

Other availability questions include receiver Eddie Royal (toe), guard Josh Sitton (ankle) and safety Adrian Amos (ankle), all questionable. Linebacker Willie Young (knee) did not practice but linebacker Leonard Floyd was able to practice on a limited basis although his status in the concussion protocol will not be known until closer to game time.