15 on 6: Keeping the eye on the prize

15 on 6: Keeping the eye on the prize

Saturday, Jan. 1, 2011
11:30 PM

By Jim Miller
CSNChicago.com

Ouch!

It is midnight and I just got home after coveringwatching a slaughter for Michigan State radio as Alabama crushed my beloved Michigan State Spartans 49-7. A ton of NFL scouts were present including representation by the Chicago Bears. It's just a hunch, but the Bears could not go wrong with selecting any player from the University of Alabama. I don't think my eyes or the score were deceiving of just how much football talent is present at Alabama. What's crazy is all their first round talent are underclassmen. That team has ludicrous talent. I am not going out on a limb declaring them National Champs already for next year. Book it!

Eye on the prize

Things have changed rather quickly concerning today's game against the division rival Green Bay Packers. It all started last Tuesday with the Philadelphia Eagles losing to the Minnesota Vikings. It really was an improbable victory by the Vikings as their season is over. Give former Chicago Bear and interim head coach,Leslie Frazier, a ton of credit. His head coaching fortunes come down to a rookie WR playing QB, Joe Webb. If Leslie prepares the young signal caller for another week, Leslie will have earned himself a head coaching job. The Vikings victory secured the Bears the number two seed in the NFC along with the coveted bye week. It has also altered the coarse for Lovie Smith on the importance of the most storied rivalry in all of football. Does Lovie play his starters?

Lovie will give the first stringers minimal time in today's game as it is now meaningless. He will have them prepare as they will play the whole game and the players must respond with great effort. If it's not displayed, their reward will be to play a little longer. I would suggest they give great effort because after all, it is the Packers who they could see down the road in the playoffs. The one caveat is Jay Cutler. Dom Capers, Green Bay's talented defensive coordinator, will be instructed to bring every blitz possible. They are playing to just stay alive and the sooner Cutler is out of the game, the better. It's a tough call for Lovie whether to play Jay at all. I would start Jay to keep him in the fine groove he's in, but he would be a quick hook. If Jay gets injured, the Bears Super Bowl hopes are lost. The Bears Division Title is already won. Play it smart and keep your eye on the prize. That's how to win an NFL Championship.

Jim Miller, an 11-year former NFL quarterback, is a Comcast SportsNet Bears analyst who can be seen each week on U.S. Cellular Bears Postgame Live. Miller, who spent five seasons with the Bears, analyzes current Chicago QB Jay Cutler in his "15 on 6" blog on CSNChicago.com and can be followed on Twitter @15miller.

Dowell Loggains' energy suiting Mike Glennon, Bears QBs well

Dowell Loggains' energy suiting Mike Glennon, Bears QBs well

As Bears quarterbacks begin learning Dowell Loggains’ offense, they’re also in a getting-to-know-you phase with each other. 

While it’s not Mike Glennon’s job to develop Mitch Trubisky — that falls on Loggains and Dave Ragone — there does need to be some level of harmony from Glennon to Trubisky to Mark Sanchez to Connor Shaw in this unit. Coach John Fox is no fan of locker room drama, after all. 

The energy Loggains brings to practice could help foster some of that unit-level cohesiveness. Whether it’s through practice competitions or his spirited coaching style, it’s helped keep things lively as the Bears move through their offseason program. 

“He does a great job,” Glennon said. “He brings a lot of energy and he’s got that young personality that a lot of guys respond well to. It’s been great having him around along with a lot of other players and coaches, but he definitely does a great job bringing that energy.”

Shaw is the only holdover in the Bears’ quarterback room from last year, and even then, he suffered a season-ending injury during preseason play in August. The new guys are a 27-year-old signed to a $45 million contract, the No. 2 pick in the draft and a veteran who started two AFC Championship games. 

Good chemistry in the quarterback room doesn’t guarantee success, but it’s something that probably can’t hurt, especially with the development of Trubisky underway. That the Bears have been emphatic in defining Glennon’s role — it’s his year — set the right tone, Ragone said earlier this month. Adding Loggains’ energy in practice seems to have had a positive effect already, too. 

“With three new guys, they've worked very hard in the classroom and now finally we get to take it out on the field, so they're pretty enthusiastic themselves,” coach John Fox said. “And that's just Dowell's style.

“We have some pretty good guys in that room. Different levels of experience that have been there before and done it and that dynamic as far as being a good teammate and the relationship you have with that so I think that's why they handle it so well.”

Bears Talk Podcast: How this is the year of Mike Glennon, NFL rule changes

mikeglennonpresser.jpg

Bears Talk Podcast: How this is the year of Mike Glennon, NFL rule changes

On this edition of the Bears Talk Podcast, Chris Boden, John “Moon” Mullin and J.J. Stankevitz break down quarterback Mike Glennon’s first OTA workout and his session with the media.

Later, the guys discuss the Glennon/Mitch Trubisky dynamic, how the roster could look and the latest on the recent NFL rule changes, including tweaks to overtime and touchdown celebrations.

Listen to the full episode at this link or in the embedded player below: