Bears' Davis spends free Saturday giving back

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Bears' Davis spends free Saturday giving back

Saturday, Nov. 20, 2010
2:54 p.m.

By John Mullin
CSNChicago.com
Im not sure what everybody does with a free Saturday in an NFL season but I really like what Rashied Davis was doing with his and where thats leading for some future Saturdays.

The Bears wideout was down in the city overseeing the real startup, the first day of programming, at Saturday Place, a special undertaking by Rashied and wife Dianna through their Rashied Davis Charities. Rashied was on hand for volunteer training and also the testing of 3rd-grade students drawn from several schools primarily on the near West Side.

Saturday Place is just that, a place where children see beyond their existing circumstances, acquire the knowledge and academic skills necessary, and understand obligations. Saturday Place will provide tutoring, to 3rd-graders now and hopefully expanding to include 4th-graders next year.

The goal, Rashied said, is helping with students who are working below grade, have them move to a level at or above grade, and give them the tools they need to be successful, including the discipline to study and do the things you have to.

The British School of Chicago has given a huge gift in the form of opening its building and equipment to Saturday Place and kids were buzzing around doing their tests, reading, trying out computers and, well, being kids on a Saturday. In their Place.

The British School has been unbelievable, Rashied said. Head Master Mike Horton was gracious enough to donate the use of the facility and thats been a tremendous help.

The next step is to review the tests and make assessments of the students levels and then to get to work. Were really excited to about it, Rashied said, and the kids are, too.

Rashieds own story defines inspirational, overcoming the horrors of losing his father at age 8 to a teenager with a gun, surviving the race riots that wracked Los Angeles in 1992 and avoiding the gang culture that ruled so much of his neighborhood. How he was shaped by family, education and athletics, as well as Dianna (vice president and executive director of their Charities) is worth a read in itself.

Theres a lot more going on. Check out the website at RashiedDavisCharities.org, which also has a venue for donations as well.

Jay Cutler is reportedly considering retirement

Jay Cutler is reportedly considering retirement

This is apparently the week of Jay Cutler news.

Reports surfaced earlier this week the Bears are pushing hard to find a trade partner for the enigmatic quarterback, though Ian Rapoport reported the organization informed Cutler in mid-January they were shopping him around.

It seems clear Cutler's time in Chicago has come to an end and an ensuing move is more of a formality at this point.

But apparently Cutler may not even suit up again...for ANY team.

Rapoport reported on NFL Network Wednesday night Cutler is mulling over retirement, even as he's healthy and working out now after shoulder surgery.

"There's no guarantee Cutler even plays in 2017, one of several veterans who are still considering whether they want to play or not play, retire, walk away. A lot of things at play here for Jay Cutler."

Host Dan Hellie immediately followed up, asking for clarification on the retirement part.

"It is a consideration; it's something he's confided in people," Rapoport said. "But Dan, I would say, it's not a surprise for quarterbacks this age. We've heard [Ben] Roethlisberger talk about it; we've heard Tony Romo talk about it. If it's not perfect, if he can't find the team he wants or the contract he wants, it's very easy for Jay Cutler to walk away."

Whoa.

Cutler, 33, has made more than $112 million in his 11-year career and is owed at least another $2 million in 2017, even if he's cut by the Bears.

Bears add another assistant coach to John Fox's staff

Bears add another assistant coach to John Fox's staff

John Fox and the Bears have added another assistant coach.

Zack Azzanni is leaving the University of Tennessee to become the Bears' new receivers coach.

Azzanni has been with Tennessee since 2013 as a receivers coach and passing game coordinator. Prior to that, he spent time at Wisconsin, Western Kentucky, Florida, Central Michigan and six seasons at Bowling Green.

Azzanni was on Urban Meyer's coaching staff at Bowling Green in 2001-02 and also coached Pittsburgh Steelers superstar receiver Antonio Brown at Central Michigan. Under Azzanni's tutelage at CMU from 2007-09, Brown totaled 305 receptions for 3,199 yards and 22 TDs, earning a sixth-round draft selection in 2010.

Curtis Johnson spent 2016 as his first season in the role of Bears' wide receivers coach, but announced he was leaving after the Senior Bowl to take a job with the New Orleans Saints.

It's unknown if Azzanni will get a chance to coach Alshon Jeffery (who is currently a free agent) but the incoming coach will have an important job in molding young receivers like Kevin White and Cameron Meredith.

The Bears also announced the additions of assistant coaches Brandon Staley and Derius Swinton II Wednesday morning:

Staley will replace Clint Hurtt as outside linebackers coach and Swinton will be the assistant special teams coach under Jeff Rodgers.

Swinton is reprising his role he held on the Bears coaching staff in 2015 before leaving to take a promotion with the San Francisco 49ers special teams. 

Hurtt left the Bears to take a position as the defensive line coach with the Seattle Seahawks. Staley spent last season as the defensive coordinator at Division-III John Carroll University, the alma mater of New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels and Hall of Fame coach Don Shula.