Bears mourn passing of VP Tim McCaskey

Bears mourn passing of VP Tim McCaskey

Sunday, Jan. 30, 2011
Posted 7:59 p.m. Updated 8:50 p.m.

By John Mullin
CSNChicago.com

Sad news out of the Bears late Sunday, that Tim McCaskey, second-oldest of Ed and Virginias 11 children, had died of cancer.

Tim was sick for the past 17 months and somehow the Bears light is just a little bit dimmer tonight with his passing. Tim was a character, a certified character, and I think his default setting was imp, with a laugh and laugh lines that were signature.

So, a story he shared with me, one that was happening almost exactly 25 years ago:

After the Bears won Super Bowl XX, Michael McCaskey was celebrating with everyone else afterwards. Trouble was, Michael was being your basic older brother, had the Lombardi Trophy, and he wasnt letting it get too far out of hand. Tim wanted a piece of that action.

So Tim waited til Michael had to put the trophy down to use the rest room. Gone. Tim spirited it away behind some curtains for some pictures with his family. Michael was frantic searching for the lost Lombardi Trophy.

When Tim was done, he poked his head out through the curtains to be sure the coast was clear. He spied a backup player walking by and called him over.

Do you know me? Tim asked the player.

No, the player answered.

Good! Tim said, quickly thrust the trophy through the curtains and into the hands of the slack-jawed player, and ducked back behind the curtains.

That was Tim. The imp.

My feelings go out to Virginia McCaskey tonight. Our children arent supposed to pre-decease us, and this has to have been awfully painful for her, and for the rest of the family.

Tim was dedicated and took great pride in working for his familys business, the team said in a statement. He was proud to be part of the Chicago Bears family, and to him it was family.

Despite battling cancer over the past 17 months, Tim never allowed the illness to dampen the spirit and sense of humor he was known for at Halas Hall.

Tim, first and foremost , was a fan as passionate, loyal, critical, analytical, committed and devoted a Bears fan as there ever was, said the McCaskey family. The tenacity and dignity with which he fought this dreaded disease is an inspiration to all of us.

Tim was named to his vice president position in 1993 after a four-year, part-time affiliation with the club. He spent 18 years working for IMC Fertilizer Inc. and its predecessor along with a seven-year span with Ernst & Young prior to joining the Bears. He is a graduate of Notre Dame High School and Notre Dame University.

Tim is survived by his four children, eight grandchildren, 10 siblings and Virginia.

John "Moon" Mullin is CSNChicago.com's Bears Insider, and appears regularly on Bears Postgame Live and Chicago Tribune Live. Follow Moon on Twitter for up-to-the-minute Bears information.

Want to be in on Bears QB deliberations? 'Look at the film'

Want to be in on Bears QB deliberations? 'Look at the film'

Back in 1992 the Dallas Cowboys were in draft deliberations around the No. 17 spot of the first round, looking for upgrades on defense. A scout made a suggestion that they target Ohio State defensive end Alonzo Spellman, one of the most physically imposing (6-4, 280 pounds) players and best athletes in that draft.
 
Coach Jimmy Johnson responded, "Tell me about the production."
 
Came back the answer: Three years at OSU, nine total sacks.
 
"Oh, please!" Johnson scoffed, calling in cornerback Kevin Smith and leaving Spellman to the Bears at No. 22. Spellman had several respectable seasons but never more than 8.5 sacks in nine NFL seasons.
 
As investment advisers counsel, past performance is not necessarily a predictor of future results. But past performance can be, and an axiom in NFL personnel rooms is, look at the film.
 
CSNChicago.com is doing that as the NFL Scouting Combine approaches (Feb. 29) along with free agency and the start of the league year and its trading window. It becomes an increasingly relevant exercise to look at the intricacies behind some of the key players and positions the Bears will be addressing through the upcoming weeks. CSNChicago.com previously looked at the need to evaluate quarterbacks from the intangible standpoints first, then the measurables.
 
Using Jay Cutler as an object lesson for how immense physical skills have questionable correlations to immense NFL performance, a look at one aspect of quarterback "film" warrants more attention than the measurables that command a disproportionate share of attention and scrutiny.
 
Ball security.
 
It has been Cutler's single biggest issue through his eight Bears seasons, was a reason why coaches once wanted to stay with Josh McCown instead of returning to Cutler following a Cutler injury absence, and why Brian Hoyer played his way into prominence in the discussion of 2017 Bears plans. Adam Gase went from offensive coordinator to hottest head-coach prospect in no small measure because he managed Cutler into better ball security.

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But the point here is less Cutler – expected to be traded or released within the near future – than the level of ball security in the available options beyond Hoyer.
 
So, look at the film:
 
The widespread drooling over a possible trade with New England for Jimmy Garoppolo. The best thing in Garoppolo's favor is that he has been a Patriots backup to Tom Brady. Garoppolo, drawing distant comparisons to a Matt Flynn, Matt Cassel and other past experience-lite quarterback options, has thrown 94 NFL passes without an interception, which is impressive until matched against Hoyer's 200 last season without an interception, for comparison purposes.
 
But evaluating Garoppolo against the coming chief draft competition – DeShone Kizer, Mitch Trubisky, Deshaun Watson – suggests comparing apples to apples, meaning college ball security, since that's all the kids have to this point.
 
Garoppolo vaulted up draft boards (to New England's second round) on the strength of an Eastern Illinois senior season with 53 touchdown passes vs. nine interceptions, against chiefly FCS opposition. But in his first three seasons Garoppolo threw for 65 touchdowns and was intercepted 42 times.
 
Kizer? In his two Notre Dame seasons, 47 touchdowns, 19 interceptions.
 
Trubisky? 30 touchdowns last season, six interceptions. Including his two years as a North Carolina backup, 41 touchdowns, 10 interceptions.
 
Watson? 90 touchdowns, 32 interceptions in three Clemson seasons, the last two as Tigers starter.
 
Observations:
 
Garoppolo put in four college seasons, but has a little of the Trubisky/Flynn/Cassel, one-year-wonder feel. 
 
Kizer and Watson have more starting seasons, but the Watson intangible of getting his team to two national-championship games speaks to another level of "intangible."
 
GM Ryan Pace will incorporate heavy input from coach John Fox and coordinator Dowell Loggains. Coaches love ball security. Garoppolo? Watson? Trubisky? Kizer?
 
Look at the film.

BearsTalk Podcast: The risk and reward for Bears in trading for Jimmy Garoppolo

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USA TODAY

BearsTalk Podcast: The risk and reward for Bears in trading for Jimmy Garoppolo

In this edition of the BearsTalk podcast, CSN's Chris Boden, Sun-Times Bears beat writer Patrick Finley, and CSNChicago.com's Scott Krinch discuss the Bears' approach to the two-week window opening to franchise-tag Alshon Jeffery again, the risk/reward in trading for Jimmy Garoppolo or drafting a QB (and how high to draft one), Scott's 2.0 mock draft, plus the workers' compensation controversy the team found itself in last week and the club's decision to raise ticket prices.

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