Chicago Bears

Bears Notebook: Is Vick sackable? Oh yes

321768.jpg

Bears Notebook: Is Vick sackable? Oh yes

Thursday, Nov. 25, 2010
1:34 PM

By John Mullin
CSNChicago.com

Bears practice ended Thursday with a group celebratory roar as Lovie Smith sent his players to their home Thanksgiving training tables rather than Halas Hall fare.

We have so much to be thankful for, Smith said. Our football team, it seemed like this day, you dont have to give anyone a pep talk. Everybody is excited, cant wait to get the practice in and then get home and eat a little bit and enjoy some time with family.

And if Smith knew which of his charges was the teams No. 1 trencherman or gourmand, he was about to give the player up. As far as which Bear was likely the biggest eater:

You look at the size, and thatll give you a start, Smith said. I would say one of our offensive linemen, without singling out one.

Dirty guy I?

Philadelphia guard Todd Herremans was assessed a 5,000 fine for a chop block against New York Giants defensive tackle Chris Canty. Herremans admitted that he was unaware that Canty was engaged with Eagles center Mike McGlynn but Canty was not mollified.

Canty told Herremans after the game, Theres no place for that, no excuse for what you did, according to the Newark Star-Ledger. Herremans maintained on CSNPhilly.com that deep down he knows himself not to be a dirty player.

Dirty guy II?

With Mother Nature hosing down Soldier Field a bit on Wednesday and Thursday, the state of the turf will be closely watched. The temperature at game time is expected to be in the mid-40s, not the sub-zero wind chill that helped take the heart out of Michael Vick in the Bears 16-3 pasting administered in 2005. No more rain is forecast before Sunday.

Regardless, Philadelphia coach Andy Reid is more than familiar with directing offenses in Chicago. Reid was an assistant with the Green Bay Packers during the 1990s when Brett Favre and the Packers were dominating the Bears, often in Soldier Field. His Philadelphia teams are 5-0 in Soldier Field, plus once in Champaign during the Bears transplant season, so inclement doesnt necessarily favor the Bears.

I dont know if this is a good thing or a bad thing but I feel like Ive played there a million times, not only with the Eagles, but with Green Bay, Reid said. The turf is a little soft but what you lose in footing, when you land its a good cushion, so youve got to look at the positive and the negative of it and make sure you keep your shoulders over your toes at all positions and make sure youve got a good base.

Sackable? Oh yes.

At last, an indisputable bit of evidence that the whole football world may be concerned about Michael Vick, but there also is something, or someone, that Vick is truly concerned about.

The New York Giants didnt beat Vick and the Eagles but New York defensive end Justin Tuck did sack Vick three times in last Sundays game. And Julius Peppers was named NFC defensive player of the week after his three sacks of Miami quarterback Tyler Thigpen so.

I know what Julius can do, Vick said. I played against him about six years straight in Atlanta, always had competitive games and hes always a guy Ive tried to stay away from. So it doesnt surprise me that hes turning his game around right now. We knew it was just a matter of time.

Sick bay

The Bears continue to hold a health advantage with an unusual full-participation by all players at practice Thursday. The Eagles are still practicing without cornerback Asante Samuel (knee) and defensive end Juqua Parker (hip), and they had an added concern with run-stopping defensive tackle Antonio Dixon (abdomen) and starting right guard Nick Cole (knee) limited in practice.

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.

Why Ben Roethlisberger's perspective on young QBs (like Mitchell Trubisky) is worth keeping in mind

Why Ben Roethlisberger's perspective on young QBs (like Mitchell Trubisky) is worth keeping in mind

If Mitchell Trubisky takes over as the Bears’ starting quarterback this year and has some success, keep Ben Roethlisberger’s perspective in mind: It’ll take a couple of years before he’s solidly established in the NFL. 

Roethlisberger said even after his rookie year — in which he won all 13 regular season games he started — he still was facing defensive looks he hadn’t seen before in Year 2 and 3 as a pro. So saying someone is and will be one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL after a productive first season is, for Roethlisberger, too early. 

“I think it takes a couple years,” Roethlisberger said. “That’s why I’m always slow to send too much praise or anoint the next great quarterback after Year 1. I think people in the media and the 'professionals' in some of these big sports networks are so quick to anoint the next great one or say that they’re going to be great; this, that and the other. Let’s wait and see what happens after two to three years; after defenses understand what you’re bringing; you’re not a surprise anymore. 

“I think it takes a few years until you can really get that title of understanding being great or even good, because you see so many looks. In Year 2 and 3, you’re still seeing looks and can act like a rookie.”

The flip side to this would be not panicking if Trubisky struggles when he eventually becomes the Bears’ starting quarterback. For all the success he had during preseason play, most of it came against backup and third string defenses that hadn’t done much gameplanning for him. Defensive coordinators inevitably will scheme to make things more difficult for a rookie quarterback with normal week of planning, and it may take Trubisky a little while to adjust to seeing things he hasn't before. 

“They’re not going to line up in a 4-3 or a 3-4 base defense, they’re going to throw different looks at you, different blitzes to try and confuse you,” Roethlisberger said. “The confusion between the ears part is really one of the biggest keys to it.”

The “it” Roethlisberger referred to there is success as a rookie. The former 11th overall pick was lucky enough to begin his NFL career with a strong ground game headlined by Hall of Fame running back Jerome Bettis, a balanced receiving corps featuring Hines Ward, Plaxico Burress and Antwaan Randel El and a defense that led the NFL in points allowed (15.7/game). Trubisky, as the Bears’ roster currently stands, won’t be afforded that same level of support. 

Roethlisberger, though, had a chance to meet and work out with Trubisky before the draft (the two quarterbacks share the same agent) and, for what it's worth, came away impressed with 

“I thought he was a tremendous athlete,” Roethlisberger said. “I thought he could throw the ball. I thought when he got out of the pocket and made throws on the run, his improvising. I got to watch some of his college tape. Just really impressed with the athleticism. The ease of throwing the ball; it just looked easy to him when he was on the run, when it wasn’t supposed to be super easy. So I thought that those were the most impressive things that I got to see; obviously not sitting in a meeting room and knowing his smarts or things like that, but just the athleticism.”