Chicago Bears

Lovie Not the Only Problem, Angelo Should Agree

Lovie Not the Only Problem, Angelo Should Agree

Monday, December 21st

This is what losing does to a football team. I am sure you all witnessed the build up to this point two weeks ago. Brian Urlacher makes some statements to Michael Silver that were printed on Yahoosports.com. They were candid, honest, and on point. Lance Briggs made some statements this past week that were honest, on point, and he said nothing which one would disagree. Head Coach Lovie Smith, finally, made some statements about this football team that are truthful and should be taken to heart. You only wish he would have made them earlier in the year. Maybe it would have sparked some emotion from his team and organization. Lovie's comments should not be misconstrued as a shot at just the players, but also at General Manager, Jerry Angelo. Lovie basically insinuated in his postgame presser that players are in the right position, but just not good enough to make plays. He clearly took a shot at Jay Cutler and his decision making. We must remember that Lovie was not on-board with the trade for Jay from the start. He constantly praised Kyle Orton, and knew a move at the QB position would effect his locker room.

A few weeks ago, Jerry shot the first arrow at Lovie's staff by stating " he was concerned why players were not farther along in their development ". This was Lovie's opportunity to respond and although short, enough can be extrapolated from his statements, that you clearly get his stance. A lot of moves are made above the head coach that affect the head coach in undermining his ability. I do not think Lovie Smith was consulted on giving Jay Cutler 30 million in new money to a player who was clearly under performing. If that is the case, I should have played worse during my Bears career. Moves to acquire DE Gaines Adams from Tampa, hopefully will be fruitful, but it is looking more and more like Jerry got taken in the deal or even more concerning, pro player scouting is feeding Jerry very poor evaluations for him to make decisions. They missed on Orlando Pace, Frank Omiyale, and trading Safety Chris Harris to Carolina. Now it looks bad for Jerry by paying Jay new money when he should have proven himself in this offense before ever being rewarded.

Everyone has a hand in this. Upper Management, Coaches, and players for not executing game plans. Lovie finally set the tone, and the gloves are off. Let's see how the team responds to his statements next Monday night. The McCaskey family will have the ultimate decision in the evaluation process. Their decisions can go in a lot of different directions. Lovie is owed 11 million dollars and is capable of coaching talented teams to the Super Bowl. Let's not forget, most of that talent was here before Jerry or Lovie.

What Mitchell Trubisky learned in that pre-draft workout with Ben Roethlisberger

What Mitchell Trubisky learned in that pre-draft workout with Ben Roethlisberger

Ben Roethlisberger came away from his pre-draft workout with Mitchell Trubisky — the two share the same agent — impressed, an opinion which the longtime Pittsburgh Steelers detailed on Wednesday. The feeling was mutual for Trubisky. 

“Yeah, Big Ben’s awesome,” Trubisky said. “It was really special and really a privilege to learn from him. … “I’ve really looked up to him ever since he came out because he’s an Ohio guy as well. He came from Miami, Ohio. And it’s unique he was able to have success early on in his career and that’s what you try to duplicate as a quarterback coming into this league, and just how he carries himself, how competitive he is. I just try to take those things and hopefully add them into my own game as well.”

Roethlisberger — who went to high school in Findlay, Ohio, which is about two and a half hour west of Trubisky’s hometown of Mentor — won every game he started his rookie year and won his first of two Super Bowls a year later. Beyond his success quarterbacking the Steelers over these last 14 years, though, Trubisky felt he could learn something from how Roethlisberger has been a leader in Pittsburgh’s locker room. 

“(He) owns the locker room, no matter where you’re at,” Trubisky said. “I think it’s just the type of person you are. You’re competitive. You’re an alpha. You know how things are supposed to be done and you won’t settle for anything less than what has to be done. You’re settling for nothing less than excellence. That’s what he strives he for and, I mean, that’s what we’re all striving for.”

Eventually, the Bears expect Trubisky to command the locker room in the same fashion (he certainly has the self-belief and confidence to do so). And perhaps he'll have the same kind of trophy-driven success over a long period of time enjoyed by Roethlisberger, too. While Trubisky isn't in control of his career just yet, that was another lesson he took away from Roethlisberger.

"One of the big pieces of advice he gave me was really take control of your career," Trubisky said. "And I think that's kind of how he instills how he carries himself in the locker room, on the practice field, at the line of scrimmage. The play is going to go how he wants it and that's really how I want my career to go. Just exactly what you dream of, and take control and get everyone to buy into the same plan. I think that's how you create a winning culture -- really taking control, really taking ownership and hopefully that trickles down through the rest of the team."

Bears: Kyle Long looks set for 2017 debut while Josh Sitton doubtful for Week 3

9-22kylelong.jpg
USA TODAY

Bears: Kyle Long looks set for 2017 debut while Josh Sitton doubtful for Week 3

Kyle Long was a full participant in back-to-back practices Thursday and Friday, and wasn't listed on the team's injury report Friday, clearing the path for the three-time Pro Bowler to make his 2017 debut Sunday against the Pittsburgh Steelers. It’s been a lengthy, grueling process for Long to get to this point, with significant muscle atrophy in his ankle and a setback during training camp further delaying his return to the field. 

Where Long plays in his 2017 debut will be interesting to watch. The Bears have planned on moving him from right guard to left guard, though with Josh Sitton doubtful with a rib injury, Long — who didn’t get many full-team reps at left guard during training camp anyway — could start on the right side Sunday. 

Part of the equation, too, is that Cody Whitehair has more experience with the Bears at left guard, where he played until Sitton was signed before the beginning of the 2016 season. If Tom Compton (hip, questionable?) can’t play on Sunday, Whitehair presumably will move to guard while Hroniss Grasu will start at center. Whitehair did play both left and right guard in Week 2 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers due to the injuries to Sitton and Compton. 

No matter where Long starts, though, his return will provide a boost to an offensive line that’s been flooded with extra defenders against the run so far this year. The Steelers would be smart to take the same stack-the-box approach the Tampa Bay Buccaneers did, which led to Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen being limited to 20 yards on 16 carries. 

Fox said Long won't be on a concrete snap count, but the Bears will evaluate him throughout the game. But even if Long isn’t 100 percent, or doesn’t play 100 percent of the snaps, he can be a difference-maker for an offense that’s needed difference-makers in 2017. 

“I mean, the expectations are where they left off when I left. I always have high expectations,” Long said. “If you play the game you change the game. If you’re out there doing anything other than that then you’re just witnessing it, you’re watching. It’s not a spectator sport.”