McCown already "in charge"

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McCown already "in charge"

Josh McCown has only been running the Chicago offense officially for about a week now, with his first couple of weeks with the Bears spent watching Caleb Hanie take the reps with the No. 1 offense.

But he was running the offense well before the announced decision this week on him succeeding Hanie.

Kahlil Bell, running with that No. 1 unit and expected since Wednesday to start with Marion Barber not practicing with a calf injury, was impressed even before McCown was installed at the starter for Green Bay.

He was only here for a week or two, but he was coming up and coaching me up on some things that I had done a pass route or something like that, Bell said. He was coaching me up two weeks after not even being in this offense for a while. Im sure he remembers most of it with his days with coach Martz back in the day.

Hes going to be on his stuff this week, study, know his assignments, his reads and stuff.

Knox is teammates Christmas gift
One of the worst annoyances now for wide receiver Johnny Knox is watching some TV in his hospital room, perhaps a little NFL programming, and all of a sudden, up will pop a replay of the hit that sent him into back surgery.

But he is expected to be out of the hospital and home for Christmas, and what teammates are seeing is the one of the bright spots of their own holiday times.

Hes started to get back to himself, cracking jokes, laughing and stuff, said Devin Hester. When you see that from someone like Johnny, the situation hes in, it makes you happy.

Chris Conte manages a smile despite the cast on his lower right leg and the crutches he needs for getting around, the result of a ligament injury suffered in the Seattle game.

Ill be back, make a full recovery and be back for next year, Conte said. Im not too worried about it.

There was some worry at the moment the injury happened. Contes foot got caught awkwardly in the ground and a lineman fell on it. Im lucky I didnt break my leg, Conte said. It looks really bad on film.

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.