NFL in a rush for Super Bowl in cold weather city?

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NFL in a rush for Super Bowl in cold weather city?

Tuesday, Feb. 1, 2011
9:04 a.m.

By John Mullin
CSNChicago.com

Dan Patrick said it: Would you want the Super Bowl played in these conditions?

And the lingering question after that is whether or not the NFL is going to be in any rush to award Super Bowls to weather-vulnerable cities (any come to mind?)

Flipping on The Dan Patrick Show and seeing Dan and his guys in parkas, sniffling and hunkering in an outdoor broadcast at Dallas, which is getting whacked with freezing rain and wind this is a first.

Daryl Johnston dropped by and didnt put in a vote for Super Bowls in this kind of weather.

Im not a fan of that, Johnston said. And he nailed the big concern: If this happened Thursday or Friday when people were traveling to the game, that would be a big problem.

Johnston recounted a chat with Brian Urlacher before the Seattle playoff game and said that Urlacher was leaning toward Troy Polamalu, then caught himself, saying, Of course, behind Julius Peppers.

Peppers (4th) and Urlacher (5th) lost out in voting for defensive player of the year, behind winner Polamalu for the Steelers, Green Bays Clay Matthews and Pittsburghs James Harrison. Hard to argue with the results. If you were having a pickup game and had first pick, for your defense, which would you take?

Best ever?

Dan veered into the debate over the greatest team in NFL history and his call was the 70s Pittsburgh Steelers, although he didnt clarify whether it was for one particular season or just overall.

No argument on the greatest overall. But the 85 Bears still command that honor for a single season. As John Madden said in doing the Forward for my book, The Rise and Self-Destruction of the Greatest Football Team in History, I coached against those Steelers teams; the Bears were better.

Good enough for me.

But Dan is spot-on about Terry Bradshaw never receiving proper credit among the all-time greats at quarterback. Bradshaw won four rings with those Steelers and suffers in the greatest debates because the rest of his team was so off-the-charts good.

You wonder if that is going to be the fate of Ben Roethlisberger, who is within sight on his third Super Bowl win and hasnt turned 29 yet.

Just a random thought here: The greatest quarterback of all time is one of Joe Montana, Otto Graham or Tom Brady.

But after them: Peyton Manning has won a Super Bowl and lost last years. Bradshaw won all four he reached and delivered winning plays in more than one. Roethlisberger plays his best in big games.

So youre in a Super Bowl and you have your choice of Bradshaw, Manning or Roethlisberger your call?

Remember, its a passer rating, not a quarterback rating. A quarterback is the sine qua non of a football team, and as good as Manning ishas been, how does he compare in the overall?

After the Big Three, the call here is easy: 1) Bradshaw; 2) Roethlisberger; 3) Manning.

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.

Bears Talk Podcast: Breaking down camp competition at wide receiver

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Bears Talk Podcast: Breaking down camp competition at wide receiver

On this week’s Bears Talk Podcast, we hear from Markus Wheaton as Chris Boden and JJ Stankevitz discuss the training camp competition at slot receiver.

Boden and Stankevitz also weigh in on PFF ranking the Bears’ starting lineup 18th in the NFL, answer listener questions and add another layer of Aaron Rodgers envy.

Listen to the latest Bears Talk Podcast right here:

Can Leonard Floyd break out in 2017? The Bears like the early signs

Can Leonard Floyd break out in 2017? The Bears like the early signs

The Bears believe Leonard Floyd will make the leap from being a promising rookie to a breakout second-year player, the kind who can be a centerpiece of a defense as soon as this fall.  

The Bears in 2016 totaled 37 sacks —12th in the NFL — despite dealing with a rash of injuries and not having a standout player in terms of getting to the quarterback. Willie Young led the team with 7 1/2 sacks, which tied him for 31st in the league last year, while Floyd and Akiem Hicks each had seven. 

Sixteen players recorded double-digit sacks last year. That’s not the end-all benchmark for Floyd in 2017, but for a former top-10 pick with elite skills and, as his coaches and teammate said, the right mentality, it’s not out of the question. 

“With most players, you go from your freshman year to sophomore or rookie to second year, … it slows down, they understand it, they're not thinking, they're reacting,” coach John Fox said. “And so I'd expect that and I've seen that already even in the off-season.”

Floyd, earlier this month, talked about how much more comfortable he feels after a full year of practicing and playing at the NFL level. 

“Everything was just fast when I got here last year,” Floyd said. “This year’s it’s way slower and I feel like I’m doing pretty good this year.”

There are two issues with Floyd that won’t go away until he proves they’re not problems in the regular season, though: His weight and his concussions. 

The weight issue is one Floyd has heard for a while, joking with reporters during veteran minicamp that he was surprised it wasn’t the first thing he was asked during his session with the media. He said he “definitely gained some weight” without revealing how much he’s put on, only saying he feels like he’s in much better shape now than he was as a rookie.

“It’s like night and day compared to last year,” Floyd said. 

The concessions are a far more serious — and scary — issue given it took Floyd two months to fully recover from the second concussion he suffered in 2016. 

The Bears believe Floyd’s concussion issues are correctable, though, given they were the product of poor tackling form made worse by collisions with Hicks. The crown of Floyd’s helmet was too low, so he and defensive coordinator Vic Fangio worked with tackling dummies and sled machines in an effort to fix that issue. 

The hope is that Floyd can stay healthy and marry his skills with a better knowledge of the game to put together a breakout year in 2017. His teammates sounded confident during the offseason program that everything was falling into place for the former ninth overall pick. 

“He’s a great competitor,” Hicks said. “Great energy, fast, athletic, he’s everything you want in an outside linebacker, right? Nonstop motor — I can give you all the cliche terms, but I just feel like as far as the defensive line or an outside linebacker, another year under his belt is only going to make him better.”

Added linebacker Jerrell Freeman: “That guy is going to be good for a while.”