Patriots' Kraft: NFL labor deal 'is possible'

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Patriots' Kraft: NFL labor deal 'is possible'

Tuesday, March 8, 2011
2:26 p.m.

By John Mullin
CSNChicago.com

It isnt necessarily hard news but a report by colleague Tom Curran with CSNNE.com quotes New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft as saying that an agreement between the league and its players is possible.

What makes that a bit more noteworthy that other statements to (or through) the media is that Kraft has not been viewed as a clarion voice of conciliation. So possible coming from Kraft in fact does get deliciously close to news at this point...

The next few days NFLNFLPA negotiations will have their own drama and, hopefully, results. But the days and hours leading up to the deadline extension late last week had some thoroughly intriguing intrigue of their own, including the fact that the whole shaky structure of things was within minutes of imploding.

Good friend Jim Trotter, one of the countrys top NFL writers for Sports Illustrated, put together a riveting tick-tock of events that went down for SI, and Peter King worked out with Jim and the editors to have the piece run as part of Peters always-must-read Monday Morning Quarterback. Jim is as good as it gets and what makes the piece, folded into MMQB, particularly good is that he was able to keep it from being a polemic for one side or the other of lapse into anything other that solid reporting. Check it out.

And Peter makes a quick reference to Plaxico Burress, the former New York Giants wide receiver who is being released from prison in June, earlier than anticipated because of good behavior. I do know the Bears are doing their due diligence on Burress, whose TD catch won a Super Bowl, and who, as Peter throws in, may be approaching 34 but hes a year and a half younger than Hines Ward.

Peter would give Burress a training-camp shot any day of the week and I have been advocating that as well. Hes not the same guy who went into jail and were a nation of second chances. This guy deserves one.

Footsteps?

Talk is always cheap but sometimes its worth noting. Like when Detroit Lions defensive tackle ...sees no reason why the Lions cant go 16-0.

Huh?

The first rookie to make first-team All-Pro since 1951, Suh told the NFL Network that there is no question that the sky is the limit. As ProFootballTalk.coms Michael David Smith says, you have to admire his confidence, if not necessarily his sense of perspective.

But heres a thought for Bears fans: Suhs team won its last four games. That left them at 6-10 and with the distinction of improving from 2009 to 2010 by the same number of wins as your division-champion Bears. Detroit 2009 was 2-14. The Bears were 7-9 in 2009, then 11-5 last season. The Lions defeated the Green Bay Packers the second time they faced them; the Bears didnt beat Green Bay the second or third times they met the eventual Super Bowl winners.

Split with the Packers, split with the Vikings, lost twice by 5 and 4 points to the Bears. Took the Jets to overtime. Beat the 10-6 Tampa Bay Buccaneers in OT in Tampa.

Its not 16-0. But its something to think about.

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.

Complete Bears-49ers coverage on CSN

Complete Bears-49ers coverage on CSN

The Bears try to get a third win in 2016 when they host the 49ers, and CSN has you covered.

Check out a schedule of Sunday's events:

— Meijer Bears Pregame Live with Lance Briggs, Alex Brown, Jim Miller and Chris Boden airs at 11 a.m. on CSN.

— Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois Bears Halftime Live streaming live on CSNChicago.com and ChicagoBears.com.

— State Farm Bears Postgame Live airing immediately after the game on CSN.

Important Twitter follows:

— John "Moon" Mullin (@CSNMoonMullin), CSNChicago

— Bears Talk (@CSNBears), CSNChicago

— Kip Lewis (@CSNKipLewis), CSNChicago

— Chris Boden (@CSNBoden), CSNChicago

The 3 Bears necessities for win No. 3

The 3 Bears necessities for win No. 3

Insert title of this "Bowl" game here...

Two teams. Three wins combined. December. So much for holiday cheer. The snow may provide a certain Christmas element on the lakefront Sunday. But something different has to happen for the Bears defensively. In their spirit of giving, the 49ers have allowed a league-high 76 points off their turnovers. Problem is, the Bears have just eight of them in eleven games. If that San Francisco generosity doesn't change – either by Vic Fangio's defense finally making plays despite the core of their defense missing, or by the visitors finding a way to protect the ball in those conditions after practicing in Orlando all week – it's a golden chance for the Bears to gain a smidge of momentum before becoming a factor in the division race (because they face all three other NFC North contenders in their final four games).

1. Read zone read

Colin Kaepernick has grown much more comfortable with time in Chip Kelly's offense. He had the Dolphins hanging on for dear life until the clock struck zero last week. He became just the sixth quarterback in league history to pass for three touchdowns in a game while rushing for over 100 (no, Bobby Douglass isn't one). The challenge becomes greater minus the talented inside linebacker tandem of Danny Trevathan (injury) and Jerrell Freeman (suspension). It becomes even greater if Leonard Floyd's quickness and speed is taken away as a shadowing option as he recovers from being carried off the field on a flat board two weeks ago. He's listed as questionable. So that makes it imperative for inside replacements John Timu and Nick Kwiatkowski to find a way to be instinctive while remaining disciplined enough to contain the league's best rushing quarterback by yards per attempt (8.1).

2. Don't stray from the run

Give this Niners defense without NoVorro Bowman and Eric Reid enough opportunities to be gashed, and they'll let you. Too many times the pregame formula has been for Jordan Howard to get the ball, only to find reasons not to – whether it's looking at the clock while trailing by double digits, too much traffic at the line of scrimmage or panic after injuries up front (to name a few). The 172 rushing yards per game allowed by San Francisco is the worst in eight years (Detroit).  Howard's 5.14 average gain per attempt is fifth in the NFL. Enough said.

3. Catch the ball!!!

Okay, Marquess, Josh and Deonte. Okay, Cam, Jordan and Jeremy. Okay Daniel (and/or Eddie?). We know conditions might be a little slick if it's snowing/sleeting/raining. You're supposed to be among the best in the world at what you do, even if you're down the original depth chart. Can you get your mitts on the football and hang on to it this week? Help your guy Matt out a little bit? After all, if you cut last week's nightmare in half, and maybe you're shooting for (oooh!) a fourth win Sunday, not a third.

Get set for Sunday's noon kickoff at 11 a.m. on CSN as ex-Bears Jim Miller, Lance Briggs and Alex Brown join Chris on "Bears Preagme Live." Then as soon as the second quarter ends, come back here to CSNChicago.com, where Jim and Chris break down the first 30 minutes and go over second half adjustments. And finally, when the game goes final on Fox, switch immediately back to CSN as Chris and the three former Bears give you 90 minutes of reaction, analysis, live press conferences and locker room interviews on "Bears Postgame Live."