Phillips: No hard feelings, never team vs. players

408933.jpg

Phillips: No hard feelings, never team vs. players

Tuesday, April 26, 2011
Posted: 1:13 p.m.

By John Mullin
CSNChicago.com

The Bears are scheduled to play the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in London on Oct. 23. But the venue for that game hinges on the labor impasse between NFL owners and players being resolved by Aug. 1, per the league.

So, in the wake of Mondays court ruling in Minneapolis at least temporarily halting the owner-imposed lockout, have the Bears gone ahead with their plans for that London game?

We have to work on that soon, Bears president Ted Phillips said Tuesday, laughing.

Whether owners and players are laughing by then remains problematic, but at least there was a tiny trickle of movement Tuesday.

The gates to the grounds around Halas Hall were open Tuesday for the first time since the lockout descended over the NFL as that ruling by Judge Susan Nelson in Minnesota granted an injunction to halt the locking out of players by teams.

But only a small handful of players kicker Robbie Gould and defensive linemen Israel Idonije and Matt Toeaina, plus Piccolo Award winners Anthony Adams and JMarcus Webb -- made the trip to Bears headquarters, since the weight room and locker room and other areas of the building werent generally open and operating player-wise.

Phillips and Cliff Stein, senior director of football operations and general counsel, met with the players casually and the first day of the post-injunction era passed with neither incident nor fanfare.

The judges decision will be appealed and other elements of the situation, such as a possible start to free agency, remain unsettled.

So we just said to the players that until we get some clarification, youre welcome in but were not opening the building for business just yet, Phillips said. Hopefully we will be soon.

The labor situation has had its scratchiness in charges and counter-charges by representatives of both sides. But if there is any underlying acrimony, it was not evident Tuesday.

There arent any hard feelings, Phillips said. Its never been about the team vs. the players. We love the players. Theyre what make the game great and were hoping that as soon as both sides can get a collective bargaining agreement worked out, then well be able to get back to playing football, which is what both sides want...

Right now I think everyones looking for clarification. I think the players are; the clubs are. Hopefully well get some clarification from the courts soon and well go from there.

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' best rookies will have another learning curve

Bears' best rookies will have another learning curve

There's a sense of irony and, to a certain degree, concern about what changes the Bears' coaching staff has undergone.

Think of the best of Ryan Pace's 2016 rookie class: Leonard Floyd, Cody Whitehair, and Jordan Howard. They were brought along under the position group tutelage of outside linebackers coach Clint Hurtt, offensive line coach Dave Magazu and running backs coach Stan Drayton. The latter was the first to depart, shortly after the season ended, to return to the collegiate ranks on Texas' new staff.

He's been replaced with former 49ers and Bills offensive coordinator Curtis Modkins (also serving as that position coach in Detroit, Buffalo, Arizona and Kansas City). Howard certainly adapted to the NFL game well, more than anyone expected, as the NFL's second-leading rusher. One would think Drayton played a part in that.

Longtime John Fox assistant Magazu was also let go after the season despite the impressive move of second-round pick Whitehair to center the week of the season opener after Josh Sitton was signed following his release by Green Bay. Whitehair was sold as a "quick study" following his selection out of Kansas State, where he was a four-year starter at three different positions (but not center).

[SHOP: Gear up Bears fans!]

Like Howard, he wound up making the All-Rookie team, but whether he remains in the middle of the line or not, he'll be getting his orders now from Jeremiah Washburn.

Rounding out the trio of All-Rookie selections was Floyd, who was brought along by Hurtt. He impressed Fox enough to be kept around from Marc Trestman's staff, and moved from defensive line to outside linebackers.

That's where he assisted Willie Young in morphing to a foreign role, yet still managing 14 sacks over the last two seasons. The Bears have yet to name a replacement for Hurtt, who's joined the Seahawks in taking over one of their strengths in recent years, the defensive line.

These three were already good, and the jewels of last year's draft. But if they're to grow and ascend into impact contributors if and when this team becomes a regular playoff contender, it'll come from new faces, new voices in their respective classrooms and position groups.

Bears announce additions to John Fox's coaching staff

Bears announce additions to John Fox's coaching staff

The Bears announced Monday several additions to John Fox's coaching staff in 2017.

Roy Anderson has been hired as the assistant defensive backs coach, Curtis Modkins has been named the new running backs coach and Jeremiah Washburn is the new offensive line coach. The team also announced that outside linebackers coach Clint Hurtt's contract was not renewed.

[SHOP: Gear up Bears fans!]

Anderson was the assistant defensive backs coach for the San Francisco 49ers last season, and spent his previous seven years with the Indianapolis Colts (2012-15) and Baltimore Ravens (2009-11). He replaces Sam Garnes.

Modkins has 22 years of coaching experience, and also spent the 2016 season with the 49ers as the team's offensive coordinator. His previous stops include the Detroit Lions (2013-15), Buffalo Bills (2010-12), Arizona Cardinals (2009) and Kansas City Chiefs (2008). Modkins replaces Stan Drayton.

Washburn served as the Miami Dolphins assistant offensive line coach last season, and spent his previous 14 years with the Lions (2009-15), Ravens (2003-08) and Carolina Panthers (2002). He replaces Dave Magazu.