Ravens' payback? Bears don't owe Baltimore

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Ravens' payback? Bears don't owe Baltimore

Saturday, April 30, 2011
Posted: 10:14 a.m.

By John Mullin
CSNChicago.com

Maybe the Baltimore Ravens really owe the Bears a thank-you instead of thinking the Bears owe them a draft pick.

Maybe the Ravens should cut the Bears a check.

Or maybe the trade snafu between the Bears and Baltimore Ravens was really just a matter of some sort of justice-scale balancing.

Somehow you have to think that Mike Tice probably thinks so.

It was Tice as Minnesota Vikings head coach in 2003 who thought a first-round deal was done with the Ravens and GM Ozzie Newsome. The Ravens didnt get their part of the trade completed with a phone call to the league, the trade didnt happen, Minnesota fell down a couple of places and the Vikings didnt get the draft picks they thought they had along with the player they wanted, Oklahoma State defensive tackle Kevin Williams.

Tice was miffed and he didnt even get so much as an apology from Newsome, whose comment was interesting: A deal is not a deal until I talk to Joel Bussert, and I never talked to Joel Bussert.

This was the same Joel Bussert who never got the Bears call Thursday night.

Bears GM Jerry Angelo offered an apology to the Ravens for the foul-up that resulted in the non-trade between the two teams, the Bears getting Gabe Carimi without giving the Ravens a fourth-round pick, and the Ravens missing their turn and falling behind the Kansas City Chiefs in the draft order.

Commissioner Roger Goodell encouraged Angelo to give the Ravens a make-good on the deal and send them the pick they originally were going to. Angelo stood firm that the apology was all Baltimore was getting.

The only thing Im going to say is they have rules when you do something wrong, not when people make mistakes, Angelo said Friday night. A mistake was made, no rule was broken, okay, lets just make that clear here, and as Ive said last night, I think we made the proper amends from our part and certainly there was no intent other than to do the best we could and it just didnt work out.

Angelo isnt worried about his reputation or that of the Bears either, for that matter.

No, there isnt anyone in this media room that hasnt made a mistake, he said. We made an honest mistake, no more than that; theres total transparency. You make your apologies and we did. If there are consequences, you accept those consequences and then you move on. So be it. It wont be my last.

For that matter as well, maybe the Ravens should at least appreciate that the Bears saved them some money. Baltimore got the player it wanted in Colorado cornerback Jimmy Smith but got him at No. 27 instead of 26, meaning a notch lower on the pay scale for rookies, whatever that ends up being based on negotiations for the upcoming collective bargaining agreement.

At last years rookie rates, the difference between the five-year contracts given to the Nos. 26 and 27 picks was about 600,000.

So, wonder if Ozzie Newsome or Ravens owner Steve Biscotti send the Bears a thank-you note, you know, with one of those white gift envelopes that have that little round hole where only the face on the money shows?

Maybe.

Maybe not.

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.

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."

Bears-49ers: And the winner is?

Bears-49ers: And the winner is?

Both teams are on track to be drafting in the top five, and the inevitable “the loser is the winner” talk has made its rounds, meaning that a defeat moves the loser higher in the draft order. The reality is that neither team will tank the game for draft position.

But the chances of two woeful teams playing well are slim. The 49ers won in Week 1 and then have lost 10 straight. The Bears are trying to avoid losing four straight for the first time under John Fox.

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Quarterback Colin Kaepernick burst upon the NFL scene in 2012 with a blowout of the Bears in his first start. He has regained his starting job in San Francisco and is still one of the prototypical mobile quarterbacks.

But the 49ers are the NFL’s worst defense in both points and yardage allowed, and they are the worst rushing defense in the league. Expect the Bears to try exploiting that and give quarterback Matt Barkley a balanced run-pass game plan.

Prediction: Bears 24, 49ers 20