Should Bears worry about a double dose of Cam?


Should Bears worry about a double dose of Cam?

Sunday, March 27, 2011
Posted 11:02 p.m.

By John Mullin

The Bears are going about their pre-draft due diligence, and the visits coaches and personnel figures make between now and the last weekend in April will be the ones that matter far more than the gaggle of workouts and pro days attended up to this point. Whats also going to be of huge significance is where some of the others in the NFC North are looking.

Like the Minnesota Vikings. Specifically, could the Bears be looking at Cam Newton a couple times next season? Dont rule it out.

ESPNs Adam Schefter is tracking the Auburn quarterback, and the Vikings are scheduled to travel to Auburn Wednesday for a private session with Newton. Thisll follow Miami on Sunday and Buffalo on Monday.

What makes this potentially noteworthy is that Minnesota picks No. 12 overall, and as Judd Zulgad and Chip Scoggins mention in their Access Vikings blog for the Star-Tribune, Vikes personnel VP Rick Spielman made it clear that they will be looking hard at all the top quarterbacks.

Right now Newton is projected to be gone before No. 12. But several factors make this something to watch. Minnesota is the only NFC North team not set at quarterback, with a first-rounder specifically (Bears, Jay Cutler; Packers, Aaron Rodgers; Lions, Matthew Stafford). Theyve made clear theyre not going to hand the job to Joe Webb.

Also, the looming rookie cap limits project to make high first-round picks less of a financial Armageddon than they used to be. At least one supposed elite prospect, sometimes more than one, drops surprisingly on draft day (just ask Matt Leinart or Brady Quinn, or Rodgers, for that matter) and if Newton falls within range, the prospect of the Vikings going up to get him is very real.
Colonel honored

It took the NFL quite a while (too long, in fact) to honor Richard Dent with induction into the Hall of Fame. The Bears and the State of Illinois arent waiting as long to have the Colonel put that distinction to very good use.

The Super Bowl XX MVP will join Secretary of State Jesse White, Bears Vice Chairman George McCaskey and Special Projects Director Pat McCaskey on Monday to unveil a new license plate, but its not exactly a vanity plate.

The state passed a law in 2002 permitting sports teams to have special plates designated as Professional Sports Teams license plates. And from the sale of those plates, 25 goes to the states Professional Sports Teams Education Fund and is earmarked for the Common School Fund.

The plates can be ordered through

John "Moon" Mullin is'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.

Hall of Fame to honor Butkus, Dent, Hampton, Sayers at Bears-Vikings game

Hall of Fame to honor Butkus, Dent, Hampton, Sayers at Bears-Vikings game

It will be a special evening for a handful of legendary Bears on Monday night.

The Pro Football Hall of Fame will honor Dick Butkus, Richard Dent, Dan Hampton and Gale Sayers with a Ring of Excellence in a halftime presentation during the Bears-Vikings game at Soldier Field.

The Ring of Excellence is one of three symbols that represents Pro Football Hall of Fame status. The Gold Jacket, the Bronzed Bust and the Ring of Excellence will all be on display during the presentation.

[SHOP: Gear up Bears fans!]

Each former Bear will wear their Gold Jacket and the four Bronzed Busts will be temporarily removed from the Hall of Fame for the ceremony.

Monday marks the second of three seasons in which the Ring of Excellence will be presented to the Hall of Famers.

Check out photos (provided by the Chicago Bears) of each ring below:

Vikings handling of Sam Bradford offers object lesson for Bears transition to next QB

Vikings handling of Sam Bradford offers object lesson for Bears transition to next QB

Call it variations on a theme. The Bears on Monday night will face not only the Minnesota Vikings, but also Sam Bradford, the latest quarterback opponent that hints at possibilities in the Bears’ own future far beyond what was once the norm.

That norm is what can reasonably be expected from a new quarterback, one coming into a new system, new environment, even a new league, and having near-immediate success. Quarterback changes can involve upheaval of staff, personnel and even franchise identity, as the Bears can confirm based on their last eight years with Jay Cutler.

The experiences in Dallas, Minnesota and Philadelphia point to the kinds of quarterback transitions the Bears may be in search of after the 2016 season.

Bradford arrived in Minnesota via trade just eight days before the season opener, yet has proceeded to post the best results of his career: for completion percentage (67.5), interception percentage (0.6 percent; 7 TD’s vs. 1 INT), yards per attempt (7.4) and rating (100.3, vs. a previous best of 90.9).

More important, without the Vikings’ starting left tackle (Matt Kalil) and running back (Adrian Peterson), Bradford has the Vikings leading the NFC North and tied for the NFC lead at 5-1.

“[The Vikings] had the misfortune of losing their quarterback, they go out and make a bold move to get him and they haven’t missed a beat offensively,” said Bears defensive coordinator Vic Fangio. “He’s been getting better and better.”

This all holds particular relevance for the Bears, who saw Brian Hoyer step in and deliver four straight 300-yard passing games, something he’d never done in his career and no quarterback in Bears franchise history had done. Cutler’s personal best was two straight, for purposes of comparison.

The Bears are expected to have a new quarterback in some form or other next year. In the meantime they have been victimized by two rookie quarterbacks already this season (Carson Wentz, Philadelphia, and Dak Prescott, Dallas). The experience of Bradford, Prescott and Wentz, all new in 2017 to their situations, suggests chances of dramatic improvement over the Bears’ recent history with Cutler, for example.

“A good quarterback can influence the guys and make guys around him better,” Wentz said. “So it’s one of those things where the quarterback usually gets too much credit and too much of the blame as well. It’s just kind of the nature of the position.”

Prescott and Wentz were 2016 draft choices and had offseasons and training camps with their respective teams. Bradford had none of that, yet began his year throwing 130 passes without an interception.

[SHOP: Gear up Bears fans!]

How that happens may be illustrative for the 2017 Bears. The Vikings traded for Bradford, a one-time starter for the Rams and Eagles. But because of the late-offseason timing of the deal, necessitated by the season-ending leg injury for Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, Bradford had to be eased into the new offense.

“I think that’s honestly one of the bonuses of coming during the regular season,” Bradford said on Thursday. “Obviously it would’ve been nice to have some practices in training camp. But once you get into the regular season, it’s not like you have the whole playbook in each game plan. Each game plan is very specific for that week’s opponent, so it’s considerably less than would be in your training-camp installs.

“So I think that helped a little bit. But as far as it being cut down, the volume wasn’t so much cut down as how the plays were called, naming some concepts with some things I was familiar with. That really helped me.”