Trestman staying out of Super Bowl 'sabotage' furor

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Trestman staying out of Super Bowl 'sabotage' furor

Bears coach Marc Trestman was the Oakland offensive coordinator when the Raiders put together one of the leagues most effective offenses through the regular season. Oakland led the NFL in yardage and was second in scoring.

The Raiders then struggled in their 48-21 blowout loss to the Buccaneers with MVP quarterback Rich Gannon throwing five interceptions after just 10 during the regular season.

That game and the Oakland plan on offense is now the center of a boiling dispute between several Raiders players, including wide receivers Tim Brown and Jerry Rice, and former coach Bill Callahan.

Brown and Rice have claimed that the offensive game plan was changed shortly before the game. Trestman refused to comment on the situation when approached by the Tribunes Dan Pompei during Senior Bowl preparations in Mobile, Ala., this week.

Brown said in a Sirius-XM NFL radio that Callahan hated the Raiders and effectively sabotaged his team by, two days before kickoff, changing the game plan from a run orientation to one of passing. Rice supported Browns sentiments in an ESPN interview, saying that maybe because he didnt like the Raiders, he decided, maybe we should sabotage this a little bit and let Jon Gruden go out and win this one.

Callahan vehemently denied the allegations in a statement, saying, I am shocked, saddened and outraged by Tim Browns allegations and Jerry Rices support of those allegations. I categorically and unequivocally deny the sum and substance of their allegations which he called flat out wrong.

The entire episode is puzzling. The Raiders were the NFLs best passing offense, yet Brown and Rice said the initial plan was to run, at which the Raiders were mediocre (18th, 110 yards per game). Then the alleged change was made to a pass.

Tampa Bay, which had shut out the Bears and quarterback Henry Burris in Champaign in Game 16, ranked No. 1 in scoring and pass defense and tied for fifth against the run.

The Raiders called nine running plays and 51 pass plays in the Super Bowl, with Gannon sacked five times.

2017 NFL Draft Profile: Tennessee OLB Derek Barnett

2017 NFL Draft Profile: Tennessee OLB Derek Barnett

As part of our coverage leading up to the 2017 NFL Draft we will provide profiles of more than 100 prospects, including a scouting report and video interviews with each player.

Derek Barnett, OLB, Tennessee

6'3" | 259 lbs.

2016 stats:

56 tackles, 19 TFL, 13 sacks, INT, 5 PD, 2 FF

Projection:

First round

Scouting Report:

"Strong edge presence with NFL-caliber hand usage and play strength. Barnett is one of the most productive defensive linemen to come out of the SEC in quite some time despite lacking the length and twitch that teams usually look for off the edge. His awareness and play traits should keep him near the action and he has the talent to step into a starting base end spot right away. There could be coordinators who view him as an early down, outside backer in a 3-4 with the ability to put his hand in the ground on sub packages." — Lance Zierlein, NFL.com

Video analysis provided by Rotoworld and NBC Sports NFL Draft expert Josh Norris.

Click here for more NFL Draft Profiles

Bears Chairman George McCaskey sets 2017 demands for Ryan Pace, John Fox

Bears Chairman George McCaskey sets 2017 demands for Ryan Pace, John Fox

PHOENIX — When the 2014 season concluded, with all its drama, poor play and internal dysfunction, Bears Chairman George McCaskey passed along the unvarnished mood of Bears matriarch and owner Virginia McCaskey:
 
"She's pissed off," George McCaskey declared.
 
The 2016 season ended worse record-wise (3-13) than 2014 (5-11) but Bears ownership sees arrows pointing up, not down as they appeared after 2014, occasioning the jettisoning of the general manager and coaching staff.
 
"[Virginia] sees the progress, but like any Bears fan, she wants results," George McCaskey said, chuckling at the recollection of relaying his mother's mood. "That's the quote that won't go away."
 
"Progress" and "results" are vague terms, and sometimes relative. But Bears ownership is not setting a public fail-safe point for either general manager Ryan Pace or head coach John Fox to remain in place, although no scenario could presumably consider four wins actual "progress" from three.
 
"We want to continue to see progress, see the building blocks but there isn't any sort of particular threshold," McCaskey confirmed. "We're not on any particular timetable that somebody else is wanting to set for us. We're wanting to see continued progress toward our goal of sustained success."
 
"Sustained success" is not beyond the scope of possibility, assuming that a talent core can be established and includes a quarterback, which the personnel department under Pace believe it is on the brink of putting in place, whether around Mike Glennon, Mark Sanchez or a player to be drafted or traded for later.

[VIVID SEATS: Get your Bears tickets right here!]
 
GM Phil Emery adopted the buzz phrase of "multiple championships," but current leadership does sound less grandiose and more grounded. And where Emery drafts proved disastrous, the Pace administration has had clear hits, injuries notwithstanding, as recently as the 2016 class, which McCaskey mentioned in the context of Pace building the roster exactly the way ownership prefers.
 
"We have confidence in Ryan and John," McCaskey said. "We want to build through the draft. Ryan said that in his interview when he said he was interested in coming to the Bears and we like how he's stuck to that plan. We saw it last year when we had three rookies on the Pro Football Writers of America all-rookie team; Cody Whitehair, Leonard Floyd and Jordan Howard.
 
"And that's what we need to keep doing; keep building through the draft. I told Ryan he should get ripped this time of year every year for not being more active in free agency and that's because we're developing our own guys and rewarding our own guys."
 
McCaskey supported the actions, or lack of same, by Pace in the pursuit of max-dollar free agents this offseason. The Bears dropped out of sweepstakes for cornerback Stephon Gilmore and safety Tony Jefferson, among others, when prices spiked far beyond the parameters set by the Pace staff.
 
"I've been very impressed with [Pace] as a leader, as an evaluator of talent," McCaskey said. "And one of the things I've been most impressed by with him is the discipline he's shown just as recently as this free agency period. He didn't want to overpay guys. Too often, I think, you overpay guys who don't come through for you and then you have a big hole in your salary cap and you're behind the 8-ball. So I like the discipline he has shown, the restraint he has shown in free agency."