View from the Moon: Big guys getting special notice

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View from the Moon: Big guys getting special notice

Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2011
9:33 PM
By John Mullin
CSNChicago.com

Size does matter. The NFL knows it and now some of the big guys are getting special notice.

In a year of traditional cover boys like Tom Brady, Drew Brees and Peyton Manning being in the playoffs, Sports Illustrated picked New England Patriots massive nose tackle Vince Wolfork as the cover art for its Jan. 10 playoff preview issue with the headline Mass Obstruction.

One of the Bears big guys couldnt be happier, except that Sports Illustrated should be just the beginning..

There should be more fat guys on magazine covers, including myself, defensive tackle Anthony Adams declared. All of us unsung heroes, which usually are fat guys, we need more coverage.

And lets go beyond Sports Illustrated. Lets go GQ. Rolling Stone. We need to be on the covers of all those. Take our helmets off, smile. Big guys. We are the next big thing, literally and figuratively.

What you also have to like about Adams is that he knows something of the history behind his lot in Chicago. This is where William Perry made being a fat guy fun for the NFL on a Monday night in 1985 against the Green Bay Packers in Soldier Field.

Among Fridges accomplishments was catching a TD pass coming out of the backfield. And while the Bears likely will not radically alter their playbook, Adams wants the word out there that hes got some game as a receiver. The playoffs might just be that time to unleash him.

Or at least hell unleash himself on the imaginations of defensive coordinators preparing for the Bears.

Thats why we havent done it, Adams said of his deployment as a fullbackreceiver. Preseason, all that, you dont to show too many people because then theyll start game-planning for it and we dont want that.

Ive just got to make sure I report when I go in.

Shrinking margin of error

ESPN analystformer coachformer player Herman Edwards offered some succinct playoff points that bear directly on the heart of the Bears playoff chances.

Jay Cutler is one of the Bears who have never been to the playoffs. How a JMarcus Webb or Johnny Knox or Major Wright handle the pace, stresses and everything else of the postseason is important. Cutlers conduct in the playoff crucible determines all.

The most important thing is how does the quarterback handle it, Edwards said Wednesday. How does he handle the playoff atmosphere? Youre playing teams in the playoffs with double-digit wins, they do some things well that got them where they are.

Meaning that Cutler may have skirted disaster at times with performance gaffes against the Minnesota Vikings, Detroit Lions or the Dallas Cowboys. Chance of that happening now are minute.

It goes back to the quarterback, Edwards said The younger you are Cuitler is finishing his fifth NFL season, you dont want to put that much on him.. The little things that happen to you, that you maybe get away with in the regular season, you wont win those games in the playoffs.

Anything but THAT!

Wide receiver Earl Bennett and wife Rekeshia are expecting a baby arrival at any time and that gives him a little more anxiousness than thinking about the playoffs. Actually, its not the coming in general of his little one that has Bennett concerned.

Bennett has dealt with surly safeties, ill-intentioned linebackers and vicious cornerbacks but the thing that intimidates him: Hes prepared to do some diaper work with the baby but I cant change poop, Bennett confessed. Thats my only thing. I told my wife, Everything else, fine. But not that.

Well, then heres the deal, Earl. Youre going to have to negotiate.

Bennett, along with Cutler, Knox, Devin Hester and others, has grown a distinctive full beard. The group plans to keep the beards as long as the Bears play through the postseason.

The trouble is, Rekeshia doesnt like it at all, Bennett said. She doesnt like it. I told people that Im not going to cut mine for a year but well see how far that goes. Shes been trying to persuade me.

The beard for poop duty? Hmmm. I dont like Bennetts and the beards chances, but as a veteran of facial fuzz, Im pullin for ya, Earl.

Knox, Im not so sure. Cutlers beard is OK, kind of a rough-hewn thing that gives him a little chin character. Hester, pretty good too. Knox, though, has kind of Mennonite thing going, which isnt at all bad (Im a Pennsylvania guy so the Amish and Mennonite looks, very solid), except that hes a thin wisp of a guy from Texas. And he runs waaay too fast for a Mennonite.

Johnnys beard is ridiculous, Bennett said, then gave up a couple even less-fortunate mates. Devin Aromashodu and Rashied Davis, they cant grow beards.

And you have to think that somewhere, Rekeshia Bennett is smiling.

Love that time off

Center Olin Kreutz has been to postseasons, three times as a matter of fact, and each time (2001, 2005, 2006) hes had the luxury of the Bears enjoying the bye week. Kreutz was given a Veterans Day exemption from practice Wednesday, and, when you play as long as Ive played, Ill take a layoff anytime they got one, he said laughing.

CSNChicago.com and Comcast Sportsnet analyst Jim Miller, a former Bears teammate of Kreutzs, was at Halas Hall Wednesday and walked through the locker room on his way out. Did he walk? Kreutz said, laughing. He usually limps now, doesnt he?
Talking Bears

I'll visit with Mac and Spiegs on "The Danny Mac Show" on WSCR-AM 670 Thursday at 10 for our usual weekly Bears check-in.... Planning on a 4:40 p.m. appearance on "Bears Blitz" on Comcast Sportsnet Thursday, with old beat buddy Larry Mayer. Larry came on the Bears beat the same year (1992) that I did, meaning we've shared Da Coach and we both speak fluent Wannie. Larry does great work at ChicagoBears.com so should be a good time with Billy Jack and Jiggs tomorrow.

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-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

Bears hoping to get Kyle Fuller back in DB mix sooner rather than later

Bears hoping to get Kyle Fuller back in DB mix sooner rather than later

Kyle Fuller was one of the seeming fixtures in the Bears’ defense as it transitioned from the 4-3 of old to the 3-4 of Vic Fangio. And he may be again, the Bears hope very soon, as he has begun practicing after months on injured reserve following knee surgery in August.

The Bears could place Fuller on the active roster as late as Saturday after he practiced all three days this week. “He made it three days in practice, no setbacks,” said coach John Fox. “He seems to be adapting pretty well. He has another practice [Saturday] and we don’t have to make a decision until 3 p.m. because of where he is on the roster. We’ll evaluate that after tomorrow.”

Were Fuller to return — restoring one projected 2016 starter to a defense that has been forced to field five different starting secondaries in the span of 11 games — he may be phased back in with a managed number of snaps, as other certain other players returning from injury have been.

But getting Fuller back projects to be an instant upgrade for a defensive backfield among the NFL’s worst at producing takeaways.

“We all play different positions so we’re kind of used to it, people moving in and out over the year,” said Bryce Callahan, who was initially ticketed for nickel duty as the No. 3 cornerback this season but has been pressed into service starting at cornerback in four games.

“It’s always good to get someone like Kyle back.”

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The Bears would need to weigh what workload Fuller could handle vs. roster needs based on only having 46 players active on game day.

“You’re always a little bit cautious because it does affect your roster,” Fox said. “But if you feel like he makes you better, that’s a move you make. Now we’re just working through him medically, durability-wise, and how much he can play.”

Jay Cutler (shoulder) was officially declared out and is headed for surgery on Saturday, ultimately to injured reserve.

Other availability questions include receiver Eddie Royal (toe), guard Josh Sitton (ankle) and safety Adrian Amos (ankle), all questionable. Linebacker Willie Young (knee) did not practice but linebacker Leonard Floyd was able to practice on a limited basis although his status in the concussion protocol will not be known until closer to game time.