View from the Moon: Vikings' stadium shuffle

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View from the Moon: Vikings' stadium shuffle

Tuesday, Dec. 14, 2010
11:15 AM
By John Mullin
CSNChicago.com

Best guess now for a decision on the venue for the Bears game Monday night is set for today after repair crews have taken a more thorough look at the collapsed Metrodome roof and there is a clearer idea whether or not the University of Minnesotas TCF Bank Stadium could be readied in time to keep the game at least in the area, according to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune Access Vikings" blog by Chip Scoggins and Judd Zulgad.

The situation is shaping up like a small domino chain. The state of the Metrodome needs to be clarified in order to decide on the need for TCF Stadium. And officials at Minnesota need some time to get that stadium ready for an NFL game. Ford Field in Detroit is the third option but at this point is the only sure thing, if the Vikings in fact would even want to go back there after being routed 21-3 Monday night to the New York Giants.

If theyre asking me, I vote Detroit. The amount of snow removal and start-up staffing and provisioning needed for TCF Bank Stadium will require most of this week and still not have a first-rate facility for an NFL game. Questions are rightfully raised as to whether the Metrodome is truly safe after the repair, at least until there has been another snow test -- and what if snow shows up Saturday, Sunday or Monday, the dome isnt deemed OK, and now the scrambling starts.

Besides, I can drive to Detroit and sit out a dance with TSA screening. Come to think of it, Ill drive a team bus over to Motown, if thatll help.

Good win

Make no mistake: The Giants pasting of the Vikings on Monday night was a positive for the Bears. The Vikings had won two straight under interim coach Leslie Frazier and were building some late-season momentum much as the Dallas Cowboys were under Jason Garrett, and you do want teams that are down to stay down and not start playing like it matters for a new coach.

Interesting perspective

Longtime Patriots guy and colleague Kevin Curran at CSNNE.com puts a wrap on the New England game that Bears fans may find strangely encouraging. Kevin looks at how the Patriots have gone from rebuilding to remarkable, from a team that had few outside expectations going into this season and then even fewer after they let Randy Moss go.

The Bears have not gone anywhere near remarkable to this point but from where consensus expectations had to where they are now even after the New England embarrassment is something most fans wouldve gladly accepted three months ago when this season was starting. ...

If Brett Favres career has come to a close, he will leave with a spectrum of passing records. Hell also walk away as a true anomaly, particularly for a great quarterback:

Favre will have played for four different NFL teams. His last pass for each of them was intercepted. His final pass in each of his last four seasons was intercepted as well.

In his rookie, one year as an Atlanta Falcon in 1991, Favre threw four passes. The first one was intercepted and returned for a touchdown. His last one also was picked off in mop-up duty in a rout by the Washington Redskins.

His final pass as a Packer, an inane heave in overtime of the NFC Championship game, was intercepted.

His final pass as a New York Jet in 2008 was picked off.

And Minnesota gets a two-fer of final-Brett picks. His final throw of 2009 was intercepted by the New Orleans Saints in the NFC Championship game loss for the Vikings.

Favres current last pass as a Viking, thrown as he was taking the hit that injured his shoulder and ended the streak, was intercepted.

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.

Did Brandon Marshall disrespect Jay Cutler with Hall of Fame shade?

Did Brandon Marshall disrespect Jay Cutler with Hall of Fame shade?

Brandon Marshall is no stranger to keeping it real.

The outspoken All-Pro receiver never minces his words and that continued over the weekend when he showed off his signed jersey collection.

Marshall took to Instagram and showed off "Santa" hanging all of the jerseys he's swapped with other NFL players:

Santa doing work.. . #jerseychallenge

A post shared by Brandon Marshall (@bmarshall) on

The list includes a host of current and future Hall of Fame players: Champ Bailey, Cris Carter, John Lynch, Darrelle Revis, Lance Briggs, Adam Vinatieri, Adrian Peterson, Larry Fitzgerald, Joe Thomas.

When almost all the framed jerseys were hung, Marshall took his followers through:

@nfl #jerseychallenge

A post shared by Brandon Marshall (@bmarshall) on

Marshall compliments each player before, calling them "Hall of Famers" before getting to Jay Cutler at the end and going "Hall of..." multiple times.

Was that Marshall throwing shade at his former quarterback in both Denver and Chicago? If it was an innocent mistake or whatever, there's no way Marshall would've posted the Instagram video, right?

Marshall and Cutler were good friends from the beginning of their careers with the Broncos. So much so that the Bears traded a pair of third round draft picks in March 2012 to allow the two to continue their bromance by the lake:

But Marshall and Cutler have had a contentious relationship since.

Last summer, Marshall responded to a Tweet saying "of course" he misses Cutler. Last August, Marshall hopped on ESPN's First Take and said he thought Cutler could win the MVP Award in the 2016 NFL season.

At the same time, Marshall talked about his relationship with Cutler and said he was the only person on the Bears with the "huevos" to hold the enigmatic quarterback accountable. Marshall also said he was "sad" he didn't talk to Cutler much in the year leading up to August 2016.

Bears’ Markus Wheaton says wide receiver group is 'definitely underrated'

Bears’ Markus Wheaton says wide receiver group is 'definitely underrated'

No doubt, there are doubts about the makeup of this 2017 Bears wide receiver corps. But as the departed Alshon Jeffery created doubts, health-wise, the past two years about whether he could stay on the field to prove himself worthy of a big payday (which he didn’t even get from the Eagles), Ryan Pace brought in a handful of replacements who’ve flashed in this league before. But recent history’s shown each of them has something to prove as well.

From Rueben Randle to fellow former Giant Victor Cruz. From former first rounders Kendall Wright to Kevin White, taking a third swing at making it though an entire NFL season.

Then there’s Markus Wheaton, the only free agent signee at the position this season to receive a two-year deal ($11 million total, with $6 million guaranteed). Like the rest of the group, though, he’s at a career crossroads. Following seasons with 53 and 44 catches in Pittsburgh in 2014 and 2015 (with a 17-yard average in the latter), the quick-twitch former Steeler was limited to three games a year ago before eventually undergoing surgery for a torn labrum in January.

“Everyone’s new, so we don’t know what it’s gonna be,” he said of the group at the team’s recent minicamp in Lake Forest. “In Pittsburgh you kind of have a clue `cause they’ve done it for so long. Everybody’s new, everybody’s trying to find their niche, so we’ll see how it goes. Anything’s possible. We’ve got a lot of guys who are looking for opportunity. A lot of guys that are hungry and have something to prove. Anything’s possible. Anyone can come out on top. The ultimate goal is to win games and I’m sure the coaches will put us in position to do that.”

The former third-round pick out of Oregon State (where he’s the Beavers’ all-time career leader in receptions, one ahead of Brandin Cooks) played all three receiver positions in Pittsburgh at various times, and while he seems most natural in the slot, is working to make himself as versatile as possible here. But that comes with some risk as a quarterback room that’s also gone through its share of turnover tries to get on the same page with all the targets. But Wheaton is more than confident the results will come from within this group.

“I think we definitely are underrated," Wheaton said. "We’ve come in and worked to get to where we wanna be. We will get there, and it’ll show up on the field.”

The incumbents in the room include Joshua Bellamy, Deonte Thompson, Daniel Braverman, Cam Meredith, and, of course, White. Wheaton can see the potential in the ex-seventh overall draft pick.

“I couldn’t imagine all the stuff he’s been through, all the pressure that’s been put on him," Wheaton said. "But he’s a down-to-earth guy who works extremely hard, so I think he’s gonna get his. He’s a big-time playmaker, so I’m excited to see him play.

“They welcomed me with open arms. Everybody’s down to earth, been easy to talk to so when I have questions, I’ve been getting answers, so it’s been real easy for me.”

That surgically-repaired shoulder was cleared for full participation just in time for minicamp two weeks ago. And Wheaton won’t allow himself to become hesitant physically as he aims to conquer what hesitation he could have within the offense, working with quarterbacks not named Ben Roethlisberger.

“I really don’t think there’s time for that. When you’re ready to go, you just go,” Wheaton told us. “You come in, you work, you rehab. And for me personally I had to rehab a lot to get back to where I wanted to be. There’s a level I want to be at. I’ve been just working to get there, so there’s no time for that.”

That last statement comes even if some observers hesitate to call Wheaton and these wideouts “underrated.” They’ll start attempting to prove that when the Bears report to Bourbonnais exactly one month from Monday.