Webb in for Favre? Cutler can't believe it

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Webb in for Favre? Cutler can't believe it

Thursday, Dec. 16, 2010
Posted 9:22 PM

By John Mullin
CSNChicago.com

Minnesota Vikings quarterback Brett Favre didnt practice Thursday, the first day of real on-field work before Mondays game against the Bears. Hes still having numbness in his hand and shoulder from a tackle that ended his string of consecutive starts at 297. Hes not expected to play against the Bears.

And at least one of the Bears doesnt believe it, or that the Vikings would start rookie Joe Webb even with their season effectively over.

They have a rookie starting? quarterback Jay Cutler said with a touch of incredulity. Possibly, was the response.

Possibly, Cutler said, then chuckled. I wouldnt be surprised if Brett was out there.

If he isnt, or if the Vikings do go with journeyman veteran Patrick Ramsey, the situation will be exponentially more difficult for the Vikings.

With erratic veteran Tarvaris Jackson headed for injured reserve this season and somewhere else next, Webb is an option for the Vikings.

Youve seen it, a few rookies, a few first-time starters going against this defense and its tough, said Cutler, who knows some things about the difficulties posed by the Bears defense. Theyre flying around in that Cover-2 and they play it well and its tough.

Ramsey, who is on his ninth NFL team since being a No. 1 pick of the Washington Redskins in 2002, would help.

Great guy, great teammate, said Cutler, who played with Ramsey in Denver. I really enjoyed my time with Patrick. Smart guy. Hes not going to hurt them. Hes going to take what our defense gives him, going against a Cover-2 team like we are. Hes done it before so he knows what hes up against. Hes a guy who could learn a system in a week and be ready to play. If he has to start, hell do the job, hell do well.

Sick bay

The Bears got some good news Thursday when strong-side linebacker Pisa Tinoisamoa, who has missed three of the last four games with knee surgery, was able to practice on a limited basis and is likely to be available Monday for Minnesota, wherever that game ends up being. Running back Chester Taylor also was limited with knee soreness.

Cornerback Charles Tillman did not practice due to foot soreness.

For their part the Vikings were in considerably worse shape. Besides Favre, guard Steve Hutchinson (thumb), running back Adrian Peterson (ankleknee), safety Tyrell Johnson (knee) and safety Jamarca Sanford (concussion) were unable to practice. Defensive end Ray Edwards (ankle) was limited in practice.

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.

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Bears will not use franchise tag on Alshon Jeffery

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USA TODAY

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Bears will not use franchise tag on Alshon Jeffery

In this episode of the SportsTalk Live Podcast David Haugh (Chicago Tribune), Nick Friedell (ESPNChicago.com) and Danny Parkins (670 The Score) join David Kaplan on the panel.

NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport reports that the Bears will not use the franchise tag on Alshon Jeffery for the second straight year. Is that the right move? And what will Ryan Pace do with all of his team’s cap space?

The Bulls are winning but their new, young point guard doesn’t know his role. Will anything ever change with the Bulls?

That plus Scott Paddock drops by to recapping a thrilling Daytona 500 finish.

Listen to the full episode at this link or in the embedded player below:

Draft pick at No. 3 demands guiding 'concept' of what Bears ultimately want to be

Draft pick at No. 3 demands guiding 'concept' of what Bears ultimately want to be

With the Bears holding the No. 3 pick of the upcoming draft, the obvious and automatic focus settles on Player A, B, D etc. "Best available" is an operating philosophy that routinely rules the moment.
 
But for the Bears and the 2017 draft, another overarching philosophical principle is in play. Specifically, what is the concept (for want of a better word) guiding what GM Ryan Pace is attempting to do?
 
Coach John Fox, as well as Pace, want a team founded on defense, running the football and ball security. They know the franchise need for a quarterback, but a team building on defense could reasonably be expected to weight their draft decisions toward that side of the football.
 
Meaning: A quarterback like Clemson's Deshaun Watson could alter the entire persona of the Bears and the Halas Hall building, but if the far-and-away best option at No. 3 is defense…?
 
What makes this draft and the Bears' operating concept intriguing is that the chances will be there potentially to build a true elite defense. Beginning at No. 3:
 
"I think [Alabama defensive lineman] Jonathan Allen is one of the two or three best players in this draft," said NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock via conference call on Monday. "What I like about him is he dominates outside…but I think he's going to make his money on an inside pass rusher. Inside or outside, I think he's a special player."
 
Behind that – and last year's No. 1, Leonard Floyd, addressed the rush-linebacker spot – is the secondary, with both cornerback and safety among the strongest positions in the draft.
 
"This is a great corner class," Mayock said. "If you don't get one in the first round, you can come back in the second or third rounds and really help yourself."
 
The safety group is such that Mayock posited the prospect of two going in the Top 10, maybe Top 5. 
 
Deciding on a "concept"
 
One former NFL personnel executive maintained that the salary cap all but precluded building offense and defense equally, so the need was to define an identity and build to that, within reason. Former Bears GM Jerry Angelo opted a concept that built both offense and defense equally, but with designated positions ticketed for more cap resources: quarterback, running back, one wideout, two O-linemen, one franchise pass rusher, etc. Not all 22 positions are created equal but creating offense and defense simultaneously was doable.
 
"It's really what a team is looking for," said Mayock, speaking both of player preferences but in a way that extended to picking players for a scheme. Or philosophy.
 
Different concepts, like diets, work if you execute them well.

The Bears reached Super Bowl XLI with a Top 5 defense and a mid-teen's offense. The Indianapolis Colts prevailed in that game with a No. 3 offense and a defense ranked in the low 20's in both yardage and points allowed.