Chicago Bears

Words to live by from The Colonel Richard Dent

Words to live by from The Colonel Richard Dent

Wednesday, Feb. 9, 2011
9:43 p.m.

By John Mullin
CSNChicago.com

Richard Dent and the Hall of Fame selectors made their choices known as far as the Bears defensive end earning inclusion in that august fraternity. But Michael David Smith of ProFootballTalk.com (http:tinyurl.com6jlnkfw) takes a contrarian course along with thoughts from Mike Florio and Jason Whitlock on why Dent had to wait as long as he did for the necessary votes.

A piece that doesnt make sense, however, is that part of the Dent discussion uses tackle Willie Roaf as an example of someone more deserving. That doesnt seem to be relevant, though. Roaf most definitely deserved to be voted in, having made the Team of the Decade for two different decades. More apt comparisons might have been Dent with Rickey Jackson or others like Andre Tippett in past classes.

Dent and Roaf belong in the Hall of Fame.

Not a company man
Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy won a Super Bowl trophy in spite of losing 15 players to injured reserve through the season. A 16-game season.

As Gregg Rosenthal notes on ProFootballTalk.com, McCarthy is not in any hurry to get to 18 regular-season games, even if NFL owners have that as part of the collective bargaining agreement discussion (http:tinyurl.com4mynrut).

Hard to argue with someone whose team limped, literally, into NFL history. Best guess here is that the 18 games will happen, in some form. The TV money is so massive from two real games vs. two meaningless preseason games, and TV is the NFLs biggest customer.

But teams wont go into an 18-game calendar with existing roster sizes. And one thought may be that coaching itself may need to change as far as use of starters. Currently a quarterback and most key players are rarely taken out of games until they are beyond even blowout level. The need in an 18-game world may be to use reserves more frequently and in longer stretches as a means of saving wear on critical starters.

Not a done deal, either way.

A final thought

I did a short video report on this, but just in case you didnt catch it:

Richard Dent and I had dinner sometime back and he reflected on the 85 Bears, but also on so much more.

My thing, he said, is that they put on your grave the year you came and the year you left. In between is the little dash, and life is about what you did with your dash. You met some people, you had some fun, some people helped you and you helped them, and thats your dash. Thats what its all about: filling your dash. Its gone too soon.

Words to live by from The Colonel.

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.

Can Markus Wheaton fix what ails the Bears’ offense?

Can Markus Wheaton fix what ails the Bears’ offense?

Markus Wheaton was a full participant in practice on Wednesday and wasn’t on the Bears’ injury report Thursday, signaling that the 5-foot-11, 189 pound speedster will make his Bears debut Sunday against his former team, the Pittsburgh Steelers. He’s not the solution for the Bears’ offense, but he could be part of it. 

For an offense that’s woefully lacked someone who can reliably stretch the field, Wheaton can at least provide the threat of going deep. Two years ago, while with the Pittsburgh Steelers, Wheaton averaged 17 yards per reception. Mike Glennon’s longest completion this year went for 22 yards. 

“It definitely adds another dimension,” Glennon said. “It’ll be great having Markus back.”

But Wheaton only played in three games last season (four catches, 51 yards) and, at his best, averaged 48 catches, 696 yards and four touchdowns a year from 2014-2015. Is it fair to expect Wheaton to be a big part of the Bears' offensive solution given he hasn't played much recently, and was limited to only a handful of reps in training camp and preseason practices due to a pair of freak ailments?

Maybe not, but with the Bears 0-2, he's the best hope they have at a skill position. 

Wheaton needed an emergency appendectomy the first weekend the Bears were in Bourbonnais — “I thought I had to poop,” Wheaton said, maybe providing too much information, before realizing the excruiating pain in which he was in was something worse. Shortly after returning to the practice fields at Olivet Nazarene University, Wheaton fractured his pinkie finger in gruesome fashion (he said the bone was sticking out) when he was awkwardly grabbed while trying to catch a pass. 

That Wheaton broke a finger wasn’t only significant for his ability to catch passes. Consider what his former quarterback — Ben Roethlisberger — had to say about what makes Wheaton an effective deep threat:

“He’s got a very good ability of using his hands,” Roethlisberger said. “When you’re trying to stretch the field, you’ve gotta have some little techniques to help you get open because DBs can run as much as receivers can. So you gotta be able to use your hands to swim, kinda, get some swiping, get the hands off, I thought that he really had some good technique when it came to the deep ball and getting away from DBs.”

Roethlisberger and Wheaton shared a good rapport in Pittsburgh, with the quarterback clearly communicating to the receiver what he expected timing-wise in his routes. It’s been a challenge to develop something similar with Glennon given the lack of practice time, but Wheaton said putting in extra work after practice has helped. 

If Wheaton and Glennon can get on the same page, perhaps that can lead to at least some deep ball attempts. The Bears have to find a way to prevent opposing defenses from stacking the box and focusing on stopping Jordan Howard, who only has 59 yards on 22 carries this year. 

“We're going to face overpopulated boxes, we know that,” offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains said. “There's going to be seven, eight guys in the box every time and we have to execute better and it comes down to that.”

According to NFL’s Next Gen Stats, only three of Glennon’s 85 pass attempts have traveled 20 or more yards beyond the line of scrimmage. The only completion of those was Sunday’s garbage-time touchdown to Deonte Thompson, which was caught near the back of the end zone. 

The threat of Wheaton going deep won’t be enough, though. Glennon still has prove he can complete those deep balls — the last time he completed a pass of 25 or more yards was on Nov. 2, 2014 (though he’s only attempted 96 passes since that date). 

But Wheaton feels ready to go and is confident he can do his job — which, in turn, could, in a best-case scenario, help his other 10 teammates on offense do their jobs, too. 

“It’s been a long time coming,” Wheaton said. “I’m excited and hopefully this is the week.”

Kris Bryant is all aboard the Mitch Trubisky bandwagon

kris_bryant_mitch_trubisky_slide_photo.jpg
AP

Kris Bryant is all aboard the Mitch Trubisky bandwagon

Count Kris Bryant among the Chicagoans who are calling for Mitch Trubisky to start at quarterback for the Bears.

OK, that may be a bit extreme as Bryant simply said he would supporting giving Trubisky a "shot", but still:

After a rough game for incumbent starting QB Mike Glennon last week, most of Chicago has been clamoring for the No. 2 overall pick to get some snaps under center.

Why wouldn't the crown prince of Chicago baseball get in on the noise?