Word on the Street: Bears' backs brawling?

Word on the Street: Bears' backs brawling?

Friday, Dec. 3, 2010
CSNChicago.com

Bears' backs brawling?

Bears running backs Chester Taylor and Kahlil Bell nearly came to blows Thursday afternoon during practice. The situation was resolved before it escalated, according to a source for Chicago Tribune writer Brad Biggs, but there was rumor that this was a long time coming, as the two may have been at odds for a while.

This isn't the first bout with a teammate Taylor has endured throughout his veteran career, having already fought Vikings defensive end Erasmus James in 2007. He also reportedly threw a chair at offensive tackle Orlando Brown when both players were on the Baltimore Ravens.

This isn't the first time Bears' running backs have gotten into a fight, either, but the dispute may come with a silver lining. The last time came in 2006 when Thomas Jones and Cedric Benson dueled. At one point, Jones even punched Benson in the head at practice. However, the Bears went to the Super Bowl that year, so Thurday's tiff could be a good omen. (Chicago Tribune)

Cubs interested in trading for Gonzalez?

The Cubs are reportedly still interested in trying to work out a deal for All Star first baseman Adrian Gonzalez. The Cubs are looking into acquiring a left-handed hitting first baseman in the offseason and are also interested in Carlos Pena and Lance Berkman. No trade offer has been reported, but the Cubs and Red Sox are front runners at the moment. (FoxSports)

Santo's wake and funeral announced

Ron Santo, the beloved former Cubs player and radio broadcaster, passed away early Friday morning from complications with bladder cancer. A public visitation for the Hall of Fame hopeful will be held at 4 p.m. Thursday at Holy Name Cathedral, 730 N. Wabash St.

The funeral will be held at 10 a.m. Friday at Holy Name. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Ron's memory to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Follow the link for more information. (Chicago Sun-Times)

Canucks coach still feels Hawks ran up score

Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville and Canucks head coach Alain Vigneault are still at odds over whether Chicago ran up the score during its 7-1 win over Vancouver on Nov. 20. Vigneault is still steamed and Quenneville is still defending his team and his decisions. The rivalry between the two teams has grown thanks to the meetings in the playoffs the last couple of years, both ending in the Hawks eliminating the Canucks from contention. (Vancouver Sun)

Super Bowl Shuffle owner files lawsuit

Julia Meyer, the owner of the popular ditty "Super Bowl Shuffle" from the 1985 Chicago Bears Super Bowl team, filed a lawsuit this week against Viacom, claiming the media conglomerate used the video on MTV and VH1 without permission. (Wall Street Journal)

Lions likely to be without top defensive end

The bad news just keeps rolling in for the Detroit Lions, who are already without their top two quarterbacks Sunday against the Bears. Now, they are likely going to face off against Jay Cutler and the red-hot Chicago offense without the aid of their top pass-rusher Kyle Vanden Bosch.

Vanden Bosch missed practice for the fourth straight day Friday and has not practiced since leaving the Lions' loss to New England on Thanksgiving Day last week with a neck injury. (Freep.com)

Cutler avoids fine

Despite the fact that the Bears won the game, quarterback Jay Cutler was still apt to yell at an official, but has avoided a fine for his behavior. Cutler was penalized 15 yards for unsportsmanlike conduct after screaming at an official for not calling what he believed to be pass interference on running back Matt Forte. The Bears' signal-caller was fined 20,000 for abusive conduct toward an official after the Cardinals beat Chicago 41-21 at Soldier Field last year. (Chicago Tribune)

Bedard won't be a Cub, but will Bonderman?

The Chicago Cubs have officially lost out on the Erik Bedard sweepstakes as the Seattle Mariners signed the oft-injured southpaw starter to a one-year, non-guaranteed contract. The Cubs were reportedly interested in signing Bedard, but may just come out winners now that they don't have to deal with him. Bedard has gone to the disabled list every season in his professional career. The Cubs have had enough of those types of pitchers after Mark Prior and Kerry Wood in the early 2000's.

However, the Loveable Losers may be interested in Jeremy Bonderman, the former Detroit Lions starter who has battled arm injuries for the past few seasons. Cubbies Crib blogger Jordan Campbell believes Bonderman should be the Cubs' fallback option if they are unable to sign former Arizona Diamondbacks ace Brandon Webb. (CubbiesCrib.com)

Hawks Talk Podcast: What's the cause of recent struggles?

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USA TODAY

Hawks Talk Podcast: What's the cause of recent struggles?

On the latest Hawks Talk Podcast, Pat Boyle and Steve Konroyd discuss the latest slump and how much does Artem Anisimov's injury play a role in their struggles?

Konroyd tells us he was surprised by Ryan Hartman's benching in Tampa.

The guys play the game, playoff minutes or press box minutes?  They run through the players who are on the bubble when it comes to postseason play.

They also discuss the Hawks chances of overtaking Washington for the President's trophy.

Plus, Konroyd breaks down possible first round opponents: St Louis, Calgary and Nashville.

No sign Bears locked into drafting a QB in 2017 as Ryan Pace underscores 'best available' tack

No sign Bears locked into drafting a QB in 2017 as Ryan Pace underscores 'best available' tack

PHOENIX – NFL owners meetings, like the Scouting Combine, invariably involve hallway conversations regarding quarterbacks. Why doesn’t Colin Kaepernick have a job? Why does Mark Sanchez have one? Will Jay Cutler take one? This year, despite a 3-13 record last season and a continuing slide toward irrelevance, the Bears are in intriguing part of those conversations, or maybe, whispers.

The reason, beyond the obvious fact that the Bears stand at No. 3 in a QB-lite draft, is because the Bears not only have done significant things at the position – cutting Cutler, signing Sanchez and Mike Glennon, not signing Brian Hoyer – but one NFL source said to keep an eye on the Bears as potentially being involved in at least one future blockbuster after this season.

More on that in a moment.

First of all, every indication is that GM Ryan Pace is absolutely NOT locked into or about to allow himself to be pressured into drafting a quarterback in 2017. Certainly not at No. 3, maybe not at all. Maybe this is pre-draft posturing, misinformation or misdirection, and Pace has said in the past that he wants to draft quarterbacks but hasn’t in his first two Bears drafts. But still:

“We’re going to draft the best players available, wherever that may be,” Pace said on Tuesday. “And if it’s a quarterback, it’s a quarterback. But we’re going to take the best players available. I think now some of those things are unforeseen. You can’t predict some of those things. But right now I like the way Sanchez blends with Glennon and with Connor Shaw.”

Whether the public likes Pace’s moves at quarterback, or whether they’re good, bad or anywhere in between is just offseason speculation for now. The NFL will start giving him meaningful feedback sometime this September. What Pace has in fact done, regardless of analyses at this point, like it or not, is create options for himself and his coaches. And those extend beyond 2017.

Some context here: Even with some measure of job security in the short term, Pace is tasked with winning in the future as well as the present. He has addressed the 2017 quarterback situation, if not spectacularly, with Glennon and Sanchez specifically. But think beyond ’17; because Pace is.

More context: GM’s and head coaches like and need options. Doubts about Glennon, Sanchez, Connor Shaw or some rookie notwithstanding, Pace has the Bears positioned with options, not necessarily good options, but arguably best-available for the most part.

A little more context: Dowell Loggains may not have quelled all doubts about his play calling, but Cutler, Hoyer and Matt Barkley all had their best NFL stretches, albeit short, under his stewardship. 

Pace has effectively positioned the Bears for not one or two, but as many as a half-dozen spins of the quarterback wheel looking for a winner. It is a place the Bears were not in for most of Cutler’s tenure outside of brief Hoyer and Josh McCown bursts.

Within this context, consider the Pace’s chances for a strike at THE priority position for the franchise:

Spin 1: Mike Glennon

Pace announced the former Bucs quarterback as the Bears’ starter. Probably is. But Matt Flynn was the Seahawks’ starter when they free-agent signed him away from Green Bay in 2012. He lost his starting job by the end of training camp to a rookie third-round draft choice, Russell Wilson.

The Bears chose Glennon over Cutler and Hoyer because of upside; if Glennon plays to his perceived ceiling, the Bears have him under contract for two more years.

Spin 2: Mark Sanchez

When all the cynical subsides, consider him a low-risk spin who has been good enough to stand a career 37-35 as a starter. McCown amounted to something and still is after age 30, even with bad teams. Hoyer played some of his best football the past two seasons, after age 30. If Loggains resuscitates Sanchez’s career at age 30… .

Spin 3: The rookie

How, where and even if – make that a big IF – the Bears make their first Ryan Pace draft pick of a quarterback doesn’t come around for another month. But whomever the Bears select, if they select a quarterback this draft, gives Pace another spin of the QB wheel.

Spin 4: Kirk Cousins

CSNChicago.com confirmed that the Bears called on Cousins’ availability, even with the specter of Washington’s franchise tag hanging over him. But as one NFL source noted, Cousins is on a one-year deal ($23.94 million tag guarantee), it is his second and presumably last tag, and he has spurned long-term Washington offers to this point.

Glennon’s contract commits the Bears to $16 million this year. After that, minimal guarantee. Sanchez, one-year deal. Cousins, one-year deal.

Next offseason… . 

Spin 5: Jimmy Garoppolo

The Eastern Illinois quarterback wasn’t deemed worth a No. 3 pick in 2014, in either round one or two. He hasn’t put enough on film to make him worth that pick now.

But if the Cleveland Browns don’t trade for him, or New England hasn’t turned to him and locked him up contractually, he would be an unrestricted free agent next offseason. It will take a long-term market deal but at least he wouldn’t cost a high No. 1.

Spin 6: Connor Shaw

He is already clearly getting a preseason look, as he did last year, and is ahead of evaluations that accompanied David Fales and some other Bears hopefuls. He’s found money if he develops into something, but Warren Moon, Tony Romo and Kurt Warner were all undrafted free agents, too.