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RE: RE:Da Bears - 5/5/2008 9:30:05 AM   
Duane Sampson


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Myriad Problems Converge on Bears



Cedric Benson (Otto Greule Jr./Getty)







By Viking Update Staff
Posted May 5, 2008


Just two seasons ago, the Chicago Bears were on top of the NFC North division, but that seems like decades ago. Besides their on-field slide, the Bears are encountering a number of problems surrounding contracts and legal matters.


It must be tough being a Bears fan.

Recently being the top dog of the NFC North, the Bears became the last-place team in the division within the span of one season. And, while the Vikings, Packers and Lions have all taken strides to improve themselves, the Bears appear to be the only team in the division going in the opposite direction.

As bad as things have been on the field, it doesn’t look as though things are getting better. If anything, they are getting worse. Consider the following:
  • With the chance to upgrade at quarterback, the Bears simply re-signed Rex Grossman and appear to have just punted their problem ahead another year.
  • Brian Urlacher, who signed a monster contract just three years ago, is digging his heels in the sand, saying he wants a new deal that the Bears seem unwilling to pay.
  • Tommie Harris, their young star at defensive tackle, is also being sought out for a long-term contract. Yet, it would seem the Bears don’t want to shell out the kind of money top defensive tackles are being paid these days.
  • Devin Hester, arguably their top big-play threat, is also looking for a long-term deal to pay him the money he believes he deserves. But the Bears are dragging their feet on that deal too.
  • Lance Briggs, who recently signed a long-term extension, could be in legal hot water. He is scheduled to meet with a judge in June after completing just two of his 120 hours of community service as part of a plea deal when he flipped his luxury car last summer and fled the scene before police could arrive, hiding out and giving many the impression that he was hiding something more at the time of the accident.
  • RB Cedric Benson was arrested over the weekend for DUI while boating, adding to his laundry list of problems that begin with him never living up to his high draft standing.

    Say what you want about the Vikings being on the right side of the arc as it pertains to being a team on the rise. The Packers nearly reached the pinnacle last year and Detroit found a way to avoid losing 10 games for the first time in a long time. Now it’s the Bears’ turn to be under the microscope. From this vantage point, it looks as though it may be some time before they contend for the division title again, giving hope to fans from Minnesota, Green Bay and Detroit that 2008 might be their year.
  • Post #: 76
    RE: RE:Da Bears - 5/6/2008 6:50:32 AM   
    Duane Sampson


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    Low Salary Could Save Cedric Benson's Job
    Mon May 5, 2008

     
    ESPN's John Clayton reports one of the things that could save RB Cedric Benson's shaky situation in Chicago is his rather low salary. He's only scheduled to make $820,000 this season. A veteran running back replacement could cost that and more. Because of that salary, the Bears could take the position that they will let his drunken boating charge play out in court and bring him to camp. Chicago clearly isn't going to be happy about the incident. He has two years left on his contract, and there is a decent chance he may not be the same runner coming off a broken leg. If found guilty, Benson faces up to six months in jail and $2,000 for each Class B misdemeanor. Benson is scheduled to appear in Travis County Court on May 19. In Texas, a BWI charge carries the same weight as a DWI.
    Post #: 77
    RE: RE:Da Bears - 6/1/2008 10:37:42 AM   
    Duane Sampson


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      Brian Urlacher Wants it Both Ways
      Sun Jun 1, 2008

      The Boston Globe reports beware of the nine-year deal. That seems to be the underlying message in the contract disagreement between MLB Brian Urlacher and the Bears. In 2003, Urlacher signed a nine-year contract worth up to $57 million, but as player salaries have exploded in recent years, Urlacher has become unhappy that he's locked in for another four seasons. In one sense, Urlacher's camp makes a fair point, noting that NFL salaries aren't guaranteed, so the contract length has little meaning. Yet Urlacher can't have it both ways. By signing the nine-year deal and receiving almost $19 million in bonuses and guarantees in '03, he sacrificed leverage for the future, putting the ball squarely in the team's court.
    Post #: 78
    RE: RE:Da Bears - 6/2/2008 8:01:44 AM   
    Duane Sampson


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    Lance Briggs trying to be the new Shawn Kemp / Travis Henry:

    http://www.suntimes.com/sports/football/bears/951610,CST-NWS-briggs15.article
    Post #: 79
    RE: RE:Da Bears - 6/2/2008 8:12:04 AM   
    Lynn G.


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    None of these guys can afford condoms?  

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    Post #: 80
    RE: RE:Da Bears - 6/2/2008 10:45:22 AM   
    Jim Frenette


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    quote:

    ORIGINAL: Duane Sampson
      Brian Urlacher Wants it Both Ways
      Sun Jun 1, 2008

      The Boston Globe reports beware of the nine-year deal. That seems to be the underlying message in the contract disagreement between MLB Brian Urlacher and the Bears. In 2003, Urlacher signed a nine-year contract worth up to $57 million, but as player salaries have exploded in recent years, Urlacher has become unhappy that he's locked in for another four seasons. In one sense, Urlacher's camp makes a fair point, noting that NFL salaries aren't guaranteed, so the contract length has little meaning. Yet Urlacher can't have it both ways. By signing the nine-year deal and receiving almost $19 million in bonuses and guarantees in '03, he sacrificed leverage for the future, putting the ball squarely in the team's court.




    I don't mind players wanting to get what they are worth, but what I disagree with is them signing for long terms thinking that is a great deal and then a couple of years down the ine think it wasn't so they want a different contract. These players need to limit the number of years on contracts if they want to keep up with the pay scales.

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    Post #: 81
    RE: RE:Da Bears - 6/10/2008 10:39:22 AM   
    Tim Cady

     

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    What was your favorite Cedric Benson moment?

    1. He was drafted 4th overall and couldn't beat out Thomas Jones for the starting job.
    2. They traded Thomas Jones and he still couldn't perform like a starter.
    3.They cut him after paying him all but the $820K left on his rookie contract.

    If it weren't for Neal Anderson and Thomas Jones(average but not great), I would say there has been a curse on the running back position in Chicago, since Sweetness left. How many top 10 runners have failed in the last 15 years or so? Salaam and Enis and Bensen. Any more? The sixth rounder we got for Twill looking pretty good now.




    http://www.startribune.com/sports/vikings/19671414.html?location_refer=Vikings
    Post #: 82
    RE: RE:Da Bears - 6/11/2008 8:41:42 AM   
    Todd M

     

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    The Chicago Bears defense does not endorse Cedric Benson By MJD
    Not only did they not endorse him, they wished injury upon Cedric Benson. And not only did they wish it, but they actually tried very hard in practice to make it a reality.
    Jay Glazer was on Dan Patrick's radio show today, and he told Patrick about the 2006 training camp depth-chart battle between Thomas Jones and Cedric Benson. Lovie Smith favored Benson, but the Bears players ... well, they had a pretty clear favorite (mp3).
    Glazer: I mean, hell, one year, they tried to hurt [Benson] to make sure that Thomas Jones was going to be the starter. That's how bad it was with that team. And--

    Patrick: Wait ... his teammates tried to hurt him in practice?

    Glazer: Oh yeah, absolutely. Absolutely.

    [...]

    Patrick: Who told you this? Was it a Bears defensive player that told you this?

    Glazer: No, it wasn't *a* Bears defensive player; it was about ten of them.
    Man, I wish I had known that before I interviewed Tommie Harris.
    Benson's phone probably wasn't going to be ringing off the hook anyway, but I bet he's sitting at home right now thinking, "Thanks a lot, Glazer. It'll really help my signability if everyone knows that my own teammates wanted to cripple me."



    That's quite the team chemistry they got going there.



    There's people picking them ahead of us this year?

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    Post #: 83
    RE: RE:Da Bears - 6/11/2008 4:02:28 PM   
    Duane Sampson


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      Cowboys Could be Interested in Cedric Benson
      Wed Jun 11, 2008

      The Austin American-Stateman reports the Dallas Cowboys might have an interest in former Chicago Bears RB Cedric Benson, a former star for the University of Texas. Jones signed former Bears DT Tank Johnson, suspended after his arrests on gun charges, and traded for Tennessee Titans CB Pacman Jones, who was kicked out of the league for a year after repeated brushes with the law. Benson, a first-round draft pick of the Bears, started off on the wrong foot by staying out of training camp seeking a bigger contract. After he joined the team, Benson didn't get along well in the locker room and was mediocre on the field - not what the front office or fans expected from the fourth player chosen overall in the 2005 National Football League draft. As a Longhorn, Benson was outstanding on the field but sometimes a problem off it. He was sentenced to eight days in jail for breaking into an apartment looking for his stolen television. Benson's arrest began a pattern of Longhorns football players arrested by local police for various criminal offenses. Texas HC Mack Brown's team has been plagued by problem players who are in the news for all the wrong reasons. A successful, quality program like UT's should be preparing its young men for life, not just the next game.





    Post #: 84
    RE: RE:Da Bears - 6/13/2008 11:10:13 AM   
    Jeff Jesser


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    A lot of class in that D trying to hurt a teammate.  
    Post #: 85
    RE: RE:Da Bears - 6/13/2008 11:14:11 AM   
    Duane Sampson


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    I hate the Bears.
    Post #: 86
    RE: RE:Da Bears - 6/13/2008 11:24:00 AM   
    Jeff Jesser


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    Me too.  My hatred list goes like this:

    Puke
    Cow
    Bears
    Falcons
    Post #: 87
    RE: RE:Da Bears - 6/13/2008 11:26:02 AM   
    Duane Sampson


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    Mine goes like this:

    Bears



    Post #: 88
    RE: RE:Da Bears - 6/13/2008 11:26:59 AM   
    Jeff Jesser


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    Post #: 89
    RE: RE:Da Bears - 7/18/2008 12:47:19 PM   
    Duane Sampson


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    Bears | T. Harris predicts Super Bowl
    Thu, 17 Jul 2008 16:31:48 -0700

    The NFL Network reports Chicago Bears DL Tommie Harris feels the defense has the capabilities to be the best in the league and predicts the team going to the Super Bowl.






    Post #: 90
    RE: RE:Da Bears - 7/18/2008 1:19:59 PM   
    Jeff Jesser


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    He didn't say "play in".  They have every right in the world to go.  
    Post #: 91
    RE: RE:Da Bears - 7/18/2008 1:20:27 PM   
    Jeff Jesser


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    Well, unless of course, he can't leave the state. 
    Post #: 92
    RE: RE:Da Bears - 7/21/2008 2:00:33 PM   
    Tim Cady

     

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    Good stuff Jeff, Duane.

    My hate list is just like Jeff's, although there have been times where only da Bears have been on it for a season. Right my list is Packers, Packers,Bears, Cowboys, Packers, Packers, Bears....Love the Falcons when they suck. Hate them for Jan 1999, always. Love the fact that Jerry Jones still thinks he knows more about football than anyone. I am hoping for the softness of Dallas to come through this year. Right now you punch that team in the mouth and they will go home crying..Not just talking about TO, either.

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    Post #: 93
    RE: RE:Da Bears - 7/22/2008 10:24:08 AM   
    Tim Cady

     

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    Bears caved and made Brian Urlacher, the highest paid Bear on Defense. Can't be good unless Urlacher is happy, I guess.

    That team is going down, the have always overvalued linebackers, where has it gotten them?

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    Post #: 94
    RE: RE:Da Bears - 7/27/2008 2:57:31 PM   
    So.Mn.Fan


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    The Chicago Bears signed Devin Hester to a four-year contract extension Sunday that creatively accounts for his transition from kick returner to a full-time wide receiver.


    The four-year deal is worth at least $30 million, of which $15 million is guaranteed. But according to a source, it also includes a $10 million roster bonus in the final year if Hester reaches performance levels of a No. 1 receiver over the course of the contract. The bonus "de-escalates" to account for performance below the level of a No. 1 receiver.
    The maneuver is similar to the one Chicago gave defensive tackle Tommie Harris in June. Harris has a de-escalator clause that requires him to make the Pro Bowl in three consecutive years, among other requirements, in order to reach the maximum level of bonus money in the deal.
    The team announced the deal Sunday. Hester skipped the first two days of training camp because he wanted to renegotiate his contract, which had two years left. Hester returned to camp Friday, saying there was progress in the negotiations.
    He said he skipped practices to make a statement that he was serious about a new deal.
    Hester's previous contract was for $445,000 for the 2008 season.
    Post #: 95
    RE: RE:Da Bears - 7/30/2008 2:14:05 PM   
    Tim Cady

     

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  • On draft day, NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock reported that some teams were questioning the neck and back issues of offensive lineman Chris Williams. The Chicago Bears selected him with the No. 14 overall pick, and he has missed most of training camp with a sore back. "I'm real frustrated," Williams told the Chicago Tribune.-kevin seifert blog.


    I am starting to think the Bears should just trade their first rounders for experienced veterans. They get one right about every 10 years.

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    RE: RE:Da Bears - 7/30/2008 2:22:03 PM   
    Toby Stumbo


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    quote:

    ORIGINAL: Tim Cady
  • On draft day, NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock reported that some teams were questioning the neck and back issues of offensive lineman Chris Williams. The Chicago Bears selected him with the No. 14 overall pick, and he has missed most of training camp with a sore back. "I'm real frustrated," Williams told the Chicago Tribune.-kevin seifert blog.


    I am starting to think the Bears should just trade their first rounders for experienced veterans. They get one right about every 10 years.

  • And I say they trade all their picks for 1st rounders so they continue to suck at it.

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    Post #: 97
    RE: RE:Da Bears - 7/30/2008 3:57:29 PM   
    Andy Lowe


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    quote:

    ORIGINAL: Toby Stumbo

    quote:

    ORIGINAL: Tim Cady
  • On draft day, NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock reported that some teams were questioning the neck and back issues of offensive lineman Chris Williams. The Chicago Bears selected him with the No. 14 overall pick, and he has missed most of training camp with a sore back. "I'm real frustrated," Williams told the Chicago Tribune.-kevin seifert blog.


    I am starting to think the Bears should just trade their first rounders for experienced veterans. They get one right about every 10 years.

  • And I say they trade all their picks for 1st rounders so they continue to suck at it.

    This was also a pick that was ripped by some (aside from injuries), I can't remember what the issues was but I know McShay thought this was a complete reach, and it was questionable whether Williams could play tackle in the NFL
    Post #: 98
    RE: RE:Da Bears - 9/23/2008 9:09:54 PM   
    Duane Sampson


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      Bears Make Player Moves
      Tue Sep 23, 2008

      The Chicaho Bears official website reports the Bears on Tuesday claimed CB Marcus Hamilton off waivers from the Buccaneers and waived WR Mark Bradley, a 2005 second-round draft pick.
    Post #: 99
    RE: RE:Da Bears - 10/14/2008 1:30:47 PM   
    Duane Sampson


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    Bears fight that folding feeling 



    Rashied Davis (Andy Lyons/AP)







    By Scout.com
    Posted Oct 14, 2008


    While the Vikings were trying to feel good about a come-from-behind win, their next opponent, the Chicago Bears, are trying to get over the fact that they’ve let the lead slip away from them in all three of their losses. So the Bears and the Vikings will both enter Sunday’s game at 3-3 and tied for the division lead.


    The Bears might be worse than the White Sox’ bullpen when it comes to holding a lead, but at least they’re not whining that they could be 6-0, considering their three losses are by a total of eight points.

    “Whether we accept it or not we’re still 3-3,” defensive end Alex Brown said, “so we have to move on.”

    Sunday’s collapse in the final 11 seconds at the Georgia Dome was the Bears’ most dramatic but just the latest in three come-from-ahead losses in five weeks. Prior to the 22-20 heart-breaker, they blew a 24-14 lead with 3:12 left at home against the Bucs on Sept. 21. A week earlier, they squandered a 17-3 lead late in the third quarter on the road against the Panthers. The latest failure to finish was the most stunning, since it happened so quickly.

    Wide receiver Rashied Davis, whose 17-yard TD grab put the Bears ahead 20-19 with 11 seconds left, was asked if he had ever seen such a drastic reversal of fortunes, even during his four years in Arena Football, which often resembles a human pinball game.

    “Ummmm, no, no,” Davis said. “Not even in Arena, when you can score 28 points in the last minute.”

    Davis also chose not to lament the losses of 3, 3 and 2 points or to wonder what could have been. But he warned that if the Bears continue to let close games slip away, they can forget about any postseason plans.

    “We are a 3-3 club,” he said. “There’s no solace in being close at the end of these games. We lost. We will be out of the playoffs if we keep losing games by 1, 2 or 3 points. We’re a 3-3 team, but we’re going to go out here and fix the mistakes that we made and move forward.”

    The good news for the Bears is that they are at home against the 3-3 Vikings on Sunday and have a chance to move into sole possession of first place in the mediocre NFC North. The Packers, also 3-3, host the resurgent 3-2 Colts.

    “It is what it is,” safety Mike Brown said. “We could feel like we’re better, but what’s the saying? You are what your record says you are. We’re a .500 football team. It’s still in our control.”
    To maintain control, the Bears will have to avoid the critical mistakes that resulted in the loss to the Falcons.

    Even coach Lovie Smith admitted there were costly blunders, including Robbie Gould’s squib kickoff with 11 seconds remaining that was fielded by the Falcons at the 34-yard line and returned 10 yards, using up just five seconds.

    Gould admitted after the game that his kick needed to at least reach the 20, and Smith agreed. The Bears could have also chosen to kick deep and cover better than they had on the previous kickoff, which was returned 85 yards by Jerious Norwood.

    “We need to get a little bit more production from it,” Smith said of the last kick. “If I had to do something over again, I feel like I could have helped our team a lot better if we’d have just kicked the ball off deep.”

    Then there was the 26-yard Matt Ryan pass to Michael Jenkins that also used up just five seconds, leaving one tick for Jason Elam’s 48-yard field goal. Smith didn’t second-guess the Cover-2 defense the Bears employed on that play, just the execution.

    “That’s the coverage that we like to run in that situation,” Smith said. “We didn’t execute it exactly the way we need to.”
    The Bears aren’t trying to convince anyone they’re better than .500, but they have a chance to prove it against the Vikings.

    “We’ve had opportunities to win the three games that we’ve lost,” Smith said. “But I think your record is what you are. We’re a 3-3 team that’s on top of our division with important games coming up.”
    Four of the Bears’ next six games are against NFC North opponents.

    NOTES
  • With just three weeks in a new system, Bears cornerback Marcus Hamilton was put into a difficult position Sunday afternoon at the Georgia Dome.

    Injuries to four other defensive backs forced him into the starting lineup in the second half, while Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan was completing 8 of 11 passes for 142 yards. Hamilton, a first-year player who was cut by the Bucs after Week 3, said he felt like the Falcons were picking on him.

    “That’s what they’re supposed to do,” he said. “That’s what any team would do, so that wasn’t a factor. That wasn’t an issue.”

    Ryan’s 26-yard pass that set up the game-winning field goal as time expired sailed over Hamilton’s head and in front of safety Mike Brown.

    “I just didn’t sink deep enough, and they threw the ball over the top,” Hamilton said. “When (the secondary receiver) came into the flat, probably about six or seven yards deep, going to the sideline also, I tried to play between them, and he put it right over the top.”

    Depending on the severity of Charles Tillman’s shoulder injury - he left the locker room with his arm in a sling — and if Nate Vasher (thumb/wrist) can’t return next week after missing two games, Hamilton might be playing a bigger role in the future.

    “I’ll be able to bounce back,” he said. “I’m getting in the playbook, knowing the defense and I will be able to rock and roll from there.”
  • The slew of injuries in the Bears’ secondary also impacted special teams which employ many defensive backs in their coverage units.
    “It’s huge,” special teams coordinator Dave Toub said. “But that’s what happens. You get guys injured and other guys have to step up. We had guys playing positions that normally they wouldn’t, but that’s just the way it is on special teams.”

    That may have been a factor in the Bears deciding to squib the final kickoff instead of kicking deep. On Robbie Gould’s previous kickoff, Jerious Norwood returned it 85 yards to the Bears’ 17.

    “The kickoff before, we kicked it deep, and they were able to get a long run,” coach Lovie Smith said. “The guys were a little bit tired, so we felt like a squib would be safe to get them down, and they would have a chance at maybe one more play. If we keep it in play (on the last pass) the game should be over.”
  • The Bears appeared to have stopped the Falcons at their 29-yard line when Tommie Harris recovered a fumble by Atlanta’s Jerious Norwood. But as Harris tried to get up and run from a prone position, he fumbled the ball back to the Falcons, who got a fresh set of downs and eventually a 32-yard field goal by Jason Elam.

    “I was getting up because I didn’t hear a whistle,” Harris said. “I was laying down there and nobody blew a whistle so I was getting up. I didn’t have two hands on it. I laid on it, and when I got up it slipped out of my hands.”
  • LB Brian Urlacher was credited with just four tackles against the Falcons, although he also had two tackles for loss.
  • CB Charles Tillman left the locker room with his left arm in a sling after injuring his left shoulder in the third quarter against the Falcons. He did not return.
  • RB Matt Forte was wearing a splint on his injured left thumb Monday, but he is not expected to miss Sunday’s game.
  • OG Terrence Metcalf was suspended for four games without pay by the NFL for violating its policy on anabolic steroids and related substances.
  • SS Kevin Payne had 10 tackles vs. the Falcons and leads the Bears with 45 for the season.
  • Post #: 100
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