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Only thing even Rahm Emanuel can't fix: Da Bears (The Associated Press) ( yesterday ) Courtesy of
CHICAGO (AP) -- Rahm Emanuel traded Washington politics for the City of Big Shoulders because here, at least, he figured he could actually fix things. Yahoo! Sat, Dec 20
Saints' new secondary braces for Falcons (The Associated Press) Courtesy of
METAIRIE, La. (AP) -- Saints cornerback Terrence Frederick and safety Pierre Warren spent offseason practices, minicamp and training camp working together in New Orleans' defensive backfield, only to go their separate ways when the regular season started. Yahoo! Fri, Dec 19
Greg Cosell's Film Review: Why Jay Cutler hasn't worked out (Shutdown Corner) Courtesy of
Chicago Bears coach Marc Trestman’s offense is grounded in Bill Walsh’s West Coast philosophy. I know the “West Coast Offense” term is vague by now because of how many changes have been made to it by different coaches, but the offense’s foundation is grounded in rhythm passing and its precision. If it’s a three-step drop, the ball goes here. If it’s a five-step drop, the ball goes there. And my sense from afar, watching the film, is that Jay Cutler is not that kind of precision quarterback for that offense. [ Join FanDuel.com's $2M Week 16 fantasy league: $25 to enter; top 17,475 teams paid ] Before we get more into the fit between Trestman and Cutler, here’s a play that I think is telling. It was the second play of Chicago’s game last Monday night against the New Orleans Saints. On second and eight from the Bears’ 9-yard line, Cutler had a three-step drop and a throw that should have gone to the right. A three-step drop is not a full-field read; you don’t read both sides because it is supposed to come out quick. Tight end Martellus Bennett is immediately open to Cutler’s right, and that’s the throw. You get it to him, he likely gains a minimum of 5 or 6 yards, and now it’s third and 2, a manageable situation to sustain a drive. Except that Cutler didn’t throw the ball to Bennett, and for whatever reason he looked to the other side of the field, and that’s not in play on a three-step drop. He threw the ball away. Instead of it being third and short, it was third and 8. On the next play, Cutler threw an interception. Yahoo! Fri, Dec 19
1 thing even Rahm can't fix: Da Bears (The Associated Press) Courtesy of
CHICAGO (AP) -- Rahm Emanuel traded Washington politics for the City of Big Shoulders because here, at least, he figured he could actually fix things. Yahoo! Fri, Dec 19
Bears' Tillman hints at return, can't explain awful 2014 season (Shutdown Corner) Courtesy of
Holiday spirit is in a little shorter supply this season in Chicago with the Bears' struggles this season, but injured cornerback Charles Tillman is trying to keep a healthy perspective on the team and himself — and also giving fans a reason to smile — as best he can. "It has just been one of those years, man," Tillman told the Shutdown Corner. "Every year, some team just has one of those years. That's us." Tilman has been working back from a season-ending triceps injury he suffered back in Week 2 that put his career status in doubt, but he's rehabbing dutifully and taking part in his usual dose of community service — he was the NFL's Walter Payton Man of the Year last season — for which he is widely respected in the community. [ Join FanDuel.com's $2M Week 16 fantasy league: $25 to enter; top 17,475 teams paid ] He's also at a loss for words on why the Bears' season has gone so awry. Tillman blames injuries and bad luck as the primary factors. "I don't think anyone could have foreseen how this has gone. I always have felt that we have a chance to win the Super Bowl before the season, and this year was no different. I just think injuries had a lot to do with it. We just have not been healthy, and that's something this team has struggled with the last two years. "I think everyone did everything they could to come into the season healthy, but stuff happens. It's football, man. The football Gods made sure we were going to all be injured this year, so that's how it went." The Bears lost Tillman in Week 2, and other stalwarts went down throughout the season: linebacker Lance Briggs, receiver Brandon Marshall, defensive end Lamarr Houston and linebacker D.J. Williams, among them. But most of those injuries took place well into the season — after the Bears' struggles were well underway. Their injuries from the 2013 season appeared to be more serious and plentiful, when the team lost several starters for various lengths, but still finished 8-8 and on the cusp of the playoffs. Other factors have derailed the Bears' 2014 season. First, the struggles of the defense continued to the point where coordinator Mel Tucker was made out to be the fall guy. Tillman thinks this was unfair. "I don't agree with Mel being the fall guy," he said. "I believe we as players have to make plays. If you blame Mel, you have to blame the players, too. It's not just one man's job or duty. You need all 11 guys and coaches on board, working together as one. If you don't have that, you lose. "We've shown collectively how great we can be at times, but we have been inconsistent. We've been consistently inconsistent. That's a little frustrating because I know the level of talent we have. On paper, we're talented. But some days we just don't show up." More recently, the Aaron Kromer breach of trust has divided the locker room. Tillman couldn't help but acknowledge the situation but also said it's not the kind of thing that will linger long term. "I think there might have been a little trust lost with a few words that were said a few weeks ago, but I also know that there was an apology and we've all come to terms with that," he said. "I relate that to, if you have a problem with your wife and have a falling out, are you not going to ever trust them again? "You still love each other. You fight and you work through it. Let's be done with it and move on. It's no different in the locker room. That tension exists, and we face each other like men, forgive each other and move on. I think that's normal." As for the much-discussed benching of quarterback Jay Cutler, Tillman indicated that the decision was above his and his teammates' pay grades. "Those are coach's decisions," Tillman said. "We, as a team, just have to roll with it and trust that they have the best interest of the team with the decisions they make." Does Tillman agree with Martellus Bennett's assessment following the loss to the New Orleans Saints that some Bears have quit on the team? "I don't know. I think guys are. I think it's just one of those years where no matter what happens, everything has gone wrong. I see guys put in the work; I see the effort. I think frustration has killed some passion, though." Tillman has said recently he intends to return to the NFL next season, health willing, but that everything feels good with his triceps now. "The triceps is awesome," he said. "I feel strong. ...I am lifting a little weight now. Right now, the goal is to get my arm as strong as I can. "No Peanut punching right now; maybe some peanut jabs. It's not where it needs to be yet. But I'm getting close to hopefully making some plays next year for the team." Is a return to the Bears in the offing for 2015? "I [would] return to the Bears," he said. "But right now I look at it as interviewing for all 32 teams. The Bears are included in that. I have no ill will whatsoever. I am keeping all options open." But being hurt hasn't dampened Tillman's charitable heart, and he recently found a new team to work with — Courtyard, the official hotel of the NFL — to raise some holiday spirit in a video series the hotel chain is doing called "Courtyard Camera" with NFL players. Tillman posed in disguise as an overzealous holiday video director in a Chicago branch of the hotel and tried to recruit guests to sing songs for him on tape. "I'm a kid at heart, and anytime there are cameras there is going to be fun to be had if I am involved," Tillman said. "My job was to get [hotel guests] to go along with it and sing 'Jingle Bells.' They had no idea who I was. I had props, a disguise, I was acting so serious ... people thought I was crazy. And no one knew who I was. "I was screwing up people's names on purpose, pushing it right to the edge without them getting mad." The results are pretty amusing. Have a look: Tillman's body might be injured, but his heart is just as warm and vibrant as before. - - - - - - - Eric Edholm is a writer for Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at edholm@yahoo-inc.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @Eric_Edholm Yahoo! Fri, Dec 19
Current Roster
Quarterback College External Player News Links
Jimmy Clausen Notre Dame
Jay Cutler Vanderbilt
Runningback College External Player News Links
Ka'Deem Carey Arizona
Matt Forte Tulane
Montell Owens Maine
Senorise Perry Louisville
Wide Receiver College External Player News Links
Josh Bellamy Louisville
Alshon Jeffery South Carolina
Marc Mariani Montana
Brandon Marshall UCF
Josh Morgan Virginia Tech
Rashad Ross Arizona State
Chris Williams New Mexico State
Marquess Wilson Washington State
Tight End College External Player News Links
Blake Annen Cincinnati
Martellus Bennett Texas A&M
Zach Miller Nebraska-Omaha
Dante Rosario Oregon
Kicker College External Player News Links
Jay Feely Michigan
Robbie Gould Penn State
Defensive Lineman College External Player News Links
Jared Allen Idaho State
David Bass Missouri Western State
Brandon Dunn Louisville
Ego Ferguson LSU
Lamarr Houston Texas
Stephen Paea Oregon State
Jeremiah Ratliff Auburn
Trevor Scott Buffalo
Will Sutton Arizona State
Cornelius Washington Georgia
Willie Young North Carolina State
Linebackers College External Player News Links
Jonathan Bostic Florida
Lance Briggs Arizona
Jeremy Cain Massachusetts
Khaseem Greene Rutgers
Christian Jones Florida State
Devekeyan Lattimore South Florida
Shea McClellin Boise State
Darryl Sharpton Miami (FL)
D.J. Williams Miami (FL)
Defensive Back College External Player News Links
Chris Conte California
Kyle Fuller Virginia Tech
Shamiel Gary Oklahoma State
Demontre Hurst Oklahoma
Tim Jennings Georgia
Al Louis-Jean
Danny McCray LSU
Sherrick McManis Northwestern
Terrance Mitchell Oregon
Ryan Mundy West Virginia
Charles Tillman Louisiana-Lafayette
Brock Vereen Minnesota