There are actions and there are words. At this point the Chicago Bears are all about words when it comes to Matt Forte, their all-purpose Pro Bowl running back.
The Chicago Bears and new GM Phil Emery will use the 2012 NFL Draft to fill holes on both sides of the ball and to address needs at key positions. With QB Jay Cutler still in search of a No. 1 threat outside of the numbers and a vacant spot opposite Julius Peppers along the D-line, let's check out the Bears draft priorities.
There's no way of knowing if the alarm clock went off playing "I Got You, Babe'' at Dean Spanos' bedside this morning, but Tuesday does seem a bit like Groundhog Day in San Diego. What's that they say about the definition of insanity, doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results?
LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP) -- The Chicago Bears borrowed a page from the Indianapolis Colts in end-of-season house cleaning: fire the GM and keep the coach.
Anxious to get those quiz answers from yesterday's column? Hang on just a moment now. Almost here.
NFL player Sam Hurd faces federal drug charges and has been cut from the Chicago Bears team.
The Chicago Bears waived wide receiver Sam Hurd on Friday, two days after federal authorities arrested him on charges of conspiring to possess and distribute cocaine.
I love Thanksgiving. Always have. It's the food mostly, and seeing family I haven't seen in a while. Football's always been a part of it, but never the central part. This year might be different. This week, I'm going to politely have to say, "Uh, I need to watch 10 hours of football on Thanksgiving.''
CHICAGO -- It was a new venue, and new opponent, but the same old bleak sense of reality surfaced for the San Diego Chargers. The bleeding refuses to stop in San Diego, and now the Chargers are in critical condition with six weeks left in the regular season.
Here's a little quiz: Name the leading playoff rusher for the last five Super Bowl champs.
Fairly amazing weekend in the NFL: Road teams went 10-4. Giants by four at one of the toughest places to win in the league (Foxboro), Ravens by three at a similarly tough Waterloo (Pittsburgh), Niners by eight in their fourth East Coast trip in seven weeks (Washington), Pack by seven against a troubled but troublesome team (San Diego), Broncos by 14 in a Black Hole (Oakland), Dolphins by 28 in what formerly was a very tough venue (Kansas City) ... and, Monday night, the Bears by six over a team that continues to mystify the western world (Philadelphia).
CHICAGO -- Dispatches from the Packers' more-impressive-than-it-sounds 27-17 win over the befuddling Bears at Soldier Field ...
The Super Bowl XX champions Chicago Bears -- regarded as one of the most colorful teams in NFL history with players nicknamed "The Fridge," "Da Coach," "Sweetness," and a punk quarterback -- has been invited to the White House next month to make up for a visit that was canceled 25 years ago, a White House official told CNN Thursday.
MOORESVILLE, N.C. -- This weekend, the Chase for the Championship will open in one of America's great cities, Chicago. But will NASCAR's championship series be able to escape the large shadow cast by the mighty Chicago Bears?
LANDOVER, Md. -- Musings, observations and the occasional insight as we soak in the surprising results from an NFL Week 1 that was long on emphatic statements made by teams in Baltimore, Houston, Buffalo, and Philadelphia....
SI.com is previewing all eight divisions throughout the week in anticipation of the 2011 season kicking off. (Send comments to email@example.com)
PITTSBURGH -- Musings, observations and the occasional insight from an interesting, but rather uneven Championship Sunday in the NFL ...
Grading out the performances from Green Bay's historic 21-14 win at Chicago in the NFC Championship Game ...
Breaking down the NFC Championship Game, Packers at Bears, Sunday, 3 p.m., FOX:
Related galleries for the Jan. 24, 2010 issue
Chicago Bears stories in the SI Vault
CHICAGO -- As much as some will say that Sunday's 35-24 victory over the Seahawks was a test for Bears quarterback Jay Cutler, it wasn't. OK, maybe a little bit. But not enough that anyone should draw definitive conclusions.
Grading out the performances from Chicago's 35-24 win over Seattle in an NFC divisional playoff game at Soldier Field:
FOXBORO, Mass. -- Musings, observations and the occasional insight as we dig into the results and juiciest storylines of the first three games of the NFL's divisional round ...
Breaking down the NFC divisional battle, Seahawks at Bears, Sunday, 1 p.m. , FOX
There are a good number of positional battles to keep an eye on in this week's NFL divisional playoffs. Here are the ones that take center stage:
Musings, observations and the occasional insight as we wrap up the NFL's wild-card weekend of playoff action and start counting the hours until next weekend's intriguing slate of divisional-round matchups ...
Musings, observations and the occasional Week 16 insight as the NFL's 12-team playoff field continues to come into focus ...
Quick-hitting insight from today's 1 p.m. games ...
Musings, observations and the occasional insight from the Bears' playoff-clinching drubbing of the Vikings in the frigid environs of Minnesota....
CHICAGO -- After this one, you could almost hear the collective uh-oh starting to echo around the rest of the NFL. These Patriots are serious. They're on a mission. And we all know what that means, because it hasn't been all that long since we've seen it before.
The death of a man who fell from an upper deck Sunday during a home game of the Chicago Bears has been ruled an "accident" by the Cook County Medical Examiner's office, a spokeswoman said Monday.
Musings, observations and the occasional Week 12 insight as we thankfully get treated to another eventful Sunday of NFL action ...
Here are five things we learned from the Chicago Bears' 16-0 win over the Miami Dolphins at Sun Life Stadium on Thursday night.
Quick-hitting insights from the slate of 1 p.m. games ...
Quick-hitting insights from the slate of 1 p.m. games ...
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Musings, observations and the occasional Week 7 insight as we await the second annual Brett Favre Lambeau Reunion Weekend, which all but slipped off the radar screen in the NFL's recent news-intensive atmosphere ...
They come along every decade or so, and we initially fall for the bait.
We had so much fun interjecting scatterbrain thoughts into the Friday Clicks last week, it makes perfect sense to go the same route before Week 4. So, here we go:
Five things we learned from watching the Bears pull out a rather-improbable win over the error-prone Packers at Solider Field ...
PHILADELPHIA -- Musings, observations and the occasional insight as we take in a Week 1 that's sure to spark overreaction and over-analysis on numerous fronts. But then again, that's par for the course on the NFL's opening weekend ...
This week, SI.com is rolling out previews for all eight NFL divisions. Today, we tackle the NFC North and AFC North, following up earlier breakdowns of the AFC East, NFC East, AFC South and NFC South. The AFC and NFC West conclude things Friday.
Musings, observations and the occasional insight as we run down the winners and losers in Week 3 of the NFL's preseason. The games don't count, but the perceptions sure do. ...
Musings, observations and the occasional insight as we run down the winners and losers in Week 2 of the NFL's preseason. The games don't count, but the perceptions sure do. ...
Now that Fantasy Clicks has cast a net with a significantly larger audience -- thanks to the format change -- I'll have to work doubly hard to entertain the masses every time out (or risk alienating brutally honest Twitter followers like @KSully49 -- just kidding). So, to celebrate this renewed commitment to excellence, let's start with a real 12-team auction draft from Monday night.
SI.com has dispatched writers to report on the 32 NFL training camps across the country. Here's what Don Banks had to say about the Bears camp. For an archive of all camp postcards, click here.
Excerpted from Blood, Sweat and Chalk, by Tim Layden (Sports Illustrated Books). © 2010 by Time Home Entertainment Inc. Available wherever books are sold.
LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Bears head coach Lovie Smith is fond of saying his team gets off the bus running the football, but last season the only fitting analogy would have conjured up a bus stop, because the Chicago running game went nowhere in 2009. The glaring facts were these:
There's not a lot of clarity in the wake of the American Needle decision by the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday. Except for one thing: I don't see it pushing the two sides to the bargaining table to quicken the process toward a labor deal when the current one runs out following the 2011 NFL Draft.
Quietly, near the end of a conversation about his Chicago Bears offense Saturday afternoon, Mike Martz said, "I've seen this before.''
Breaking down the best and worst of each team's selections from the 2010 NFL draft. ...
Almost one week of the NFL's free agency period is in the books, and that means some of what we thought we knew about the first round of this year's draft is already painfully out of date. Here's a look at 12 teams that have had their draft wish list impacted in some way by key gains or losses in free agency, or in the case of the Jets, a key trade just before it began: (Editor's Note: A full mock draft is scheduled for Tues., March 16).
There are any number of ways you can look at the Bears' start to free agency.
Chan Gailey's recent hiring by the Bills means all 32 NFL head-coaching jobs are filled. But don't be fooled: the coaching carousel has not stopped spinning. Several coordinator and position coach openings have yet to be filled, and while those don't generate as much attention, they're no less important.
Amid speculation that former Notre Dame coach Charlie Weis could be headed to Chicago to replace fired offensive coordinator Ron Turner, a league source said that Weis actually might be bound for Kansas City.
A foul mood has enveloped Chicago for several weeks now. As for a cause, the usual suspects -- weather, traffic, weather, parking, weather, political shenanigans -- are blameless.
PHILADELPHIA -- Musings, observations and the occasional insight as we await the Cowboys-Eagles NFC East first-place grudge match to come tonight at Lincoln Financial Field ...
There's a widely accepted axiom in the NFL that you are what your record says you are. The Chicago Bears hit November with a 4-3 mark, same as last year's after seven games. If they're running in place, it's viewed as regression because of the wild-eyed expectations generated by Jay Cutler's arrival from Denver in an uncharacteristically bold trade made last April.
The Cincinnati Bengals are the halfway house of the NFL, the Grand Central Waystation for second chancers, last dancers and chronic screwups. The owner, Mike Brown, believes in extending lifelines, partly because they don't cost much, but also because he has a bit of savior in him. Brown once referred to himself as a "redeemer.''
Though it threatens to become as over-played as the no-respect angle, did you notice how the revenge factor was all the rage in the NFL on Sunday?
Breaking down Sunday's Chicago Bears at Cincinnati Bengals game (4:15 p.m., Fox)...
Things we learned from the Falcons' 21-14 conquest of the Bears Sunday night at the Georgia Dome ...
My weekly look at key matchups and storylines to watch in one game at each time slot. (All times Eastern).
Things we know (or at least think we do) one month into the NFL's regular season....
My weekly look at key matchups and storylines to watch in one game at each time slot. (All times Eastern)
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- This might sound like a bit of a reach, but hang with me for a minute while I make the case that this one was far more valuable than just any old season-opening win to the Green Bay Packers. This one, as ugly as it was for most of the night on offense, was exactly what Aaron Rodgers needed, and by extension, what his team needed.
Breaking down Sunday's Chicago Bears at Green Bay Packers game (8:20 p.m., NBC)...
The interminable NFL offseason -- 221 days long this year for those of you keeping score at home -- is about to end.
We'll get to everything in the league pre-8 p.m. Sunday in a minute. And there's a lot to get to. But first, there's the exhibition game that was no exhibition game. I wasn't in Denver, but I watched Bears-Broncos on TV. Or should I say, I felt it. I don't remember a preseason game that felt as much like a regular-season game in the 25 years I've been covering the sport. The hitting, the noise, the stakes, the vibrating NBC cameras. At one point Al Michaels had to shout to be heard above the din; when Josh McDaniels was being interviewed by Andrea Kremer before the game, he had to lean to her face, and she was practically shouting.
SI.com has dispatched writers to report on the 32 NFL training camps across the country. Here's what Don Banks had to say about the Bears' camp in Bourbonnais, Ill.. For an archive of all the camp postcards, click here.
BOURBONNAIS, Ill. -- Dispatches from the almost giddy proceedings surrounding Bears camp at Olivet Nazarene University -- a.k.a. Cutler-ville -- during a humid and yet spirited Tuesday afternoon practice ...
The NFL is about winning but there are several parties in virtual no-win trick bags heading into the 2009 season. It isn't that they can't win in terms of victories. It's just perception has a nasty habit of becoming reality and the perception is they have been handed the keys to a Ferrari. If they win the race, it's the car. If they lose, it's their fault.
When the Bears acquired Jay Cutler last month, and followed it up by selecting defensive back D.J. Moore in the draft, they unofficially became the 13th member of the Southeastern Conference by virtue of having five former Vanderbilt Commodores on their 2009 roster.
As minicamps start springing up around the NFL map, this month is when we get that first sneak peek of the new rookie draft class. But as much as all the new faces in all the new places pique our interest, a less obvious source of impact will come from all those highly-regarded 2008 rookies who either fell off the radar screen due to injuries or failed to live up to expectations last year.
Giving a draft grade for each team the day after the draft is a fruitless exercise. It takes a minimum of three years before a draft can be revisited and evaluated to determine how productive a team was with its selections. With that caveat, here's my reaction to every team's picks, grouped in categories as opposed to the standard letter grade.
With the Broncos and Bears this month giving up on quarterbacks they drafted, and former first-round pick Byron Leftwich making the Bucs his fourth team in 20 months, the NFL's ever-changing landscape at the game's most pivotal position is once again on prominent display.
There are some things in life that you can consistently count on to sit there lazy, lifeless and unproductive: a beached whale, for example. Or a socialist. Or, closer to home, a football fan after a Sunday of pitchers and wings.
This story appears in the April 13, 2009 issue of Sports Illustrated
For the Bears, a team that hasn't had a headline quarterback since Jim McMahon was wearing headbands in the Super Bowl, the move to acquire Jay Cutler late Thursday afternoon was the kind of bold stroke Chicago has rarely been accused of during Jerry Angelo's tenure as general manager.
The 2009 NFL season officially begins Friday at 12:01 a.m. when free agency opens. What follows is a rundown of the game plans for every NFC team heading into free agency and the draft. For the AFC teams, click here.
Breaking down Sunday's Chicago Bears at Minnesota Vikings game (8:15 p.m., Eastern, NBC) ...
MINNEAPOLIS -- The way provincialism and partisanship grab hold of a situation such as the one in which the Minnesota Vikings found themselves in this week, you find yourself dealing with almost two versions of reality. There is the version as seen and vented over by those close enough to the team to either work for it or reside nearby in the Twin Cities. Then there is the take of folks in Chicago, Green Bay and other rival NFL cities, witnessing from afar the controversy over diuretics in the drug tests of two important Vikings players, defensive tackles Pat Williams and Kevin Williams, and their subsequent suspensions by and legal entanglements with the NFL.
CHICAGO -- Musings, observations and the occasional insight as we take in the NFL's latest sequel: "The Return of Rex,'' a Windy City-based movie that makes us all feel as if we've seen it before and know how it ends...
If they're paying attention, the other 31 NFL teams realize that 9-0 and "Uh-oh'' are now the operative words when it comes to describing the Tennessee Titans.
Breaking down Sunday's Tennessee Titans at Chicago Bears game (1 p.m., Eastern, CBS) ...
Call it the Madden effect -- as in the videogame in which players inevitably go for it on fourth-and-whatever. NFL coaches this season are taking a cue, going for it on fourth down within their opponents' three-yard-line more than usual. Through nine weeks (130 games), teams had gone for the touchdown in that situation 23 times. That projects to 45 such tries for the season, nine more than in any year this decade.
After watching the Bears' offense transform into one of the league's most explosive units, league observers are effusive in their praise of Kyle Orton. The fourth-year pro has been outstanding during the first half of the season, and his stellar play has ignited what was expected to be a pedestrian offense.
Musings, observations and the occasional insight while a Week 6 that was flush with fantastic finishes unfolds before our eyes ...
Musings, observations and the occasional insight as we behold maybe the grittiest, guttiest Colts comeback victory in the entire 11-year points-apalooza that has been the Peyton Manning era, that 18-15 slugging match with the shellshocked Vikings....
SI.com has dispatched 10 writers to report on the 32 NFL training camps across the country. For the complete schedule of postcards, click here.
Pillar by pillar, Chris Olsen's world was crashing down.
It sounds like the Bengals didn't draft three wide receivers last week just because of the Chad Johnson holdout and the Chris Henry firing. Bengals coach Marvin Lewis tells me there's a T.J. Houshmandzadeh element to it, too.
After watching the New York Giants rely on outstanding performances from several rookies to catapult their Super Bowl run, many executive are hoping for similar success from their draft classes. But predicting a rookie's potential impact is less about their draft status, and more about the situation that surrounds them. This is why we often see rookies drafted in later stages of the draft impact the team greater than first-round picks. The following is a list of rookies who are poised to make a big impact in their first season due to ideal circumstances:
(This week, just games with playoff implications.)
Musings, observations and the occasional insight as we ponder what Bill Parcells thinks of his one-win Dolphins about now ...
Sports Illustrated will announce its choice for Sportsman of the Year on Dec. 3. Here's one of the nominations for that honor by an SI writer. For more essays, click here.
Maybe it's a natural byproduct of the dearth of talent around the league at quarterback, or even offensive coordinator. Maybe it's a measure of just how many impact injuries have wiped out teams at running back and offensive line this season. Or perhaps it's an indication that NFL defenses across the board are simply more sophisticated, more athletic and more effective than ever.
In 18 years covering the league, I've reported from 43 different NFL stadiums. Here are my top 10 favorites:
Bears fans spent the greater part of the last year pleading, begging and praying for Lovie Smith to replace Rex Grossman with Brian Griese. Turns out they were right.
Adrian Peterson, RB, Minnesota: The rookie superstar amassed 361 total yards from scrimmage against the Bears. He had a 224-yard, three-touchdown performance as a runner and keyed the winning touchdown drive with a 53-yard kickoff return. They brought him in to be a big-play guy, and he's even more dangerous than they imagined.