With coach Lovie Smith and quarterback Jay Cutler in place, new Bears GM Phil Emery will have a headstart on his predecessors. Click through the gallery for 10 more observations--football and otherwise--from the weekend.
1. If Phil Emery has total authority on football matters, he should take a look at how the Bears treat injuries, especially those that involve surgery. Emery is a former strength-and-conditioning coach at Navy.
2. Putting a franchise tag on Matt Forte might be the best move. It gives Forte a salary he deserves and it keeps him upset and hungry. And Forte seems like the type who plays much better when he's got a chip on his shoulder.
3. You have to believe Emery has an appreciation for the value of a big receiver to Jay Cutler. The Chiefs drafted 6-5 wideout Jonathan Baldwin of Pittsburgh in the first round last year.
4. The half-hearted effort of the linemen has made the Pro Bowl even more of a joke than its ever been. It's too bad Roger Goodell can't put something on the line — like giving the winning conference home-field advantage in the Super Bowl.
5. ND safety Harrison Smith did well at the Senior Bowl — Emery was among those who interviewed him after practice. Even more intriguing is Boise St. safety George Iloka, one of few who measured taller (6-3 5/8) than his listed college height (6-3).
6. Outside of the host hotel at the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala., I was reaching in my pocket to give a bum a buck for a cup of coffee … but it was only Rob Ryan, the Cowboys' disheveled defensive coordinator, waiting for his car.
7. Maybe Illinois coach Bruce Weber should take the Mike Brey approach and recruit under-the-radar guys. Why is it so much more difficult to get touted recruits to overachieve?
8. Illinois' 13 D-I basketball teams were 6-19 last week, with the only victories over out-of-state teams by DePaul (Rutgers), Illinois State (Missouri State) and Western Illinois (IUPUI, Nebraska-Omaha). In-state D-I teams are 106-162 overall, 34-84.
9. Great effort by Derrick Rose and the Bulls to take the Heat to the limit in Miami without Luol Deng or C.J. Watson. Heat's Big Three has a better supporting cast this season, but they still aren't much better than they were last year. Not yet, anyway.
10. The game did expose a Bulls flaw vs. Heat that can't be overlooked. In late-game possessions, if Rose isn't going to find Richard Hamilton in the corner, he needs to play off the ball where he's more dangerous coming off a pick and getting the ball.