Chicago Sun-Times http://www.suntimes.com Latest news from the Chicago Sun-Times Online en-us webmaster@suntimes.com (Editor) Newspapers http://www.suntimes.com/csp/cms/sites/STM/assets/img/logos/suntimes.gif Chicago Sun-Times http://www.suntimes.com 84 34 30 Copyright 2014 <![CDATA[ Overlooked Notre Dame QB Tommy Rees gets chance to impress Bears ]]> Lead story image

The Bears’ Halas Hall isn’t a foreign or intimidating place to Tommy Rees. The Notre Dame quarterback has roamed its grounds before. Rees, who played at nearby Lake Forest High, was there “a bunch” when his father, Bill, worked for the team in the late in 1990’s. And Rees said he stopped in during high school. Yet, Friday’s visit will be different. Very different. “It’s a little weird being from right there,” Rees said. “But I just look at it as a great opportunity.” It’s an opportunity during the Bears’ local pro day to prove he has some NFL value, … ]]> Thu, 17 Apr 2014 00:17:49 -0500 http://www.suntimes.com/sports/football/bears/26889521-606/overlooked-notre-dame-qb-tommy-rees-gets-chance-to-impress-bears.html http://www.suntimes.com/sports/football/bears/26889521-606/overlooked-notre-dame-qb-tommy-rees-gets-chance-to-impress-bears.html <![CDATA[ Safety Calvin Pryor says he’s the right type for Bears ]]> Lead story image

Calvin Pryor and the Bears have the same reputation. ‘‘I bring a certain type of physicalness to the defense,’’ the Louisville safety told the Sun-Times on Tuesday. ‘‘The Bears are already known to be physical. ‘‘That playmaker ability, that’s what I can bring to the team. . . . If I get added to the team.’’ Projected to go in the top half of the first round in next month’s NFL draft, Pryor met with the Bears about two weeks ago. He came away impressed with coach Marc Trestman, general manager Phil Emery and defensive coordinator Mel Tucker. ‘‘It was a positive … ]]> Wed, 16 Apr 2014 02:24:14 -0500 http://www.suntimes.com/sports/football/bears/26869799-419/safety-calvin-pryor-says-hes-the-right-type-for-bears.html http://www.suntimes.com/sports/football/bears/26869799-419/safety-calvin-pryor-says-hes-the-right-type-for-bears.html <![CDATA[ Bears will face Seahawks in third preseason game ]]> Lead story image

The Bears’ third preseason game will be on the road against the reigning Super Bowl champions. In the game featuring the most playing time for starters and relevant backups, the new-look Bears will face the Seahawks between Aug. 21 and 24. The NFL announced its preseason schedule Wednesday. In the Bears’ case, it gave a range of dates for three games and a solid date and time for the other. The team will open at home against the Eagles — who beat the Bears 54-11 in December — between Aug. 7 and 10. The Bears will host the Jaguars on Aug. … ]]> Wed, 09 Apr 2014 22:53:06 -0500 http://www.suntimes.com/sports/football/bears/26746485-419/bears-will-face-seahawks-in-third-preseason-game.html http://www.suntimes.com/sports/football/bears/26746485-419/bears-will-face-seahawks-in-third-preseason-game.html <![CDATA[ Four downs with Mike Ditka: On the Bears’ defense and NFL ownership ]]> Lead story image

1. The Bears have made some big offseason moves, especially on the defensive side of the ball. What kind of message does that send to the coaches and players? They understood what their problem was: defense. Marc [Trestman] has done a great job with the offense. They knew they had to get better people on defense, get a better pass rush and get better people to cover in the secondary. And they did that. Now, they still have to deal with Green Bay, Detroit and Minnesota in that division. But it’s pretty clear that they got better. I think it … ]]> Sun, 13 Apr 2014 02:36:25 -0500 http://www.suntimes.com/sports/football/bears/26751488-606/four-downs-with-mike-ditka-on-the-bears-defense-and-nfl-ownership.html http://www.suntimes.com/sports/football/bears/26751488-606/four-downs-with-mike-ditka-on-the-bears-defense-and-nfl-ownership.html <![CDATA[ Bears long snapper Patrick Mannelly undecided on return ]]> Lead story image

If Patrick Mannelly returns, it will be for a franchise-record 17th season with the Bears. “It would be tough to put on another helmet for another team,” he said Tuesday. The Bears want the long snapper back, too. Mannelly said he and general manager Phil Emery have been in contact while Mannelly rehabs after having hip surgery  Jan. 23. It typically takes four to six months to recover. After receiving the team’s Ed Block Courage Award at Maryville Academy in Des Plaines on Tuesday, Mannelly flew to San Diego, where he’ll train with specialists. Mannelly will decide whether to retire … ]]> Tue, 08 Apr 2014 21:56:56 -0500 http://www.suntimes.com/sports/football/bears/26723615-606/bears-long-snapper-patrick-mannelly-undecided-on-return.html http://www.suntimes.com/sports/football/bears/26723615-606/bears-long-snapper-patrick-mannelly-undecided-on-return.html <![CDATA[ Bears meet with former Buccaneers QB Josh Freeman ]]> Lead story image

The Bears’ search for a veteran backup quarterback prompted them to meet Monday with Josh Freeman, sources confirmed to the Sun-Times. Freeman, 26, was a first-round draft pick of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2009. He threw for 4,065 yards and 27 touchdowns for them in 2012 and began last season as their starter before struggling and being released in October. He started one game after signing with the Minnesota Vikings, completing 20 of 53 passes for 190 yards with an interception Oct. 21 against the New York Giants. He suffered a concussion in that game and didn’t play the … ]]> Mon, 14 Apr 2014 21:44:18 -0500 http://www.suntimes.com/sports/football/bears/26704531-419/bears-meet-with-former-buccaneers-qb-josh-freeman.html http://www.suntimes.com/sports/football/bears/26704531-419/bears-meet-with-former-buccaneers-qb-josh-freeman.html <![CDATA[ Bears sign center Brian de la Puente to back up Roberto Garza ]]> Lead story image

As the saying goes, you never can have enough good centers in the NFL. The Bears added depth to their offensive line by agreeing to terms with center Brian de la Puente, a three-year starter, on a one-year contract ostensibly to back up veteran Roberto Garza. The 6-3, 306-pound de la Puente, who will turn 29 in May, started 44 games over the previous three seasons for the New Orleans Saints, including the first two under Bears offensive coordinator Aaron Kromer, who was the Saints’ offensive-line coach. De la Puente, who got his break as a starter when former Bears … ]]> Sun, 06 Apr 2014 23:42:47 -0500 http://www.suntimes.com/sports/football/bears/26681924-606/bears-sign-center-brian-de-la-puente-to-back-up-roberto-garza.html http://www.suntimes.com/sports/football/bears/26681924-606/bears-sign-center-brian-de-la-puente-to-back-up-roberto-garza.html <![CDATA[ Chris Conte out 4-5 months after shoulder surgery ]]> Lead story image

Even as the Bears added three safeties to their roster this offseason, management maintained that its goal was for Chris Conte to compete to keep his starting job in training camp. That just got more complicated. Conte had surgery on his right shoulder late last month, sidelining him for four to five months — ostensibly, until the start of training camp. His shoulder was dislocated in 2012 and grew worse over the last two seasons. Conte tried to rehabilitate it this offseason but chose to stabilize the shoulder with surgery when that proved ineffective. The team has signed safeties Ryan … ]]> Thu, 03 Apr 2014 23:44:57 -0500 http://www.suntimes.com/sports/football/bears/26623635-419/chris-conte-out-4-5-months-after-shoulder-surgery.html http://www.suntimes.com/sports/football/bears/26623635-419/chris-conte-out-4-5-months-after-shoulder-surgery.html <![CDATA[ Jared Allen’s prowess, personality give Bears a huge boost ]]> Lead story image

Jared Allen won the news conference — normally a hollow victory at Halas Hall, but not this time. ‘‘Just watch me play this year,’’ Allen said Monday when asked how much he has left in the tank. ‘‘I mean, I’m in great shape. I’m a full year off of surgery on my shoulder. Workouts are going phenomenal. I’m excited. I want to believe in what I’m playing for and who I’m playing for. That’s why I’m here. . . . I feel like I’m still the best at what I do. If not the [best], one of [the best].’’ It’s one thing … ]]> Tue, 01 Apr 2014 15:53:13 -0500 http://www.suntimes.com/sports/football/bears/26557807-419/jared-allens-prowess-personality-give-bears-a-huge-boost.html http://www.suntimes.com/sports/football/bears/26557807-419/jared-allens-prowess-personality-give-bears-a-huge-boost.html <![CDATA[ Bears have offensive stars returning, but still seek backup plan ]]> Lead story image

ORLANDO, Fla. — To emphasize his point, Bears coach Marc Trestman shrugged, smiled and motioned with his hands. “It’s hard to find a Matt Forte skill set,” Trestman said of his Pro Bowl running back this week during the NFL owners meetings. Trestman was answering a question about what he looks for in a backup running back. Second-year pro Michael Ford is the Bears’ backup after veteran Michael Bush was released this month. It’s one of several questions that linger for Trestman’s offense. Fretting over who backs up who might seem frivolous, considering every starter is returning from last year’s … ]]> Fri, 28 Mar 2014 20:55:25 -0500 http://www.suntimes.com/sports/football/bears/26482400-419/bears-have-offensive-stars-returning-but-still-seek-backup-plan.html http://www.suntimes.com/sports/football/bears/26482400-419/bears-have-offensive-stars-returning-but-still-seek-backup-plan.html <![CDATA[ Trestman reflects but doesn’t regret ]]> Lead story image

ORLANDO, Fla. — An informal breakfast with ­media during the NFL owners meetings this week provided coach Marc Trestman with the opportunity to reflect on taking over a Bears team that was run by Lovie Smith for nine seasons. There were no signs of regret. “Obviously, there was change,” Trestman said. “[But] I don’t think there was an overhaul culturally. I let the guys know from the beginning that they had drafted and put together a really good locker room. “We had good guys who had already had success. Lovie did a good job, and I always made sure that … ]]> Fri, 28 Mar 2014 12:03:23 -0500 http://www.suntimes.com/sports/football/bears/26486436-419/trestman-reflects-but-doesnt-regret.html http://www.suntimes.com/sports/football/bears/26486436-419/trestman-reflects-but-doesnt-regret.html