Chicago Sun-Times Latest news from the Chicago Sun-Times Online en-us (Editor) Newspapers Chicago Sun-Times 84 34 30 Copyright 2014 <![CDATA[ Bears’ offensive line acknowledges it needs to improve ]]> Lead story image

NEIL HAYES: No one should be complaining after the Bears demolished the Falcons during a 30-12 win on Sunday, although had it been known the Bears would allow five sacks, few would’ve predicted ­victory. The performance of the offensive line was acceptable if only because players readily acknowledged how much they must improve. ]]> Wed, 20 Aug 2014 17:44:06 -0500 <![CDATA[ Time for Bears to protect Jay Cutler’s blind side ]]> Lead story image

NEIL HAYES: Jerry Angelo acknowledged that the offensive line was the team’s biggest question mark entering last season. Guess what? The same is true now that the lockout is over. ]]> Sat, 29 Oct 2011 00:34:11 -0500 <![CDATA[ Bears’ Chris Harris says risk of injury puts damper on player-led workouts ]]> Lead story image

Drew Brees is paying thousands of dollars of his own money for him and 36 of his teammates to work out at Tulane and use the university’s training staff. The New Orleans Saints quarterback is helping younger players pay for lodging and is even supplying protein shakes and sports drinks for post-practice ­refueling. Does this mean the Saints will have an edge over teams planning less-comprehensive workouts during the ongoing NFL lockout? Not necessarily, say Bears players weighing the benefits of practicing as a team and the risks involved with doing so. “Being the competitors we are, we’re going to … ]]> Wed, 22 Jun 2011 19:21:15 -0500 <![CDATA[ Jerry Angelo, Bears couldn’t ask for better guides in Day 2 of NFL draft ]]> Lead story image

NEIL HAYES: Bears general manager Jerry Angelo needed all the help he could get while evaluating one of the most difficult draft classes of his career. ]]> Wed, 20 Aug 2014 17:44:58 -0500 <![CDATA[ Bears GM Jerry Angelo gets it right with Gabe Carimi ]]>

Lovie Smith redeemed himself in 2010. Starting late Thursday night, it was Jerry Angelo who was on the clock. By leading the Bears to the NFC Championship Game after three straight non-playoff seasons, the Bears coach reminded a skeptical fan base that he can coach a team with talent. Then it was up to the general manager to prove he can keep that talent coming not only via free agency but through the NFL Draft. The 2011 draft is a huge one for Angelo, perhaps the biggest of his long career, and he responded with what will likely go down … ]]> Fri, 05 Aug 2011 19:45:44 -0500 <![CDATA[ Bigger is better as Bears look to add to offensive line ]]> Lead story image

There are three reasons why the Bears must beef up the interior part of their offensive line, and they are big reasons, indeed. Their names are Ndamukong Suh, B.J. Raji and Kevin Williams.Together, the defensive tackles for the Detroit Lions, Green Bay Packers and Minnesota Vikings weigh almost 1,000 pounds and are changing the way Bears general manager Jerry Angelo evaluates guards and centers heading into the NFL draft, which starts Thursday. The strength and power of the three NFC North defensive tackles, coupled with changes to the offensive coaching staff, have made a change in philosophy at Bears headquarters … ]]> Sun, 31 Jul 2011 00:17:13 -0500 <![CDATA[ No Tommie Harris means defensive tackle a priority for Bears ]]> Lead story image

NEIL HARRIS: The Bears might not be as interested in using a first-round pick to protect quarterback Jay Cutler as many assume. With Tommie Harris gone, it could be argued that defensive tackle is an even greater need, especially with the importance of the “three-technique” tackle in coach Lovie Smith’s cover-2 scheme. ]]> Fri, 27 May 2011 14:49:56 -0500 <![CDATA[ Bears ‘in a tricky spot’ ]]> Lead story image

NEIL HAYES: An injured Jay Cutler standing on the sideline during the NFC Championship Game loss to the Green Bay Packers remains the defining moment of the 2010 season. The Bears’ biggest weakness blinks neon after they surrendered a league-high 56 sacks last season, making general manager Jerry Angelo’s draft-day priority obvious. ]]> Sun, 31 Jul 2011 00:17:43 -0500 <![CDATA[ With the 29th pick in the NFL draft, who will the Bears take? ]]> Lead story image

NEIL HAYES: Putting together a mock draft is always an exercise in futility, but never more so than this year. If Carolina Panthers coach Ron Rivera is still unsure about which direction he will go in with the No.1 overall pick, imagine how Bears general manager Jerry Angelo must feel about holding the 29th overall choice. ]]> Mon, 01 Aug 2011 00:18:12 -0500 <![CDATA[ Between NFL and pro boxing, Tom Zbikowski a scholar of hard knocks ]]> Lead story image

NEIL HAYES: Before Tom Zbikowski signed a pair of boxing gloves during a recent public workout, he wanted to know which autograph he should use. Should he sign his full name, followed by No. 28, Baltimore Ravens? Or should he sign Tommy Z, the moniker he uses as an up-and-coming professional boxer? ]]> Tue, 26 Jul 2011 00:21:06 -0500 <![CDATA[ Bears ink Lovie Smith through 2013, boost stability ]]> Lead story image

NEIL HAYES: The Bears announced Friday that they’ve signed coach Lovie Smith to a two-year extension that keeps him under contract through 2013. Smith’s staff will return virtually intact, which gives the Bears a big advantage over teams with new head coaches and/or coordinators in an offseason that likely will be frozen by a labor stoppage. ]]> Sat, 28 May 2011 04:51:32 -0500 <![CDATA[ Hayes: Duerson’s suicide rattles ex-Bear Plank ]]> Lead story image

The photograph was of Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Ricky Bell, who was falling down backward, his torso and neck twisted as he tried desperately to see what was coming up behind him. Everybody who watched the Bears during that era knows what Bell was anticipating. Flying into the frame and straight at Bell’s exposed back was Doug Plank, head down and helmet first, like a heat-seeking missile. “Counting high school and college, I played for 15 years,” the former Bears safety said. “Conservatively, I had at least two concussions a year. Twice I was knocked cold, once in high … ]]> Tue, 31 May 2011 04:46:53 -0500 <![CDATA[ Cutler a victim of his indifference ]]> Lead story image

NEIL HAYES: Jay Cutler’s medial collateral ligament is torn, and his reputation is dangling by sinew. What should be most sobering to the Bears quarterback isn’t his injured left knee or the 31.8 passer rating he posted before exiting the NFC Championship Game on ­Sunday at Soldier Field. ]]> Wed, 20 Aug 2014 17:45:50 -0500 <![CDATA[ Packers’ pass rush, corners will be tough to crack ]]> Lead story image

NEIL HAYES: Diagrams of the opposing team’s defense are on the marker board when Bears players walk into the offensive meeting room to begin installing the game plan on Wednesdays. Mike Martz sometimes draws red X’s over vulnerable defenders so everybody knows the plan of attack from the moment they step into the room. ]]> Thu, 21 Apr 2011 04:47:12 -0500 <![CDATA[ NFC title game big for both QBs, but bigger for Cutler ]]> Lead story image

Leading his team to a lopsided win over the Seattle Seahawks in a divisional playoff game was not a defining moment in Jay Cutler’s as-yet-undefined career — no matter how many wrote or said otherwise. Beating the worst playoff team in history at home is not how legends are forged. All Cutler proved last week was that a mid-sized moment wasn’t too big for him. It’s going to take a stronger statement for people to quit viewing him as a more fleet-of-foot version of Rex Grossman. It’s going to take a win over the Green Bay Packers in the NFC … ]]> Wed, 04 May 2011 04:46:24 -0500 <![CDATA[ Lovie’s recipe for success: Vanilla ]]> Lead story image

NEIL HAYES: Lovie Smith insisted his team would play to win in the regular-season finale in Green Bay. ]]> Sat, 19 Feb 2011 00:28:26 -0500 <![CDATA[ Hayes: Peppers just one of team players ]]> Lead story image

His freakish athleticism was expected. The profound impact that Julius Peppers has had on the Bears’ defense hasn’t been the most surprising aspect of his first year with the team, either. It’s been his willingness to play team defense — to be a cog in defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli’s machine — that has impressed those who know the intricacies of his defensive end position. Peppers might be a rare talent, but he’s no prima donna. “It’s kind of rare,” Peppers said of being on such a star-studded yet selfless defense. “Most of the time you have guys playing for contracts. … ]]> Tue, 22 Mar 2011 10:10:31 -0500 <![CDATA[ Philly loss looks like Bears’ gain ]]> Lead story image

NEIL HAYES: We still don’t know if the Bears are the best team in the NFC, but all doubt was removed about which team has been the most fortunate after an unlikely series of events handed coach Lovie Smith’s team a date with the weakest team in the playoff field when the Seattle Seahawks come to Soldier Field on Sunday for a divisional playoff game. ]]> Fri, 11 Feb 2011 00:27:20 -0500