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Joe Anello
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Bucs Fan

Bucs players but up huge fantasy numbers in week 10 win. posted by Bucs Fan

After an otherwise dismal output during the beginning of the season, it was finally a great week to be a Bucs fantasy owner. Tampa Bay went with Josh McCown under center as the team squared off against the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday.

The signal caller connected with his two favorite receivers on multiple occasions, Vincent Jackson and Mike Evans. Both receivers were integral to the Bucs offense as they came away with touchdowns.

For those who thought drafting rookie Mike Evans to their fantasy rosters was a risk, that risk has paid off as the wide out is coming off a multi-touchdown game and continued to add to his fantasy stock by racking up huge yards against the Falcons.

After a rocky start at the beginning of the season, the rookie has come on as of late and really shined as he's seen several targets and hit pay dirt to drive up fantasy points.

And as for Vincent Jackson, he is always a must have on anyone’s roster. Even if he has off weeks from time to time, and for those who might be frustrated at Vincent Jackson’s inability to get touchdown points, do not be discouraged. The Tampa Bay quarterback clearly views Vincent Jackson as his go-to wide-out moving forward, especially in the red zone, and owners should not drop him from their roster.

And for those owners who don’t have McCown and are able to pick him up, this is the week to do so. With McCown playing in a week when most teams are on a bye, and his desire to build a bond with both Evans and Jackson, expect huge numbers in the coming weeks as the Bucs take on the Washington Redskins and the Chicago Bears in the next two weeks.

Continue reading "Bucs players but up huge fantasy ..."


Packers Fan

What Morgan Burnett’s return means for Green Bay posted by Packers Fan

Green Bay Packers safety Morgan Burnett should suit up and be full go for Sunday’s showdown with inter-division rivals, the Chicago Bears. And it couldn’t have come at a better time, as the Packers’ secondary was very much exposed last week when the Saints racked up 44 points with 311 yards through the air. Drew Brees completed 84% of his passes with three touchdowns and no interceptions.

It’s clear Burnett’s veteran experience on the back end of the defense with communication and getting these younger corners lined up accordingly, is essential to the Packers success defensively.

Through seven games, the fifth-year pro out of Georgia Tech notched 59 tackles, 49 of them solo tackles; but more importantly was the elimination of coverage break downs that lead to big play passes that can be so devastating to a team’s morale. And Brees crushed the Packers morale as he had two deep balls, each over 40 yards, that led to touchdowns.

Even with Burnett back, the others in the secondary will need to play extra efficient as the Bears have 3 very tall, very athletic receivers in Marshall, Jeffrey, and the tight end Bennett. When these two teams faced off in week 4, the Packers were able to limit the 3 playmakers to under 200 yards receiving, combined.

The Packers Safety echoed that sentiment saying it takes a group effort to corral all three.

"Those guys are very athletic," he said. "They have big playmaking ability and they’re led by Jay Cutler so we have to be sound in our technique and be accountable to one another and trust the defense, and allow us to make plays.”

Continue reading "What Morgan Burnett’s return means for Green Bay"

Bears Fan

Why the Bears need WR Marquess Wilson to suit up against Green Bay posted by Bears Fan

For the first time in three months, Bears wide receiver Marquess Wilson practiced as the Bears get ready to take on inter-divisional rivals, the Green Bay Packers.

Wilson fractured his clavicle at practice on Aug. 4 and has been on the injured reserve list ever since. Now that Wilson is back at practice, the Bears have 3 weeks to decide whether to activate him to their roster or keep him on the injured reserve.

The answer is clear cut as the Bears need all the help they can on offense. They rank 19th in scoring and their offense is limited to Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery. The Bears need that #3 receiver to add depth and complexity to their passing game, and allow another option for Cutler to go to.

The Packers, best believe, will be ready for the Bears as they get their seasoned safety, Morgan Burnett, back. They were exposed last week against the Saints but now with a veteran in the defensive secondary, the Packers coverage will be tightened up.

The only negative side to activating Wilson is the possibility of pushing him too hard, too fast, and risk causing a more serious injury that will keep him out indefinitely. While this is a valid concern, one could argue that is the case with every player in the NFL. The game has gotten so fast, the players so big and strong, that injuries, season ending injuries, are becoming more and more commonplace. So to err on the side of caution is valid but when a player feels good to go, they should be allowed to suit and help the team do what it needs to do, win games.

They need to make a decision quickly to keep Wilson on their roster if they hope to keep their playoff hopes alive.

Continue reading "Why the Bears need WR Marquess Wilson ..."


Bears Fan

Are the Chicago Bears Superbowl contenders? posted by Bears Fan

The Chicago Bears were one of the best teams in offense last year, where they recorded an even 8-8 slate. The team averaged 27.8 points a game which is impressive considering that their starting quarterback, Jay Cutler, missed a quarter of the year.

The Bears will be looking to make the playoffs this time but it would need Cutler to be healthy this time around. Cutler has not played the full 16-game season since 2009 and has missed 12 games in the past three years.

If Cutler can stay healthy, he should be able to perform well especially now that he has two receiver to look for. He has great chemistry with wide receiver Brandon Marshall, and he’ll also have Alshon Jeffery as a possible receiver. There’s also tight end Martellus Bennett who translated 65 passes into 759 yards last year.

The Bears will remain one of the better offensive machines in the league, but their defense will be suspect. While the Bears scored 27 points a game last year, they did surrender close to 30 points per contest. Simply put, the Bears defense was atrocious the past season.

To address their deficiencies on defense, the team signed four defensive ends—Trevor Scott, Willie Young, Lamarr Houston, and Jared Allen. But the team did lose veterans Julius Peppers and Corey Wootton.

The Bears used its first round pick last spring to draft defensive back Kyle Fuller. The explosive Fuller is versatile enough to play anywhere in the secondary although it looks like he’ll be used as an outside cornerback.

The Bears will have their hands full when they meet contenders like the Patriots, Packers, Saints and 49ers twice. But they’ll also meet some inferior teams like the Bills, Panthers, and Jets twice this year.

Continue reading "Are the Chicago Bears Superbowl contenders?"


Joe Anello

Chicago Bears 2013 NFL Draft: Rounds Two - Seven Recap posted by Joe Anello

After using their first round pick on guard Kyle Long on Thursday night, the Chicago Bears came back over the next two days and six rounds and added five more players to their draft class. Here are Chicago’s picks from rounds two through seven.

 

Second Round: Jonathan Bostic, ILB, Florida

After passing on linebackers in the first round, Phil Emery came back in the second and selected the 6’1”, 245 lb. middle linebacker to hopefully find a place as the eventual starter. But for now, he’ll learn the position alongside the other two linebacking spots to aid in giving the Bears depth in that unit. He’ll also contribute on special teams immediately. Bostic played in 51 games at Florida, starting 32 of them. He racked up 237 tackles in that time. Bostic ran a 4.61 at the combine, and is noted for not being as aggressive as he could be. Still, he gets to learn for a year behind D.J. Williams, who only has a one year deal with the Bears.

Fourth Round: Khaseem Greene, OLB, Rutgers

The Rutgers outside linebacker had some contact with the Bears all throughout this process, having been brought in for a pre-draft visit. Greene was named Big East Defensive Player of the Year twice! (Shared the honor in 2011 and solo’d it in 2012.) His 2012 stats at Rutgers: 136 tackles, 6 sacks, 6 forced fumbles, 5 passes defended, 2 interceptions, 12 tackles for loss. Greene ran the 10th best 40 time amongst linebackers, but also measured out with the worst vertical jump. (Whatever the crap that means for a linebacker.)

Continue reading "Chicago Bears 2013 NFL Draft: Rounds ..."


Joe Anello

Chicago Bears 2013 NFL Draft: Round One Recap posted by Joe Anello

With the way the first round of the 2013 NFL Draft had shaken out, the Chicago Bears had a glut of options available to them. Phil Emery made the call to select Oregon guard Kyle Long with the twentieth overall selection. Let’s break down this pick that left fans a bit confuzzled.

Drafted by Chicago White Sox out of high school, Long (the son of Hall of Famer Howie Long) flunked out of Florida State, where he was playing baseball. He then went to Oregon and played 11 games for the Ducks, starting four of them. In his post-pick presser, GM Phil Emery detailed that Long’s versatility was the prime reason they drafted him. He didn’t commit fully, but he stated that Long will probably start at left guard. He praised his movement skills as well.

This pick more than confused me. Defensive tackle Shariff Floyd, linebacker Alec Ogletree, and tight end Tyler Eifert, were all still on the board when the Bears sent their pick in. Floyd was mocked to be selected somewhere in the top ten, but the penetrating tackle was still around, able to help out a defensive line that could use an interior pass rusher. Instead, he went to the Vikings. Alec Ogletree, as I wrote earlier in my preview column, was the middle linebacker with all sorts of potential. But he dropped to St. Louis at pick number 30. And Tyler Eifert? The tight end that could have added another dynamic weapon to the offense? He went on the very next pick to the Cincinnati Bengals.

Continue reading "Chicago Bears 2013 NFL Draft: Round One Recap"


Joe Anello

2013 NFL Draft Needs: Chicago Bears posted by Joe Anello

The Chicago Bears own the number 20 overall pick in this Thursday’s first round of the 2013 NFL Draft, one of their five selections in the seven round mega-event. With so few selections (no pick in round three or seven), GM Phil Emery has his work cut out for him to load up new Head Coach Marc Trestman’s roster. But thanks to a successful free agency period, Emery doesn’t go into this draft with any gaping holes. Let’s get into some of the Bears’ needs they might/should address during this draft.

*If I toss out player names, they’re first round prospects unless I note otherwise.

 

Offensive Line

I extremely doubt that Alabama’s Chance Warmack is on the board when Phil Emery gets to make a selection. With a run on tackles being expected early, it’s likely a mauling guard out of a big school (like Warmack will be) won’t make it much farther. North Carolina’s Jonathan Cooper is slightly more likely than Warmack, even if he is considered the better run/pass blocker of the two. Phil Emery also brought in Syracuse’s Justin Pugh for a visit, a lineman that could available in round number two. If Emery loves Alabama’s D.J. Fluker at right tackle, then he’ll be there at pick number 20 as well. (Which is really a position they need help at.) But if Fluker’s their guy, trading down would be a great option to consider.

Continue reading "2013 NFL Draft Needs: Chicago Bears"


Joe Anello

Moving on from Urlacher: The Right Move? posted by Joe Anello

In a move than some fans were desperately hoping to avoid hearing about, the Chicago Bears decided to not re-sign Brian Urlacher. Despite Head Coach Marc Trestman having been quoted as early as Wednesday morning saying Urlacher “had a place on this team,” they cut ties with the veteran linebacker. GM Phil Emery made the tough call, which was illustrated in the statement he released. The details are as follows (as we’ve cobbled them together from reporters and Brian himself): Urlacher’s team pitched a 2-year, $11.5 million deal that he expected to negotiate down from. Chicago countered with a 1-year, $2 million (not all of which was guaranteed). That offer was countered with a $3.5 million contract, with another 500k in possible incentives. Chicago balked and made it clear that their offer was of the “take it or leave it” kind.

The end result? Brian Urlacher, one of Chicago’s most recognizable athletes, is now a disgruntled ex-Bear. And boy has he gruntled. (Yes. I’m using it as a verb. Who are you, the Vocab Police?)

My Take:

This was obviously a money/business move, especially given the way Brian’s responded both publicly and frequently in the past 36 hours (. But it was the RIGHT move. There’s no need to overpay for an aging player that can’t shed blockers and was your third best linebacker last season. Is it sad? Sure. Still, I can’t let personal feelings get in the way of the fact that the Bears can (and should) get better at the middle linebacker position. 

Continue reading "Moving on from Urlacher: The Right Move?"


Joe Anello

Bears Move Quickly on Day One of Free Agency posted by Joe Anello

A lot of reporters and Bears insiders didn’t think it would be an overly thrilling day for news coming out of Halas Hall. After all, Phil Emery hadn’t made a lot of moves to get his team all that far under the salary cap, coming into the first day of the league year with less than $4 million in room. But that clearly didn’t stop Emery from chasing and netting his target players, addressing two areas of vital importance for Chicago.

A Tight New End in the House

Did I phrase that right? Whatever. Nevermind. About five minutes after free agency opened at 3PM Central time on Tuesday, Martellus Bennett tweeted out that “I’m proud to say that I’ll be joining my other brother @bmarshall next season. #BEARDOWN.” While the deal wasn’t quite official yet, the intention was. A short time later Bennett’s acquisition was announced. Details have it down as a 4-year deal, worth reportedly around $20 million.

Martellus Bennett spent his first few seasons with the Dallas Cowboys as a back-up to Iron Man Jason Witten. Unfortunately, Bennett never took advantage of those few opportunities to impress the Dallas staff and he was eventually released. He signed a one-year, $2.5 million deal with the Giants last offseason and proved himself throughout the league with an excellent showing. He caught 55 passes for 626 yards and five touchdowns. And yes, those numbers are better than Chicago’s combined tight end unit.

Bennett will immediately come in and be a tremendous blocker at the end of the line for Marc Trestman’s offense. He’s also progressed into an excellent receiver on the outside, even if he doesn’t have the speed of a Jared Cook (who the Bears were rumored to be targeting at one point). His arrival will likely mark the end of a tenure for either Matt Spaeth or Kellen “Fall Down Go Boom” Davis. If released, Davis ($2.5 million salary) would have a $1.5 million hit against the cap, while Spaeth ($1.5 million salary) would only count around a $300,000 hit. At this point, I’d say Davis is gone, but it’s hard to say at this point.

Continue reading "Bears Move Quickly on Day One of Free Agency"


Joe Anello

Chicago Bears 2013 Free Agency Preview posted by Joe Anello

Have you heard? Free agency in the NFL sorta kicks off tonight! Time to legally tamper my face off! The Chicago Bears are among 32 teams looking to improve by signing veterans to their roster, but they’ve got some issues to deal with first.

Chicago was approaching this free agency period with over $12 million in space under the cap. That is, until they slapped the franchise tag on defensive tackle Henry Melton, locking him in at $8.5 million for a one-year deal. Now GM Phil Emery is faced with a tough situation with less than $4 million in room. Emery will no doubt seek to sign Melton to a long-term deal to lessen his 2013 cap hit, but the GM will also need to extend players at the end of their current deals (Charles Tillman, for example) and try to restructure some contracts in order to get the kind of space necessary to sign a couple “marquee” free agents.

So let’s assume that Emery frees up a respectable amount of cap space. Where should he direct his money? Let’s break down who should be on the Bears’ radar.

The Tightest of Ends

Possibilities: Jared Cook, Martellus Bennett, James Casey, Anthony Fasano.

Yes, tight end. Because I’m EFFING DONE with Kellen Davis, King of The Dropsies. He shouldn’t be on my team anymore.

So this could be pretty cut and dry. There are already reports linking Cook to the Bears, and frankly he’s the best one on the market. He can stretch the field and do all the things you need a solid tight end to do. You know, like block. And catch a ball. (Seriously. That’s all. Is that SO HARD KELLEN?)

Continue reading "Chicago Bears 2013 Free Agency Preview"

Chicago Bears News

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Bears bench QB Jay Cutler for Clausen (Yahoo Sports)

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From Yahoo Sports


Reports: Bears benching Cutler (Yahoo Sports)

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From Yahoo Sports

Bears' Trestman aware of speculation about future (Yahoo Sports)

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From Yahoo Sports

Mad Dash: Cowboys now most valuable U.S. sports franchise (NBC on Yahoo Sports)

The Dallas Cowboys have surpassed the Yankees as the most valuable sports franchise in the U.S., according to the latest Forbes valuations and a comparison done by Business Insider . Both franchises' estimated worth was around $2.3 billion in 2013, but the Cowboys – and many other NFL teams – have jumped significantly in value since then. While the Yankees have jumped to $2.5 billion, the Cowboys are now at $3.2 billion. (Jerry Jones purchased the Cowboys in 1989 for $140 million.) And they're not the only team that's passed the Bronx Bombers, as the New England Patriots are up to $2.6 billion. But perhaps what's even more interesting is Business Insider pointing out that based on another set of estimates, as many as eight NFL franchises are worth $2.5 billion or more, with the Cowboys creeping closer to $5 billion. How 'bout them Cowboys? One man whose value continues to rise: Isaiah Austin. After being forced to retire just before the NBA draft last year because of a Marfan's Syndrome diagnosis, he's been the face of fight against the disease and has found himself some pretty cool opportunities, including being ceremonially selected by the NBA at the draft that he once dreamed of. He can't take the floor in a real game, but NBA 2K15 has him covered. The video game franchise announced that he's been made available in their free agent pool for any team to pick up, and he's got a pretty good skill rating, not to mention a solid highlight trailer to announce his presence with authority.  It doesn't seem like it's going to be a very enjoyable Christmas for Chicago Bears fans, who have endureda pretty disappointing product on the football field. Well, Bears fan Phil Guay decided to take his frustration out with a holiday parody album , and it's...something. The video first garnered the attention of local station WGN after Guay's wife posted the video on Facebook and it took off.  - - - - - - - The Yahoo Sports Mad Dash is a roundup of the morning's trending stories from across the sports landscape. Check it out every day to see what's buzzing. [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports


Bears: McCaskey shoved by Saints fan during game (Yahoo Sports)

CHICAGO (AP) -- The Chicago Bears say chairman George McCaskey was pushed by a New Orleans Saints fan during Monday night's game at Soldier Field. [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports

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