Category Archives: Chicago Bears

Bears Releasing WR Tanner Gentry, Hope To Sign Him To Practice Squad

By Chris Emma– (CBS) The Bears are releasing receiver Tanner Gentry with the intent of signing him back to the practice squad, according to a source. Adam Jahns of the Chicago Sun-Times first reported the news. Safety DeAndre Houston-Carson was promoted to the active roster, and defensive lineman Mike Purcell was signed to the practice squad. In waiving Gentry, the Bears aren’t expected to add a replacement at receiver, the source said. That would be an indication that veteran receiver Markus Wheaton is ready to return more than a month after undergoing surgery to repair a fractured pinkie suffered in training camp. An undrafted rookie out of Wyoming, Gentry was signed to the active roster to replace Kevin White, who was placed on injured reserve last week for a broken scapula suffered in the season opener. Gentry hauled in two passes during his NFL debut last Sunday in the loss at Tampa. The Bears have been searching for answers at receiver since losing White and Cameron Meredith to injured reserve. The team signed Tre McBride after making final cuts to the 53-man roster. Gentry was brought to the active roster in a pinch, but the Bears are hoping to see him improve skills in route running. On Tuesday, the Bears also lost offensive lineman Dieugot Joseph, who was signed by the Ravens off their practice squad. Chris Emma covers the Bears, Chicago’s sports scene and more for CBSChicago.com. Follow him on Twitter @CEmma670 and like his Facebook page.

Steelers Coach Mike Tomlin Calls Bears QB Mike Glennon ‘Statuesque’ — In A Good Way

(CBS) Steelers coach Mike Tomlin knows not to overlook Bears starting quarterback Mike Glennon. Back in September 2014, it was Glennon who led a lowly Buccaneers team into Pittsburgh and pulled an upset of the touted Steelers. He connected with receiver Vincent Jackson on a touchdown with seven seconds remaining to give the Buccaneers a 27-24 victory at Heinz Field. Now, Glennon is the starter for the Bears, who are 0-2 and preparing for a tough test against the 2-0 Steelers. Despite struggles in his first two starts, Glennon remains the Bears’ quarterback for Sunday’s contest at Soldier Field, coach John Fox announced Monday. So, Tomlin and the Steelers are preparing for a familiar foe in Glennon. “Got a lot of respects for his talents,” Tomlin told reporters in Pittsburgh on Tuesday. “No one understands (better) why they went out and acquired him. He has physical traits that you can’t coach. He’s statuesque and allows great field vision. He can make any throw on the field. He’s a great anticipator. “Those anticipation throwers are often difficult to get after. They can get the ball out of hands in the midst of pressure. He’s very good at drifting away from pressure and using those skills. We got first-hand familiarity with him in that regard. We played him when he was a young guy. I’d imagine that he has grown in a positive way since then. We’ll continue to study him and what he’s capable of.” Glennon is 57-of-80 for two touchdowns and two interceptions on the season. The Bears are standing by him as their starter, even after two losses to start the season.

Bears Have No Answers As Injuries Contribute To Derailing Season Again

By Chris Emma—

LAKE FOREST, Ill. (CBS) – One would be hard-pressed to find a team that has dealt with injuries quite like the Bears have in recent years.

A year removed from placing 19 players on injured reserve, the injuries are piling up again. The Bears entered Sunday’s game with the Buccaneers with seven players on injured reserve and a handful more released with injury settlements. Then, more injuries came in a 29-7 loss at Raymond James Stadium.

Nick Kwiatkoski became the second Bears inside linebacker in as many weeks to suffer a pectoral injury, joining the company of Jerrell Freeman. He, too, could be placed on injured reserve. Guards Josh Sitton and Tom Compton both suffered apparent injuries, and guard Kyle Long is still working his way back from an offseason ankle rehab. Eric Kush, the reserve option at guard, is already on IR. Come practice Wednesday, the Bears’ only guard may be their center, Cody Whitehair.

The Bears’ two top receivers, Cameron Meredith and Kevin White, are both on IR, and Markus Wheaton has yet to play a snap because of a fractured pinkie finger suffered in camp. Running back Jordan Howard rushed for just seven yards on nine carries Sunday while limited with a shoulder injury that he claims is OK, though the lack of production would suggest otherwise.

Even long snapper Patrick Scales suffered a torn ACL during the preseason. It has been that kind of season so far for the Bears, and just two games have been played. After going 3-13 in an injury-riddled 2016 season, the Bears have encountered the same injury trend here in 2017.

Coach John Fox doesn’t have answers why, and general manager Ryan Pace has been searching for himself. The Bears have committed to getting this issue fixed, and yet here they are again with players sidelined all over.

“This is the game of football,” linebacker Willie Young said.” So much for (an injury) bug. It’s going on throughout the league. It’s just football, and nothing you can do to prevent it. It has nothing to do with being in shape. It has nothing to do with awareness. It’s early in the year, guys are busting their tails right now.

“Right now, we’re at our strongest. It’s very unfortunate, very unfortunate, but once again, this is the NFL and it can’t be taken lightly.”

Fox has often said that the only way to avoid injuries is by simply not playing football. He also is fond of saying that it’s “next man up” after each injury. But these Bears simply aren’t good enough to work down their depth chart and find success. This team signed Danny Trevathan and Freeman a year ago and drafted Kwiatkoski but now finds itself again with Christian Jones or Jonathan Anderson set to start at inside linebacker. Who knows what happens at guard with four injured players there.

The receiver position was already a mess entering training camp, and then Meredith suffered a torn ACL in the third preseason game and White fractured his scapula in the first game of the regular season. Kendall Wright and Deonte Thompson are the current starters at receiver.

To what can the Bears attribute these injuries? Perhaps there are answers inside Halas Hall, where defensive coordinator Vic Fangio recently admitted his skepticism in the word of the training staff that told him linebacker Pernell McPhee was in top shape. For the record, McPhee is still working on a snap count.

While some injuries can’t be avoided at full speed and contact, the cause is likely more than just awful luck for the Bears.

And if the Bears continue their recent run of poor fortunes with the injury bug, this season will be a lot like 2016.

Chris Emma covers the Bears, Chicago’s sports scene and more for CBSChicago.com. Follow him on Twitter @CEmma670 and like his Facebook page.

Forbes Values Bears At $2.85 Billion

(CBS) Forbes estimated the Bears’ worth to be $2.85 billion, the seventh-highest in the NFL, in its annual valuation that was released Monday. A year ago, Forbes pegged the Bears to be worth $2.7 billion, which ranked eighth in the NFL. Even as the Bears stumbled to a 3-13 mark in 2016, that’s an increase of nearly 6 percent year over year. The Bears pulled in $416 million in revenue, with an operating income of $114, per Forbes. Once again, the Cowboys were estimated to be the most valuable NFL franchise, this time at $4.8 billion. The were followed by the the Patriots ($3.7 billion), the Giants ($3.3 billion), the Redskins ($3.1 billion), the 49ers ($3.05 billion), the Rams ($3 billion) and then the Bears. The Packers are worth an estimated $2.55 billion, 13th-most in the league. The average NFL team is worth $5 billion, up by about 8 percent in the last year, according to Forbes. The Bears are owned by the McCaskey family.

Bears Sticking With Mike Glennon As Starting Quarterback

By Chris Emma– LAKE FOREST, Ill. (CBS) — Ever since signing quarterback Mike Glennon in March to a three-year deal worth up to $45 million, the Bears have stated that gives them their best chance to win. A 29-7 blowout loss to the Buccaneers on Sunday left that theory in question. Glennon committed four turnovers, fumbling twice and throwing two interceptions, including one returned for a touchdown. He wasn’t the only reason for an ugly loss, but it’s difficult for any team to overcome four turnovers from its starting quarterback. While much of Chicago calls for rookie Mitchell Trubisky’s time as the starter, the Bears are standing pat entering a home contest against the Steelers on Sunday. “Mike Glennon will be our starting quarterback against Pittsburgh,” Bears coach John Fox said Monday at Halas Hall. Fox was peppered with a number of questions about the quarterback situation during his weekly Monday press conference in Lake Forest. While he had praise for how Trubisky has developed, Fox said he wants to see more of Glennon.

“After two games, it’s really hard to evaluate somebody,” Fox said. “In two articles, I don’t know if you should be fired or kept off of two things. But the truth of the matter is that right now, that’s the case. We’re playing arguably one of the better teams we’re going to play this year at home. We’re going to do everything in our power to look a little bit like we did in Week 1 than in Week 2. It gives us a chance.

“I wish we could play two quarterbacks at once, but I don’t know if that would be our best option.”

Glennon finished 31-of-45 for 301 yards, a touchdown and the two interceptions against the Bucs, though most of that production came late in a game already lost. He was 26-of-40 for 213 yards in the Bears’ 23-17 loss to the Falcons in their season opener at Soldier Field, to which Fox alluded in his hope of how Glennon responds for Week 3. As the Bears’ deficit grew in Sunday’s loss, Fox didn’t consider a move to Trubisky. Glennon finished out the game, connecting with receiver Deonte Thompson for a score in the final minutes to avoid the shutout. Trubisky entered the preseason as the Bears’ third-string quarterback, earning his way to the backup role as the regular season began. Veteran Mark Sanchez is the team’s No. 3 and has been inactive for the first two games of the season. The Bears’ initial plan was to have Sanchez work as the backup so Trubisky wouldn’t be forced into action too soon. But Trubisky has ascended on a fast pace and was deemed ready to be the backup.

“I love where he is” Fox said. “I love his growth. I think the guy works at it very hard. He’s into it on gameday. He’s into it because you’re one play away from being a starter, like any backup. It doesn’t matter the position. You have to prepare like you’re one play away. I like where he is and I like his development.”

Trubisky’s time could be coming sooner rather than later if Glennon continues to put the Bears in a poor position. For now, there will be no change at the quarterback position. “He makes good decisions,” Fox said of Glennon. “He works tirelessly in preparation. He works super hard. It’s evident to his teammates — what you’d expect from a starting quarterback. Like I said before, it’s his second game, preparing now for our third game.”
Chris Emma covers the Bears, Chicago’s sports scene and more for CBSChicago.com. Follow him on Twitter @CEmma670 and like his Facebook page.

Fear Is Nick Kwiatkoski Is Out For Season, But Bears Are Still Evaluating

By Chris Emma– LAKE FOREST Ill. (CBS) — The next man up may be out for the season, too. The fear is that Bears inside linebacker Nick Kwiatkoski will miss the remainder of the season after suffering a pectoral injury in a 29-7 loss at Tampa Bay on Sunday, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported, but coach John Fox said at his early afternoon press conference Monday that the team is still evaluating Kwiatkoski’s status. This news comes a week after fellow linebacker Jerrell Freeman was placed on injured reserve with a similar injury. Kwiatkoski was asked to replace Freeman, who’s not expected to return this season. Christian Jones filled in at inside linebacker alongside Danny Trevathan. A fourth-round pick in 2016, Kwiatkoski has six tackles in two games this season. Chris Emma covers the Bears, Chicago’s sports scene and more for CBSChicago.com. Follow him on Twitter @CEmma670 and like his Facebook page.

Pompei: Observations From Bears-Buccaneers

By Dan Pompei– (CBS) If the Bears’ close loss to the Falcons in the season opener was a moral victory, their lopsided loss to the Bucs was a moral decimation. Funny how the narrative changed from one week to the next. Here are some observations from the game: 1. Which quarterback helped the Bucs score more points — Mike Glennon or Jameis Winston? 2. Anyone who has confidence in Glennon at this point is ignoring reality. He gave his team no chance to win Sunday. 3. Bears coach John Fox’s defense of Glennon was a statement to his team, not to the public. If he points the finger at the quarterback, what do you suppose that would do to the locker room? 4. Fox’s assessment that it’s more than the quarterback is 100 percent accurate.  The Bears might not have won that game with Tom Brady under center, given six drops, eight penalties and the judgement of Tarik Cohen. 5. It was the right move to keep Mitch Trubisky on the bench. Playing him in that scenario, with that lineup, would have been throwing him to the wolves. 6. The most important focus for this season has become the development of Trubisky. So the best-case scenario is to keep him on the bench for at least two more games. However, I believe Trubisky probably would give the Bears a better chance of beating the Steelers than Glennon. 7. Then again, their chances of beating the Steelers are negligible with either quarterback. 8. Whomever is playing quarterback won’t be able to count on this group of receivers making him look good. 9. I wouldn’t wish to switch jobs with offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains now. 10. Cohen is the type of player who doesn’t fear making mistakes. Most of the time, that’s a good thing. For a brief moment in the first quarter Sunday, it was a very bad thing. 11. Of course, we all knew Jacquizz Rodgers would be the most productive running back in the game. 12. And that Peyton Barber would be the second-most productive running back in the game. 13. The Bears have no hope of winning with 20 rushing yards. Running the ball is the only thing they should do well offensively. 14. If Cody Whitehair can play center, left guard and right guard, should he be given a shot at quarterback? 15. Good teams stay healthy. Bad teams have crowded trainers’ rooms. It’s becoming apparent what kind of team the Bears are. Dan Pompei has been covering the NFL since 1985 and is a regular contributor to 670 The Score and a host on 670’s Bears pregame show. He writes for Bleacher Report and theathletic.com. You can follow him on Twitter @Dan Pompei.

Bears’ Akiem Hicks: Defense Must Set Tone

(CBS) While the Bears offense was abysmal in a 29-7 loss to the Buccaneers on Sunday, defensive lineman Akiem Hicks believe his unit could’ve done more. And moving forward, he believes the defense must be the spark to lead the Bears to wins. “I love you guys, but I’m not going sit up here and let you bash my offense,” Hicks told Mike Mulligan and Brian Hanley on 670 The Score on Monday morning. “What I will say is this: Defense sets the tone. I don’t care what team you’re on, whether you’re playing for the top team in the NFL or the worst team in the NFL, your defense sets the tone. And however your defense plays, especially in your front seven, they really set the tone for your whole team. They get the energy up and get people going.” The Bears defense allowed 311 yards to the Bucs on Sunday and were put in a difficult position several times because of Chicago turnovers. That said, Hicks didn’t believe the defense stood tall enough. “Whether we’re put in bad situations or not, our job is to keep them out of the end zone,” Hicks said. “And we didn’t do that enough yesterday. “You get knocked down, but you get back up. Because the ground is no place for a champion. You take a lot of hits, you get put in bad situations. But you really got to to knuckle up and say, ‘Hey, this is my circumstance, this is what I’m going to do with it. Watch me work.'” Listen to Hicks’ full interview below.

Baffoe: It’s Not Mitchell Trubisky Time Yet

By Timothy Baffoe– (CBS) I have three nephews, all no older than age five. They’re the craziest, sweetest, funniest people on earth and really the only people who understand me. As I’m not their father, though, I constantly underestimate why they can’t just do whatever I want. Can I take them to a Cubs game? “No, Tim, they have worse attention spans than you, and we are raising them as Sox fans.” Can we watch Full Metal Jacket? “This is why you can’t babysit.” Can I help the baby’s teething with my cold beer can? “Give him back, Tim.” I just assume they’re capable of so, so much, but I also don’t live with them all day. I haven’t really scouted them and don’t know their limits beyond what Coach Brother and Coach Sister-In-Law know after working with them day in and day out, putting them in gameday situations like preschool and no diaper. The nephews aren’t ready for everything Uncle Tim wants them selfishly to be and do, even though they’re my toys who will say or fetch basically whatever I tell them (which is really awesome). Essentially, they’re collectively Mitchell Trubisky. I get it. You want the future of the franchise, the second overall pick whom the Chicago Bears traded up for, to play right now. He’s the new toy, and looking at it in its cellophane while Mike Glennon was awful in a 29-7 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday is torturous. I feel you, Bears fan. Yet you’re not going to get to play with your new toy. Nor should you be able to right now. “Mike is our quarterback,” Bears coach John Fox said in a way that sends shudders through every Bears fan who has heard prior coaches give some pronouncement of “______ is our quarterback.” “Everybody wants to blame somebody, but that was a team defeat and we all had our hands in it. That wasn’t Mike Glennon Bears; it was the Chicago Bears. It was our whole team.” Yeah, but Glennon was the smell of a garbage can in a Chicago alley in an unusual mid-80s mid-September. Did Glennon lose the game for the Bears on Sunday? Yeah, kinda. Three turnovers, one of them a pick-six. It was general suckage most of the way through. Which means it’s Trubisky time, of course. Right? “Ah, no,” Fox said. “I don’t think any way — not even seeing the tape yet — that you can pin that on the quarterback.” I mean, yeah we can. There was never a consideration of Trubisky entering Sunday’s embarrassment, Fox said. Say what you want about Fox — who has yet to win a September game in his three seasons in Chicago — but he’s not dumb enough to put the franchise’s future into the middle of an unwinnable game with a defense dominating his team and injuries to the offensive line prior to and during the game that forced Cody Whitehair to play three positions. The situation figures to be no better as the Bears prepare for the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 3. Then the Green Bay Packers after that. Then the Minnesota Vikings, followed by the Baltimore Ravens and the Carolina Panthers. That means 0-7 is entirely possible. Of what value is throwing Trubisky into that? Now that defenses know the Bears are quite capable of wetting themselves in the running game — Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen combined for a huge 20 total rushing yards Sunday — and the receiving corps is only known nationally by its drops, to put a rookie into that for the sake of the holy “valuable game reps” offers little payoff. Glennon is here for the exact purpose of getting his head kicked in while this nowhere team spins itself into the ground on a weekly basis. Trubisky learns nothing from getting sacked or otherwise being forced to throw into coverage during this stretch of death scheduling by the NFL. If Trubisky goes in right now, it’s still a debacle with him questioning himself and you wondering if the Bears traded up for a bust. Holding a clipboard and running the scout team gives him as much learning experience right now as strip sacks. You want him in there — even if he’s losing — just because it’s different, and different must be good. Except when it’s not. That’s not to say that Glennon should get all 16 excruciating starts. But the third game for a team that went from hanging in at home with an Atlanta Falcons team that played like it didn’t care to being abused by the Bucs ain’t the time for the Mitch. “There’s been no communication of (being benched),” Glennon said Sunday. “So there’s no reason to worry about it.” And no reason to be mad about it. To feel otherwise means you had some serious misgivings about what the deal was with the 2017 Bears. You have to wait on your new toy, and don’t take it personally. I can tell you as an uncle who has never changed a single nephew diaper: Don’t ask for it. Tim Baffoe is a columnist for CBSChicago.com. Follow Tim on Twitter @TimBaffoe. The views expressed on this page are those of the author, not CBS Local Chicago or our affiliated television and radio stations.

Gabriel: Bears-Buccaneers Review

By Greg Gabriel–

(CBS) Up until Sunday, my feeling was these Bears could be much improved from 2016, even if it wouldn’t reflect much in the team’s record. Well, I was wrong. This team is worse. It has shown and will show in its record. Entering Sunday’s contest in Tampa Bay, it was hard to know what to expect from the Buccaneers, whose starters hadn’t played real football in almost three weeks due to a combination of not playing in the final preseason game and the disruption caused by Hurricane Irma last week. Well, the Bucs were ready to play in a dominating 29-7 win, and the Bears took a step backward. Chicago’s defense gave up only 311 total yards, but statistics can be deceiving. They don’t show that the Bears helped the Bucs offense three times by getting called for defensive holding, giving Tampa Bay first downs after Chicago appeared to have a stop. That’s unacceptable and inexcusable. The Bears defense also couldn’t stop the Bucs when they needed to, and they didn’t generate consistent pressure on quarterback Jameis Winston. The Bears special teams blundered when rookie Tarik Cohen decided to try and pick up a short rolling punt between two Bucs defenders only to fumble and give the ball back to Tampa Bay in the red zone. This was a bonehead rookie mistake by Cohen that never should’ve happened, and the result basically took the Bears out of the game.The Bucs scored on the next play. Until that play, Cohen had been looked at as one of the bright spots on the Bears’ roster. But then he tried to make a play that he could probably pull off at FCS-level North Carolina A&T but not in the NFL. It was a learning experience but a costly one. Offensively, Bears quarterback Mike Glennon threw for 301 yards, but that was the most deceiving statistic of the game. The majority of those yards came in the last one-third of the game when Tampa Bay was playing loose defense and giving up the underneath routes. Glennon also threw two interceptions on balls that never should’ve been thrown and fumbled while being sacked. All of these plays happened in the first half and took away any chance of the Bears winning. In short, Glennon was terrible. Since joining the Bears, Glennon has shown he’s not a quick processor, and he struggles to find receivers and get the ball to them downfield. The bulk of the Bears passing game comes with short crossing routes and check-downs that the opposing defense will give away every play. Defenses across the league now know that Glennon can’t make quick decisions and throw the ball downfield. This will allow them to concentrate on stopping the run and force the Bears offense in disarray. All offseason, the Bears told us that they would be a running team and control the clock. On Sunday, the Bears attempted to run the ball just 16 times. Jordan Howard, who was second in the NFL in rushing as a rookie last season, carried the ball only nine times for seven yards. The Bears have gone out of their way to give the 5-foot-6 Cohen the majority of touches, but you just can’t win that way. The reason the Bears can’t run is because they have a passing game that wouldn’t scare a junior high team, let alone an NFL club. That brings up the question of why Glennon is still the starter. Bears coach John Fox went out of his way after the game Sunday to state that rookie Mitchell Trubisky wouldn’t play and that Glennon will continue to be the starter. Again, why? I understand the Bears have a plan to develop Trubisky, and that plan doesn’t include Trubisky playing much in 2017. In theory, that’s a good plan and in the best interest of Trubisky. The problem is Glennon is horrible, and he won’t improve. Trubisky clearly outplayed Glennon in the preseason by showing he can make quicker decisions, can get the ball out of his hand faster, complete passes downfield and move the ball. Unless Fox has a guarantee from management that he won’t get fired with Glennon playing quarterback, why is he sticking with him? Regardless of whether Trubisky is ready, he gives the Bears a better chance to win in every game. Play him. Greg Gabriel is a former NFL talent evaluator who is an on-air contributor for 670 The Score. Follow him on Twitter @greggabe.