Chicago Bears: Orlando Pace

Bears schedule: 5 key games

April, 24, 2014
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Here is a look at the five key matchups on the Chicago Bears' 2014 regular-season schedule:

Harbaugh
1. Sep. 14, Bears at San Francisco, 7:30 p.m. CT, NBC: The 49ers have been one of the NFC’s elite teams under head coach Jim Harbaugh with a 36-11 regular season and 5-3 postseason record (including a berth in Super Bowl XLVII) over the past three seasons. This Week 2 battle will be the first game played in the 49ers’ new Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif. The California stadium development is fantastic news for the Bears. San Francisco’s old venue, Candlestick Park, was a house of horrors for Chicago teams. The Bears lost their final seven games at Candlestick by a combined score of 230-49. That is not a typo. 49ers 230 -- Bears 49. Hello, Santa Clara.

2. Oct. 12, Bears at Atlanta, noon CT, FOX: The Falcons fell apart last season because of injuries and finished 4-12. With better health and a couple new pieces on defense, Atlanta figures to contend for the NFC South title in 2014. But the Georgia Dome is another place that has played tricks on the Bears in recent years. The Bears were poised to knock off the Falcons in 2009, but lost 21-14 after a series of costly mistakes that included: Jay Cutler throwing an interception in the red zone, Matt Forte fumbling on two straight runs from the one-yard line, and former offensive tackle Orlando Pace being whistled for a false start on 4th-and-1 from the Atlanta 5-yard line on the game’s final drive. The Bears also allowed the Falcons to escape with a 22-20 victory in the Georgia Dome in 2008 on a late botched coverage that led to a winning field goal as time expired.

Belichick
3. Oct. 26, Bears at New England, noon CT, FOX: The Bears' most recent visit to Foxborough occurred in the Super Bowl year of 2006 when the teams played a tight game that featured a massive amount of turnovers. The Patriots eventually won 17-13, and four years later New England routed the Bears at a snowy Soldier Field, 36-7, leaving ex-head coach Lovie Smith winless against Bill Belichick. Second-year Bears’ boss Marc Trestman now has the opportunity to match wits with the perennial AFC powerhouse and arguably the greatest coach in the history of the NFL. Since the Patriots are always good, this figures to be one of the NFL’s marquee matchups in Week 8.

4. Nov. 9, Bears at Green Bay, 7:30 p.m. CT, NBC: This all looks so familiar. The Bears, fresh off their bye week, travel to Lambeau Field for a nationally televised night game. Where have we seen this before? Oh, yes, it was last year when Shea McClellin knocked Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers out of a Monday night game with a fractured collarbone as the Bears pulled out a 27-20 victory. Can the Bears do it again? Keep in mind the Packers will also be coming off a bye week when the Bears arrive in Green Bay, so it’s not as if the Bears are expected to be fresher. But having extra time to prepare for Rodgers and company is never a bad thing. In a scheduling twist, the Bears won’t see the Packers again after Week 9 unless the teams meet in the playoffs.

Smith
5. Nov. 23, Bears vs. Buccaneers, noon CT, FOX: Welcome back, Lovie and Josh. The return of Lovie Smith and Josh McCown to Soldier Field will be highly anticipated in Chicago. Expect McCown, the new Tampa Bay quarterback, to receive a warm ovation from the Soldier Field faithful. Why wouldn’t he? McCown had a career year for the Bears in 2013 when he completed 149-of-224 attempts for 1,829 yards, 13 touchdowns and one interception. Sure, McCown signed with the Bucs in free agency, but the Bears never made him an official offer. You can’t blame McCown for jumping ship. On the other hand, the reception for Smith is unlikely to be as positive, even though he won 81 regular-season games and three division titles in nine years before the Bears fired him. But Smith probably won’t care. He never struck me as the nostalgic type.

Next step for Pace

March, 2, 2010
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Bears mailbag: Trade up in draft?

February, 16, 2010
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[+] EnlargeTaylor Mays
Gary A. Vasquez/US PresswireUSC safety Taylor Mays will likely be drafted late in the first round.
Q: Since the Bears essentially got nothing for their second-round pick -- due to a tragic loss [the death of Gaines Adams] -- shouldn't they look to trade up to get a impact player? With the short leash Jerry Angelo and Lovie Smith are on right now, wouldn't you sell out for this great draft class? If so, what do you think of the Bears trading up to get [Southern California safety] Taylor Mays? He looks a lot like Brian Urlacher did when he was drafted. Even if you didn't want to convert him to a linebacker, he has the size and abilities to cover the large tight end's that roam the middle in the NFC North. -- Steve H., Chicago

A: Even though many people feel Mays hurt his draft stock by staying an extra season at USC, most analysts have him pegged as a mid to late first-round pick. How can the Bears trade up into the first round? I simply don't see any player on the roster -- with the exception of Lance Briggs or Jay Cutler -- that has first-round trade value. Brian Urlacher? No. Devin Hester? No. Tommie Harris? No. A combination of all three? Maybe, but is it worth trading away your starting middle linebacker, wide receiver and defensive tackle to acquire a late first-round safety? I would tend to view that scenario as unlikely. But Steve, you're right about Mays, this kid can hit, and I would be very surprised if he's not an instant impact player in the NFL. Hopefully the Bears can find a Taylor Mays-type in the third round. We can all dream, can't we?

Q: I was thinking with Donte' Stallworth being reinstated and then being cut by the Cleveland Browns, do you think they Bears will think or even consider signing such a talented player? -- Matthew Garcia, Madison, Wis.

A: It's always risky when a player sits out an entire year, but Stallworth is still relatively young [29] and probably eager to show the league he can still play. In his prime, Stallworth was outstanding stretching the field, averaging 19.1 yards per reception in 2006. Remember, the Bears have gone to great lengths this offseason to assure everybody their receiving core is already adequate, but I don't believe that's true. This team needs to add a veteran wide receiver, but is Stallworth the right guy to add to the mix? There's little question Stallworth would play with a sense of urgency, which is good, but how much has he lost over the past season? I would certainly be interested to see Stallworth workout, and if he looks good, the Bears should give the idea some consideration. But I might be more inclined to pursue other free agent receiver options who would come without all that baggage.

Q: What is the chance of the Bears moving Brian Urlacher to safety to shore up the Bears top weakness from last year? -- Vince, Sherrills Ford, N.C.

A: Slim to none. Urlacher will be 32 years old next season, and has slowed down some over the past few years because of back and neck issues. I'm not saying Urlacher is washed up, but the Bears need him to play well at middle linebacker in 2010. If Lovie Smith wants to consider moving Charles Tillman to safety -- a move Smith mocked repeatedly over the years -- then so be it. But if you move Tillman, the Bears must find a cornerback to start opposite Zack Bowman. I've always been a fan of Corey Graham, but for whatever reason, the Bears don't seem to share my sentiments. D.J. Moore is a reach, and Nathan Vasher has done little to inspire confidence since the start of 2008. Translation: The Bears have major issues in the secondary, but Urlacher changing positions is not part of the solution.

Q: I know Orlando Pace really looked like he'd lost about 20 steps last season, but with Mike Martz coming in and running an offense that Pace is really familiar with, I think the Bears should at least entertain the idea of bringing him back for maybe one more year to be Chris Williams' backup. If Pace would agree to a minimum contract, I feel he could be a very beneficial player to help that inexperienced O-line understand what Mike Martz is looking for. -- Ken, Chicago

A: Ken, I just don't think Pace has anything left. I know that sounds harsh -- and in no way should that diminish his Hall of Fame caliber career -- but when it's over, it's over. The best scenario here would be for Pace to retire, so we can all celebrate his vast achievements, and stop speculating on whether or not he will be cut by the Bears. Pace is a class act, who never complained last season when he was phased out by the coaching staff. He will go down as one of the greatest tackles in NFL history, but I just don't see him being a part of next season's roster.


Q: Rod Marinelli? Seriously? The guy who is a top-rated defensive line coach? The guy who's never been a defensive coordinator? I guess if Lovie Smith is going down, he's going down his way. Shed some light on this hire, please. -- Brett, Indianapolis

A: I do not like Marinelli assuming the role of defensive coordinator, but who else were they going to hire? Perry Fewell was the only guy even considered for the job, and his surprise decision to head to the New York Giants left Smith with few options. Of course, this is partly Smith's fault because after all, the pool of available candidates was small due to the Bears' insistence on sticking with their defensive scheme. I agree, on the surface, Marinelli's promotion makes the Bears weaker at coordinator and weaker along the defensive line. But it's only February, so let's see how free agency and draft play out before we reach our final conclusions.

Hester, Harris limited in practice

December, 23, 2009
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LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Here is the Chicago Bears' official injury report for Wednesday:

  • Al Afalava (knee), Lance Briggs (back), Kevin Payne (ankle), Chris Williams (ankle) and Desmond Clark (illness) missed practice.
  • Tommie Harris (knee), Orlando Pace (groin) and Devin Hester (calf) were limited.
  • Adewale Ogunleye has officially been ruled out because of a lower leg fracture.

    Allen ready to take it to Williams

    December, 23, 2009
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    LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Minnesota Vikings defensive end Jared Allen recorded two sacks against Chicago Bears' tackles Orlando Pace and Kevin Shaffer earlier this season.

    What will he do for an encore against new left tackle Chris Williams?

    "[I've seen] very little [film of Williams], just more run cut ups that anything," Allen said Wednesday. "I haven't really got down to my pass rush breakdowns this week."

    "Bottom line, you got to take it to them [young linemen]. You got to make a young guy get out of his comfort zone, and force him into situations he hasn't experienced yet."

    Even though Allen is one of the most prolific pass rushers in the NFL, the Bears gave Pace little help during the 36-10 loss in the Metrodome. Will that philosophy change the second time around?

    "I obviously appreciated it," Allen said of the Bears' lack of help for Pace. "We'll see how this one plays out. Hopefully, I get the same kind of treatment, get some more one-on-ones."

    For the Bears' sake, let's hope he doesn't.

    Hester out of practice again

    December, 17, 2009
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    LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Here is the Chicago Bears' official injury report for Thursday:
  • Devin Hester (calf) and Jamar Williams (ankle) did not participate.
  • Tommie Harris (knee), Charles Tillman (back), Orlando Pace (groin) and Zack Bowman (illness) all had full participation.
  • Ed Reed (groin/foot) missed practice again for the Baltimore Ravens.

    By JEFF DICKERSON

    LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Orlando Pace knew last week his days as the Bears starting left tackle were over. According to a league source, Pace wanted to play against the Packers, but was gently told "no" by the coaching staff, even though his groin injury was no longer an issue.

    Despite practicing on Wednesday, Pace will be a back-up for the remainder of the season, as the Bears will stick with Chris Williams at left tackle and Kevin Shaffer at right tackle, according to the source.

    The Chicago Tribune reported Pace ran with the second team during Wednesday's practice.

    Williams' struggles versus Green Bay were well documented, but Shaffer is said to have performed well. The Bears would catch a big break if Shaffer can handle right tackle duties in 2010, since other areas of the offensive line are in need of major improvements.

    CHICAGO -- Chicago Bears wide receiver Devin Hester is officially inactive Sunday because of a calf injury he suffered last week against St. Louis. Hester will be replaced in the starting line-up by Devin Aromashodu. Offensive tackle Orlando Pace is also inactive, so Chris Williams will remain at left tackle and Kevin Shaffer starts for the second consecutive week at right tackle.

    Other Bears inactives include: Jarron Gilbert, D.J. Moore, Juaquin Iglesias, Craig Steltz, Matt Toeaina and Cato June.

    Defensive end Gaines Adams is active after being sent to the bench last Sunday against the Rams.

    For the Green Bay Packers, nose tackle Ryan Pickett is inactive.

    Source: Bears won't change tackles

    December, 11, 2009
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    As most expected, the Bears will not change up their starting tackles for Sunday's game against the Packers.

    According to a league source, Chris Williams will remain at left tackle while Kevin Shaffer will make his second straight start at right tackle.

    Orlando Pace is listed as questionable with groin injury. Pace is improving and may dress in a backup role Sunday.

    Tight end Desmond Clark will be active, according to a league source. He has missed the past three games because of a neck injury.

    It doesn't look good for Devin Hester, who has missed the week of practice with a calf strain and is listed as questionable.

    Hester out for another practice

    December, 10, 2009
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    LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Here is the Bears official injury report for Thursday.

  • Devin Hester (calf) skipped practice for the second consecutive day.
  • Orlando Pace (groin) was limited.
  • The Bears had full participation from Hunter Hillenmeyer (groin), Lance Briggs (knee), Israel Idonije (knee) and Tommie Harris (knee).

    Nose tackle Ryan Pickett (hamstring) missed practice for Green Bay, while linebacker Nick Barnett (knee) was limited.

  • Hester, Hillenmeyer skip practice

    December, 9, 2009
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    LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Devin Hester (calf) and Hunter Hillenmeyer (groin) are skipping practice Wednesday at Halas Hall.

    Linebacker Lance Briggs (knee, hip) and offensive tackle Orlando Pace (groin) have returned to the practice field after both players missed last Sunday's game versus the Rams.

    We'll check in later with the official injury report.

    Thursday's injury report

    December, 3, 2009
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    LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Lance Briggs (knee) and Orlando Pace (groin) officially missed practice Thursday, while Charles Tillman (concussion) and Alex Brown (calf) each had full participation.

    Desmond Clark (neck) was limited.

    Rams running back Steven Jackson (back) did not practice down in St. Louis for a second consecutive day.

    Wednesday's injury report

    December, 2, 2009
    12/02/09
    4:04
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    LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Orlando Pace (groin), Alex Brown (leg), Charles Tillman (concussion) and Lance Briggs (knee) all missed Wednesday's practice.

    Desmond Clark and Tommie Harris were limited.

    For the Rams: Steven Jackson, Jason Smith and Jason Brown did not practice, while James Laurinaitis and Richie Incognito were limited.

    LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- "Sorry guys, I'm not speaking today," Bears left tackle Orlando Pace said Monday at Halas Hall.


    A disappointing response from a player who should understand the importance of veterans stepping up and facing the music after a disastrous loss. Pace entered the NFL in 1997, and no doubt has experienced these types of defeats during his illustrious 13-year career. It would have been nice to get some insight from the future hall of famer, maybe some wisdom ... anything. Or perhaps a comment about Pace's atrocious play this season on the offensive line. That also would have been appreciated, and appropriate.


    Luckily, the Bears do have certain veterans who make themselves available during tough times, like defensive tackle Anthony Adams.


    "We just got our butts kicked, and it's time to go back to the drawing board," Adams said. "We're a gap defense, and we just kept getting out of our gaps. It seemed like every mistake we made, they capitalized on it."


    "We all need to look in the mirror, and individually have to do our jobs a lot better. We can either make a run, or run away. I think we'll make a run."

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