Chicago Bears: Jason Pierre-Paul

Previewing Preseason Week 3, Part II

August, 24, 2012
In which we look ahead to the remainder of Week 3 in the NFC North's preseason schedule:

Chicago Bears
Opponent: New York Giants
Location: MetLife Stadium
Day/Time: Friday/8 p.m. ET
Personnel notes: After an intense week of discussion about linebacker Brian Urlacher's future, there is more reason than ever to scrutinize Nick Roach's play at middle linebacker. Whereas we once considered it a lock that Urlacher will be ready to start the season, there now seems at least a chance that Roach will open the year at middle linebacker. It's not his best position. … Punter Adam Podlesh has a hip flexor, so rookie Ryan Quigley will handle all of the punting duties Friday night. His performance will determine whether the Bears need to consider other options if Podlesh isn't ready to start the season. … The game will be televised nationally on CBS.
Focal point: What else, if not for the Bears' offensive line? The Giants aren't expected to play All-Pro defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul because of back spasms, but they should still give the Bears' line its best test yet. The Bears would like to make a final decision on their starting left tackle, where J'Marcus Webb is trying to hold off Chris Williams, as well as at left guard. Chris Spencer and Chilo Rachal are competing for that job.

Minnesota Vikings
San Diego Chargers
Friday/8 p.m. ET
Personnel notes:
Tailback Adrian Peterson won't play but will participate fully in pregame warmups, according to ESPN's Chris Mortensen. … Cornerback Chris Cook (concussion) and nose tackle Letroy Guion (knee) aren't expected to play. … The Vikings will continue to search for possibilities to replace receiver Jerome Simpson during his three-game suspension. Look for second-year player Stephen Burton, along with veterans Michael Jenkins and Devin Aromashodu, to all get long looks. … Rookie cornerback Josh Robinson has impressed the Vikings in training camp and could get a chance to work with the first team Friday night. … Quarterback Charlie Whitehurst will start for the Chargers, who don't want to risk starter Philip Rivers behind an injury-riddled offensive line. Tight end Antonio Gates will also sit out.
Focal point:
This might be middle linebacker Jasper Brinkley's final chance to secure the starting job. The Vikings haven't been thrilled with his tentative preseason performances, coming after a hip injury cost him the 2011 season. Another poor outing could put the team on a search for replacements.

Detroit Lions
Opponent: Oakland Raiders
Location: Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum
Day/Time: Saturday/7 p.m. ET
Personnel notes: Tailback Mikel Leshoure is expected to make his NFL debut, nearly 17 months after he was drafted and nearly 20 months from his last live game. Leshoure last played for Illinois on Dec. 29, 2010. He missed last season because of a ruptured Achilles and a portion of training camp this summer because of a hamstring strain. The Lions want to get him some preseason work because he'll has been suspended for the first two weeks of the regular season. ... New special teams ace Kassim Osgood isn't expected to play. ... Rookie Kellen Moore's chances of making the team increased with the release of R.J. Archer, but he still must earn a roster spot even though he is one of only three quarterbacks on the roster. The Lions could keep only two on their final 53-man roster.
Focal point: It would be nice to see defensive tackle Nick Fairley have a signature, breakout game to reinforce projections that he will be a significant factor this season. But in reality, a game with impact would suffice.

No JPP, but Umenyiora still a good LT test

August, 24, 2012
LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- The health of quarterback Jay Cutler remains priority No. 1 for the Chicago Bears, making recent news the New York Giants plan to hold out defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul for Friday’s game come as a relief.

[+] EnlargeOsi Umenyiora
AP Photo/Evan PinkusThe Giants might be without Jason Pierre-Paul on Friday, but Osi Umenyiora will be a big challenge for the Bears' line.
Still, the expected absence of the Giants’ 2011 sack leader hurts Chicago’s current competition for the starting left tackle position at least a little.

Or does it?

After all, J'Marcus Webb and Chris Williams -- candidates for the starting job -- still face Osi Umenyiora, who in 2010 tied for the team lead in sacks (3) during a Week 4 massacre at the site of Friday’s game, in which the Giants racked up an NFL-record nine sacks of Cutler, in addition to knocking him out of the game in only one half of action.

Despite playing nine games in 2011, Umenyiora finished the season with nine sacks.

“Yeah, I don’t think (the absence of Pierre-Paul hurts evaluation of the left tackle position),” Bears coach Lovie Smith said. “As you said, they still have good players. When one goes down, another steps up. So (I) don’t think that will really affect too much. As you’re evaluating guys, if they’re both playing against the same guy, you can get a good evaluation, and that’s what we’re getting.”

(Read full post)

Giants' Pierre-Paul unlikely to face Bears

August, 22, 2012
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- New York Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul is not expected to play on Friday in a preseason game against the Chicago Bears due to back spasms.

Pierre-Paul missed practice on Wednesday with his back issue. The defensive end has had back spasms in the past.

Read the entire story.

Peppers replaces Pierre-Paul in Pro Bowl

January, 23, 2012
Chicago Bears defensive end Julius Peppers will replace the Giants' Jason Pierre-Paul in the Pro Bowl. Peppers, who was voted a first alternate, will play for Pierre-Paul, who is playing in the Super Bowl.

Peppers, who had a team-high 11 sacks, makes his seventh Pro Bowl in 10 seasons. He is the first Bear defensive end to make two straight Pro Bowls since Richard Dent in 1984-85.

Peppers joins Bears linebackers Brian Urlacher and Lance Briggs, running back Matt Forte, cornerback Charles Tillman and special teams standout Corey Graham on the NFC team. Urlacher (knee) and Briggs (ankle) will not play in Sunday's game in Hawaii.