Chicago Bears: Nfl

LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Chicago Bears defensive end Jared Allen said that while he doesn't know all the details concerning former Minnesota Vikings teammate Adrian Peterson's legal situation, he believes "good people make mistakes."

Allen played alongside Peterson for six seasons in Minnesota before joining the Bears.

"My focus is on the Chicago Bears, honestly, and what I've got to do with my life," Allen said when asked about Peterson. "I've said it all along: I have my beliefs and my opinions, and that's what they are, and I live my life a certain way. I believe good people can make bad decisions. I'm not perfect. So I'm not one to cast judgment on others. They'll have to deal with those circumstances. It's a tough deal, and it's sad. It was sad to hear."

Peterson faces a child abuse charge in Texas for spanking his son in May with a wooden switch, with the incident leaving scarring and injuries. The child's mother reported possible abuse to Hennepin County Child Protection services, and two doctor's exams revealed the boy suffered injuries consistent with abuse.

The Vikings dropped Peterson from their active roster while the criminal case against the running back is still pending.

Asked about how Peterson was as a teammate, Allen called the running back "a good-hearted man. He always treated myself with respect, my wife with respect. He'd come over to the house for bobsledding. I honestly believe good people make mistakes. I don't know the facts. I don't know the details. I'm not one to condemn others and place judgment on them when I don't know all the information."
LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- The Chicago Bears announced Saturday they'd face the New York Jets on Monday night without center Roberto Garza (ankle), left guard Matt Slauson (ankle), cornerback Sherrick McManis (quadriceps), defensive tackle Jeremiah Ratliff (concussion) and linebacker Shea McClellin (hand).

The club held out all five players for Saturday's workout. Receivers Brandon Marshall (ankle) and Alshon Jeffery (hamstring) participated in a limited capacity, and are officially listed as questionable. Both are expected to play against the Jets.

In other injury news, the club officially listed defensive end Jared Allen (back), safety Chris Conte (shoulder) and receiver Josh Morgan (groin) as probable. Defensive end Trevor Scott (foot) is doubtful.

It was expected that Garza and Slauson would miss Monday's game after sitting out last week's win against the San Francisco 49ers, with Brian de la Puente and Michael Ola serving as their replacements. But the unavailability of Ratliff and McClellin forces the Bears to reshuffle the lineup for the starting defense.

With Ratliff out of the defensive line rotation, the Bears will lean more heavily on rookies Ego Ferguson and Will Sutton.

"That Sunday night game was a big test, and they played a decent amount of snaps," Allen said. "The game didn't seem too big for them, and sometimes that can be a problem with young guys. They kind of lose their minds out there, and they don't really remember their techniques or fundamentals. But they've been doing a great job of that. Both of them are powerful, and both of them have obviously a high skill set."

McClellin's expected absence means Jonathan Bostic will start at strong side linebacker.

McClellin participated on a limited basis on Thursday, but suffered a hand injury at practice that kept him out of action on Friday and Saturday.

"We've got a lot of different options," Bears coach Marc Trestman said. "We're disappointed for [McClellin] because he has been getting better. We've watched him so hard to learn a new position, get his body the way he's gotten it to play the position. We know he'll be out this week. We'll see where we are next week."
LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Chicago Bears running back Matt Forte picked up his phone Thursday night knowing full well former teammate Devin Hester would soon be reading hundreds of text messages congratulating him for breaking the NFL's record for return touchdowns.

"He's a close friend of mine," Forte said. "But I knew he was going to read every text message. I definitely had to give him props on breaking the record. I just told him congratulations, all his hard work paid off even when people were saying, 'Ah, he's not going to break [the record],' or 'he's done. He can't return the ball anymore,' whenever he'd have a tough year. I'm just proud of him for staying the course."

[+] EnlargeDevin Hester
Scott Cunningham/Getty ImagesWith a 62-yard TD return Thursday night, Devin Hester now holds the NFL record for return touchdowns (20).
Hester high-stepped into NFL history on a 62-yard punt return TD to collect his 20th career scoring return, which broke Deion Sanders' record, during Atlanta's 56-14 shellacking of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, led by former Bears coach Lovie Smith. Hester's former Chicago Bears teammates at Halas Hall congratulated the return man Friday for the accomplishment, with Forte saying, "He's Hall-of-Fame worthy now."

Hester played eight seasons for the Bears (2006-13), racking up 11,632 all-purpose yards. The veteran spent parts of his career playing defensive back and receiver with the team. But last season, Hester requested to concentrate solely on special teams.

Prior to Hester's departure from Chicago, there were rumblings his skills had declined. Bears kicker Robbie Gould disputed that notion, and Hester's statistics certainly support that. Hester averaged 27.6 yards on kickoff returns last season and 14.2 yards per return on punts to go with an 81-yard touchdown.

"He still played at a high level [in 2013]," Gould said. "Actually, the record, he broke it last year and we had a penalty that called it back [against Minnesota]. The guy is a special player. He's got a lot of speed, a lot left in the tank, and you're seeing that right now; especially with the Atlanta Falcons. He's maybe one of the greatest players I've ever played with of all time."

Prior to the 2013, Hester considered retiring, and Forte said "I'm glad he decided to continue to do it, and was able to break that record."

Hester admitted to feeling unhappy about his role toward the end of his Chicago tenure. Unable to click with quarterback Jay Cutler, Hester requested prior to 2013 that the Bears didn't use him on offense. During the 2014 offseason, the Bears decided to not offer Hester a contract.

"I'm going to say it, man. I wasn't happy the last three or four years in Chicago," Hester said during Thursday night's postgame show on NFL Network's Total Access. "Things weren't going the way I expected."

Hester caught a career-high 57 passes for 757 yards and three touchdowns in 2009, Cutler's first season with the team. But Hester and the quarterback never clicked. Hester finished with 2,908 yards and 14 touchdowns, but caught just 23 passes in 2012, his final season playing receiver for the Bears.

"I've got a quarterback now that ... he loves even the walk-ons," Hester said, "and coaches that know how to get the ball to me; how to make plays for me."

Cutler said on Friday he was unaware of Hester's comments.

"But I'm happy for him," Cutler said. "He seems to be in a good place there. Obviously, he's scoring touchdowns. That's always a good thing for him. Couldn't be more happy for him."

Bears coach Marc Trestman joined Forte in sending Hester a congratulatory text, and the coach said the return man responded later in the night.

"Excited about this mountain he's ascended to," Trestman said. "When people move on, you hope it's for the right reasons, for their career. I think everybody here is certainly excited about the fact he's having success, and doing something with his new opportunity."

Through three games, Hester has contributed 126 yards on seven receptions with the Falcons, along with one rushing TD. He's averaged 28 yards on kickoff returns and 15.2 yards on punts to go with Thursday night's record-breaking score.

"Great teammate," Forte said. "Whenever you needed something, you could call Devin anytime, and he'd help you out. As good as he is on the field, off the field, he's even better."

Bears make practice squad moves

September, 19, 2014
Sep 19
LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- The Chicago Bears signed linebacker Terrell Manning to the practice squad on Friday, while terminating the practice squad contract of receiver Greg Herd.

Manning has played in six games the past two seasons with the Green Bay Packers and San Diego Chargers, contributing three tackles on special teams. Manning was Green Bay's fifth-round pick in 2012 out of North Carolina State.

Herd, meanwhile, entered the league as an undrafted free agent out of Eastern Washington in 2013 with the Dallas Cowboys.
Jubilant and still emotional after high-stepping into league history Thursday night on a 56-yard punt return to collect his NFL-record 20th career return touchdown, former Chicago Bears return man Devin Hester admitted to feeling unhappy about his role in the final years of his tenure with the club that drafted him.

Hester played receiver for six years of his eight-year tenure in Chicago, but spent his final season (2013) working exclusively as a return man.

[+] EnlargeDevin Hester
AP Photo/Nam Y. HuhDevin Hester was not happy with his limited involvement in the passing game in Chicago.
Now with the Atlanta Falcons, Hester scored on the return Thursday night as well as a 20-yard run in the first half of his team’s 56-14 shellacking of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, led by former Bears coach Lovie Smith.

“I’m gonna say it, man. I wasn’t happy the last three or four years in Chicago,” Hester said during the postgame show on NFL Network’s Total Access. “Things weren’t going the way I expected. I would always have a great camp; have all the receivers saying and all the coaches saying I had the best camp out of all the receivers. And then, once the season starts off, I’m not there.”

Hester didn’t elaborate, but sources have said he didn’t want to play receiver for the Bears in 2013.

Hester spent eight seasons with the Bears (2006-13) and participated in 123 games, racking up 11,632 all-purpose yards. The veteran spent parts of his career playing defensive back and receiver with the team. But last season, the Bears coaching staff and Hester mutually agreed he’d concentrate solely on duties as a return man.

Hester caught a career-high 57 passes for 757 yards and three touchdowns in 2009, quarterback Jay Cutler's first season with the team. But Hester and Cutler never clicked. Hester finished with 2,908 yards and 14 touchdowns, but caught just 23 passes in 2012, his final season playing receiver for the Bears.

“I’ve got a quarterback now that ... he loves even the walk-ons,” Hester said, “and coaches that know how to get the ball to me; how to make plays for me. I’m excited for this season, man. This is only the beginning for our team. It’s a team that knows how to utilize their talent. Everybody’s making plays, and we’ve got a team that, if you’re good at running this route, we don’t care if you’ve been a starter for 12 years. If this guy is two years in the league and he’s good at this route, we’re gonna let him run this route.”

A three-time Pro Bowler (2006, 2007 and 2010), Hester was named to the 2000s All-Decade team by The Associated Press and ESPN. He was the rookie recipient of the team's 2006 Brian Piccolo Award, which is elected by Bears players for teammates they feel best exemplify the courage, loyalty, teamwork, dedication and sense of humor of the late Piccolo.

But the team informed Hester in March he wouldn’t be returning for a ninth season in Chicago.

“For the past eight seasons, we have been honored to have Devin Hester as part of our organization,” Bears general manager Phil Emery said at the time. “While Devin has redefined the pinnacle standard of the return position in the NFL, the memories and contributions he has given us cannot be measured by stats or numbers.”

The Chicago Bears organization and former teammates showered Hester with praise and congratulatory words on Twitter after he broke Deion Sanders' record for return TDs.

Hester admitted that when he left Chicago, he was no longer the player he used to be. Still, he's plenty dangerous based off the performance against the Buccaneers.

"You hear rumors about, 'Man, he lost it.' You know, I lost it a little bit. I used to run a 4.2[-second 40-yard dash], but now I run 4.3," Hester joked. "I ain't gonna lie, I've lost it a little bit. But I've still got that hunger. As the years have grown, I've learned the game. I understand the game. I know what I'm capable of doing, and I know how to utilize and rally my troops. Those guys, I'm proud of them my blockers, because those guys wanted it just as badly as I did."
LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- The roster shuffling continued at Halas Hall on Tuesday, with the Chicago Bears elevating cornerback Isaiah Frey and receiver Rashad Ross off the practice squad to the 53-man roster while waiving running back Shaun Draughn and receiver Chris Williams, in addition to terminating the contract of vested veteran tight end Matthew Mulligan.

The moves come in response to the Bears placing cornerback Charles Tillman on the season-ending injured reserve, as well as to the club’s struggles on special teams during its win Sunday over the San Francisco 49ers.

The Bears also added defensive tackle Roy Philon to the practice squad.

A third-year veteran, Frey spent all of the 2013 season as the team’s primary nickel corner. But he struggled throughout the season due to a broken bone in his hand and failed to force a single turnover. Frey started six games, producing 62 tackles and two pass breakups, in addition to generating five quarterback pressures.

Frey spent his rookie season (2012) and the first two weeks of this season on the practice squad. It’s unknown whether the Bears plan to make Frey the starter at nickel for Monday night’s matchup against the New York Jets, and it’s likely the club is continuing to explore options at the position.

Because of Tillman’s injury, the Bears will move rookie Kyle Fuller into the starting lineup to play opposite Tim Jennings. Still, the club seeks a proven player to take snaps from the slot corner position, as the Bears spend approximately 50 percent of the time executing out of substitution packages.

Ross, meanwhile, spent the bulk of last season on the practice squads of the Tennessee Titans and Kansas City Chiefs after the former signed him as an undrafted free agent out of Arizona State.

Ross played in 26 games at Arizona State with 14 starts, and he caught 55 passes for 864 yards and seven touchdowns while also contributing as a return man (779 yards and two touchdowns).
LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- A black briefcase lying in front of him at the podium, Chicago Bears guard Kyle Long took a businesslike approach Monday in assessing the team's dismal performance in the run game during the club's triumph over the San Francisco 49ers.

"I was embarrassed," Long said.

Bears coach Marc Trestman worded his thoughts a tad more delicately, but the fact remains the offense -- after averaging 4.8 yards per rushing attempt in the season opener -- took a major step backward running the ball against the 49ers.

Obviously several factors played into the performance, most significantly, a 17-point deficit in the second quarter, which put the team into passing mode. Still, when Chicago ran against the 49ers, it averaged just 2.7 yards per attempt, with Matt Forte finishing with 21 yards on 12 attempts.

[+] EnlargeMatt Forte
AP Photo/Tony Avelar)The Bears struggled to run the ball against the 49ers, averaging just 2.7 yards per carry.
Jay Cutler led the way with 25 yards rushing, with all of that coming on one scramble.

"Very poor in our run game performance," Trestman said. "We're gonna throw that away, and try to work off where we got started in the Buffalo game, and try to continue progress and get better there. [San Francisco is a] very difficult defense to run against. But nonetheless, the tape has certainly shown us we have some work to do. It got our guys' attention, which is a good thing."

The club's rushing aspirations become more difficult Monday night on the road when the Bears face the New York Jets, which boast the league's to run defense. Jets opponents averaged 2.8 yards per attempt and 52.5 yards per game on the ground. New York's defense is one of just seven units in the NFL which still hasn't given up a rushing touchdown.

The longest run surrendered by the Jets this season was 12 yards.

"We need to run the ball," Long said. "I know we got the win on the road, and it was big. I'm sure everybody else in our room will echo that. So will Matt. You need to run the ball in the National Football League, and we'll be better at that."

Chicago certainly needs to be Monday night to prevent New York from making it one dimensional, which in turn would allow the Jets to pin back their ears and come after quarterback Jay Cutler. If the Bears can string together success on the ground against the Jets, the playbook opens up and allows them to attack with all the weapons at their disposal as opposed to relying solely on Jay Cutler and the receivers to make the offense go.

Long attributed the offense's problems running the ball to simply "techniques, different looks." But ultimately, Long said there's no excuse for Chicago's inability to run the ball effectively.

"You run the ball. You grab the guy in front of him. You move him, and the running back has an opening," Long said. "It's hard to break that down any simpler than that. [The Jets] pose another challenge for us. When you can break through walls like those, you become stronger as a unit. I feel like it's an opportunity for us. It's a mountain. We've got to climb it, and we've got to put our flag in the top of it. We're gonna figure out a way to run the ball against the Jets."

Balancing out the run-pass ration might help (83 passes to 35 runs so far this season), as well as bringing back fullback Tony Fiammetta. Fiammetta missed the opener due to a hamstring injury. Then the team -- reeling from injuries along the offensive line and receiver -- cut the fullback last week as it adjusted the roster to compensate. The Bears brought Fiammetta back on Monday, and Trestman is hopeful he can help spark the rushing attack as Forte's lead blocker.

"He certainly could [help]," Trestman said. "Tony Fiammetta is an excellent player, and we haven't had a chance to utilize him because of the hamstring injury. Very, very good as a lead back. I know Matt likes running with Tony leading the way."
The Chicago Bears took a huge fall last week in's Power Rankings, but made a similar move the other way Tuesday in the latest edition, coming off the club's 28-20 come-from-behind victory at San Francisco.

ESPN's Power Panel, which is comprised of more than 80 writers, editors and TV personalities, handed down the most dramatic drop last week in the Power Rankings to the Bears. But this time around, the group gave the Bears some love, ranking them at No. 11. Yet they still rank just second in the division behind the Green Bay Packers (No. 8).

The Detroit Lions checked in at No. 18, falling five slots from 13th. The Minnesota Vikings rounded out the division No. 26 after a 17th ranking last week.

Bears receiver Brandon Marshall felt pundits panicked after the club's season-opening loss to the Buffalo Bills in which the club allowed 193 yards rushing.

"It felt like 60 percent of Chicago, of Illinois, started panicking," he said Monday during "The Brandon Marshall Show" on ESPN 1000. "It felt that [the feeling was], 'Our season's over.'"

In the loss to the Bills, the Bears reeled off 427 yards of offense, but committed a trio of turnovers which led to points by the opponent.

Chicago appeared to be headed down a similar road against the 49ers, as it trailed 17-0 late in the first half. The truth is the score should've been even more lopsided. Still, the Bears rallied to score 21 unanswered in the fourth quarter.

Marshall led the charge with a trio of scoring receptions, and Bears coach Marc Trestman considered the win against the 49ers one his team can build on moving forward through the schedule. At 1-1, the Bears play two of their next three on the road, with a home matchup sandwiched in between against the Packers.

"As I told the team, as you go through this marathon of a football season, you're going to have opportunities to gain some backbone," Trestman said. "I think this really helped us and will help us [moving forward]. The bottom line is we'll go back to work. That was the message in the locker room is the reason we're able to get to this point is we went back to work last week [after the loss], focused on each and every day in practice. We're going to do the same thing. We're going to get some rest. We've got an extra day of rest this week with the Monday night game [against the New York Jets], and we're going to go back to work and try to get better as a football team, one day at a time."
Charles Tillman said “this isn’t the end of the road for me” in a statement released by the team on Monday after it announced he’d go on the season-ending injured reserve due to a ruptured triceps. The first thought to come to mind was it may not be the end, but in Chicago it’s essentially over.

That’s not the way to think regarding a player of Tillman’s ilk. But reality is reality.

Tim Jennings signed a four-year extension back in January worth $22.4 million, and rookie Kyle Fuller received a four-year deal with a club option for a fifth year which pays $9.687 million, including a signing bonus of $5.365 million.

Tillman, meanwhile, was playing on a one-year contract worth $3.25 million, and he signed that late after free agency proved fruitless.

Moving forward, the Bears can't afford to pay starter's money to three corners, especially with Jay Cutler's monstrous salary and potential extensions coming down the pipe for several players such as Brian de la Puente and Alshon Jeffery, just to name a couple.

Tillman certainly deserves to finish his career in Chicago. But with the corner set to turn 34 before the start of the 2015 season, it’s unlikely the Bears bring him back at a salary he wouldn’t find to be a slap in the face.

When Tillman hits free agency, he likely won’t be looking to break the bank. But he’ll definitely feel he’s worth more than a veteran minimum type of deal, which is probably what the Bears will offer given Tillman’s age, recent injury history, and the emergence of Fuller, who picked off a pair of passes Sunday in the club’s win at San Francisco. Besides that, if the Bears did decide to bring back Tillman for another season, would it be as a starter? Would he feel comfortable taking on the role as the nickel corner?

It’s sad to be pondering all this with emotions still raw, fewer than 24 hours after Tillman’s latest setback.

But that’s the reality we’re faced with; one in which special players such as Tillman always leave on someone else’s terms.

“He’s one of our leaders on this team, and much needed,” receiver Brandon Marshall said during his radio show Monday on ESPN Chicago 1000. “It’s sad for the city, it’s sad for our team, it’s sad for him.”

It truly is.

Tillman was correct in saying it’s not the end of the road, because it isn’t. Once Tillman rehabs from this injury, he’ll still be a player capable of starting and playing at a high level in the NFL.

But the problem is this team, even before Tillman’s injury, has already moved on. If Brian Urlacher and Devin Hester have taught us anything, it’s the fact the Bears -- like every other team in the NFL -- always moves on.
The Chicago Bears signed fullback Tony Fiammetta to the 53-man roster, while also adding rookie quarterback David Fales to the practice squad.

The Bears brought back Fiammetta and Fales after cutting the duo last week in a series of roster moves brought about due to a rash of injuries along the offensive line and at receiver. Fiammetta had been nursing a hamstring injury headed into Week 2, while Fales had missed practice time because of a shoulder injury.

A six-year veteran, Fiammetta serves primarily as a lead blocker for Matt Forte, and has run the ball 11 times for 26 yards throughout his career, while also producing 130 yards on 12 catches in 50 games with 24 starts.

Fales, meanwhile, joined the Bears as a sixth-round pick out of San Jose State.

Over two seasons at San Jose State, Fales started in 25 games, throwing for 8,382 yards and 66 touchdowns with 22 interceptions. Fales has impressed the staff enough throughout his brief tenure with the Bears, that he would likely develop into a potential backup to starter Jay Cutler.

With the Bears placing cornerback Charles Tillman on the injured reserve, it's expected the club in the coming days will make more roster moves.
SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- Strolling through a dark hallway in the empty visitor's locker room at Levi's Stadium after a 28-20 win Sunday over the San Francisco 49ers, Chicago Bears receiver Brandon Marshall stopped to lean his rolling bag against the wall.

"I can't tell you everything, man," he said.

[+] EnlargeBrandon Marshall
Ezra Shaw/Getty ImagesBrandon Marshall caught three touchdown passes for the second time in his career, including a one-handed grab before halftime that sparked the Bears.
Chicago overcame a dismal opening half in which San Francisco's defensive backs -- armed with the knowledge Marshall and Alshon Jeffery were hobbled all week by injuries -- sat on every route, basically daring the Bears to try to throw it deep. The game plan worked beautifully early on for the 49ers, given Marshall and Jeffery weren't at full speed and never improved. Yet Chicago found a way to overcome it.

The Bears made subtle adjustments in the way quarterback Jay Cutler targeted his outside threats, and the club took advantage of short fields provided by Kyle Fuller's two interceptions. The result was that the receivers were able to outmuscle San Francisco's defensive backs as Marshall caught three touchdown passes in one game for just the second time in his career.

"They were mixing it up," Cutler said. "They were sitting on our stuff -- 8, 10, 12 yards -- they were kind of sitting out there. They were showing shell, matching up underneath. They had a good game plan."

With reports circulating all week of Marshall's right ankle injury and Jeffery's strained left hamstring, not to mention all the drama in pregame warmups regarding whether they'd play, San Francisco's defensive backs knew Chicago's receivers wouldn't just run right by them to haul in deep balls from Cutler. So they sat on routes, ready to jump short throws for potential interceptions.

"They were smart about how they played us," Marshall said. "We knew that if we did end up throwing it deep, it would just be a jump ball."

San Francisco corners Perrish Cox and Chris Culliver limited Marshall and Jeffery to a combined one catch for 4 yards on three targets in the opening quarter. By the end of the first half, the duo had caught a combined three balls on nine total targets for 30 yards and Marshall's first touchdown.

"They did a good job game planning us defensively," Bears coach Marc Trestman admitted.

But Marshall one-handed a 17-yard touchdown pass over rookie free safety Jimmie Ward with just 18 seconds left in the first half. That scoring strike ignited the offense, Trestman said. That drive, which spanned 80 yards, allowed Cutler to work his chemistry in the red zone with Marshall, who in turn was able to outmuscle safety Jimmy Ward.

Niners safety Eric Reid admitted the size of Chicago's receivers gave his team problems, adding that "Cutler made some good throws in the red zone, [and] they made some good catches."

Jeffery's final numbers were modest -- three catches for 47 yards -- but his 29-yard grab over Culliver set up Marshall's final touchdown. Marshall pointed out he finished the game with just 48 yards receiving and that his last two TDs came from 5 and 3 yards out in the fourth quarter. He added that "it's not like me and Alshon got any better" in terms of their physical condition.

Marshall declined to discuss whether Cutler adjusted throws to target his back shoulder, which would allow him to use his physicality. But the receiver admitted San Francisco "knew" he and Jeffery weren't at full speed, "and they were smart to play us like that. You've got to give them credit."

"I was really frustrated," Marshall said. "I tried to stay positive and it worked. We just stayed in it and believed if we could get in the end zone just once, we'd be able to build off that."

That's precisely what transpired Sunday.
LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- San Francisco’s Jim Harbaugh provided glowing reviews of Chicago’s Marc Trestman back in 2013, saying he “taught me everything." The latter reciprocated on Friday as his team prepared to board a flight for the Bears-49ers matchup Sunday at Levi’s Stadium.

Harbaugh and Trestman worked together on the staff of the Oakland Raiders back in 2002. It was Harbaugh’s first coaching job as a quality control coach on offense, and he reported directly to Trestman, who served as offensive coordinator.

“Jim, he’s an amazing guy. He’s hypercompetitive, was extremely detailed and really worked hard at his job. He was quality control. He was drawing the pictures,” Trestman said. “The standard was very, very high. He took it very, very seriously. He went from there, he moved on. He started working with the quarterbacks in his second year and spending … individual time with them -- just a good friend, and just a very good football coach and person.”

After the Bears hired Trestman as head coach in 2013, Harbaugh spoke on the "Waddle & Silvy" show” on ESPN Chicago 1000, saying the 49ers still use Trestman's system of calling plays.

Asked at the time whether Chicago hit a home run with the hiring of Trestman, Harbaugh, a former Bears quarterback, said, “Absolutely. Grand slam. That was a grand slam hire. You see the coaches that Marc has put around him. They know football. He knows football. He’s a great teacher. That’s something I learned working with Marc, by example and by things he would tell me. That’s one of my lucky breaks in coaching was to work with Marc Trestman, because he took the time to train me and to teach me. I will always be thankful for that.”

During their time working together, Trestman quickly noticed Harbaugh’s competitive nature and drive.

“He was very serious about making sure every picture was perfect. It was always detailed out,” Trestman explained. “If there was a line that wasn’t correctly done, he took it personal that he didn’t do it right. He was a guy [who] spent time at the office, slept at the office, did whatever he could to help the football team.”
LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Sure, Jay Cutler struggled in the season-opening loss to Buffalo, throwing a pair of interceptions which led to Bills points.

But former NFL quarterback Scott Mitchell believes Cutler is in the right hands with Bears head coach Marc Trestman. Trestman spent the 1997 season working with Mitchell as the quarterbacks coach of the Detroit Lions, and helped the signal-caller produce a 3,483-yard passing season, which at the time ranked as the second best in team history (it’s now No. 6).

“Jay’s a little bit like Matt[hew] Stafford,” Mitchell explained to ESPN NFL Nation reporter Mike Rothstein. “Big arm, is much more temperamental. I’m really curious to see what Marc can do with him if Jay will actually let him.”

Cutler passed for 349 yards and two touchdowns in the opener, but the performance was marred by the turnovers. Cutler took accountability for the INTs, and offered assurances he’ll make better decisions with the football as the season progresses.

Mitchell, who once started 57 games for the Lions, recently joined the cast of NBC’s The Biggest Loser, and was asked what Trestman does to coax the most from his quarterbacks. During his tenure with the Lions, Mitchell passed for 12,647 yards and 79 touchdowns and played in two postseason contests.

“Marc really understood how to keep your mind calm. Everything happens so fast and the decisions you have to make ... we just spent a lot of time preparing to keep your mind calm,” Mitchell explained. “So you knew on this play, you just know this is exactly what I do. On this play, this is exactly what I do. And he was just excellent at helping you with having a calm mind when you played. Marc was the best coach I ever had, actually. I just really connected to him. He got quarterbacks. He understood the position. He understood all that went into it. He was great at developing and teaching and communicating offenses. He looked so cerebral. But he has this fiery intensity with how he goes about things. It really, really resonated and we connected quite well.”

Bears bring back Chris Williams

September, 11, 2014
Sep 11
LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- The Chicago Bears signed receiver Chris Williams to the practice squad on Thursday and terminated the practice squad contract of linebacker DeDe Lattimore.

The Bears originally signed Williams off the practice squad of the New Orleans Saints during the final week of the 2013 regular season, and he was expected in 2014 to take on the role as the primary return man. But a hamstring injury limited Williams’ production during the preseason. Williams caught four passes for 94 yards in preseason games, including a 73-yard touchdown, and returned three kickoffs for 81 yards.

The Bears had parted ways with Williams during its final cut-down to the 53-man roster.

Lattimore had signed with the Bears as an undrafted rookie out of South Florida.
LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- First, the personal day off to open a barbecue restaurant, then the constant barrage of inquiries regarding his nightlife.

On the heels of the team’s season-opening loss, Chicago Bears linebacker Lance Briggs found himself on the defense Wednesday as the club kicked off preparation for Sunday’s matchup against the San Francisco 49ers.

“I don’t think you know what I do every day. I don’t think you have any idea,” Briggs said. “I’m here early. Every day that I’m here, I get a lot of treatment on my body. I’m here. I work out in the middle of the day. Even though this is not necessarily anybody’s business, but I’m gonna tell you. After practice, I’m getting treatment, and I do an additional workout after I leave this building to get my body ready. People don’t know that.”

Despite clearing it first with Bears coach Marc Trestman, Briggs took a day off from practice last Monday to attend the grand opening of his new barbecue restaurant, Double Nickel Smokehouse in Elk Grove, California. Briggs admitted to never telling Trestman why he needed that day off, and the linebacker later received a barrage of criticism for not being with the team during the first day of practice leading into the opener.

Rumors surfaced later that Briggs spent Friday night and early Saturday morning leading up to Sunday’s game out socializing, which isn’t wrong, considering the time spent out was his own personal time, and there wasn't a team curfew. Still, Briggs received criticism for it, likely because of his role as a leader on defense. The criticism intensified when the veteran was credited with three tackles in the official box score as the Bears gave up 193 yards rushing Sunday in the loss to the Bills.

Briggs also took responsibility for Anthony Dixon’s 47-yard run in the second quarter.

“I popped out to go get the quarterback and left that gap wide open,” Briggs said. “That’s a mistake that I don’t normally make, and I won’t moving forward.”

Briggs said the criticism he’s received lately “doesn’t bother me at all.”

“We’ve only played one game,” he added. “I told [defensive coordinator] Mel [Tucker] on my day off, I’m like, ‘Man, you know, I once came out in our first game and had 36 loafs and one tackle against Atlanta, and got some of the same criticism. [I] went on to have a regular year.’ I’m not like everybody else. I don’t hit the panic button. For us, it’s time to focus on beating the 49ers.”

Trestman defended Briggs and the rest of the team.

“Regarding Lance or any of our players, I’ve never seen anything significant [that would affect preparation for a game],” Trestman said. “When guys show up to work, they’re here to work. That goes for Lance and everybody else on our team. I’ve never seen anything lingering in terms of guys not being ready to work and ready to practice since the time I’ve been here.”