Saturday, August 4, 2007

Prime time at Bears camp

The Bears conducted a late practice last night. Defensive Coordinator Bob Babich told his guys to get six turnovers during the session ... and they did. Is that a sign of good defense, or REALLY bad offense this season? also has video highlights of the session. It's hard to tell who was making all the turnovers, but the story linked above indicated starter Rex Grossman had three interceptions and RB Cedric Benson had a fumble.

Grossman also hit Bernard Berrian for a touchdown and back-ups Brian Griese and Kyle Orton three TDs to tight end John Gilmore.

Some of the TV coverage I've seen with Grossman has focused on his fundamentals. Grossman admits he needs to work on them and supposedly that is what is going on at camp. I think he also needs to improve his decision-making. He has to resist the urge to press when the Bears are behind -- forcing passes to where they shouldn't go. He also has to learn to take what the defense gives him and not try to throw a touchdown pass on every play.

Hopefully that will come during this second full season at the helm.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Here we go Steelers, here we go...

The Steelers and Saints open the NFL pre-season on Sunday. The good news: a bunch of guys wearing the teams' uniforms will be on the field in Canton, Ohio as part of the celebration of the Hall of Fame induction. The bad news: Anybody with a chance of starting on opening day will be lucky to get more than three downs of work.

But we need to develop the rookies and find out who can play right? Enjoy the first few minutes of the first quarter...

Update (Aug. 4): Here is the latest on the Steelers starters for Sunday. Running back Willie Parker is going to sit out getting a sore left knee. The game also is Mike Tomlin's first as a head coach.

Like a (troubled) bridge over...

Was there any doubt that the focus of the media would move toward bridge safety after the horrific collapse of the I-35W bridge in Minneapolis? You can see some national coverage here and here. Those of us who are members of the media could tell you it was a natural move.

If the bridges are really as bad as the government thinks, and the media is reporting, maybe some funds should be diverted from other sources to fix them. According to MSNBC, which is linked above, U.S. highway funds are not keeping up with the needs of the system.

The government also said the Minneapolis incident was not the norm.

There is no question roads are a huge, and constant, expense. Especially in the northern states that experience all four seasons. Asphalt, concrete and steel cannot stand-up against the consistent change from extreme warm to cold temperatures. As we build more roads to relieve traffic gridlock, we have to also account for the increased maintenance.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Simpsonized and fabulous II

Another family member has come to Springfield. Can you guess who it is?

Memories of Bill Walsh

I have to admit that I was not a 49ers fan in the 80s when Bill Walsh ruled the football world. He gave the Bears more beatings than I care to remember. It seemed teams needed a Herculean effort just to beat them. Think about Jim Everett's LA Rams? They had a couple years there where they were better than every team in the league except the 49ers.

As I got older I grew to respect Walsh's genius. The NFL Films "America's Game" series gave me an even more detailed glimpse into his thinking. The story of the 1983 49ers, who beat the Bengals for their first championship, was strikingly insightful. The description of the NFC Championship game against Dallas sticks out in my mind. Just before the infamous Montana to Clark play, Walsh confidently took off his headset and told Montana the play -- Sprint Right Option -- and said "Dwight will come open." And just like he said, Clark came open the rest is history.

We were lucky ... we had the unique pleasure and honor of recognizing Walsh's genius before he was gone.

Death of a Titan

Most football fans know what this means. Bill Walsh, architect of the West Coast offense, has died. He won three Super Bowls in 10 years with the San Francisco 49ers and molded Hall of Famers Joe Montana and Jerry Rice.