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PFT: Lovie's under the microscope

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  • PFT: Lovie's under the microscope


    Our Chitown mole tells us that Bears G.M. Jerry Angelo privately has voiced concerned that the team's rash of hamstring pulls is related directly to efforts by coach Lovie Smith to get players to lose weight over the offseason.

    Players who have fallen victim to hamstring injuries in the first week of camp include Brian Urlacher, Marty Booker, Jamin Elliott, Desmond Clark, Adrian Peterson, Mike Gandy and John Gilmore.

    Perhaps not coincidentally, Smith has canceled the team's Tuesday morning practice.

    Last week, Smith explained his strategy regarding the shrinkage of his team.

    "It's a different philosophy," he said. "We just think everyone should lose weight."

    We're also hearing that running back Anthony Thomas could miss up to six weeks with an abdominal strain. Thomas has been the subject of trade rumors, but it's now extremely unlikely that anything will happen until he's healthy again.

  • #2
    Re: PFT: Lovie's under the microscope

    Maybe he's getting them to actually do some work. The Bears have a lot of work to do anyway. They had the one freak year, but they need a lot of work.


    • #3
      Re: PFT: Lovie's under the microscope

      Veteran holding off on evaluating coach
      By David Haugh
      Tribune staff reporter

      August 4, 2004, 11:01 PM CDT

      BOURBONNAIS, Ill. -- Only one Bears player has endured more NFL training camps than coach Lovie Smith, and Ruben Brown believes that experience makes him as qualified to evaluate Smith as Smith is to evaluate him.

      "Just like he's judging me, I'm judging him," said Brown, who's entering his 10th NFL season. "I haven't come to a conclusion, and I don't have to. I think he's doing a decent job as a coach comparable to a lot of things I've seen in the past. The real test for [Smith] and me is when the season starts. This is just a dress rehearsal."

      That hasn't made it any less taxing for the 32-year-old veteran guard signed by the Bears last April. He rated Smith's training camp his second toughest, behind only the boot-camp approach taken by Gregg Williams in Buffalo before his first season in 2001.

      "Camp's supposed to be a little grueling," Brown said.

      Brown continues to search for his niche on a Bears offensive line that has surprisingly good depth. He entered camp second on the depth chart at right guard behind Mike Gandy and was passed by Terrence Metcalf after Gandy missed the first week with a groin injury.

      While many might interpret Smith's handling of Brown as a message to get with the program, he sees it as a way of allowing a proven player to ease into his new surroundings.

      "I'm the oldest guy on this team, so to have me do thousands of reps this early, there's no reason," Brown said. "I'm trying to prepare for the season. I'm OK with it. I learned the offense, I get my reps."

      With backup running back Dwone Hicks not expected to return to camp after leaving Tuesday, the Bears have given fullback Jason McKie a look at running back. Such versatility only enhances the chances of sticking on the 53-man roster for McKie, also a special-teams standout. … Running back Anthony Thomas' abdominal strain is expected to keep him out at least for the next two weeks, giving backups Adrian Peterson and Brock Forsey more chances to make an impression on the new staff.

      Extra points

      During Smith's first season as Rams defensive coordinator in 2001 in which he contributed to changing the pace of practices, six players were hurt during the first week of training camp with hamstring injuries. The Bears have had eight. … Colorful and quotable wide receiver David Terrell has been polite but firm in turning down interview requests until "I do something," Terrell said. Smith said the mute button was not pushed by the coaching staff. "That's the first I've heard of it," Smith said. "He's probably in that zone right now. He's got his game face on, and he probably doesn't want to jinx anything he's doing."

      Copyright © 2004, The Chicago Tribune


      • #4
        Re: PFT: Lovie's under the microscope

        Driving through Illinios to and from Macomb afforded me the opportunity to listen some Chicago sports radio. The media seems to be ready to roast Lovie for his hard-nosed camp philosophy. The guys I was listening to were expressing their doubts before the bears' camp began and subsequently they were patting themselves on the back when Urlacher and Azumah went down. It seems that the Chicago media is waiting with baited breath for Lovie to fail, at least that is what it seemed like to me.


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        • Nick
          Bears LB Roquan Smith remains only unsigned 2018 NFL Draft pick
          by Nick
          Draft pick Smith's holdout among issues facing Bears
          GENE CHAMBERLAIN | Associated Press
          Monday, August 13, 2018 1:10 am

          BOURBONNAIS, Ill. – It has become a familiar refrain for Chicago Bears coach Matt Nagy. He has often repeated the words “nothing new” over the past 31/2 weeks regarding contract talks with first-round draft pick Roquan Smith.

          Nagy's first training camp with the Bears concluded Sunday, and it remains uncertain when defensive coordinator Vic Fangio can plug the former Georgia linebacker into the lineup.

          That's not the Bears' only problem as they head into a week of practices in Denver before playing the Broncos on Saturday in their third preseason game.

          Asked Sunday if missing all of camp would limit Smith's ability to be defensive field general on opening day, Nagy did not mince words.

          “I think it does,” Nagy said. “You're playing at that position and there are a lot of calls that go on, very similar to a quarterback, there's a lot going on. But I have full confidence in Vic and his staff that when he does get here, they'll get him up to speed and whenever that is, we'll see.

          “But again, that's why we all get paid as coaches is to try to help our players out as much as possible and that's kind of where we're at.”

          Neither the Bears nor Smith's agents have openly discussed the reason for the standoff.

          The Chicago Tribune reported that the sticking point in talks is the Bears' refusal to give up the right to reclaim some of Smith's guaranteed bonus if he is suspended for an on-field rules violation outside the parameters of a football play.

          Smith is the only unsigned player in the 2018 NFL draft class. The Bears haven't had Smith around since their June minicamp.

          “I think he knows that he's to be in shape,” Nagy said. “I think he knows that.”

          The Bears have two veteran inside linebackers on the field: Danny Trevathan and Nick Kwiatkoski.

          Players say they've avoided turning the holdout into a distraction.

          “It's pretty easy,” defensive end Akiem Hicks said. “I mean, we can't make him appear out of nowhere. You play with what you got and go forward.”

          Their other big problem revolves around the offense.

          Quarterback Mitchell Trubisky struggled in the new offense with interceptions in practice, then went 2 for 4 for 4 yards in his first effort against Cincinnati in a 30-27 loss Thursday night.

          “It's not rocket science to know that we need to be better in that,” Nagy said. “It's my job to make sure am I calling the right plays. It's their job to make sure they execute when they get those plays to come in.”

          Wide receiver Allen Robinson and wide receiver Taylor Gabriel did not play Thursday. Also absent was starting running back Jordan Howard.

          Robinson called camp a successful indoctrination to a complicated...
          -08-13-2018, 05:59 AM
        • r8rh8rmike
          Benson Believes Bears Tried To Blackball Him
          by r8rh8rmike
          Benson believes Bears tried to blackball him
          By ANDREW SELIGMAN, AP Sports Writer
          1 hour, 19 minutes ago

          LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP)—Cedric Benson(notes) believes the Chicago Bears did all they could to prevent him from signing with another team.

          Released in June 2008 after two alcohol-related arrests, Benson will come face to face with his former team when the Cincinnati Bengals host the Bears on Sunday. Although he insisted he’s not out for revenge and won’t try to send a message, Benson clearly has some bad feelings for the Bears.

          “I heard all the rumors that were said coming out of Chicago,” Benson said. “Even the Bengals told me all the things, that they would call and inquire about me and get nothing but negative things. Just that I didn’t work hard, that I was I guess a prima donna or I didn’t work hard on the field, just wasn’t focused, just anything negative that they could say, it was said. I’m sure that contributed largely to me not getting picked up right away.”

          Bears coach Lovie Smith insisted, “He was not blackballed by anyone in our organization.”

          Bengals coach Marvin Lewis said Smith even gave a good review of the running back, but Smith’s endorsement aside, Benson believes he had little support in Chicago. He wasn’t particularly popular with his teammates, either, and he believes the reason he remained unemployed until Cincinnati signed him on Sept. 30 last season was that alleged smear campaign by the Bears.

          Now, he’s the league’s third-leading rusher, which is quite a turnaround for someone who fizzled in Chicago after being drafted fourth overall in 2005. Instead of taking his place alongside Walter Payton and Gale Sayers, Benson rubbed teammates the wrong way and never fit in with the Bears.


          “Some questions that you all ask are very interesting because I don’t have the answers,” said Benson, who has 531 yards. “I think there was once upon a time where I would like to have known the answer. But now it kind of doesn’t really matter anymore. But I couldn’t pinpoint it. I remember there being a lot of talk about the holdout and things like that, but that’s quite ridiculous in this business because there are holdouts involved. It’s not just football, there’s the business of contracts involved. I’m sure there was once upon a time where many players on that team had a holdout or something along those lines.”

          Benson was the last first-round pick to sign in 2005 after a standout career at Texas and missed training camp that year, setting a bad tone for his three seasons in Chicago. Complicating matters: incumbent Thomas Jones was a popular figure in the locker room and the two never really meshed.

          He once told the Chicago Sun-Times that Jones, who eventually was traded to the Jets, punched him in the face during a practice drill, and Benson wondered why the Bears even drafted...
          -10-21-2009, 07:34 PM
        • DJRamFan
          Urlacher injures hamstring; draftees sign
          by DJRamFan
          July 28, 2004
 wire reports

          BOURBONNAIS, Ill. -- The Chicago Bears had been on the practice field for less than an hour Wednesday when new coach Lovie Smith saw four-time Pro Bowl linebacker Brian Urlacher crumple to the ground.


          Urlacher stumbled out of a scrimmage drill and fell to the ground with an injury to his right hamstring. Trainers wrapped his leg with an ice pack and took him off the field on a golf cart.

          "He's got a pretty good pull," general manager Jerry Angelo said. "We'll know more tomorrow."

          Urlacher was scheduled to have an MRI Thursday morning, but Angelo and Smith weren't optimistic that he would be able to return soon.

          "Hamstrings, they need rest," Smith said after the 90-minute practice at the team's Olivet Nazarene University training base. "He'll have to sit out, which he won't like. It's going to be weeks, probably."

          The Bears were practicing in shorts and helmets Wednesday and the scrimmage was light contact only. Urlacher went down after colliding with another player.

          Second-year player Hunter Hillenmeyer and rookie Jeremy Cain will get plenty of work with Urlacher out, Smith said. If the injury persists deep into training camp, second-year linebacker Lance Briggs, who started 13 games and had 81 tackles as a rookie, could be shifted into Urlacher's middle linebacker role, the coach said.

          "We've talked about developing our depth at the linebacker position," Smith said. "We're going to have to do it a little quicker than we wanted to."

          Smith acknowledged he was nervous beginning his first training camp as an NFL head coach, but said he was reasonably happy with the first practice.

          "We kind of set a bar, that's what you want to do as much as anything, set the bar," he said. "Tomorrow morning, we'll be in pads and the intensity will pick up quite a bit."

          Quarterback Rex Grossman, expected to be the starter, was among those trying to work out early kinks. He threw several passes at his receivers' feet.

          Seeing Brian Urlacher carted off the field is not how the Bears wanted to start training camp.(AP)
          "It's going to take a little bit of time to get the rhythm of it," he said.

          Off the field, the Bears agreed to terms with their two remaining unsigned rookies, first-round draft pick Tommie Harris and third-round pick Bernard Berrian.

          Harris, who won the Lombardi Trophy at Oklahoma last year as the nation's top interior lineman, agreed to a five-year deal. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

          "He's our first-round pick, he's a big part of what we're going to do this year," Smith said. "We're very excited...
          -07-29-2004, 09:39 AM
        • Rammed
          Bears fire GM Angelo
          by Rammed
          OPENING HIT:*The*Bears*fired Jerry Angelo, the team's general manager, and a team source said the reason why was simple:"The organization was growing stale."Interesting. Not sure I'd agree with that and it seems that Angelo was far from the main problem with the Bears. The firing of Angelo seems completely and utterly reactionary to not making the playoffs. Angelo isn't blameless but the reason Chicago*didn't make the postseason*is because their two offensive stars,*Jay Cutler*and*Matt Forte, were injured. Let's be real. A healthy Bears team is probably still playing.Let's put it this way. As Bears general manager Angelo was 95-41 overall. Under him the Bears won four division championships and went to a Super Bowl. Does that sound like a man who should have been fired?But this is the NFL. Being sensible or patient is against league rules. I actually think teams get fined for that.The team announced on its website that Smith would coach in 2012. A source had earlier told me that Smith was in trouble and I still think he is. I'm still not convinced Smith will coach the Bears next season and I'm extremely skeptical he'll coach beyond that.A new GM wants his guy and it's only a matter of time before the new GM, well, pushes for his guy. Smith is not that person.We'll see.
          -01-03-2012, 11:57 AM
        • RamDez
          Rams' Martz calls Bears' hamstring epidemic just a 'bad run'
          by RamDez
          Rams' Martz calls Bears' hamstring epidemic just a 'bad run'

          August 7, 2004


          MACOMB, Ill. -- Mike Martz angrily has defended his friend Lovie Smith for the outbreak of hamstring fever that has surrounded the training camp of the first-year Bears coach.

          What has been missed is that no one has called Smith's practices too grueling. Instead, it has been questioned whether the major weight loss emphasis, combined with the increased running, has led to some of the problems.

          ''For crying out loud,'' Martz railed. ''That's the dumbest thing I've ever heard. I guess all these people who write that must be medical doctors. You think? You've got to be kidding me. I mean, this is just a bad run. Maybe they're not used to practicing that hard. Who knows? I know we've been through it. We've had six, seven, eight guys [sidelined with pulled hamstrings].''

          Running back Adrian Peterson sat out of both practices Friday as his hamstring tightened up. According to Smith, wide receiver Justin Gage and reserve safety Bobby Gray will be back from their hamstring injuries this week and should be ready for the exhibition opener Thursday in St. Louis.

          FILLING IN: With Peterson and Anthony Thomas (ribs) out and Dwone Hicks gone from the team, fullback Jason McKie has stepped in and worked as a halfback. What is most interesting is that he was chosen over Rabih Abdullah, who had a failed experiment as a third-down back last season.

          ''I'm just helping out right now,'' he said. ''But I'll do whatever they need me to be.''

          McKie never has been a true halfback, having been the fullback in a Wing-T offense at Gulf Breeze (Fla.) High. He did carry the ball in short-yardage situations at Temple. Even more telling, however, is that he has been used on special teams as the off-side returner. The 5-11, 240-pounder has good speed but isn't elusive by any means.

          ''The way our returns are designed, we're straight ahead,'' special-teams coach Dave Toub said. ''We want to catch the ball and get up the field right away. That kind of fits his running style.''

          Toub said rookie Bernard Berrian has a ''good shot'' at replacing Jerry Azumah as the main kick returner. Ahmad Merritt and Nate Vasher are also in the mix.

          BAD OMEN: If the afternoon practice Friday was a sign of things to come, the Bears' offense is going to have a real struggle with the Rams' defense in the scrimmage this morning. Neither the first nor second team could pick up a first down in the two-minute drill, with offensive coordinator Terry Shea calling a run on first down both times. The Rams seemed to make twice as many big plays as the Bears.

          NO WRONG: Smith did not think anything was wrong with allowing Azumah to practice in
          -08-07-2004, 12:57 PM