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Best hope for the Bears to win the NFC North

Sports & Recreation No Comments »

Kyle Fuller

The term “shutdown corner,” an honor achieved in the NFL, is one that is hardly ever bestowed upon a rookie. Especially not six-weeks in. But Bears cornerback Kyle Fuller has achieved that tag faster than Darrelle Revis or Richard Sherman did when they came into the league. Every week he surprises Bears fans and the coaching staff (and opponents’ wide receiving core) with how good he is and how great he has the chance of being.

Best of Chicago 2014

Best still-playing former Chicago athlete we wish were still in town

Audience Choice, Category, Sports & Recreation No Comments »

Thomas Jones
Perhaps GM Jerry Angelo’s greatest flub, the abandonment of running back Thomas Jones after the 2006 Super Bowl season, in a misguided attempt to make then-recently drafted Cedric Benson the man, has played a large part in the Bears’ offensive troubles in the seasons since. Matt Forte is a strong back, to be sure, but as most NFL teams have moved to running-back tandems and away from classic featured backs, Forte is left with failed experiment Chester Taylor. (And before that Garrett Wolfe, and before that “the other” Adrian Peterson.) Can you imagine the Bears’ running game if we had held on to Jones? The trade for Jay Cutler, dare we say, may have been unnecessary. Numbers don’t lie—in the three seasons he played with the Jets after the Bears let him go, he rushed for 1,119 yards, 1,312 yards and 1,402 yards, respectively. Not only is that tremendous production, with each year the 32-year-old is improving. He also scored fourteen touchdowns last year. This season, for the Kansas City Chiefs, he’s threatening 1,000-yard production again and has five TDs. We honestly can’t elaborate any more right now, because it’s making us sick.

Audience choice:
Jim Thome

Best in Chicago 2010

Best new Bear

Audience Choice, Sports & Recreation No Comments »

Matt Forte

Tough break for Bears fans when running back Cedric Benson didn’t work out and they had to cut him, but the truth is, we all saw it coming. His lackluster play coupled with his off-the-field antics and run-ins with the law was a recipe for don’t-let-the-door-hit-you-on-the-ass. Thank heavens for the arrival of rookie back Forte, the Tulane star taken in the second round of this year’s draft, and a big reason why the Bears even have five wins at this point. He seems to have all of the necessary parts to be a successful halfback in the NFL in 2008—he can run (duh), he can catch (what? Bears using the screen pass?) and he can block, which helps keep Orton, or Grossman, or whoever, from getting murdered. We suspect Lovie’s using him too much—he’s on the path to 400 touches this season—and he’s gonna wear down prematurely, but we’ll let the professionals worry about that.

Audience choice:
Matt Forte

Best of Chicago 2008

Best new gig for Rex Grossman

Audience Choice, Sports & Recreation No Comments »

Grief counselor

Poor Rex. He’s tossed into a game in which the team is behind, leads us back to victory and still gets booed by Bears fans. We suspect he’ll remain in the NFL for a time after this season, likely his last with the Bears, but after his football career fizzles it may be good for him to give back to the community by offering guidance and counseling to those who’ve survived horrific experiences. Rex has been crucified in this town time and time again, and, in a lot ways, has bounced back every time. “Listen, I helped get the Bears to the Super Bowl,” he would say, “and the fans still hated me. Gotta keep your head up, son. Gotta keep on truckin’.”

Audience choice:
Sitting on the sidelines

Audience Comments: “Greeter at Olive Garden”; “Hand model”;
“Throw rolls at Lamberts.”

Best of Chicago 2008

Best reason the Bears will go back to the Super Bowl

Audience Choice, Sports & Recreation No Comments »

The absence of Ron Rivera

Last year’s defensive coordinator got his walking papers after we couldn’t stop the Colts running game in the Super Bowl, following weeks of Rivera interviewing with other teams for 2007 head-coaching positions and not paying enough attention to his current team who was currently in the playoffs. New coordinator Bob Babich seems focused, aggressive and absolutely angry, as do the rest of the Bears D.

Audience Choice
Defense

Best of Chicago 2007

Best new career for Tank Johnson

Audience Choice, Sports & Recreation No Comments »

Limo Driver

After the debacle that’s been the last nine months of Tank’s life, one might have qualms about putting him behind the wheel. But if he’s a man of his word (hah!), he’s straightened himself out, and he would look pretty sharp in a chauffeur’s uniform. Then he can cart around his ex-teammates, be a chaperone and keep them out of trouble when they’re partying at, like, Level. This way Briggs doesn’t have to drive anymore, either.

Audience Choice
Bouncer

Best of Chicago 2007

Best new Bear

Audience Choice, Sports & Recreation No Comments »

Adam Archuleta

The Bears defensive hole-stuffer rejoined his old Rams coach Lovie Smith this year, and while he may not be the greatest in coverage—read: he’s not too fast—he sure is a ballhawk, circling the ball carrier’s location with a supercomputer’s accuracy and a, well, grisly bear’s might. Not only is Archuleta a reliable addition, he’ll also help fill a secondary that lost Mike Brown, again.

Audience Choice
Greg Olsen

Best of Chicago 2007