The Divisional playoff round is here, and I’ll have a preview post up early this afternoon to cover both of today’s games. I went 3-1 picking winners last week, even if my process was fundamentally flawed. (My prediction of a low-scoring Chiefs-Colts game being the main offender.) Will I continue my hot streak? More importantly, does anyone care? (Guessing not.) Here are a few quick Saturday morning Bears bullets to tide you over:
- According to Dan Wiederer, Marc Trestman and the rest of the Bears decision-makers are still in the evaluation process for Mel Tucker (and other members of the staff, although I don’t think Aaron Kromer’s job is really in jeopardy, for example.) I don’t have a strong sense of which way they’re leaning, but as Dan notes in the piece, the Bears probably won’t want to string him along for too much longer. The Bears need to make a decision at some point so that if that decision is to move on, they have the widest possible pool of candidates from which to choose Tucker’s replacement.
- ESPN Chicago’s Michael C. Wright thinks firing Tucker would be a mistake. His point is that there was a perfect storm of sorts that prevented Tucker from doing any of the things he’d do in a more normal season. I can certainly understand that reasoning. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that he was doing everything possible to put the defense in the best position to succeed. (And the fact that a lot of the players like him isn’t really enough for me either.) He shouldn’t get a pass, and from the looks of things he’s not getting one. If the Bears braintrust goes through the process and decides that Tucker deserves another chance, I’ll take their word for it. They want to win, and if they were just going to blindly rubber stamp Tucker into a second season, we’d know that by now. If he survives, I tend to believe it will be for a good reason.
- Also from ESPN Chicago, Bears writer Jeff Dickerson and columnist Jon Greenberg go back and forth across a Fact or Fiction 4 Downs column. They cover a potential Marshall extension, the Cutler deal, McCown’s future, and whether the Bears will have two new starting safeties. (A strongly unanimous “Fact” on that last one, from both writers. Can’t say I disagree.)
- Before Lane Kiffin was announced as Alabama’s new offensive coordinator (and man, what does that guy have to do to not be offered a great football job?) Bears receivers coach Mike Groh had been mentioned as a candidate. Groh has experience as a college coach, and if he was mentioned for this job, you have to think he’ll continue to come up as a candidate. Brad Biggs wrote this piece on the Groh speculation before the Kiffin news broke, and it provides some interesting context on Groh’s background. Considering the obvious development from Alshon Jeffery this season, it’d be a shame to lose Groh back to the college ranks; hopefully he stays on for at least another season or two.
- Mike Ditka answered some questions in his weekly column for the Sun-Times, if that interests you.
- Finally, this is a really nice story. Seahawks fullback Derrick Coleman stars in a touching new commercial for Duracell. If you’re wondering what could possibly be touching about a battery commercial, it’s this: since the age of three, Coleman has been almost completely deaf. He requires the constant use of hearing aids to decipher sound, according to this Fox Sports profile from Ross Jones. He’s played in 12 games for Seattle this year, scoring a touchdown against the Saints, catching a pass that had deflected off of a hapless Kellen Davis. (As if there’s any other kind of Kellen Davis.) I’m a sucker for “overcoming obstacles” stories, and this is a great one.