If you missed yesterday’s look at the Bears offensive tackles it can be found here; part two is coming later today. Also, yesterday was Marc Trestman’s birthday; he turned 58, which makes him (by my rough estimate) the sixth-oldest coach in the NFL. In any event, hears to hoping he spends his 59th birthday prepping for a playoff game. (Oh, and happy birthday to him as well. I’m not all business.)
- If you’ve watched Peyton Manning for any period of time (and since he’s always on, odds are you have) you’ve obviously been exposed to his line of scrimmage orchestrations. One of the things he yells most often is “Omaha”, normally right before the ball is snapped. I’ve often wondered what exactly he’s checking to when making that call, and this week a reporter asked him directly. Unsurprisingly, Manning responded to that direct question with an indirect answer, as detailed in this Pro Football Talk piece from Mike Florio. Peyton said it’s a run being changed to a pass, except then he said sometimes it’s the opposite, and then he said sometimes it can mean something else entirely. Very helpful.
- Obviously he’s not going to give away his pre-snap system, but as that PFT piece notes, former Manning teammate Dallas Clark said that when he played with Manning, “Omaha” meant that the running back pass protection would flip to the opposite side, as would the hot-read receiver; it was a blitz pickup tactic. Tony Dungy apparently told PFT that he thinks Manning has been using it this season as a snap-count indicator. Whatever the case, it wouldn’t suprise me if Manning changed it entirely by Sunday.
- ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. released his first mock draft on Wednesday, and in an interesting turn he’s projecting Johnny Manziel as the first overall pick. It’s Insider-only, but ESPN Chicago’s Michael C. Wright has a detailed look at the player Kiper projects to the Bears at #14: Florida State defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan. I think at this point, the Bears would probably take that scenario, but there’s still a lot of time between now and the draft. The pre-draft process informs so many of the selections that the odds of any January mock drafts resembling the final product are quite slim.
- As Larry Mayer writes for the team’s website, Matt Forte and Brandon Marshall were selected to the Pro Football Writer’s Association All-NFC team.
- Chris Mortenson and Adam Schefter are reporting that the Vikings will hire Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer as their new head coach, which would leave the Browns as the final NFL head coaching vacancy. (I’m shocked the Browns are having trouble finding a candidate. It’s almost like they fired the last guy after one season despite being in a rebuilding mode.) Zimmer’s defenses always played well (though that does not always translate into head coaching success, obviously), and it will be interesting to see what he can coax out of the Vikings roster.
- Zimmer won’t have former Bear Mike Singletary on staff to help with the transition, although it’s not clear whether that was something in which Zimmer was interested; as Chris Tomasson writes for the Saint Paul Pioneer Press, Singletary had apparently decided to leave regardless of who replaced Leslie Frazier. Singletary had coached linebackers in Minnesota, and considering the Bears have an opening on their staff at that position, might we see him return to Chicago? I just don’t see that happening. It’d be a nice story, but despite his obvious playing pedigree I’m not entirely sure he’s qualified to be a position coach. Things haven’t ended well at any of his previous coaching stops, and I think the distraction caused by his hire would outweigh any benefit he could bring to the table. His fiery motivational style (to put it kindly) would seem to be an odd fit alongside Marc Trestman, and I think it’s more likely he gets a college coordinator job somewhere, en route to becoming a college coach.