Thanks to the two-week layoff between the conference championship games and the Super Bowl, there are still another 10 days before the Patriots and Falcons match up to finish off this season. Until then, there are two other Bowls this weekend, Senior and Pro …
- Vic Fangio is committed to making it work with the Bears. Even though Fangio was rumored to be leaving during the season and was targeted by the San Francisco 49ers to re-join the team as defensive coordinator – before the Bears denied an interview request, he maintains he is under contract with the Bears and isn’t going anywhere. This is good news for a Bears defense that could use stability moving forward, not to mention his keen eye for talent and coaching skills. With the Bears coaches working at the Senior Bowl featuring loads of defensive depth this week, having Fangio in tow is a good thing.
- Helping Fangio’s defense will be new assistant defensive backs coach Roy Anderson, who was among the Bears’ recent coaching hires. Anderson is already at work dissecting what Adam Jahns of the Chicago Sun-Times describes as a deep cornerback and safety class – which can only be helpful to a Bears team that needs help in the secondary. In case you missed it, we surveyed the group of defensive backs in search of players who can help teams in multiple ways.
- Over at Bears Wire, Lorin Cox writes that John Fox is getting in touch with the human element of the prospects he is coaching this week. Fox tends to have a cold exterior when facing the media, so to hear he is trying to reach another level is quite a contrast to what we are used to seeing.
- Add Bears director of college scouting Mark Sadowski to the list of people excited about working the Senior Bowl because of the benefits that come with being a part of the staff coaching one of the teams. Seeing the prospects is one thing, but the chance to see them interact with your own coaches is the kind of edge rebuilding teams need and can use to help size up a pick. Players use the Senior Bowl to boost their draft stock annually, so to get a closer look at prospects as they bloom could make a difference in what is a very important draft for the Bears.
- And when you consider that the Bears have four picks in the top-100, there is plenty of reason for Sadowski to be excited.
- Pittsburgh quarterback Nathan Peterman has had two quality days at the Senior Bowl despite battling through the tricky winds of Mobile, Ala. Chris Emma of CBS Chicago writes Peterman is out to impress the Bears, a team with very evident quarterback needs. “I’m just trying to make myself the most attractive to every team out there,” said Peterman. “It certainly would be a great opportunity to go up to Chicago and play for a great, storied program.” Emma reports that Peterman met with Bears offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains, where he received a first-hand look at the Bears offense.
- Hopefully, Peterman was shown highlights from Jordan Howard’s Pro Bowl rookie season. Teammate Josh Sitton (who is joining Howard at the Pro Bowl) has a lofty prediction for the Bears’ lead back:
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) January 26, 2017
- More sights and sounds from the Pro Bowl over at NFL.com, including this jaw-dropper of a kick:
— NFL (@NFL) January 25, 2017
- Speaking of All-Star-type games, the MLS version is coming to Soldier Field:
Soldier Field will host the MLS All-Star Game this summer, sources confirm. 1st time in Chicago area since 2006. https://t.co/q40EFhbGoX
— Danny Ecker (@DannyEcker) January 26, 2017
- Per NFL.com, a joint review by the NFL and NFL Players Association determined the Miami Dolphins did not “strictly follow” concussion protocol following that brutal hit on quarterback Matt Moore in the team’s wild-card playoff loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Dolphins will have to review the protocol, educate their staff, etc., and if there’s another incident, they could be subject to greater punishment than usual.
- If you missed it earlier this morning, Clemson coach Dabo Swinney has some thoughts on just how good his outgoing quarterback is going to be in the NFL, and how teams that pass on him may have a Michael-Jordan-sized regret.
Brett Taylor contributed to this post.