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In a parallel universe, edge rusher Matthew Stafford beats All-Pro LT J'Marcus Webb to sack quarterback Julius Peppers ...
Larry Mayer's Chalk Talk - Larry discusses whether Bears assistant coaches were fired along with Lovie Smith, the best record the Bears have compiled without making the playoffs and the last time the Bears played a playoff game on the road.
In Phil Emery we must trust - David Haugh: At long last, the Bears projected the image of an NFL franchise that knows what it wants and, of more importance, how to get it. The presence of Emery's Super Bowl plan was apparent; the purpose in his voice obvious. [Video]
Phil Emery elevates expectations - Kevin Seifert: By firing a very good head coach, and by definition implying that the next coach will be better, Emery has set a high bar for himself and the franchise. But if you're a Bears fan, would you want it any other way? ( ...You're new around here ain'tcha, Seifert?)
Offense neglected for far too long - Dan Pompei: Offense rarely has been prioritized by this organization. That was all well and good 30 years ago, but it doesn't work anymore. Offense is king, and if you aren't bowing at its throne, you will be feeling its wrath.
Peter King's TMQB - If the rebuilders of 2013 are smart, they'll study the lessons of the Rams of 2012.
Phil Emery's press conference
Phil Emery wants Bears to contend on consistent basis - Larry Mayer: GM Phil Emery spent nearly an hour Tuesday speaking to the media about Monday’s dismissal of Lovie Smith as well as the search process for a new head coach.
Emery expounds on Bears' coaching move - Brad Biggs: A day after the Bears fired head coach Lovie Smith, general manager Phil Emery launched into an extensive explanation of what he’s seeking in a replacement.
Emery's presser falls nothing short of impressive - Jim Miller: It was one of the most impressive, insightful, and informative breakdowns of a football team fans or media get the pleasure of experiencing.
[Video] CTL discussion - David Kaplan dons a pair of Phil Emery glasses as the CTL panel discusses how great the Bears GM was in the press conference Tuesday.
Emery cites need for tight end upgrade - Brad Biggs: Kellen Davis could play a role for the Bears in 2013, but it’s obvious without even having to ask Emery that the position will likely be on the team’s need list.
Offensive line shouldn't get all the blame - Brad Biggs: But group needs to improve after Emery said STATS ranked the Bears 26th in pass protection.
Emery: Urlacher got better as season went on - Brad Biggs: It could very well be the new coach will want to begin a new era without an aging star. But the Bears aren’t in the position right now, just after the end of the season, to make a determination.
Roster notes - Moon Mullin rounds up what Phil Emery had to say about Jay Cutler, Brian Urlacher, Henry Melton, and the OL and TE position groups.
Why the Bears fired Lovie Smith - Adam L. Jahns: Mainly it came down to the Bears missing the playoffs five of the last six seasons and their offensive struggles throughout the course of Smith’s tenure.
[Video] Kip Lewis & Moon Mullin - Kip & Moon discuss the offense's part in Lovie's downfall, and what his replacement will need to do.
Lovie’s lasting legacy: Likable but lacking - Rick Telander: He has grace. He has dignity. He didn’t embarrass us. Yet, the Bears might need more of a wild man, one of those quasi-narcissists who strut, command and holler. This is the place that idolizes Mike Ditka, remember.
Next coach has to be unlike Lovie - Rick Morrissey: Hester is the perfect example of the country-club setting Smith fostered. Even though he had done nothing for two years, he somehow remained dear to Smith’s heart. No wonder Hester was talking retirement after hearing the news of Smith’s firing. Question: Retirement from what?
Players praise fired leader - Mark Potash: Bears players lost more than a coach Monday. Smith’s fatherly, even-handed touch forged a bond with his players that a firing cannot break.
We hardly knew ya, Lovie - Rick Morrissey: If he gets an opportunity to be a head coach again, I hope he’ll realize how important interpersonal communication is. Maybe people would have been willing to give him a break if he had been a little more accessible, a little less condescending.
Bears building, not rebuilding, moving forward - Larry Mayer: Hiring a new head coach after failing to make the playoffs for the fifth time in six seasons doesn't mean that the Bears will enter 2013 in a rebuilding mode.
[Video] CTL discussion - What kind of coach are Bears looking for, and how will the 2013 team fare?
'The icing's already on the cake' - As discussions over who would be the best fit as the new head coach of the Bears continues, Jim Miller makes his case for Jon Gruden.
[Video] View from the Moon - Moon Mullin discusses the Bears' head coach options and why he wouldn't want a retread like Gruden or Cowher.
Firing Lovie was just the start - Scoop Jackson: Pressure is on Jay Cutler to produce and for OL to be upgraded.
In coaching search, Phil Emery has money, power - Sean Jensen: If Emery wanted to make a run at a high-profile, proven coach such as Bill Cowher or Jon Gruden, no one in the organization would stop him.
Money no factor in coach search - Dan Pompei: The Bears will not shy away from pursuing a coach just because he carries a high price tag, according to chairman of the board George McCaskey.
More than a big-name guy, Emery wants the right guy - Mark Potash: It would make sense that Bears GM Phil Emery’s next move would be to make Jon Gruden or Bill Cowher an offer he couldn’t refuse. Instead, it appears he’s more intent on using his football intuition to find the right guy.
Don't count out a 'special' choice - Brad Biggs: Emery could hire a special teams coach for top job as the Baltimore Ravens did with John Harbaugh. If so, it would seem chances are good at some point he will involve Dave Toub.
[Video] ESPN - Tedy Bruschi and Damien Woody discuss their picks for the most appealing coaching vacancy in the NFL.
New coach's credentials less important than fit with Cutler - Moon Mullin: If the coach-QB fit is not absolutely perfect, missing the playoffs may be the least of the franchise worries.
Phil Emery's first coaching hire might be Jay Cutler's last chance - Steve Rosenbloom: The day Lovie Smith was fired, Jay Cutler said change isn't always bad. Could Cutler be the next change? (That would suck for Sackman's Cutler clothing designs....)
[Video] CTL discussion - Is Cutler the QB of the future for the Bears?
Jay Cutler has been down this uncertain road before - Sean Jensen: Now Cutler faces the unknown again. He probably doesn’t feel as fiercely loyal to the current offensive staff, although Bates did join the Bears last offseason. And Cutler’s tepid answer when asked about Bates’ chances of sticking around could point to where his confidence is at.
Other Bears news
[Video] Fox Chicago Bear Down - Lou Canellis and Hub Arkush look back at the Bears' week 17 win over the Lions (if you can remember that far back) and discuss the change at head coach.
Free Head Exam: Chicago Bears - Kevin Seifert: The much-heralded "Hester Package" never materialized in the Bears' offense, and Emery can't bring Urlacher back for a competition or as a role player as it wouldn't be respectful to one of the best players in Bears history.
PFF's 3 Performances of Note - Detroit missed out on a historic milestone and Chicago missed out on the playoffs -- fitting ends to a frustrating year for both.
[Video] ESPN - Eric Allen discusses what the Bears need to focus on in order to make the playoffs in 2013.
NFP Sunday Blitz - Dan Pompei: Why the Broncos are peaking at the right time, best players forgotten by the Pro Bowl and more.
Game recap - Peterson, Vikings top Pack 37-34 to make playoffs. PFF's 3 Performances of Note - Yeah... Tramon Williams isn't much of a tackler. Vikings surprise even themselves, demonstrating championship mettle against a team with similar aspirations.
NFCN Blog Rapid Reaction - Vikings 37, Packers 34: Kevin Seifert with a few thoughts from one of the best NFC North football games in recent memory. Game preview - Five things to know about Saturday's rematch at Lambeau Field.
Matt Bowen's playbook - Ponder vs. Packers '3 Cloud': All-22 look at a crucial play from this past Sunday.
Know thy enemy: Vikings - Kevin Seifert: Adrian Peterson didn't break the record. He might not win MVP. But AP could say one thing for sure Sunday night: He is a playoff participant.
Know thy enemy: Vikings - Kevin Seifert's Free Head Exam: OC Bill Musgrave deserves more credit for running two offenses this year, minimising Ponder's responsibilities.
Know thy enemy: Packers - Kevin Seifert's Free Head Exam: If there is anything to be concerned about, it's the total inability to slow down Adrian Peterson this season. He has rushed for 409 yards against them in two games, including 230 after contact.
Know thy enemy: Lions - Kevin Seifert's Free Head Exam: If there is a reason to be concerned about Schwartz's coaching results, it's the frequency of unforced errors. His teams have always played hard. They still don't play smart.
Two rules that need to go - Mike Pereira would like to see the tuck rule, and the rule regarding coaches throwing the challenge flag when they are not allowed to challenge, both eliminated from the game.
Lovie don't go, don't leave this team...