Ten Thoughts on the NFL: Chicago Bears and beyond

Rob Carr

After a busy Memorial Day Weekend, catch up on some NFL stuff by peering over my thoughts right now. Be sure you let me know what you think of my thoughts and drop a few of your own thoughts in the comment section.

1) Part of the NFL's new proposed drug policy would be a one game suspension and loss of a game check for a player's first DUI. While I'm glad to see the league taking a tougher stance, I think one game suspension is still too lenient. Getting behind the wheel of a vehicle after drinking is one of the more selfish acts of stupidity one can ever do.

If getting busted using PED's brings a four game suspension, driving under the influence should be more than one game.

2) Speaking of selfish acts of stupidity, Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay was formally charged with two misdemeanor counts of impaired driving. Hopefully NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell sends the correct message with his punishment.

3) Did you catch that the Seattle Seahawks already waived one of their draft picks?

After failing to pass his physical, sixth round draft pick Garrett Scott was waived. The discovery of a rare heart condition was made just one day after Scott signed his rookie contract.

Scott wasn't allowed to participate in rookie mini camp because he wasn't able to pass the team physical, but by signing him anyway, the Seahawks will allow Scott to keep his signing bonus. The team is committed to sticking by Scott and aiding him while he figures out his "next steps." That's a classy move.

4) Spongie mentioned this in today's Bears Den, but I wanted to touch on it here as well.

Ray Rice is a jackass, or as Ryan Van Bibber, NFL Editor at SB Nation so eloquently put it, Ray Rice is an asshole and the Ravens couldn't care less.

How can a man who knocked a woman out cold, hold a press conference to apologize, but not once say sorry to the woman he knocked out?

I'll play Devil's Advocate here; Maybe Rice's then fiancée and now wife, Janay Rice née Palmer, the woman who was knocked unconscious, was straight whipping Ray Rice's ass in that elevator before the leaked footage. That's the scenario that his lawyer is laying out anyway.

"The video shows-hypothetically speaking, now, hypothetically speaking-shows that Ray wasn't the first person that hit and Ray was getting repeatedly hit, but just Ray hit harder, fired one back and hit harder," Diamondstein said.

"His wife was arrested initially as well, and the prosecutors for whatever reason-and I can't speak for the prosecution-they decided to drop the charges against Janay and then simply go prosecute Ray,"

You mean to tell me that an elite NFL athlete can't subdue a woman without cold-cocking her?

And if their relationship is indeed that dysfunctional, was getting married the day after the violent incident really the best decision?

I have a feeling this isn't the last we'll hear from this couple.

5) Kyle Orton wishes to retire from the NFL, but the Dallas Cowboys really want their backup QB to return. The Cowboys could play hardball with Orton by forcing him to either play or to return some of the $5 million signing bonus he received in 2012.

While I can see Dallas' point, forcing a player to play when he doesn't want to play seems like a bad idea.

6) Cleveland Browns rookie quarterback Johnny Manziel was whooping it up in Las Vegas with New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski, and former Cleveland QB Brady Quinn doled out some sage advice for the young signal caller.

Quinn says since Cleveland is a blue collar town, he should stay out of Vegas.

Ok...

7) Even though it's been reported that a few teams will volunteer for HBO's Hard Knocks this year, there's still a chance that the NFL will want to pick their own team for the popular documentary series. I speculated back in January that the Chicago Bears would make for a popular choice, and now NFL.com has the same inkling.

A franchise with a proud history, serious star power (Jay Cutler, Brandon Marshall, Matt Forte, Alshon Jeffrey), a vaguely mysterious head coach (Marc Trestman) and a breakout comic presence (Martellus Bennett). And yes, there's legitimate Super Bowl promise involved.

Have I mentioned Jay Cutler? The NFL's most self-aware villain was born for this documentary format. Cutler's wife, meanwhile, has royal reality bloodlines and could knock Lauren Tannehill from her perch as the queen of "Hard Knocks."

It's like the perfect storm for reality television.

8) Chicago Bears' fans, it looks like we should just pass on the 2014 NFL season, because Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports isn't expecting the usual playoff turnover this year. No chance for the Bears to be legit contenders in the NFC North.

NFC North: With a healthy Aaron Rodgers, the Packers will easily pull away, eliminating the intrigue surrounding this division last season. The Bears still can't play defense (also, how Jay Cutler responds to his massive new contract and the loss of BFF and fellow quarterback Josh McCown is among the interesting NFC North subplots)

I won't even address the asinine Cutler questions he raises, but how does he know that the Bears still can't play defense? Training camps haven't even opened up, and we've yet to see how the numerous new faces will fit in on the Bear D.

New veterans Lamarr Houston, Willie Young, Jared Allen and Ryan Mundy should all provide upgrades to the unit. Rookies Will Sutton, Kyle Fuller, Brock Vereen and Ego Ferguson should all provide spirited competition at key positions on the defense. Not to mention what a healthy Lance Briggs, Charles Tillman, Nate Collins and D.J. Williams could do to boost the overall talent level.

Nothing that has occurred in the past three months has altered the balance of power in either conference as we examine each division.

Did La Canfora not notice any of those moves or does he view all that as insignificant GM busy work?

9) At least one person took notice of the Bears' move this off season. Detroit Lions running back Reggie Bush had this to say,

"They have gotten better," Bush said Friday on SportsTalk Live. "Obviously the Chicago Bears are a really good team."

Well, duh, everyone knows that...

10) The latest lawsuit brought against the NFL, which we discussed here, has a few 1985 Chicago Bears named as plaintiffs, but their former head coach sides with the NFL. When asked what he felt the players were trying to accomplish with the suit, Mike Ditka weighed in.

"I don't know. I have no idea," Ditka said. "Did they know what they were doing when they did it? I don't know. The game of football has been too good to me. I have injuries. I've had things that have happened to me. But I'm not going to sit back and complain what's happened to me."

Not everyone has had a life after football quite like Da Coach, but the players are acting like they didn't have a choice when it came to taking drugs. Sure they feared for their jobs, and they looked to the pills and injections as a means to stay on the field, but to claim naivety seems like B.S. to me.

"Have I ever taken a pain pill? Of course, I took pain pills. Did I ever take injections? I took injections all the time to kill the pain - novocaine, cortisone. Did it affect me? Yeah. It shortened my career, but so what? I had a great career. I'm still living off football."

Ditka played in the 60's whereas his players named on the lawsuit came to fame in the 80's. They knew what they were doing.

"If you don't want to take them, don't take them. I don't think anybody ever forces anyone to do anything. If you don't want to take it, don't take it. If you wanted it, they were available. There's no question about that. Is that right? I don't know."

Drugs were readily available in more places than just NFL locker rooms. I grew up in the 80's and if I wanted drugs to numb pain or steroids to boost my performance I could have easily found them. If a teenager knew right from wrong, these adults knew as well. Hell, anyone that watched the 1979 classic North Dallas Forty, knew about the seedy side of the NFL.

Drugs were around then, and the drugs are still around now. While it's true that we as a society are more educated to the potential affects of drugs these days, we also knew about it back then.

Now it's your turn to chime in.

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