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Ten Thoughts on the NFL: Chicago Bears and beyond

Check out my NFL Thoughts and please be sure to join in on the fun in our comment section. If you can't leave a comment, then you probably need to join WCG ASAP.

Just Wow.
Just Wow.
Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

1) Calling something the greatest of all time is usually a bunch of hyperbole, but this catch...


If this snag by Odell Beckham Jr. isn't the greatest catch of all time, it's definitely in the team picture. And speaking of the team picture, has compiled a top 10 of all time catches.

Yes the newfangled gloves these players wear are very sticky, but he still had to extend, he still had to squeeze the ball with one hand and he still had to bring the ball back to his body while awkwardly falling backwards.

2) Reports claim that Johnny Manziel and his entourage were involved in an altercation around 2:30 am on Saturday at a downtown Cleveland hotel, the same hotel that Manziel just happens to live. Even though Manziel was technically "home", he was still out very late.

I have two thoughts on this subject. When will pro athletes learn it's really not worth the risk to go out that late. Even if 99% of the time there are no incidents, it's that 1% that can derail a career.

Secondly, what drives a fan to act like a dumbass when in the presence of a pro athlete? I can understand a child getting overly excited when a professional player is near, but a grown man?

Thirty three year old Chris Gonos saw Manziel and his entourage waiting for an elevator and reportedly said, 'I'm the biggest Browns fan ever, I love you, I want to give you a hug.' He then he stepped towards Manziel.

I asked for an autograph once in my life, when I was in grade school. I never professed my love to a player nor have I ever stepped at an athlete looking for a hug or a handshake. You want a "moment" with a celebrity, find out when they are having a meet and greet or an autograph signing and go to that, otherwise leave them alone.

3) Seattle running back Marshawn Lynch was fined a hundred grand for not talking to the media, so he gave the most glorious post game presser ever. He answered the questions after their game with the Cardinals with a bunch of Yeahs, a couple Maybes, an I don't know, and a few other quick responses.

Some members of the media are outraged at Lynch's shenanigans, claiming they need Lynch to respond so they can do their job as beat reporters. I call bullshit on that.

There are 52 other players in that locker room. Go get a sound bite from one of them. Or wait until the coaches speak with the media and grab one there. If your job is impeded by one player not feeling comfortable speaking to you, maybe you should find a new job. And please don't come back with the tired-ass excuse that the players make a lot of money so they should be able to give the media some quality time.

Players have varying levels of comfort when doing different things. Public speaking is a learned skill no different than throwing a ball or tackling. We wouldn't expect a running back to be able to play defensive back, so why expect someone not comfortable speaking with reporters to be able to do that?

4) I think Atlanta head coach Mike Smith has jumped to the top of the hot seat line. His clock management snafu probably cost the Falcons the game against the Browns. Even though Atlanta is leading the NFC South (at 4-7!), they are not playing up to expectations.

5) Speaking of the NFC South, the New Orleans Saints missed out on an opportunity to overtake the Falcons in that division by losing at home to the Baltimore Ravens. The NFC South is led by a 4 win team and the 7-4 Ravens are in second place in the AFC North. Every team in the NFC South has at least 7 losses and every team in the AFC North has 7 wins.

6) Kudos to our sister site, Pride Of Detroit, for telling it like it is.

If you're not sure what that tweet is about, here's the GIF.


Detroit center Dominic Raiola was upset because he felt the Patriots were trying to score too much on them. Aw, poor baby...

The NFL decided not to fine Raiola, so Pride Of Detroit fired this tweet off.

Oh yeah, he punched a guy earlier in the game. Raiola is Detroit's center, #51 in this clip.

7) As someone who enjoys watching good offensive line play, I was very impressed with the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday Night Football. The time they gave Tony Romo on the game winning drive was ridiculous.

8) This is just plain rude. Funny. But rude.

That headline was in Monday morning's Tampa Bay Times.

I guess they felt they were getting the Josh McCown that played in Chicago last season. The problem with that is, that Josh McCown only played in Chicago last season. McCown enjoyed the best stretch of his football life filling in for Jay Cutler last season and it got him a 2 year deal from the Bucs. I always felt Tampa Bay should have rolled with young Mike Glennon at quarterback, but Lovie Smith wanted a veteran guy he felt he could win with.

9) The Buffalo Bills had limited practice time to prepare for the New York Jets thanks to the huge blizzard that tore through Buffalo. They were forced to relocate their home game to Detroit and yet they came out looking like the more prepared team in thrashing the Jets 38-3.

At 6-5 the Bills are one of 11 teams in the AFC with a winning record.

10) Defensive coordinator Mel Tucker seems like the obvious fall guy after the season ends for the Chicago Bears, but his unit has shown improvement over the 2013 debacle. They've allowed a couple points less per game this year and are allowing about 30 yards less than in 2013. They obviously still have room to grow, but some of the young players may be coming around.

And then there's this article from Adam L. Jahns of the Sun Times.

‘‘We really responded to Mel,'' said Conte, who had an interception in the first quarter. ‘‘He got us going.''

Tucker sent all sort of looks at McCown, who was sacked five times, hit 13 other times, finished with a 64.7 passer rating and even faced pressure from Hurst, Jones and linebacker Shea McClellin. Stunts freed up linemen for one-on-one rushes. Paea stood out with two sacks and three additional hits on McCown.

‘‘The basic thing about it was [Tucker] saying, ‘We're playing too dang good to be down by 10 [at halftime],' '' Paea said. ‘‘We didn't change anything. We went out there with the same play calls. We actually just executed better.''

Tougher tests await the Bears, but the young players who are getting more snaps emphatically defend Tucker.

‘‘I love Mel,'' Washington said. ‘‘Lately, we've been having some troubles, and everybody is dissing that and talking about firing people. Nobody is going anywhere. Mel is a good coach.''

But it was Jones, who replaced Briggs in nickel situations, who offered the most appropriate description. He referred to Tucker as a ‘‘father figure,'' something Smith often is called.

‘‘You don't want to disappoint,'' Jones said. ‘‘You want to play hard for him, and that's what we're doing. We're just following Coach.''

Lack of leadership has been a hot topic this season, but it sure sounds like the players have the necessary respect for Tucker.

If Chicago's defense can continue to improve, if the young guys continue to play well, and if the Bears' build off these last two wins, I think Tucker's job is safe.

How many wins do you think it will take for the Bears to bring back the entire coaching staff? And on the flip side, how many more losses do you think it will take to get some wholesale changes?