Chicago Sun-Times


By all accounts, the Bears are pleased with what they've seen from quarterbacks Jay Cutler, Josh McCown and Matt Blanchard throughout their offseason training.

But that won't stop them from doing their due diligence.

A source confirmed that the Bears are planning to work out quarterbacks JaMarcus Russell, Trent Edwards and Jordan Palmer this week.

Things aren't looking too good for Bears reserve tight end Gabe Miller right now.

Miller already was a long shot to make the Bears' 53-man roster with Martellus Bennett, Steve Maneri, Fendi Onobun and Kyle Adams in front of him on the depth chart.

And now he's suspended.

Miller will be suspended without pay for the first four games of the coming season for violating the league's performance-enhancing substances policy.

Miller did take part in the Bears' organized team activities at Halas Hall on Tuesday and is eligible to participate in all offseason and preseason practices and games. But he will not be allowed to participate in any team activity for the first four weeks of the regular season. Miller can return to the Bears' active roster on Sept. 30.

"I would like to apologize to the entire Bears organization as well as our fans for taking a substance during the offseason that is prohibited by the NFL without a medical exemption," Miller said in a statement. "While it was an isolated incident, I regret the poor judgment I showed and accept full responsibility for this mistake along with the punishment that comes with it. In the meantime, I will continue to work hard and contribute in any way I can. I look forward to having the opportunity to make this up to the people that I have disappointed."

Miller, an Oregon State product who was a fifth-round pick of the Kansas City Chiefs in 2011, was signed to the Bears' practice squad in September. He was then signed to a reserve/future contract on Dec. 31 along with five other players.

evanrodriguez.JPGBears fullback Evan Rodriguez, as he put it, is ready to "face the music" after getting ticketed ticketed last week for driving under the influence, speeding and improper lane usage.

"I apologize to the whole organization and my family and my teammates," Rodriguez said Tuesday after the Bears held organized team activities at Halas Hall. "I know I made a poor judgment that night. I also have to earn my teammates' trust back and the coaches' trust back, so I can say a whole bunch of words, but I have to lead by my actions.

"I'll face the music. Anything that's going to happen I'll handle it and be a man about my whole approach about everything."

General manager Phil Emery made sure to state that he was "extremely" disappointed with Rodriguez following his latest incident, which occurred early Friday on I-90 near Hubbard Street.

Are the Bears still looking for help on the free-agent market?

A source confirmed that the Bears will host veteran defensive tackle Sedrick Ellis for a visit on Tuesday.

Ellis, a USC product who was the seventh overall pick in 2008, has spent the past five seasons with the New Orleans Saints, starting 70 games and recording 12.5 sacks.

Ellis, who is 6-1 and 307 pounds, also reportedly visited the New England Patriots. He also will meet with the Detroit Lions.

As it stands right now, Nate Collins and Corvey Irvin are the only veteran defensive tackles on the Bears' roster behind starters Henry Melton and Stephen Paea. Andre Fluellen was released last month.

greenek.JPGLinebacker Khaseem Greene hasn't played a single down for the Bears yet. The fourth-round pick out of Rutgers only has a rookie minicamp and several days of organized team activities under his belt.

But he's wasting little time getting involved in the Chicago area.

On Saturday, Greene was the main attraction for a benefit with the objective of helping a family and a teacher cope with the losses they had during the recent flooding that occurred across the area.

Barrington kindergarten teacher Debbie Randall-Hayes' basement was severely damaged during April's floods. The Fox River overflowed near her Algonquin home and more than two feet of water saturated her family's basement.

"There were some heirlooms [lost]," said Randall-Hayes' husband, Brent. "All the mechanics were wiped out. The washer and dryer. The furnace. The water heater."

But it was the overwhelming amount of Randall-Hayes' teaching supplies that were destroyed that really stung.

"Over 900 books" were lost, Brent said.

Bears fullback Evan Rodriguez issued a statement Sunday through the team apologizing for his recent run in with the law.

Rodriguez was ticketed early Friday morning on I-90 near Hubbard Street for driving under the influence, speeding and improper lane usage. The Bears said Friday they were looking into the incident.

"I am deeply sorry for the incident that occurred the other night," Rodriguez said in his statement. "I want to apologize to the entire Bears organization, my teammates, coaches and Bears fans everywhere. I realize that I made a very poor decision. I know that more is expected of me and that I let a lot of people down that are counting on me. I will make positive changes in my life so that this doesn't happen again."

It was the second time Rodriguez, 24, got into trouble this offseason. Rodriguez was arrested in March for disorderly intoxication and resisting an officer without violence in Miami, but those charges were quickly dropped. He was working out in Florida with receivers Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery.

Bears fullback Evan Rodriguez was ticketed early Friday morning on I-90 near Hubbard Street for driving under the influence, speeding and improper lane usage, according to Illinois State Police.

"We are aware of the reports regarding Evan Rodriguez," the Bears said in a statement. "We are currently gathering information to learn more about the circumstances surrounding the situation."


Bears chairman George McCaskey has stated that Mike Ditka's No. 89 will be last number retired by the organization, saying in a statement "we thought if there is going to be a last one, there is no more appropriate one than 89."

And that is just fine with the legendary Dan Hampton, who wore No. 99 during his Hall of Fame career with the Bears. It's been argued for years that his number should be retired as well.

"I understand. It's simple math," Hampton told the Sun-Times on Friday. "This is a franchise with so many great players. If everybody's number got retired, it would diminish the honor in a way. I understand. The kind of the trap of it all is that if you played for the Bears that you're one of many. If you played in Tampa, what is there a handful of guys?

"It's kind of a numbers game and I understand that. I know that a number of players probably understand, and I'm talking about [Mike] Singletary, Richard Dent and other great players where probably some other place would have warranted it, but for team like Chicago, it's a numbers game. You have to understand that."

The Bears placed advertisements in the Chicago dailies Friday thanking longtime linebacker Brian Urlacher. Here's what appeared in the Sun-Times:


Considering his accomplishments, his overall value and the way he changed the perception of the middle linebacker position, longtime Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher seems destined for the Hall of Fame.

The debate it seems is whether he will be a first-ballot Hall of Famer or have to wait a little longer. He will be part of stellar group of players who will be eligible in 2018, including linebacker Ray Lewis, cornerback Ronde Barber, guard Steve Hutchinson and quite possibly receiver Randy Moss.

But one former NFL personnel man doesn't quite believe in Urlacher's credentials. Former New York Giants general manager Ernie Accorsi said on SiriusXM's Mad Dog Radio that Urlacher is "a borderline Hall of Famer."

"I don't know that he's a definite Hall of Famer," Accorsi said on the show (via Pro Football Talk). "I think there is a host of them, like Willie Lanier, that were dominant players. He was good, but I wouldn't put him in that level."


Here's a collection of comments from around the league about longtime Bears linebacker and his retirement after 13 seasons in the NFL:


It seems like a moot point now with Marc Trestman now in charge of the Bears and Lovie Smith gone. But Brian Urlacher said he believes he'd still be playing if Smith was the Bears' head coach. Urlacher announced his retirement Wednesday.

"I do believe that, yes," Urlacher said during an interview on NFL Network's "NFL Total Access" Wednesday. "I think my desire to be there would be a lot more as well.

"Nothing against the new coaching staff because I never played for them, but when you start playing for a guy like Lovie, you want to keep playing. So I think if he was there, my desire, my want-to to play would still be there."


Recent Comments

  • Don Horstman: The problem with the NFL's car service is that it read more
  • Joe Felicelli: Ron, this is even dumber. The NFL provides a car read more
  • Ron Woolever: You would think that with the money athletes make they read more
  • Paul Manter: I'm glad to see this guy signed and ready read more
  • Rusty Gibbs: Thanks Brian !!! Job well Done !!!!! read more
  • Rusty Gibbs: Way to go Mike !!! You deserve the best !!! read more
  • victor maddog: Funny how as soon as their off the team they read more
  • El Barto: Father Time is still undefeated! See ya in Canton #54! read more
  • BigBear: When Urlacher decided he needed more money (which the Bears read more
  • Tim : I support everything that Emery does at this point. The read more

Recent Assets

  • russell.JPG
  • evanrodriguez.JPG
  • greenek.JPG
  • hampton.JPG
  • article.jpg
  • urlacher54.JPG
  • urlacherwalk.JPG
  • lsbu.JPG
  • 11_15_CRUZE_URLACHER_3_37449991.JPG
  • urlacher.JPG

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.