Chicago Sun-Times

Low blows all around: Amid claims of cheap shots, Trueblood says Bear went for his privates

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If these former NFC Central foes were still in the same division, there would be some bad blood brewing for a rematch later in the season.

The Bears and Tampa Bay Buccaneers did not leave cheap shots on the field Sunday afternoon at Soldier Field as some strong allegations regarding dirty play were made afterward.

It was the skirmish after Brian Griese's two-yard pass to Jerramy Stevens on third-and-nine from the Bucs' eight-yard line that heightened emotions in what had been a chippy affair. Tampa was going to have to punt from its own 10-yard line early in overtime, setting the Bears up with premium field position, before one of the all-time boneheaded Bears' penalties moved the chains for the Bucs.

Cornerback Charles Tillman was singled out in the fracas for squaring off with Tampa wide receiver Michael Clayton and called for a 15-yard unnecessary roughness penalty. For his part, Tillman said emotions got the best of him.

"I was just trying to pull them off and one thing led to another,'' he said. "It got a little physical. [I've] just got to be smarter than that. No excuses.''

But it all started in the trenches where Bucs right tackle Jeremy Trueblood was rolling around with defensive end Adewale Ogunleye. Trueblood leveled some serious accusations after he was asked by the Sun-Times if he was at the root of the skirmish.

"If you want me to be truthful with the situation, I don't know who it was, but they grabbed me in places they shouldn't have grabbed me after the play and that's what started the whole thing,'' Trueblood said. "I told people in interviews earlier that it got chirpy. I think those guys take a lot of pride in what they do, and we take a lot of pride in what we do, but one thing I don't stand for is someone grabbing you in your genitals.''

Asked to identify the guilty grabber, Trueblood said he could not.

"I don't know who it was,'' he said. "But whoever was beneath [me] paid the price. I was just doing what I do on a block, I was just laying on top of him, not moving. That [stuff] happens on every play, excuse my language, but that happens on every play. Someone is going to grab and someone is going to poke. We were kind of letting it ride. I was going to get up, I was going to walk away. I don't know what happened with Tillman. I don't even know who our guy was involved with it. We were an extenuation of the whistle.''

Defensive tackle Tommie Harris asserts that it was Trueblood who started the fracas, not the other way around. Harris says the whole dust-up began with Trueblood.

"If a dude does something to your teammate, you go in and help,'' Harris said. "The referee saw whatever he wanted to see. It hurts more when you lose the game because of that, because you're off the field and someone does something dirty and you're trying to come look out for your teammate. One of the dudes was doing something dirty to Wale on the ground after the play. They didn't get the first down, so we could have been going off the field. They were down there fighting and then everybody jumped in.''

Wouldn't common sense be to get off the field immediately so the punt return team could come on?

"Nope,'' Harris said. "Not until your teammates [do]. Would you leave your teammate, would you leave your partner out there in war if you see somebody jumping on them? No, it's the principal. We're men, man. Regardless of that, if I see my teammate down there getting stomped, two dudes jumping on Wale, one dude and another jumped in, he better not just walk off. If they walk off while I'm down there, we've got a problem. They better at least pull the dude off of me. Don't come in there jumping and going wild, but at least pull the dude off of me. Everybody knows that, you don't just leave your teammate. You don't have to go in there punching and doing all this other stuff, but you can go in there and pick your teammate up."

Harris blamed the chippy play that started with the opening kickoff on cheap tactics by the Bucs' line. Trueblood, the main source of his anger, was penalized for a personal foul late hit in the second quarter of Tampa's season-opening loss at New Orleans.

"Their line is dirty and we knew that coming in this game,'' Harris said. "I guess they thought they were going to come in here and just think we were going to accept that. Like Trueblood blindsided me when the play was over with. The first play of the game with me and [Arron] Sears [he kept pushing me after the whistle].

"[Trueblood] is dirty, he wants you to know that. Since he's not that talented and not that good, he wants you to know that, 'I'm the dirtiest player.'''

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TOMMIE, I would shut my mouth if i were you. "He's not that talented and not that good". Dude you got owned all game by him and that oline. After you cashed that big check you haven't done s*^t. So shut up and play, earn your pay!!!!!!

You know if some punk did something dirty like Trueblood did and then got away with it. I think I would come out on the next three plays like a rabid dog and three and out there punk @$$e$, not let them drive down the field for the game winning score and then whine about it after the fnnnn game. Man up Harris, last I check mister talent has not exactly been your M.O. this year, but you and the rest of the Bears are starting to get really good at whinning.

You just got beat by a mediocre team at home on opening day. You didn't face there best QB or there best reciever, you did manage to let a journeyman qb put up 400 yards on you. You talk a bunch of smack after beating a bad Colts team with a ghost of a QB and no oline and then you face the Panthers team without Smith and get beat and now this. Oh one penalty made us sad so we quit trying to play. 13 points in 10 min, was all the fault of that one penalty that happened after they through up 10 points in 4 minutes. Yeah it's all the penalties fault. Glad to see the Bears have put on there 2008 season excuse making helmets. There's no excuse for loosing but WHA WHA WHA NOT FAIR. Oh it's Vegas there controling the games, oh it's bad luck, oh I had a splinter, oh the sun was in my eyes. There is only one excuse for being that bone headed and I didn't see Megan Fox standing on the sidelines naked.

By they way lets all remember who called yet another game, gosh Biggs didn't everyone at the Times pick the Bears to win, didn,t just about everyone? What did I say last week about the Bears not being able to pass block, they didn't look real good today did they? That offense exists off Fortes blood and sweat. Turner doesn't deserve him, this Bears team doesn't deserve him, my guess is there gonna ride him into an early grave. The guy makes up 50 percent of the offense, imagine how bad this offense would be without him, how do you think Orton or that Oline look, how many tackles has he missed or broken behind the line?

During fights, the NFL should limit refs to ejecting players for egregious conduct IF AND ONLY IF the refs see enough of what happened to know the context of the behavior or if the conduct was egregious per se. This idiocy of penalizing the player who retaliates instead of the one who starts the fight has cost teams games, just as it almost certainly cost the Bears today. It's grossly unfair and totally stupid. The league can hand out fines and suspensions after it views the films (and interviews player if necessary), but penalizing the wrong team does not create an atmosphere for a fair game and just encourages bad behavior ("if I start the fight I won't get penalized").

And BTW, how in the world do the refs miss what Jeremy Trueblood was doing to Adewale Ogunleye? It should have been right in front of the ref and maybe also the umpire. There should at least have been a penalty on Trueblood if they called one on Charles Tillman.

Simple truth, coaching staff to blame! Bears are out of shape and lack "mental toughness" GASPING for AIR at the END. You'd never see a Ditka team play like this. How's Dick Jauron doing????

Man that sucks two weeks in a row you guy’s got beat… Uhh I mean we got beat by the better team. Daren’t, I thought for sure after you got whooped… I mean we lost to the Panthers that we would put up a better fight that, but we sure laid down for the mighty Bucs. They sure spanked our butts!!! At our house even, I don’t know what game everyone else saw ? but I watched us pull your panties down… I mean they paddled our fannies on the 50 yard line for three hours. Good thing we have a week to lick our wounds before we face the Lions, I hope they take it light on us?

Can anyone teach the Bears defense how to cover a slant? I mean serious what did you think they were going to do when they split Stevens out wide left agaisnt a LB? I have watched the Bears for three straight games get burned on the slant route. I hate to see what the Eagles are going to do to us this weekend!

This team is a shell of what it should be, and Lovie Smith is a shell of a real NFL coach. He is pathetic.

Awful! Once again the offense blew it in the first half. Field goals with that kind of field position?!!! That does not win in the NFL. Defense is really out of shape. Second week in a row they cannot make plays late in a game, and they make all the money!! Well, it looks like a 5-11 season. Hopefully Jerry and the entire coaching staff are gone after the season. They had 1 decent lucky year. I think the excuses are getting real old!! It's nice that they all want to do better but it'll never change. If it was a small market fine, but this organization rakes in way too much cash for this to be acceptable!! I feel sorry for the season ticket holders.

that dunderhaed ref needs to explain how he didn't flag trueblood for throwing punches. after he explaines he then should be fired. another idiot ref costing a team a game

As long as we are talking low blows, let's sling a few more out there:

Mental mistakes--for a veteran team like we are, these types of mistakes are unforgivable. Charles Tillman, Adrian Peterson, Rashied Davis, and Kyle Orton all had mental lapses that cost this team the game. Davis dropped the ball on a great throw by Orton in OT. Tillman starts a fight (albeit in defense of a teammate) and extends a dead drive that would have given us great field position. Peterson with a dumb illegal block on a return that negated a solid field position. Orton throws a middle screen to Gaines Adams. You have to see that and not make the critical error. The defense was absolutely atrocious! No pass pressure on a makeshift line, including a rookie dominating our DTs. Donald Penn, Jeremy Trueblood, and we can't get any QB pressure? And can we just once defend a pass instead of counting on Tillman to get a strip once the guy catches it???

There were also some good things. Brandon Lloyd has finally shown up in a game for the first time in 3 years. Orton shook off the bad plays from the first half and was making some really nice plays. He still needs to be better on the deep passes to the outside, but he was on the money for a lot of the second half. Forte is a beast, and I am hoping he stays healthy.

It's going to be a long season if we keep playing like this in the second half....

Our defense is built on speed, turnovers, and swarming the ball carrier. The defense is where are playmakers are, along with Forte on offense. The defense made plays early in the game. How many interceptions did they have? They gave the offense opportunities and what does Orton do? He gives the ball right back to them. The damage is done at that point. You can't keep a defense built on speed not size on the field continuously. They will wear down! I don't see how you can blame them. Orton didn't make up for his early mistakes. He already did his damage by giving the ball back instead of scoring a touchdown twice! Where are all the boo birds that have been all over Grossman? This is a team game, but if you want to place blame look at Orton's performance in the first half. More performances like this will lead to injuries on defense and this promising year will turn into an injury plagued season like last year.

I'm looking real hard at the defense and not seeing any impact players with speed at the LB spot. the stack formation they are using with Briggs and Urlacher are leaving Hillenmeyer in 1 on 1 coverage with TE's a lot and he is getting beat down field consistently. Last year they would take him out in nickel situations and that might be an option this year, but then where do we go, Williams has the speed to run with the TE"s but I'm concerned about his size, they put Graham in the game and he played well, but then Bears would be giving up too much size using him to replace Hillenmeyer in these situations. We have a problem here that must be addressed quickly...Donovan's coming in to drive in a stake this week if we are not careful. Defense is not playing with sense of urgency right now, they are reason team is 1-2, and I can't blame Babich much here unless we discuss Coaching players through the stupid mistakes they are making on the field to prolong drive's, no on talked about the off-sides on the play Vasher got beat on also as a key error by the defense...Losing double digit leade should not be happening in Chicago. Harris is playing Hurt or trying to save himself right now, no stats means no effort for someone of his stature, no sacks against Griese what gives fellows, should have put him on the ground at least twice for GP to say Hello...Payne is running in too staright a line on his coverage as well, TE's are killing us right now....we still have time, but teams are game planning real well to exploit Bears weaknesses on defense, and I say we improve by shoring up how we cover the TE, starting this week with LJ Smith and Philly....What do you think Da Coach?

GSH, I have to disagree with you this week, the defense was only on the field last in the game because they did not make plays to get off the field, we own TOP for the game, and with a 10 point leade you have to expect a 4 minute off with team going no huddle, I'm sorry I can't blame this on defense getting tired, they just did not get the job done...These last two game are on them...when BEARS teams in the past with much less talent hel leade in the 4th quarter game was over..they guys are getting paid top dollar, to be making bone-head mistakes and allowing teams to convert 3 & 9's is unacceptable...We have been concerned all year with offense, but our defense is simply not playing a full 60 minutes, and that is why we are 1-2 instead of 3-0...Donovan's coming in this week, he's hot and these guys are tired.....sheetdid we are in trouble if that't the case...still I die HARD....Go BEARS

The corners played soft all game that is why the slants were killing them. Urlacher has not shown up yet this year, nor has Harris. Ogunleye consistently plays stupid and is involved in too many penalties with a lot of offsides as well. Peanut was not using his peanut when he got into a scrum when the defense had stopped the BUC's on the 8 yard line.

HOw about Lovie, doesn't the coach bear responsibility for such a undisciplined team, I think LOvie allows some undisciplined Bears on the team to be stupid. The Bears should never have been in OT to begin with it should have been won in regulation.

The defense and coaching has lost the last two games, the coaches allowed for soft coverage. It was essentially a prevent defense for the last 6 minutes with no pressure from the corners on the wideouts. Or even a bump at the line of scrimmage to knock a tightend or WR out of their pattern. Griese had all day in the pocket. I don't understand why a little man to man defense and some more blitzing might be a better method of winning a game.

Certainly this defense could not carry the jock straps of some of the great bear defenses before them.


I know Orton made some mistakes but Brian Greise made (3), actually (5) mistkes but Vasher and Briggs dropped sure INT's....

Orton's Pass to Forte in the end zone was dead on, Forte tried to use one hand for leverage and the other to haul the pass in instead of just reaching up with both hands to catch it... Rookie mistake and one heck of a job by that Buc LB for being able to bring the ball in for the pick. You won't see another play like that for a few years, just bad luck...

Orton's pass to Desmond Ckark hit him square in the chops, he should have hauled that in for a TD, instead he feels the defenders swarming for a body shot and he pusses out at the last second. Clark should have had that ball, instead we settle for a FG.

Orton's 3'rd pass to Davis at the Buc 35 couldn't have been thrown any better, instead, butter fingers Davis choked big time.. AGAIN... No one was around the guy !!! Christ, he just had to catch it and lay down and the game is iced, instead we punt and lose the game.... I thought Davis was the most impressive WR in camp ??? He looks like garbage right now and the Bears are better off benching him for a start t oget his head back on stright !! Activate Bennett for the Eagles game and leave Rasheed inactive on the sidelines, that will send him a stearn warning that his (4) drops in critical situations the first (3) games won't be tolerated.

I'm not saying Orton had a great game, he played well given the calls from the sidelines he was told to execute. The first half was rough but he got it dome in the second half and built the team a (10) point lead late in the game and we choked !!! That TD INT on the screen hurt but he shook it off and got it done in the second half. The Defense looked like they were puking late in the 4'th quarter, I thought these high priced, pro bowl defenders were supposed to be in great shape ???? They all looked gassed even though the Bucs "D" was on the field much longer then our out of shape boy's...

Lovie should have the team run wind sprints all week to get them in better condition to run with other NFL clubs....

Brad, here is Jeremy Trueblood in his own words admitting he instigated the fight AND that groin grabbing is commonplace (thus making it neither a "serious allegation" nor a reasonable basis for his violent behavior) --,0,7285187.story [2nd paragraph].

Obviously Tillman has to keep his cool and not get a penalty there. Officials won't see everything during the game.

But the league needs to suspend and fine players who take multiple cheap shots on a defenseless player lying on the ground, also hold down that player so he can't get up, then take swings at players trying to pull him off.

I don't understand why none of you Chicago media guys seem to be pressing this issue. Am I missing something Brad? Thanks.

I'm also disappointed that nobody took him to task about his claim that he just continued his block/lay on top "without moving." Did you guys not see the replays? If not challenge him, please at least qualify his quote in your coverage.

Hey Brad, thanks for the response and the transcript. I hope I didn't come off too confrontational -- over the off-season you were one of the few decent journalists covering the team, working hard, and I appreciated that.

By pressing the issue I meant calling on the league for a suspension. There has been a fair bit of press, yes, covering the issue the past few days, but mostly of the "he said, she said" variety and only casually mentioning the Bears pursuing the issue. I guess I just don't understand why there hasn't been more support from the media -- either in the form of opinion pieces, or in clearly reporting the cheap shots Trueblood took on a defenseless player.

Sorry I wasn't more clear. The specific comments I wanted qualified were his unbelievable claims that he did nothing but "[lay] on top of him, not moving" and that he was "going to get up, [he] was going to walk away" -- claims refuted, I believe, by the tape.

Granted I only saw the replay FOX showed during the game, but I saw at least 2 distinct blows to a sprawled Ogunleye while he used a sort of arm-bar to hold him down, one of which slammed Wale's helmet back into the ground. Further, after players came over to pull him off, he swung wildly once at them as well. Then the pile-up/fracas ensued. I can't imagine how Trueblood can characterize that as "just a kind of a little wrestling match" where he didn't throw punches.

I understand you won't hear every comment he makes to a reporter -- I wasn't trying to attack you. I just wanted to bring it to your attention because I'm hoping somebody in the media will try to pressure the league (which contends that they're serious about curtailing bad/unsafe behavior) for a suspension.

This kind of trash needs to be taken out of the league.

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This page contains a single entry by Brad Biggs published on September 21, 2008 10:50 PM.

Hester out for Sunday's game was the previous entry in this blog.

Initial thoughts: Griese's performance a disaster for more than Bears' D is the next entry in this blog.

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