When the Bears nose-dived to 7-9 in 2007 following their appearance in the Super Bowl, injuries were cited as one of the primary reasons.
They were the eighth-most injured team in the league that season, according to research compiled by the Dallas Morning News' Rick Gosselin.
Well, his new chart is out for 2008 and perhaps it comes as no surprise that they are on the other end of the chart. The Bears ranked as the 12th healthiest team in the league, according to Gosselin. Of the top 12, eight teams qualified for the playoffs. The Bears had just three starters land on injured reserve, and strong safety Mike Brown wasn't placed there until the final week of the season.
So there is encouraging news, the team managed to stay healthier.
*** The Bears' scouting staff has converged on Houston for the East-West Shrine Game. It's just like the Senior Bowl, just a little more low-profile with not the same caliber of top prospects. Still, it will be scouted just the same and one of the primary initiatives is meeting with players the team is interested in for interviews and background work. Northwestern running back Tyrell Sutton is in the game as is Western Illinois linebacker Jason Williams, the DuSable product. Fourteen Big Ten players are on the East roster. The Bears also sent assistant defensive line coach Eric Washington for the week, presumably to work with some linemen.
*** There is a good read on the Rod Marinelli hiring. After an 0-16 season, James Brown on Showtime's "Inside the NFL'' named Marinelli his choice for coach of the year.