We touched on the strength-of-schedule issue the Bears had moving forward a few weeks ago, noting their 2009 slate was the easiest in the league, a function of having two games with 0-16 Detroit more than anything else.
Kevin Seifert at ESPN.com goes into the issue a little further and made some great points worth considering. First, when teams like the Miami Dolphins can go from 1-15 to being in the postseason the next year, the statistics really don't tell you a whole lot. The fortunes of many clubs swing so dramatically on a annual basis that it's hard to take a whole lot out of the chart. It is worth noting that the Pittsburgh Steelers just claimed the championship having played the most difficult schedule in the league.
What's really interesting to note is the Bears' 2008 schedule--after it was completed--was the eighth weakest in the league with opponents having a combined winning percentage of .475. Sure, you can twist these numbers any which way to make them mean just about anything you want, but they're a nice reference point, at least, for what just happened and what lies ahead.
*** Bears center Olin Kreutz was praised in Tampa, Fla., last week when the Girdiron Greats held a press conference before the Super Bowl. He was lauded for his effort the last two years in supporting the fund that assist retired players in dire need of assistance. Kreutz has cut a check each year to the group but doesn't appreciate the fanfare that comes with it. He's not alone but there are not many current players pitching in. Our friend Chip Scoggins up at the Star-Tribune in Minneapolis details how only about 20 current players contributed to the cause this past season. Thing is, eight of them were teammates of Minnesota center Matt Birk, the man pushing the cause.
*** Scott Covert, the son of former Bears' Pro Bowl left tackle Jimbo Covert, will reportedly sign with the Iowa Hawkeyes. Jimbo Covert is a finalist to become the NFLPA Executive Director.
The name of Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz has been quietly mentioned as a possibility in Kansas City, where the Chiefs have about two weeks to assemble a coaching staff before the scouting combine.
We'll get to another Four Down Territory later today. We've got some other business to attend to before then so submit any questions and we'll do our best to get to all of them today and later on this week.