Rich Milz and Chicago Bears Tank Johnson Bodyguard Murder

Rich Milz and Chicago Bears Tank Johnson Bodyguard Murder

 
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Attorney: Bears’ Johnson not responsible in shooting

Authorities have twice interviewed Bears lineman Terry “Tank” Johnson following the fatal shooting of Johnson’s bodyguard at a North Side nightclub where both men spent early Saturday morning, police said.

Willie Posey, 26, was shot once and found lying inside the Ice Bar, 738 N. Clark St., in the trendy River North neighborhood just after 1:30 a.m., said police spokeswoman Monique Bond.

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Johnson’s attorney held a brief news conference this afternoon after the Bears star was re-interviewed by Chicago police at his Gurnee home. Johnson had been interviewed earlier in Chicago after the shooting. He is not considered a suspect in the shooting, police said.

“Tank Johnson had no direct responsibility for this tragic shooting,” attorney Thomas Briscoe said. “He has cooperated with Chicago police and continues to cooperate this afternoon. At the request of the Chicago Police Department, we’re not going to discuss details so as not to compromise the investigation.”

Chicago Police Supt. Philip Cline said a fight broke out before the shooting took place at 1:30 a.m. Saturday and it appears only one shot was fired. The round struck Posey in the left shoulder and traveled into his chest. The victim was pronounced dead at Northwestern Memorial Hospital a short time later.

Cline said he did not have details on what caused the fight to break out but a team source said police told the team that Johnson was not involved in the incident that sparked the shooting.

“We are right in the middle of this thing. So I am not going to talk about what witnesses have said,” Cline explained. He said the department continues to interview witnesses and that there have been no arrests.

Briscoe said Johnson and Posey had been friends for at least 10 years, since high school in Tempe, Ariz. Posey was staying with Johnson “but was in the process of moving out.”

Johnson, 25, and Posey were charged Thursday after police raided Johnson’s Gurnee home and found six guns, some of which were loaded and laying in plain view. The Bears have benched Johnson for Sunday’s game.

Johnson was charged with six misdemeanor counts of unlawful possession of a weapon without a Firearm Owner’s Identification card. The weapons seized during the raid included a .44 magnum Smith & Wesson revolver, a .50 caliber Desert Eagle handgun, a .45 caliber handgun, a .308 caliber Winchester rifle and two assault-style rifles–a Colt AR-15 and a .223 caliber.

Posey, who listed the same Gurnee address as his home, was charged with felony possession of marijuana. Police said they found more than 2 ounces of marijuana on a table where Posey was sitting.

When asked why Johnson was partying at a nightclub less than 36 hours after his arrest, his attorney answered, “I can’t comment on that.”

Briscoe said Johnson has spoken to Bears General Manager Jerry Angelo and Bobby Howard, the team’s director of player development. He said Johnson is concerned about the shooting’s possible impact on his status with the team.

“Of course he’s worried about that. He’s worried about his two families, his first family being his two daughters and his second family being the Chicago Bears and Chicago Bear fans. He’s very concerned that people are going to get the idea that he has let them down.”

The Bears issued a statement Saturday that they were aware of the shooting, but didn’t mention Johnson by name. “We are currently gathering information to learn more about the situation,” the statement said.

The Bears had a brief “walkthrough” practice Saturday morning, their final preparation for Sunday’s game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Soldier Field. The team’s Halas Hall training facility in Lake Forest was under tight security and no visitors or news media representatives were allowed on the grounds.

Johnson’s attorney said the lineman is heartbroken about the loss of his friend.

“He’s going through a tough grieving process. He’s getting hundreds of phone calls from friends and supporters. And he needs some quiet time. He is confused because everything happened so quickly,” Briscoe said

 
via Northwest Indiana dicussion board

Richard Milz thinks the Chicago Bears are for real!

Richard Milz thinks the Chicago Bears are for real!

Chicago Sun Times via Richard Milz

Are the Bears for real? Long snapper Patrick Mannelly, a remnant of the Dave Wannstedt era, has been around here too long to fall for that one.

‘‘We’ve started off 3-0 and that’s great. But we’ve had good starts before and fizzled or things have happened,’’ said Mannelly, who has played in a franchise-record 234 games with the Bears. ‘‘I don’t think you can say we’re better than we were in prior years. We’ve got a lot of games to go.

‘‘We were 7-1 last year [and didn’t make the playoffs]. We were 7-3 [in 2011] and playing some of the best football we’ve played since I’ve been here and Jay [Cutler] goes down. We’ve got the potential to be a pretty good team. But you can’t say that yet.’’

Bears coach Marc Trestman is even more adamant that the Bears’ 3-0 start is not an indicator of a breakthrough season for a team that has missed the playoffs five times in the last six seasons — despite records of 3-1 (2009), 7-3 (2010) and 7-1 (2012).

‘‘Past performance is no indication of future success. It can’t be,’’ Trestman said. ‘‘You’ve got to go out every day and earn it in practice and do it on Sunday.

‘‘Nothing in the past is relatable in my opinion, other than the fact that we have signs that we can be a good football team and we’ve got good people and good character in our locker room to get it done.’’

Trestman is new in town, but you don’t have to be here as long as Pat Mannelly to know that some of those signs are indeed indicators that what the Bears are doing now is real. Even Mannelly can see that.

‘‘Offensively you see a little difference [from previous teams] and a lot of that has to do with coach Trestman and his scheme, but also the talent we have,’’ Mannelly said. ‘‘We have an o-line that Jay has been sacked [only] three times. You look outside and see [wide receivers] Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery and [tight end] Marty Bennett — I mean, we haven’t had that before. That makes a difference. Just as a fan sitting on the sideline watching, you look out there and say, ‘That’s a talented offense.’’’

It remains to be seen how much of a difference that will make, but already there are enough signs to indicate that general manager Phi Emery and Trestman are not building a house of cards.

That’s not to say the Bears are going to win the Super Bowl — though noted soothsayer and Super Bowl-winning coach Mike Ditka thinks they are. Like the rest of the NFL, the Bears are a key injury from returning to the non-playoff muck. If they don’t improve on offense and defense they will ultimately disappoint. But already there are indications this team will have more staying power than the faux contenders of previous years. Here’s a few to consider:

BETTER COACHING

The Bears have two rookies — first-round pick Kyle Long and fifth-round pick Jordan Mills — not only starting on the right side of the offensive line, but playing well. When’s the last time that happened?

But it’s more than that. Trestman and his veteran staff have instilled a discipline and focus that allow players to maximize their potential. Cutler isn’t just better this season (94.0 passer rating, 10th in the NFL); he’s better at the right times — in the first quarter (117.0 rating) and the fourth (108.5).

The Bears, who had more false starts than all but five NFL teams last year (25), have not had a false start this season — the first time the Bears have not had a false start in three consecutive games since 2001. The Bears had 21 penalties through three games in 2012. They’ve had 11 this season. Sunday’s game at Ford Field — where the Bears had nine false starts in a 24-13 loss in 2011 — might be the ultimate test. But the Bears have given every indication they can handle it.

CONSISTENCY

Trestman, a master of measured response and discipline, has a history of consistent performance — with his players and coaches and on the sideline.

His Montreal Alouettes teams in the CFL rarely slumped — only twice losing three games in a row. In five seasons in Montreal, his Alouettes never lost more than three games in any five-game stretch.

The Alouettes were nearly as good in the second half (29-16, .644) as they were in the first half of the season (30-15, .667). His only significant collapse came in 2011, when the Alouettes lost their last three games to finish 10-8, then lost to a sub-.500 team in their first playoff game. But that was after Trestman had won two Grey Cups in three appearances.

JAY CUTLER IS BETTER

In his previous four seasons with the Bears, Cutler has been a disappointment for a franchise quarterback whom the Bears traded two first-round draft picks to Denver for in 2009. His accuracy dropped form 60.5 in his first season to 58.0 in 2011, when he missed the last six games with a broken thumb.

Under Trestman, Cutler’s accuracy is at a career-high 67.3 percent. He’s still not perfect, but he recovered from fourth-quarter interceptions to throw game-winning touchdown passes against the Bengals and Vikings. He’s finishing strong, too. In his last five drop-backs of the first three games, Cutler has a perfect 158.3 passer rating.

BETTER OFFENSIVE LINE

Former GM Jerry Angelo deserves credit for acquiring Cutler, but it was Emery who recognized that Cutler has to be in a comfort zone. Emery revamped a shaky-at-best O-line with four newcomers — he signed left tackle Jermon Bushrod and left guard Matt Slauson in free agency and drafted Long and Mills.

The Bears still are 22nd in total offense through three games, but the new line has protected Cutler (three sacks — he was sacked 11 times in the first three games last year) and avoided penalties. No false starts and two holding calls. Most of all, it has kept Cutler in a positive frame of mind — by this time last year, he already had shoved and berated J’Marcus Webb as they returned to the sideline after an aborted drive at Lambeau Field.

SECOND-HALF SCHEDULE

Even when the Bears were building their 7-1 first-half record, the potential for disaster was looming in a difficult second-half schedule that included the Texans, 49ers, Seahawks and Packers.

Things can always change in the NFL, but a similar scenario is less likely this season. The Bears play the Lions (2-1), Ravens (2-1), Cowboys (2-1) and Packers (1-2) at home in the second half and the Rams (1-2), Vikings (0-3), Browns (1-2) and Eagles (1-2) on the road. Unless the subtle but significant signs of progress are a mirage, the Bears will have the opportunity to build on their early success.

Chicago Sun Times via Richard Milz

Bears’ Brandon Marshall Screw Training Camp

Bears’ Brandon Marshall Screw Training Camp

From Richard Milz via TMZ

NFL star Brandon Marshall is about to blow your mind — ’cause it’s not every day you meet a wine, yoga and Pilates lovin’ football star!

We caught up with the Chicago Bears‘ wide receiver at the Playboy Mansion — probably not the best time to remind him training camp starts in 9 days, but we did … and his response was awesomely honest.

“It sucks. Right now … you got stuff like Espys and Playboy parties. Now you gotta go to camp, you gotta go to a dormitory for a month?”

Brandon also revealed he and Jennifer Aniston have more in common than we would have ever thought — you gotta see him light up talking about his love of Pilates, yoga … and fine wine.

Brandon Marshall. NFL Renaissance man.