Chicago Bears DE Corey Wootton is indeed becoming the Coreysaurus

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Chicago Bears defensive end Corey Wootton is starting to grow into the nickname he’s always had.

“They call me Coreysaurus, cuz of my height and long neck,” Wootton told me in an exclusive during his days at Northwestern. In 2012, the 6’8″ and lanky Corey Wootton started to play like that ferocious dinosaur nickname on the professional level.

In Week 9 against the Tennessee Titans, Wootton scored his first career touchdown off a blocked punt, which had been blocked by former Northwestern teammate Sherrick McManis.

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What is the Chicago Bears Biggest Need?

Needs

It seems like such a simple question, but no one can provide a definitive answer.

In free agency, the Bears did quite a bit in terms of addressing some of their most glaring needs. The offensive tackle, tight end, and linebacker positions were all upgraded.

But with the NFL Draft less than a week away, predictions are still all over the board for who the Bears may take with the 20th selection.

In my opinion, this is a two-horse race: offensive lineman, or linebacker. Apparently, most draft experts don’t agree with me.

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The Numbers Behind the Bears’ Domination of the Titans

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Lovie Smith’s message to the team this week was to “have a fast start”. They clearly got the memo.

In 2000, the Tennessee Titans pulled off the famous “Music City Miracle”. In 2012, the Bears stormed into Nashville and put on a performance that from this day forth should be known as the “Music City Massacre” (I’m trademarking this).

 

If they hadn’t done so already, the Bear’s firmly placed their names amongst the NFC’s elite with their 51-20 shellacking of the Titans.

 

At 7-1 (I told you!), the Bears hold a 1.5 game lead in the division over the surging Green Bay Packers and are tied for 2nd in the NFL in winning percentage with their week 10 opponents, the Houston Texans.

 

The way the Bears dominated the Titans on Sunday was almost comical. They forced so many turnovers that defensive end Corey Wootton was visually disappointed when a pass he tipped fell harmlessly to the ground instead of being picked off. It felt like the players on defense were expecting to come away with the ball on every play.

 

Even though the defense stole the show once again, the offense and special teams put on a clinic as well. A one sided affair like this one is a gold mine for statistical gems. So without further ado, I present to you the best “Fun Facts” from Sunday’s game.

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Don’t Underestimate the Chicago Bears

Celebrations like this should be frequent this year for the Bears.

After the dust had settled following the Bear’s third consecutive season opening win at Soldier Field, there was only one thing going through my mind:

“The Bears are WHO WE THOUGHT THEY WERE!”

But this time, it wasn’t as if Denny Green and the Arizona Cardinals “let us off the hook”.

The Bears couldn’t have had their opening 3 minutes go any worse if they planned to. But the following 45 minutes showed everyone what this team has the potential to do: hang points on people in a hurry, play suffocating defense, and dominate lesser opponents.

People may be quick to point out that the Colts were the worst team in the NFL last year, and that the Bears have gotten out to fast starts before only to flame out when it counts.

But Sunday’s game provided definitive signs to why this success will stick going forward.

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Chicago Bears week 2 success; overshadowed by injuries

Brandon Hardin

Brandon Hardin is the most recent Bear to go down with an injury.

Following Saturday’s performance by the starting unit, Bears fans everywhere should be exhaling a huge sigh of relief this week.

Cutler-to-Marshall was finally on display, the line actually protected Jay (gasp!), and Israel Idonije led the first team defense in their solid effort to contain RG3.

Instead, fans and the Bears front office are forced to keep an eye on an ever-growing injuries list.

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Other than a Favre-Crusher, Who is the Bears Corey Wootton?

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Before the Chicago Bears utterly demolished the Minnesota Vikings Monday night in the Ice World of Hoth that was TCF Bank Stadium, Chicago rookie defensive lineman Corey Wootton was pretty much an obscurity to NFL fans.

After Wootton slammed Brett Favre to the turf, and ended the 41-year-old QB’s night (and possible career) he instantly became much closer to one day becoming a household name.

So who is this guy with four whole career tackles in just four career games?

Well, before he started playing professional ball in my hometown, and before he registered his first career sack on the game’s most legendary quarterback, I covered the last two years of his college football career at Northwestern University pretty extensively. So here’s the skinny on the 4th round (109st overall) draft pick:

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Was Brett Favre’s Career Ended by Bears Rookie Corey Wootton?

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Last night Chicago Bears rookie Defensive End Corey Wootton ended Brett Favre‘s night by thunderously slamming the Minnesota Vikings 41-year-old quarterback to the ground during the second quarter.

Favre’s head injury and concussion like symptoms forced him out of the game and may have ended his NFL career too. To quote Comedy Central’s Tosh.0, “and for that (Mr. Wootton) we thank you.”

So did the first year lineman out of Northwestern University just become a potential answer to an inevitable future trivia question?

“I knew it was the last home game,” Favre said after the Bears trounced the Vikings, 40-14, to clinch the NFC North title at the Siberian setting of TCF Bank Stadium.

By Paul M. Banks

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Northwestern Rebuilds D Line after Loss of Wootton

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When Northwestern takes the field Saturday night at Vanderbilt they’ll do so without Corey Wootton, who’s now graduated and moved on to the Chicago Bears. The stud defensive end was a key player for the Cats for four years, and one of the most dominant defensive linemen in the program’s history. But life goes on in 2010, and the adjustment won’t be as difficult as one might think. Wootton was not really himself until late in the 2009 season, and we really didn’t see much of him at all in the first few games of the season. Or at least we didn’t see the Coreysaurus that everyone with Purple Pride knew and loved.

So this unit has learned to survive and thrive without him for an extended period already, and the front seven should be a source of strength for the Cats in 2010.

By Paul M. Banks

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NU’s Corey Wootton stays in the Chi, drafted by Bears

corey wootton

By Paul M. Banks

Hopefully, for the sake of Corey Wootton, the Chicago Bears, and the Northwestern Wildcats, this pick turns out more like Alex Brown than Michael Haynes. The Bears have had a very mixed bag lately when it comes to drafting defensive ends.

But it became official Saturday morning during the NFL Draft, the “Coreysaurus” is staying in the Chi, trading in his purple and white for blue and orange.

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Northwestern will have presence in 2010 NFL Draft

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Tonight and tomorrow figure to be to the most intriguing portions of the NFL Draft for Northwestern fans. DE Corey Wootton has been projected as an early-mid second rounder in most NFL mock drafts, and  QB Mike Kafka projects as a 3rd-5th rounder.

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Outback Bowl Preview Northwestern vs. Auburn

By West Lamy

The storyline coming into the 24th annual Outback Bowl is Northwestern’s coming up short in the postseason since 1949. That’s right, a 60-year streak without a bowl win. In their first trip to a January bowl since 1997, the 8-4 Cats will try and lay to rest a six-game bowl losing streak on New Year’s Day. “ It will be great to get that monkey off our back. It is the last negative said about out football program. A win will be a great way to send off our 21 seniors,” coach Pat Fitzgerald said.

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Videos From Northwestern’s Land of Lincoln Victory over Illinois

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By Paul M. Banks

Just moments ago, Northwestern beat Illinois 21-16 to become the first ever owners of the Land of Lincoln trophy. The intrastate rivalry has a new trophy this year, and NU became the first of the two teams to win it. The first video below shows team captain Brendan Smith holding the trophy, as teammates Corey Wootton and others celebrate and sing the school fight song on their way to the visitors locker room at Memorial Stadium.

The second video, this next one below is of Wildcats’ Head Coach Pat Fitzgerald, and his post-game press conference. I trimmed it down to two minutes. By the way, I’m the reporter asking the question about his 2nd half adjustments to shut down Illinois’ ground game.