NFC Notes: Bears, Lions, Gettleman, Baalke

Bears kicker Connor Barth missed a pair of field goals during his team’s six-point loss earlier today. Through five games, the 30-year-old has connected on five of his eight attempts, and Barth has been around the league long enough to recognize that the Bears will probably explore the kicker market.

“Nothing surprises me these days,” he told Patrick Finley of the Chicago Sun-Times. “It’s the NFL. So just gotta go back to work. Like I said, those are kicks I usually make. I gotta make them.”

Coach John Fox was non-committal when discussing Barth’s roster status, but he wasn’t ready to lay all of the blame on his kicker.

“We look at everything every week,” coach John Fox said. “But I don’t think that’s on one guy, by any stretch.”

The veteran was signed by the Bears right before the season, with the 30-year-old replacing long-time kicker Robbie Gould.

We took a swing around the AFC earlier today, now let’s round up a few more notes from around the NFC…

  • Ezekiel Ansah has been dealing with a high ankle sprain since Week 2, but according to ESPN’s Adam Caplan (via Twitter), tests have revealed that the injury is no more serious than that. Caplan reports that Ansah will not require surgery and the Lions are optimistic we will begin practicing soon.
  • Kyle Meinke of does not expect Lions head coach Jim Caldwell to be fired mid-season, especially since he is still well-respected and even revered by his players. However, he will surely not survive into 2017 if the team does not show dramatic improvement over the remainder of the 2016 campaign.
  • The Panthers’ secondary is a mess right now, and as David Newton of writes, there is really no one else to blame but GM Dave Gettleman. Newton observes that the one area Gettleman hasn’t spent money on is the secondary. He has put together that unit in piecemeal fashion with midrange draft picks and older veterans who came cheap, letting starters like Captain Munnerlyn and Josh Norman walk because they didn’t fit into his financial plan. Now, Gettleman’s approach is starting to catch up with him.
  • Matt Maiocco of believes that 49ers GM Trent Baalke is on the hot seat, largely as a result of his repeated failure to address the team’s weaknesses at impact positions. The problem is that there is nothing Baalke can do to strengthen the team for the final 11 games, so if San Francisco does not improve on its own, Baalke’s tenure with the club could be over.

Ben Levine contributed to this post.

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4 comments on “NFC Notes: Bears, Lions, Gettleman, Baalke

  1. dstuart

    Thank GOD. Baalke should have been gone after he fired Harbaugh

    • 410andy

      Or how about this;
      What if he would have been fired BEFORE he fired Harbaugh?

      That’s what I dream about…….

  2. JaKe

    Its a win win for our GM this yr. For one he knew if he would get any excuses it would be the super bowl hangover. If he lets Norman walk and dont pay more to sign Short. He probably bet on the secondary to take a step back just not this far and it would make Short really have to work for his money. If he balls out then pay the man but if not. He more likely to sign for little cheaper. Drafted his replacement if he chooses to walk. He has yet to draft or bring in a rb that can really push ours and make them really earn there spot. If he wants to run heavy and knows J-Stew is always hurt half the year. It sucks now but I think after this year we run the south for 3 or 4 more years. If Cam is still alive…

  3. I am always amazed at sports commentators short memories. People have forgotten that the Falcons and Julio Jones torched the Panthers WITH Josh Norman in the second game last season. Also, Cam Newton is the poster boy for what happens when you give out big money for someone who has THE big year. This team has a lot of holes that need to be fixed. And for those that have forgotten, the Panthers were not highly regarded last year even when they were undefeated. So give Gettleman some slack. At least he has a plan, e.g. drafting a D lineman with talks not going well with Short after THE year, and guess what, Short is not having another big year.

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