Chicago Bears / NFL (12)
Articles, interviews, and updates with and about the Chicago Bears and other NFL teams.
I have been gone entirely too long, and I apologize kids....it's been one crazy ride the past few months. Let's just right in shall we? The Chicago Bears went into the 2013 NFL draft looking to fill the two biggest weaknesses on their roster, and the did just that. As draft weekend ended, there will be no more questions about the depth of the linebacking corp, nor will anyone doubt GM Phil Emery meant business when he said an upgrade on the offensive line was necessary.
Let's start with the overall health and safety of Jay Cutler, shall we? See everything starts with the quarterback, and the Bears have had so much trouble keeping Cutler on his feet that change was not only necessary, but mandatory. This is Jay's last season under contract, and the Bears will need to decide if he's the franchise QB they've been looking for, or is it time to start looking for the next best thing. Giving him a season on his feet with viable weapons will help that decision. The start came in free agency with the arrival of Jerom Bushrod, who will immediately start at tackle at protect Cutler's right side, something J'Marcus Webb couldn't seem to do if his job depended on it. The Bears then went out and drafted Kyle Long, a huge 6'7 tackle from Oregon and the son of NFL Hall of Famer Howie Long.
Depending on who you ask this was either a good pick by the Bears or a monumental mistake. Long has suspect talent according to some, as he was kicked out of Florida State and doesn't have alot of actual playing time beyond the past season at Duck U. Many also question his character, while the other side of the coin will tell you how versatile and athletic he is. One of the more athletically-gifted linemen in the draft, Long can play either tackle or guard, and at 6'7 311lbs he's big enough to the on some of the NFL's biggest threats. Plus he's been a beast in preparation for the draft, along with the upcoming season, which had trainer/UFC expert calling him "one of the meanest SOB's I've ever trained!" He's expected to be a started once training camp opens. The Bears also drafted tackle Jordan Mills in the 5th round to add depth to the line. He will push Webb for minutes while developing, while also making Gabe Carimi's spot very questionable. The Bears also brought in long snapper PJ Lonergan to develop in case Patrick Mannelly goes down again.
Did you know after the Urlacher fiasco went down the Bears only had two legitimate linebackers on their roster? With Brian Urlacher searching for a new home and Nick Roach relocating to Oakland, the Bears were left with All Pro Lance Briggs and super sub Blake Costanzo (Dom DiCicco we see you - we need more production!). Then they hit the free agent market, signing veteran James Anderson and oft-troubled DJ Williams, both good, solid pick-ups. The Bears spent their 2nd round pick on the beast known as Jon Bostic from Florida. Many feel in the next three years Bostic will be considered the best linebacker to come out of this draft. Bostic is an inside linebacker with great foot speed and ballhawk skills when it comes to finding the football. The Bears also drafted Khaseem Greene who plays in the same mold as Bostic, only on the outside position. Greene will easily field playing time this season.
Need more upgrades? The Bears drafted defensive end Corneilius Washington. A big, physical lineman with exceptional foot-speed, Washington could push for playing time, adding more depth to an already good, young DL unit. Along with veteran Corey Wooten, what these two do this year could mean a huge difference in the future contract situation of Julius peppers, who's paper deal is up next summer. Washington's development also makes last year's 1st round pick Shea McCellin's development even more interesting. He has lineman and linebacker ability, meaning you can put McCellin just about anywhere on the field. What this means for free agent Isreal Idonije remains to be seen.
The signing of veterans safeties Tom Nelson, hometown boy Tom Zbikowski and the return of a healthy Brandon Hardin, the Bears spent more time finding cornerbacks on the undrafted free agent market. They also added some size to the wide receiver position all in the mold of star all-pro Brandon Marshall. The Bears signed a bunch of wide-outs 6'2 or taller, including the 6'5 Terrance Tolliver, 6'3 Marquess Wilson, and Mark Harrison, who at 6'3 may be the best of the bunch. Harrison is a big receiver who doesn't have the greatest speed however is one of the more physical receivers on the field. He will be a good target for Cutler if he sticks. They also signed running back Michael Ford.
The Bears definitely got younger, bigger, and more athletic this off season, but let's see how that all translate with a new regime in place. Will the addition of new faces bring the Bears back to the top of the NFC, or will the subtraction of some of their key leaders have them spiraling to rebuilding mode?
Sometimes you have games like the one the Bears had against the Indianapolis Colts. And then there’s other days, well there’s days when the Empire Strikes back. Last Thursday the Green Bay Packers went Darth Vader all over the Bears. But have hope dear readers, the Jedi did return!
Who will play the role of Luke Skywalker this Sunday against the St. Louis Rams? Will Jay Cutler recover from his Lando Calrisian ways of throwing footballs to more Packers receivers than his own? Or more importantly shoving and pushing teammate J’Marcus Webb under the bus? Not that JWebb didn’t deserve it, however, there’s better ways of doing business, and one of those things is not being a tool to a teammate. Maybe it’s Webb’s turn to dawn the black glove and save the Ewoks. Or is it Brian Urlacher we’ve been waiting for. While Urlacher did play the entire game against the Packers, he played more like Nick Roach of old than the Urlacher we know. His impact wasn’t there, and that’s what the Bears need if they are to truly become a great defense.
It’s easy to point out what went wrong against the Packers, probably half of its mental considering Cutler seems to play his absolute worst when he gets to Green Bay. Plus exploiting Webb isn’t hard these days. To generally be the biggest player on the field almost every down, he also seems to be the worst player on the field on every down. Replace him you say? Well what does it say about the Bears past drafting when 2010 first round pick Chris Williams, who actually plays the left tackle position, can’t beat out JWebb!!! Yikes!
So here we are, week 3 against the St. Louis Rams. The Rams are in love with passing the ball, especially now that starting runningback Steven Jackson is injured. The Rams beat the Washington Redskins last week, totaling over 450 yards of offense. Sam Bradford had over 300 yards, with many of his passes going to receiver Danny Almendola, who set a franchise record for passes caught. Bradford also had 3 touchdowns, and isn’t too picky about which receiver to throw to.
Defensively, The Rams can’t stop traffic. In two weeks the rams have given up 23 points to Detroit and 28 to the Redskins. On the line Chris Long is a monster. Long had over 13 sacks last season and just hitting his stride. At linebacker James Lauranaitis is playing so well his uncle” Big Johhny” can’t help but be proud! James is the son of former pro wrestler “Road Warrioir Animal” and nephew to current WWE villain John Lauranaitis. James led the team in tackles for the 3rd consecutive season, while also leading the team in snaps played. The secondary features notorious bad guy Courtland Finnegan playing cornerback. Known as one of the roughest and dirtiest players in football, the small in stature Finnegan should match up interestingly against Brandon Marshall. If the line gives Cutler any kind of protection, and Jay doesn’t hold the ball longer than 6 seconds, the Bears could indeed torch the Rams secondary. Michael Bush will start in place of the injured matt Forte, and expect the bull-dozing back to punish the “soft as a Kenny G song” Rams defense.
Its redemption week for the Bears in general. Hopefully is less Jar Jar Binks and more Darth Maul (ok Im done with all the Star Wars talk. I don’t even like the last few movies, but the Lego video game is pretty cool…highly recommended by me!).
The Chicago Bears get set to start an all or nothing march to the Super Bowl. Expectations are very high, as the team comes in mostly healthy with an offense that has caught the eye of many NFL experts. The tandem of quarterback Jay Cutler and wide out Brandon Marshall have had great history together, and the numbers to back up the so-called experts beliefs. The Bears offer several other offensive weapons, including Matt Forte, Devin Hester, and back-up running back Michael Bush.
The offensive line is so hit or miss each week it will be interesting to find out who shows up to start each week. The Bears made a very interesting move in trading fullback Tyler Clutts, leaving no true fullback on the roster, but giving the team a bevy of big, burly, blocking tight ends. Look for Kellen Davis to be a huge red zone target because of his size. Also look for rookie wide out Alshon Jeffery to get a lot of looks. Jeffery is in the same mode as Marshall, a lanky receiver who attacks the middle.
While many believe once again the offensive line will be the biggest concern, it’s the other side of the ball that has brought the most attention this pre-season. Brian Urlacher’s knee injury last season has been a huge concern all summer long, with him making the decision not to have surgery immediately. Several other techniques have been tried, and Urlacher ended up with a sore knee and sitting out all pre-season games and most practices. Not good for a guy considered the franchise player AND a player going into his final year of his contract.
Make no mistake, whether young, old, injured, or healthy Brian Urlacher is the best player on the Bears defense. He’s the vocal quarterback of the defense, not to mention plays at an unbelievable level. He’s a game-changer, and as shown in many games before, the entire defense changes when Urlacher is out of the game. The linebacker corp becomes pretty thin with Urlacher out, and that’s just the beginning of their issues.
The Bears have a ton of potential on the defensive line that needs to be realized. Julius Peppers needs help, and that is suppose to come in the form of rookie Shea McClellin. McClellin has a high motor and a fierce reputation out of Boise St. Stephen Paea showed signs of being a break-out performer on the middle, but he’s a little banged up at the moment. Getting the double-team off Peppers and pressuring the QB has become the name of the game, while closing the middle and stopping the run is also a huge priority. This is where Melton and Idonje will need to be that anchor that Peppers needs game in and game out. The Bears had trouble with stopping the run the pre-season, then again the absence of Urlacher does change a few gameplans.
With the safety position in shambles due to injuries look to see more cornerbacks on the field come Sunday. Major Wright still has his up’s and down’s, while Brandon Harden is already out for a few weeks. Chris Conte, a starting safety is also banged up but will try to play. Luckily the Bears have a quantity of quality and capable db’s, including DJ Moore, Kelvyn Hayden. Craig Steltz has also had a great summer so far.
So let’s get into it, shall we? The season starts Sunday for Bears fans!!!
The Indianapolis Colts begin the era of Andrew Luck and say goodbye to future hall of famer Peyton manning. It will be hard not to be better than last season’s 2-14 team. Luck has a lot of potential but very few weapons. Reggie Wayne, Austin Collie, and Donald Brown are all potential home-run hitters, but that’s. They are super thin on offense. There’s also major issues defensively. Running on the Colts should not be a problem, as they have shown they can’t stop anyone. Their linebackers could either be very good or terribly horrific with Feeney and Mathis on the ends, and Angerer in the middle. Bad news, Angerer is out for a few weeks, and Feeney at linebacker is still something to see rather than believe. The secondary is a little more stable with Powers and Bethea being proven solid veterans at the safety and corner spots, while their partners have names more familiar to Bears fans – Vontae Davis and Tom Zbikowski will be taking over for the Colts in full time starting positions. But have unlimited potential and could provide this defense with the spark they’ve been missing.
In the end the Bears should make mince meat out of the still-rebuilding Colts. But if the line doesn’t protect Cutler and the defense takes this team for granted it could be a very rude awakening to a team dreaming of going to the Super Bowl.
With both the Bulls and the Hawks both sitting out the next few months, and the Cubs and Sox both twirling in mid-card hell, its time to start giving our attention to the rightful champions of the city, The Bears. Is May too early to be excited about football? Nah...
So here's the good: You should be excited about the offensive depth this team has. Jay Cutler has had time to heal, get his mind and personal life in order, and has a weapon and a quarterback's coach he's familiar with. Plus there's an actual veteran NFL quarterback right Cutler on the depth chart (Jason Campbell), with a veteran and a rookie not so far in the background. Running back-wise the Bears added Michael Bush, who is a huge upgrade from the disaster that was....well, let's not speak his name. Let's just put that whole Denver/Tebow fiasco behind us, shall we? Bush is a 6'2 bruising 1st string runningback. Khalil Bell also showed promise last season and comes back at 3rd string, which gives the Bears some good depth.
Oh right, anyone seen Matt Forte? I think he still wants a new contract, asap.
The really good news comes at the wide reciever position. First off, let's forget about Johnny Knox. I love Johnny, he's a staple on my fantasy teams, however he's gonna need a lot of time to recover from that injury. If he comes back, tremendous, but for now let's move with what we got. The Bears have hit the media blitz hard in the different ways they can use Devin Hester on offense. I think we've heard this for the past four years and you know what, great. He's fast...he's really fast, but is he a number one reciever? No. But he is a weapon. Having the solid Earl Bennett to put along side gamebreaker Brandon Marshall is a huge bonus. Marshall and Cutler should vibe well together, much like Cutler and Bennett do. Their success in Denver wasn't a fluke, plus Marshall is a huge target with cougar speed. Marshall played well on bad teams with bad quarterbacks, so imagine how he could do with someone he's already hyad success with.Throw in reliable "Waddle-like" Dane Sanzenbacher and surprising rookie Alshon Jeffrey and things look promising. The Bears also signed veteran reciever Devin Thomas who has always shown potential. There's a new offensive coordinator in Mike Tice, who's schemes and plans are more conservative than the fly or die method of the former Mike Martz. This means less time on the ground for Cutler!!
Tyler Clutts is a block-first runningback, while tight end Kellen Davis seems to get better each year - hopefully this is a breakout year for him. It doesnt't hurt he's huge (6'7 300lbs), which plays along well with the also 6'7 Matt Spaeth. Big, blocking ends to add more protection and become big weapons in the red zone...another plus.
Need another big plus? Well how about on defense, where 1st round pick Shea McClellin seems to be the real deal. McClellin will be opposite Julius Peppers, moving Israel Idonije to the inside where he can be more effective. McClellin having any kind of impact creates problems for opposing offenses, as Idonije is big enough to cause a double-team, while Peppers automatically causes mis-matches. Corey Wootten will also be fighting for a spot, and if he shows any of the potential he did early on last seaons, then McClellin's assertion to starter won't come easy. Henry Melton and Stephen Paea both should tremendous upsides last season, and both have potential to make big strides inside next to Idonije. Plus McClellin can also play at linebacker, and a solid 3rd next to Urlacher and Briggs is a necessity. The Bears would love it if Nick Roach finally asserted himself and became that stud 3rd backer, however it's yet to happen. Bringing in Dom DiCicco and Geno Hayes only adds depth, yet McClellin is an actual threat to the position.
The Bears also upgraded on special teams. Despite losing Corey Graham, the Bears picked up solid former pro-bowler Eric Weems, and the consistant specialist Blake Costanzo. Plus in the 3rd round the Bears drafted Brandon Hardin, who was a gunner in college (first one down on punts and kick-offs making tackles). Hardin also fills a need at safety, which is still looking for a standout player betweent Major Wright, Craig Steltz, and Chris Conte. The Bears safety position is as frightening as the 1st row of a Joss Whedon signing, could the 6'3 Hardin be the answer? It didnt hurt that the Bears signed corner Kelvyn Hayden. Hayden, a solid veteran who spent many years in Indy, is not the dwarf 5'8 starting corner Tim Jennings is. Infact, all the cornerbacks the Bears brought in this year are all 5'10 and taller.
And here comes the bad, are you ready for this...did I ask you where Matt Forte was? Oh yeah...contract issues.
So there's that whole Forte issue. Plus realize the Bears have a brand new offensive coordinator (again), a new starting wide reciever (again), and there biggest name players (Urlacher, Cutler, Forte) are all returning from season-ending injuries. And let's just put it out there, the best chance the Bears have for a formidable offensive line features the names Spencer, Garza, Carimi, Williams, and Louis. That's a good, solid line...it becomes a grerat line if Ja'Marcus Webb gets his sh*t together.
Webb led the league in "oh crap the guy I was just guarding has just thrown my quarterback into the stands" moments, along with more false start calls than a high school boy at his prom after-party. Webb has the athletic ability and size to dominate at his position. However, he's led to the downfall of many offensive drives, and led to Cutler spending more time on the ground than Roger Baird (yup an inside Cubs reference, eat it up, folks!) It's almost safe to say that it all falls on Webb how well the offense does, as the Bears have to start him, talent-wise and potential-wise you just can't leave him on the side. But he's a drive killer. This is your time, Webb. Step up.
My main issue with the Bears comes with the new addition of quarterbacks coach Jeremy Bates. Did you know Bates was once a top candidate for the offensive coordinator position? He decided to go to Seattle, which to put it nicely "didn't work out". Bates spent the last year out of football (wtf is up with the Bears hiring guys just sitting at home...Mike Martz anyone?) after being fired by Pete Carroll as his offensive coordinator. It's funny, because Carroll also had Bates as his OC at USC the year before. Bates is being brought in for the success he had with Cutler and Marshall when they were in Denver together. Ironically enough before that success gets mentions its the disagreements and shouting matches between the three that gets talked about. Plus when a nice guy like Pete Carroll doesn't like you, doesnt speak well of your character. The Seattle offense sucked under Bates, as players noticed he had the potential for short passes and mis-handling the running game. Plus Carroll never thought of Bates as long-term potential, and in this Lovie era, stability somewhere on offense would be great. Bates, who has the tendency to rub people the wrong way, was reportedly let go because he didnt see eye to eye with Carroll or the offensive line coach, plus I'm sure having an offense ranked 31st in the league and not producing a 100 yard game by a running back all season long didnt help his cause, either.
Oh well, you take the good with the bad sometimes...
Could the bears end up with Peyton Manning? Is Randy Moss the big receiver the bears have been looking for? What about Tebow, and how does he fit into all of this? Oh NFL free agency, help bring our team back to the promised land!!
The Chicago Bears are looking for position upgrades that would help them tremendously get back to being truly competitive in NFC. They need depth, but they also have their eyes set on two of the big names on the free agent list list, DE Mario Williams and WR Vincent Jackson. They have over 22 million to spend, so where should it go?
Well, Williams is a monster at the end spot, and the only reason he's a free agent is because Houston didn't want to spend 22 million just to franchise him. Well he did miss 11 games with a torn pectoral, but not resigning him is a huge mistake. Williams is a game changer, the top prize of the 2012 market, and can play end or linebacker. Paired up with Julius Peppers on the other end, this gives the Bears a huge advantage on the line.
Jackson has been wanting to get out of San Diego for a while now....so much that he didnt play the first half of the season in 2011. At 6'5, he's one of the biggest receivers in football, and has the speed of a track star. ask your fantasy football buddies just how good Jackson was last year, even after only playing a partial season. The addition of Jacko makes the Bears average receiving corp a very dangerous one. The Bears made a major upgrade at the position by trading for Brandon marshall, who was Jay Cutler's favorite target in Denver. Marshall has reacjed the 1,000 mark in receiving yards for 5 consecutive seasons, and Cutler's best seasons come with Marshall as his top target. Another perk: Marshall is 2 years younger than Jackson.
So what else do the Bears need? Well here we go:
Back up quarterback - The Caleb Hanie is officially over, and there will be an honest attempt at bringing in a veteran quarterback who can complete multiple passes to receivers on his team. Sorry, there will be no tebowing here. Rex Grossman is available, as is Kyle Orton, Chad Henne, Brady Quinn, and Vince Young. The Bears should show some attention to Jason campbell, the former raiders starter. He was 4-2 before losing his job via injury, and while sitting at home recovering oakland signed Carson Palmer. Ouch.
Offensive lineman - Carl Nicks is the odd man out in New Orleans, as the Saints can't pay Drew Brees and lineman Jahri Evans and still have money for Nicks...which is unfortunate because he is one of the league's best.
Linebacker - The tandem of Briggs and Urlacher have been missing that something extra ever since Hunter Hillenmeyer retired. Finding a steady, consistant 3rd outside linebacker would be a huge boost. Jeremy mincey, much like Williams, can play end and linebacker is a great way to go, as is Dan Connor. Mike Peterson, and Bobby carpenter are amongst the best of the best on the market.
Defensive backs/Safety - Ugh...ugly. The Bears can do all true bears fans justice and bring Tom Zibikowski home. Also on the market are Sean Considine, Jon McGraw, and LaRon Landry. Re-signing Craig Steltz couldn't hurt. Either way, there's no way the Bears can't upgrade with the number of names out there at this position. At DB Cortland Finnegan and Domonique Foxworth are two of the biggest names on the market and could really improve play at the nickle. They are shutdown corners, with Finnegan being the best, that could change the secondary.
The ball's in your court, Bears....the names are there, so let's make it happen!
Remember that awful WB Tv show Unhappily Ever After? Of course you don't, it was awful, it was worse than awful, and even more it knew it was bad, kept getting worse, and never seemed to end. It just fell off network television. You only had reason to watch because well you were A. male and Nikki Cox was at her all-time hottest moment in life, or you were B. male and liked the comic stylings of Bobcat Goldthwait and a puppet bunny. You probably also lived in your parents basement and collected X-men comic books. I only bring up this pathetic display of a show because for the past 10 years that's how Bears fans have been living, unhappily ever after, thanks to general manager Jerry Angelo...or should I say former general manager. Yes people, someone has finally cancelled this show!
It went on entirely too long if you ask me. A barrage of bad choices and horrible drafting, added with bad roster management and what you got yourself is a recipe for disaster. Actually what you have is the San Diego Chargers, a mediocre team going nowhere with high expectations of themselves that only they believe...and generally fall flat on their faces without ever changing their god-awful team management. Yet year in and year out we put our faith behind Angelo, head coach Lovie Smith, and money man Ted Philips, and almost every season they brought us weeks upon weeks of confusion. Outside of a Super Bowl victory there was no way Angelo was surviving another season as GM. Remember his confidence in the offensive line this summer, and not wanting to get another experienced lineman? That worked out well, didnt it? Remember him drafting another broken offensive lineman from college with more injury problems? Did you not get the memo on Chris Williams? Did you really think this offensive line, the same offensive line that watched Jay Culter get tossed all around the field the previous season resulting in leading the NFL in an embarassing stats of giving up the most sacks, would be better be better somehow and would remain healthy all year long? As for picking up a back-up veteran quarterback...totally overrated. Sure everyone loved Caleb Hanie after that play-off game against Green Bay, but we didnt love him after a very awkward pre-seaon. You couldn't find one veteran quarterback? We'd have taken McNabb, Kerry Collins, maybe even Fav...maybe not. But hell, Bubby Brister is available. Check the Score 670 am, they seem to have a ton of ex Bears there, a few qb's to spare.
The end also came for offensive coordinator Mike Martz, which is two years too late. Martz' system works...well it did for the Rams in the early 2000's. Unfortunately we are a decade late with nothing close to the same level of recievers. Sure I love Johnny Knox (not as a fantasy football coach I don't) but if he's your fastest reciever (sorry Devin Hester is not a reciever) then you've got issues, because he got benched for Roy Williams. Let that tell you something about putting together a roster. In pre-season before he was even in shape and making any type of impact on the practice field, the bears annouced Roy Williams as the starting wide reciever over knox. Hmmm. Now look at the stats...go ahead, I'll wait. Now did you see the part where Knox has 200 more yards in one less game than Williams? Did you also see the part where rookie Dane Sanezbacher from the bench led all wide recievers in touchdowns? It's at this point you're remembering that Earl Bennett is Cutler's favorite target, just like last seson when Greg Olsen (540 yds with 5 touchdowns this season) was his favorite. What happened to Olsen you ask? Oh yeah, Mike Martz didnt like him, and Angelo probably traded him for a pack of black bic pens.
Martz' offense was oh so confusing for a team that works best with simplicities. Martz was determined to make lemonade with oranges, all the while having one of the best oranges in the league (Matt Forte) at his disposal. Eventually Lovie Smith realized the error of Martz's ways, and his own in handing over the reigns to a 90's madman. In turn Lovie showed Martz who Forte was since they seemingly needed an introduction, (its not good when you have one the leagues best runningbacks and you never run the ball) and then showed him the door afterwards.
Oh do we even need to go into more players formerly of the Dallas Cowboys we picked up?
So now the entire mess falls back on Lovie. Its his damn team, his mess, his offensive coordinator. Somehow he gained more power out of all of this! Most expect offensive line coach Mike Tice to get the gig. Um...sure. I understand that he wasnt really given the right horses to run with, however he was the coach of the offensive line, the same offensive line that nearly broke Jay Cutler in half on several occassions each season. Lets just get a second opinion, that's all I'm saying...A much better option would be current Jets offensive coordinator Brian Shottenheimer.
The Bears also did something that most "insiders" consider a no-no in not firing Lovie Smith, which means whatever GM that gets hired is stuck with Lovie and his offensive coordinator for the year. Its an interesting corner to put the man running your football program in, since they usually like to have their own people, right Theo Epstein??? Some of the more talked about options for the GM job are Ed DeCosta from Baltimore, Les Snead from the Falcolns, both directors of personel, John Dorsey, a scouting guru from Green bay, and Bill Polian. Polian ran Indianapolis' team until being fired recently, and considering the Colts went to two SuperBowls in the Lovie/Angelo era, thats a good place to start. Polian has a tremendous track record with the Colts, Buffalo, and Carolina, and definitely knows talent (yes he did draft Peyton Manning, which is like drafting Jordan in his prime I suppose..a no brainer) which should make him the Bears' first option. However here what one Colt insider said about Polian:
"Bill Polian is a fine football architect. He’s a smart man, who knows he’s a smart man and who tends to talk down to people he doesn’t respect or doesn't believe are as smart. Those qualities could make him somewhat of a tyrant -- especially to some branches of the media, but not to them exclusively -- which is hardly the worst thing you can say about a football executive."
And you thought talking to Mike Martz was fun. what will n ot be fun is keeping up with Green Bay and the up and coming Detroit Lions. Plus can you guess the number of offensive coordinators Jay Cutler has had in Chicago since becoming a Bear? This will be number 4 in 5 seasons....that could be a record, folks.
Next season will definitely be interesting. Who's going to play wide reciever for this team? Will there be anymore ex Cowboys on the roster? Will Lance Briggs still be in a Bears uniform? Will Brian Urlacher be healthy? Who's going to be on the line? Will Matt Forte have a contract by then? Will the defense still suck to high heaven some games? What will become of Brock Lesner? Who's going to be on Dancing with the Stars? Will Snooki and The Situation finally hook up? Will Jay Cutler be married or break off another proposal before the seaon start??
Either way addition by subtraction is sometimes the best possible answer, right Theo Epstein (Goodbye Carlos)! No matter what happens from this point on we know the Bears are headed in a new direction, and hopefully a much better direction..
Up in Denver Tim Tebow is making miracles happen. Tebow, who has the unfortunate reputation by players and critics alike as “not being much of an NFL quarterback”, somehow has made it all work. His limited skills have been effective in running the ball, and passing when he really needed to; helped out by a super-tough defense. It’s a game-plan the Bears better get used to, as not only do they face Tebow’s Broncos soon, it’s a game-plan they may want to subscribe too, themselves.
The Bears looked like a bad high school team on offense against the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday. Quarterback Caleb Hanie isn’t the answer, and he has the numbers to back it up. Any thoughts of calling up just-released qb Donavan McNabb were laughed at…well,
that is until Sunday night came about. Add that with the injury to running back
Matt Forte, and the seven sacks the offensive line gave up to a weak KC
defensive line, and you’ve really got some offensive issues! The good news is
when Jay Cutler does return next season he’ll have a new offensive coordinator,
as Mike Martz not only turned down an extension for next season, but he’s
rumored to be looking everywhere but here. Oh, that’s not good news, is it?
Defensively the Bears played a very tough game. They kicked the Chiefs all over the field, and only gave up 10 points. In a normal game, that’s a win for the home team! But alas, the Bears are not a normal team, not anymore, not with Hanie behind center. And it’s not
all his fault. Again, seven sacks?? Six in the second half alone! No Forte, who
is the Bears biggest offensive weapon btw, means you have to throw to your receivers
more, and the receivers did a magnificent job of sucking. Don’t believe me? Ask
Roy Williams how his day went. Stop by Earl Bennett’s locker while you’re at
The Chiefs only scored a touchdown because of a botched defensive play by the Bears where Brian Urlacher had an end zone hail mary interception in his hand only to have it knocked out by safety Chris Conte into the hands of a waiting Chiefs receiver. Ouch.
Offensively it was a horrid day all around, from Hanie to the receivers, even down to kicker Robbie Gould’s missed field goal. The defense did a tremendous job, and should feast on an awful qb like Tebow, however, much like the Indianapolis Colts and Peyton Manning, Brian
Urlacher and his teammates can’t play offense. Well I’m sure they could, I just don’t recommend it.
The Bears without Cutler still have play-off hopes. The Bears with Hanie do not. The Bears without Forte will have a better shot at Andrew Luck than the play-offs. When you can’t beat the average Oakland Raiders, or the lifeless Kansas City Chiefs you deserve to stay
home and watch the NBA return to television on game days. I hear Shaq is joining
the TNT studio team, that should be fun to watch!
Oh yeah, about Tebow, he had another miracle game against Minnesota, this time going 10-15 for 202 yards and 2 touchdowns in another late victory. He’s 6-1 since being in the line-up. Is another miracle on board for next Sunday’s showdown in Denver? I wonder who the Bears would pick if they had a vote, Hanie or Tebow…
Ok, the worst of it is over.
The tough part of the Bears schedule has them and a surprising 5-3 record at this point, and it looks like the machine that is the Bears offense is finally running on all cylanders, especially after a Monday Night Football bashing of sports newest "dream team", the Philadelphia Eagles.
Jay Cutler, newly cemented back in his relationship with Kristin Calvilari was also newly cemented in the pocket, as he stayed home and made good passes all day without being pressured too much nor sacked. The offensive line has finally come around, protecting Cutler like a mama Bear protecting her cubs. Speaking of protecting, Cutler's favorite reciever returned, Earl Bennett, and Jay made sure to find him when he needed him the most, inc luding for a touchdown. Matt Forte has taken his new contract crusade to primetime, convincing millions that he is one of the elite running backs in football. Well, except for that whole goal line, short yardage,issue. Luckily the Bears have Marion Barber to cler that up.
With the team on a 3-game winning streak, they have built up momentum for thier showdown next weekend with the NFL's newest most hated team, the 6-2 Detroit Lions. The Lions, who are 4-0 on the road, travel to Chicago next weekend.The Lions currently sit in 2nd place in the Central, with the undefeated Super Bowl champions Green Bay Packers in 1st. The Bears need this win to gain some respect and help clear up a very crowded play-off picture. The Bears took it on the chin hard in the last game against Detroit 13-24, but at that point the Bears offensive line looked more like the stars of the new Muppet movie than actual football players. lets hope this time around things will be different.
and for those of you who think Brian Urlacher is past his prime, guess who lead the Bears in double-digit tackles this week.
After this weekend the bears will head west - playing the AFC's west division, including the angry Philp Rivers of San Diego, the reason Jay Cutler got traded from Denver in Matt Cassell from KC, Carson Palmer of Oakland, who 3 weeks ago was spending Sundays ordering Subway and going to brunch with Payton Manning, and football jesus himself, Denver's Tim Tebow.
Yikes! I just got the chills from reading my buddy Ken Payne’s article about H.H. Holmes, America’s 1st serial killer right here from Chicago (we’re number 1!). This Screams in the park thing sounds like a very scary adventure, much like the Chicago bears offense, which is spending the weekend in merry ole’ England taking on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Ah, yes chap the Bucs. Remember when Tampa Bay just sucked? I mean they were bad, worst than bad; they were a team your grandma and her friends from the assisted living home to give a game to. And then they got good for a while, just a little bit, and then back to Suckville, USA. Right now, Tampa Bay kind of hangs out in Suckville and Under-rated City. Is it weird that in this weird land the Bucs reside that there’s a pirate ship? Nah, its very normal.
The Bucs have a pair of big receivers in Mike Williams and Arnelious Benn, which could be a problem for our little-guy defensive backs. Since we’re talking about the secondary, have you noticed the mess that Lovie Smith has created back there? Headhunter Brandon Meriwether is on the bench, while Chris Harris, the same Chris Harris who we were counting on to be a steady force at safety, the same Chris Harris who the bears were dying to get back after he got injured early in the season, is now the same Chris Harris that resides in street clothes and inactive, begging for a trade after being demoted and de-activated last week after missing a coverage the week before. Mind you Harris is still a little injured and came back to help the team. Guess we’ve all learned a lesson there. Both of these guys were brought in because Major Wright isn’t ready yet. Well guess what, the still not ready for prime-time Wright is starting now…oh Lovie.
Anyway this is about the Bucs. At running back is LeGarrette Blount, who is young and has potential game-breaking power. He gets blocking by the capable Earnest Graham, who at one time led the NFL in rushing. This provides issues for the bears as quarterback Josh Freeman has yet to be figured out by the league. Not quite a runner, not quite a stay at home guy, Freeman is no longer under anyone’s radar. He’s good. He’s young, fast, and has quite the arm. Is he Rodgers or Brady yet? No, but given the right circumstances or right defense he could look like a quarterback on the verge of stardom.
Freeman spent a portion of last week’s game against the Oakland Raiders fighting with his favorite target, tight end Kellen Winslow. There’s lots of frustration between the two, and a little Bears' agitation could knock either player off their game.
The Bears offensive line had one of their better games, finally finding a line-up that’s steady and works, which will have its hands full with the youthful speedsters the Bucs have. No big names on this front seven, but all with potential to get to the quarterback. This team was built to pressure the ball and stop the pass, which means the Bears could take advantage of the versatility Matt Forte provides. While using all our weapons at wide out seems fair, it’s Forte where the offense moves, and that can’t be over-looked.
The Bears should have the crowd on their side, as everyone loves the Bears (sorry Cowboys, and suck it Green Bay), plus if you lived in Tampa why the hell would you want to leave there and go to rainy England? Unless the Queen is requesting to see you, or Elton John has written a song about you, it’s probably best you stay home, Bucs fans. You saw what happened to Al Bundy when he went there. Same thing happened to Chevy Chase and his family. Don’t let that be you.
The Bears look at this as a business trip, as there will be no sightseeing tours or visiting of the Paul McCartney or the Jonas brothers (is this where they live?). Just business as usual, much like their waxing of the Vikings last weekend. If Jay Cutler can command the offense like that once again, and the offensive line keeps the ship upright, the Bears should have no issues moving the ball. Now whether the defense stops anyone or anything is a whole other story entirely. Carry on, chaps.
I’ve been gone way too long, or in the case of the bears, not gone long enough. I knew my reporting on the recent misery of the Bears season would be skewered into the land of negativity, so why bother talking about it. What more could I tell you about a bad Bears team. Well unfortunately Monday’s lost to the once-league laughing stock Detroit Lions could be the sign of the rapture finally coming to Halas Hall.
Its fine that you lose to the lions, they are playing really good football this season, but you don’t go out there and embarrass yourselves on national television, which is what they did. If I’m a free agent or any player or rookie on the market next off-season there’s no way in hell I’d want to play for an organization like this…not under this regime.
One point in the pre-season general manager said he was more than happy with the offensive line he had in camp. I wonder if he still feels that way. He should have asked jay cutler what he thought about the men who are supposed to protect him. There was one play during Monday night’s game where a bears lineman (who will remain nameless because he will probably be a former bears lineman by the time this is published) barely laid a hand on the defensive end in front of him, who threw Cutler to the ground 100th time, and the lineman looks down at Cutler like it’s jay’s fault. Impressive. And its not just this guy, it’s a continuous suck that the line as a whole has been. You can’t blame cutler anymore. He could have quit on this team, the fans, everyone…but he keeps going out there, getting his ass kicked every game, and doesn’t say a word. He could be mf’ing those linemen up and down the sideline every game, but nope, he just goes out and tries to win with what life has given him…poor guy.
And the blame is to be spread around. Notice any pressure coming from the defensive line lately besides Julius peppers? Just like the linebacker slot there’s no depth on the defensive line. Somehow this is supposed to be okay?
And if you haven’t realized what an ass-clown Brandon Meriwether is you just haven’t been paying attention. He doesn’t tackle he just throws himself into people to knocked them out…or get fined which is what has been happening the past few weeks, and that’s only when he gets the play right. Speaking of getting the play right, when Cutler has to yell at you to get in line or physically put you in the right spot something is truly wrong.
Jerry Angelo’s ship isn’t just going down, its on fire and being blasted by pirate ships. These were his decisions; he decided not to upgrade the offensive line. He decided the defense didn’t need more depth. He decided that Roy Williams was a good idea. He decided to draft Major Wright. And for all of this Jerry Angelo deserves to be fired. And take Lovie with you.
This weekend’s game against Minnesota will be no different. The bears will show life, but expect the Vikings to blitz and pressure cutler like madmen, as the bears have proven they can’t handle the pressure. Look for Jared Allen to have a great day. I’d love it if the Bears showed some kind of life, but after the Monday night debacle, I’m not expecting much of a fight.