Monday, December 31, 2007

Two things learned today

Brian Billick has just become the hottest offensive commodity on the market in the NFL. I'm guessing there's a good chance SF will be interested in him, but if they keep Nolan the Bears should be in better position to get him. Billick made a lot of mistakes this year, but he directed the best offense ever pre-2007 the 1998 Vikings so he's at least better than Turner.
Speaking of Turner, he still sucks. This article proves that he's a complete idiot and has no business being anywhere near the dynamic but unorthodox talent of Devin Hester.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Take a good look, because it's the last time you're going to see theese!

It's sad to think that the Bears won't play a game in 2008 until September. I'm not looking forward to the dead time while other teams are playing and the off-season hasn't begun yet, the three month break before the draft or the six month until training camp. Tomorrow will be fun though!
It's tempting to start displaying my Angelo-predicting prowess right now, but there's no hurry, and if I start now what will I have to do before the off-season begins?
However I am sure that Haugh and much of the Bears media have a lot wrong about this team and this off-season. Turner is going to be fired. He is obviously inept and Lovie and Angelo care a lot more about doing a good job than trying to please the media. Babich will stay because the defensive collapse doesn't seem like his fault and Lovie believes in him. Mike Brown will not be cut, it simply doesn't make any sense to try to improve your team by cutting your best though oft-injured safety. Grossman and Orton will both be in training camp in Bourbanis next year, Griese probably will not.

Monday, December 17, 2007

wishplan 1.5

The first move is obvious, FIRE Ron Turner!! After that things get a little more complicated. I still think my plan for his replacement is pretty sweet. But until the season is over it's hard to speculate about players. Orton has two more games to try and look more competent than Griese, I'm sticking with Orton on this one. Turner's damage carries into the off-season though. It is truly impossible to evaluate the Bears players on offense with him around. Gage and Wade look much better away from him, how are we to know who else will too? This leaves a very interesting conundrum.
Based on this year, the Bears need two new starters on the O-Line and three new depth players. They need a new number one running back and Benson will not be around after next year so a new two back wouldn't hurt. They need one more quarterback actually capable of being good not just not-terrible plus Rex and Kyle. And they need two new starting wide-outs to go with Hester, Davis and Bradley to ensure good special teams.
They need to keep or improve their top 10 D-linemen, 7 Linebackers and get at least one new corner as good as Vasher and Tillman and one new safety as good as Brown and Manning plus one more secondary contributer, probably a safety on all their levels.
This means in the off-season they have to decide if they want to get 10 new offensive players in order to become competent or 3 new defensive stars in order to eliminate the offense from the team entirely. They could carry 28 defensive players on their roster and be assured that no matter how many injuries they suffer they will not give up more than 13 points. The defense and special teams would literally put them in position that the offense could not fuck up.
The first route is normal, but the second would be a hell of a lot more fun!


The Postmen have pretty much the perfect blog post for tonight's game.

In Some Small Way, Parhaps Fate is Smiling Upon Me

I didn't pay attention to football at all sense that kind of ridiculous day in Washington, so I just now noticed that something I'd hoped would happen but didn't really expect to happen did in fact happen. The Cowboys lost and Green Bay won. Which means that, regardless of what happens in todays game, next week against Green Bay is a game in which the Bears will be able to ruin Green Bay's chances of the number one seed in the playoffs. This is especially a big deal because of how big a deal everyone would make about some team having to come and beat Green Bay in Green Bay for the championship. I don't even care that much if they do win the NFC (well, okay, I do, that would suck), as long as it's not played in Lambeau Field so I don't have to sit through the inevitable sports media circle jerk that would happen all over those hallowed grounds.

Oh, yeah. And remember when everyone thought the Lions had finally turned everything around, and they were now an actually good team with an actually good quarterback? What was that, like five weeks ago? When San Diego was screwed because they had the worst coach in the history of the NFL? At least some things about this bizarro football season from hell have kind of righted themselves.

It's finnaly come, we will all bask in the unconsionable beauty that is Neckbeard

I have to respond to all the ridiculous Bears media clamoring about how terrible our team is. Three seasons ago the Bears were a terrible 4-12 football team. Lovie Smith, the man who still coaches the team, turned them into a Superbowl participant and reigning NFC champions. This year they are 5-8 and will probably finish below .500, but they are much improved over the 4-12 team. The obvious point is Hester, but the less obvious point is that they have 6 playmakers injured.
In 2008 if Angelo isn't as stupid as all the doomsayers Mike Brown will be back in the starting lineup. The same Mike Brown who has lost like three games in the past three years. Obviously the Bears need a safety who can push Brown and Manning for a starting spot, but barring injury, which cannot be controlled, the Bears will be back to being a dominant defense. The system isn't failed, it just doesn't work if one of your safeties is terrible and one of the Bears safeties is terrible. Kevin Payne will also be back. I think Angelo has the track record to assume that Payne will be an improvement on the current situation.
Does anyone really think that Briggs is going anywhere? I don't. I think both sides this year will see what neither saw last year, winning is fragile and Briggs is a very important Chicago Bear. Williams and Wilson will both make good trade prospects, but another lesson from this year learned when Chris Harris was traded, is that trading someone who can play now for an unknown is not a luxury you can afford in an injury filled sport. If you can use Williams to help get a proven player for next year do it, otherwise too many good players is never a bad thing. Nathan Vasher aka the Interceptor will be back as will DD (does Dare Devil work as a nickname for him?). Oh, and Tommie Harris, the best DT in the NFL, yeah he's still a Chicago Bear, he's just hurt. The Packers and Vikings are not as good as the Bears were last year and they certainly aren't juggernauts. There's not much in the way of the '08 Bears returning to the Superbowl. They've gotten around terrible offense before and they will run the ball next year I can guarantee that.
If they want to compete with NE and Indy they probably need to do everything right in the offseason, but then again no one thought Indy was much good going into the playoffs last year. The NFL is a crazy league, a little momentum can go a long way and a single player can make a huge difference. I'm not worried about '08 unless it's without Brown and Harris.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

First installment of my offseason wishplan.

In the first installment of my totally insane mission to know way too much about the Bears I've actually scoured several team sites to find a path that I think could be taken to fixing this mess. I have little doubt that this will be nothing but a waste of time, but I feel compelled to do something. To begin with I totally trust Lovie on the defensive side of the ball, hands down. On the offensive side though, there is much to be desired. Following Loive's stated mission of "getting off the plane running the football" I think the '08 offensive search must begin with a running coach.
In looking at O-line coaches of the top running teams I found some interesting prospects, but there is one person who particularly stood out as a perfect candidate for Assistant Head Coach Offense/Offensive Line Coach. While Andy Heck has been Offensive Line coach for Jacksonville they have been in the top half for sacks given up and top ten for rushing yards for the last three years including second in rushing this year. He's a former Chicago Bear could turn around one of the worst units in the league this year.
With that out of the way the Bears need a new Offensive Coordinator who will work closely with the AHCO to develop a new system that will bring the Bears offense to respectability. There are three good candidates that I found.
First is Ken Zampese currently Cincinnati's quarterbacks coach. He's young, comes from a football family and has helped turn Carson Palmer into an elite passer.
Second is Kippy Brown. He has past OC experience with Miami, worked with Jimmy Johnson and is currently receivers coach in Detroit.
Third is Tom Clements. He has past OC experience in Buffalo where he directed a successful attack based on Willis McGehee, and is currently the quarterback coach that has Brett Favre playing some of the best football of his career.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Seriously WTF?!!

The Tribune had three stories about the Bears today, two of them mentioned the quarterback situation and between both of those the most disparaging remark about Brian Griese was "decent." DECENT are you fucking kidding me!? He threw two interceptions on the same fucking play two offensive plays in a row! There is nothing 'decent' about Griese's play. He may be a stand-up, professional guy and a mentor to Orton but he's a fucking horrible NFL quarterback.
David Haugh even has the balls to mention him as a possible offensive MVP candidate because he accounted for 40 percent of the Bears victories. Lets not mention that Grossman accounted for the other 60 percent. Seriously how muck dick has Griese sucked in Chicago to earn the never ending benefit of the doubt, nice guy whose hard done by tag from the Chicago media. He threw 12 INT's in six appearances. That's two a game, not just two a start. I can't think of a more positive descriptor than over-the-hill for this guy.
All else aside, I hope that I never see Griese wearing an orange "C" on the side of his head for the rest of my life!!

The Pure Joy of Winning, and Stuff

Last Thursday represented the blotting out of the final weak ray of hope that the Bears might manage some kind of a playoff run, culminating in another shot at the big one. Not that I really thought that was possible for a while, but at least there was that tiny sliver of hope that it could happen.

But, really, that last bit's death couldn't have come at a better time. By which I mean, next week we play the Vikings, and no matter what happens, beating the Vikings is always important. Especially because we have to avenge that disgusting loss from earlier in the season.

Following that, those evil cheese creatures are coming to Soldier Field, and I can always get myself up in the morning over a chance to watch my team ruining Brett Favre's day.

And to top it all off, we get to witness the return of Kyle Orton! I really wasn't sure if I was going to be able to work up any kind of enthusiasm for these last three weeks. I actually envisioned myself not watching the Bears for the rest of the season after their Washington trip.

But today I'm just happy that there's still three weeks left in the season, which means three more Bears games before the long drought of no football that is the off-season.

I have to say w/r/t Orton, that I really actually am looking forward to seeing what the kid can do. It would be a supremely fulfilling story to see him come out and look like a serious pro quarterback for the last three games of the season. At the very least, it could mean that I'll never have to watch Brian Griese trot out onto the field wearing a Bears uniform, ever again.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Maybe Ron Turner could succeed in High School coaching?

"They came after us pretty good,'' said offensive coordinator Ron Turner. "It took awhile to adjust.''
Oh how sadly true that is. The Bears started the game with Rex and AP in the backfield, after 5 minutes it was time to adjust. As Rex limped to the locker room the Bears offense was taking the field again with Kyle Orton excitedly leading the charge. Well that's what the team one loss away from being eliminated from the playoffs should have been doing. Instead Brian Griese and his 10 interceptions walked onto the field devoid of hunger and spirit. After 2 more INT's it seemed impossible that Orton wouldn't be leading the charge after halftime. But Orton was inactive leaving the Bears nation to watch the season finally wither away like Griese's arm.
How could this mistake be made, is there a reason that Orton was demoted back to third-string inactive? Not according to Turner's press-conference in which he said, "I've got a lot of confidence in Kyle; he had a really good preseason and training camp. I think Kyle's going to be a real good player in this league." So why did Turner think that a player who already proved he's not a good player in this league get another shot ahead of him?
There were still chances, but Griese can't throw a fade to Olsen over a 5'8" DB. On "first-and-goal on the 1, we've got a chance to score there," Turner said. "You tie it up, and it's a different ballgame. You have to finish the drive and put it in the end zone, and we didn't do it." Maybe Orton could throw a fade where Olsen can catch it; unfortunately we won't find out until at least next monday when Orton will surely start, right? "I don't know," Turner said. "We don't make those decisions right after games. We'll talk about it and see where we are." The Bears can talk about it all they want, but rigidity has already knocked them out of the playoff race.
Orton says he will be ready to go if he ever gets the chance. "I don't know if it's going to happen or not, but when it does happen, I feel like I'm ready and confident, and I can play well." I doubt Turner will give him much of a chance to succeed; he's already ruined Hester and Wolfe's years. Despite the fact that Turner claims to "know what Devin can do with the ball, he's one of our playmakers and we have to continue to bring him along, and we definitely have to get him in there." You'd think after 10 months they could be more than trying to bring Hester along. He should weeks ago have been a full-fledged weapon and not just a toy. And really, how hard could it be to figure out that Wolfe is the fastest back in the backfield? Maybe he could have gotten a few more touches when the defense was obviously going to play soft and leave him open space to get into. Turner won't figure this out, but maybe there will be enough film that the new head coach offense/offensive coordinator will know what he has before the draft arrives.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Like Chewing on (non-chewable) Dramamine

Wow, I hate to admit that sports, even the Bears, can have this level of effect on me. But last night's game left a really bad taste in my mouth, and I just really feel bad about the Bears now. Intellectually, I know there's hope for next season, and that the amount of tweaking that needs to be done in order to get back to winning is by no means daunting. But that's not how it feels. Right now, the Bears are one of the worst teams in the league, and it sure feels like we're back in that cellar of pure crapitude that we wallowed in for the nineties and for most of this century.

When Lovie Smith took over the team he said it was his goal to make it to the Super Bowl in three years, and as much as I loved him for saying that, I didn't really buy it for a second. But he did it, and he did it starting with a team that was way worse than the one he has now. I don't know how he did it, but the only thing I feel like I can cling to right now is that I'm pretty sure he can do it again. Historically, what Lovie Smith has proved time and again he's good at is taking bad teams and turning them around, turning them into good, solid, defensive teams. This season is shot, but I do feel like we're in good hands as far as taking this bad team and turning them around.

Next year already

With 2008 starting now here's what I'm hoping for.
Shut down Vasher, Harris, Urlacher, Griese. We know all we can about them and they're hurt or inept. Play Briggs in the middle and get Wilson and/or Williams on the field. The Bears need to look at this as an option with Urlacher's status so uncertain. More experience for McBride, Wilson and Williams will give the Bears more flexibility in the off-season.
There's not much to do with the offense for now. Turner, Griese, Benson, Muhammad, Miller and probably more will not be around next year so looking at Orton is about all that can happen.
The D still looks great for next year. The only big thing is finding a safety that's close enough to Brown's and Manning's level that they won't be constantly exposed if one of them goes down. Other than that spot I don't think they can really get much better player-wise, they just have to hope they can get their spine back next year. Brown and Harris are this defense though, so I'm not worried.
Angelo needs to sort the defensive salary very quickly and go into free-agency with a very aggressive plan. Whoever the new offensive head coach/coordinator is/are get the chance to totally develop their own team and all they have to be able to do is drive 25 yards consistently for the Bears to win a lot!
Not sure in what order but there are many issues to address. They'll need a solid tackle, Tait can play either side, but a younger left tackle would be nice. Young O-line depth to learn from Kruetz, Brown, and Tait and challenge for actual playing time.
A new starting running back like Michael Turner.
A new 1 WR preferably Randy Moss or Chad Johnson but someone good please! Also like 10 WR's in camp openly competing for the rest of the spots.
And above all else figure out how to use Hester! Is there anyone out there who saw Steve Smith, Reggie Bush, and Adrian Peterson the last three years? Hester is as good as all of them and can you imagine sweeps with cutback lanes or crossing routes with only linebackers within 10 yards of Hester. He could easily score a touchdown a game with only a mild amount of competence running the show.
Also will someone please convince Lovie that managing the clock and going for it inside the 10 will actually help his team win.
It's a lot of work but that's what Angelo and co. get paid for. I'd be fucking up for it for 40K and a Chicago flat! I don't think that level of devotion is too much to ask from my team.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Orton! Orton! Orton!

At this point, there really is nothing left to cheer for...


(seriously... I never want to see Brian Griese under center again... it's just depressing... unless he's wearing purple...)

Sunday, December 02, 2007

That Should Not Have Happened

Okay, the Bears should've won that game. There are two huge reasons the Bears did not win that game: Ron Turner is a bad offensive coach, and the Bears offensive line is terrible. Ron Turner has been a bad offensive coach since he came to the Bears, but somehow he managed to hold on to his job through this year. If he doesn't get fired this off season, I'm not even sure if I'll bother watching them next year. Actually, he should never have been hired as an offensive coach. What about his career as a coach made Angelo and/or Smith decide that he should run the show on offense is kind of baffling, but there's no doubt he was an improvement over Terry Shea. Of course, I would have been an improvement over Terry Shea.


Also, when two-fifths of the starters on your offensive line shouldn't ever be anything but backups, there's not too much of a surprise when they let a good NY defensive line treat them like a welcome mat. But they shouldn't have been in this position in the first place. The only moves the Bears have made over the past several years to breathe new life in their offensive line involved Columbo and Rex Tucker, and when both of those players were lost to injury, apparently Angelo decided that he didn't really need to try to come up with a back up plan.

The disgusting thing is that the Bears are still technically in the wild card race in the weird NFC, but they're not going to make it. Rex Grossman, however, has, as far as I'm concerned, proved he should be the starter for this team. He had a really good game, that looked not quite as good as it was because of an overall bad job by the offensive coach. His name is Ron Turner. And I'm not going to expect anything good out of the Chicago Bears until he is replaced.

A Quick One Before I Go to Bed

Things that I'm looking forward to seeing in tomorrow's game:

1) The Bears D-Line going after Manning. I know Rex has been a little fumble-prone since he's come back, but one thing that he hasn't done, and that really he hasn't done all year, are the stupid Tecmo drops where he gets scared of the rushing lineman and runs backwards and runs backwards some more until finally he gets sacked and it's gone from 2nd and 8 to 3rd and 30. Manning, though, still does that. At least, I saw him do it at the end of Vikings game last week, and the Bears D-Line is filled with far better pass rushers than the Vikings got. I'm totally looking forward to watching some Eli flop sweat tomorrow.

2) Adrian Peterson. Our Adrian Peterson. Even though I don't really expect his numbers to be too much of an improvement over what Benson would've ended up posting, probably, AP's got so much more fire than Benson does, and you can tell that for whatever reason the offense just works harder when Peterson's carrying the load. Or at least, they did during the end of the game last week. I mean, the whole line got together and actually pushed AP into the end zone after he'd run into a stack of Broncos. What are the chances they ever would've done something like that for Benson? I really really wanted to Benson to succeed this year, and I still kinda am holding out hope that he's going to turn into something and the team that he'll turn into something for will be the Bears, but for tomorrow I'm all about AP and his intensity. And you know he's been wanting this start for so long, and he's going to come out tomorrow with nothing but thoughts of tearing through NY's defense. It will be, at the very least, inspiring to watch.

3) Whatever craziness is going to happen with the Bears special teams. Overall I don't think the Bears special teams has been as good this year as they've been last year, but they've had Hester behind them the whole year which means that teams have been trying to think of creative ways to avoid kicking Hester the ball while also avoiding giving Chicago the ball at the forty or fifty yard line. Inevitably, this leads to me feeling superior to Chicago's opponents' special teams unit. Hester killed Denver this week, and you know that NY is thinking, "Whatever we do, we cannot get killed by Hester," but they're also NY's coaches which means they're stupid, so, on at least one kick they're going to do something hilarious. Sometimes, watching the Bears special teams play against other teams' special teams is like watching the Globetrotters against the Admirals, and I fully expect some of that dynamic to be in full display tomorrow.

Here's what I hope: that the Bears defense manages to put together it's first complete game of the season tomorrow. They don't even have to be totally dominant all game, but I want them to at least be there for the whole game. I mean, they're about due, right?