Friday, February 29, 2008

Save us Rex!

Angelo is supposed to love Rex right? He's basically so motivated to be proven right about Rex that the rest of the organization comes second to his narcissistic desire to have built the franchise around his self-picked golden child? For once I want all the jerks and whiners in the Chicago media to be right, I want Angelo to be so obsessed with getting that right that like a rich dad on his daughter's 16th birthday he throws his sobriety out the window and asks Rex what he wants, anything, he can have anything. In this one moment Angelo will make up for all the games he missed, all the other birthdays he had to work late, all the getaways he took with his mistress while his daughter stayed home. And Rex will tell him that he needs Randy Moss and Michael Turner more than anyone else, that only they can make him love again. Then they'll cry and embrace and Angelo will make the calls and get it done, and they'll live on just like before but with silent acceptance that their love is conditional.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Final FA primer

After Randy Moss the free agent class drops off quite a bit but these are the best players for the Bears to go after.
1. Michael Turner RB - essential for '09 Super Bowl run
2. Guards - essential with or without Moss and Turner
Jacob Bell - appears to be the best available
Jake Scott - years with the Colts can't hurt anyone
Maurice Williams - a little older but he can definitely run-block
3. Safety - a weak draft class makes a veteran signing a priority
Eugene Wilson - best available and another steal from NE
Mike Doss - won the Super Bowl with Indy but couldn't break Minnesota's lineup
Will Demps - made an impact for Houston but thats not saying much
Tank Williams - similar to Doss and Demps but probably not as good
4. Wide Receiver - with or without Moss the Bears need a veteran wideout
Marty Booker - fan favorite with motivation after winning once last year
Issac Bruce - not who he used to be but still a very good receiver
Donte' Stallworth - great player but potential to be a bigger headache than he's worth
5. Rosevelt Colvin LB - with Briggs gone Colvin could provide needed depth and another outside rush specialist
6. Julius Jones RB - I hope the Bears aren't stupid enough to need this option after Turner signs elsewhere

Randy Moss

Tonight feels just like the night before the first regular season game. I'm tired but I can't stop thinking about tomorrow so I can't fall asleep. Nothing can be won tomorrow, it's the first step on the incredibly arduous road to Super Bowl victory and yet it impedes my sleep. Injuries can always ruin a season, even during the actual game a single injury could ruin the entire season, but still Randy Moss becomes a free agent tomorrow. The Bears have a myriad of needs and there's probably no chance Moss will sign in Chicago, yet Randy Moss is all Chicago needs. With him they are instantly in the running for best team since the '85 Bears and possibly best team ever. Even Ron Turner makes sense with Moss. He loves the vertical passing game, so do Rex and Orton, and everyone wants to play for Lovie. How could any defense line up against Moss, Hester, Olsen, Turner and either Clark or Booker? It'd be impossible. Plus the Bears defense can be easily upgraded with Eugene Wilson or Mike Doss and Rosevelt Colvin.
I don't know where they are right now, but I hope Angelo and Moss are both awake thinking about how perfectly Moss and the Bears fit together.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Pity Poor Rick Morrissey

I just thought I'd pop in to note that Rick Morrissey seems to have lost all hope about the Bears. I feel bad for him. I really do. In fact, I wonder if he might just be depressed. After all, "lack of hope" is one of the warning signs of depression, and "lack of hope" has been a theme of Morrissey's for a while now. I sure hope he finds a friend good enough to tell him to seek real therapy instead of using his column as a personal record of his depression. I hope he does that before he kills himself. Really, I do.

Friday, February 22, 2008

At least Haugh isn't the Bears GM

If I recall correctly, David Haugh was firmly in the Griese corner last year or at least he was never in the Rex corner. Plus he's had a lot of anti-Briggs sentiment despite him being a solid performer. Now in this off-season he thinks the Bears didn't show enough support for Rex and that they absolutely should have franchised Berrian. One of his major points is that keeping Berrian would mean Rex would stay, like they're two children who will only play if they get to be on the same team, and the Bears now need Rex badly because he doesn't like Orton. His other main premise is that Berrian was the best of a poor receiving corps so the Bears just have to overpay for him or risk getting even worse. He's also now hating on Bradly who definitely isn't an NFL one but probably deserves to be on the roster.
So Haugh thinks that Angelo's big mistake this year is failing to overpay for mediocre talent that is already much cheaper on the roster? Angelo's best move is to hold firm with his valuation of Grossman and Berrian as he did with Moose knowing that Orton, Bradley, Booker and others are capable of performing just as well for far less money. Then he can use the money saved to overpay an all-pro like Briggs or Moss.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Still Hatin' on The King

I just thought this was interesting. It's the NFC North's turn in today's Four Downs at Football Outsiders, and their assessment of the Bears follows the standard line as it's been for the past several years:
"Obviously, finding a quarterback is priority No. 1 this off-season, but 1A is wide receiver, 1B is running back, and 1C is getting younger on the offensive line."
First of all, I think those are kind of in the wrong order, but it also speaks to this weird cognitive error that you see so consistently: this assumption that there is something like an unlimited number of players that are available to be got. Well, not exactly unlimited, but I think it's based on assuming that the talent pool is big enough as to be conceived of as kind of a vague cloud, or something like that. Anyway, the problem with saying that "priority No. 1" is finding a quarterback is that there really aren't any quarterback's out there worth getting this year. Meanwhile, there actually are a few linemen out there worth fighting for, there's Michael Turner who the Bears just have to get, and there's at least the possibility of making some kind of play for Randy Moss, or possibly entertaining ideas of a trade for Johnson from Cincinnati. So, sure, if there were a solid QB out there available for the getting, you could argue that getting him (or her? hehe) would be the number 1 priority, but it's a pretty meaningless proposition in the abstract. Also notice that in the "Whom Should They Sign" section, the only quarterbacks discussed are ones that aren't available.

But here's what I find even more interesting. In the section discussing the Vikings, the QB position is evaluated as pretty much "wait and see."
if Jackson doesn’t show noticeable improvement in 2008, the Vikings will have to consider a change.
In world is Tarvaris Jackson a better quarterback than either Rex Grossman or Kyle Orton? Or even (shudder) Brian Griese?

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

How the off-season would unfold if Angelo was me

The first potential 2008 action is reducing Mike Brown's cap number. I hope that both sides have enough sense to see that the Bears need to keep Brown but that they cannot afford to pay him anything more than the veteran minimum this year. The easiest solution is to convert his current deal into a 2 year contract with the 2.4m he's due in salary this year changed into a roster bonus next year. Sadly if this can't be agreed the Bears and Brown will very likely part ways to the detriment of both sides. Until March 1 the only other action is waiting to see if NE franchise's Moss. I assume they will, but it's more fun to believe they wont in which case:
The Bears should be able to absorb a cap hit of up to 13m this season, and they should use every penny it takes up to there to lure Moss. However, it's going to take more than just money to bring Randy to Chicago. The Bears are also going to have to look like winners again, a tough task considering they're going to have to concede Briggs to afford Moss. This means they absolutely have to secure Michael Turner. They will probably also have to have Rex in the mix as well, but if they get Moss, Rex will surely follow.
If NE franchise's Moss the Bears have to turn to Chad Johnson as the best option. The good news is that he'll take less cap-room and the Bears have the players and picks to trade for him, ruling out their first pick of course. This option would also mean that the Bears could still make a run at Briggs. I have no idea if they have a chance to get him, but they couldn't afford not to try. Michael Turner is still essential and again, Grossman would come cheaper if Johnson's in the mix.
The next important move is to sign Marty Booker. He's a perfect replacement for Moose and if the other options don't work out he still has at least one year left of being an NFL 1WR, which would give the Bears flexibility in addressing this situation. Without Moss or Johnson they probably need to keep Moose and draft a WR with their 2nd pick. It's easy to see how important signing Michael Turner is in this situation and Grossman too becomes vital without Moss or Johnson. The Bears cannot afford to lose Briggs without getting Moss or Johnson!
The next logical move is to bring back Ruben Brown to stabilize the OL with a new LT on the way and a fierce RG competition brewing throughout the off-season. It would also make sense to look into bringing Mike Doss in as safety cover. He's probably better than McGowan and it's supposed to be weak safety class this draft.
I'm sure there are a lot of ways to go at LB if the Bears get Johnson or Moss, but it'd be cool to see Warrick Holdman in camp if there's an LB spot open.
Along with these additions the Bears need to cut or trade Archuleta, Bazuin, Griese, Ricky Manning Jr., Fred Miller, Darwin Walker and probably Terrence Metcalf. Also Moose, Maynard, Benson, Beekman, and Garza shouldn't be surprised to find themselves playing for their spots if they're still on the roster in training camp.
But before camp there's the draft. The first pick is easy, LT. The second selection should be a WR without Moss or Johnson. If they get one of them there are a lot of options. Joe Flacco has been getting a lot of press but the Bears could use more competition at G, CB, S, WR, RB, LB, DT as well as QB, which I think puts me out of the forecasting business until training camp.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Booker will return

I plan a much more thorough examination of the roster and suggested roster moves in the next month as I figure out more about the salary cap and next years numbers. But I have to make mention of the sudden availability of a significant and beautiful new number two/possession receiver. We all know that Moose is beyond his usefulness and seemed to be a bit of a cancer last year. So in his stead for the same money the Bears should make a run at Marty Booker! I never liked that he left and he's three years younger than Moose. He should have a solid 2-3 years left in him, he's always been a great teammate and it'd give the Bears flexibility in rebuilding their offense over the next three years. It's simply too perfect not to happen.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

23 is synonomous with god

I heard Joshua Cribbs's name a few times this season. I think he had like three maybe four touchdown returns. And I know ESPN needs to do something to make the pro-bowl seem interesting in any way, the NFL should have long ago taken care of this by plying it in the bye-week before the Super Bowl and not involving SB participants, but saying anything that even comes close to questioning Devin Hester's status as the all-time greatest return man ever, EVER is just blasphemy and lazy journalism.
I don't know what made me do it, I knew it was just going to make me angry and sad and sick-to-my stomach. But I clicked on this article and it was amazingly worse than advertised. I know Hester doesn't care because he is god in pads. He is humble and selfless and anything else good it is possible to be. They call AD purple Jesus, but Jesus is already in Chicago.
We who know must stand up to this blasphemy lest any foolish football fans read and actually believe that someone could be compared to 23. The article uses meaningless statistics showing that Cribbs has a better kick return average to claim that he is better at kickreturns and then suggests that Hester might agree. It goes on to call Cribbs more consistent and quotes him as saying something like, "I just want to get to the 40 everytime." It does at least have the decency to mention that Hester rarely sees a good ball while I haven't heard of anyone gameplanning around Cribbs. But the article fails to mention that the 40 is a disappointment for Chicago's special teams. Nor does it point out that Hester's TD/return ratio is nearly three times that of Cribbs or that in one more season and 102 more kickoff returns Cribbs has only equal the TD's of Hester. And if constantly causing the other teams headaches and forcing them to kick it out of bounds or face the lord's wrath isn't enough proof of consistency the Bears had the best avg. starting field position in the league this year.
Dream big Cribbs, dream about hitting the 40 every time you touch the ball, but know that while you're doing that 23's gonna keep scoring TDs whenever he gets his hands on the ball. Holding the Bears to the 40 is the subject of opposing team's dreams.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Brian Urlacher: Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger

So my boy Brian, that old lacker of Ur, proud papa and formerly dominant linebacker in a proud lineage of formerly dominant middle linebackers in Chicago, you know the guy, and you know that he just had neck surgery. Apparently. Since the Bears are based in Chicago that means its time for rampant pessimism and pointless criticism of the organization, and also it's time to assume that the Bears might now be the worst team in the league for the next 75 years because of it. It's very sad.

However, I've decided that there's another response to be had. In a recent article from the Trib, they interview various doctors about what could possibly be the reason for Urlacher's surgery, and his likely prognosis. One of them came back with this quote:

As one doctor put it, "It's plausible he might come back even stronger."

I'm just going to assume that by "plausible" he actually means "absolutely %100 the case," and start the celebration of Urlacher's resumption of dominance right now. In fact, following Urlacher's neck surgery, I'm a little confused about why they haven't announced the cancellation of the 2008 season and just given the Lombardi trophy to Mr. Urlacher and the Bears. It must be that they're looking forward to Brian having the best season ever by a middle linebacker as much as I am!

Seriously, though. Regardless of Urlacher's prognosis, this latest news would make it even stupider for the Bears to not do everything possible to re-sign Lance Briggs.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Oh, This is a Good One

David Haugh's post-Super Bowl article is about the possibility that Rex could ever pull something off like Manning did. Most of the article is actually a pretty decent argument that Manning's apparent "ascent into manhood" or whatever supposedly happened is a little exaggerated, since Manning got lucky several of his throws weren't picked off and that 17 points was all he needed to score to win thanks to the ridiculous play of the Giants' defensive line (the fact that Manning was named MVP is stupid; that play to Tyree was amazing, but Manning didn't do a whole lot for most of the game while the Giants' defensive line dominated for pretty much the entire game; Umenyiora and Justin Tuck should've been co-MVPs). But then Haugh comes out with this zinger near the end:

The difference in their respective rosters and the level of commitment their organizations showed in them is real.

Yes, that is an actual member of the Chicago media now criticizing the Bears' organization for not showing a high enough level of commitment to Rex Grossman... Eat shit, douchebag.

Monday, February 04, 2008

post Super Bowl

I feel like it's necessary for me to record my non-NY/Boston thoughts on the end of the NFL season.
Bill Belichick is a complete ass in every sense of the word. A head coach leaving the field before the end of the most watched game of the season is so disgusting. It's funny how much everyone's trying to avoid this. This game was all about NE, it was their perfect season to win or lose. I can't believe neither Belichick nor Brady were on the sideline when it ended. They've won half of the past six Super Bowls and they still didn't have the class to congratulate their opponent, it's unfathomable to me. Even without Spygate Belichick should be handed a major fine for disrespecting the Super Bowl like that. Say what you want about Lovie and Dungy's total disinterest in the happenings on the field but they're high class. Much was said about their character last year and as much should be said about NE's lack of it this year. I want to know how many Pats were on the field for the last snap and who they were and it should be noted that Randy Moss was there. The best player on the best team who made the play he could to help them win but with the spotty character. How much time and money have gone into praise of Brady and Belichick and in the end Randy Moss would have won the game if he could have gotten the ball and he stuck around to watch the end. I hope it was the last this he does in the NFL that's not in Burnt and Blue!
Speaking of class, I can't stand another Manning year. Peyton's a hilarious actor, but god are the Manning's boring personalities. I'll love Rex through and through if he's our QB next year, but until the competition ends I'm cheering for Orton all the way. We need a neckbeard media storm next season! And after this game I'm certain that Moss can be bought in the off-season. Randy Moss will win the Super Bowl if he's on the Bears next year. He is that important. If it's the only move the Bears make it's the only one that matters.
Another great thing this game did is keep the '85 Bears as the best team ever! And seriously, Fuck the '72 Dolphins I actually think they're bigger dicks than the Pats. They will always be undefeated, it doesn't matter if anyone else is they still will be. But no one will ever think they were the best team ever. The Pats were 18-0 once and the Bears were the best ever. They should just enjoy that they were undefeated once and they should forget about everything else.