Chicago Bears: Door Open, Checkbook… Open?

February 18, 2009


Lots of moves going on over at Halas hall.  Plenty of time before I can start fretting about the Preseason, but I’ll quickly dish about Chicago Bears’ recent moves, and drops, and free agent opportunities.  Chris Curran, Kenny Bernat (of Ask Dr. Kenny) and Matt Kroll (of BellyFullofHell) also have some thoughts…

The Never-ending QB Rotation

Brian: Only 6 months left.  I’m going through serious withdrawal.  Hockey’s not helping… it’s like a expired box of methadone.  Combine coming up.  Bears have picked up NWU’s  Brett Basanez at QB… because that makes sense… career stats: 6 of 11, 56 yards with one interception. 0-1.

Does anyone like Jeff Garcia as much as I do?  No matter how good he makes a team, he always gets ditched for someother “project” QB.  Why 49ers, Browns, Lions and Bucs have all dropped him, I have no idea.

Curran: I thought he did well this year, i think his problem is that he is older and he is not an amazing QB.  So teams are allways going to take a chance on the possible upgrade.  he will still play well when given a chance.

the bears are just horrible with their QB choices. they get this guy from NWU and the back up QB from the Panthers?  what they hell are they going for guys with the least actual experience?  Qualifications: Nice Smile all others need not apply.

Kenny: I have basically given up on the Bears offseason. It’s more frustrating than the regular season. All this talk is about a new quarterback is bullshit. The Bears cannot, CANNOT evaluate the position at all. What they should really be doing is signing receivers left and right. But they won’t. They will just draft somebody that will probably get hurt.

At this point Jeff Garcia is probably the only decent BACKUP left. Let’s face it, he is not a championship quarterback. Other than that, he is an aging hot head that reminds me of Jeff Kent.

Bitter? The Bears have given me no choice. They hate their fans.

Waive Goodbye & Free Agents

Kenny: Today’s rumor Mill has the Bears looking at Chris Simms and Fred Taylor.

Bye bye Mike Brown and John Tait.

Brian: Hmmmm.

I don’t care how many QBs they sign so long as one of them shows up to play.

Simms looked pretty deece when he started for the Bucs a few years ago but, apparently, they got bored of him or something.  Also, didn’t Simms Sr. get pissed when a commentator called Chris “soft”.

Mike Brown, bless his heart, can’t do a season anymore. What scares me is Craig Steltz trying to make tackles in his place… did you see him get buldozed last year?

Oh yeah… bye bye Booker.   And 2/5ths of depleted Offensive Lin…

Fred Tayor would be a KILLER pick up.  A nice one-two with Forte who got really effed up after a full season with no legitimate backup.

Kenny: Simms hurt his spleen really bad. I think he ruptured it. The fact that people were giving him a hard time was probably because they were bonehead NFL fans.

I agree having Taylor as the second running back would be a much needed improvement. Just gotta form an O-LINE, which the Bears need to solve to give Orton more success this year.

Just Trade Haugh

Awesome Image Courtesy of Angy Orange

Brian: Urlacher for Boldin?

Kenny: I went off [ ] when I read that. David Haugh might be one of the wost sports writers behind Jay Marriotti. He always comes up with these theories that don’t have any merit behind them. Last year, he wanted them to trade Urlacher for Brett Favre which would have been so idiotic. When I went to Holy Cross, Haugh was a writer for the South Bend Tribune, and wrote about Notre Dame as if he made up how they were doing. The fact that he is our beat writer for the Bears is embarrassing. I invite everyone to boycott his article.

Brian: Haugh always seems to say whatever will make people talk — regardless of if it makes any sense at all.  That’s not journalism.

Kenny: I know. It’s kinda sad. I would think writing for a professional football team would be quite an opportunity and a privilege.

Dog Days

fuuuuuuuuuck no.  I will become a Browns fan if this happens…. Bears Looking At QB Options, Including…Michael Vick?

Kenny: Yeah, Vick as a Bear would be complete poison. The good news is, I don’t think it will happen. If you look at other papers across the nation, his name is being brought up as well as fodder for dying newspapers. What’s also interesting is, since Vick went to prison there hasn’t been any running quarterbacks. (And really I have always thought that their success is very limited.) Remember how much McNabb used to run? That changed when they groomed him into relying on his arm. Vince Young will be in that transition too. So if Michael “Pass efficiency FAIL” Vick is thinking about entering the league again, he might consider adjusting his game, because football evolves in some way every 5-10 years.

Brian: If Virginia McCaskey refuses to endorse cheerleaders, there’s no way she’ll allow them to pick up Vick.

Vick will wind up on the Cowboys or the Bengals… they all do.

Matt: Yeah this would be a huge mistake. Running quarterbacks were a fad; just like prison is a fad. Wait…

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Valentines Day, out. Fun Day, in.

February 11, 2009

I, personally, am a big fan of slamming V-Day.  But for once, I will not waste valuable blog space complaining about couples.  I will simply point out that, if you’re a dude, 2/14 is pretty sweet this year.  If you’re a taken dude, you will be so sad you’re committedand will not be able to partake in Saturday’s events.  (Though, you could probably convince your gal pal to go with you if you can somehow convince her that it was her idea…

February 14th, 2009:

12am to 11:30am

Sleep.  Then maybe some Madden ’09.

12:15pm

Handmade Market at The Empty Bottle for FREE!  In which they “…strive to create a  market, with affordable handmade, mostly local items. There are a ton of crafters in the city, and we try to make this accessible to up and coming designers, jewelry makers, and others. Come out and help support your monthly crafter’s market”

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3pm

The Chicago Auto Show!  Yes!  If you believe what you hear on the news, I think no one in the United States has bought a single car since the Spring of 2008.  Now’s the time!  And, since American automobile companies are so ahead of the game, I’m sure all that well-invested electric car research has already produced a car that runs on a hybrid of electricity and energy expelled by resorting your coworkers recycling after they’ve left for the day.

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7pm

Impress everyone around you by informing them what The Minutemen was referencing when they named their stellar double-album “Double Nickels on The Dime”.  Everyone at Quimby’s bookstore will be impressed.  Accept, of course,  Michael T. Fournier… the writer/critic/historian who will be in attendence, speaking about his most recent entry into the 33 1/3  lit canon.

8pm

No one’s cared about the NBA All-Star game since Magic Johnson came back to chuck up 3-pointers over Isaiah Thomas for the feel-good story of, well, the last time anyone cared about professional basketball.  But what’s this, The Skillz Challenge?  Eff yeah, I’ll check it out.   Especially since my boy Derrick Rose is playing against Devin Harris, Jameer Nelson and Tony “Shit Tattoo”Parker.  The challenge is legit too, as the past winners are sweet (and much more impressive than the dunk/3-point champs… hi Craig Hodges!) — Steve Nash ’05, Dwayne Wade ’06-’07, Deron Williams ’08.

10pm

Your choice of awesome concerts:
Flosstradamus and  Gatekeeper at The Abbey Pub;  The Chamber Strings, Kevin Tihista, and Lonesome Cougar at Cobra Lounge; Fucked Up, A/V Murder, and Boystown at The Empty Bottle, or drop a hundo wit your shorty to see Jeff Tweedy @ the Vic.  If you can’t afford a hundo, just make a video and you won’t have to worry about spending money on a g/f:


Orton and the Owl-Faced Goblin

January 15, 2009

Since I can’t really wrap my whole brain around the season right now, I’m just posting a few blogs based on coversation points I had with some assorted pals online; Ryan, Jim, Rob (from the blog Walker’s Point), Kenny (from Ask Dr. Kenny) and Matt from Belly Full of Hell). Here goes:

On The Never-Ending QB Controversey

Kenny: (In response to Tribune article “Kurt Warner Should be High on Chicago Bears Shopping List“) Probably the dumbest idea I have read in a long time. David Haugh should work for the Bears, because he is starting to think like them.

  1. Bringing in a 37 year old QB is pretty much playing a longshot. How did that work out for the Jets?
  2. Kurt Warner is terrible in cold games. Terr.i.ble. Last time I checked it gets Antartica cold in December.
  3. Why would we bench Kyle Orton after he has improved significantly over this past year? Because Warner has one, maybe two years at the most left in his arm? Plus his uber Christian wife has a bull dyke haircut. Which brings me to my next point…
  4. Uber slutty, tacky women or bull dyke Sunday school teacher?

or

Arms, Distance: God, I never get tired of that photo, or this one… http://www.theonion.com/content/node/34927
“Kurt Warner Cheered On By Wire-Haired Man-Goblin”

Kurt Warner Cheered On By Wire-Haired Man-Goblin

K: Kurt Warner’s wife mistaken for Jimmy Clausen — Kurt Warner thought his visit back to the Super Bowl would recreate fond memories of his former self at his best. The 1999 MVP performance. The 73-yard touchdown completion to Isaac Bruce. The game-ending tackle at the 1-yard line. Most of the attention instead has turned to Warner’s wife Brenda, who has accompanied him throughout Miami and has an uncanny resemblance to Notre Dame prized recruit Jimmy Clausen. Hundreds of Irish fans, in Miami because they thought their beloved team was selected to play in the Super Bowl, have flocked to the self-proclaimed grocery bagger seeking his wife’s autograph.
Jimmy Clausen or Brenda Warner?

A, D: Honestly, Orton is a serviceable QB, but we’ll never know how good he could be if we don’t get a decent receiver corp. One thing’s for sure though — he can NOT throw the long ball. I can’t count how many times he under-threw deep routes this year. (Sometimes, in the case of the Saints, it wound up being defensive pass interference because Hester couldn’t work back to the ball). But usually, it’s just going to wind up as an incompletion.

Ryan: I think Orton needs a fair shot… He was doing great until he got hurt and then he played the rest of the season injured. The Bears have way bigger issues than replacing a good player.


The Bear Market and the Wide Receiver Corps(e)

January 14, 2009

Since I can’t wrap my brain around the season right now, I’m posting a few blogs based on online coversation with some assorted pals; Ryan, Jim, Rob (from the blog Walker’s Point), Kenny (from Ask Dr. Kenny) and Matt from Belly Full of Hell). Here goes:

On The Poor WR Corp

Arms, Distance: I would have to support picking up Kurt Warner in one scenario — because Cards’ Anquan Boldin is not happy in Arizona either… if we’re willing to spend, we could pick up a QB/WR tandem that has PROVEN they’re effective together. That’s immediate offense.

  • Warner-to-ONLY Boldin (with missing a few games): 89 Receptions, 86.5 yds/g, 11 tds, 10 20+ yds
  • Warner-to-ONLY Fitzgerald: 96 Receptions, 89.4 yds/g, 12 tds, 20 20+yds
  • Orton-to-Hester: 51Receptions, 44.3 yds/g, 3 tds, 9 20+yd Catches

Imagine Warner/Boldin production if Anquan is the primary receiver.

Matt: The Bears are where receivers go to die.

Kenny: Said Muhsin Muhammed. I think it’s funny he said that considering he led the league in drops that year.
Muhsin Muhammed: where quarterbacks go to see their passes dropped.

Not so fast Braylon Edwards.

A,D: True. Though, you know what really sucks… Moose had more catches than our leading receiver (Forte) for twice as many yards and 1 more TD.

K: Well if you consider that Forte is our running back, I’d say that’s sad on both accounts.

M: I agree.

A,D: Sad all around.

The Bear Market

 

A,D: So, what’s the #1 thing the Bears have to do in the offseason?

If you answered “Sign a coach who won one game in the last two years”, you and Lovie Smith are on the same page. What do y’all think they have to do to not be a huge fucking joke next season.

“Fire Lovie” is not an option, dude’s got plenty of money left on his contract extension that doesn’t run out until 2011.

K: Coaches have been fired before with years left remaining. But yeah, I don’t think they are going to fire him. If they were going to, they would have by now.

Actually, Marinelli becoming the defensive line coach is good. He was D-line for Tampa Bay for a decade. He was pretty good there. I think certain coaches are better at specializing on one category. This is his category. He’s just not an overall head coach. But then again, neither is Lovie.

Ryan: Ron Turner and Bob Babich need the axe but they won’t get cut

A,D: Some of the more advanced teams nowadays are doing something called “The Forward Pass”. It may revolutionize the game. This Sid Luckman character may be just the ticket.

M: Haha Knute and the forward pass


NFL Playoffs: For the Birds

January 14, 2009

 Since I can’t really wrap my whole brain around the season right now, I’m just going to post a few blogs based on coversation points I had with some assorted pals online; Ryan, Jim, Rob (from the blog Walker’s Point), Kenny (from Ask Dr. Kenny) and Matt from Belly Full of Hell). Here goes:

On The Playoffs…

Arms, Distance: The bloody Cardinals did it again, as if I didn’t have good reason to hate Del Homme already. How ‘bout them Ravens eh? I actually used to hate them, now I kind of like ‘em.

Jim: I really enjoyed watching Delhomme fail. I loved all the slow-mo replays of his reactions to his interceptions. He’s the worst. These playoffs are insane. I’m kind of rooting for AZ. They’ve been horrible forever.

Also, Philly doesn’t deserve to be the NFL and MLB champions. Thats reserved for Boston.

Rob: Arizona has K(c)urt Warner and Jesus on their side, but Edgerrin James is weak compared to Tim Hightower, who lulls the defense with thoughts of Police Academy movies from their childhood.  Lary Fitzgerald jumps for catches that do not require it and Steve Breaston has an erotic name.   The online-educated home field advantage will be strong.

On the other hand…

Philadelphia has the Phillies World Series victory and the perception that the fix is in for them this year, compared to Boston since recent memory.  They also have Donovan McNabb’s lack of self-awareness and Kevin Curtis’ steely determination to make white people proud.
Westbrook is what Reggie Bush writes about in his diary and Andy Reid’s sons are tenacious addicts.  Plus, he stole the beard of a homeless man.

Kenny: I love Larry Fitzgerald. The past two games he has made career highlight receptions that were in the middle of two defenders. Sure, he jumps as much Derek Jeter on a routine grounder, but he’s also short. You are also forgetting that Warner is married to Gozer (The Destructor.) She is one apocalypse away from making Andy Reid’s sons sit beside her in the judgement of mankind for all of eternity.

A,D: What do you think about Marinelli coming to town and this Warren Sapp / Tommie Harris thing once the playoffs end?

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J: I don’t know. I’m just happy the Bears are making changes. It could be good.


Vikings and Bears NFC North Run-off

December 9, 2008

I’m not going to waste time talking about the Bears and Vikes games last week, but I AM going to focus on what happens now — with three games left apiece.

So far, all we know is that the Bears D is not good when playing other good teams.  They only appear to be good when playing games they’re expected to win.  It’s no coincidence their recent wins have been against the lousiest of the league — Jacksonville, Detroit, St. Louis — they remind me of a pouty Rec League group that plays in the lower levels just to feel good about themselves.

Lance Briggs said earlier this year that when the Bears defense wanted to play well they would play well.  Hmmm.  Well, sidestepping the most obvious question, (“As a professional athlete player, when do you NOT want to play well?”) question #2 is, “Do you find it odd that in games the defense SHOULD have been amped up, you actually played worse?”  Failures such as:

  • A chance to beat an undefeated Titans team.
  • A chance to claim first place in the NFC North by beating the division rival Packers at Lambeau.
  • A change to reclaim first place in the NFC by beating the Vikings in prime time

Were they not pumped up about these games?

THESE are the games you have to win, THESE are the games you win if you deserve to be the Division Champs — Tough games, DIVISION games.   It’s because the Bears can’t win to save their own hides that having to root against the Vikings is just maddening. 

If the Bears won games they were supposed to, we shouldn’t have to watch the scoreboard to see if Detroit is going to beat them (Or Arizona, or Atlanta, or New York) in the next few weeks.  Larry Mayer’s ChicagoBears.com Chalk Talk made it painfully clear what needs to happen for the Bears to make the playoffs:

There are two ways for the Bears to win the NFC North: They go 2-1 and the Vikings go 0-3, or  the Bears go 3-0 and the Vikings lose at least two of their final three games. Minnesota can win the division with two victories regardless of what the Bears do.

So, if I must, here’s who they both play in weeks 15, 16 & 17.

  • Vikes (8-5): Arizona* (8-5), Atlanta** (8-5), New York* (11-2)
  • —  combined record (27-12) .692
  • Bears (7-6): New Orleans** (7-6), Green Bay (5-8), Houston (6-7)
  •  — combined record (18-21) .462

(*Clinched Playoff Birth, **Wild Card Race)

So,  at first blush, The Vikings have a more difficult schedule. But you have to consider both Arizona and especially New York have nothing left to play for, so their only real difficult game is Atlanta.  Based on Mayer’s comments, I find it very unlikely that Minnesota — with the playoffs on the line, will manage to lose to the Cards and Giants; both disinterested teams.

Chicago, though their win% looks favorable, has to first play a New Orleans team with a matching record, healthy Reggie Bush, and a serious bone to pick with two losses in the last two years against the Bears — one a NFC Divisional Playoff upset.  Next up, Green Bay — historic rivals who, no doubt, would love to spoil a Bear playoff run.  Finally, you have a Houston team which the Bears should not even THINK about until they have beat both Green Bay and New Orleans and the Vikings have lost to Atlanta.

So… speculate all you want, they don’t deserve to win the division.  Why?  Because they’ve had TWO chances to do so within a month, and they’ve failed.  WHY DO WE WANT TO MAKE THE PLAYOFFS ANYWAY?

To get blasted by whomever we play?  To give the Bears Franchise an excuse not to make any major shake-ups in the off season? To get a higher draft pick?  Seriously, why?


Squibgate

October 14, 2008

I’ll be brief.  In the final quarter of an otherwise yawn-fest of a game, the Atlanta Falcons beat the Chicago Bears with a field goal with 1-second left after Kyle Orton led the Bears in multiple late-quarter drives.  As a Bears fan, I will be succinct, but I must ask:

  1. Why a squib vs a regular kickoff?  Is Robbie Gould a good squib kicker — it didn’t look that way. 
  2. Are we supposed to have the best Special Teams coverage in the league?  Isn’t a game with 11 seconds left a time to expect them to perform.
  3. Was there a fear of avoiding a real kickoff because of what happened against the Vikings last year, when Adrian Peterson returned a kickoff into Bears territory that lead a Minnesota 3-point victory?
  4. Why stick to the Cover-2 when a short pass or running the ball would’ve ended the game?
  5. How do you allow a reciever to get even CLOSE to a sideline when the team has no timeouts with 6 seconds left?
  6. With all this recent referee criticsm, isn’t it bullshit that Atlanta’s game clock operator gave their offense a 1-sec or so cushion on the secon-to-last snap? (The same second that allowed Elam to kick the winning field goal).  A similar question was fielded in Larry Mayer’s Bears Q&A “Chalk Talk” yesterday:

Can the Bears file a formal protest of Sunday’s loss based on the clock operation in the Georgia Dome? It appeared that the clock conveniently started late on both on the Bears’ squib kickoff and on Atlanta’s 26-yard pass play that set up the field goal.

Will S.
Chicago

Well, whatever.  They say good teams find a way to win — what does that say about a Bears team whose every loss has been 3 points or less? I’m going crazy just thinking about this.  Also note: Jason Elam blew a gimmie field goal earlier in the quarter, and we blew a 4th and goal attempt so… we can’t complain, the Bears had plenty of chances to score and shouldn’t have allowed it to come down to the last second.

Relive the terror (or the glory if you’re reading this in Atlanta / Green Bay).