Yikes…that was a rough way to start the preseason. Rich Eisen of the NFL Network summed it up perfectly when he said “Cutler got a chance to show everyone that his knee is healthy, because he was running for his life”. Shawn Merriman and rookie DT Marcell Dareus absolutely destroyed the new-look Bears offensive line. The Bears gave up 9 sacks in the first preseason game. Not all of those sacks came against the Bears’ starters, but enough of them did and it seemed as though Cutler was constantly being pressured. I don’t want to be the “sky is falling” type of fan…but the Bears are in for a long season. Winning the division with the NFL’s 30th ranked offense and the league’s worst offensive line is a statistical anomaly, not something Bear fans should expect to have repeated.
The biggest positive for the Bears, as is often the case, was special teams. Johnny Knox was dynamic in the return game and the Bears shouldn’t miss departed safety/returner Daniel Manning. Having said that, the new kick off rules are going to have a HUGE negative impact on the Bears. With teams now kicking off from the 35 yard-line, teams are going to be kicking it through the endzone almost every time. Taking the Bears’ field position advantage away. The offense will now have to travel 80 yards to score on the vast majority of their possessions. Nothing is lining up for the Bears this season.
Angelo needs to go, Martz needs to go, and the Bears need a culture shock to the organization.
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“Let’s get something straight: I have a five starting linemen right now. Unless the five starting linemen falter, that’s who’s opening the season against Atlanta. There’s not a competition.”–Bears Offensive Line Coach Mike Tice
And your starting offensive line for your 2011 Chicago Bears is…Left Tackle, JaMarcus Webb. Left Guard, Chris Williams. Center, Roberto Garza. Right Guard, Lance Louis. Right Tackle, Gabe Carimi. You might notice that there is one name in particular missing from the list of starters that has been written in stone…CHRIS SPENCER. Better known as the guy the Bears HAD to get so they gave 13 year starter and team captain an hour-long deadline. The gave Kreutz an hour to decide if he would take their mildly insulting offer so they could sign a guy who isn’t even going to start? How does that make any sense? The Bears essentially kicked arguably their best offensive lineman from the worst line in the NFL and decided to replace him from within. It would be hilarious if I wasn’t a Bears fan. As it is the Bears are now devoid of a leader, have a center who is switching positions, a guard who was drafted to be the franchise LT, and a rookie who was drafted to be the franchise LT playing RT. I didn’t think it was possible for the 2011 Bears O-Line to be worse than the 2010 version, but it’s certainly shaping up that way.
Then to spruce up the offense the Bears decide to draft Roy Williams who sucked last year in Dallas, but don’t worry he was good like 5 years ago in Detroit under Mike Martz. The Bears replaced a dynamic TE with a guy who will probably total 10 catches this year…but that makes sense because “Olsen doesn’t fit the Martz system”. Then they sign another Dallas Cowboy cast-off Marion Barber who now has the body of 55 year-old man because of the abuse he took early in his career. But they needed depth at RB and there weren’t any other good running backs…oh except for Ronnie Brown. Who signed in Philadelphia for less money and a shorter term than what the Bears gave to Barber.
But football is still king in Chicago and people will undoubtedly come out to watch the team play. Chicago was pretty excited about going to “Family Night” practice held at Soldier Field…until they found out that practice was canceled because the field wasn’t in good enough condition. The Bears are one of the original teams in this league. George Halas has got to be spinning in his grave right now because the Bears are a laughing-stock. It’s embarrassing to see a franchise with such great tradition fail at seemingly every aspect of running an NFL team. Chicago deserves better.
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Reporter: What did you like about Spencer(new Bears center replacing Kreutz)?
Jerry Angelo: “There weren’t a lot of centers out there…”
Whoa Jerry, way to sell it. I feel way better about letting Kreutz walk over a mere $500k now. Talk about a ringing endorsement. “Yeah we signed this guy because we didn’t have any options”. Full disclosure, I am not a big Olin Kreutz guy. His game seems to have slipped considerably over the past few seasons and the offensive line needed to be reconstructed obviously. However, this was not the time to start that process. Yes, the line sucked with Kreutz last season. Cutler got his ass kicked basically every game. My question is; where would the line have been without Kreutz? Why let your 13 year veteran, captain, and leader walk if you are only going to replace him with a guy you don’t really even want? Let’s say this guy Spencer is marginally better physically than Kreutz. He still only has a few weeks to learn an entire playbook in a new system. If there was ever a year and a player to over pay, the time was this offseason and the player was Kreutz. Martz and Angelo have created a leadership vacuum and have potentially downgraded their offensive line over a lousy 500k.
Reporter: There were trade rumors on Greg Olsen last year. Was this the time to move on from him?
Jerry Angelo: “Greg is a great kid. Works his tail off….we’re not really looking for Kellen Winslow, we’re looking for Mike Ditka. It’s no more than that. And we got some good compensation…We hope he’s a pro-bowler, and just has a great career….I said ‘Greg, the intent was to not extend you…”
Ok, so let me get this straight…Greg Olsen is a great kid, with a great work ethic, who you think has pro-bowl type ability…but you that’s not the kind of guy you want on your team? Call me crazy, but if you have a guy with Kellen Winslow ability…YOU FIND A WAY TO GET HIM THE BALL. The Bears have essentially replaced Olsen in the offense with Roy Williams. Olsen and Williams had basically identical numbers in 2010. So they trade a guy who is a leader, hard worker, and best friend of the franchise quarterback for a dumbass who is on his third team in like 5 years and thought it was a good idea to mail an engagement ring to his girlfriend with a video taped marriage proposal. Oh and that “good compensation” Angelo referenced. You got a 3rd round pick, man. You spent a first on Greg Olsen like 3 years ago. And…is a third round pick good compensation for a guy who think has pro-bowl talent? Mind boggling.
The team as constructed was one MCL sprain away from the Superbowl. Yet Jerry Angelo decided to take arguably two of the three most important guys on the offense and kick them out the door. I do like the fact that the Bears brought back LB Roach, and signed two other Cowboys in WR Sam Hurd and RB Marion Barber. Hurd is a great special teams guy and there are worse players you can have as your 5th WR. Not sure how much tape Barber has left on the roll, but I love his energy and competitiveness. 8-10 carries a game for Barber should help keep Forte fresh and could fire up the team on occasion when he goes beast mode with a stiff arm in someone’s grill. The other head scratcher Bears Free Agent signing was Vernon Gholston. Gholston was a high first round pick of the Jets out of Ohio State and the guy has been nothing but a bust since entering the league. He has a lot of physical tools, and maybe a change of scenery will good…but it seems highly unlikely. The guy will just collect a paycheck and continue to suck.
I am very bearish on the Bears heading into 2011. Brutal schedule, especially early. It’s not inconceivable that the Bears could be 2-5 heading into their bye week. The offense got worse, and the defense is another year older. It seems as though everyone in the NFC North got considerably better, and the Bears took a step back. I’d be shocked if this group gets to 9 wins.
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PS: This is the girl who Roy Williams mailed a $76,000 engagement to. Probably not the smartest way to go about a proposal, but girls that look like this cloud the brain.
Day one of NFL free agency and Jerry Angelo is already disappointing me. Rumors are swirling that the Bears will add to their receiving core like everyone has been begging for. The Bears have a TON of cap space. Some of the most in the league. They could easily target a game breaking wide receiver like Plaxico Burress, Randy Moss, Santana Moss, or Santonio Holmes. So who are they going after…Brad Smith. Are the Bears really in need of a former option quarterback who played a lot of wildcat for the Jets? Brad Smith had 4 catches last year. What would be the point of signing him?!?! UGH ANGELO MAKES ME SO MAD. It only took a day for me to want him fired again.
PS: Of all the guys listed above Santonio Holmes seems like he would be a perfect fit for the Martz offense.
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Arm chair GM super fans are probably going to kill me for this, but I don’t care. I want Plaxico Burress AND Randy Moss. Randy Moss’s agent said in an interview with nfl.com “He is determined, motivated and quite frankly has a huge chip on his shoulder. Whatever team ends up getting Randy, they’re going to know they’re getting the old Randy Moss. He’s not just coming in to be on the team, he’s going to be Randy Moss — a difference maker.” His agent also described Moss as being in “freakish shape” from working out like a mad man. Yeah Moss is a total headcase, yeah last season was an absolute disaster, yeah he is 34 years old, but Randy Moss is still the most talented Wide Receiver in the history of the NFL. Tom Brady and Bill Belichick both called Randy Moss the most intelligent guy they had ever worked with. That’s good enough for me. Give Cutler Burress and Moss and tell the NFC to get the fuck out of the way. STRAIGHT CASH HOMIE