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10 initial reactions from Bears-Chiefs

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Ten initial reactions from Thursday night's preseason opener vs. Kansas City before turning in:

1. The development with first-round pick Chris Williams is unfortunate. The team is preaching optimism right now and plans to keep a space for him on the 53-man roster. That's all well and good, but this is the same group of people who were saying Williams would be out a week with back spasms. There is no way of telling how his recovery will go and what effects, if any, it will have on his career longterm.

It turns out where there was smoke there was fire with draft day reports that medical concerns about Williams had him falling on some draft boards. This was the draft to find a left tackle and this situation just keeps getting more confusing.

2. Quarterback play might have been uninspiring as Kyle Orton and Rex Grossman could not manage a drive longer than 37 yards, but the team that gets off the bus running did just that. Garrett Wolfe's 64 yards on seven carries led a 175-yard effort. Rookie Matt Forte got his feet wet with 10 touches and did a few nice things.

3. Was that really Brodie Croyle leading the Chiefs straight through the Bears' defense to open the game? Sure, the defense buckled down afterward but it had five opportunities to get off the field and Croyle and the Chiefs converted five third downs. That was more alarming than the inability of the first offense or the hybrid first offense with Grossman in the second quarter to get a touchdown.

4. Nice to see rookie seventh-round pick Kirk Barton get some work at right tackle with some of the first team players in the second quarter. Sure, he doesn't have any experience but the Bears need to see what they have in-house before exploring free-agent options. You just don't find tackles looking for work in the second week of August without baggage, a couple suitcases full.

5. Looked like the starting defensive line got some decent pressure up front. But again, this is the Chiefs the Bears were going against. At least Kansas City has admitted its offense is in a rebuilding phase.

6. The makeshift offensive lines did something right. The only sacks of the night came when Orton fumbled on his own and Grossman tripped on a teammate. The pass blocking was pretty solid but it looked like the Chiefs played it pretty vanilla without a ton of blitzing. I'll have to take a look at the tape to get a better idea on the number of pressures Kansas City brought, but Herm Edwards and Lovie Smith are good friends and they might have had a friendly agreement entering this one on blitzing. Still, solid pass blocking for the most part.

7. Rookie wide receiver Earl Bennett looked like the player we saw in May and June when he dropped that pass from Caleb Hanie in the two-minute drill. Not the player we've seen in Bourbonnais. That juggling drop by Marcus Monk didn't help him either. Looked like he saw a defender coming.

8. So after Hanie led scoring drives on his first two possessions, how long will it take for a movement to begin? Here's hoping he makes more of his opportunity than the great Ken Mastrole did with some scoring drives in garbage time.

9. Strong safety Kevin Payne got into the game early and racked up some tackles. Looked like he may have been a little out of position on a few plays in the passing game. He's still inexperienced and the team remains pretty high on him. His development in the preseason is worth keeping a close eye on.

10. Not sure anything will materialize beyond the phone call the Bears made to Fred Miller's agent. He indicated he's talking to some other teams but with his kids in school in the north suburbs his first choice is to stay here. He'll have to catch the game on TiVo. Miller was playing softball during the game and cranked out three home runs he reported by text message. Years of passing on linemen on the first day of the draft has caught up with the club, that's for sure.

10A. How about Grossman after the game when asked about his performance?

"When I did play ... it was all right."

Interpret that one as you wish.

We'll check in during the day with some more stuff.

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27 Comments

I figured before last night that the Bears would be about a six-win team in 2008.

This morning, I long for the days when I could make a wildly optimistic statement like that.

I feel sorry for next year's new GM and coaching staff having to clean up this mess.

Random thoughts:
--The Bears were not impressive.
--The O-line was good on pass coverage, but where's the run blocking?
--Forte was nice with the pass receptions, but not exactly the forceful back he was touted as. Maybe if he had a little blocking...
--Where was the Bears defense in the first half?
--Welcome to the Caleb Hanie era. If I was the Bears, he would be my starting QB. Really? Oh, yeah.
--Orton and Grossman were passable (sorry) but they had time to throw. The problems come (esp. for Grossman) when 350 lb. lineman are coming to kill them. Then you get either a) forced throws (incompletions/interceptions) or b) sacks. WHEN is this organization going to learn that neither of these guys is the answer? They are BOTH back-up level quarterbacks.
--Hanie seemed to have three things the Bears BADLY need: pinpoint passing, poise in the pocket under pressure, and speed when he has to run.

I know it's only the first pre-season game, but I'm still a little worried.

This was a dismal preseason opener. The fact that the starting defense allowed a pretty pathetic KC offense to take the ball all the way down the field, even after being driven back by penalties, does not bode well.
Grossman and Orton did nothing to inspire confidence. Brodie Croyle outplayed both of them (don't start talking about Hanie, first-team defenses would eat him up). The fumbling and stumbling will be noted, but the play that stood out to me was Grossman overthrowing an open Marty Booker on a key third down. For Rex to still have this inconsistency this far into his career tells me that it just isn't ever going to click with him.
On the plus side, Forte reminded me of Neal Anderson, a good north-south runner who makes decisive cuts and has good hands. With the shaky situation at wideout, the Bears should throw him, Wolfe and Hester out there in 4-and 5-wideout formations to at least create some mismatches.
Long season ahead. This looks like a 5-11 team.

--Where was the Bears defense in the first half?


Firts half or first drive Joe ???

After that opening drive by KC, the Bears first team defense pitche (4) consecutive three and outs. Three straight three and outs that held KC to (12) total yards.

I feel sorry for next year's new GM and coaching staff having to clean up this mess.


Funniy but farthest from the truth. The truth is that the McCaskey's are to cheap to fire the coaching staff and even the GM with up to (4) years left on some of these contracts.

Robert you are a sorry excuse for a fan! This is the first game and I saw some positives and some negatives but it's the first game and IT DON'T COUNT MORON!! so get back. They should take a look at Pennington as a care taker for Hanie and keep Orton as a quality backup which is what he is and get Wrecks out of here HE JUST DON'T GET IT!! I like Polite better than McKie but for a jumbo package in short yardage I'd use them both. Bazuin looks like a bust. Peterson is a special teams all the RB's were better and Barton looked good all you fair weather fans SHUT UP GO TO CHEESELAND.

I saw some good things in the game last night on the NFL network. Forte and run game looked good, the young o-line looked aggressive and Beekman( Kevin Armstead may be on to something here) was solid in his first performance, Barton also played well, even saw the Big Cheese get some time, they made some bone head mistakes on defense that cost us the game, and I would not worry about that now two key drives won it for the Chiefs the 1st one, and the one to end the half that put them up 14-3. The QB's managed the game but did not put points on the board, the hold on Olsen killed the first drive that should have resulted in a TD, they have some good young talent, now we have to "coach em up" to produce this season. At WR I thought Book just went through the motions he dropped two balls, as a vet we can't have that, let's go Book, do what you can do...they have a ways to go, but can be productive offensively, still not sure about Pennington, but if he's willing to come on board he might be worth a look, I still think Simms would be a better long-term fit...As for Miller hitting homeruns, its softball, I want to know if he's ready to hit someone in the mouth if he come back. Mike Brown 1-game down stay healthy my friend.....

One of the more annoying things I esaw in last night's game was the
conservative run called on third down prior to the Bear's final field goal.Third-string quarterback not withstanding, with that little time on the clock and that close to the Chief's end zone,why
not take at least one shot for a touchdown before settling for the field goal the Bear's eventually kicked anyway?This would have given the Bears an opportunity for 7 point lead late in the game.
If your going to put that much pressure on your third-string quarterback this early in the season, you could at least do it with some time left on the clock, instead of setting him up for the possibility of failure, which was exactly the way it played out.

Don't add my name to the negatives. It is too early. Were there more positives or negatives? A little of both. But it takes too much energy to be totally negative. I'm not one to act like the sky is falling. It is a severe blow to have your first pick go thru surgery and wonder what's going to happen. But we have to suck it up. I'd love to agree that some people sucked and I was right about them but I'd look goofy saying that a guy's career came down to looking bad at a preseason game. Let's see a pattern develope this year before we bring up what happened last year. Because the year before we had a bunch of linemen who were free agent signees who we didn't have much faith in and still they were good enough to go to the Super Bowl. I know that no one wants to relive 2006 because we didn't win the Super Bowl but I don't look at it as being all bad like so many want to. Sleep on it a little more and it won't seem so bad.

i think last night was ok for the first practice game. i know the 1st string defensed scared us all on the first drive, but they came out strong after that, all 3 and outs. i think our strong safety's kept getting burned on pass plays. we need to really find more speed there not just a run stopper.
whats up with all the penalties on special teams?
the line blocked good for pass plays. lovie kept running to the left side to test that part of the line. smart. they should move tait back to left. move st.clair to leftguard, and start the barton at righttackle at least for the next game just to see.
once k.jones is back we'll have 4 good backs. hanie looked good he's moblie in that pocket. orton looked ok.
just relax fans i think they will be ok.
beardown.

I pretty much agree with chitownbear. There were some real positives last night, and folks, including the reporters, really ought to take comfort in how well the team ran for the first preseason game. Remember, that could have been the plodding Benson starting instead of Forte. Run game and o-line were a solid B for this time of year. As to the QBs, let's decide on the standard: inspiring or just-getting-it-done? I'll take the latter for now, as it means fewer dumb mistakes. Orton was a B- and, yes, he can improve but he looked better than, oh, Grossman last year before getting benched. As to criticizing Orton for not getting a longer drive, why hasn't anyone mentioned Bradley's drop? One more bad performance from him and I suspect he's gone. And, YES, the makeshift offensive lines did something right. My goodness Biggs. Don't get effusive or anything. The game was a solid start to the...preseason. The PREseason. The main, best thing: It appears we have a running game. That's no small plus.

Brian P. in Zion,

I was being slightly facetious when I stated that the Bears' issues would become the problem of the next GM and coaching staff. Yes, the McCaskeys and the Board are the real villains here. Jerry and Lovie are just, well, not very good at their jobs.

However, if we start seeing a lot of empty seats on game day or are threatened with blackouts again, ownership and Ted P. will be forced to make somebody take the fall. At this point, it will have to be Jerry, whose list of failures and poor decisions is longer than my..., well, let's just say it's long. Lovie and staff could hang on for another year under a new GM, but as a fan, I hope not.

It all comes down to whether ownership thinks they are making money. If revenues aren't where they want them, they will not hesitate to cut loose Jerry, Lovie, Ted, Rex, anybody, to rectify that situation. And I think this year, it could come to that. Last season, for the final game, I was able to pick up front row 200-level club tickets on ebay for well under one third of their face value. And that was a team that had more potential than this one. How cheap are they gonna get this fall?

Well, another year and the same old stuff from the GUP. My two year old trips over her own feet less often than the GUP. For those that don't know, GUP is the "Grossman Uncertainty Principle". I've added the explaination below for your convenience.


The GUP explained:

Take the average quarterback rating of every top 10 qb in the NFL and then multiply by 1.1. Then do the same for every bottom feeding high school quarterback in the country and multiply by .7. Then put both numbers on a roulette wheel where 60% of the board is populated with the lower of the two numbers. Put all of your eggs (defense, wide receivers and running backs) on a single spot on the board and spin the wheel. That will give you your game outcome.

Then, if the lower number comes up, take the number of quality players not in the qb position and multiply by .95. The result will be the number of injuries sustained (some season long and some not) during the game due to Rex's inability to play consistently.

A few notables from last night. The QB battle, Grossman was helped out by Wolfe's run but he checked all the way down to the open Wolfe. On 3rd down he realized nothing was there and threw it away instead of forcing it. Orton tossed some ducks and looked like a chicken with his head cut off before his fumble. But the main difference was Rex threw strong to the sidelines where Orton had the recievers standing at the sidelines waiting for the ball. Those are the kind of passes that get picked off for TD's.

Forte looked hesitant but looked good on his one run to the outside and good catching the ball.

The D played good on 1st and 2nd downs but were terrible on 3rd!! always frustrating. McGowan & Payne were out of place a couple of times but were always around the ball. Urlacher looked a little slow but it's preseason. Williams and Wilson got a lot of time.

rookies other than Forte that stood out were Kellen Davis, he has porential. Bowman made a nice special teams play - showed some speed. it was also nice to see Bauzin on the field although he seemed to rush too wide alot.

We are not fools Jerry, stop peeing on our heads and telling us its raining. You are as proficient with first round picks as Chad Pennington is with his deep ball. LONG season ahead. Time to clean house on offense and go for Matt Stafford out of GA next year.

The most disgusting thing to me is how we're throwing this defense away. They're giving us a 6 or 7 year window of being a great defense, and Jerry Angelo has failed to piece together a worthwile offense.

Let's be smart about it, and put Williams on the DL. If he's not back until November at the earliest, let's not risk the roster spot and his future health by bringing him in after 4 months of inactivity. Just put him on the shelf for this season, and let's get by with St.Clair and whoever on the left side. We aren't counting on Grossman or Orton as the future, as neither has a long term deal currently, so them getting pummeled is not a huge deal. At least we know Orton can take a punch, right?

Bringing back Fred Miller is an even worse idea than sticking with St. Clair. At least St. Clair has a chance to move his feet and stay in front of the DE. For the rest of the season, you line up TE left, and you get by with what you have. We have to know what all of these bodies on the roster can do. Leave Tait on the right, and let the rest of them go for the LT spot. We bring back Williams next year, healthy, with a full offseason (and then some) with our strength and conditioning coaches, and his back should be solid for next year, when we will have a solid pass protector on the left, and whoever wins the job this year will have a chance to go after Tait's spot on the right (Kirk Barton perhaps?).

I know they want results from their 1st rounder this year, but they shouldn't do it at the expense of his career, one that hopefully will last 10-15 years. Forte, Harrison, Steltz, Bowman, and Bennett will have to be the draft class impact this year. That's not looking too bad right now.

First preseason game looked ok. They'll tigten up the screws. I was impressed with Hanie, Forte, Wolfe, and Kellen Davis. Caleb Hanie will be the starting quarterback in a year!

Haine was up against the 3rd team defense of KANSAS CITY. Lets not have the confetti raining down on the superbowl MVP just yet...

Day "The most disgusting thing to me is how we're throwing this defense away. They're giving us a 6 or 7 year window of being a great defense, and Jerry Angelo has failed to piece together a worthwhile offense."

That is absolutely true. Almost as disgusting as the great field position that is squandered every game from our awesome special teams unit. No Offense takes over at midfield and does absolutely NOTHING with it like the Chicago Bears!

Secret Quotes from yesterday between Lovie, Turner and Angelo.

Turner recieving the news on Williams: Well that's great, that's just fnnnnn' great, man. Now what the f@*^ are we supposed to do? We're in some real pretty $%!t now man...

Lovie reacting to Turner: Are you finished?

Turner: That's it man, game over man, game over! What the f are we gonna do now? What are we gonna do?

Angelo: Maybe we could build a fire, sing a couple of songs, huh? Why don't we try that?

Angelo discussing the offense

Angelo: Lovie! Look... we can't have any scoring in there. I, uh... I want you to collect playbooks from everybody.

Turner: Is he fnnnn' crazy?

Lovie: What the hell are we supposed to use man? Harsh language?

After the Game

Angelo: Lovie, meet me at the south lock. Im coming in.

Lovie: Roger that

Turner: [to Lovie] He's comin' in. I feel safer already.

Angelo: What did you two think of the teams performance tonight?

Turner: We're on an express elevator to h@ll; going down!

Lovie: You secure that $^!t, Turner!

Turner: Hey, maybe you haven't been keeping up on current events, but we just got our @$$^$ kicked, pal!


Intersting points here...

The one suggestion of putting Williams on IR since he won't be available for (12) weeks at the minimum makes a lot of sense....

Perhaps JA does just that in a few weeks and either adds a veteran O-tackle that gets casted off when teams start trimmimg their rosters down or maybe even work out a trade with a team that has a surplus of good O-lineman. Cleveland is one of those teams and they have built a very good O-line the past few years, getting one of their back ups makes sense and would serve as a backup here behind Tait and St.Claire. .

I did like how the O-line held their own, Oakley, Beekman, Barton and Cheese Adams all looked good even Tyler Reed took reps at Gaurd and did well. Hopefully the trend continues and we actually get a welcomed surprise by finding out that a couple of these kids can contribute and help improve our O-line.

Caleb Haine looked impressive and as stated above, he did do it agianst KC's scrubs but the one thing I liked was his poise. The kid sat in the pocket, ran when he needed to and stepped up and made solid throws.

I agree that Caleb will be at least the #2 QB next season and perhaps gets a legit shot at being the starter. The kid has all the tools, strong arm, good pocket pressence, can actually run !!! good size and has GUNS to boot...... He just needs some time to develop but in a few years this kid could be the next Tony Romo !!


Ron Turner is a horrible offensive coordinator. So vanilla and cautious. When will the Bears learn?

Same as before. The Bears offence plays their down and out game, no matter who they are against. The other teams plan is the same as every team that play the Bears. Throw at Tillman. Next week it will be the same. What is this insane love affair with Turner? They will end up firing him or take a bullet because of him.

A Bradley drop and he should consider being cut? A drop pass in the first preseason game? A missed tackle and a team going down the field on the first drive and we should just forget about the season? Do you guys actually read your stuff before you send it? You guys fret over every single thing that goes on. We have Ron Turner being called garbage because he's working with the garbage that Angelo gave him. Ron didn't draft or go out and get not one free agent other than Lloyd but he's worthless because he hasn't made Rex or Kyle into Favre without having a good line, a decent back or an average set of receivers? And Lovie has to worry too because he can't make $#!! into shinola? Maybe if my boss was inept at his job all the time I should be fired because he keeps giving me half of a team to work with. Sounds reasonable? I didn't see 5 or 6 sacks so why are people crying about the line? Did we average less than 3 yards a carry? There were dropped passes and guys actually had penalties that killed drives but this is preseason. All the negatives that people want to drive into everyone else's head isn't a pattern that is set for THIS year. Wait until after we've set some patterns with some resounding losses in regular season games. For all those guys who want to see only the negatives ask the people closest to you if you are a pessimist by nature and don't be surprised at what they say. Talking about stats and last year doesn't mean jack and shouldn't mean jack. Guys get better after a year of seasoning and what they did last year barely adds up. We had fans cry all through 2006 about this and that and they didn't get to enjoy even the wins because they were pondering what they felt would be the next negative. They shut up for weeks until after we lost the Super Bowl and then they came back talking the negatives. Get over it. We aren't a Favre short of making the Super Bowl, again. We have a lot of below average players who aren't going to match up against a lot of teams even if we managed to make half time adjustments. The talent isn't there. But I haven't questioned any of their hearts yet and I will wait until any of them show me less heart than the guy he's going against. The only thing I'm disappointed in is that the positive guys who always admonish me for thinking anything negative about this team past or present isn't coming out and spreading that positivity when the real fans need it most. Go fans and Go Bears!

Jerry and Lovie are wrong for the job??? Now I hate losing the SB more than anything but wake the f up! Who got us that chance? That same chance we haven't had since 19f85!!!! Someone did that and I believe that JA was here at that time too? Now I agree JA has not drafted offense - but Forte looks like the real deal, and Williams you can't make a judgement on till he plays, (they said new inj.)
You all know my stance on us not drafting enough Oline, and even compounding the problem with no FA Oline, (this year) and everyone here knows I can not stand that fact from JA - but the one thing that sticks is the fact we had a chance at the big game and blew that with, I feel by not blitzing Manning enough, not by bad GM I blame Rivera for not calling enough blitzes, letting Manning sit back and throw is not a brilliant idea.
But bottom line to me is we had a shot with the same GM/Coach you guys are calling for their heads. Someone gets credit for that - who? You guys maybe huh? Over 20 years untill a shot and you want to fire the GM/Coach that got us that 20 YEAR shot? We need Oline for sure but we had some decent run yards huh? Give it a couple games, Actually I would like to see Williams left on the team to keep him motivated for rehab.

I disagree with the Offensive drafts but still he got us there after 20 years and thats not an easy thing to do in Chicago.

I have to disagree with a few things...

Everyone keeps saying that Angelo neglected the O-line for so long but that just isn't accurate. His first draft choice was Mark Columbo. He would have been a fixture here at LT if he didn't suffer that horrendous knee injury that took him the better part of (4) years to recover from. Remember he rehabbed with the Bears for (2) seasons and never could show he regained his legs so Angelo cut his losses and moved on. He latched onto Dallas and road the pine for another year before he cracked their line up and is now a solid starter for them.

Angelo brought in free agents like John Tait, Fred Miller and Rueben brown while they still had some play left in them and they played well for us and helped us get to the SB in 2006. Age caught up to both Fred and Rueben players in 2007 and are gone now but Angelo did invest draft picks in Terrance Metcalf, Tyler Reed, Josh Beekman, picked up Anthony Oakley, Codey Balough and Mark Lavoir and most recently drafted Barton and Chester Adams. The Bears only keep (8) O-lineman on the roster not counting Mannely being a specialist and back up Center. That's not a lot of room to stash Lineman and obviously we have had poor returns on Metcalf so far and odds are he is going to be cut once he is cleared to return to practice. At $1.48 million and not beable t obeat out a trio of inexperienced players in Beekman, Reed and Adams tyou aint going to cut it on the 53-man roster.

Bye Bye Terrance.....

Ok Brad...the Suntimes has been in my opinion a bit Biased against My GUY...Rex Grossman- what's with the failure to report some truths when it comes to the qb battle? IF Kyle makes a mistake it's almost overlooked, and Rex's mistakes are sure to make a headline.

What's the deal with that? In the first preseason game- Kyle fumbles a ball all on his own- Not much is said about it- and Rex GET'S STEPPED on by an O-lineman and falls back- causing a particular reporter to link that to Football Follies? Please lets lose the bias. Because it's just not fair! I have seen this type of stuff throughtout training camp. Let's not give the Booing public more fodder for the hate! I want a fair report- please! Thanks Go Bears (go Rex)

Patrick is right on Brad! You forgot to mention that not only did Rex have an embarassing blunder (falling back) equal to Kyle's blunder (untouched fumble), but Rex made his mistake against the *second stringers* of K.C. no less!

You may also want to report on how often other QBs around the league fall down after taking the snap b/c it's absolutely, 100% no big deal! Why, doesn't it happen to Tom Brady all the time?

Sometimes I just can't take how the media goes after a professional football player who makes millions for "fumbling a snap" or just "falling down for no reason." You guys were all over Rex on that preseason game against the Colts last year. Why, all he did was fumble the snap THREE, count 'em, THREE times! Three isn't a big number. You know?

Let's try and not leave out all the facts next time. Ok. Mr. Biggs? Ok then.

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This page contains a single entry by Brad Biggs published on August 8, 2008 1:53 AM.

GM Jerry Angelo on Chris Williams' back surgery was the previous entry in this blog.

Dollars and sense: The Chris Williams deal is the next entry in this blog.

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