Chicago Sun-Times

After coaches' review ... Brown has career game

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Veteran free safety Mike Brown was credited with 17 tackles by coaches after they finished reviewing game tape.

That's a career-high for Brown, whose previous high was 13 at Washington in the 2005 season opener.

It marks the second straight game a safety led the team in tackles, which means plays are finishing up downfield.

Charles Tillman was second with 11 tackles and Lance Briggs and Brian Urlacher were each credited with nine.

Defensive tackle Tommie Harris made one and now has two for the season.

Brown leads the team for the year with 26, followed by Tillman at 24 and the Pro Bowl linebackers at 23 apiece.

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Uh, I don't know who writes your headlines, but Mike Brown did not have a "career game." In fact, he didn't even have a good game by his standards. As I said in another thread, this is a guy who usually makes game-changing and game-winning impact plays, and he's done nothing along those lines so far this season. The last good game he had was his only one last season, in San Diego. Along with Tommie Harris and Brian Urlacher, the lack of impact plays from Brown has been the main reason the Bear defense has not dominated the end of the last two games.

It's never good when any secondary player leads the team in tackles for a game, not to mention the season. The Bears' aggressive defense isn't getting to the quarterback enough. Bringing up the linebackers almost every play has begun to hurt them. It was apparent in yesterday's game when the Buccaneers made the necessary adjustments and exploited the defense. This is the NFL and running the same formations over and over again just won't work. Babich needs to go back to the drawing board and figure out how to get pressure with just the front four. I have never seen a team get burned by quick slants and 5 yard in-routes as much as the Bears were yesterday. What that tells me is the linebackers are either blitzing (which they've been doing alot) or not dropping into their zones fast enought. Either way, those problems need to be fixed immediately, or this team will be facing a 1-3 record after this weekend.

Lotta people are putting alot of blame on the D for loosing Sunday. Well I think all 3 phases should be to blame.

Gould missing a field goal, Rasheed Davis and Clark dropping TDs passes, Brad Maynards inability to pin offenses back and the Ds poor gap play.

Kinda weird the the whole offseason most blogs were consentraded on the O-Line, QB and the Wide Outs. Boy how quick does the tables turn. 2005 wasnt looking so hot at the begining of the season but they pulled it out in the end. I feel the Bears will work out the kinks and start playing 60 minutes Look for a Bears win Sunday over the Eagles and then a 8 game winning streak.

It is early and I hope I'm wrong but the dismal loss and the lack of discipline exhibited by the Tillman is a reflection of the coaching. It slipped way back when Thomas Jones/Cedric Benson knocked it turns out, they knocked heads because Cedric was lazy and wouldn't practice seriously. It got so bad that Jones, a team leader, took a swing at him and for his leadership, he got traded. That kind of move makes leadership look matter what business you are in. Then, leadership didn't bring back Rivera...nail #2. Nail #3 was giving Grossman the starting job without earning it. Lastly, the team lost heartbreaking games like San Diego and injuries mounted. Players lost faith in leadership and played like individuals...this goes on until the end of the season when players realize that jobs are on the line and they can be spoilers...the finality of the season sets in and they play with intensity.

Tillman was more concerned about principle and his ego than winning a game. This is a reflection of leadership. Gruden's players were willing to take a punch to win the game...the Bears weren't even willing to take an insult!

Most teams are basically 8 and 8 when the season starts...they are very close in terms of talent...think standard normal curve here. Dumb, unmotivated teams lose some games and become 6 and 10 teams....some take advantage of those close games and breaks and go 10 and 6 and make the playoffs. The Bears just gave two games away so that puts them in the lower category...a hole to dig out of and they are going to play one of the toughest teams on their schedule Sunday. If my guess is right about leadership losing grip of the team then this makes this game maybe the most important of the season...lose it and leadership will lose the players faith. Win it, you have a stay of execution.

Things that need to be done immediatly...
Serve notice to Bob Babich that if his unit doesn't WIN games, he can look for employement elsewhere at the seasons end...Lovie, make the play-offs or look for employement elsewhere. That will provide motivation for leadership to WIN...not protect ego.

Tommie Harris...Do not let Tommie decide how many snaps he gets. He has a snap clause escalator in his contract. He needs to earn his snaps from Rookie Marcus Harrison and Idonoje!

Rashied Davis needs to spend a few weeks sitting at home...go back to last year on film and you'll see some key dropped passes as well. No Bear reciever has had more key drops per attempt than Rashied. Contemplate that at home and lets see what we have with Mark Bradley and the Rookie Earl Bennet. Motivate them and make them earn their playing time.

Don't forget Kevin Jones...give him the ball at least 10 times every game.

Give Daniel Manning a chance at Safety again...Kevin Payne and Mike Brown or doing ok but not enough. Motivate the veterans and WIN...don't just play hard. They aught to know that by now, but I suspect the Leadership has not made the distinction clear or it would have never even entered Peanut's mind to throw a punch in OT on the 10 freaking yardline on 4th down! If he were a team player...he would have watched his fellow player be mauled while calling all the while to the officials to throw the flag...just think about the punter with his heals on the back of the endzone punting to Vasher...he probably would have returned into field goal range from there!

Bears are losing games..not winning them. That is attitude so lets change it now before we sink into last years funk! Go Bears

Sorry for the long message...I had a lot to get off my chest and now feel better. In my professional life, I am called upon to motivate people so while I don't manage a football team, I think the basics are similar and certainly people are people.


Mouser - couldn't agree with you more... a lot of overpaid, complacent prima donnas. You can't just play them because of their salary - they MUST produce.


Outstanding take. Don't apologize for the length, a good read.

Mouser: "Most teams are basically 8 and 8 when the season starts...they are very close in terms of talent...think standard normal curve here. Dumb, unmotivated teams lose some games and become 6 and 10 teams....some take advantage of those close games and breaks and go 10 and 6 and make the playoffs. The Bears just gave two games away so that puts them in the lower category...a hole to dig out of and they are going to play one of the toughest teams on their schedule Sunday. If my guess is right about leadership losing grip of the team then this makes this game maybe the most important of the season...lose it and leadership will lose the players faith. Win it, you have a stay of execution."

I am both fascinated and intrigued by your ideas and would like to subscribe to your newsletter :-)

Seriously, you hit the nail on the head. I spent years as a pro handicapper looking at teams, seasons, etc. It's lost on most casual fans just how close a team is from 10-6 to 6-10. The bottom line is Chicago blew two games that they should have won so I'll be shocked if they finish above .500 much less make the playoffs.

I'm not counting them out yet, but when you can't close out games, you can't win at any level.

Mouser, you are exactly right. Great analysis. Just to add a few points -

Marty Booker needs to step up, or move on. In 3 games his impact has been very slight. Brandon Rideau might be a better option.

Penalties and stupid plays are both signs of a poorly coached team. That means Lovie needs to start enforcing some discipline and getting these guys to play the right way. If he can't, then he needs to leave.

Dan Buenning needs to get a shot as soon as he knows the play book. The line is right on the edge of being decent, he just might take them over.

Finally, Briggs, Urlacher, and Harris need to earn their salaries. They all got paid big money, and they are all playing no better than fair. Dollar for dollar, the Bears aren't getting the value from this defense that they should be.


It's time to bring back Rivera....just wishing.
Ever since Rivera was shown the door, this defense has not performed on a regular basis. Babich is not a defensive coordinator.
Come to think of it, Lovie isn't a head coach either.
But they do have the titles.
Lovie and Babich should do the honorable thing and step down.
But they aren't honorable so I hope Virgina sees the writting on the wall and kicks their as_es out of this organization and I hope its hard enough so they feel it for a long time.
The sooner the better.

Congrats mouser great points, Tom I agree let's add time to look at the potential to replace Kreutz as well. I have noticed a steady decline for three years and Garza is a good guy but not strong at point of attack. This whole thing starts with Angelo and Smith this is the most pampered bunch of prima donnas and Angelo is paying big money for mediocrity. Yeah it's good to pay your core players but if the core is rotten what's the point. (1) Urlacher looks like he is unsure, passive and is beig taken out of the mix by getting caught up in the line of scimmage with this blitz package thats why the safeties are getting so many tackles (2) Tommie Harris is hurt he is playing on one leg, (3) both coordinators have no clue both are predictable and easy to read giving opposing teams late game opportunities to exploit them. (4) J.T. Sullivan was told he couldn't make this team because of Grossman was the starter. (5) Lovie are you there? He stands there with that lost look. I have been a Bear fan for 40+ years and Smith is over-rated, Angelo is clueless Phillips get some guts except this is a mess stop the madness. You didn'twant a class act like Singletary to learn on the fly but you allowed Lovie to. It's time to change this is stale.

Well OK now I'm confused. Yesterday I said we were not hearing Brown's name called, and now this? It really doesn't make sense.

Saying Mike Brown had a career game in that game is like saying Kobe had a career game by scoring 60 in a 10 point loss. A stat like that is a symptom of a team problem. 17 tackles by the free safety usually means is that the rest of the team was half asleep. But they weren't. They played a bad 4th quarter, but the rest of the game was OK.

A career game by Mike Brown would be 8 tackles, 2 picks and a fumble caused. 17 tackles by the free safety means to me that the front 7 are not getting it done.

"Defensive tackle Tommie Harris made one and now has two for the season."

How is that not the most important stat.

This defense is starting games strong, then they run out of gas. They need to practice harder so they can last an entire game.

Dont forget ortons awful Interceptions either, isnt that why he is starting over Grossman. Those were just sad plays, And sure the stats show orton had a good game, but even the long balls he did complete were way under thrown jump balls. We wont be winning any shoot outs this year, so the Defense better start playing better.

A little off topic, but does anyone know why the organization is so down on Bradly? Aside from the injuries he seemed like he had alot of upside.

I too put more of the blame on the D than the O. Yes, the WRs and TEs have been dropping balls and fumbling them. But the lack of pressure from the front four is going in reverse -- fast. As for M. Brown having 17 tackles and that being a reflection of poor up front play it is both true and not true. True for the reasons others have posted. Not true because 67 of the 84 Bucs O plays were passes (79%) and if a team is passing that much it means two things: 1) your D backfield should make the tackles and 2) they can't run on you.

Still this team needs to shake things up -- minor at first but it could be major soon. On the O, WRs and TEs with drops and fumbles should be rotated out for others. On the D, Graham and Harrison and J. Williams should play more. Players that get dumb 15 yd penalties should be grabbing bench should rather than later.

This is an average team that needs to play 100% smart to win games. It is only 80% smart and when it makes its dumb plays the team has paid the price.

I have to agree 100% Wally. Everyone is way too quick to swallow the Kyle Orton kool aid. All those deep thrown balls were underthrown jump balls. On the Forte int he was wide open and that ball was way underthrown. Not drinking it. I'd rather take Rex and his mistakes and sexy deep ball (haha) than a lucky QB.

The play of T Harris has been not up to his usual level. I wonder how bad his knee really is considering we heard multiple reports in the preseason that it was a serious problem and he might miss extended action. Harris is the kind of player to play through pain. I'm sure that has something to do with it.

Val, I don't see where Rivera would be an upgrade over Babich at this point. The BEARS problems on defense are that they are no finishing games or sustaining dominance for 60 minutes. We do have an issue with covering the TE. Payne is getting straight lined in his coverage and getting beat to the outside, while Hunter is too slow to cover at this point and getting beat over the middle and on seam patterns for long gains. He was exposed in coverage at the end of the game TD Tampa used to tie up the game. Might be time to use Williams in coverage on 2& long and 3rd & long plays to take TE out of the equasion. Defense is not getting the job done, but Rivera is not the answer. Dominance is a mentality, and the BEARS must regain that if they are to make a playoff run, Lovie needs to have a hard talk or run them in practice to get them in shape to finsih ballgames.

What the heck are the Bears smoking I only had like 5 tackles in the game.

Biggs break out the Tivo and count my tackles and see if you can find 17, it's like where's Waldo but with me.

Well I actually watched the game over and counted all the tackles. Mike Brown had 100 tackles and the Bears D had 50 sacks and a great game, the offense scored 100 points and Orton ran for 5 td's, they also won the game.

Problem with the Bears the Bears offense is ranked about 15th in the NFL averaging 23 points a game. Small Problem take out the 9 points scored by the D in game one, the 7 points scored by special teams in game two and the two gimme field goals given too the Bears offense by special teams and the D this week and the Bears offense is scoring 16 points a game, given there average starting position and Matt Forte's running and this is a joke. Orton is averaging 189 yards a game after his big game this week and has a 79 passer rating, thats actually not bad, it's not great but it's not horrible. However he has netted the Bears one TD as a passer in 3 games and thats as bad as it gets. He has 2 TD's and 2 INT's also not good. Outside of short passes he is usless.

The D is average, it's very good against the run but that comes at the expense of the pass where they are ranked 28th in the league. What they do do really well is take aways and scoring, what they do really bad is make a lot of mistakes in coverage and get stupid penalties.

All that said the Bears get to play detroit twice, St. Louis once, Houston, Atlanta, Jags and Saints(who they have owned over the last two years) those should all be wins. You can make an argument for the Jags and Atlanta, I also think the Saints have a real good shot at beating them. This team could go 9-7 real easy with a schedual like this, then again with the way there playing they could also be 7-9 real easy. Without a doubt they have 6 easy wins they should get. The games at Atlanta and Minn will tell you if this team will have a winning season. If you want to turn around your season Detroit and Atlanta are a good place to start. Win both and three 3-3, then you have Minn at home which they should win and then Detroit again. That should be 4 wins in a row easy. To me Atlanta is pivotal.

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This page contains a single entry by Brad Biggs published on September 22, 2008 4:03 PM.

Initial thoughts: Griese's performance a disaster for more than Bears' D was the previous entry in this blog.

Play time analysis: Harris stayed on the field vs. Bucs is the next entry in this blog.

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