Chicago Sun-Times

Ten random thoughts on the meltdown in Carolina

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Ten random thoughts on today's 20-17 victory by the Panthers at Bank of America Stadium:

1. Have you ever seen a home team have more trouble with false starts? The Panthers picked up five in the first half and it looked like several of them were the product of Jake Delhomme trying to sort out what the Bears were doing defensively at the line of scrimmage. Delhomme was barking out some calls and the play clock was running low and his guys couldn't maintain their stances. Carolina was making about every mistake you could think of and the Bears simply didn't capitalize enough.

2. The most bothersome thing about Greg Olsen's two lost fumbles is neither looked to be the product of a jarring hit. Thomas Davis got the first one out and Chris Harris accurately described the second one. He compared it to playing lazy defense in basketball and going for the pickpocket when you're behind your man. When there are huge hits, fumbles happen for even the most sure-handed carriers.

Olsen's first fumble took probably at least three points off the scoreboard. He wasn't going anywhere on the second-and-seven play from the Carolina-25-yard line, so the Bears would have been facing third and a decent distance, but that's in Robbie Gould's wheelhouse right there. It could have been 10-0 midway through the first quarter. As far as the second fumble, that happened deep in the Bears end, that gave a team desperately seeking momentum just that.

He wasn't the only one who had a bad game. Just off the top, there was at least one drop for Rashied Davis and one penalty. Davis, who started, caught three passes for 11 yards. Brandon McGowan had two penalties, one of the uncalled for 15-yard variety following the blocked punt touchdown, before he was injured.

3. Jonathan Stewart looked like a beast running for the Panthers in the second half. He had 76 of his 77 yards after halftime. It can't be long before he's starting ahead of DeAngelo Williams. But Matt Forte made some nice runs and a few good looking cuts when there were holes to get through. The Bears ran the ball fairly effectively. The one bothersome call was the handoff to Jason McKie on fourth-and-one at the 50-yard line with two minutes to play. The Bears showed McKie earlier in first-and-goal at the one. They showed him in the same situation the week before at Indianapolis. When he ran on the field after the failed third-and-one pass to Marty Booker, who watching the game didn't know the ball was going to him? The Panthers were not fooled and he never had a chance.

4. Strong safety Kevin Payne looked to have a better game than he did at Indianapolis. He stepped up in the run game and made a big hit on Williams carrying the ball in the first quarter. It looked like Payne tied up tight end Jeff King when the ball bounced up in the air long enough for Charles Tillman to intercept it, the 18th pick of his career.

5. Ron Turner needs to take a look through the playbook and see where he can dial up some more big-play chances downfield. Brandon Lloyd looks to have the best rapport with Orton right now and he made a nice catch on a back-shoulder pass that went for 32 yards in the first quarter to get the offense out from deep in its own end. There were a few shots downfield--Orton just missed Booker in the fourth quarter--but they are going to have to get more proficient in this area. You need to be able to get chunks from time to time because those 80-yard drives are difficult to put together, four, five and six yards at a time.

6. If Devin Hester misses time with what has been called a rib injury, could we see rookie third-round pick Earl Bennett returning punts soon? Bennett wasn't the mos sure-handed returner in camp and preseason (he also wasn't the most sure-handed receiver) but will the Bears hesitate to have cornerback Nathan Vasher returning punts and being further exposed to injury? We all know what happened to the secondary last season when Vasher was not out there.

Catching the ball is the first order of business for a return man, and Vasher is good at that. He looked nifty on an 18-yard return too. Bennett has been inactive for the first two games.

7. Quietly, defensive end Alex Brown had a solid game. He's got two sacks now and he also added two tackles for loss, a quarterback hurry and a pass defense.

8. Muhsin Muhammad might be on to something. He thinks linebacker Lance Briggs will get a little unwanted mail from the league office later this week for his stop of quarterback Jake Delhomme. The quarterback was sliding and it didn't necessarily look late but it did appear that Briggs tagged Delhomme in the head with his shoulder. There's no way this will be at the top of the list for the league to sort out when it comes to officiating. That Denver-San Diego finish was a fiasco.

9. Rhys Lloyd, the Panthers kickoff specialist, was touted as the guy with the big leg in this meeting. But Robbie Gould topped him 2-1 in touchbacks. Gould tweaked his approach on kickoffs this season with a goal of adding distance and hang time and so far, so good.

10. Care to think how this would have turned out if Steve Smith was in uniform for the Panthers?

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first off im not blaming this all on olsen. atleast when he fumbled the bears had lots of time to make up for it. you cant blame anything on the defense they done there job, and anyone would get tired being out there that long. im gonna put some blame on turner and orton also, first off if you have 3 and 1 to go why not hand it to forte and have him pound it? then when you dont get it why in the hell wouldnt you hand it to forte that time? i think orton audibled waaaayyyyy to much, just get in there and run the play. btw orton, DONT throw it down field anymore, your no good at it!!! i do have to give it up for Lloyd hes playing good so far, keep it up.

that denver and san diego game was a joke!!! the refs need to stick there whistles in there pockets, that way they wont blow them to fast! a fumble is a fumble and whoever gets it should get the ball, way to go ED

The most egregious plays that cost the Bears the game were the two fumbles by Greg Olsen and the failure of the offense to score a touchdown when it was first and goal from the Panther eight yard line in the first half. Many other plays can be singled out, but teams that make the mistakes I identified will not win games.

The Bears are who we thought they were. This is a team that can be pretty good- if they make NO errors and play hard and alert for 60 minutes. Otherwise, they are nobodys.

Hopefully, they will now shut their mouths and prepare for their next game. And if they happen to pull out a win, hopefully it won't be greeted with so much hubris by the players and the die-hard core of fans who believe this team can do no wrong.

McGowan looked awful, how can he make the team when Chris Harris wasn't good enough to play here?

Mark this day as the first call for Hanie! Orton will continue revealing his stupidity, Grossman's gone at the end of the season and I expect public scutany to propel Hanie by the 10th game. Every play Orton changed failed! He does NOT have "It"! He doesn't even get "It"! Forte gets 9 yards on first down, on 2nd & 1 with a running back averaging 4 yards per carry, some jackass calls for a pass play, incomplete, 3rd & 1 Orton's spectacular play calling, incomplete, 4th & 1 Duhhhhhhh....... My 10 year old son was yelling at the TV to hand off to Forte all three downs! And next time they want to go long, they need to put Grossman in for one play, Orton thinks long means as far as he can throw it, what a dip sh*t! And to think I pay Direct TV $200.00 every year, to see the Bears from Atlanta, for this crap! Maybe, I'm the dip sh*t!

Great analysis Biggsey.

I agree completely with you on Item 5. I have never seen Orton complete a big play-action or deep ball down field...EVER!

People on this board think I hate Orton. I don't. I just hate watching him miss his recievers in key situations, particularly downfield, over and over and over and over. You say he needs to "work on it". But really, he's been with the club since 2005, is he ever gonna get it?

You know, Rex might be a headcase. But I'm starting to worry that Orton has a five cent head.

Watching Aaron Rodgers, Jay Cutler, and even Joh Kitna makes me sick. Are we ever gonna get a QB that can really command the offense? Move around outside of the pocket and make plays downfield?


The Bears will never win a game if trailing with this offense and with Orton. He can't make plays. Yippee, no INTs!!! but guess what? No TDs too. Grossman may have made the boneheaded plays at times, but he also could make a lot of really good plays. Think Orton leads the Bears back the way Rex did last year against Denver? The Bears dropped the ball on this season by giving Orton the job over the only guy on that team capable of making big plays and putting up points. It almost seemed like a PR move to make the Boo Birds happy, well, here you go Boo Birds, Kyle Orton, hope you're happy with him and a 6-10 season. But hey, at least that "awful" Rex is on the bench, he and his ability to take this same exact team to a Super Bowl....cause when you look at it, there isn't much of a difference between this team and the 06 team, except for QB, cause I'll argue that Forte is better than Jones and K. Jones is better than Benson. So really, this is a 6-10 team with Orton and with Grossman, who knows...maybe playoffs, maybe a super bowl, he's done it before, but then YOU the fan decided to run him out of town in favor of Grieses and Ortons...BRILLIANT!!!!

Dang it we lost! I was hoping to hear the homies start up with their... The Bears are going undefeated! and Lovie is a genius!

If Greg Olsen doesn't fumble twice the Bears still win this game.

Penalties by McKie and Davis killed the Bears in crucial situations that stopped drives and forced punts.

Ron Turner is becoming predictable again and that was his biggest fault last year too.

Orton cannot complete passes of more than 10 yds downfield often enough for anyone to expect him to win a game for his team when behind in the 4th quarter. A good QB is not on this roster so choose your poison.

Matt Forte is the best RB to become a Bear since Payton.

John St. Claire was manhandled by Julius Peppers all game and looked like the weak link in the chain of the offensive line. Peppers is a great player though, so he had his hands full.

Why is Bradley on this roster? Rideau would help them so much more.

B you sound like you have no idea of what you are talking about. You just answered your own question as to why Grossman is on the bench. He doesn't get it and he will make the costly turnover (i.e. interceptions, fumbles and sacks), Orton's only mistake was depending on a offensive line that is just not real good to do it's job, Any offensive line that can't get 1 yard in a clutch situation is pitiful so you can blame Orton all you want but Forte is what is making this bad offensive line look respectable, and the right QB is playing for the time being. You have no clue.

Alright, will you morons just can it? Especially you "B". We lost by three points to a pretty good team. Three points. They have a great D led by turnover king Chris Harris (sigh), an above average QB when healthy and a rookie RB that would make Earl Campbell proud.

So no, the sky isn't falling.

Without question this would have been a W if a.) Olsen hadn't fumbled twice or b.) Orton could make the deep throws, but unfortunately it turned out the way it did. Hell, teams have weaknesses and they make mistakes. Ask Carolina.

I have no gripes about Turner's play calling. He called a pretty good game actually. Our guys simply didn't execute. Personally I would have given the ball to Forte on 4th and 1, but McKie might have made it if Kellen Davis didn't miss his block.

Anyway, congrats to Moose on surpassing the 10,000 yd mark and to Chris Harris for making a name for himself. We still have a great defense, with a healthy Mike Brown and Dusty, an awesome STs, and great RBs. Let's look forward to next week and see what happens. We're a good team so kock off this "6-10" B.S.

You know what's more predictable than Ron Turner's play-calling? All the fair-weather fans who praised the Orton over Rex decision and are now calling for Rex again. FYI, Orton can throw deep. Sure, he missed yesterday a couple times, but he completed a 50 yd bomb TD pass to Devin Hester in the Saints game last season and he will do it again soon. The Bears lost this game because we did not play sound football - penalties, 2 fumbles, poorly executed plays. It's not because Orton lacks the skills to win a professional football game. C'mon, the guy is like 13 - 7 as a starter. So shut up about Rex and the long ball. He sucks. Orton is not going to go to any pro bowls, but he's our best option. If we don't turn the ball over so many times next week will be 2-1.

Biggs, why no random thoughts on Orton?

Kyle Orton Season Stats:
32 of 53 for 299 yds
5.6 yd Avg
0 TD's
0 Int's (5 passes directly into Defenders hands, but dropped. 1 would have been returned for TD)
2 Fumbles (0 lost)
3 Sacks for -22 yds

In yesterdays game he was something like 1 for 8 or 1 for 9 on passes 15+ yds.

Kyle Orton = Horrible


That may have been the dumbest thing I've read yet. Rex Grossman could take this team to the Super Bowl? C'mon Mrs. Grossman, quit trying to chastise us fans.

So we're clear, you think that Kyle Orton lost this game? It wasn't the two fumbles by Olsen? It wasn't the special teams (sans the blocked punt) that had Chicago starting 7 of 13 drives inside their own 20? It wasn't the 17-point second-half meltdown by the defense? It was Orton?

I think there are a lot of coaches and players - including Orton - who deserve the blame for this loss. But telling people that Grossman would lead us to the Super Bowl is beyond retarded. Telling anyone with ANY football knowledge that Orton was solely responsible for this loss is like Jerry's Kids retarded and we should hold a frickin' telethon for you.

Orton flat out missed on two deep plays for certain. There were a couple of others where he deliberately threw the ball away deep as the coverage was too tight. But he made some good throws as well. Olsen killed two drived because of lazy ball security, and Ron Turner killed our last chance by taking the ball out of the hands of Orton and Forte and giving it to Jason McKie on the exact same play we had run every time we had short yardage all through the preseason and in week 1 (not to mention once already in the same game). Our best short yardage plays of the last 2 seasons were play action tosses to the tight end running up the seam. Why not give your playmakers a chance to keep the drive going.

The playcalling is flat-out shameful by Turner. He is so predictable, no matter who the QB was. Griese, Grossman, and Orton are working from a limited imagination, which means so is the opposing defense. Something has to be done. Orton needs to get better at hitting the deep route, but we also need to get better at confusing the defense so he can. Olsen needs to spend all week getting stripped by Tillman so he learns how to secure the ball, and the offensive line needs a kick in the pants to get off the ball better. This team will be 6-10 playing like this, especially without Hester in the return game for any length of time.


With Rex Grossman we have options that go beyond the hitch routes and flat passes to the fullbacks. With Grossman you have a high risk, high reward type quarterback. What many uninformed football posters don't know is that football is a team sport. And when Grossman was terrible starting last year, the blame can not go strictly on him. If you know football you know how bad the oline was, how bad the recievers were and how bad the running game was.

Now if Grossman had a improved oline from last year(which it seems this year they do) and a highly better product in the backfield(Forte) and much more reliable recievers(Lloyd) he would be a much better player. Now for the fat drunk losers who booed him in preseason and last year, they don't understand. I don't think Tom Brady would have been able to throw with that little of time from the oline pocket collapsing.

Now onto why Grossman can succeed. Grossman excels at the play action pass, you all should remember that in Septemer of 06 when the running game was churning and the play action pass was setting up huge passes. Why? Because in football terms(to those that know) the safeites had to respect the deep pass but also respected the running game=no 8 men in the box.. But also the safeties were more prone to biting on the play action because Grossman was so good at selling it and because the Running game was so consistent.

Now with Orton the play action doesn't work because no matter if the reciever beats his man, Orton can't make the throw(ex:todays whole game). Now he might check down to the flats and get a 4 yard gain or a slant pass for 6. But he can't open up the field and make the safeties respect his arm=no 8 men in the box=better chance for Forte running.

Now Orton is a game manager. Hes done nothing to prove me wrong. He's Brian Griese JR. He doesn't take chances to win games and he isn't afraid to check down in the flats. Now for people to say Grossman did not look like a completely different, and more confident qb when he came back from his benching last year is false... He looked ALOT better. He was checking down, looking at different recievers and still making plays when needed. Orton doesn't. Orton wins based off special teams play and defensive turnovers/great play. The only time we scored this game was when the defense created turnovers deep in Carolinas territory. What you see with Orton is what you get. With Grossman you have a chance to make plays happen, and I honestly believe that if Grossman calms down, settles in the pocket and has time to throw.. He'd be a great qb.. Oh wait, isn't that what is needed for any qb?

But it's easier to point fingers at Grossman and boo than to look at the facts in football, It's a team sport. And I've stated my reasons on why I think Grossman should and hopefully will start.

Can't blamne the D??? I think we had a 14 point lead? That would tell me the D lost the game, I do not care about the Offense after that point. If your D can not hold a 14 point lead then why even have a D.
Hanie??? WTF??? Yeah, lets just give up the season so we can see what a Rook QB can do.
How many points does the D need? Super Bowl year a 3 pt lead was enough. Yes Orton could have played better, but 14 points should have nailed it for our D.

i know some people might be down on orton but remember this, we all knew going into the season that he wasn't going to "win" any games. yup that's right kyle orton just doesn't do that so don't expect it, he just doesn't turn the ball over.

we lost the game because of olsen's two fumbles and mckie's two penalities, plain and simple.

the defense did a pretty good job. you have to consider that when stewart came into the game the bears defense was in a package that was suited to the pass. if you rememeber the panthers passing game picked up a little in the second half.

i'm also hearing some rex talk which quite honestly is retarded. lets see if rex was in that game he would have had about 6 sacks and 3 picks. you don't think so?

you know all of those times when orton stepped up, well those would have been sacks with grossman.

this loss doesn't sting so bad because the things that went wrong can be corrected. olsen hold on to the damn ball and mckie stop holding.

i know some people might be down on orton but remember this, we all knew going into the season that he wasn't going to "win" any games. yup that's right kyle orton just doesn't do that so don't expect it, he just doesn't turn the ball over.

we lost the game because of olsen's two fumbles and mckie's two penalities, plain and simple.

the defense did a pretty good job. you have to consider that when stewart came into the game the bears defense was in a package that was suited to the pass. if you rememeber the panthers passing game picked up a little in the second half.

i'm also hearing some rex talk which quite honestly is retarded. lets see if rex was in that game he would have had about 6 sacks and 3 picks. you don't think so?

you know all of those times when orton stepped up, well those would have been sacks with grossman.

this loss doesn't sting so bad because the things that went wrong can be corrected. olsen hold on to the damn ball and mckie stop holding.

Here are some more random thoughts from a Panthers fan.

Orton ain't no Delhomme. While the ratings and stats for both yesterday left a lot to be desired, nobody...and I mean better in the 4th quarter than Jake. When Jake had a chance to win it at the end yesterday, I knew it was going to happen. When Kyle stepped up on the last drive, I knew you were toast.

Lance Briggs, thanks. Your cheap shot to Jake is exactly the wake up call we needed. Oh, and you can expect a fine for sure.

Was it a "meltdown"? Or, did the stronger team pull through at the end? If you want to talk about how great your defense is then how do you blow a 17 - 3 lead? Yes, the Olsen turnover was painful. But, a great defense would have stepped up. The fact is, you lost to the better team. Deal with it.

Brad thanks for bringing up Brown, the guy get no credit.

Here is the big problem with this game, the Panthers without Steve Smith are a one demensional team, they do not play well at home abd they did there best to give this game to the Bears. Everything you could have hoped for to happen, happened in favor of the Bears for 1 half. Almost everything went there way and yet they don't walk away with a win. Forte played well, Orton Managed a game, the Defense only gave up 20 points. Wait a sec, the defense gave up 20 points??? The defense gave up 20 points to a pretty bad offense 17 of which they gave up in the second half. Did they get tired? Probably as tired as the other team, so what happened to the defense? What confused them? What did Carolina do in the second half to start punching holes in the D? Well they switched backs and brought in there Power back who run up the bears gut the entire second half. But what plays was he running in the second half that Carolina did not run in the first half? They said it during the game and you would have to be blind not to see it. How do you beat an over aggressive defense? You run the Counter with a good back.

I would blame the offense like everyone else, but the offense is bad and we all knew they would be bad not to mention the offense didn't blow the lead the defense did, when it came crunch time the Carolina D shut down our offense and our running game, the Bears D broke in the second half. When it's go time if you can't step up, you can't win. Not to mention if anyone ever gets an early lead on the Bears it's game over cause this offense is not coming from behind to win anything.

Also I hate to correct everyone but in honor of Lovie the Bears didn't have a single fumble, they did give up a couple of takaways though. Lets call it like Lovie sees it, after all he does insist on calling them takaways.

The biggest problem the Bears are gonna have is game film, the more teams see the Bears D fall prey to counters and the more teams see Forte and Orton on film, the more there gonna key in on how they play and what they do. Look how well Carolina ajusted to Orton at one point i the second half they new if Orton was gonna throw a pass or a hand off the ball, Suddenly the running game went bye bye, and we don't have a passing game. I wonder how the Hester move is looking to Angelo in Hindsight. How many yards does he have recieving this year? Just wait if he doesn't play next game, I think the Tampa secondary is gonna put a saftie in the box all day, maybe Forte will make a friend.

Teams are gonna play man against this Bears Offense, they are gonna stack the box and they are gonna shoadow Forte, they are gonna dear Orton to throw on them and to beat them by passing the ball. Thats to bad for Forte cause I was very wrong about him, he's the goods, I wish he didn't take so many hard hits but at least he wll be around for a few years, I also can't wait to see how this line pass protects, Orton never has the ball for more than two seconds and even then he is under some decent pressure.

Speaking of Line when are we gonna see Kirk Barton in there, that guy is awsome, oh wait he's a dolphin now, nice. But we got Miller now we just need to not have a single injury on any part of the team and the Bears could go 7-9. Thats better than I thought.

Oh and foe People talking about how good the Panthers D is and that it is a respectable loss, the Colts D was rated number one last year. So Defense is probably not just about ratings, it may be about Matchups.

Speaking of which how does a poorly built West Coast Offense that can't go deep usually do against a very good Tampa Two defense? How well do the Bears adjust there game plan in game and at halftime? How much time does Orton actually have to pass, just take a second look at the game and notice how fast he has to get rid of the ball, if you have to get rid of the ball quickly it probably makes it hard for any real pass plays to develop. You will notice he thorws a lot of lateral passes that take him about a second to set and fire at the same time look were Peppers is standing, usually just a step away from him.

Mike and RNYC, I agree with your points,a nd I see my man Da Coach also has weighed in. The game is a bad loss because they had a chance to win, and this was not expected before the season started. As for the people hollering for Grossman, please stop blogging, its not going to happen, Kyle is giving this team a chance to win each game they play. We have to improve offensively no doubt about it, and we need receivers who can run after the catch, looking at the highlights around the league TD's are not always the rsults of long bombs, they are short- mid range passes where the receivers take the balll to house, if we had one of theose type of reeivers on our team Kyle's stats would improve dramatically, that is why a lot of us liked Rideau to be on the team. We ahve receivers who can catch the ball but no play makers out there right now, and that is an area of need.
Play calling late hurt, Klye lesson number one frst down are more important than time manmgement in the 2 min drill, do not audible out of a play to get the first down with a flanker screen again, that almost lost the game, point 2 give the ball to Forte, even if they know what's coming, take you chances with him, not McKie, he has the feet to go away from the play if necessary, Mckie has to go where the play is designed. 1-1 is better than most of us thought we be right now, win this week and keep building it's a long season, but we have a chance to be good.

Church, man, didn't you see Tropic Thunder? You're not supposed to talk about anybody being retarded! Especially not Bears fans (or Lovie or Babich or Turner or Orton). Come on, this is America, the land of free speech (as long as your speech is deemed acceptable). I am deeply offended!! Seriously, though, as good as the coaching and execution was last week in Indy, it was like Through a Mirror Darkly this week. Complete opposite, at least in the second half. Orton has proven he can't throw an accurate ball more than 12 feet, can't audible to save his life, and is just not NFL caliber. We can lay some of the blame on the play calling and Hamilton and Turner. I'd like to lay a lot of blame on Babich, too, but his unit simply did not execute in the second half. Tackling, atrocious; coverage, soft; pass rush, pathetic. There were some bright spots i thought: Forte on offense and Alex Brown. Can't really fault their play.
And finally, what's the deal with the Panther-poster? Probably got tossed from all the Carolina blogs for going full retard. Oops, there I go.

Curtis in charlotte:
You mean like your team did step up after the Tillman interception...The hit by Briggs was no "cheap" shot, tell Dellhomme to get his azz down earlier if he doesn't want to take a hit, you won the game, because we lost it not because you were the better team
talk that mess on your own blog where someone wants to hear it!....Go BEARS....hope to HIT you again Charlotte

Great now we've got the Bucs comeing to town and if we laid an egg aginst the panthers, how will we ever stop the Bucs.I heard there's a blackout in Chi town this week, because they didn't want to televise the beat down the Bucs were going to put on us.

Olin took the blame for the 4th and short and he did get tossed like a 'rag doll'. But, what about Ron Turner putting Kellen Davis slotted off the tackle and not on the the line for double tight formation?

If Davis is on the line, Carolina's LB doesn't come 'scott-free' and make the tackle on Jason McKie.

So, Ron Turner needs to explain the formation alng with the play call. guys are brutal....face it chicago was beat by a better team. carolina adjusted better and in the end, when it counted, executed better. you can quote stats all day long, but the only one that counts is scoreboard. easy on hated on rex to get to this point so stick with it, you have what you have. if kyle sucks as bad as you all say he does, maybe the season will be a bust and you can move up in the draft and get another QB....we all know how good those first round QB's turn-out. you guys have a good defense, maybe they were a little winded in the heat late in the game, but there are some play-makers so settle down. oh, and the move of hester to offense...what a bonehead play, but then again you do what you have to when your receivers suck. you guys should just take it easy and step back from the ledge, its only week 2 and you are 1-1....jeesh.....

Alright Mike, you say Orton can make the deep throws and that the sun got in his eyes or whatever. Stop making excuses for his lack of big play ablity. All he has to do is "do it" and I'll be happy. Make one of big throws down field for a TD. The bar is set very high for me. To win me over to Orton mania all he has to do is "play in" not win the Super Bowl and I'll be a Ortoniac until then Rex is the better choice.

First of all Ken K, I'm pretty sure you're not addressing me b/c I made no excuses for Orton.

But I have to commend you for making me laugh. You said "the bar is set very high for me" in terms of QB play and then you admit you're pulling for Grossman to start?


The play calling in the second half was atrocious, period. Once again the Bears become too predictable. The 2 minute drill was a joke, with the play calling also a joke. On the 50 on second down need 1 yard for a first down. Orton bad pass to Davis, why the pass to the WR, I just don't get it it the play had been called twice before and the Corner was sitting on it and should have intercepted it and had a touchdown. Fourth down how predicatble McKie again, he was stuffed. Why not giving Forte a chance to carry it for 1 yard on third and fourth down if necessary and go for the touchdown on 2nd down? Why not?

Orton is a manager of the game he is not going to win these games unless he can hook up on something longer than 15 yards. I think he was 1 out of 10 on plays of 15 yards or longer. Also he threw into coverage more than many of you will admit and should have been intercepted twice. Play action was a joke as well, no fake there. Orton did nothing to win this game when he could of on numerous occassions in the second half.

Yes the Bears should have won the game and would have if Olsen doesn't fumble twice that cost points for the Bears and created points for the Panthers, the defense looked bad in the second half with the arm tackles etc making Stewart look like an all pro runner.
But Orton and the Bears did nothing in the second half to take control and win the game on either side of the ball.

If Orton can't start connecting with passes of 15 yards or more by game 8 I say bring back Grossman for one last gasp effort. At least Grossman can make a play when needed and has won playoff games with his arm. I don't need to hear from anyone about Grossman's weaknesses I already know them.

The horse whisperer could make Olsen fumble.


Kellen Davis missed the block. Just like Greg Olsen, he is a poor blocker. However, he has the potential to be a much better receiver, and at his size should be able to learn to block IF HE WANTS TO. The alignment of Davis on that play was to try to stretch the defense, but I agree with you that Davis should have been tighter, as everyone knew the Bears were running up the middle.

And speaking of my last point, you people who complain about handing the ball to Jason McKie instead of Forte are forgetting something. Everyone figured it was going to be Matt Forte up the middle. The point of giving it to McKie was to create a surprise quick opener instead of the longer developing play of handing it to Forte. We were trying to figure out what play to run and couldn't come up with anything that would work: spreading the defense would have been foolish, because the Bears couldn't risk a pass and because the Panthers knew that, and just handing off to Forte would have been too obvious and had not been working late in the game. I really liked the play call for the fraction of a second between when McKie got the ball and he got tackled. The problem was that Davis missed his block and that Olin Kreutz, who might be getting to the end of his career, got pushed into the backfield.

This constant blaming of Ron Turner for the Bears' lack of offense shows that you have no idea what you're talking about. Turner is one of the better offensive coordinators in the NFL. His problem is that the Bear have NEVER given him any talent to work with. Considering the extreme lack of talent on the Bear offenses, the results Turner gets are almost miraculous.


I agree. I'd rather roll the dice with Grossman than watch Orton dink and dunk the offense to 10 points a game.

Remember, the special teams scored one touchdown.

Da Coach:

Rex did take this team to the Superbowl. How long you been a Bears fan?


D-liners are gonna get in the backfield pretty quick when you line up in shotgun and stop running the ball.

All of you:

Orton is a game manager. It's like Madden says, "If people are a calling you a game manager, it usually means you can't play."

Wrigley Field Bear: In the game, Turner had Kellen Davis off the line of scrimmage and not on the line like most teams use a double tight-end, I-formation. We both agree the alignment should have been called differently as having him on the line provides a natural 'shield-off' of the OLB. And, I agree he just missed the block.

Also, Davis should have stepped with his left foot and not his right and he should have gotten off the line better

I had no problems with the play call on 4th and short, but, some of the blame rests on Turner as well as it does on Davis and Kreutz. While, it may be one play, it was the play of the game and Turner didn't put his players in the best possible situation to be successful.

But, Ron Turner has the responsible of calling the correct formation and aligning his personnel for the best chance of success. in this formation, Turner didn't provide that for the offense and should take the blame for this.

Turner should now by now that Kreutz can't block 'oversized' d-lineman by himself and needs to 'combo' or have help 'double-teaming' the down lineman. Kreutz does very poorly at stepping and snapping and will most often step and then try to use his upper body (No legs or steps) to battle the down lineman; results in him giving up the advanatge of the snap and getting pushed back or to the side. ex.) 4th and short on Sunday @ Carolina.

"Turner is one of the better offensive coordinators in the NFL." man, I'm not sure if you've been watching the last few years, but, you're in the minority with this opinion. Turner consistently has shown he's poor at making adjustments at halftime, plugging in personnel to 'his' system and creating an offensive identity (whatever identity that is), and very poor at finding the best plays for his personnel to run

And, doesn't Turner have ANY 'say-so' in any personnel matters?

This loss was devastating, a solid defensive effort pissed away by mistakes and poor coaching, the worst part was that Carolina did nothing to win this game, The Bears gave it to them , the 3rd and 4th down plays were absolutely horrendus, If we are to progress to the playoffs we cant give away winnable games like this , it seemed like we got the lead and then just coasted thru , I could write more but Im too disgusted at this point .


I think we agree on everything substantial except Ron Turner. I know I'm in the minority, but I don't care as the vast majority of fans don't understand the game.

If you want to make the case that Turner is a bad coordinator, first show me all the talent he has to work with. A coach first must have good players before he can get good results. Even Mike Ditka had a couple of lousy years before the Bears started winning under him. If you don't believe this, ask Ozzie Guillen. He'll tell you the same thing: bad players who fail to execute make even a good coach look bad. Take the Carolina game: the reasons the Bears lost were Greg Olsen's two fumbles and the failure to score a touchdown when the Bears had a first & goal from the eight yard line in the first half. (The rest of this, including which plays were called at the end are details and wouldn't even be an issue had the players executed the fundamentals I mentioned.) Perhaps Turner is partially to blame for not getting a TD, though I don't see anyone blaming him for that. But he's certainly not responsible for Olsen's fumbles.

You don't judge a coordinator by nitpicking certain plays that you didn't like. What counts is how many points the Bears score per game and how long the offense keeps the defense off the field. And even those criteria must be tempered with strong considerations of the level of talent he has to work with, which in this case is pretty low. For example, every team in their division has better offensive talent than the Bears, as do the vast majority of teams in the league.

I never said Turner was good at evaluating college talent, but that's not his job. It's the job of the scouts and general manager to get him the players he needs, which for the most part they haven't done, with the exception of some offensive line players and running backs. And as to whether he has any say in offensive personnel decisions, I have no idea. The Bears run a very secretive organization.

So, what is Turner good at? First, he runs a very balanced offense WHEN GIVEN THE PERSONNEL TO DO SO. That keeps opposing defenses from "cheating" against the run or pass. He's also very good at getting a lot out of a little bit of talent, as he did in the '90s and again in 2005 & 2006. Again, you have to consider that the Bears really have no quarterback, no receivers, and an aging line that has serious weaknesses, even in '05 and '06. He has a hard time adjusting at halftime because he has to use smoke & mirrors due to the lack of talent and once the opponent adjusts to him, there's little he can do. And that's the same reason he can't plug personnel into his system: he has no personnel. As to finding the best plays for his personnel to run, he's excellent at that considering how talentless his personnel is.

I'm not saying that Orton is the answer but he is a major improvement over REX. You fans need to give him a chance to play. All you need to do is look at all of the 1st round draft pick quarterbacks that DON't make it in the NFL to understand how difficult it is for teams to find the right one. Yes, Hanie looked good in pre-season but that was pre-season playing against 3rd string players and players that weren't going to make it in the NFL. So watch your hoopla support for Hanie. He may not be the answer either. Hope REX is gone after this season and another high draft pick quarterback in next years draft. In fact, the Bears should have a high draft pick quarterback (rounds 1 thru 3) in every future draft pick until they are settled on 3 that look good to start for this team. The position is critical and if you are going to fix it, then you need to address it...period.
Guys, give Orton a chance. Yes, he may not have the long arm but at least he has some grey matter between his ear lobes (something REX has none of). Hopefully, the Bears will draft another quarterback next year to continue their search for a player at this position.

There has been some great, incisive football points made by the commentors. And some emotional venting. Emotional venting after being up by 14 and losing is the least we can do.

It seems to me that the Bears have made a habit of when they have a lead at halftime they come out after the break and are overwhelmed by the other team. My question has a couple of parts.

Are the Bears such a bad team that great coaching allows them to get ahead in the first half and then the naturally better team adjusts and wins?

Is the coaching staff unable to adjust on the fly at halftime and so good game preparation goes down the drain game after game and year after year?

All enlightenment appreciated

Orton is horrible!! No deep threat-no worry for the other defenses. Rex is the perfect fit for this offense now that Forte is here! Devin Hester- overrated and overpaid!!!!

Why are we debating Orton or Grossman. The truth of the matter is neither is a NFL starter. I'm sorry to be so blunt. Both of these guys would not be on the roster of such NFL teams as New England, Denver, Philadelphia and even sad to say the hated Green Bay Packers. We should be tired of wageing this useless war of words about who's better. its ludicrous. We need a QB. Nuff said.

It takes time to develop chemistry .Just 4 weeks ago some of you were crying we would have no offense at all now all of sudden we just dont have the deep ball????........because Booker and Lloyd are surefire burners roflmao

Orton did just fine but now that we see Lloyd stepping up they just need to work on the chemistry with Davis and we will be fine .Lets remember every skill player on the offense split reps in camp and since this is only week two lets give the cream thats rising to the top some time to find a groove with each other.

I had us going 10-6 or 11-5, but after watching the Eagles/Cowboys game last night, I'm not so sure.

Watching the Eagles, they took advantage of their best player, Westbrook, by moving him all over the field. Getting mismatches and taking advantage of them.

The Cowboys' offense runs thru their tight end, Witten, and not their running back or T.O.

Jesus H. Christ, now there is a novel concept.

We don't get our best players the ball enough. Yes, Olsen fumbled twice, but he is by far the most difficult player for teams to match up. He is faster than a linebacker, too tall for corners and can catch the ball. BUT, we don't throw it to him enough. We also have ANOTHER good tight end, but we don't throw enough to him either.

We have MEDIOCRE wide receivers, who occasionally get open, but too often drop the ball (I mean is there some reason Mark Bradley still has a roster spot?).

We bring in Jones, but don't use him.

We have Wolfe on the bench, who regardless of his size, creates match up problems, especially if Olsen, Hester, Wolfe, Forte and Clark are also on the field. We rarely see Wolfe in the slot back role, a la Stokely for the Colts.

In short, we run a traditional offensive scheme in a league where innovation dominates.

Oh, and we don't make any, ANY adjustments at halftime. Zip. Zilch. Nada. Nyet.

We have too much faith in our D (and the coaching staff has WAY TOO MUCH FAITH in the D).

Orton can do the job. Yes, he needs to be more productive, but he would be helped mightily by offensive playcalling that creates mismatches at every oppty. I didn't see any of that during the game. I saw a team run a handful of basic plays and seemingly never used those plays to set up others (except for the one end around).

And you know what, for my money, I would have faked Forte into the line on the last play and thrown the ball to Clark or Olsen running down the field.

If nothing else, it would have proved the Bears have some imagination on offense. The hand-off to McKie just showed that Ron Turner is outclassed in almost every game.

Grossman = 7 men in the box - accurate deep
Orton = 8-9 men in the box - accurate short

Who do you think the receivers and Forte would rather see?

Now that the O-line is solid and we have an RB that can block and pose a running threat...balance the offense.

Grossman = Play to win
Orton = Playing not to lose

aahhhhh...mercyfull hevens brad, i see the bears loost! thats like mothers milk to me. an since we lost, it just goes to show that i am right! man, i m always right! an look what happend to poor greg olson...BZZZ a major BUST! i was right on that too! man, i am always right and i only give facts. lets see now, i could a: mak a list of all the people who should be fired like angelo b: make a list of first round busts or c: insult people who dnt agree with mee. just kidding! i now al you young stalions want to peek at my rant, but uh-uh feelas. creighto..oops! crap-ton can be quit the tease!


If the o-line is solid, they would have continued controlling the line of scrimmage -- no matter how many people they put in the box. Surely they would have been able to get one yard. Our o line has improved, but it also has to come up with big plays when needed. It didn't at the most critical point in the game.

They got manhandled much of the second half, just like our defense did.

We did not make good (or any) half-time adjustments. That's on the coaching staff.

All you Fools That wanted Orton See what all Bears Fans with any brains already knew. Orton is Rex Grossmans Backup Always was and always should be . You doint Play NFL game not to lose you play them to win. I have already told you chumps That Rex was one of the key reasons we got to the Super Bowl in 2006 With his Pro Bowl Type start to the year and his BIG THROWS IN THE PLAYOFFS but you fools would All rather Boo the guy till the foolish managment goes with some used up never been Bum like last year or an average back up like this year. I would bet my my left N** that you Grossman Haters are the same Clowns that Think Hester is the Key and Hester got us to the Bowl and Hester will be a great wideout. Get You Head out of your A** and try to learn a little about the NFL . IT MAKES ME SICK

To Bearkeith you are the most ignorant blowhard I ever read. You know nothing about the game and you sure know bupkus about QB's. If Grossman was so great then why weren't NFL teams beating down his door last spring? Why did he re-sign? You are as clueless as Grossman and it makes no sense. There is only a potential QB on the Bears roster Hanie has a future but there are no QB's in the college ranks coming out for years some of the best were after the first round and I hate to say it Rodgers looks good. Let's have Orton caretake until we develop Hanie. Grossman does not match the defense we have, a risk QB puts a bend big play D in trouble when he makes his turnovers and gives the opposing offense a short field and this is not a offense to come back from deep holes no matter who is the QB. estevenj I'm glad you don't have a say so you have no clue.

RJ and Jimbo, I agree with both of you. I'm sure Kyle Orton is a nice guy and all, but if has'nt developed the ability to throw and CONNECT on deep routes, he's never going to. Last years "O" line was terrible as was the running game. I don't know if Rex is the answer, but at least we know he has the ability to connect on passes over 15 yards. Nice guys finish LAST

Wrigley Field Bear,

Let's take this step-by-step:

On Turner I ask guess we agree to disagree on if he's a good coordinator. Personally, I believe he's better suited for the college game and seems to forget about successful plays or types of drives. ie) 'no huddle offense' in the regular flow of the game. Turner used it once last year and then it went to the shelf. And, why not run plays until they can be stopped?

On the talent level, the Bears have made bad mistakes in the draft and bringing along young talent on the line and the receiver position.

Though, I believe Turner has done poorly in keying in players to an offense or fitting an offense to his personnel. What exactly is the Bears offensive identity? What is it with Kyle Orton? With Grossman? With Hanie? Was with Griese? Was with Hutchinson? Etc...

"You don't judge a coordinator by nitpicking certain plays that you didn't like." Okay, I'll give you one perfect play which has worked once in 10+ times and that's the play action, naked qb waggle pass to the TE. In this play, the line pretends to block for a zone run play to the left and the qb reverse pivots and rolls to the naked side looking for the TE...NEVER WORKS and Turner keeps running it

"I never said Turner was good at evaluating college talent"..I know this isn't his job, but, he has input to players which he believes would fit his offense. WHy wouldn't the scouts include him in the evalaution mix? he's a former head coach in the collegiate ranks and knows the type of players other coaches look to recruit for their systems

Finally, I would agree to a point on the overall personnel Turner was given. As I would feel more comfortable with Jerry Angelo selling boats in Florida then being the Bears GM. Angelo has been terrible drafting offensive talent and terrible in getting productive players in the 1st and 2nd rounds. And, not picking up any veterans in the off-season to reinforce the line was beyond any reasonable understanding.

The Bears showed one glaring weakness in the Carolina game and that's they don't have any deep threats on the team. And, no 'go-to' guy on their team with no anointed #1 receiver. I would say from watching pre-season games, Brandon Rideau may be their biggest deep threat and he's on the practice squad. Mark Bradley is an 'underperformer' and looks like he's turned into a 'crybaby.' And, if the Bears were going to run the ball in Carolina, why have Adrian Peterson inactive? It makes no sense as was one of the league leaders in the percentage of catches of passes thrown to him and was a guy that can get you a 1st down in short yardage situations. Who decided he was inactive? Turner?

But, Turner also is partly responsible for bringing in coaches. And, one coach that has been HORRIBLE working with the wide receivers is Dallas Drake. Drake's receivers have consistently shown they can't get a cushion from the defender, run good routes, hang onto the ball, and stretch the field. And, forget about them coming back to the ball when the QB is in trouble. All of these things are coaching points which have been poorly coached by Drake.

woah, guys are getting real testo over Orton-o. If we had a proven offense then maybe we could evaluate the QB position, since we don't why is everyone so worked up over Rex/Orton? Our offense as a whole sucks so evaluating the QB position is meaningless. It is what it is, I doubt either QB could really outplay the other with this offense. So go Orton, Rex had his chance so whats wrong with giving Orton his? I like Rex but I doubt he could do any better with the talent pool - so go Orton. Rex grew up in my backyard I really like him and his family - I like his QB abilities but give Orton his chance, (more than 1 loss game)

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This page contains a single entry by Brad Biggs published on September 14, 2008 10:23 PM.

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