Chicago Sun-Times

10 quick reactions in the Land of 10,000 Lakes

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MINNEAPOLIS--Ten quick reactions late at night before an early-morning flight after an ugly 34-14 loss for the Bears ...

1. As an interested onlooker in the StarCaps situation, no one is keeping a closer eye on things right now than the Bears. Expectations are that the NFL will rule on the appeals made by Minnesota defensive tackles Kevin Williams and Pat Williams on Monday or Tuesday. They've both received four-game suspensions for violation of the league's policy on anabolic steroids and related substances. They'e had their appeals and are waiting with others on a decision.

We're not even going to begin to attempt to tackle all of the elements in play here, but the bottom line is the Vikings would be a dramatically different team without the Williams Wall at the middle of their defense. Now trailing the Vikings by a game in the division, the Bears can only hope that wall crumbles.

2. Long before Kyle Orton had his consecutive passes streak without an interception snapped at 206 in the third quarter, it was a bad night for him. Orton wound up with three picks and could have had that many in the first half also the way some of his passes were bouncing around off Vikings defenders. He didn't get any help from his receivers dropping balls either.

"The passing game needs to step up," Orton said. "I need to step up."

3. I didn't make it to the huddle offensive coordinator Ron Turner held in the locker room after the game, but there has to be some speculation on the series of play calls when the Bears were first-and-goal from the one-yard line in the second quarter.

First down--Orton throws unsuccessfully to the corner for tight end Greg Olsen.
Second down--Forte takes a toss left and is stopped.
Third down--Fullback Jason Davis gives it a try in the middle of the line.
Fourth down--Forte is stopped running off right tackle.

I'd have gone for it on fourth down, also, but the play calling was curious. If you're at the one, why not try four plays with your best player Forte? If running against the Williams Wall is the biggest challenge you face, why hand the ball to Davis, who was promoted from the practice squad Saturday? That's running right into the strength of the defense. Was it supposed to surprise the Vikings?

4. Charles Tillman usually guesses better than he did this time. Thing is, when Tillman guesses wrong it usually doesn't lead to 99-yard touchdown passes. The veteran cornerback had the responsibility to cover Bernard Berrian and tight end Visanthe Shiancoe on the deep ball that changed the complexion of the game. He was following Berrian to whatever side of the field he went. He cannot cheat inside on Shiancoe and leave Berrian uncovered. Can't happen. Players can run Shiancoe down from behind. As we saw, you're not going to catch Berrian.

5. The Bears' wide receiving corps that entered with 16 receptions in the last three games produced ... five catches, three by Devin Hester. So that's 21 catches by wideouts in four games if you're keeping score at home.

6. When you see free safety Kevin Payne run with the ball in his hands as you did after his interception in the third quarter you see how he was a standout running back early in his career at Louisiana-Monroe. He has a team-high four now.

7. Looks like defensive tackle Dusty Dvoracek will wind up on injured reserve for the third time in three years. Lovie Smith called his right arm injury "serious." Some thought Anthony Adams should have been playing more all along. We'll see how he performs now and if he gets the start or the defense turns to rookie Marcus Harrison.

8. Jared Allen has more than justified the trade and the contract he got in two games vs. the Bears. He had all three VIkings sacks and was credited with four quarterback hits. He sacked Orton twice in the first meeting at Soldier Field. John St. Clair has looked pretty solid against everyone else he has faced.

9. The Bears are mightly lucky Bears killer Steve Smith did in Green Bay with that nifty catch near the end of the game to set up the game-winning touchdown at Lambeau Field. The Packers have stumbled two straight weeks but they've got it easy the rest of the way and if the Williams Wall is knocked over by the league, the NFC North just might be decided by the Dec. 22 meeting between the Bears and Packers at Soldier Field.

10. Get a good look at ``Monday Night Football.'' The Bears host Jacksonville coming off a short week and end the season at Houston.

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The game was lost when the Bears failed to get into the end zone when they had first and goal from the one. I don't understand why they didn't fake a handoff up the middle to Forte and roll Orton on first down, which would have given the defense something to think about for the next downs if they didn't get in doing that.

Orton wasn't playing poorly in the first half, though he did miss some passes. Mostly it was receivers dropping balls. The Bear receivers really suck, and have ever since I've been watching them. The last really good receiver they've had was Dick Gordon, though they've had some decent ones since. Imagine what the first half would have looked like if the Bear receivers had held onto most of the balls they dropped.

No surprises here. The smoke is lifting and mirrors are all smashed.

Any thoughts on a Rams rout now? I bet not.

This team is toast. Where to begin. I don't know.

The roof, the roof, the roof is on fireā€¦

Let it burn it down and start all over.

I really wonder if Turner ever sits down in advance of the game and looks at play calls that he would make in scenarios such as first and goal on the one. Or needing to gain one yard from the 50 in another loss this year. That fullback plunge play is so predictable with the Bears and the Bears are just plain predictable. One slant was great with Hester going the distance, how many more slants did you see in the game. Other teams when something works will play it out a little until that particular play is stopped,not the BEARS.

Yes the Bears folded like a tent after they failed from the one yard line and the subsequent 99 yard TD was the stake in the heart. I really think it is time for the Bears to look at sending LOvie, Babich and Turner packing!! Lovie came out after halftime and stated to some TV reporter that all was OK and that the Bears dominated the vikings in the first half.... Hey Lovie when the score is 17-7 with the Vikes in the lead at halftime.... that is not domination to me. As for halftime adjustments, the only halftime adjustments that I bet the coaching staff made was with their jock straps.

This team has enough talent to compete and win, but not with the leadership it is not getting from its coaches. Chicago needs some coaching leadership with some fire in their stomach and strategy in their minds like Singletary or Cowher etc. George Halas is rolling in his grave.

When did Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters become the QB of the Bears? Seriously, Orton looked just like him everytime they panned to his whiny facy on the sidelines. A few times it looked he was crying, I think he was scared to go back out there with Jared Allen and Kevin Williams stalking him like that. Ugly game for da bears, they have no chance at all of making the playoffs, and if by some miracle they do, big deal - any other team in the playoffs will blow them out.

Reactions from watching the game on TV:

1. Hester is still learning the WR position. Why then are we running our offense thru him? He dropped at least two balls in critical situtations and caused the Orton interception that was run back to the Bears' 22. Yes, he scored one TD, but he isn't reliable enough to be a primary focus of the Bears O.

2. Orton did not play well. Still, he delivered at least three balls to receivers that if they make ONE play, we would have had two more scores.

3. Running on 4th and Goal in the Rollerdome is tough. Hard to hear for the o-linemen who MUST get off the ball in unison. They didn't (twice) and our running backs got hammered.

4. Ron Turner is one conservative play caller.

5. IF we make the playoffs, Forte is going to be one worn-out running back. What happened to Kevin Jones?

6. Olsen was open several times on throws that went to wideouts. Forget the wideouts, Kyle, and hit your tight ends.

The recievers were terrible and Rideau can't get on the field. I'm not saying he is all pro but why is 81 still out on the field. I saw Williams in what I guess was a jumbo package he didn't touch anyone where is Bruenning this is a small weak O-Line they cannot move anyone. That defense yuk! Babich the players they all are horrible, if you don't practice hitting you can't wrap up in a game.

The Bears are who we thought they were; a .500 team, in a weak division, and in a sub-par conference...I hope none of you really thought this was a playoff team? Even so, I put this loss on the coaching staff that is very predictable, and even worse at getting the team ready to play. 3 loses in the 4th quarter, 2 blow-outs...coaching, coaching, coaching.

Also, when is the media going to get on Brad Maynard? He has been awefull. He has hurt this team probably more than any other player this year with his POOR PUNTING. If we are going to have a less than average offense, at least bring in a punter that will give the defense a chance.

Where is Earl Bennett and Brandon Rideau? Our receivers are horrid. Davis probably has as many drops as Braylon Edwards and can't block downfield. Why not give those guys a chance?

If the Bears don't make the play offs Lovie and staff (+ ANGELO) need to go. Let's see if the big Chicago media will even whisper this or just handle Lovie and his cronies with a free pass.

By GenXfactor:

"Also, when is the media going to get on Brad Maynard? He has been awefull. He has hurt this team probably more than any other player this year with his POOR PUNTING."

Hahahaha, yeah thats right it's all Maynards fault.
Oh man that was funny.

Lets see some of my thoughts on the game.

Tillman made a huge mistake and then after the game said he had two choices to make and that he didn't blow the coverage. It was a three deep zone and he choose to let the WO go free to help triple cover the TE. Just own up too your screw up Tillman.

Orton after the game said "The first INT was his fault but the other two just happened." KO you are a Beotch, all three were your fault at least own up too it.

It's often said that teams take on there coaches personality. Well lets take a look at the Bears and there personality. This team is a as soft as jello, you hit it hard once and it caves.

Poor tackling, poor catching, bad routs, bad coaching, bad calls. Were has all this come from? Lets see Lovie's idea of practice is half speed no tackling. So lets see if you are bad at tackling and can't practice tackling in practice how do you improve at tackling? Second if you practice at half speed all the time does this instill hard work? Does not seem to have instilled hard work in this team. Soft Coach, soft practice, soft team.

Teams that don't make excuses don't rely on excuses when the you know what hits the fan. The Bears whine complain, and make excuses all day long so instead of working to over come the problem they just make an excuse so they don't h ave to improve.

Lazy, mentally and physically soft, no heart and no pride in what they do. Quitters.

I have never been a fan of this particular Bears team for these simple reasons. I don't like the players and I don't like the staff and I cannot wait till they get the hook. Unfortunatly the First family of Football will do what they usually do and go cheap when this happens.

Forte does not deserve this team, then again with luck Angelo will trade him for a late draft pick.

X factor and Gerald you make great points. First off the situation with Brad Maynard must have been noticed early on since the Bears were so eager to have the young punter on the practice squad for a while their. Even when we would punt from our 20-25 yard line he was barely making it to mid field. And Gerald you are right on the situation of getting Earl and Brandon more time, they are both young physical and promising receivers. You were wrong though when you tried to throw Jerry Angelo in with Lovie and the staff to get rid of. I think besides the Thomas Jones deal Jerry has done great, he has delivered on whatever his particular coaching staff wants in terms of "types' of players, and he truly wanys to get this thing turned around. I do not believe Jerry is part of the problem!

I never thought I could be speachless but last night that was exactly what I was particularly when Tillman LET Berrian get away with that record breaker. I was skeptical from the getgo with this game due mostly to the history of this ongoing battle, but I didn't think we could do that bad. I thought Lovie was going to be a better coach but what he really is is a major pushover. He is far too kind and it does not appear that he has learned anything about the stubborness of the opponents we face. I wish that Lovie would become more strict and a jacka$$ to the players because if he continues on with his pleasant personality where life is stress-free then we will continue on this track to nowhere. We have an RB now, eventhough he had a Groseman-like day I still have faith in Orton, and we now need to get a better connection between him and the receivers.
That having been said, I real wish Babich and Turner would be released and hire two people who know how the game is played. We used to be a D that the opponent would fear now it is a D the opponents loves. Our offense has always been questionable but we now have some talent and we need a leader on the corrdination team to place it all together. I know all these are blind wishes but I just hope we don't become how the Raiders, Browns, Rams and Bengals are where there is no respect for the coaches, and all others who are on the upperdeck. But once again those are just my blind hopes.

How can y'all comment so quick? I just got done upchucking.

The defense actually wasn't that bad. They are not going to win a game like this unless the offense at least shows up and they sure didn't. I can't believe somebody is after Maynard!! How many times did he pin them inside the 10 or even the 5? The defense would get the ball back in decent field position, and then the offense just fizzled.

Orton does not look good. He is either still hurt, or lost his mojo with that injury. He had no zip at all on his passes. Of course, when he would finally throw a good pass and it would get dropped. Davis had a bad game. If he can't move the chains, they need to give one of the kids a chance. Forte got decent production running, but this is the NFL and you gotta be able to pass the ball in a dome!!!

Does anybody know why didn't they at least try Williams? I realize the roller dome is a tough place for even veteran O linemen, but St Clair was getting beat anyway. Why not give the kid a shot? He is a lot more athletic and Allen was just running around St Clair like a river around an island.

Eh, minus the runs up the middle at the goal line, I like what the the coaches were doing. I liked the challenge Lovie won. Our guys quite simply did not execute. Missed tackles on defense, dropped passes on offense, a QB dizzy from being slapped around one time too many...

It's tough to win in the Metrodome and once the momentum shifted, it became tougher. The Bears still do have a playoff shot, probably a better shot than the vikes', so things could look up. We're not done yet.

LOL..... "like a river around an island". That is funny.

Look here. If the Bears lose to the Jags, they should just pack it in. Shut down T. Harris, Urlacher, and Mike Brown. Play Steltz, Harrison, and Jamar Williams in place of them. See who can play. I have my doubts about Steltz. Play Baldwin, Chris Williams, and Bennett too. Drop Rex to 3rd QB, and put Hanie as the back-up. Play to win, but get these guys in to see who can play.

This team needs to change. It won't happen this year. Babich needs to be replaced by someone competent. This defense is still good, and talented. The difference between Rivera and Babich is the big play. Babich's defense allows big plays. Someone like Mike McCarthy or Wade Phillips (yes I know he currently coaches Dallas). Wade Phillips knows defense. He just has never been a good head coach.

One of the D-ends must be traded for a pick. There will be interest and takers. Ogunleye might command a 2nd rounder. Brown a late 2nd/early 3rd. And Anderson is probably a 3rd. One needs to go, and the Bears need a better one.

Get some more muscle on the O-line. If you want your team to be a power running football team, then get the meat to move the line of scrimmage on the O-line. Get a "tooth-shattering" monster truck of a Full back ( the best ones are slow line backers in college ) to power through lead blocks. Get a tight end that is a bigger and better blocker than either Clark, Olson, or Clemons.

Anyways, go Bears

Brad - I know you drink the Orange & Blue KOOL AID with Matt Forte every saturday afternoon on Michigan Ave...but dude....put it down.
As you say on #3.

I'd have gone for it on fourth down, also, but the play calling was curious.
Answer - Uh how about dumb and dull (like turner always is)

If you're at the one, why not try four plays with your best player Forte?
Answer - Cause the defense will catch on.

If running against the Williams Wall is the biggest challenge you face, why hand the ball to Davis, who was promoted from the practice squad Saturday?
Answer - cause turner is our offensive coordinater ...remember dumber and duller?

That's running right into the strength of the defense. Was it supposed to surprise the Vikings?
Answer - would 4 up the middle with Forte do any better?!

Brad - take the points and kick the ball let them start at the'll take the wind out of their sails anyway...the game was close at that point....the crowd could of been out of it...did you happen to see the interview at the end of the game when the cowboty defensive end said "We were waitin' for them to run on 4th - we knew we were going to STOP em"....nuff said!

First and goal from the 1 and you don't score! The game was lost when Forte was stopped on 4th down. The Bears are undersized and underpowered up front against two of the best D-tackles in the NFL and Dufus Turner can't figure out how to get one yard. You get some size and power working for you. Most teams have a "jumbo" package where they line up an offensive guard as full back and the tailback rides his big 'ol butt into the endzone. That's what the Bears should have done four times if necessary. I know it would have produced one yard. DUH!

Face it people, when you buy cheap (coaches and players) you just don't get the best players. And believe this, the Halas/McCaskey Clan was, is and always will be cheap. To quote my 94 year old father, "Halas would squeeze a nickel until the buffalo (old nickel) would jump off!" There just won't be any game-to-game and year-to-year consistency when you are working with average at best coaches and players. A very sad and true tale of woe.
p.s. Crack is a wonderful drug where one hit produces the same effect as four simultaneous orgasms. Don't everyone leave the room at once.

Bill...I have to disagree about Angelo. He is the MAIN problem. The coaches and system in place in Chicago are the ones he wanted. The same type of system from when he was down in Tampa. He is incompetent. Yes, he has made some good (lucky) draft picks, but he has made more then a few horrid ones. What trade or free agent has he brought in that has been a difference maker? Ogunleye? Tait has been serviceable, not fantastic. Those are the only "big" names that he has brought in.

It's like he does half of his job. That's a 50% grade on a test. A big fat F

I am more concerned about the OL than any other position group on the team. I am impressed with how Beekman is getting better with more experience, and Garza held up better than I expected against the Williams wall (first time this year, as he has been abused every week), but Tait and St. Clair are getting beaten repeatedly by average guys. Allen is a freak, which I will forgive St. Clair for, but Tait should not be having trouble with Ray Edwards. If not for the quick drops for Orton with the bum ankle, we would be giving up sacks left and right. We aren't much better than that now.

You combine that with some pretty shoddy WR play: Davis dropping passes, Hester running poor routes (he is still learning), and no one gets open by the time Orton needs to unload the ball, and we have a recipe for disaster....The only thing that would make it worse is predictable play calling, with a limited set of plays...oh, wait, we have that too!

This offense, which was giving defenses fits earlier in the year, is well beyond exposed. Olsen is being covered by CBs, which limits his mismatches down the field. He still has an advantage in the short game, but that doesn't move the chains. We need to get a gamebreaker play or two in the passing game, but we can't protect Kyle long enough to make it happen. I say we need to put Chris Williams in the lineup and see if we can give Kyle a few more blinks of an eye by having a quicker guy on the outside. Next year, Beekman and Williams will be the left side, so let's get started on it. Tait has been awful, so I am ok with St. Clair moving to the right side, and Tait getting a paid vacation for the rest of the year. I also want to see Buenning in there, which would mean Garza would be out. Even if we make a run to the playoffs, we are not strong enough right now on the line to make any noise. We need to try plan B, and that means changing things up. If it works, we have 4 weeks to gel. If it doesn't, we can always go back to plan A.

We are down, but not out. If we play like we did Sunday night against the Jags, the latter will only be a matter of time.

I have to agree with Joe, it's time to give the young/other players a shot, we will not make it very far in the playoffs, so get the guy's who can play next year some experience, and yeah, sit Tait down, lets see Buenning play as well, St.Clair is better than Tait, aint that wrong? We need a RT and monster DE/WR in the draft or FA (which I agree with viera on, the McCaskeys are not buying any great FA anytime soon). Didn't alot of us wonder why JA did not get any more OL up front in the draft? Now we still need a RT in the worst way, and we have a 3rd rd WR that can't get on the field. It's hard to say we need a WR when we just drafted one in the 3rd AND picked up a FA Booker as well, who knows what these other WR on the team can do too can't be any worse than what we have playing now.
Anyone that wants in the playoffs after watching that debacle against the Pack/Vikes is gonna miss that higher draft choice big time next year.

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This page contains a single entry by Brad Biggs published on December 1, 2008 12:50 AM.

Booker, Rideau out for Vikings game was the previous entry in this blog.

A preliminary look at postseason tiebreakers is the next entry in this blog.

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