Chicago Sun-Times

Dire playoff situation not lost on players

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If you didn't know better, Monday's locker room session had the feeling like the Bears had lost Sunday.

They didn't on the field, but they were losers in the playoff race as just about every outcome they were seeking went the other way.

Tight end Desmond Clark sat down to watch the Minnesota-Arizona game and clicked it off before the first quarter was over with the Vikings ahead 21-0.

"No need to watch it anymore,'' Clark said. ``You could tell where it was going. Yeah, it was a little disappointing but we still have to do what we have to do."

The Bears have not been eliminated from the postseason race but they need to win out and have Minnesota lose at home to Atlanta and the New York Giants, or have a complicated series of unlikely outcomes happen in other games for a wild-card berth.

"There is some hope but we need a lot of help, to say the least," Clark said. "But it is still out there. We're not going to quit playing until we get down there in Houston Dec. 28 and the clock reads three zeroes."

The Bears just held meetings and will return to the practice field Tuesday in preparation for a Green Bay team that, from the outside, appears to be coming apart at the seams. The Packers had a series of mini-meltdowns in their loss at Green Bay that officially eliminated them from the playoff race.

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11 Comments

It all comes down to the Falcons Viking game this week to determine our fate, the ATL, with the last second win over us is the problem, we now have to root for them to beat the Vikes to give us a shot at the Division, and then hop that the Gint lose to Carolina, so they would need to Viking game at end of the season, if Gint don't need the game then even with the Vikes losing to ATL we still don't get in by winning out! Playoffs would really be nice this season since we have had so much to blog about, but a winning season in more than a lot of you thought we'd get coming into this year, beat the Pack an we secure that for sure, win out and we build momentum next season no matter what the outcome. By the way what happens in the blog if we win out and then don't get in, how much blame will go to Lovie, Babich, and Angelo then???, Would they deserve blame since most of the blogger predicted 6-10 or 7-9 records???....we have a lot to think about for sure, my feeelings are the BEARS have done well, even with some of the mistakes made and have a solid foundation, still need a few key pieces for next season and of course good health to get back where we all want to be a chance to play in the playoff and get to the Super Bowl....Go BEARS, and to a lesser extent the Falcons also....

Chi town:

How can you say the Bears did well this year? The Bears blew three games for sure. Any good defense would have held onto those games with leads in the fourth quarter and the Bears should have carried either a 14-3 or 10-3 lead into halftime against the Vikings which they blew. That game against the Vikings would have been completely different and most likely not a loss. Yes, the Vikings scored 17 in the second half and the Bears 7 but with a 14-3 halftime lead the final score could have been 21-20 Bears. There was no way the Bears should have been losing at Halftime by 17 to 7.

The Bears in my opinion were far more disappointing this year than any of the last 4 years except 2006.

The common denominator is the coaching is poor, half time adjustments do not happen and the Bears haven't finished or played a full 60 minutes since 2006. Lovie, Babich and Turner need to go elsewhere and lets get someone like a good D Coordinator from Baltimore or Pittsburgh, some creativity in Offense and a coach with a heart and desire to be a champion like Singletary. Has anyone been watching what he has been doing with a bad team in San Francisco?

photo of lovie smith when bears get scored on by opponent:

http://mybearsandblackhawksblog.files.wordpress.com/2007/01/lovie.jpg

photo of lovie smith after learning he just won publishers clearinghouse $10 million jackpot:

http://mybearsandblackhawksblog.files.wordpress.com/2007/01/lovie.jpg

photo of lovie smith learning that the earth will explode in 5 minutes:

http://mybearsandblackhawksblog.files.wordpress.com/2007/01/lovie.jpg

Dali:

I can't say the BEARS did not blow games this year nor would I at this point in the season, but they have defintely overachieved this season to say the least. Most people here were predicting 6-7 wins top this season, when we started, now we have 8 with a chance for 10, now you do the math here, 8 does seem better than 6-7. Can I say they have not made coaching mistakes, no I can not, but I also could if I chose to say the coaching staff over-achieved by winning as many games as they have with the roster we have to work with. I guess what I'm saying is this season the glass is more like 3/4 full rather than half full. I keep seeing everyone say get rid of Lovie, but where were we before him, crying for the days of Ditka if I remember correctly. we seem to have and should have high expectations for our team, but when they do better than thought we should recognize this also....Hell yes, they blew games, but who in the league doesn't each year, just look at yesterday for example, the Ravens blew a game, the Chiefs blew a game, what about Tampa...the league is tough each year, we need to be reminded of that before we run out the only coach since iron Mike to get us in the playoffs and to the Super Bowl, yes Coauher (sp) is out there but do you really think the McCaskey's will pay top dollar to bring him in and still pay Lovie....no way my friend, let shore up some positions, get a better job done at Defensive coordinator and take our chances, and this year isn't done yet!

Singletary is a Bear yes, but I'm not convinced he's a better coach than Lovie.....Go BEARS

Chi-town:

I agree with your optimism of Lovie Smith. I just think the defensive coordinator is bad. Smith should overide him, but he is too loyal too. His loyalty should be rewarded with a better D-coordinator. So I think the Bear's D has the same talent it did 2 and 3 years ago when it was good. The major thing that changed was the D-coordinator. And while I admit that before the season I though we were at best a 9-7 team, and likely 8-8, I now know that this team has enough talent to beat Carolina on the road (up 17-3 late in the 3rd), beat TB (up 24-14 with 4 minutes left), and beat Atlanta on the road (up 20-19 with 6 seconds left and the ball at the Atlanta 40). That last one really eats me up. All 3 losses are attributed to defensive coaching deficiencies.

With the playoffs seemingly out of site, let us peak into the best possible future:

1. The only Bear that they might want to re-sign for a bargain is Mike Brown.

2. The only player worth trading for is Anquon Boldin. He would be expensive, but probably worth it.

3. The following is an unrestricted free agent list of only those who could possibly contribute big next year, and in order of importance (Not money):
-Julius Peppers DE Carolina (would command 10 mil per year)
-Albert Haynesworth NT Tennessee (would command 8 mil per year)
-Jordan Gross LT Carolina (would command 7 mil per year)
-Mike Goff G San Diego (would command 3 mil per year)
-Mark Tauscher G/T Green Bay (would command 3 mil per year)
-T.J. Houshmandzadeh WR Cincinatti (would command 6 mil per year)
-Mark Columbo RT Dallas (would command 3 mil per year)
-Nnamdi Asomugha CB Oakland (would command 5 mil per year)
-Dawan Landry S Baltimore (would command 5 mil per year)
-James Farrior LB Pittsburg (would command 3 mil per year)

I would prefer they sign Peppers, Goff, and Asomugha (trust me this guy is insanely awesome). they probably won't spend more than 20 million. This would have been Haynesworth instead of Peppers before he got injured again (he gets injured a lot if you look at his whole career).

4. This is a list of lineman or linebackers who would probably be picked between 10 and 25 (according to ESPN):
- Eugene Monroe OT Virginia 6'5" 310
- Everette Brown DE Florida St. 6'4" 250
- Rey Maualuga LB USC 6'2" 260
- Gerald McCoy DT Oklahoma 6'3" 293
- Brian Orakpo DE Texas 6'3" 255
- Terrence Cody NT Alabama 6'4" 375
- Sen' Derrick Marks DT Auburn 6'1" 290
- Michal Oher OT Mississippi 6'5" 330
- B.J. Raji DT Boston College 6'1" 334
- James Laurenitis LB Ohio St. 6'2" 240
- Michael Johnson DE Georgia Tech 6'7" 260

If the y do sign Peppers and Goff, then they should get bigger in the draft. Maualuga, Cody, Oher, and Raji are all big guys for their positions with above average athleticism. Anyone of them would be a huge asset to the team. If all are taken then they should grab Laurenitis. He would excel at Hillenmeyer's position.

AND THEY MUST REPLACE BOB BABICH!!
- Rod Marinelli is the most likely candidate.
- Romeo Crennel runs a 3-4 but did good in NE.
- Wade Phillips is a proven good D-coordinator whether it is 3-4 or 4-3, and may be available if Dallas again loses in the first playoff game.
- Mike Singletary is the least likely candidate because he is doing a good job of being a head coach right now with a sub par talented team. But he would be my first choice.

- I hope and wish that the Bears somehow make the playoffs, but I still want this team to be dominant again too. And that requires change. They were dominant in the 80's and they can do that again. They have great fans who show up all the time, and buy a ton their SH#*(&&^#!!. They have a ton of money rolling in because they are simply The Chicago Bears. They can do this and the players are available right away when the season ends.

Look at Miami and Atlanta. They were horrible last year but added key pieces and good coaching and now they are instantly a good team. Carolina got a lot better simply by adding 2 first round picks in Jonathan Stewart, and Jeff Otah. The Bears are closer to where Carolina was last year. They are but a few pieces away and a better D-coordinator from being a great team again.

GO BEARS!!

Wow, that may have been too long, sorry.

Ryan: I like a lot of what y0u had to say in the post, good thing you mentioned money,as all Bear fans know this keeps us looking for bargain players all the time, we only have so much of the family money to spend on the team......I think the D-Coordinator position will be a true test for Lovie this off-season, Babich's job has not been what we expect, even though there is a lot of Rivera love on the blog, he did not do a great job in my opinion either and should have been hired as a head coach by now somewhere if he really was that great, he defeintely had enough interviews....I do agree I think strongside LB is a current weakness, and would like to see a safety with range brought in as well on that side of the ball, the Sooners have ba guy I saw this season who fits the part good range and a headhunter, don't know if he's available, out of your list of coordinators the only one I see Lovie bringing in is Marinelli, who I must say gets my respect, he has the Lions playing hard, but its obvious his best spot is at coordinator and not the top spot, you are right on Asomugna, I've seen this guy and he would be willing to leave the prison he's in in Oak, just don't see us having the money to bring him on board....I still don't hear the fat lady singing yet, so let's play it out and see what happens, even with the blown games this year, we have had something to watch till the end of the season, which is exactly how I like it, get in the playoffs or be in the hunt, no more bad years with double-digit losses......Go BEARS....let's win two.......

Ryan and Chi town:

Good posts and good points.

I still believe what I believe that the Bears blew it despite what most peoples expectations were for them this year.

I also believe the fish stinks from the head and Lovie is the leader. This team plain and simple did not start playing well until week 10 and certainly did not play the full 60 on both sides of the ball at any consistency this year. It is the coaches job to have the full team ready to go the full 60 and it did not happen. I have watched an individual or two on the D line on passing plays not even rushing just sitting back at the line of scrimmage more than a few times this year.

I think the Bears missed a good opportunity this year as I stated above, they made poor coaching decisions on both sides of the ball and it truly bums me out!!

If Lovie is a motivator, but not a technical/execution guy, then he needs a D-coordinator that is a technical guy. Rivera was that, and Babich is not.

I don't have time to look up run defense, pass defense, total defense. The fact is the alarming number of big plays the Bears give up is happening every week and on more than one occasion.

The way that "Lovie's" Defense is supposed to run is the same as what he said in 2004. "Everyone has a gap". People were out of their gaps in 2004 under Rivera, but very disciplined to stay in their gaps in 2005 and 2006. They do need a better nose tackle, and a strong side linebacker (Maualuga would be awesome).

Lack of sufficient man power may be costing the Bears some stops on 3rd downs, but someone screwed up when a big play happens. Someone got caught out of a gap. Or someone blew coverage, because if the play is extended they are supposed to sag deep into zone and force the play underneath (watch Tampa, and the Colts play it, this is what they do all the time). They do bend a lot because of lack of manpower, but they don't miss assignments and break apart.

That has to be coaching. Discipline is about what the coach tells you to do. They have to trust each other more, and assume that their fellow man will at least draw even on his one on one assignment.

Trust and execution is a coaching thing. Rivera somehow had them doing that. Trusting each other and being disciplined, and the players knew the game plan. There were rarely big plays given in 2005 and 2006.

Simply fire Babich. Then find a lot of candidates, and interview them all, and hire a technical D-coach. Do this and the Bears will make the playoffs next year. If they sign Peppers and Goff and draft Maualuga then they will go to the Super bowl next year.

Go Bears!!

Ryan:

Lovie should be boththe motivator and the technical guy giving suggestions etc. Watch Belichek on the sidelines, he is always huddling up during the game with the D linebackers, D backs etc pointing out what is going on and what to look for during the game.

Lovie, is not a genius and is not even in the same ballpark as Belichek. Would you think that if the D coordinator is not getting it done that maybe Lovie would start to call plays and be more involved in the D? Maybe he has lately because the D has improved, but we lost the season in the first half of the year when the D could not hold leads and gave up way to many third and longs, consequently losing 3 games as a result.

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This page contains a single entry by Brad Biggs published on December 15, 2008 1:45 PM.

Bears' playoff situation goes critical was the previous entry in this blog.

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