Chicago Sun-Times

Quick reaction: Houston, we have a problem, a few in fact

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HOUSTON--Just finished watching all the Denver-San Diego game I needed to see. We've got a full offseason to review the happenings in the 2008 season but we'll try to address a few things coming out of this game before turning our attention to a flight that leaves (crossing our fingers here) before the sun rises.

1. Since its the offseason, we might as well look ahead and what better event to focus on than the draft. I don't have this firmed up at this point, but my best guess, yes I said guess, is that the Bears will hold the 16th pick in the first round of the draft. They are tied with Dallas, the New York Jets and Tampa Bay as 9-7 clubs that failed to make the postseason.

The first tiebreaker is strength of schedule and the club with the weakest schedule goes first. Given that the Bears had two games with Detroit and one with St. Louis (that's 2-46 right there), I'd have to think they'll edge ahead of the others. Tampa was in the tough NFC South, Dallas was in the tough NFC East and the Jets were also in a competitive division. Stay tuned on this one.

2. Boy, it sure looked like things were going the Bears' way when they jumped ahead 10-0. The energy was being sucked right out of Reliant Stadium but then the Texans did what good football teams do, they got their playmakers, or in this instance, playmaker Andre Johnson involved. Cornerback Charles Tillman did not fare well vs. him. Tillman finished with a team-high 10 tackles and most of those came after Johnson had made catches downfield. Nine of Johnson's 10 catches went for first downs.

3. This marked the sixth game the Bears lost that they led in. Carolina, Tampa Bay, Atlanta, Tennessee, Minnesota (2nd game) and Houston. The only loss they had in which they didn't lead was the 37-3 game at Green Bay.

4. The Bears surrendered 4,076 yards passing on the season, the most since allowing 4,079 in 1999. There really needs to be a focus on the pass rush, or lack of one. There have been statistics used this season that the Bears blitzed more than any team in the league. They have said themselves that they are blitzing more than ever before. Kind of like the money they paid the defense, they didn't get a return on all of those blitzes. No, sacks aren't the true measure of a pass rush, but they finished with just 29 sacks, led by Alex Brown's six. Don't discount the need for an edge rusher next season, be it an end or maybe a strong-side linebacker.

5. Has the window for this defense officially closed to make it back to the Super Bowl? It's a fair question to debate. The cornerstone players are getting older and a case can be made that Pro Bowl linebacker Lance Briggs is the only one of the bunch who performed at a level you would expect. The real issue on the defense seems to be the failure to develop new, emerging talent.

6. When your top wide receiver is third on the team in catches, that's a problem. That means your quarterback isn't throwing the ball downfield enough. That was the case here with Devin Hester finishing with 51 receptions, three behind tight end Greg Olsen and 12 behind running back Matt Forte.

7. Consider the Bears are the first Super Bowl loser since the 2002 Oakland Raiders not to make it back to the playoffs in the first two years removed from losing the Big Game. That's not company anyone wants to keep. Look, the Super Bowl hangover even stung New England this year.

8. How long into a postseason meeting does general manager Jerry Angelo take to delve into how and why third-round pick Earl Bennett went through the season without one reception? Either Bennett was a bad miss in the draft or the coaching staff hasn't found a way to breakthrough with him. Or could it be both?

9. It's not fair to beat up veteran Marty Booker for his lack of production this season. Yes, he had a bad drop last week vs. Green Bay, but his playing time was limited and in comparison to the reps he had, his production was at or above that of the others. Booker was also slowed by a painful knee injury and a broken rib.

10. They've already said it, Kyle Orton is the quarterback for next season. Orton triggered a $350,000 escalator for next season in his contract. He finished 28 yards shy of 3,000. It will be interesting to see how the club approaches his status with one year remaining on the deal. It can't hurt to make him play for it.

11. And finally, this from Tillman in the locker room after the game ...

"Obviously we're not in the playoffs. Our season's over. They wanted it a little bit more than us. We just didn't get it done, plain and simple.''

The Houston Texans, which entered at 7-8, wanted it more? Just checking.

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24 Comments

#16 overall isnt bad going into this years deep draft class. I think we'll draft a DB in the 1st without a doubt hopefully Vontae Davis. Taylor Mays will be a stud and will fill mike browns shoes

This team needs to be totally rebuilt. A team that spends all its money on defense yet still has a lousy defense is a complete failure. Lovie Smith and his idiotic attitudes have to go. Talk Bill Cowher out of retirement. Force Jerry Angelo to hire someone who can competently evaluate college offensive talent or fire him, too. And start drafting lots of large, strong, tough, and football smart offensive and defensive linemen and actually good receivers. Those are the only ways this team will improve enough to have a chance to get back to the Super Bowl.

Def. Coordinator sucks. How many thousands of times are you gonna get burned on across the middle passes for 8 yards before you get that your scheme doesn't work?

The Bears have three issues to address:

1. The offensive line needs to be revamped. Good teams make short yard runs when the game is on the line. The Bears were unable to move the chains in their losses to the Bucs as well as the Panthers. Of course the most obvious is the Minnesota game. This line is average at best. Review the games and you'll notice that the o-line was not able to push people when it was crunch time.

2. They need a receiver who is respected and can get off the line. Brandon Llyod is not a number and neither is Devin Hester. Both can stay if you have a receiver like Andre Johnson. They need route runners.

3. Bob Babich needs to go. How many third and longs did the Bears give up? How many slant patterns did the Bears get scorched with? There was NO pressure from the front four. The scheme is terribly weak and it's obvious that the league knows this as well.

Yes, crack is good! Evidence being that obviously Angelo, Lovie, Babich and Turner are all using. Lovie for sure, just see the consistent blank and confused look on his face. Curly, Moe, Larry and Dufus must all go. Papa Halas is surely rolling over in his grave seeing his team that today can't consistently run the ball/control the clock and a defense that operates like an expensive sieve. You keep these fools at the top employed for 2009 and the denial along with the mediocre play will surely contine. If you believe otherwise, you are both dilusional and in denial!

The real changes needed are those on the coaching and front office staff. The players in this league, even though they claim manhood, are infact children and they need to be put in place by a drill-seargent-like staff. Lovie has to stop being so Lovey. Babich needs to be fired, and Angelo needs to pry open that wallet and sign a few people such as Boldin, Hushmanzada 9or however you spell it), Peppers, etc. Just buy three killer players: two for the O and one for the D. If we don't start the changing process imediately we will be a continuous failure.

I, for one, am fed up with the Cowboys, Steelers, Patriots among others having won multiple Super Bowls while we have just one. What do they have that we don't. They don't have the Halas/McCaskey bloodlines. Jerry Angelo wins one Super Bowl and we hire him. Why not hire Jimmy Johnson or some one who has been with an organization that has won multiple rings? MONEY!!!!!!! The ownerships' miserly and greedy heritage of not being an organization who should be at the forefront of the NFL in all aspects. {Especially Championships}. We need a total makeover, including a new ownership who has a visionary forethought of what the Chicago franchise really should convey. CHAMPIOSNSHIPS!!!!!!!!!!!! Plain and simple.

Is it not 100% obvious that everything went bad when Rivera left and Babs showed up. How does Lovie and Jerry not see it? Is it pride that wont let them admit it? The players are all secretly trying to say what the problem is (the darn cover two) but no one will come out and say it. Are they affraid of getting trouble? If we still had Rivera, and this offense we would be a superbowl contender!

How can we do any better with this year Draft when angelo will get another player with a previous injury and get hurt again and then miss 75% percent of the season. Like Jerry Said last year Draft there was no good quaterbacks man wasn't he right not!! Then Lovie says were close with a 9-7 record. All any team needs to do is just throw on and us and they will win because babich put our deffense out of place all the time but Lovie Say's where close. But Lovie will be in the hot seat if he doesn't pony up. He will be another Dick Jauron who will be loyal to his buddy's and get fired for it if he doesn't make harsh decisions. As a bear supporter I find it hard to belive that we don't need a another quarterback I mean Kyle Orton only had 1 throw for over 30 yards and it came on the last game of the season to Devin Hester. His deep ball isnt even close to be ready and they said he has improved what did he improve on in my oppinion is a better game manager not a better quarterback. But I am sure will give him a little more money this year and he will come back and suck and 2010 we will be looking for another quarterback with spending years to devolping them and they too will suck because our coaching staff can't euvalute good talent if it was in there face because our team has lots of talent but always miss uses them all the time. I mean charles Tilliman and alex brown both had frustrating words I bet if you asked Urlacher Brigss tillman Harris or any bears player who has been around alot for the bears will tell you that this defensive scheme doesn't work I hope and pray in this offseason someone from bears locker room like a player will say something of this nature. I am starting to think that Lovie think he is close to going out the door if serious changes isn't made in this offseason because I don't see the bears organization wasting money on something that doesnt produce but then again look at all of the quarterbacks we have waste money on and they didn't produce neither. We need something done now not in 2010 when we will be probably looking for another quarterback and coaching staff

The majority of pro football teams are continuously trending - either up or down. Every once in a while you find a team that hits a level of excellence and can maintain for years - i.e., NE Patriots, SF 49ers even the Bears under Mike Ditka.

But those are exceptions and rare. Most teams rise, then fall...and after the fall changes are needed before another rise can occur.

People - we are in the beginning of a nose dive. This team's better days are behind them. Can any of you actually believe that Angelo and Smith have what it takes to turn this thing around and get back to the promised land?

This teams needs to entirely re-tool. There needs to be some bold moves taken to turn this franchise around or else the Bears are going to be stuck in perpetual .500 territory. Excuse me - BORING!

I was big on the idea of Bill Cowher...but that would probably cost more than the Bears are willing to pay. How about this - Jimmy Harbaugh. He's doing a fine job at Stanford. He has fire and enthusiasm and he has the pedigree. I'd also reach as fast as I could over to Detroit and talk to Rod Marinelli about the D-coordinator job.

On top of that - Kyle Orton is a nice player but the Bears need a game changer. Again we need to be bold here and reach for a blue chipper. Watch Matt Ryan, Joe Flacco, Phil Rivers and Jay Cutler and see what the future of the NFL QB is. And what the hell are the Bears doing? I can't stand anymore of this oatmeal mantra - 'we like the players we got.' Starting to remind me of Slingblade. Simply not going to get it done.

Without substantial change I don't see 2009 being any better than 2008.

See you somewhere in the middle...again.

Why isn't anyone talking about A. Johnson's bobbled no-catch touchdown at the end of the first half??? He bobbled the ball with his left foot still in the air, when the ball was secured and the left foot landed, it was out-of bounds!!! I repeat... OUT OF BOUNDS!! Not to mention this was third down, forcing a field goal instead of a TD... This was after the Manning fumble and completely changed the momentum of the game, with Houston up 14-10 instead of tied at half.

Check the video... I'm completely baffled...

Bears should give up the first round pick for a Defensive Coordinator. Good defenses don't Blitz (very often). Good Defenses put their guys in the right position to make a play. If a good Defense chooses to Blitz, it should come as a surprise. If you lead the league in Blitzing no one is surprised and you aren't a good defense.

congratulations for a winning season bears, you were in winning position in every game except the letdown in g.b., that said, i'm tired of looking at lovie, he never ever talks into those headsets, why even wear them? i thinks he's lost and is deluding himself into thinking we're close!! the bears are shot, load the truck up, rasheed, peanut, brian, tommy, nathan, rex, and more can fit in it, blown coverages, dropped passes, lame excuses, i think kyle played great, he's a great backup, but please bring in a quarterback, look what atlanta did, drop the cover2, we need big lineman in the frozen north, we are close, but to detroit level, not the playoffs, ahem

Isn't it wonderful to see how well throwing money at crybabies works to create winning teams? Look at the players who got big raises. The only one worth it was Briggs.Throw out the big salaried jerks and get some players who just love to play the game. Now the Bears will probably throw some money at Orton only to find that he still can't throw donfield and is about the easiest quarterback to read in the league. How many times did he find a secondary receiver? Actually I can recall two or three,but then they were overthrown or dropped the ball anyway, so it probably didn't matter. Am I disgruntled and fed up with this team? Yes!!!

How many great defenses play a cover 2? None. The Bucs are the only decent one left; everyone else plays a 3-4 or a hybrid that allows for flexibility.

I know the temptation is there to grab Rod Marinelli, but it'll be just more of the same. The Bears are paying their defensive linemen upwards of $20 million, and what are they getting? NO pressure on the quarterback, which is an absolute essential in the cover-2.

Good coaches tailor their schemes to their personnel, not try to fit a square peg into a round hole. And that's why I want Lovie fired, despite this year's team exceeding all our expectations.

And yeah, Jeff, I saw that non-catch too. Fox completely dropped the ball on it. I was expecting them to come back to it later, since it was fairly obvious, but nope.

Two things that stand out to me from Biggs' comments:

1. He is absolutely right on the pass rush. If we draft 16th, I see a lot of defensive ends that fit what we are doing defensively. I see Ogunleye getting his pink slip, and Anderson will need to show lots of improvement to keep a roster spot. Our DBs are not solid enough to cover for 5-7 seconds, which is how long Schaub and everybody else had to throw on Sundays this year. Tillman was playing with one arm for most of the year, so his effort is impressive, but are you telling me a one-armed Tillman is better than McBride? Expect Bowman and Graham to get a lot more looks in the offseason, as Vasher was playing poorly as well before going on IR

2. The offense is improving, but it will hit a ceiling very quickly with current personnel. The offensive line is a mess. St. Clair was marginal at best, Tait is showing signs of aging faster than he should. Neither should be starting next year at their current spot, which means Tait gets a pink slip. I look no further than the 3rd and 1 when Garza was pushed 4 yards into the backfield when Forte tried to run it, and that illustrates perfectly how bad Garza has been this year. He needs to go as well, and we need to let Buenning or Addams take that job. We will need a right tackle, unless Cody Balogh or St. Clair appear sturdy enough to man the spot next season. Kreutz is still solid, assuming he still wants to play. Williams has to be the starting left tackle next year, and Beekman has been improving all season long. That gives us a decent blind side for Orton, which would tell me we need some maulers on the right to run behind. Buenning and a beast of a Right tackle would be a good thing in my opinion.

Marty Booker's time back in Chicago needs to be over. Lloyd showed enough to warrant a return audition, Hester showed he can be a solid #2 down the stretch. Davis needs to prove he can catch the ball, and Bennett needs to do something to get on the stat sheet. Otherwise, Rideau and Hass need to be the 3rd and 4th WRs. Olsen, Clark, and Kellen Davis could be a really solid group, but all of this is predicated on better run and pass blocking. Without that, we will still lead the league in 3 and outs, like we did this year.


All in all, we did better than I thought we would, but I would have never guessed that the defense would have caved in so badly late in games. We did not do enough on offense to keep them off the field early so they would be fresh, but given our OL, we couldn't throw down the field. 2900 yards passing with that protection (or lack thereof) is a pretty good accomplishment. The only thing that scares me is how Orton got worse at going through his progressions, and started staring down his receivers. I think he made up his mind where the ball was going, and then locked in and waited. He needs to trust the timing, and keep the DBs honest, and he will be fine. If we can work in 7 step drops on 10-12 plays a game next season, we will be looking at closer to 3500 yards passing, because the underneath routes will open more with the threat of throwing down the field.

Another season done, another disappointing finish. Here's hoping that the youth movement on this roster goes to where it is needed most....the trenches. We have to win the line of scrimmage on both sides to be a legitimate threat to win the division. Pass rushers, and guys who can stop them need to be our top priorities in the offseason this year.

I'm glad Orton will be the starter for next year. If he didn't get injured we would be rolling into the playoffs. He will greatly improve in his 3rd year as full time starter and bring us back to the playoffs.

It is really amazing that most of the bloggers get it - they see exactly what is wrong with this team, if it is so obvious to us why does JA/Lovie not get it?
Babich should ALREADY have been fired, why wait JA??? Teams that are smart have already done the deed, why is JA waiting on this?? Why even disrespect the fans even more by not acting on Babich asap like other teams have?
I liked Paul's comment about throwing money at crybabies, lol thats perfect as we all know who crybabied for `his' money and then did nothing to earn it.
BUT who gave him that money? Who was supposed to know that he would earn it this year and blew it along with letting Rivera (sp) go? and I don't think it was Lovie that hired Babich was it? or Turner? I always liked JA but the truth time is here, these facts can not be ignored! The management that made all these blunders is the one responsible not the losers they hired, or threw money at. They ALL need to go or we will see the same mistakes again next year.

Some interesting thoughts for you guys, and you Biggs.

There is a good chance that Bill Parcells will be available to GM with the impending sail of Miami. He has an opt out clause if the team is sold. I know this organization won't go after him, not with the great Angelo at the helm but one can dream.

Angelo and Lovie were both brought in to build a defensive team. Defense will be there first thought in this draft but Angelo does not go after DB's in the first round and he has had no luck drafting pass rushing DE's as well. However he did once sign a premier pass rusher for the Bucs. With that thought I give you free agent JJ Peppers and his 14.5 sacks. He would be a nice piece the puzzle. Again like Parcells this will not happen. But it's nice to dream. Look for the first pick to be a Strong side LB. This will not help with pass pressure as the Bears drop there LB's into coverage most of the time and don't know how to scheme a blitz.

Lets talk offense, coordinators around the league will now have a full off season to digest what the Bears do. You saw a fall off from Orton and Forte as teams began to scheme them. This trend will continue. As for WR look for the Bears to do the same thing they did last year, draft a mid level pick and bring in some bad free agents. I would not be surprised to see Bobby Engram palying for the Bears next year. Lets remember one thing about the Bears offense.

For everyone that was impressed by this offense, you should probably look twice they were ranked 26th in total offense and as for them being a running team. Well they throw a lot more than they run.

Joe I agree the oline needs to be revamped but the Bears got what they wanted out of it this year. Either way this year or next Tait is probably gone when his contract ends. However please note that the Bears tend to ride there linemen into the ground, Miller and Brown ring a bell I am sure. Williams will probably get the start at LT next year. It will be interesting to see what happens to St. Clair, the oline postion is thin for the Bears and loosing him would be a big blow to the depth as they only have 3 Tackles on this team. A bigger question is the interior line and what they will do there. Kruetz will be entering his 12th season and has been slowing down the last 2 years, not that he is bad but you do need to find him a replacment at some point. Tait is entering his 11th season and has really slowed down even with the move to RT, St. Clair his 10th and Garza his 9th. This O-line does not push the pile and only holds up well in short pass protection. The Backups are Buenning and Williams right now and that is it. I would love to see the Bears go after Alex Mack in the second round as he can play guard or Center better than anyone on the Bears roster, he can also play tackle in a pinch. First round it would be nice to see a WR, DB or DE, I would love to seet he Oline be addresed as well but that won't happen. But I doubt guys like Heyward-Bey, Maclin, Mays, Moore(Perfect fit at SS), Mays, Johnson or Orakpo are there. Hopefully the WR's do what they did last year and drop like crazy, be nice to see Crab in a Bears uniform.

The big question is do the Bears think they need to address the D-line or are they going to give it another shot next year and see if they can create pressure with the same group. Also if there happy with the Oline that was better than they expected will they make changes there? But just thought they were so desperate for line help they brought back Miller this year, so at some point they will be addressing the Oline.

So maybe first pick is a DB or WR, second pick is a RT like Loadholt or C like Mack, third pick is either a WR or a DB.

Then again if you want to see any young talent starting on the Bears, one of the starters needs to get hurt or kicked off the team.

In my opinion this team needs a veteran firesale a la Baltimore post superbowl. Mike Brown is my favourite bears player and has been for years, but he has slowed significantly. I'd love to see him retire, and then immediately move into a coaching position with the secondary. Urlacher was bitterly disappointing this year, as were Nate Vasher and pretty much the whole D-line. Undoubtedly Babich needs firing, but if we want to look for the real culprits we need only look in the mirror. Briggs fully earned his resigning, but as numerous other posters have said, the other players that hit paydirt (Urlacher, Harris, Hester) did absolutly nothing. Luckily for us Daneel Manning took up much of Hester's burden as a returner, and one of the few real bright spots this season is the fact that our special teams are second to none. I believe that we have some excellent depth at corner, and that these young players will only improve with time in the starting lineup - Sorry Vasher, you're now surplus to requirements. I feel we should strongly pursue Taylor Mays at safety in the draft, and then let Mike Brown mould him into our next defensive difference maker.
None of the offseason signings on offence have been complete failures, with only Brandon Lloyd even justifying a place in the team next year. Our offensive line is older than a petrified forest, and we just need to let the young guys play, though Chris Williams' back concerns me. I don't feel we saw enough (or indeed anything) from Earl Bennett to make a descision one way or another this year, but I feel free agency should be the way to go for a go to receiver this year, with the potential for Anquan Boldin, T.J Houshmanzadah and Chad Johnson to be available, among others. Other draft picks should be spent on both lines, in order to keep Forte upright next year. If anyone believes he can keep on being our leading rushing AND receiving threat for a long period of time is deluding themselves. Peepers might also be a nice target, though his 2 sack performance last year leads me to believe he will be a tad overpriced if he hits FA.
The best move we can make this season is to upgrade Jerry Angelo. You know who's available, and talented, and VINDICATED? - Charley Casserly. The cornerstones of the Texans team were ones he put into place. Andre Johnson, Mario Williams, Dunta Robinson, Demeco Ryans, to a lesser extent Amobe Okoye. - Casserly's draft record is not in question, and guess what? He's available, he writes columns for CBSsportsline.com for god's sake. - Give this man a position on the Bears!

Bigg's I have some questions for you. Others probably know the answers as well.

What is the Bear's current payroll number?

What will the salary cap be set at next season?

What do you think Julius Peppers would command?

What about Haynesworth and Houshmanzadah?

If they got 2 of those 3 they would be a lot better presumably. Yes?

In terms of the draft:
1. I see the solid value picks as offensive lineman, defensive lineman, and the linebackers. What are your opinions on:
Ray Maualuga
B.J. Raji
Terrence Cody
Tyson Jackson
Michael Oher
James Laurenitis

2. Tim Tebow is currently projected to go in the late second to early third. Do the Bears take Tebow with their second pick? I think he would be a great utility player, and maybe, just maybe, a special player. Could put him in the back field with Forte and they could block for one another.

3. Antonio Dixon is supposed to go in the 3rd round. He is a 6'3" 325lbs DT from Miami with some good athleticism but a questionable motor.

4. The remaining picks. I think they should get at least 2 more offensive lineman. Nicks was available at the same time they took Kellen Davis. there are quality offensive lineman available throughout the draft.

5. Are there players that could be traded. Players that have seemingly hit their peak, and can now be traded? Players like Ogunleye (seems to have a ceiling lower than the Bear's need right now), Clark or Olson not both (We don't need 2 pass catching tight ends. There are more valuable positions that need attention), and maybe ummmmmm, gulp, Urlacher (what if he commands a high draft pick for whatever reason).

6. On a less serious note. It seems like teams waste a roster spot on a long snapper exclusively. I know that Olson can do it, and probably someone else. Does it have to be a specialist to do it. They can't train someone else to do it? Or a group of players to do it. And what about getting rid of your punter? And making your kicker do the punting. The kicker already does kickoffs, and field goals. Why can't he punt too? That is another roster spot. I know Maynard and Mannelly are good at what they do, but there are more important positions to fill. Those 2 roster spots could have been for Anthony Adams, and Earl Bennett (or Zack Bowman early on). Anthony Adams alone would have made more impact than both Maynard and Mannelly all season.

Anyways, I hope they spend. I know they have the money, and they will make even more if they have more merchandise to sell. Which they will if they win more stuff to make merchandise for. I hope they steer away from players with injury histories, or evidence of health problem ( like a herniated disc ) in the early rounds.

Go Bears

Look Randy it's pretty simple, fix the lines, get a saftie, get a reciever, and get more athletic doing it. Your interior line needs to become more athletic so they can trap, counter and get to the second level, let Broke Back Moutain Chris Williams have his shot and get a RT to replace the aging Tait. Basically you need to upgrade from the center to RT if you can this year. On the Dline kiss Goon goodbye and get a pass rusher, they also need a NT. Adams is a nice backup but Dusty Busty can't get it done or stay healthy. Then get yourself a strong Saftie like Moore, the only guy the Bears had that could play SS was Brown and he is either gone or if he is back will not play SS again as he keeps getting hurt doing it. Then you have WR, now Crabtree won't be there in the draft but Bey will and that guy is the goods. Question is will the Bears go offense or defense in this draft and most people are thinking defense. Even last year they devoted more of there picks to defense. Last fire Bob. Oh and forget about Peppers he is the big fish in this free agent class and the Bears are not about to spend that much more money on the defense.

Me I think the Bears will go D in this draft as the word is Lovie thinks the offense is close and just needs another year of seasoning for Hester and Orton. I think the offese will continue it's second half slide and other teams are gonna scheme on Forte and he is not gonna have much help. You stop him and you stop the offense.

Good dreaming Creighton, I always liked Bill,
Your really scaring me with the Engram talk, wouldn't that be wrong? Engram and Booker next year lol
Did anyone notice the Colts win streak? wow, we made them look silly that first game! WTF happened after that?
Charley Casserly? didn't we just get whupped by.....
some nice anaysis from Joe,Creighton, Bearski
Thanks guys
Good comments Brad! I was wondering about some of those points like #3,4,5,6,7 REALLY good points there!
#5 is the worst If that is the case then we are hurting for some time, and the way the D played this year - well was it the scheme or are the players getting old? We can not shore up all those positions in the draft alone (along with the Oline)and the Bears have been really stingy on FA so thats not good, lets get rid of Babich and go from there huh?

I don't get the confusion over Patrick Mannelly. I have seen in a couple of different threads where people think we do not need him, or question his roster spot being better utilized by a position player. Can anyone on the board remember the last time we had a muffed snap on a punt or field goal? I can't remember a specific one, but I seem to recall one wide snap on a field goal once that caused a miss, but that had to be 4 or 5 years ago. We have one of the most consistent and reliable long snappers in the league, and we of course take it for granted. #65 has been a key reason for the great run of Bob Babich's special teams, and makes Maynard's job a lot easier. He never has to worry about where the ball will be delivered. He just gets to catch and punt.

Believe me, if we counted on Olsen, we would either retard his growth as a tight end, or suffer in our snapping. Same with any other player who would pull double duty. Most teams that do not have a specialist are teams that struggle in the special teams game. And Maynard, while his average has been a little lower the last couple of years, is still among the league leaders in pinning opponents inside the 20. If our defense could hold its own, we would have dominated the field position game this season.

As I have never been a kicker or punter, I don't know whether Gould could do both roles, but I would imagine that the kicking motions are different enough to require strength in different muscle groups, and may result in strains or pulls if he did it on a regular basis after not doing it probably since high school...

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This page contains a single entry by Brad Biggs published on December 28, 2008 10:46 PM.

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