Chicago Sun-Times

Texans' rookie play caller ended Bears' playoff bid

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It was interesting to hear general manager Jerry Angelo go on a tangent Tuesday in reviewing the Bears' season and discuss how and why the defense was overrun in a 31-24 loss at Houston where the Texans put up 455 yards, the most Lovie Smith's defense surrendered all season. In a must-win game, the Bears didn't have an answer for Houston, even after mounting an early 10-0 lead.

"We played the Texans, they did a pretty good job, after I looked at that tape what they did in terms of their offense,'' Angelo said. ``Their offense was good for a reason. They did a nice job on our defense, it wasn't lack of hustle to the football or anything like that. We made some mistakes but good for them bad for us, but it wasn't a lack of effort.''

Good for the Texans offense. That means good for rookie play caller Kyle Shanahan too, the son of deposed Denver Broncos coach. As it turns out, Sunday's game was the first time Kyle Shanahan, 29, has called plays in an NFL game. Houston coach Gary Kubiak informed him the task was his two days before the game.

``He almost took it away early in the game, and I would have understood if he had, but I told him I thought we could get through it [10-0 first-quarter deficit], and he showed the confidence in me to let me work my way through it,'' Shanahan said. "I'm so glad he gave me the opportunity. It was awesome."

Shanahan was a college teammate of Cedric Benson and Nathan Vasher at Texas, where he played wide receiver. FIfteen players on the Bears' 53-man roster are older than Shanahan.

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"Texans' rookie play caller ended Bears' playoff bid"

LOL, Brad! It's not just that we lost the game, it's that the once-proud defense got shredded by a coordinator who had his first day on the job! I think it truly puts into perspective how our defense has played and been coached the last two years.

Then there's this: "...where the Texans put up 455 yards, the most Lovie Smith's defense surrendered all season. In a must-win game, the Bears didn't have an answer for Houston, even after mounting an early 10-0 lead."

I don't know. It's just so funny right now I gotta laugh at it. Anyway, speaking of a Shanahan, any chance Mike Shanahan could come here as offensive coordinator? He's orignally from IL is he not? Ooh, and what's Brian Billick's availability for a coaching position look like this off-season? Any chance he would want to come in as D coordinator?

Mike, I agree with you on the Bears bringing in Brian Billick, just not as a defensive coordinator. Brian Billick was the former offensive coordinator for the Vikings before he took the head coaching job with the Ravens, I think he would make a better offensive coordinator for the Bears. I also agree with you on Shanahan, he would be the guy I would go after, oh well GO BEARS!!

Mike are Shanahan and Lovie friends and is Shanahan willing to take a major pay cut? Lots of teams need a head Coach right now and I can only imagine that a two time Super Bowl winning coach who revolutionized O-line play may be on a team wish list as a head coach.

Yes it would be nice, Head Coach Cohwer, OC Shanahan, DC Bill Billick ???? not a defensive coach actually)and also Boldin, TJ Whosyourmomma and Peppers are all comming here because they like the Orange and blue. Well at least we know Shanahan is used to wearing the colors. Oh when is Parcells getting here to be our new GM.I also here that every top QB in football wants to play for the Bears. We will just pick who we want and they will come here.

This is what it's going to look like. Bobby Engram will be signed by the Bears Rod Marinera will be the new DC or he will just be the line coach and Bobby B will not get fired. Turner and his 26th ranked offense will get a raise for not comming in last. Lovie will say trust me and that the last 2 years have all been part of his master plan. The O-line will get another year older and will not be addressed in the first 4 rounds of the draft. He will either sign Garcia or draft Tebow in the first round, then a saftie, after that he will trade down in the draft and try to get as many 4th-7th round picks as he can. Angelo will then cash his checks from the Vikings and Packers and retire to Florida.

Creighton, I can dream can't I?

And Kev you said this: "I think [Brian Billick] would make a better offensive coordinator for the Bears."

After watching Turner's playcalling, I can guarantee you that Carrot Top would make a better offensive coordinator for the Bears.

Shanahan would be awsome, as would Billick but the Bears will not part with Lovie this year so we will miss out on some great Coaches. I don't think? these guys would do Coordinator? They will go in the booth if they don't get a Head Coach/Mgrs job. We BETTER hope that the Bears fire Babich asap! or we will keep Bob and hire Rod as Dline Coach oh no!!!
I would rather have Rod not Babich!

-LOL, Brad! It's not just that we lost the game, it's that the once-proud defense got shredded by a coordinator who had his first day on the job! I think it truly puts into perspective how our defense has played and been coached the last two years.

Wow! I guess I didn't think of it that hard untill your comment Mike, woah, and JA says he's concentrating on QB? what is wrong with that picture?

Randy your right on. Management won't get rid of Lovie but even though it is a stretch they might fire both coordinators. So, I vote for Marinelli/Marz. Marinelli even if they don't fire Babich. Martz, I know we don't play on turf but if they fire the coordinators then there is some chance they could switch to field turf. Long shot I know. And before you start talking about Retooling look hard at our personnel and tell me they don't fit perfect for a west coast type offense. I know Orton can't throw the long ball but maybe Hester could just run a little slower. He did have separation ever time he got the pass interferance calls. Just some thoughts.

Now that the cowboys or cowgirls as they are also known are not as enamored with Tony Romo maybe the Bears could prie him loose to join them. He can throw deep, he is mobile and he is being totally controlled by TO also known as team and lockerroom killer.

Bring Marinelli in as DC
Toub promoted within ranks (or the Bears may lose him) to either linebackers coach or defensive backs coach with special assignment to groom a new special teams coach.
Fire Lovie and hire Shanahan
Turner gets one more year to produce but also give him more help at wideout.

Get two free agents a stud #1 wideout with speed and a starting cover corner that would allow for Tillman to move to Free Safety.
Tillman, would be a great leader and ball hawk at Free Safety, an animal to deal with on the run as well.

Draft DLine, O line, Linebacker, WR, QB and Fullback in the draft.

It's easy to call good plays against a team like the Bears that run the Cover-2 Defense (cough..cough...I meant to say prevent defense).
The Bears have been allowing 10 yard passes all season long. Thanks to Lovie smith, the Bears will never see a prominent defense until he is fired.
Expect an 8-8 season next year. Lovie is running out of excuses...and will run out of coach firings after this off season.
He has no one to blame but himself.
2 years ago, he blamed ron rivera and fired him (because he didn't want to run the cover-2)
1 year ago, he blamed injuries and a running game after allowing our leading and best runner to leave the bears. Then they had to draft one and were lucky to get one that knows how to run.
This year (before season started) they let their leading receiver go and now have to draft one or find one because that is one of the major reasons why they aren't in the playoffs. This season he has blame the players for not executing.

So far, he has blamed himself or his top coaches.
But I still like the idea that a rookie coach out-coached Lovie smith. It just shows you how much of an #$#?*% we have running the bears. Looks like even Mikey Mouse could do a better job than Lovie.

Too many things need to shake down before any valid speculation can be offered. I think I'll concentrate on the Cubs and start bewailing the future fate of the Bears when the exhibition games begin.

Dahli, first of all I have to apologize for believing you to be that fanatical Rex supporter a few posts back. An honest mistake, but you could probably assume why I thought what I did.

Second, there's no way the Cryboys will be giving Romo up after all the $$$ they threw his way. And personally I could care less for a career choke artist making more headlines for his relationships than his QB play. You'd think that with all the weapons Dallas surrounded him with: two #1 receivers, a go-to tight end, a solid line, Marion Barber etc. that he would at least find some post-season success but nope. He's also wildly inconsistent and has his good Romo/Bad Romo episodes just like our own Rexy. But I would take Rex over him in a heartbeat anyday b/c Rex at least has the capacity to win playoff games.

"Bring Marinelli in as DC"

Ok, it's not just you Dahli who has been saying this, but I feel that I have to dispel this irrational notion that somehow Motown's ex-coach would help our team. Here we go:

1.) 0-16.

If you put a toddler in charge of being head coach, the little tike could do an equal or better job than Marinelli.

If you put a squirrel in charge of being head coach, the furry forest critter could do an equal or better job than Marinelli.

If you put a lawn chair in charge of being head coach, the inanimate plastic piece of furniture could do an equal or better job than Marinelli.

Get the picture? Someone/something who hasn't the slightest clue about football can't do any worse than Marinelli has done! 0-16 isn't just bad, it's the worst of the worst. Even the poorest of coaches in the history of the NFL have avoided 0-16. Tampa as we all know went 0-14, but they were an expansion team made up of 4th string castoffs from other teams so they get a break.

You can say Millen this or Millen that all you want for the travesty that is the '08 Lions, but let me make this very, very clear: Marinelli hand-picked a ton of the players that came in on defense, most from Tampa Bay for some reason, and his son-in-law to run the D. Not to mention the inane decision of literally giving away monster DT Shaun "Big Baby" Rogers to Cleveland for a CB. All to fit his coveted "Tampa-2" scheme.

2.) He's Lovie's buddy.

Here's a simple question I pose to all of you. Let's say Marinelli does get the job of defensive coordinator. When something goes wrong, like say the same way it has over the past two years, do you think Lovie will hold Rod accountable? Or possibly fire him? Hell no! You'd think people would wise up to the ongoing BFF Babich episode.

The word of the '07 and '08 seasons is nepotism. Lovie hired Boob over Rivera, and the D crashed. Marinelli hired his son-in-law to coach his D for the past two years, and they ranked dead last in consecutive years. So sure, let's bring in another outstanding character to be a part of the Bears franchise.

3.) His tenure in Tampa Bay. So what?

But wait Mike, wasn't he a "miracle worker" as Tampa's D line coach? Oh, of course! With Warren Sapp and Simeon Rice on the roster, all of Tampa's defensive success must be old Rod's doing!

That's like saying:

a.)"Look mom, no hands!" while riding a skateboard.


boasting that:

b.) "I can grow my plants in a desert." when the only thing you grow are cactuses.

4.) The similiarities to another coach we may know.

I just have to throw in this quote by Marinelli on his defense's performance: “The defense is built on execution. Sometimes people will know where we're at. It's about executing, and that's how it's always been built and how we've always played it.”

They run a Cover-2 by the way if I haven't driven that point home already. But yeah, does the above quote remind us Bears fans of anyone? Particularly a faltering head coach sticking to his scheme and hand-picked coordinators when everyone and their cousin knows the gig is up?

re: "As it turns out, Sunday's game was the first time Kyle Shanahan, 29, has called plays in an NFL game."

Not true. Kyle Shanahan has called plays on numerous occasions, just not the entire game from start to finish. This was his first solo. I wrote about it here:


Good stuff although I disagree on Romo as a QB. The O line became porous this year at D and Romo was pressured to throw a heck of a lot of passes to TO regardless of the progressions. TO and Jerry Jones are the problem in Dallas.

I know that it is very unlikely but he could fit in well with the Bears at least he is a mobile QB, not true of either Rex or Kyle.

As for Marinelli, you are right, I do believe he could be a very good defensive coordinator and with the Bears he would have 5 times the quality of players to work with as compared to the Lions. JA seems to believe in him as well from his work with the D line in Tampa. I wonder what Sapp would say about Marinelli?

Anonymous: "Martz, I know we don't play on turf but if they fire the coordinators then there is some chance they could switch to field turf."

(SCENE: Jerry Angelo's office, early January 2009)

JA: So Mike, we'd like you to come to Chicago - a shoddily kept grass stadium known for high winds and freezing temperatures - and bring your "greatest show on turf" offense with you?

MM: Well, Jerry, I'm not sure it would translate. We would need a Marshall Faulk type running back who can run great patterns, create mismatches and even go deep himself. We also need some good receivers - at least one real burner, a quarterback who can go vertical, and a really solid o-line.

JA: Um, well, we ... um ... um ... we have pretty orange jerseys we wear on occassion!

MM: (click)

Alan Burge: "I wrote about it here:"

Alan, next time please include a link to your home address so we all know where to send the cookie ...


For a change ... I completely agree with you about Marinelli. Maybe not the details to your points but each point should be well taken for those who think an 0-16, "Lovie buddy" can make a difference for this defense.

At this point in time, I say promote Dave Toub to Defensive Coordinator\Assistant Head Coach so he can oversee his special teams replacement while he brings his philosophies and innovations to a much-needed area. If we don't, there's a good chance Toub will find work elsewhere as he's the most proven commodity on this coaching staff and well-respected in the league ... Then again, it's Lovie so he'll probably fire Toub and replace him with his college sweetheart or something.

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This page contains a single entry by Brad Biggs published on December 31, 2008 10:31 AM.

Angelo unfiltered: A complete look at his press conference was the previous entry in this blog.

Gould collects award as special teams finishes season ranked eighth is the next entry in this blog.

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