Chicago Sun-Times

Ex-Bears in playoffs this weekend

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Wild-card weekend kicks off this afternoon with the Atlanta Falcons at the Arizona Cardinals. We'll take a look at players with connections to the Bears in the games this weekend.

Atlanta

None.

Arizona

Mike Gandy. Third-round pick in 2001 was originally considered a guard when he was with the Bears. Went on to make six starts at left tackle to finish the 2002 season when injuries swept through the line. Made 14 starts at left tackle the following year and began 2004 at right guard before being let go midway through the season. Spent 2005 and 2006 in Buffalo with former Bears coach Dick Jauron before heading to the Cardinals last season. He'll have the tall task of blocking Falcons defensive end John Abraham.

Bryan Robinson. Starting nose tackle has continued his career into a 12th season. He was released before the start of the 2004 season. He spent the previous three seasons in Cincinnati and has not missed a game in more than three years.

Indianapolis

None.

San Diego

Ian Scott. The fourth-round pick from 2003 found a home in San Diego under defensive coordinator Ron Rivera. He did not dress for the final three games of the season and has been used in a reserve role.

SUNDAY GAMES

Baltimore

Brendon Ayanbadejo. Former Pro Bowl special teams player shunned Bears in free agency to accept a three-year deal in Baltimore where he earned Pro Bowl honors for the third consecutive season.

Miami

Lousaka Polite. Cut at the end of training camp, Polite signed on with the Dolphins in mid-October and has made five starts. He's carried the ball eight times on third- or fourth-and-one and picked up the first down every time. Seven of those eight drives wound up going for scores. Polite was cut loose by the Bears as they decided to go with one fullback on the roster.

Philadelphia

Drisan James. Undrafted rookie free agent from Boise State spent time with the Bears in 2007. He's on the Eagles practice squad.

Babatune Oshinowo. Defensive tackle from Neuqua Valley High School signed to the Eagles' practice squad in November. He spent time on the 53-man roster and practice squad for the Bears last season.

Minnesota

Bernard Berrian. Bolted for the Vikings in free agency for the lure of a $42 million, six-year contract. Burned his former team with a 99-yard touchdown reception in November. Has been the deep threat the Vikings signed him to be but 48 receptions and seven touchdowns don't quite justify the salary.

Maurice Hicks
. Running back first joined the Bears in 2002 as an undrafted free agent out of North Carolina A&T. Was allocated by the team to NFL Europe the next year but never spent any time on the 53-man roster or practice squad. He's a special teams performer.

Jimmy Kennedy. Former first-round pick was an emergency pickup by the Bears at the end of last season and the Vikings brought him in for the same reason after the Williams Wall was suspended.

Bobby Wade. Former slippery-handed punt returner and slot receiver has found a nice home for himself. Will do the dirty work across the middle and is being utilizied properly.

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19 Comments

Never seems to amaze me.

The Bears are having trouble drafting players....or is it...having trouble coaching and teaching players....you know...doing the coaching job they are being paid to do.

Ohhhhhhh...I give up. As long as Lovie and Angelo are around, this bears team is going to be mediocre.

If Lovie had a team made up of only pro-bowlers, he would still find a way to loose.

Brad,

Let's not forget Corey Ivy (RAVENS) played on a professional football team in Chicago ..THE XFL's Chicago Enforcers.....not much of a team, but, at least they had strippers, I mean cheerleaders

Besides Berrien (of course) the only guy on this list that I'm sorry we let go is Polite. As I recall, there were a few crucial 3rd/4th and one plays that we didn't get with Davis after our starting FB went down.

Lousaka Polite is a player I wish the Bears would have held onto. Polite had nice size at 6-0 250lbs for the fullback position, and could have developed into the lead blocker for Forte the Bears are missing. Also, I think Polite would have been nice to have on a few of the Bears 3rd and shorts, especially on the goal line vs the Vikings on Nov 30th. Chicago should have kept two fullbacks and three runningbacks. I would have kept Polite vs signing Kevin Jones, especially with Jones coming off a knee injury.

I do however, agree with the move to let Bernard Berrian go, especially with the kind of money he was asking for. Funny thing is, Devin Hester, Berrians replacement, had more catches 51 to Berrians 48, and I think Hester might develop into a more complete receiver than Berrian, who is clearly just a deep threat. Hester was really starting to come on toward the end of the season when he became more comfortable at receiver. I don't think Berrian was a big loss.

I still think Mike Gandy would have made a better guard than tackle, oh well, water under the bridge now GO BEARS!!

Val not all those guys were drafted by the Bears and not many of them are doing anything major for other teams except maybe BB. Funny thing about Bernard is everyone questions his salary but the guy puts up almost a thousand yards a season the last two seasons and look who has been throwing him the ball. Grossman who is just bad, Orton who can'ty throw deep, Frerotte and Jackson. Thats like a who's who of qb garbage. He would probably put up better numbers with a solid QB in a better offense. 1000 yards and 7 TD's is not to bad considering who is throwing him the ball. He is tied for 12th in TD's with guys like Hines Ward and Antonio Bryant and Roddy White, his 20 yard average is tops among number 1 starters, and he comes in number 24 in the NFL in yardage thats 24th out of 465 guys. All in all it's not to bad and a year or two from now that contract will look like a deal.

Yes Hester looked really good as long as he was playing really bad defenses and not dropping a pass right in his hands. 3 whole td's wow thats awsome. How many TD's did he have last year? WR great move. The guy is not smart enough to be a reciever. Not to mention any team that jammed him on the line shut him down and any tema that gave him to much respect got burned. Teams will Jam him like crazy next year.

You forgot Ron Rivera----the last real defensive coordinator the Bears had that was not Lovie's buddy!!!!!

What about Ron Rivera? He's still in the playoffs and guess who's defense held the mighty Colts offense to 17 total points? And now we are hearing Babich will remain? what complete total IDIOTS the Bears Management will be - look at the D this year? and they are using the DB coach as a scapegoat oh s... That is wrong!!! We are HOSED if Babich stays! If that is the case I say fire JA for being so stupid, I would not even say fire JA for any other reason except we ALL saw for our own eyes the poor D,. It was a complete breakdown of the entire Defense, not just a couple D coaches.
Hester has what 1/12 years at WR IF THAT? He has excellent hands - see his fingertip grabs of balls, just look at the Houston catch if you feel he has bad hands! usually his problem is he has to count on flags as the ball is simply not there, but I have total confidense he will be a top WR, he has way too much talent not too. He would have at least 3 more TD's if the ball would have been there, (close to BB's total) give a Bear a break,by naming the Bears QB's a problem well Hester has only had those exact same QB's you are using to give BB a break. I like the stats on BB thanks. Berrian is a pretty good WR - and of course it hurt the Bears to lose him, how could it not? But if I were playing and a good player it would take no thought on my part to go with a team for the money especially if I had more confidence in that teams management to go to the playoffs and the Super Bowl. and lets face it the Bears have totally stunk the last 2 years, no way anyone can use the excuse that we had a shot in several games to win them - (like Lovie must be)you win those games or you lose those games, the Bears lost those games and the other team won those games because they were a better team, bottom line, and guess what? BB's team is in the playoffs! a no brainer to leave the Bears!

Forget the players. Ron Rivera's D shut down the Colts in the second half and held them to 17 points total. And it's funny how the commentators consistently praise how much better the defense has been since he took over. Out of anyone, I want him back.

Creighton, I couldn't agree with you more on Hester. This WR thing is total BS. The best return man in HISTORY has been turned into an average wideout. When #23 was the man, we were guaranteed great field position; opposing coaches feared the very thought of him touching the ball; fans and common spectators alike were literally on the edge of their seats when the other team had to punt or kick. It was the greatest spectacle in sports happening right in the backyard of the Second City. And they shut it down!?

What did Angelo say? That they figured this would happen? And people say Hester's not the brightest bulb in the box. I have to wonder if there's an undetected gas leak at Halas Hall affecting everyone's brain.

Hey everyone, let's do the following:

-Stop Hester from doing what he does best.
-Bring in an 0-16 pal of Lovie to "fix" things.
-Give away Chris Harris for some popcorn and a stick of chewing gum when safety had always been a problematic area. (Ooh, let's not forget he was disposed of to make way for another buddy of Lovie's!)
-Fire Rivera and bring in, yup, a Lovie pal.
-Let Ayanbadejo walk.
-Let Polite walk.
-Make sure Forte has no reliable backup and then put him in harms way as often as possible so that he would be ineffective towards the end of the season.
-Deactivate Anthony Adams.
-Deactivate Kevin Jones.
-Deactivate a healthy Brandon Lloyd against the Titans.
-Never use Rideau.
-Never use Wolfe. (My bad, Turner's run him up the middle a few times. Have to utilize a player based on his strengths you know.)
-Call a squib kick.
-Call the Cover-2.
-Pass on first down with the lead. (Saints)
-Run trick plays in a pointless Rams game and never use them again.
-Take a quick lead and then go conservative for three quarters.
-Take a player who's a slow learner, and just as soon as he gets comfortable at nickelback, move him to safety for a must win game.
-Screen pass to Hester.
-Place Olsen (who can't block for his life) in the backfield.
-Keep mum about a player who costs you the game with a personal foul penalty.
-Keep mum about a player who totals their car while under the influence.

I know I've ragged on you Creighton for your negativity and bitterness, but now I get it. All the talent to win games and possibly championships is on this team. What's missing are capable minds to run the show and it is downright maddening. We have the players, and it could be argued that we had the players as Brad points out several former Bears have found success elsewhere.

Sorry for the length of this post, but there's a lot to be p***ed about.

Anywho, if the Bears change in any way, shape or form when the 2009 season begins, I just want to see the return of the Windy City Flyer. Is that too muck to ask for?

There's nothing to do except play the waiting game. Waiting for Lovie to depart. Then we can pick up the pieces and build a real fb team. I hope all you Lovie Lovers enjoy watching the Vikings play. You helped put them there by portraying Lovie as a great coach. What a joke!

creighton you are dead wrong about BB. your trying to tell me this guy is worth top 5 receiver pay when he has never hit a 1000yds and has never caught 10 plus td passes? i don't care who his quarterback is, if your making top 5 receiver pay you need to produce. you mention Hines ward he was a pro bowler before big ben got to pittsburgh. what about Calvin Johnson up in mo-town, he put up a 1000yds and double digit td catches and he has the worst qb situation in the league? that is no excuse. right here in chicago Marty Booker was a pro bowler who once caught 100 balls and he never had a decent qb? and whats up with BB being tied for 12th in tds 12th sucks! if you are making top 5 receiver pay you should be in the top 5 at least. no kidding BB contract will look like a deal in a couple seasons, with as high as contracts are going Payton Mannings deal will look like a deal in a couple seasons. we live in the now, and right now BB is being paid like a top 5 receiver and has never hit a 1000yds or caught 10 plus td catches. i know one thing BB must have the best agent in the entire league

Mike,
I like your laundry list. But the list is much longer.

How about all of the excuses...
3 seasons ago...we didn't win the superbowl because of Ron Rivera not playing to the tune of Lovie. ron gets fired. Lovie says "trust me". Ha!

Last season, the excuse was injuries. Our starting running back was let go and the bears placed the entire season on Cedrick Bensen. Hence, we needed to draft a running back high in the draft and hope he was the right guy...what luck for this incompetent administration.

This year, the excuse is execution...oh and I forgot...we let Barrien go because we could easily replace him with ?%$#&*^&%
For those who side with the Bears that he cost too much money. Lookie, lookie.. who is in the playoffs?
The Bears had no one their team this year that demanded respect by the opponents that would stretch out the defense. Yes...we are developing Hester but to you really have any confidence in this innept coaching staff that they could do that job? Can hester be that man? It's just a crap shoot. What about Earl Bennett (wide receiver) that was drafted in the 3rd round. Where did he disappear to? Why didn't they use him the last couple of games to find out what they have? Or..did they draft another dud? Looks like the result of letting Barrien go is that we need to spend a high draft pick on a wide receiver....at a time when it would be best to draft a new line, both offense and defense.

What about the loses? How did he say it? "we will have to look at game film on tuesday" to figure out why they lost. Forget about changing game plans during the heat of the game. If we were in a war, Lovie isn't one to follow. He would loose the first day. I would rather follow Patten. I think the last Patten we had was Ditka.

So....why is it taking so long for Lovie to fire his old friend and buddy...Babbich? Instead, just to keep the heat off, he fires a DB coach. Now you have to ask why they even hired this coach to begin with...possibly another looser. Just look at his record at wikipedia...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steven_Wilks

He's on a new team every year. Was he hired to be the sacraficial lamb?...or was he just another buddy of Lovie. Or...was he the only coach that would come to play for these bozos.


This administration (Angelo and Lovie)has got to go. To think that they now want to invite a coach that was 0-16 to help this club. To help this club do what?....loose even bigger? These 2 stooges live in la-la land and are taking the Bears organization down with them.


There is so much more on the laundry list that its not funny anymore. We could only hope for Virginia to catch wind of this and take care of business.

Mike,

I forgot one more excuse this time around.

Now they are blaming Orton for a lost season. It starts with the QB. Isn't that what Angelo said. If so, why didn't he get this team a QB or two when he hired on a few years ago, back in 2001?
These stooges are just full of excuses. The blame never stops at their doorstep.

We all agree that Lovie and Jerry have mis-handled this team in every way possible, but I'd also like to lay some blame ay the feet of the Mcaskey family.After pointing out all the players the Bears have either ruined (Hester) or let go, look at all the former players who are either head coaches or top co-ordinators. Jeff Fisher, Mike Singletary, we all remember Ron Rivera, and now Les Fraizer is being interviewed as head coaching material. ALL former players with this once proud franchise now with other teams. And who "coaches" this team ? The ever soft Lovie Smith and all his "Buddies" that he knows from years past, or college coache's who will work cheap. I love the Bears, and have been a fan for 40 years, but this is a dead from the neck up organization and it looks like it will be "Buisness as usual" going into next year.I only hope it dose'nt take ANOTHER 20 years for the Bears to get to the Super Bowl, I might not live that long !!

3rd and 2, just over 3 minutes left ... with the game on the line ... and Ron Rivera dials up a blitz that confused and caught Peyton Manning not only getting a sack but forcing the Colts to punt from their own endzone. That play lead to the tying field goal and subsequent overtime win.

We get the game IN HAND with 6 seconds left and Babich goes cover 2 (after a squib kick) knowing full well the weakness in the cover 2 is 15-25 yards against the sidelines ... exactly what Atlanta needed. That play lead to Chicago losing a game that by all intents and pruposes should have been over.

But we "trust" you Lovie. Running Rivera out of town has been a brilliant move that continues to pay dividends ... if your a fan of our opponents ... or the Chargers.

ps. Please someone fix this blog. I am having to post 6-7 times just to get the damn caption. A caption is to keep bots from spamming you NOT keep followers from posting opinions.

Brad,
Do the McCaskeys have an address we can send mail too? Any address? Only if we as fans stand up to the McCaskeys ruining this franchise will it change. If we deluge them with mail demanding the firing of Babich - who knows?
That was a good article Brad, but why not get on Babich more?

I gotta correct myself. The Colts did score a TD early in the third on a cheap(but I guess legal) hurry-up call. They had a FG too but for the most part this high-powered offense was held in check.

For all the praise Dungy gets, how is it the Colts repeatedly crash and burn in the post-season? I mean, going for it on 4th down? Going with an empty backfield on a 3rd and 2 that would clinch the W? Hey, isn't he one of those divine sages that came out of Tampa?

Mr. Mick, you're 100% correct about the root of the problem: the owners. It seems that instead of going with a coach who knows what he's doing, Virginia is more impressed by a "soft-spoken, humble young man who is oh so polite."

Val, I wonder how much blame Angelo can really take. Chris Harris became a star for Carolina. Lovie got rid of him b/c he didn't fit the scheme and thought an oft-injured McGowan or over-the-hill Archuleta could do better. That knack he has for forcing turnovers? We saw him do that stuff here in Chicago. Benson, believe it or not, has become a leader-by-example for the Bungles and helped them get a few wins. Lovie wanted him to gain weight, lose weight, gain weight etc. Which fits his belief of forcing players into something they're not. Angelo drafted Hester who was the best at what he did and won us a few games, but obviously that's too good for Lovie. Angelo drafted Forte and with the way Turner uses him you can look for him on IR next season. I think Angelo has his pros and cons. He's drafted some good players and picked up some other via FA, but Lovie and crew are flatout clueless when it comes to correctly utilizing talent.

As for Orton, he's not fantastic but he does an OK job. Why they singled him out though is beyond me. He's not part of an average to below average defense that's receiving the 2nd highest percentage of cap space in the league. The way I see it, QB is the least of their worries heading into the offseason.

Coach, try hitting "preview" and then enter the caption code and submit it. It works for me everytime.

Mike,

Thanks for the tip, I'll see how it goes. Speaking as an E-commerce web architect I can tell you that there is nothing that annoys me more than simple code that doesn't work. I could teach my 6-year old how to code a caption system without users having to resort to "work-arounds", but I do appreciate the tip.

Also, I too cannot understand how they singled out Orton. I like Kyle. I think he is average. He could take huge strides if he ever finds the deep ball (and if I remember right, he had a good deep ball in College so that's not out of the realm of possibility). Jerry Angelo put together the worst WR corp in the NFL. Drafted a pre-injured LT. Our o-line was a patch work including John "Human Turnstyle" St. Clair ... and our offense was above average. Some of that definitely goes to Forte but I think Orton was average or better through most of the season.

Given what he had to work with, I'm willing to give him the keys for another season. I just hope Chris Williams can develop, we get a quality wide receiver, and we address the glaring need for a solid safety (no offense to Mike Brown). Let Daniael Manning play nickle, the kids a stud if you'd just let him settle in at ONE SPOT!

The Bears rightly kept Caleb Hanie on their roster so that another team didn't claim him. Hanie is the future of this team at quarterback, not Kyle Orton. I like a lot of things about Orton and he's been a significant improvement over Rex Grossman, but Orton is nothing more than a good second string QB. I suppose the Bears could win with him if they also had a top defense and running game, but there's no reason not to develop Hanie since they already have him.

That all said, I totally agree with Mike and Coach about singling out Orton. Maybe it was to take the heat off this lousy defense where the Bears spent so much money. Orton performed about as well as could be expected overall, but the defense has been a huge flop the last two seasons considering that it gets the most money compared to its offense than any other team except Baltimore. And as soon as it wants to perform as well as the Ravens' defense it will be fine with me.

There is something seriously wrong with this franchise. FIRE BABICH!

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This page contains a single entry by Brad Biggs published on January 3, 2009 10:01 AM.

Ex-DB coach Wilks looking to remain in NFL was the previous entry in this blog.

Bears' opportunity to move up in draft remains alive is the next entry in this blog.

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