Chicago Sun-Times

Four Down Territory, March 2: Cassel and the case of an elite player at No. 18

| 27 Comments | No TrackBacks

matt_cassel_franchised-by-patriots.jpg


The opening weekend of free agency has come and gone and the Bears added one player in offensive lineman Frank Omiyale, with offers currently out to two others in Kevin Jones and John St. Clair. There are a couple big names still floating out there--wide receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh is reportedly going to pick his new team some time today--but the fireworks appear to be just about over. Let's get back into the action:

Q: I have a question regarding Matt Cassel. Jerry Angelo has mentioned several times that sitting at the No. 18 pick there won't be an "elite" player available because if that player was "elite" than he would be taken already before the pick. My question is this then--Cassel, regardless if some people think he was just a "system" player with good weapons (Randy Moss and Wes Welker good, that running game...not so much), was an ELITE player in the NFL last year. For the past 20 years the Bears haven't had anything close to an elite quarterback. Why then wouldn't Angelo offer up his first-round pick when he conceded there will be no "elite" players left at pick 18 and grab a guy who was a top five quarterback last year? 

Steve K., New York

A: Fair question. I spoke to a handful of people around the league at a variety of different positions and the consensus was they believe Cassel was a product of the Patriots' system which not only had top talent, as you pointed out, but top coaching as well. The lack of a running game may have contributed to his success, at least his numbers, as Cassel ranked ninth in the league with 516 pass attempts. When you break down the numbers, I'm not sure Cassel was a top five quarterback from last year either. If you're just going by the numbers, I'll take Drew Brees, Philip Rivers, Peyton Manning, Kurt Warner, Donovan McNabb, Jay Cutler, Chad Pennington, Aaron Rodgers (yes, Aaron Rodgers) and maybe even Matt Ryan ahead of him. So, maybe he was a top 10 passer last season.

But, if as you say Cassel was an "elite'' player last season, what's going to make him "elite" plugging him into the Bears' offense? Angelo wasn't the only general manager who was unwilling to pony up a first-round pick for him. Peter King does a real nice job of breaking down the situation this morning. I'm not saying Cassel will be a flop in Kansas City with an offensive-minded coach in Todd Haley. But I think it's hard to label Cassel an elite player right now. There are more people out there than not who believe he was a product of a very potent, well oiled and veteran offensive scheme. If that's the case, do you deal your first-round pick for him? Apparently Detroit, which arguably needs a quarterback more than the Bears, wasn't willing to part with No. 20 in the draft.


Q: I read your blog on Jay Cutler and why he would not become a Chicago Bear even if he was available. I agree with your reasoning but how can Jerry Angelo talk about how fixated this team is on finally getting this position right and not investigate pursuing Cutler? The Bears can hope Kyle Orton plays the entire season the way he did for the first half of 2008 but the bottom line is he does not have Cutler's talent. The Bears could become Vanderbilt Midwest with the quarterback, left tackle and wide receiver.

Joseph B., Parts Unknown

A: For starters, I don't know anyone at this point who believes the Broncos are going to even entertain the idea of dealing Cutler. They don't have a true backup on their roster right now, let alone someone else capable of stepping in and competing for a starting job. It was suggested earlier on the blog that the Bears could make a serious offer--their first-round pick, 18th overall, and their third-round pick, No. 84 overall, for Cutler. Sounds great from the Bears' perspective, right? Why would Denver entertain this deal? They're not even assured of being able to get Matthew Stafford or Mark Sanchez with their first-round pick at No. 12. The guy has been to the Pro Bowl. The price would be steeper than that, considerably higher in our opinion.

When the Broncos' job became available following the surprise firing of Mike Shanahan it was instantly considered the best opening for head-coaching candidates. Why? Not only is owner Pat Bowlen considered one of the better men to work for in the league, the Broncos were one of the few teams out there that had a young quarterback in place to build around. Maybe new coach Josh McDaniels was willing to deal that young quarterback for another young quarterback in the aforementioned Cassel. As we wrote Sunday, we don't know of a scenario where the Bears could deal the Broncos a young quarterback that every franchise wants to be able to build around. So does it matter if Angelo investigates or pursues?

And don't forget about Vanderbilt linebacker Hunter Hillenmeyer. I'm not sure if the Bears want to become the Commodores of the NFL however.


Q: I just finished watching the NFL Network's replay of the 89-point 2008 Bears home game versus the Vikings, as well as the NFL combine and have a few questions: What exactly was it that made Mike Brown expendable, as he was all over the field, a lockerroom leader, quarterback of the secondary, had his first healthy season in years, could be had at a decent price and is a better option than any player in free agency, the draft or currently on the roster? If speed was an issue, why would the Bears make Craig Steltz (a slower less experienced option) the starter? Also, what happened to Brandon McGowan, and why has he not been considered for the free safety vacancy over say Craig Steltz?

Tim W., Atlanta, Ga.

A: We've got a lot to tackle here but let's start out with the obvious--what specifically stood out about Brown's play in the 48-41 win over the Vikings, the most points the Bears have ever allowed in victory? Minnesota rolled up and down the field as Gus Frerotte passed for 298 yards and the Vikings piled up 439 yards offense, the third-most allowed on the season. I'd defy any defensive player to suggest they played well in this game. I don't think the Bears felt Brown was expendable as that would imply they have an excess of players at the position. I think the belief, and it almost happened a year earlier, was that it was time to move on. Brown was an unquestioned leader and a quarterback for the defense when he was on the field. Remember, he wound up on injured reserve for the final game with a calf muscle injury that prevented him from finishing three previous games. A bad calf muscle pull is what kept him out of four games at the end of 2005 and then knocked him out of the playoff loss to Carolina after a bye week in the postseason. If other clubs saw Brown's value as you do, he wouldn't still be on the market. The Bears didn't offer a contract to the guy. It's not like teams were beating down his front door when free agency opened. Most I've spoken to suspect he may get some action after the draft when teams have a better idea of how their roster looks and where their needs lie. Brown was a stand-up guy, a pro when it came to handling the media, but he wasn't the same player last season that many recall from 2003 and before, prior to the injuries piling up.

As far as McGowan, you're talking about a player with far less accomplished than Brown and every bit as much of an injury history. But first, let's remember that McGowan lost his job as a starting safety in preseason and was relegated to a role as the nickel back before the season began. The Bears liked him enough to put a high tender on him as a restricted free agent a year ago and some time between that transaction and the third week of preseason, McGowan had fallen out of favor. He wound up going on injured reserve after Week 2 as he required ankle surgery. McGowan played 14 games in 2007, was limited to one in 2006 (ruptured Achilles tendon) and played in eight games in 2005 when he tore an ACL in the season finale. That's four seasons and three injuries requiring surgery.

It's been floated that Steltz could be the starter at free safety. I'd imagine the Bears work to find an alternative to that but we'll see. At the minimum, they're certain to add some competition, maybe in the draft.


Q: With the inability to consistently identify talent in the draft recently in the Angelo era (Dan Bazuin, Mike Okwo, etc.) why should fans trust Jerry and Lovie Smith to pay $14 million to a career backup tackle? Certainly Angelo isn't going to fork over that type of money to a swing tackle with the way player salaries often dictate who starts on the Bears. Why should we have any confidence that Frank Omiyale can step in and contribute?

Ryan Y., Columbus, Ohio

A: That's a good question and I think the hope you have to have is that you're comparing apples to oranges. First, I don't know if it's completely fair to characterize Omiyale as a "career backup." At least when I hear that it makes me think of a guy who has been in the league a long time. Omiyale has been in the league four seasons and just reached unrestricted free agency for the first time. That would be a considerable amount of money to pay a swing tackle but Angelo said the Bears will look at Omiyale first at guard, most likely left guard.

Considering how the line has been built during the Angelo era, you can have a measure of confidence that Omiyale will work out. The players you referenced were failed draft picks. Roberto Garza was a bargain pickup in free agency and has started 48 consecutive regular-season games. Ruben Brown came at a discount in free agency and made a Pro Bowl. Fred Miller played well for two of his first three seasons with the team and came at the market rate for starting tackles in free agency. John Tait was a free-agent pickup. So, the point is the Bears have done better with offensive linemen through free agency than they have the draft. If that trend holds, Omiyale should be fine. Most would agree the team still needs to buttress the line with some young help, and that could come through the draft.

Thanks for participating and thanks as always for reading. We'll get to more questions Tuesday.

No TrackBacks

TrackBack URL: http://blogs.suntimes.com/cgi-bin/mt-tb.cgi/20409

27 Comments

Brad,
Jason Taylor just got released from Washington. What are the chances we would consider him as a 1 or 2 year stopgap as a LE? Ogunleye is our most productive DE right now as far as rushing the passer, but given the choice between the two, I would take Taylor, who has gotten it done for several years prior to being moved to OLB in the 3-4. As a 4-3 End, there are few that can match his initial quickness off the ball, and his overall athleticism. his decline in production I think is more related to taking him away from the QB, not from any loss of talent or work.

Thanks for the updates

Brad,

Obviously the initial frenzy of free agency has come and gone, but what can we expect now? Is it pretty much over? Are teams going to wait until after the draft to make their next move? Or do free agent signings continue to trickle in between now and the draft?

Maybe the front office is happy to have Brown leave but I know they are not happier than Ryan Grant. Brownie layed the wood to that guy a lot last year.

The fact that Detroit didn't offer their number one for Cassell is ridiculous and irrelevant. That same great King article explains that Belichick does NOT want a number one pick and would not take one. He doesn't want the headaches of signing that high a pick. So using that as a reason Angelo and many others passed on Cassell is disingenuous at best.

So Cassell is now a "system" QB? Does that mean Tom Brady goes into the HOF as a "system" QB? If the Pats had decided to keep Cassell and make Brady available would the same teams have passed on his because he was a "system" QB? Isn't Kyle Orton a "system" QB? Isn't every gosh darn QB in the NFL a "system" QB since they all play in systems? What the heck does that even mean?

Stop bull shooting us Brad. Just answer this question: who had the better year last year, Orton or Cassell? If Jerry Angelo meant what he said about doing all he could to get that position right, then IMHO the Bears should have at least asked the Pats what they would take for Cassell.

I am so sick of this bogus argument of what we need the most: a great QB or some great receivers. How about starting with one or the other? I don't care which, because we need BOTH.

Joe - you're right. Taylor is a better choice than Ogunleye. In fact, a bold team would go ahead and sign Taylor, and then cut Adawale to save some money. They're around the same age, but Taylor has a much better track record. He's likely healthy again, and ready to resume terrorizing QBs. He's the kind of DE that strikes fear in the hearts of his opponents. The Bears haven't had anyone like that on the roster for an awfully long time.

However, you and I both know the Bears won't even offer a sniff in Taylor's direction. He'll be cheap, but not cheap enough. And it would go against the Smith/Angelo "philosophy" (I use that term loosely) of "liking their guys." They're both so in love with their own players that they are incapable of admitting their personnel errors, nor mistakes by the players themselves. No, they're more likely to place blame on those good-for-nothing position coaches (lazy, shiftless scoundrels they are!). Consequently, you can be certain the Bears already spent all the money they're going to allocate toward the DL this offseason. Just keep chanting the Lovie/Jerry mantra:

"In Rod we trust. In Rod we trust. In Rod we trust." Ad infinitum, ad nauseum.

Joe Felicelli wrote:
"Jason Taylor just got released from Washington. What are the chances we would consider him as a 1 or 2 year stopgap as a LE?"

Joe,

Not Brad but I live in MD and see far too many Redskin games to suit me. Jason Taylor is Adam Archuleta as a DE. Anyone who wants Jason Taylor did not see him play last year. I am not saying Whale is the answer but he is better than Taylor is.

thoroughly disgusted wrote:
"Joe - you're right. Taylor is a better choice than Ogunleye. In fact, a bold team would go ahead and sign Taylor, and then cut Adawale to save some money. They're around the same age, but Taylor has a much better track record. He's likely healthy again, and ready to resume terrorizing QBs. He's the kind of DE that strikes fear in the hearts of his opponents. The Bears haven't had anyone like that on the roster for an awfully long time."

TD,

You obviously did not watch Taylor play this year. I did. I live in MD and saw many a Skins game and rarely was Taylor's name called. BTW, Taylor cost the Redskins a 3rd round draft pick. But let's use EPSN stats to compare Taylor and Ogunleye.

First off, they are not the same age. Taylor is 3 yrs older and for 30 something football players that is a HUGE difference.

Second, Taylor only played in 13 games due to nagging injuries. Whale in all 16.

Third, Taylor had 1.5 fewer sacks than Whale.

Fourth, he had half as many tackles as Whale.

Fifth, he had half as many solo tackles as Whale.

Sixth, he is nothing more than the Adam Archuleta DE. I was not in favor of that move either after watching him play for a season in Washington.

So if you are going to champion someone to replace Adewale Ogunleye do more than the Redskins owner does and look at the film and stats of players before you tell us how great this guy will be.

Taylor is not the answer, provided the question is not "who is washed up?"

Bob K...

Ask yourself this question and be honest in the answer.


Would Kyle Orton have had better passing numbers if he was lining up alongside Randy Moss, Wes Welker and a pro-bowl laiden O-line ???


The honest answer is a resounding YES !!


Orton had a patch-worked and degrading O-line, Marty Booker, Brandon Lloyd, Rasheed Davis and a still learning Devin Hester to throw the pill to. Thank the Lord he had Olson and Forte to bail this Offense out otherwise we would have fielded one of the worste Offenses in league history....


Enough said. Go Bears !!

MD Kevin

Taylor actually cost a 2nd and a 6th round pick.

Taylor, prior ro last year, had no injury history and was one of the top 4-3 DEs in the country. He had a knee injury and a calf injury that required surgery. That he only missed 3 games is a testament to his toughness and dedication ot the game. As productive as he's been throughout his career, I think we should cut him some slack for one off-year (we do it for Urlacher, right?).

I think he'd be a very nice pickup, especially for a short-term deal. We have plenty of cap space, and, last I checked, the Bears still sell out every seat to every game, so they should have money.

Brad,
Your thoughts on the Bears staying geriatric and throwing a bone to Jason Taylor?

Kevin - you could be right. However, when you look at the career totals for each player, Taylor is clearly better. He's also more of a RDE, which is what the team lacks. Brown, who is a great run stuffer at DE, but has never totaled more than seven sacks in a season, belongs in Ogunleye's spot.

Comparing Taylor to Archuleta is unfair. First, it's apples and oranges - the positions are completely different. DEs don't roam the field. They burst. Jason Taylor is still in good condition. I think he could be very effective for a couple more years if used properly. Second, Archuleta was never a top-tier talent like Taylor. He had a few good seasons, but was a hybrid Linebacker type as a SS (read: he was a hard hitter, but always too slow for a SS). Taylor, by contrast, is ideally suited for his position, and has been a consistent terror. 120 sacks in 12 seasons - he's averaged double figures for his career. Those guys are rare. Taylor spent his season in Washington playing on an injured calf. He's never been injury-prone, but this time he gutted it out and took the field for 13 games. His stats suffered for a season, but does that mean necessarily that he's washed up? He wouldn't need to play every down in Chicago. Mark Anderson (the last guy to hit double figures in sacks for the Bears, mind you) would be a solid backup, at least enough to take the heat off Taylor. He might even learn something in the process. Anyway, it's pointless to argue about it. The Bears won't consider signing him.

Bob K - Angelo already answered his critical quest for a franchise QB. Weren't you paying attention? Brett Basanez is the next Favre. Or something. Seriously, if all it took to pry Cassell from NE was a second round pick, couldn't the Bears have sweetened the KC deal by adding a third or fourth rounder, or perhaps a cheap player Belichik would like? Again, I don't expect that Angelo even daydreamed such a notion. I think Jerry is a few years out of sync with the offense. I mean, he's been in charge of a team that has essentially always needed a QB - it's a perennial search - and then, after the team finally has a reasonably non-disastrous season from a QB (while being utterly devoid of WR targets) clueless Jerry, for the very first time in his tenure as Bears GM, proclaims "QB is our main need!" Looking at the offense, it seems there are a few other areas as sorely lacking as QB at this point. Other than 1st-string RB and TE, pretty much every other position is shaky at best. Even the once-reliable Olin Kreutz has shown himself to be on the decline. Every other position on the line is a question mark. I question whether Hester will ever be a starter-caliber WR. Certainly his 2008 numbers place him as a middle-of-the-pack guy at best. No suitable backups have stepped forward at wideout either. There's no one special at FB. To me, that sounds like an offense in shambles. Good thing Jerry's busy buying up untested guys (Basanez, Omiogunleyale, or whatever his name is) and lowballing his own useful, versatile guys (Kevin Jones, St. Clair). At the very least, you can't accuse him of inactivity. It's misguided activity, but hey, he's on the job!

Tom,

Did you Taylor play this year??? Or are you going by just reading some stats? He is over the hill and can't play. You can run all day on his side because he is so eager to get to the QB / outside containment that a play off his inside is sure to go for 5+ yds.

Anyone who claims that Taylor is a good cheap pickup are right on only one point: he will be cheap. But he is no longer good.

MDKevin remember what I said about Peppers being traded to Washington for the 13th pick in the draft? Well there making room for him.

Bensonsucks, you don't know that, it's a different sytem and they throw the deep ball a lot. Orton sucks at throwing deep and there Oline did not play that great this year just ask Brady they gave up 48 sacks this year. Besides the Broncos wanted Cassel not the Bears, anything wrong with trading your first pick to the Pats for Cassel and then trading Cassel to the Broncos for Cutler? Jay cutler is really really good. Would have given them Cassel and another first round pick next year, god knows we don't use them.

Brad,

What was the tender offer to both nick roach and marcus hamilton? I thought there was a few different salary levels and draft picks you get back if you do not match an offer given to them?

Brad I'm sorry to say this, but I don't care if Garza started 48 regular season games. He sucks to be blown up by Chris Harris, not once but twice that I saw blows my mind. Garza needs to go, he can be a backup this year but he needs to go after that.

A bold team that really wants to improve would sign Taylor, even though he had an off year. His body of work is still impressive.

Not all bold moves work out. Neither do no moves.

thoroughly disgusted wrote:

"Kevin - you could be right. However, when you look at the career totals for each player, Taylor is clearly better."

TD,

Did you see Taylor play this year. I have asked this question on several boards where fans such as yourself have advocated the signing of Taylor. So far ... silence.

So I will ask again: Did YOU see Taylor play this year?????

"Comparing Taylor to Archuleta is unfair. First, it's apples and oranges - the positions are completely different. DEs don't roam the field. They burst. Jason Taylor is still in good condition."

I said he is the Archuleta of DEs. I clearly recognize the difference between a DE and Safety. But I saw both players in their single season with Washington and both players were overhyped when they came to DC and overhyped when they left.


TD wrote:
"Taylor spent his season in Washington playing on an injured calf. He's never been injury-prone, but this time he gutted it out and took the field for 13 games. His stats suffered for a season, but does that mean necessarily that he's washed up?"

Yes he is washed up. Again did you see him play or are you just looking at the stats. Tell me -- since you are clearly looking at his stats and are not talking from actual game watching of his play -- how many soon to be 35 yr old DEs have had a down year at the same level of Taylor and then bounced back to his previous high level? I have not looked it up but I think it is the equivalent to hitting an inside straight flush draw. IOW, very low and not likely to happen.

Again did YOU see Taylor play this year??????????????????

I did and he is an over-the-hill washed up player that is not the answer to any of the needs the Bears have.

Sorry to burst your bubble but Taylor is a waste of space on a football roster.

What is wrong with you people? Don't you watch the games?

Bensonsucks:

I'll answer your question. YES. Orton would have better numbers and the Bears would have more wins if he had better receivers. He would definitely be better with Welker, but the reality is, he is a ONE DIMENSIONAL quarterback--Orton cannot get the ball to Moss in those deep-seam, cross in, or jump ball situations. He can't make those throws! He's a very good field general. That's it. There are certain throws he simply cannot make and the Bears true strength wide receiver is with Devin Hester's speed. Cassel is significantly better and could help make Hester in a turbo charged Wes Welker--but alas, it was not to be.

FYI, the Bear receving corps, while pretty average, isn't the worst in the league.

That said, both you and Biggsey fail call attention to some pretty startling differences between Orton and Cassel.

1. Cassel won 11 games, Orton won 9.

2. Cassel played in the AFC East, Orton played in the NFC North. Really, do I need to say any more?

3. Cassel played with no running back to spell the rush, Orton played with Matt Forte.

4. Neither had good pass-blocking on the line.

5. To be fair to Brad, Cassel had a better 1-2 reciever punch and was a by-product of a pass-friendly system that had no running game and offensive line. LOL! LOFL!

Biggsey: Don't even go there with Pennington and Rogers. Are you kidding me? Cassel puts up Pro-bowl caliber numbers in the AFC East with no running game and no line, and you put Chad-don't-lose-the-game Pennington and Aaron 10-loss-china doll Rogers in front of him? You're on drugs.

One question though: why didn't you put JT O'Sullivan on that list?

Cassel is much better than Orton. I've watched the games. New England's and Chicago's. ALL OF THEM. I guess that's a sign of my lack of a hobby and social life.

Because it's pretty dang clear the Bears are interested in a franchise quarterback--just as long as they don't have to pay for one. Jerry is not interested in bringing in a proven NFL quarterback. Here's to hoping Shawn King and Trent Dilfer decide to come out of retirement! Aren't they Jerry Angelo quarterbacks?

Cassel IS better and he's young. I have always maintained that the Bears can win with Orton so long as they "load up" in other areas to offset his limitations as a quarterback.

Kevin - I don't have the NFL network or even cable for that matter, so I only saw one 'Skins game this season. Taylor didn't stand out. But then, if you take a look at what was wrong with him, that stands to reason. From espn.com:

"But Taylor, who was healthy for nearly all of his 11 seasons in Miami, sprained his knee during preseason and then suffered an unusual calf injury during the win over the Arizona Cardinals on Sept. 21. Taylor required an emergency operation to have blood drained from his calf and had a second procedure about a month later."

Like I said, you could be right. He might be done. But I'm with exfan on this one. His body of work is nearly unparalleled. Bold moves don't always work, but at least they're an attempt. I'm tired of Angelo's "stand pat" philosophy. Rod Marinelli is NOT a free agent signing, despite the team's insistence to the contrary.

For kicks I did a quick scan around the web to see what NFL writers are saying. Not once did I see the phrase "washed up" or anything similar in relation to Taylor. Kevin, I don't know you from the next guy on these boards - you might be Mel Kiper or you could be the next Jerry Angelo when it comes to talent evaluation. The only evidence you're offering for the "washed up" argument is that you watched him play an entire season with two bad injuries for a team whose system was new to him. I'd call that inconclusive. Yeah, he's old. But he was definitely not "overhyped" at any time in his career. His career numbers suggest that he's one of the finest DEs to play during his era. I see no reason to insult him by calling him the Adam Archuleta of anything. Seems sort of mean-spirited to me. You're not one of those fans who hates on any player who goes on that dancing show, are you?

Again, this discussion is all moot anyway. An article elsewhere on this site mentions that a source close to Taylor let on that Jason wants no part of the Bears. Big surprise, eh? The agent for Housh said pretty much the same thing. That should give you some idea how the league views the Bears' chances for next season...

TD,

You make some interesting points. Some I might even agree with -- that is that neither of us might be able to judge talent. Still I find it is interesting that instead of talking about Taylor's play in 2008 you make me and my skill levels as a talent evaluator the issue. But somehow your skills on judging Taylor are sound.

Ok I accept the challenge.

If Taylor outperforms his 1997 season (his rookie season which BTW is his 2nd worst season of stats after 2008) for tackles, sacks, solo tackles and forced fumbles in the 2009 season for any team in the NFL then I will be forced to put a disclaimer on everything I write on this blog that:

"I can't judge football talent and you are forewarned."

However, if I am correct and Taylor can't even do better than his 2nd worst season in the NFL in 2009 the you have to add the same disclaimer to your posts.

Length of the disclaimer: one calendar year.

That is how certain I am of the skills of an aging Taylor. Put up or shut up.

FYI, the Bear receving corps, while pretty average, isn't the worst in the league.

That said, both you and Biggsey fail call attention to some pretty startling differences between Orton and Cassel.

1. Cassel won 11 games, Orton won 9.

2. Cassel played in the AFC East, Orton played in the NFC North. Really, do I need to say any more?

3. Cassel played with no running back to spell the rush, Orton played with Matt Forte.

4. Neither had good pass-blocking on the line.

5. To be fair to Brad, Cassel had a better 1-2 reciever punch and was a by-product of a pass-friendly system that had no running game and offensive line. LOL! LOFL!


True but Guess who was the Bears leading pass catcher this past season ?????


Matt Forte !!!!

Here are the Bears receiving leaders in order:

Devin Hester 51 catches for 665 yards.
Greg Olson 54 for 574
Forte 63 for 447
Rasheed Davis 35 for 445
Clark 41 for 367
Lloyd 26 got 364
Booker 14 for 211
Mckie 11 for 64
AP 6 for 45
Jason Davis 1 for 12
Jones 2 for 5


Your top five included (2) TE's and a rookie RB !!

our (4) WR's that accumulated stats accounted for a puney 1685 yards out of a combined 3199 or only 52% of the total receiving yards.... Slice it how you want but that is just plain pathetic, not pretty average !!

And people don't think the Bears WR sucks and that Orton may not have done better with Randy Moss and Wes Welker running routes !!!

Some food for thought gentlemen.

Actually I like Taylor but yes I am one of those `who hates on any player who goes on that dancing show' big time, that is some pretty lame stuff there....I would like to see Taylor at DE for the Bears, but dancin? no! no! no!
If he's going to do that then he can stay away.
Whale looked washed up last year as well, so why not? It's not like JA is going to go after Peppers, or any big time DE for that matter, and we can't draft a top DE at 18? Maybe?
I am not sure that Taylors head is really in the game any more though, I mean dancin? Dude, is that worth your NFL career?

Bensonsucks:

You have a good point that the Orton would be more productive if he had better, more talented targets. Wes Welker fits this mold because he runs great routes underneath and has great hands. He's also very quick.

Orton would not benefit from Moss because he is not accurate enough with a number of specific throws, especially those that are 15+ yards. I think this is a pretty indisputable argument. For clarification, Google: Randy Moss and the Oakland Raiders.

Posting stats from the Bears recievers is misleading. If you watched the games, you know it too. Pass-catching doesn't just depend on the recieving talent. It also depends on the play the coordinator called and the defense the quarterback reads.

Additionally, there were (2) primary reasons (outside of Matt being a stud) that Forte was the leading reciever. One, Kyle isn't accurate past 15 yards. Two, the offensive Line didn't pass-block well enough for pass plays to develop for wide recievers. Receivers need more than 2-seconds run crosses and seams that are longer than 15 yards. For clarification, Google: Rex Grossman and the Chicago Bears.

Randy - you shouldn't hate on the dancing NFL dudes. The list of players who have done well there is pretty impressive: Jerry Rice, Emmitt Smith (I could be wrong, but I think he won his season), Taylor and Warren Sapp. All of them will be NFL Hall of Famers. The person with whom I share my home is a dancer. She watches that show. I had to tell her who Jason Taylor was. She says he was great, and would have won his season if he hadn't been going up against Gold Medal figure skater Kristie Yamaguchi (which seems a bit unfair, as figure skating incorporates dancing, while I imagine Kristie wouldn't do so great against Taylor in, say, a tire drill competition).

MD Kevin - I'm always ready to admit I'm wrong, unlike Jerry Angelo. I never claimed my ability to judge talent was any better than yours. In fact, my two previous replies to you include the phrase "you could be right," which, translated could also read "I could be wrong." I did state that no NFL writer I found claimed Taylor was "washed up," or anything similar. Someone somewhere probably did, but I couldn't easily come up with one. It doesn't seem to be a widely-held opinion.

I'm just a guy with a computer who has been a suffering Bears fan for way too many years. I'm not at all invested in how well Jason Taylor does next season, unless he's playing for the Bears. Which he has already said he won't (because he knows they're not going anywhere). So the point is moot, my friend. The whole reason I posted anything about Taylor in the first place was to highlight Jerry Angelo's lack of initiative. I knew there was never a chance Taylor would become a Bear. If it makes you happy, after next season if Taylor hasn't done well I'll be glad to come back here and publicly state my wrongness. It seems this is an important topic in your world. Just know that it doesn't matter the slightest bit to me. What does matter is that Jerry Angelo and Lovie Smith are presently driving the Bears into a state of permanent mediocrity, to the point that aging veterans such as Taylor and Housh (whose value and/or health are in question) won't even consider coming here. I find that sad, and I will continue to comment on that topic until serious changes are made.

Orton would not benefit from Moss because he is not accurate enough with a number of specific throws, especially those that are 15+ yards. I think this is a pretty indisputable argument. For clarification, Google: Randy Moss and the Oakland Raiders.


So, your saying that Randy Moss is no better at catching up to deep balls that are say, off the mark (like he did for years in Minny and even New England) as say our own Devin Hester, former players Lloyd and Booker ?????

I would argue the contrary. Moss has and still does make a living at running fast and adjusting to the ball in flite.... You think Culpepper and Brady had such magic touch on all them deep bomb TD's but I say it was 50/50 for both the QB and Moss... For clarification, Google: Randy Moss and the Minnesota Vikings.

Bensonsucks:

Your argument is hilarious. Kyle is not just "off the mark". On long pass plays. Jesus. Do you even watch the games?

This will be my last post on the subject because I don't think you're listening to my point. You just want to "spin" and make ridiculous comparisons between the Bears and two teams that if I'm not mistaken, have the records for the top two scoring offenses of all time. And if you do Google Randy Moss and the Minnesota Vikings, you'll see he played with Chris Carter and Jake Reed--arguably one the greatest assembly of wide receiver talent of all time--plus Randall Cunningham, Dante Culpepper, and pro-bowl talent all over the line and back field at various times.

SIMPLY PUT, ADDING RANDY MOSS TO YOUR ROSTER DOES NOT AUTOMATICALLY MAKE YOUR QUARTERBACK BETTER. He often fails to block and he doesn't like to run down the middle and he WILL THROW TEAMATES UNDER THE BUS!

How many Pro Bowls has Kyle Orton been to? Who's the legendary wideout lining up on the opposite side of Moss if he comes to the Bears?

For the record, Dante Culpepper, at his healthiest, was/is much better than Kyle Orton. Your notion that Kyle Orton is as good as Matt Cassel is RIDICULOUS.

My example of Moss and Raiders is more relevant because while at Oakland, Moss was playing in a system with a banged up offensive line, conservative offensive coordinator, unstable quarterback situation.

Here's your homework: Why do you think Housh was never even considering coming to Chicago? What did Brandon Lloyd say when he first came to the Bears? What did Heinze Ward say about the Bears last year? What about Moose's comments? Receivers know the quarterbacks that can get them the ball. They know the offensive systems that will cater to their strengths.

The Bears have the speed with Hester for play-action. How many of times did Hester take a 15+ yard pass play to the house from Neckbeard? Once? never?

CHECK DOWN. That's how Kyle manages the game. CHECK DOWN.

The point is, when you compare Kyle and Cassel, you just dismiss and accept specific criteria that helps your case.

If you take two teams with identical talent and asked every NFL coach, scout and GM to pick between Orton and Cassel, I guarantee EVERY SINGLE ONE would take Cassel.

So, Cassel is now the second coming of Dan Marino ??

Cassel never started anywhere until Brady shredded his knee, highschool, college and NFL. He is a perrennial backup forced into the starting line up. He has earned an opportunity now with the Chiefs but he could fall flat on his face if he isn't surrounded by elite talent.

Cassell: 327 comp/516 attempts 3693 yards 7.1 ypa 21 TD's 11 INT's

Orton: 273 comp/466 attempts 2979 yards 6.4 ypa 18 TD's 12 INT's


SO, if Cassel had Booker, Lloyd, Hester and Rasheed Davis catching (or dropping) balls for him do you honestly beleive Cassel would have had similar stats ????


How did Dante Culpepper do after Randy Moss left Minnesota ??

Last year all (3) of Hester TD's were of the short range variety. He took a sideline route vs the Eagles for a 20 yard TD, an eight yard route vs Detroit in for a 12 yard TD and a 10 yard seam route for a 65 yard TD vs Minnesota last season.

Just how many probowls has Matt Cassel been to ???

Who cares if Rany Moss doesn't like to block, run over the middle or throws team mates under the bus.... Moss is a home run hitter, period. He is a playmaker and a game changer, he makes his QB's look good when he hauls in the fifty plus yard bombs for TD's. Just ask Tom Brady and Dante Culpepper how much they liked throwing it up to Moss knowing he would come up with the catch more times then not.

Moss definetly would make Orton look better to. Moss can do things down field that Lloyd, Booker, Davis and Hester can't. That is fact, not fiction. For clarification, Google: Randy Moss's career highlights.

Leave a comment

Twitter updates

Categories

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Brad Biggs published on March 2, 2009 3:16 PM.

Cutler to Bears? We hate to crush dreams but ... was the previous entry in this blog.

Who's your receiver? T.J. picks a new home is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.