Chicago Sun-Times

Counting the reasons why the Bears were brutal in Minnesota

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MINNEAPOLIS--The last time the Bears had three losses in a season where they were blown out by 20 or more points, they shook up the building at Halas Hall and the organization went out and hired a general manager.

All of a sudden, they are stacking losses like they haven't previously in the Lovie Smith era, and they're getting blown out in the process. The Bears have lost four straight, six of their last seven and they've suffered three blowouts in the last six games after being humiliated 36-10 Sunday afternoon by the Minnesota Vikings at at the Metrodome.

General manager Jerry Angelo was hired in the spring of 2001 after a disastrous season in which the team finished 5-11 and lost three games by 20 or more points. Don't look now, but they're doing it again. It wasn't this bad in Lovie Smith's first season in 2004 when the Bears were rotating between Jonathan Quinn, Craig Krenzel and Chad Hutchinson. They played some defense that season, even if middle linebacker Brian Urlacher missed half the year, and they competed for the most part. They were laying a foundation for something. These Bears have stopped competing and in the last two months the only victories they have are against Cleveland and Detroit. At this rate, at 4-7, they're playing the Denver Broncos into a sweet pick in the top 10 of the 2010 draft.

Give them credit for this much: I didn't hear a soul mention the possibility of making the playoffs with a 9-7 record after the game. Sure, there were plenty of cliches to go around, but none of that crazy "run the table" talk you often hear teams that have fallen into this kind of position spout.

The Bears are not a good football team, no matter what they try to tell you. Let's count a few reasons why coming out of this game:

1. The offensive line was overmatched by the Minnesota Vikings. Leslie Frazier, the '85 Bear, watched his defense tear apart the Bears without blitzing. They simply beat them one-on-one up front, over and over again. The Bears ran just 38 offensive plays and 12 of them were for no gain or a loss. It was complete domination. The Bears gained just two yards in the second half. There was zero effort whatsoever to run the football. The gameplan--whatever it was--got away from them. The line has got to be the first issue addressed in the offseason, and maybe before then. They've got to see if Chris Williams can play left tackle, and they've got to hope he's better there than he is at right tackle. If not, this rebuilding project is going to be more severe than anyone could have imagined. Angelo rolled the dice on drafting the tackle with a bad back. So far, this pick isn't working out but it's far too early to rule Williams out for the future. Put him at left tackle and give him some experience there. See if he can put down roots there. Otherwise, it's back to the drawing board when it comes to protecting the blind side.

2. Gameplan. The Bears went in with the idea of stopping Adrian Peterson. As Brett Favre continued to carve them up, they stuck to their plan: Stop A.P. They stuck with something, that is for sure, but you don't earn any points for being stubborn. How good was Favre? He completed 32-of-48 passes for a season-high 392 yards and three touchdowns. He completed five passes or more to five receivers. He had targets running free. The Bears sold out to stop the run--Peterson had just 85 yards on 25 carries--and they dared Favre to beat them. Guess what? He can still make it happen. They'll need a better scheme the next time around, and might want to hope for some help from Old Man Winter for the Soldier Field rematch on Dec. 28.

3. Defensive line. Favre was sacked only once on a safety blitz by Al Afalava so the pass rush, or what there was of it, wasn't good enough. Adewale Ogunleye has gotten it done against bad competition only. Gaines Adams has done nothing. Tommie Harris flashed for a few plays. Marcus Harrison is a better behaved, less talented Tank Johnson. Just like the offensive line, this group needs some work, some major work. But where will the help come from? The Bears don't have first- or second-round draft picks.

4. Safety. The one thing that really sticks out about safeties Afalava and Danieal Manning is that neither one of them makes plays with any kind of consistency. Afalava got called for pass interference in the end zone. Sure, he made up for it with a sack but these guys aren't making big plays on the back end of the defense, and Favre was completing plenty of passes downfield.

5. Big play receiver. Devin Hester is not a true No. 1 wide receiver. With the Vikings missing their top cornerback Antoine Winfield, Hester made one catch for 20 yards. Granted, there wasn't time for Cutler to throw, but the Bears lack an elite wide receiver. Add it to the list.

And some more thoughts:

6. Those are just a couple areas that really jumped out at me. I'd be remiss if I didn't say that I thought middle linebacker Hunter Hillenmeyer played a strong game. He was credited with a team-high nine tackles, he forced two Peterson fumbles and he was all over the field. Favre actually singled him out afterward in his comments to media.

7. Cutler made one terrific throw to Johnny Knox for a 24-yard touchdown despite tight coverage from Benny Sapp. That was about it. Given a chance to pull within three late in the first half, he underthrew a ball to Knox and was picked off in the end zone by Cedric Griffin. When the Bears got the ball on the Vikings' eight-yard line after Knox opened the third quarter with a 77-yard kickoff return, they retreated to the 20. They remain terrible in the red zone. They have six touchdowns in their last 20 red zone visits going back to the Atlanta game Oct. 18.

8. Offensive coordinator Ron Turner came under fire last week. A league source told me that Mike Martz said he would love to work with Cutler. Guess what? The nature of these lopsided losses is going to turn the questioning to Lovie Smith when it comes to job security. It's one thing to lose, it's another thing to lose consecutively, and it's something all together different when the losses are embarrassments. Turner is in a tough spot because at this point almost nothing the Bears try is working. But now the questions will become bigger and bigger.

9. I still believe Smith will be back as the head coach of the Bears in 2010. He's owed more than $10 millions through 2011, when all signals right now are pointing to a potential work stoppage even if commissioner Roger Goodell told me on Friday that the ongoing talks give him optimism for an extension of the CBA to avoid an uncapped year in 2010 and a lockout the year after that. Angelo is signed through 2013, and I don't believe anyone sees the McCaskeys paying him not to work for four years. The challenge is before him right now, how does he find a path out of this mess? He's got to ask himself that question, and the Bears need to start making decisions in 2009 that are based on 2010. There's no reason not to, and they'd be fools to play the "we're not mathematically eliminated" card. They've seen what has transpired.

10. When can it end? A victory over the woeful St. Louis Rams, if the Bears can beat them this coming week at Soldier Field, will prove absolutely nothing. A loss, well, that might clear some things up in a hurry, believe it or not. There are many, many questions to be asked. How many of them have legitimate answers to them right now, I don't know. We'll see starting Monday at Halas Hall.

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If you believe Lovie will be back in 2010 than all this discussion about what the Bears need is pointless. Lovie is a bad coach who has hired terrible assistant coaches, uses an awful,outdated, weak defensive strategy and has no clue how to run an offense or develop any talent. With Lovie as Head Coach the Bears will be worse in 2010 maybe 2-14 or even 0-16 like Lovie's Butt Buddy Marinelli did in Detroit. It all starts with the Head Coach and Lovie has proven that he is the Charlie Weis of NFL Coaches. Actually Lovie is worse than Weis because Charlie can run an offense. If Bear Management is more worried about losing money buying out contracts than keeping the fan base happy and interested in the Team than this franchise is essentially dead. They need to remember that the fans provide the revenue that keeps the Team afloat. If Lovie and Angelo are kept until the end of their contracts the Bear's management are announcing to the world that their plans are to be the Raiders of the NFC. With those two stupid SOBs at the helm until 2011 and 2013 respectively, you're looking at 2015 to 2020 before the Bears could even become competitive again......if ever.
By then of course the fans will be long gone and the NFL will have to take over the Team. Maybe they could move it to LA for a fresh start.
Tonight's game wasn't just a loss it was the signal that this Team has been killed by the coach and GM. All we have to look forward to is the eulogy at the Team's funeral.
Nice work Lovie and Jerry.

Everyone is going to post the negatives about this team and we all know what they are and that they WILL NOT change until Lovie is gone! That being said, I thought I would list the positives about this club going forward so that we can atleast see what we have or potentially have as we move forward and into next season.

1) Jay Cutler. Can't do anything without and offensive line, but he is still a great QB.

2) Matt Forte. Same thing as Jay. If the line ever get's fixed, we need to find a complementary back, and without the line we can't tell if Khalil Bell is that other back

3) We have some a nice couple of "complementary" receivers on this team with Bennett, Knox, Aromoshodu and Hester. The question is, if Turner was gone and the o-line could pass protect, would there be a #1 in that group. There may be, but if not we need to address this issue as well.

4)We all know the cover two has to go, but a true nose tackle needs to be brought in as the foundation for this d-line. If this happens than guys like Alex Brown, Gaines Adams and Marcus Harrison may actally get freed up and produce which is a positive to look at.

5) I know the secondary is getting torched right now, but subtract the cover two for a moment and what type of corners do we have. I will always love Tillman, but with a different defensive scheme guys like Woodny Turenne, D.J. Moore and Zach Bowman could be great players. The safeties howevor are horrible, and I am not sure what we can feel good about there.

6) Special Teams. We all feel good about this so I won't say a word.

-I am so sick of this entire team right now, but I thought it would be nice to try and find some positives. Bottom line is that until Lovie and his staff are gone (minus Toub of course) than this team will not change. I can't believe that we might have to watch Lovie stand on the side line with no emotion again next year. This can't be allowed to happen!!

The Martz trial balloon has to be shot down right now. That's the boob bait they're trying to dangle in front of us now. They'll fire Turner, keep Lovie and Angelo, and the Bears will magically morph into New England West. Well, BULLCRAP. You're asking us to ride out this disasater to 2013, which is FOUR MORE FRIGGIN' YEARS?

The solution is total boycott. No more tickets, merchandise, training camps, nada. Turner, Lovie, and the rest of the clown car out of town NOW. I don't give a rat's rear end what the club owes them, that's their problem to fix, and if they can't, they need to leave the city (a la the old Browns) and go open up shop somewhere else under a new logo and colors while a new ownership team picks up the pieces. Audios, McMorons and don't let the door hit you in the a-- on the way out.

Brad I am just going to add on a little.

1. Chris Williams is overmatched in terms of power and is even having problems with speed. He is a catch blocker with little to no hand punch or explosion. If they want to try and salvage him fine. But they better switch to a zone scheme because he is not right for a man blocking sceme and does not have the drive blocking traits it requires. He is not strong enough or explosive enough for a team that wants to run power O. Only a zone scheme will give him a chance to show his athletic talent if he even has much of that. The rest of the line is a disaster. Move him to LT but get used to disappointment. I have actually seen Olsen have to bail Williams out when he has missed a block or not picked up anyone. Friggin Olsen, if he is bailing you out you are pretty bad.

2. Horrible game plan, they didn't even try to run the ball when it was close. They set up the offense to be pass only and thats why Beekman was out. Beekman is better at run blocking, Omiyale is better at pass blocking. They where never going ot run the ball and just wanted Cutler to do it all again. The game plan was we have a bunch of bad players so lets have Jay do it all and see if we can ruin him in the process. By the way have they not watched any film on Favre all year, he has been killing everyone, he looks awsome. Peterson has an ankle injury and has not been at full speed, and it has shown in his play coming into this week. So they sold out to stop him and let the guy who has been destroying teams destroy them. Real smart.

3. As for the defensive line play, I believe they had two off side penalties. Really, off sides? They have no pass rush, thanks a lot to Rod the great defensive FA signing.

4. Free Safety is a signiture position in the Tampa 2, we don't have a signiture safety or anything close to it. Aikman pointed this out during the game.

5. So finally you agree Hester is not a number 1, thanks. I would also like to point out that while Cutler gets a lot of greef, many people after the game including Tom Thayer and Ron Turner have mentioned that the recievers may very well be running the wrong routs, more than the Bears are saying. Which tends to explain a lot. It explains why sometimes you see Cutler thorw up his hands when he is looking at his recievers like WTF after a play. Bennett has been the only guy who as at least shown some toughness.

6. Hunter did show up to play, if nobody else on the defense did, including Briggs. They just play sloppy football. I know Singletary was working on his 49ers tackling this week, something Lovie is to stubborn to do.

7. Cutler actually had a good short game going, but after Bennett got hit early and the ball got batted into the air, that was about it. That should have been a penalty, I won't put that one Cutler he hit his man. On that goaline situation Ron Turner called out his recievers for running the wrong routs after the game. I will be willing to bet this has been a regular problem.

8. Martz is a stroke, the only time he had success is when he had 6 pro bowlers in their prime on offense, and had at least two other offensive linemen who where pro bowl calibur. He basically had the Cardnals recivers, a stud O-Line, Warner in his Prime and arguably A HOF rb in Marshall. This isn't close to being all on Turner, he is as bland a signel caller as you get, but he has no talent on offense outside of Cutler.

9. If the Bears don't want to fire Smith or Angelo fine, but they have already been set back 3-4 years, they want to make it longer? That's on their heads but the fans will stop watching the games as much and the sponsers will pay less and they can kiss all those nice fat revenue checks goodbye. When you are this bad you don't play in primetime 7 times. Don't think the League wouldn't love to see Shanahan or Cowher in Chicago. What a big story that would be. Angelo has destroyed this team, his draft picks and poor signings and trades show this. By the way they don;t have to fire Angelo, they can bump Phillips up and then bump Angelo up to the Presidents spot. That way his hands are off the draft and trades. Then they can hire a real GM who has a clue. Sorry but me and severl other poster and Brad himself have made better picks than this looser. He needs to be taken away from the draft and players. Heck Bump him down to Pro Player, and hire a new GM who will make sure he doesn't mess up. Lovie and staff are the only guys that really need to be fired right now, the others can be moved around and gotten out of the way. I don't know why nobody else thinks of this stuff?

10. They will beat the Rams, they may even beat the Vikings, because at that point unless they are playing for homefield they will have their starters benched. But Baltimore and GB are fighting to get in and this team is showing little desire and seems ot have packed it in, only a few guys are really giving 100%. Baltimore is going to beat the snot out of the Bears. I see two more losses maybe three but the Bears will beat the Lions and Rams. The Bears are the best of the worst.

I just want to point a few things out about a certain GM. This is a GM that doesn't believe in going to the Senior Bowl. A GM who refuses to scout USC player even though they lead all college programs in active productive nfl players. A man who loves to draft players who have fallen because of injury issues. A man who Warren Sapp who worked with for years thinks is a joke as a GM. A GM who by next year will maybe have two players on his team from the 04, 05, 06 draft classes. A GM that refuses to address the offensive line with proper talent. A GM who in the middle of this season when O-Line was a clear and desperate need traded away his 2nd round pick for a player who was a bust on one of the worst teams in the nfl, a player that team couldn't wait to get rig of, a player who was a DE. Not a guard or a tackle, but a defensive end. A man who has signed such player as Greg Lloyd, and an aging Marty Booker, but let one mister bear Mike Brown go and gave away Thomas Jones. A GM who has no problem giving big extensions to player with injury issues and or attitude problems.

Not only is this GM bad for the team but I can make a reasonable argument that he is costing the team more than he is worth in terms of contract money alone. Now ask yourself Brad do you really think the Bears wouldn't let Angelo go? If its just about Money, their are a lot of guys on this team making a lot of money and very few of them are earning it. Harris, Williams, Pace, Omiyale, Urlacher, Hester, OgunLeye, Shaffer, Gilbert, Iglesias, Manning, G Adams, and thats just this years players. Thats a lot of bad money for a bad football team.

Great list indeed! The Bears are the prime example of how a team will neglect to the point of no return. Whenever the draft would come around I always stated that the Colts hit "pay dirt" every year due to their strong scouting department and Bill Polian. Their ownership certainly isn't afraid to spend money. Their strong talent pool has allowed them to sustain. On the other hand, the Bears have decided not to follow the blue print Polian used. A qb isn't enough to win anything and if a player can play for an elite team they will go. No one really wants to endure a long building period when they can go to the Steelers, Colts, or Patriots and win right away. The Bears basically bought a qb and that's it-now there are no more picks for them to acquire high talent. People laughed at the Vikings when they decided to get out of the Cutler race-apparently they had a plan. If they play their cards right, they can land a qb in the next draft because they have the personnel department to do it. This rebuilding process will take a while because as long as we are in the conference with the Cowboys, Redskins and Giants they will make it difficult on the Bears to get who they want. I'm not sure what to make of Jay but I will say sometimes it's best to just let things pass you by. He can't blame Josh McDaniels or the Broncos anymore-it's on him now so whatever happens will happen.

Injuries didn't earn one of your 10 spots, or even one of your by now infamous 10b, c, or d spots?

You realize that for nearly the entire second half, we were playing 2 cornerbacks and 5 linebackers that weren't starters in week 1, right?

Bradd -

1.0 Do you have any insight on how a work stoppage effects these clubs financially? Would a work stoppage help (however remotely) or hurt the chances of a sale of this franchise?

2.0 During yesterday's game Troy Aikman commented on the strength of the Vikings personal moves during the last four years. A time period through which the Bears have made equally poor decisions with the Cutler trade being the only exception. The current health/future prognosis of this franchise reflects a harvest of these decisions and it's the medias responsibility to paint a clear picture of this fact; contrasting the failures of the current management team with the successes of the winners in this league. Just because Detroit is in our division doesn't mean they represent a standard of measure.

3.0 There are windows of opportunity in life and they don't stay open forever. How many 1st class football GM's are there? Where does one find one? How many are available now? The turn-arounds in Minnesota, and Atlanta, and even New England ( years ago) were orchestrated by someone? It would be a shame to see the Bears miss an opportunity for quality GM and settle for another JA. This isn't as simple as hiring a new fullback's coach or redesigning the off season program. This organization needs a commitment to winning at all levels, and that doesn't just happen on Sunday.

Lovie has lost this team him and ja are like people who spend to much time talking about the glory years you have to keep adapting to the changeing enviroment thats why teams that are good in the nfl stay good their drafting football players not signing people who were great ten years ago or drafting players who were injured or because of something they saw on youtube . Looks like when I predicted 9-7 or worse after the buffalo game I was right all the things they couldn't do in that game are still a problem today . another sub par year for fans who deserve better. I agree with most of what creighton said on his second blog but i think your wrong about urlacher i think part of the problem on defense is he is not there to hide some of their defects in the pass game . All I hope is that hub was right and they found cower more than receptive about taking on the job , because then for the bears and us the fans the sun will come back out ,because with lovie it will be more storm clouds in the sky.

This team is so bad and in need of so many things perhaps the government can bail them out! Seriously, the Offense line is priority #1, receivers priority #1A, and a running back is priority #1B. Get some people on defense that can actually cover receivers,and for goodness sakes, go back to tackling drills. Why is it everyone wants to lay the bug hit on somebody? How did players get away from wrapping up a player and bringing them to the ground? Interesting concept I think it's called tackling. We can't even look forward to the draft because we gave up the world for Jay Cutler.

Anyone else notice how hard it was for Knox to get off the line when he was pressed and bumped? He is not supposed to be lined up outside, but apparently what we do with speed is the same thing we do with Berrian. They only run two routes....The 7 yard stop and turn around (which I think should be a 10 yard comeback, but somehow never turns into a COME BACK!) and the go route. Knox ran a few early crosses this season, but I think a couple of drops and alligator arms, and they won't send him over the middle. Yet another example of poor player development.

Let's be honest, this season is quickly circling the drain. The Rams are no longer even looking like an easy win. We will make them look like contenders...How else do you explain blocking Allen with Pace 1 on 1 all day, and then moving Shaffer to block him when Pace went out, and then blocking down on a pass play????Kellen Davis and Greg Olsen to stop Jared Allen? Ron Turner should be beaten with a heavy stick for even considering that option. Shaffer is a run blocker, so let's put him on the left to block Allen.

Now I know what they will say....Better to change one spot than disrupt two in the case of injury, but what were they going to disrupt? The Vikes were getting pressure with 3 guys, and 4 were killing us! I guess we don't want throw off the the sh!tty play with some f@^%(*# passion or desire to protect your franchise investment!

This team needs a ton of help, and it sure as shootin' is not coming from the draft this year, unless we decide to scrap the whole enchilada and start trading our stars, like Briggs and Urlacher. Urlacher could have some value to a 3-4 team as an outside pass rusher, and Briggs is a potential star at inside linebacker. Washington would take him in a second over London Fletcher, and a dozen other teams would take him. Jamar Williams is good enough to play the weakside if we stay in the Tampa 2, and I think he will play well enough to make the trade worthwhile. Given the talent at OT available in round 1 this year, I would not be opposed to trading away our 2011 first rounder and a player for a high pick this year. We cannot come out of this offseason without at least 3 new offensive linemen on the roster. Pace is gone, Shaffer is merely a stopgap, and Kreutz and Garza are not any more than average right now. Williams is still unknown to me, until we put him on the left, which we should be doing against the Rams, who do not have a speed rusher from that side. Pace needs to sit, and never get off the bench again. In fact, he should be placed on waivers. He is getting steamrolled, and beat around the corner, and basically bamboozled by every move his opponent makes. Bring up Marten from the practice squad to take his spot, and see if we can get some guys on this team who are hungry and give a crap...

I would love to see Briggs stay as a Bear, but unless we are preparing to be even worse next year, we are going to need to take drastic action. Cutting Vasher and Harris, and letting Goon walk will free some salary cap space for free agents, but we can't expect to get more than 3 guys, and probably only one marquee guy. We need youth, and talented youth at that. That means first day draft picks, and right now, we have none. We made one of them count in Cutler, but the Gaines Adams trade was simply a waste of a valuable pick. Tampa should be brought up on charges for fraud, but Jerry was stupid enough to pay that price for a non-factor.

If Angelo and Lovie gave half a sh!t about this organization and team, they would start playing the youth we have to find out what we have. Put Beekman at RG, Omiyale at LG. Shaffer or Marten at RT, Williams at LT. Start Aromashodu and Bennett at WR, and let Hester and Knox rotate in the slot. Activate Gilbert and see if he can play.

Speaking of which, how many freakin' offsides penalties will we get while they try to get that extra fraction of a second that results in ZERO SACKS before they finally stop jumping? Seems like we get 3 a game. The only sack we got was a blitzing safety....I was one who touted Marinelli as a big addition to this line, and I still believe that, but a pig is a pig, and no matter how you dress it up, it still oinks. Alex Brown, Adewale Ogunleye, Mark Anderson, Gaines Adams are all poor excuses for pass rushers. Tommie Harris is a 2 tackle wonder, and gets as much push up front as Craig Steltz would in the same position. The only guys pulling their weight are Harrison and Idonije. We have a ton of money invested in that line, and get nothing for it.

This team is going to be the Rams next year. Our "talent" is getting old fast, and breaking down. We have no draft picks, and the ones we have made are not far enough along to step in. We will likely have a top 5 pick in 2011, and probably 2012 as well. Buckle up, Bear Fans, as the ride is not going to be pleasant with this staff at the helm.

Great article Brad.

"Wow" on the notion Lovie is coming back next year. That is ridiculous. He ran Ron Rivera out of town and the defense hasn't been the same. He is the alleged defensive coordinator this year and they're worse than ever.

Lovie had a nice run but I would fire him today.

It is very depressing to hear that he (and the rest of the assistants) will be back for another year.

Lovie always has a lot of injuries. He doesn't get them in shape in the summer and for the most part they're flat during games. That's what gets them hurt. Out of shape and not playing hard.


I like your thoughts with one exception -

The vaunted Vikings personnel department have missed the target with QB's in the draft for a number of consecutive years. That's why they went out and got Favre. A first round pick doesn't guarantee a starting QB. In fact, far from it.

The Bears did the right thing in nabbing Cutler. Even the great Cutler hater Mark Schlereth has noted how poorly the team around Jay has played - and how his WR's are leaving him out to dry. Olsen, Hester, and Knox have not played consistently and do not run routes very well. Proper route-running is important when you have no pass protection and have to rely on timing and short drops.They have honestly created more interceptions than Jay has actually thrown.

I am not a Cutler apologist. I watch the games. The players around him are playing poorly. THE BEARS HAVE NO PASS PROTECTION OR RUNNING GAME - NONE. This is not the same group that was moderately effective with Kyle Orton last year. Forte, Garza and Kreutz are not playing very well at all, Beekman is barely adequate, and the tackle play has been very inconsistent.

The defense has not been the same since Ron Rivera left.

Fans, look over the rest of the league, this team could possible be the worst in the league, if not now, certainly in the future! Age is catching up on the lines, and on defense! Our drafts are horrible, look at this year, we have only two rookies contributing and the only reason they are is because WR and safety on our team are nonexisent! As good as Johnnie Knox has been for us, I don't think he would even get on the field for a team with good receivers. (Maybe as a returner.) Same with Alfalava! Our coaches suck bad, and finally no draft picks! The Browns suck bad but they have 11 draft picks next year and the balls to fire coaches and fix whats wrong!! Look at Denver and Tampa Bay, they had the balls to fire Superbowl winning coaches last year! Not us! We're doomed!....P.S. Brad, how can you say Hillenmeyer played good. Three TD passes over the middle where he was suppose to be!! He is lost in the passing game! He should have been cut in training camp. Jamar Williams would be much better in the middle!!


Brad Maynard punted good.

That's about it.

Also, kudos to Brad Childress and the Vikings who understood that Favre might be the missing ingredient -- not just in on-the-field performance but in developing younger talent. You can see a lot of Favre in Aaron Rodgers. Let's hope we don't see a lot of Favre in Tavaris Jackson for the next 10 years.

I want to see a lot more of Aromadashu. Sit Hester and start Aromadashu, Knox and Bennett.

The Rams are a perfect team to experiment against.

I want Bob Babich back as D Coordinator. I don't believe any of his defenses gave up 500+ yards in a single game.

One last thought... how many of you now think that Urlacher may have been right about Cutler? Unfortunately, I think Brian regrets calling him a "pussy" because he actually meant "loser."

Angelo extended Cutler for $20M more -- a QB without a winning record. Given this logic, I guess JA will resign Ogunleye for 3 years and $18M. Or maybe Kruetz for 2 years and $12M?


If the McCaskeys bring back Lovie, they are insane. I have been a Bears fan for 31 years, and honestly, this is the worst I have ever felt. Lovie has no one to blame on defense but himself. He fired our best DC in a while and then gave it to his boyfriend Babich who destroyed it. Now, Mr. Smith has put his own stamp on it and we have gotten blown out 3 times in the past 6 weeks. This is franchise is in shambles thanks to our arrogant and clueless head coach and clown of a general manager. These two have to go. I bet the fans would each put up 20 bucks to pay these fools to leave.

LOVIE SHOULD BE FIRED TODAY!! If I am the owner of the team, I would have told Lovie and his staff to find their own way home and promoted Dave Toub to interim head coach. Everyone else, gone. These players love Lovie because he doesnt push them. Urlacher is a joke. He said he loves the way Lovie runs camps. What a joke. want to know why? Because they don't hit!! They don't tackle.... they don't practice the little thing.. thats why they suck.

Brad you among others instead of writing they will be back, should be hammering this organization in the paper day in and day out to show what an embarassment they are and advocating for the removal of Lovie, Angelo and that horrible staff immediately!! Grow a pair and start calling this organization under the carpet!!

Mike S.

Fix the o-line and the RB position will be just fine. I like the tandem of Bell and Forte but you could have the ghost of Walter Payton back there and it wouldn't make a difference. Opposing defenses are blowing these clowns off the line. You can't run if your getting hit in the backfield.

Apparently, Lovie spoke with the sideline reporter before the second half and
said something to the effect that they were looking at the most important half
of football for the season.... And the offense responded with.......

Drum roll please....

Can you stand the suspense....

12 plays...

2 yards...

For the entire second half.

The isn't a misprint.



Zero first downs.

Not one first down.

Againt a Minnesota defense that makes a habit of giving up a lot of yardage.

Two plays summed up this half.

On second and three in the 3rd quarter, Forte catches a swing pass in the left
flat. All he needs to do is cut sharply back to the inside and he picks up the
first down. It looked more like Benson in 2007. He dances right into the
defender, a yard short of the marker.

Next play, a QB sneak gets nothing, except a huge hit on Cutler, and the Bears

We all saw this nightmare coming today, but the first half was almost
entertaining. And the huge runback to start the second half gave pause and
hope that they could make a game out of it, or at least be competitve.

But this team quit today.

Good points, but they didn't address everything needed and someone decided not to. No one is jealous of the Bears having Jay Cutler because it takes more than a qb to win something. As i stated, the Vikings did what they had to do in order to win because of their personnel. You don't need a big arm qb to win anything-rather a smart one. Schlereth has no reason to hate on Jay...the man played with JOHN ELWAY and has super bowl rings. That's doesn't make sense, anytime someone speaks their mind that's the first thing that comes up. They are entitled to their opinion and that's fine. The Vikings, like the packers, will find their qb in the draft. Some would rather do it that way then spend everything they own. There's no guarantee about Jay Cutler...he's just a player. That's it. The Cowboys found Tony Romo (undrafted) so YES they can be found if you look in the right places. No blaming everyone else. This is it and if an uncapped year comes the Cowboys will run over everyone because they still rank high on college kids 'wish list." They watched Troy Aikman as a kids and that's enough for them. I love the bears, but I would play for the Giants or Cowboys because that's who has been huge for a long time. The Cowboys were bad when Troy Aikman arrived but people still wanted to go there. Please, no more of the "hater" talk because there's nothing to be jeaous of...all they have is a qb...that's it. NO EXCUSES for all those interceptions...THROW THE BALL AWAY!

Maybe the Bears players should take a hint from their fellow footballers across the pond:

Partyup is that joke, Schlereth has been bashing Cutler ever sense he was traded he is and always been a Bronco homer just like you. Are you kidding you don't need a big armed QB to win everything and then yo utalk about the vikings. They went out and got Bret Favre you tard, one biggest big armed QB's of all time.

No excuses, his damn recievers are running the wrong routs, and he is hit on every play. He has no running game and his OC doesn't know how to use him. This is a direct quote from Turner.

"When we give him an opportunity, he's a hell of a player," Turner said. "We have to give him a chance on each and every play. We didn't do that today."

Even he knows they are not giving him a shot. You got the nerve to bring up Favre he is the all time leader in INT's dip shi#. I hate people who just want to bash some someone but don't have the stones to do it, so they try to tip toe around the bashing, but end up saying stupid crap like smart QB like Favre not a strong armed QB who thorws to many INT's. What a tard. Even Bret compares himself to Jay, but says Jay is actually better than him at the same point in his career.

Why, during our 11th game of the season, are our receivers running the wrong routes???

Do we have the stupidest receivers in the NFL or simply the least talented? If they are the stupidest, it doesn't say much about the education one gets from the Univ of Miami, since two of our receivers went there.

Maybe instead of calling plays, Cutler should simply draw the plays in the turf (using crayons will help because Jay will be able to use multiple colors to depict different receivers -- plus the bright colors will keep our attention-span challenged receivers engaged).

Or maybe we should practice route running in... practice?

Or maybe it's not the receivers fault at all but an attempt to protect Cutler's fragile ego?

Seedy: they are running the wrong routes because they know the stupid play calls of Turner do not work, HELL this is the same guy who called a bubble screen on the 2nd play of the game after the defense forced a turnover and we desperately needed to score first in the game.....Now, he's blaming the players and what routes they run...bullcrap....

DaCoach, you are dead on about the o-line, this is a desire position, yes you need some talent, but our guys are getting beat off the ball and badly no desire to beat their man one on one is clear in this case, hell the d-line is in shambles as well no penitration and they all play too high, d-line has to get underneath the o-lineman to drive them back into the play look at what teams are doing to us.When in the hell are we going to run some stunts Marinelli, hell the pash rush is too vanilla for me....

Creighton: the problem I have with this team is we have shown NO IMPROVEMENT anywhere this season, not one area can we say has gotten better after 11 games.....Angelo and Lovie this is your charge now, find some way to get better by the end of the season, your'e getting paid big bucks and you still have a job to do.....your reputation and future employment is on the line not only with the BEARS but in the NFL as well.......

I found Jerry's solution to the tackle problem....Tony Washington out of Abilene Christian. He loves the school for young, raw talent, and this kid is more athlete than football player, so that translates into Jerry Angelo draft pick....Just thought I would call it early...

Creighton, great points. The McCaskets have a real knack for picking a GM and coach that was on NO ONE else's radar, don't they?

One of many examples of how thoroughly Angelo has screwed this team: as Brad mentioned, he took the WORST LT in last year's draft, a draft loaded with LTs that are starting for other teams. If he had picked the right guy, any other guy, he'd be starting at LT this year, and St. Clair or maybe someone better than Williams would be at RT. One of the worst moves I've ever seen by a GM who is more suited to be a scout, maybe.

Is anyone else as sick as I am of seeing most of the picks every year "redshirted?" I mean, what's the point. Someone better make the Bears "an offer they can't refuse" to see what we've got in Iglesias, Gilbert, et. al. They can't use the excuse that they're still in the hunt. I have heard that Iglesias is practicing at a high level. He and Aromashadu should get significant playing time. Devin made a nice catch and I think Cutler actually trusts him to be in the right place.

Troy Aikman said it weeks ago: the Bears are the only team he's ever seen that tries to turn DBs into WRs. In HS and college there's a reason guys are DBs - they're not good enough to be WRs. But on the Bears all reason goes out the door.

I honestly don't know how much more I can take and I am die hard. I would never tell a fan not to go and watch his team, that's his decision. But wouldn't it be great if the last home game was blacked out? I'd love it.

Best Players on the bears that will not fail us

Robbie Gould
Brad Maynard

And that kid running down the sideline with johnny knox against the detroit lions

"And that kid running down the sideline with johnny knox against the detroit lions"

LOL, True. That guy was stride for stride on sportscenter!!!

Definitely a well thought out post. I still believe Williams will be good at LT; the Bears need to get him moved over ASAP. Shaffer should never, ever play again. JA needs to see Omiyale at RT, and not wait until next year to start there. The many questions need to be answered before the end of the season, and not be put on hold until "he gets a training camp under his belt" crap. The tryouts for starting positions start vs. the Rams.

I've never been a fan of the Tampa-2, but otherwise I think Smith is taking too much of the heat--blame Angelo! No coach can be successful without the right tools. Ok, let's not forget the defense has been without 2 starting, pro-bowl caliber linebackers (nobody's fault). The decision to cut Mike Brown, however, was a bone-head move (I understand he's made a very positive impact on his new team).

The real damage, however, happened a few years ago. Drafting "the best athlete available" sounds good, in theory, but it's Angelo's draft philosophy that's responsible for the Bears current state of affairs. Remember Thomas Jones? Former #1 pick and free-agent steal? (I heard he went to the pro bowl with the Jets last year). He used to be 70% of the Bears offense. Sure, Benson is (finally) running all over people, but neither player is with the Bears anymore, are they? Even at his current level of play, taking Benson #1 was just plain dumb. That was the draft Angelo should have taken a lineman.....or, failing that, a cornerback. Rueben Brown and Fred Miller were old! Backup running backs can be easily had in late rounds. Angelo drafted "the best athlete available" at the expense of a chance to get youth on the offensive line. A couple drafts later, the Bears had to use another high pick on Forte....then they draft a tackle with a bad back who couldn't bench-press 1/2 the weight of the other tackles at the combine. Ok, with the way Angelo drafts, maybe two first-round picks wouldn't make any difference.....but what would the '85 Bears have been like without Dan Hampton, Jim Covert and Jay Hilgenburg, not to mention the "Fridge"? Hester's still got moves, Forte is still a good back and Cutler may someday be the Bear's version of Farve.....but the offensive line isn't getting it done and Tommy Harris isn't what he used to be, either. Either the Bears are going to have to spend a fortune in free agency, or Cutler's likely to be as old as Farve before he makes it to his first playoff game!


Oops, so much for optimism.

Realistically, though, there aren’t very many dream-teams out there. It’s not like the Saints or Colts have a full line of pro-bowlers on both sides of the ball, and they do have their weaknesses. Even the Vikings who won the division last year were beatable until they got lucky with Favre. There are only so many quality players out there, even if you had a full slate of draft picks, and then I’ve seen enough players let go that go on to have decent years elsewhere that I think for the most part you continue with what you have and try to use them better. Of course, having a real WR and a real FS would be nice, but we’ll have to see who’s available.

I think there are ways of winning with what you have, and that’s where I think Lovie’s crew is failing the most. And although it’s the defense that’s getting rolled over in these blow outs, it’s the offense that I have the most trouble with. I don’t believe in change for the sake of change, and with the talent that we already have at some key positions, we should not be going into rebuilding mode, so if Lovie does become dislodged, it ought to be for a proven head coach, not a hit or miss first-timer that the team owners feels like “growing” with.

But Ron Turner has to go. A team that gets off whatever vehicle running the ball does not proceed to run the ball just 8 times the entire game and try to turn the game into a QB shoot-out when you know the opposition has more weapons and fire-power, while at the same time voluntarily turning yourself into a one-dimensional offense that is easy to defend against early on in the game. Neither should a team completely discard the concept of ball control and time of possession when the opposition is a high-scoring offense that you have to slow down just to stay close; it’s the only way you can stay in the game. And then there are the 3 straight short passes on the first drive and 3 straight running plays on the second drive which did nothing to loosen up the defense, his falling in love with Hester and Knox (and Forte last year), his failure to continue using plays that actually work and tendency to continue to use plays that are predictable, blah blah blah…

I seriously doubt Lovie and Turner communicate very well, because a defensive-minded HC would not allow his defense to be on the field for over 40 minutes and 83 plays, no matter what.

By the way, I don’t think prioritizing stopping Peterson is a bad idea. Trying to stop everything at once would be a real disaster. We just don’t have the Ss, CBs and LBs to counter the excellent play of their QB and receivers. The Vikings deserve credit, especially that Harvin kid. They’re not 10-1 for nothing.

The Bears now own the second longest current losing streak in the league at 4 (the Browns have lost 6 in a row). I know Ron Turner is not going to be much help, so the players are going to have to step it up and make plays. Make Plays! Go Bears!

The season is lost, the Bears need to accept what it is and start playing for 2010. Brad made a solid point here. There is little to be gained by playing the same tired underachievers and trying to win just to save face.

You can still play to win and get some of the youngsters some meaningful playing time right now. You can stil play to win and make some moves with players, try them in different positions ect...

Pace can rest his groin for the rest of the season and hit the road. Move Williams to LT and Shaffer to RT vs the Rams. That would mean you'd actually have these players playing their natural positions !!

Bench Kreutz vs the Rams and let Josh Beekman play Center. It couldn't hurt since the O-line stinks anyway and odds are that Beekman will replace Olin in 2010 at Center anyway. Might as well see what the kid can do with five games left on the 2009 slate.

Lets get Gilbert, Lance Louis and Iglesias some playing time and while were at it lets give Aromashodu a start with at least 20+ plays and see if he can develop a repoir with Cutler.

Lets just cut McKie now and promote Will Ta'ofu'ou.... McKie sucks BigTime and Will was a stud in college for the Golden Bears.

The time is now to get our youth some game experience but Lovie will waste this opportunitt like he always does and next year will be another year of questions about young players who have no experience.

Go Bears !!

Lovie and Angelo will still be here next season? Then why waste space writing about or discussing anything else? As long as either of these clowns are still here, the Bears have no chance. And that goes for Ted Phillips, too; in fact it starts with him. A bean counter belongs in the accounting department, not running a football team, and he's the reason the Bears have Angelo and Smith, which are the reasons that they suck and are getting worse by the second.

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This page contains a single entry by Brad Biggs published on November 29, 2009 11:28 PM.

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