Chicago Sun-Times

Did Pace suffer a concussion or not? Left tackle suited up today

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The Bears gave an injury diagnosis for Orlando Pace that did not sit well with the veteran left tackle, saying that he had the wind knocked out of him.

Pace scoffed at that as a reason for him not returning to the game, and that wasn't surprising as he didn't build a Hall of Fame resume getting knocked out of ballgames with such injuries.

Afterward, Pace disclosed that he believed he had suffered a concussion, which made more sense for why Kevin Shaffer replaced him for the fourth quarter.

"I don't know what the diagnosis is, it's kind of tough to focus,'' Pace said. "I don't know if it was a slight concussion or what not but it was hard for me to focus. I think the guy kind of caught me with a good shot."

The guy was 49ers linebacker Parys Haralson, who hit him following an interception.

Pace is on the practice field right now in gear, so we'll hopefully get a better diagnosis of exactly what was wrong with him. It would be surprising for Pace to practice today if he actually sustained a concussion at San Francisco.

In other news, rookie strong safety Al Afalava has returned after sitting out last week with a right shoulder injury. Cornerback Zack Bowman, who suffered an abdomen injury against the 49ers, was also practicing. Sitting out were safety Kevin Payne (back), tight end Desmond Clark (neck) and running back Garrett Wolfe (kidney). Center Olin Kreutz was also watching, and he might have been dinged up during the loss. Practice will end in about 15 minutes. Check back later on for an update.

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Too bad Pace made it back on the field. Concussion or not, it would be nice to see what Shaeffer has to offer next game.

What no one is talking about regarding the two blowout losses when the D was rolled up and taken out like an old carpet, is that there is one common thread between both games. One game, Tommie Harris was held out by Smith. The other game, Harris was kicked out four plays into the game. As substandard as Harris has been compared to PRO BOWL Tommie, he is still by far and away our best 3 technique DT. It appears that when you remove him from the rotation there is no pass rush plus there are gaping holes to run on the team at will.

Those calling for Tommie's head after the season better have a plan in place to replace him with another starting caliber player and not just go with what we currently have.

We have an extra couple of days for the team to get ready for the Eagles. Considering how many yards McNabb is able to rack up with no semblance of a running game, we are in for a doozy with our coverage performances.

Two things we are going to need to do in this game.

--1st and foremost, we need to be able to give Cutler time to throw. I think we have the ability to win matchups against their corners and safeties. They are banged up, and we should be able to get downfield, but Cutler has to be able to remain upright and set his feet to deliver the ball. That means moving the pocket, and changing things up on the offensive line. Maybe it's time to see if Omiyale can play tackle? If Pace has any lingering effects from the concussion, this would be a good game to let him rest and find out what Omiyale can do at tackle. Either you put him at left tackle and leave Williams at RT, or move Williams to LT, and put Omiyale or Shaffer at RT. Pace is not going to be here next year (or he shouldn't the way he is bludgeoning his reputation as a premier pass protector), and Omiyale and Williams are both under contract for 3 more years. We need to know whether they can play tackle as our starting bookends going into the next 3 years, because if not, we need to make some major investments in Offensive linemen this offseason and beyond. If they can get the job done, then we can focus on guards and Kreutz' eventual replacement, as you can usually find good guards and centers in the 3rd-5th rounds. Tackles on the second day are not as easy to find.

2nd, we need to help the coverage out by getting after McNabb, but doing it with discipline. Merril Hoge on ESPN was showing how the Bengals made an adjustment to the way they rushed Roethlisberger, and for the first time, I came away impressed with Hoge as an analyst. The Left defensive end (front side to Roethlisberger) was rushing upfield, and then pinching back towards the line of scrimmage, eliminating the lane for him to escape the pocket to his strong side, where he can keep looking down the field. Ogunleye can do that, especially since he has not been getting to the QB the last several weeks. McNabb is similar to Big Ben in that he keeps plays alive with his feet, and is tough to get on the ground. He will scramble to his right when given the chance, so we need to cut down those lanes.

I think we will have our hands full with Jackson, Maclin, Avant, and Celek. It is a more explosive group than Arizona put on the field, simply from a speed perspective in my opinion. I would put Fitzgerald over any of the Philly wideouts, but Breaston is very similar to what we will see in Maclin and Avant. If we continue to lapse in concentration in coverage, and do not get to McNabb, we are in for a long day, and a shootout at best. We have the extra couple of days to get ready, and we had better take advantage of it. If we come out again looking overmatched and unprepared, then it is all on Lovie...

Uh oh... I smell Watergate-type conspiracy, mystery and intrigue!!


The problem with Orlando-gate is that he has been leaving it wide open in pass protection...

If he had trouble focussing then he had a concussion.

This is serious business and the medical evidence is that repeated concussions lead to mental deterioration in middle age that can look like Alzheimers.

If the Bears or any team hold any player out for a concussion they should be supported. The data is very strong...and scary!

What is it with Chicago and our sports teams? my Sox took 89 years to win a world series (sorry Cubs fans)The Bears quarterback situation still sucks...We get a high profile player,that player gets to Chicago and does not perform, same player leaves Chicago and suddenly seems to turn around..pick a Chicago team and it happens more often than not.

Joe why would move anyone the line is awesome, the fault of this team are all Cutlers. Oh and mine, its my fault they're loosing. I just want to say I am sorry for my poor play this year on offense and defense. Its all my fault for blogging.

Actually Joe you may not want to put the most penalized player on the team at LT. Chris Williams sucksssssssssssssss. Shaffer is a career RT, they could try Omiyale at LT and Shaffer at RT. If that doesn't work, move Cutler to reciever for the rest of the year and make Omiyale the QB and let him see how he likes getting hit in the back all day long. In fact everyone on offense should have to play half a game at QB just to see how bad it sucks back their. Someone can snap the ball in the dirt for Kruetz, someone can just jump off sides everytime Williams snaps the ball, Hester can pass the ball to Cutler and Cutler can just Quit on his rout, or fall down, or get a false start, or bump into the official.

But for real Joe, at this point in the season Cutler is punchy and frustrated, the offense can't execute anything but a bubble screen and a checkdown. Cutler is jumpy in the pocket, he has regressed and this team and the Coches has been exposed.

Oh and Brad, tell this chump MARK POTASH to stop ripping off my posts for his articles. If he starts talking about Cutler getting strobe light eye therapy and Ipods for the team to watch film on I will loose it.

There was a time when Orlando Pace was something special, that time has come and gone. I agree that it would have took more than getting the wind knocked out of him to knock Pace out of a game back in his hay day. But today, 13 years in the league, yeah, thats probably all it would take. Pace simply isn't the player he once was. This was a bad signing by Angelo. Angelo should have kept Chris Williams at left tackle. All the Pace signing really did was set the team back. I never liked this signing from the get go. I don't like stop-gap signings, thats not how you build a line i.e. Fred Miller.

The offensive line needs to be priority one this off-season. Angelo needs to stop with the stop-gap players. The lack of a running game is killing this team right now. Chicago's offense is one dimensional, they can't run, and it all leads back to the line. Football is a simple game, if each individual player beats the guy in front of him, you will win. Right now, teams are beating Chicago's o-line with their front 7! That shouldn't happen...ever. Change is needed up front if this team wants to win.

Theres not much Chicago can do as of right now. I'd still like to see Chris Williams at left tackle. I realize theres still an outside chance of Chicago making the playoffs. Once Chicago is eliminated, probably in two weeks here, its time to get some of these young linemen some reps. Again, move Chris Williams to left tackle and see what he can do. I think he'll be a much better fit on the left side going against speed rushers. Chicago should also see what rookie guard Lance Louis has got. He obviously showed the team something during the pre-season by beating out veteran Dan Buenning for a roster spot. The guy is athletic (4.7 40, 30-inch vertical jump), and strong (30 reps on the bench), play him and see what he can do. Also, move tackle James Marten up off the practice squad, the 6-8 320lb tackle might be someone to check out. Chicago has had their eye on the guy for a couple seasons, play him and see what he can do. Not saying he's the answer at right tackle, but theres only one way to find out. Bottom line, once Chicago is out of the playoff picture, theres really nothing else left to do but build for next year. Playing some of these young linemen might be a good way to do it GO BEARS!!

Kevin A.: you might get your wish after this week, the game this Sunday sets up to be a good one, two desperate teams trying to salvage what's left of a current disappointing season. The Eagles have a bigger margin of error and could afford the loss more than the BEARS becasue of their position in their division. if The BEARS lose it's Asta la vista Baby!, for this teams chances and less of the we still got a chance talk coming from the locker room continuing. On one hand it would be great to see these players make a run and play the game with a sense of urgency they should have been playing with from the get go, but Hey, nothing breads performing like knowing your job is on the line if you don't get it done. And for a lot of these players that is the case!

Realistically though Kevin A., we have already started the youth movement, we were not thinking it would actually result in the team getting worse while it was happening. The real reason Lovie and Angelo are on the launching pad right now is that THEY told us we were contenders, THEY sold the future for the present by brining in Cutler and trading for Gaines Adams. Lovie and Angelo expected breakout season's from Olsen, Bowman, Hester,Manning and improved performance from Brian, Harris, Ogunleye and the O-line by bringing in Pace, Omiyale and strating Williams. At this point in the season these moves have not worked for various reasons. I will always love my BEARS, and I appreciate Lovie and Angelo getting us back to the Super Bowl, but they must be held accountible for the decisions that they made, they are correct we STILL have a chance at the playoffs, and if by some miracle they pull it out it will be one of the great coaching jobs in Chicago Bear history, but it can't happen without a WIN this Sunday, this is the biggest game of the season and their tenure....I'll be watching and rooting for you Lovie and Angelo, but not because of you, because I love my TEAM......Go BEARS

1. Even though he's nowhere near as good as he once was, Orlando Pace is not the problem. If he were the worst offensive lineman, the Bears would have a pretty good line. The guards are the biggest problem, followed by a lousy right tackle and a center who is useless unless he has at least one large and good guard next to him.

2. As Creighton said, Shaffer is a right tackle, not a left one. Putting him at left tackle would be a good way to get Cutler killed.

3. Chris Williams sucks for a first round pick, even if this is his first season playing. I agree with Creighton, I'd much rather see Shaffer playing at right tackle unless/until Williams can beat him out.

4. Omiyale at left tackle? Yes, he's been a tackle, not a guard. But he was a project even as a tackle. If he doesn't play well, again bye-bye Cutler.

5. There are no solutions based on the personnel the Bears now have. They need much better players on the line. Until they get them, what we see is what we have to look forward to. And again, you might as well stop picking on Orlando Pace, he's not the problem.

While I thought Pace was living on his reputation rather than his play the last 4-5 years, I still thought he would be decent this year. Obviously, I was wrong. He can no longer bend down to block shorter players, and he is slow out of his stance to get to the edge rushers. Jared Allen is going kill him, and Trent Cole should also abuse him. We are paying him $5 mil this year to play like that....

But we are continuing to plug these short-term veterans into key spots where we have high draft picks that are supposed to be establishing themselves as cornerstones for the future. If Williams is not able to get the job done, then you move on, but right now, we have no idea whether he can play the left side. He has played most of his career as a player on the left, and we are asking him to make the move to the right this year. Next year, he goes back to the left, and has to re-learn the position. How does this help? We retard his growth for a year, so we can put an over-the-hill veteran in as a stopgap for a year...Brilliant...

I keep saying it over and over again...We get to the end of the year, and don't know any more about our young talent in game situations than we did when the season started. Chris Williams as a LT, Omiyale as a LT or RT, Shaffer as a RT (another 10 year vet with limited longevity), Graham at RCB, Louis at G, Beekman at C, Aromashodu and Iglesias at WR, Briggs at MLB (how much longer will Urlacher play?), Jamar Williams at weak side backer, Gilbert at DE or DT, Toeaina at NT, Gaines Adams as a DE that plays significant time. We will still have question marks around all of these players, and go into 2010 with "unknowns" at several positions. Even great teams manage to develop their youth behind the starters. You don't yank your stars, but when you stink in all 3 phases, you need to shake things up and see what you have. The problem with rebuilding an aging team is that when you don't know what your base is capable of, you don't know where you need to rebuild.

5 years into this regime, and we still don't know what we are doing with young players. Even if we did know, we haven't developed a single one.

Orlando Pace is my poster boy for the true issue with this organization. We spend ten times more energy and effort (and salary cap money) getting into our own way, rather than setting a plan and marching towards the top of the league.


I agree with your assessment of Pace, but it's not as bad as you make it out to be. He's had good games against some All Pro ends this season. Yes, even he admits having trouble with smaller, quicker ends, but he's not that bad. Now Chris Williams at right tackle? THAT's bad!

And you're right, maybe Williams could be a good left tackle. But he also might suck as bad on that side as he does on the right side. If he does, that spells doom for Cutler. If you think Pace is bad, wait till you see a truly bad tackle playing against the top pass rushing ends almost every week. Let's face it, the Bears don't know how to judge offensive college talent, so it's more likely than not that Williams is just not a good tackle.

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This page contains a single entry by Brad Biggs published on November 16, 2009 12:04 PM.

Seeing yellow: Bears' penalties on offense the biggest problem was the previous entry in this blog.

At least Lovie didn't say that the Bears get off the bus running is the next entry in this blog.

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