Chicago Sun-Times

Sayers criticizes Cutler, Urlacher, Smith

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One of the greatest Bears of all time is less than impressed with the current state of his former team.

None other than Gale Sayers was critical of coach Lovie Smith, quarterback Jay Cutler, linebacker Brian Urlacher and the team's offseason moves Tuesday

"Cutler hasn't done the job," Sayers said, according to various reports. "They need a couple wide receivers, a couple defensive backs. They haven't done a good job."

Sayers was speaking at a banquet to benefit Boys Town in his hometown of Omaha, Neb.

"If Lovie doesn't do it this year, I think he's gone," he went on to say. "He had a good team the Super Bowl year. Nothing came together for him the last couple years."

Sayers said he also doubts Urlacher will return to form after missing last season with a wrist injury.

As for Julius Peppers, Sayers told the Omaha World-Herald that, "He's a good player, but he can't do it all by himself."

Just because Sayers seems less than optimistic about the team's prospects for 2010 doesn't mean he doesn't remain a fan.

"I go to every game I can," he told the World-Herald. "I live or die with them."

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33 Comments

I guess this is his annual "bitter veteran" rant.

Good to hear the HOF guys are still following the team. Otherwise nothing there that we haven't been talking about all winter.

You have to say Sayers is right on with his comments.

This is news?

I just read the same comments that you must have read. I read where Gail (as good as Peyton) questioned Urlacher's capability of being able to return and physically contribute. Not critizice him. I also am a bears fan and attend every game I can. Angelo is the architect of this team and his decisions must also be called into question.

It's hard to blame Sayers for being grumpy. If I played the way he did and got paid what he did, I wouldn't be happy to see today's players getting paid what they do for the way they play and behave either.

And Xee epitomizes this board ... If anyone dares to question the Bear organization or disagree with the company line, they are IMMEDIATELY "bitter" or a "fair-weather fan" and need to STFU.

Last I checked Gale Sayers not only played the game but played it at a HOF level. He's a true bear through and through. He was asked questions and gave his INFORMED opinions. Apparently, some "fans" rather have sunshine blown up their butt than hear dissenting opinions. People like you are the reason cults exist ... and Fox News.

I think the Peppers comment is the most intresting. Does Sayers not know of the legend that is Tommie Harris, the greatest DT to ever lace them up? You know the core of that Super Bowl team is still here and being really well paid in fact. Well it was until Goon and Brown left.

In truth its pretty well known that the organization does not treat its vets well at all.

Bob Sayers was not as good as Peyton, when healthy he was better, but durability is also part of the game and Peyton had that well over Sayers.

"Just because Sayers seems less than optimistic about the team's prospects for 2010 doesn't mean he doesn't remain a fan."

Well thats for Tripper to judge isn't it? And a bunch of others on this board.

Please Tripper I am waiting for you to bash Sayers, cause he sees problems with this team and says it. I guess he is a fare weather fan as you say. Not a real Bear fan at all, cause real fans never question the team according to you.

Sayers says "I live or die with them." How about die, you bitter, old has been! Now if Butkus said all this, then I'd listen!!

Maybe some of you are too old to remember Sayers. He was the Barry Sanders of his era. He left most of both of his knees on the field for us Bears fans. Show some respect when he talks.

who cares what sayers says!!! ill be the first on here to say i dont know much about sayers, so i went and checked his career stats, and they werent that impressive to me!!! so for someone who cant even run 5000 yds in 7 seasons then i dont think you have the right to talk about anyone else. come on sayers, back then you played with people who didnt take care of there bodies like they do today. personally, i dont even think you would make it on a team today, even in your prime!!! im gonna have to also say that sayers couldnt even wear walters jock!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Looking at the remarks he made I don't even see a bitter person like I thought when I heard about them. Of course the organization isn't getting it done. Besides two Super bowl appearances since the 63 championship, the team is actually the same kind of team that he played on his entire career. He played how many championships with the Bears? To me he made some off-handed remarks that any fan would make. He didn't down anyone. His enthusiasm isn't there. But looking at what he has had to deal with being associated with this team for 45 years who can blame him. He doesn't think Urlacher will regain his form. Check, and that may be the case. He thinks things hasn't come together for Lovie since 2006. Check. Obviously, he will be gone if he doesn't improve. It doesn't take a rocket since to know that. Even a guy who delivers pizza can see that. He doesn't say that he deserve to be fired and doesn't blame him for what is going on with the team. I see Sayers just speaking like anyone else. And guys will you please spell Walter Payton's name right. I am not a stickler for spelling but let's honor our greatest Bear with a respectful spelling of his name. Please?

Tripper:

The moniker "Tripper" fits you, you must be on drugs and they must be pretty good, because it is obvious you are incoherent. I find it very offensive for you to attack a Chicago Bears legend. Your aggressive nature with Sayers is totally uncalled for and you are a traitor to Bears history. You Tripper are a joke and a bad joke at that!!!

I don't think that Sayers is critical of URL because URL is getting older. Sayers is merely stating a fact and expressing his opinion that URL might be past his prime. I don't believe Sayers is prejudiced against old people:)

What we have here is obviously a man with a big grudge!

What Gayle said is nothing alarming. If anyone of remembers his last year comments was about the same tune.
No Cutler didnt get it done. Heck the QB the Bears traded for Cutler had a better year then Cutler. I see Orton as a way better field manager but I also see Cutler being more gifted.
When Gayle said that if the Bears dont win and win now then Lovie is gone, I think Lovie himself could tell us that.
As far as Urlacher he might make it back to form but what year in that form? His injury will not effect his play making ability, slow him down or even hamper his mental game. Urlacher is at that age where most middle linebackers seem to have a decreased in stats.

Creighton I think why Tripper calls you a fair weather fan is because you have NO FAITH in this team or anything about the Bears. You call Angelo the worst GM in history. Not true Not true at all. Of recent years Matt Millen by far has sunk a team so far that its still gonna take them a couple more moves to make it back to near the top. Tampa Bay Bucs GMs through the 70s 80s and part of the 90s was some of the worst football managment the NFL has ever seen.

So Creighton when the Bears are doing good your all about signing that tune but when Bears are doing bad you tear them apart. So yes Tripper as you say is correct about you!

Bloggers please don't show utter stupidity by disparaging the man Gale Sayers....if anyone has the right to criticize the team it's him after all he is a HOF player, and left his knees on the field. I have seen him play as a boy and he and Walter go hand in hand at the top of our list on all-time Bear offensive perfomrers, if you want to knwohow great Gale was ask Jim Brown........for those who don't know I suggest you do someone homework on the man ans the player....Lovie bring him into camp and have him talk to the players about real Bear pride, it's time for all of to BEAR Down....!

Love the Fox new line.

Apparently, some "fans" rather have sunshine blown up their butt than hear dissenting opinions. People like you are the reason cults exist ... and Fox News.
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Another ignorant liberal. Angry too. No welfare check this month? lol

Sayers has to be kidding, I hate Lovie and Jerry, but.

For the first time in my life (50 years) we have an offensive coordinator, we picked up the best pass rusher in the league, we got back Harris who we should never had traded, we got some decent players in FA @ TE and RB, Tinoisamoa (another Pro Bowler) returns from an injury, Tommy Harris I hear is almost 100% from his injury.

I agree Urlacher is over rated, but he is still one of the best in the league and we did miss his leadership and play calling, Cutler put up decent numbers but he had to many picks ( I blame Turner and his predictable offense)

I dont want to make excuses, but as much as I hate Lovie and Jerry, they did have a lot of key injuries, we got killed on third and long, and we were the best at getting teams into third and long.

I dont have any delusions of a SB this year, but I know we will be a much better team this year, although I would prefer a disaster, so that Lovie and Jerry could be gone.

He is right because he is just stating the obvious here.
Sayers was a great player but let's be honest for a moment.....
What does he really know about winning football?

The Bears sucked when he played for them.
From 1966 to 1970 the Bears went...

5-7
7-6-1
7-7
1-13
6-8

Big deal Gale.

At the age of 34, Gale Sayers was the youngest member every elected to the Hall of Fame.
At his induction, George Halas said something like, "of his like there will never be another."
Watch Brian's Song, Jon. As a Bears' fan you should be equally proud of Gale and Walter.

Hey Gale, what have you done for us lately?
Dahli, you call me a "traitor to Bears history" but all you do is rip the current Bears for everything they do, so you, my friend, are a "traitor" to the current Bears! You and Creighton are one in the same. When the Bears are going good you love them, but if not, look out! Total FAIR WEATHER FANS!!!
Timmer, thanks! It's nice to hear I'm not the only one here that knows what Creighton is!!

i can't believe some of the negative comments made towards gayle. you are a bunch of disrespectful jerks.

Sheesh. Aren't you all the same guys who, after the Bears picked up Cutler, predicted a 16-0 season?

Well Ron Turner and his one-back (alternating, but one back), ULTRA-predictable game are gone and things will be better.

I do agree the Bears MUST stop expecting injured defensive players to come back, and come back better than ever. The organization consistently expects and the injured players always disappoint. I'm more worried about Urlacher's back than his wrist.

10-6.

Unfortunately, it may not matter what Sayers thinks, or what improvements the team made. The Bears will have the league's toughest schedule as it looks right now.

The AFC East is probably the best division in football, followed closely by the NFC East. You could maybe switch those 2 spots easily depending on how you feel. But they are the 2 best divisions in football. The NFC North is probably the 3rd best.

The wild card will not come out of the NFC North this year. Who could the Bears beat in the AFC East? Or the NFC East? Right now, on paper, they are only better than Buffalo out of those 8 teams.

Plus Green Bay and Minnesota are better, on paper, than the Bears. The Lions are not a push over this year. Probably close to a 6 or 7 win team.

So the Bears, while definitely improved, have their work cut out for them. They must go 5-1 in the division to have a chance. Only the NFC North winner will make the playoffs this year.

Look for Atlanta and the Redskins to get the 2 wild cards. If Favre retires, then Minnesota probably finishes 3rd in the division for Chicago and GB to fight it out.

10-6 wins the division.

Go Bears!!

Wait, so ALL of the Negative fans are now ripping a LEGEND? Sayers or Butkus should never apologize for commentary critical of Bears Teams. They lived the misery themselves, as we ALL know...Just like we have been for three years now(and all the 'other' years). I think that Gale(Mr. Sayers to you guys) is just standing up for the average fan who Does take it seriously, and I love his calling out of Lovie--that took guts!! He is obviously a REAL FAN, unlike certain people who post on both papers(trib, times) and cannot spell correctly and resort to bland Myopic rhetoric and misinformed and misguided 'Fantasy Island' Expertise... Gale "MAGIC" Sayers knows MORE about Football than Anyone on this Blog. Having said all that, BEAR DOWN CHICAGO BEARS...ALL THE WAY TO VICTORY...GO BEARS!!!

Yes, for those taking shots at Sayers please do a little research, go back and watch Sayers rookie year, realize that he had his knee completely blown out against San Francisco and that was when a knee injury of that magnitude and at a time back then that was career ending for most running backs. Sayers came back to rush for more than a thousand yards but could not cut or move as when he came into the league.

Sayers played with abandon, I challenge any of you so called Bears fans to obtain some Sayers highlights and to not be truly be amazed by his running ability. This was all done with Bears teams that simply were poor, offensive lines that were pathetic and QB's that could not get the football in the vicinity of a WR. Butkus and Sayers were picked #1 in the same draft, how is that for picking. JA could take a lesson and some that don't know anything about Sayers, do some homework and show some respect to a truly great player. He was right on with his comments and has earned every right to make them.


phild on May 5, 2010 9:31 PM SAID:

"i can't believe some of the negative comments made towards gayle. you are a bunch of disrespectful jerks."

- - - - - - - - -

Phild, they're a bunch of little kids who weren't even in diapers when Sayers played. ..... Yet, they think that they "know it all."

As a start for them to get to know about the "real world", I suggest that they go to the Bears' web site, and read what George Halas ( they probably don't know who HE was either.) said about Sayer's 1965 game against the 49ers.

Ignorance is NOT bliss! .... It MAKES ONE COME ACROSS AS A MERE CHILD.

I just did a Wikipedia search for Gayle Sayers because even though I have a pretty good memory, I must have forgotten those stellar General Manager positions Gayle Sayers had throughout the league after his playing days. Funny, I couldn't believe there weren't any. I suggest all of you google Gayle Sayers and read the first post that comes up. It is an article by Gene Chamberlain discussing the AP interview that is mentioned above. Gene points out the hypocrisy of Gayle Sayers. First of all, why is he an INFORMED source? Because he palyed? Even at a HOF level? Well, who was better at their sport. Sayers with football or Jordan with basketball? Even without injuries, I don't think Sayers would have ever ascended to the level of Jordan. So, establishing that Michael was arguably the greatest basketball player of all time, how many of you would want him to give you basketball management advice? Especially with regard to player evaluation and scouting? Not me. Remember Kwami Brown and 25 years ago Jordan's insistance that the Bulls bring in washed up, over-rated Walter Davis.
Sayers can have his opinions, but some of them are off base. To question Brian Urlacher's ability to come back from an injured wrist is ignorant at best. By all accounts, he had recovered from the neck and back injuries from the prior two seasons and was looking as good as he had in 3 or 4 years before the wrist injury last season. Not to mention the sheer hypocrisy of him questioning someone about injury when he was very injury prone himself. Like I said, read the story by Gene Chamberlain. When Sayers was asked if his playing style was most like Reggie Bush's in today's NFL, Sayers replied, "You can't compare that because he gets hurt so much." That's laughable. Sayers had 3 1/2 healthy years.
Praise Sayers for his great, but shortened career, but when it comes to team evaluation, let's keep him in his technology office in Vernon Hills.

To jon who posted above -
Watch the highlights and don't tell me you wouldn't be impressed. His stats are low because of two knee injuries, the first of which he came back from without reconstructive surgery (he tore his ACL). He then tore up his other knee two years later. They played less games in the sixties, so 1000 yards is really 1300 yards today.

His comments are spot on because there are a lot of questions, many can be answered in the positive this season. His point is that we should not be overly optimistic, and actually should rightlfully be upset because Angelo tanked this team with poor decisions plain and simple. Lovie many not be a great coach but talent sure helps.

I love how some of the people here have their panties all in a bunch and claim that others are "disrespectful" to Sayers while they don't even know how to spell "Gale".

"Gayle" is a girl's name.
Get a grip and then go right back out and get a clue.

I watched Gale Sayers. He was great then and would be great now. However, unfortunately his career was cut short. No one was more sad to see his career end then myself. That being said, Gale remains a bitter person. Rare is the occasion when he speaks favorably about the team he says he loves. Yes, the Bears have had their problems and still do. But since 1963 when I became a Bears fan, I never bad mouth them. I always hope their decisions work out for the best and cheer for whoever takes the field in blue and orange. Why always bash them and complain about them. Can we being fans do anything about the decision making process or how individual players perform? NO. So, enjoy what the Chicago Bears bring to you or find another team to bash. Just be happy they remain the Chicago Bears and not the Arizona Bears or the Los Angeles Bears. As far as Sayers comments, well they may have some merit but why continualy dwell on them. Go Bears!!!!

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This page contains a single entry by Neil Hayes published on May 5, 2010 7:03 AM.

Questions? was the previous entry in this blog.

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