Chicago Sun-Times

Saturday night summary: Hot Mess

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It all went wrong, even after the Bears insisted they were going to take Saturday's game against the Arizona Cardinals more seriously.

Jay Cutler tossed two interceptions and was sacked four more times on a night when his passer rating was 31.0, which was far below either Derek Anderson (111.1), Matt Leinart (135.0) and even rookies John Skelton (70.1) and Max Hall (109.7). The Bears defense allowed the Cardinals to convert four-of-seven third downs, including three of seven or more yards. And even the usually steady field goal unit converted just one of three field goals, with the longest attempt from a manageable 48 yards.

"Not playing good enough football right now. It's as simple as that," Bears coach Lovie Smith said. "This third preseason game is important for us."

Later, Smith said, "Blocking, tackling, those kind of things.

"Doesn't matter what the scheme is," he said. "We should be playing better ball, with some of the basic fundamentals of football."

Some of my initial reads:

* The Bears starting offensive line played better than the four sacks that might get laid at their feet. The most troublesome of the four was Chris Williams getting beat, one-on-one, again.

* I thought this was a physical defense? Why do the defensive backs always seem to be giving such a healthy cushion? There was plenty of pressure, including some blitzes, but Anderson completed a lot of his passes anyway.

* There also seems to be a problem with missed tackles. Chris Harris couldn't bring down Tim Hightower on a 29-yarder in the third. Then, on the next play, Harris and Danieal Manning made Hightower look like Barry Sanders. The Cardinals running back juked both safeties en route to a 13-yard gain.

* Chester Taylor made a statement Saturday night, showcasing his playmaking ability on a 34-yard run. He also had a 12-yard catch. Matt Forte, meanwhile, gained just six yards on three carries.

* The Bears receivers appeared to have some issues getting separation against the Cardinals.

* Anyone seen Greg Olsen? He's had three catches in three preseason games, none Saturday.

* Julius Peppers, at least, had a good game. He had a sack, and he showed his want-to when he disrupted an end-around. He didn't get credit for the tackle but the play was his.

* Two former draft picks who were desperate to make a play did. Jarron Gilbert had a sack, and Juaquin Iglesias had a touchdown.

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10 Comments

How people feel about a performance in preseason most likey depends on what is expected. The Cowboys haven't played elite football in the preseason, but people still feel they will go "balls a blazing" when the season starts. People don't appear to be concerned as much. So have the Colts and Patriots. On the other hand, the Bears organization has given people reason to believe that our optimism should be diminished. Granted they spent some money, but there are things wrong with this team that will take time to repair. It will have to be done in the draft because trying to take elite offensive lineman from another team is highly unlikely. I know I'm in the minority, but I was opposed to Martz becoming the OC. The NFL has changed since that one season a decade ago and he hasn't been very successful anywhere else. The level of talent is no excuse because he literally eliminated Vernon Davis from the playbook. Had the Bears fired everyone they would've had a better variety to choose from. No one ever asks why no team with an elite offense hired him. The Patriots needed to replace theirs-No call. The Cowboys needed to replace theirs at one point-No call either. Unless Mr. Moore comes out of retirement, the Bears should've gone with youth at the position because they are more in touch with what's going on in the NFL. Who can say for sure that the new OC in Indy wouldn't take the Bears job? Lack of stability was probably a main factor. It took years for teams such as Dallas and Green Bay to add the amount of talent they had-they obviously put alot into it because alot of their players were low picks and went to small schools. I was in favor of hiring a young OC for the job. Jason Garrett didn't have alot of experience calling plays, neither did Josh McDaniels, and Kyle Shanahan. They found an owner that would give them a chance to showcase their ability. Just because Martz is older than Garrett or McDaniels doesn't mean they couldn't come to Chicago and add a youthful twist to the game. By not trying harder to find youthful candidates, the Bears have closed off an entire group of people. Garrett/Romo are both learning together and that can be a good thing. Their youth will allow them to be open minded and try new things. You don't need a super bowl ring on your resume in order to become an OC-determination and an open minded owner can over come that. I hope one day they realize that and at least try to find one. The Saints tried one and look what happened. Jerry Jones gave him a chance. Hopefully Garrett will get the same look because Jones is known for helping get young coaches through the door. Until then, I'll just wait like everyone else.

im a life long bears fan and i am ashamed to see our team look so and sound so bad the lions are looking so good and i know our beloved walter peyton is very dissapointed as to what is going on so far thats why mike singletary ,way of teaching is the best way of teaching is what is needed because they arent playing worth a dam and if you dont wanna play put a cheerleader in its a shame and its high time to put cutler on the bench cause he is playing like a high priced trophy he isnt doing ,nothin but starting off where he left off with interceptions to pay that much for a bust to make a make a so so team make you look bad at your own home field there is nothing worse than bad draft picks to find out the qb, is a high priced bum its to late for excuses for it and the lions are gonna kill us so expect it its very dissappointing to be a bears fan in detroit to have them stomp us in the ground and maybe its time for lovie to go he is too soft maybe the front office should fire him now because its gonna be a bad year for all of my fellow bears fans another bad year hurray

Sean,

First of all, there are a number of us fans that have been trying to sell you and the rest of the fans a reality check about these bears and nobody was listening. On the other hand, most sports writers on the suntimes and the trib have been painting a somewhat rosie picture for the bears. But reality will eventually prevail.

So...answers to some of your questions...

1. Everyone knew going into this season, that we would have a lot of problems with this offensive line. That didn't scare angelo into getting more free agents to fix this line. And it all goes back to angelo not drafting over the years to keep this line strong. If this line ever has a chance to come together (assuming it has the right mix and the right players), it will take the rest of the year. In the mean time, enjoy the losses with no running game. Lets hope Cutler stays alive during this venture.
2. You thought this defense was physical? When was the last time this defense was physical? How about the superbowl year? And yes...Ron Rivera was Defensive Coordinator. He played it the way he saw it (and yes...very physical) and for that, he was fired.
Under Lovie's direct control of the defense, they have been less than physical and quite porous. No different than the last 2 years. So why do you expect more?
3. Chris Harris....did you expect a savior again? A savior to fix the ills of the safeties? Chris is an OK safety but let us not forget why it was so easy to trade him away....because he was less than what we wanted at the time. Now he is more than what we have and that, frankly, is not good enough...but it does tell you how far down the bears have come in just a few years under the angelo/lovie regime. Chris might also be over the hill...and with a porous line, the focus will most likely be on the safeties. What you got to ask yourself is why are even bad teams like arizona and the raiders having their way with our defense? Why can these bad teams get 5 yards down the middle at any time? It is because we are playing Lovie's defense ever since Ron Rivera was fired. Do you not recall all of the write-ups by you sports writers after Rivera was let go of...that now this is lovie's defense. Ron was let go of for political reasons? Well...there you have it. Expect to see more of this defense as long as lovie is around.
4. Chester Taylor has a good outing yesterday. Forte had one last week. Both against bad teams. Call it an accident.
5. Greg Olson you say? You have been hearing ever since Martz was hired ...that he didn't use tight ends. This is a wake up call for you.
8. Julius Peppers...let see...one sack for $92Million bucks. I'm not even going to go into this problem.
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I could say much more but not enough room on this platform to express my frustration.

There is two ways to look at the upcoming season and both are good.

If the Bears turn out to be as bad as most are predicting on this blog, then the good news is that Lovie and maybe Angelo can be sent packing off to distant lands..... Certainly not a bad thing, I think it might be the best thing for the Bears! The only problem unfortunately is that the McClueless family as owners, which is really too bad because the fans and the city of Chicago deserve better.

The second way to look at the season is that maybe, just maybe the Bears will surprise with a decent season. I am of that belief (although I still would not mind seeing Lovie and Angelo gone).

Yes, despite everyones declaration that the sky is falling, I really do not think so, not yet anyway. Remember folks this is pre-season, and yes the BEARS look like they will lucky to finish 1-15 with a fluke win.

But alas, no this will not happen. Be a believer in the Bears, the Bears are not showing anything to anyone in the NFL right now but when the season starts the NFL will be surprised by the Chicago Bears.

The vanilla offense and defense played in Pre-Season will be a thing of the past, the offense will unveil real creativity and the wide receivers will be open and score, the anemic running game will reappear as well. Yes the O line will give up too many sacks. As for the defense, coming out of the gate the defense will be aggressive and surprise. It will perform well on third and long getting the ball back for the offense.

Special teams will return to being truly special, I am not worried about Toub or his teams.

Believe in the playoffs because the Bears will be there at seasons end.

Hey Joe, would you please pass the bong around again!!

The Bears look terrible, but it is only pre-season.

But, they just look out manned at so many positions. LT, the WR's, and the secondary just look like they can't match up with the opposition at all.

I was fascinated watching Jay Cutler on the sidelines. With one exception in the first half, he is always standing by himself on the sidelines. No speaking to his teammates. No consultation with the coaching staff. No studying of defenses faced or reasons for mistakes made. His demeanor on the field is equally troublesome...gestures of resignation and frustration are commonplace.

At least twice, he called time outs without any seeming reason for his not having the team organized and the play called and executed.

In a postgame interview, from what I heard, there were no words of self-criticism, only looking seemingly for someone else to blame.

Sad.

Ok, guys ... Here is something to think about. What if Lovie and Martz are trying to not to expose what they are planning for the season? I was actually pretty surprised when I heard Lovie last week saying that the team will try harder this week. Why? To give Lions a blue-print for what the Bears will do during the regular season? No way in hell the Bears are gonna do that ... every game this year counts with such a tough schedule. They are going to surprise the Lions (a pretty good team now) big time and then they will have something tasty for the Cowboys and the Packers before the league gets a feel for what the Bears are trying to do this year. Lovie does not seem like the smartest coach in the league, but he knows what's going on after several years of coaching. So does Martz who has a ring. They know this team needs a lot of fortune to make it to ten wins this year, so they are doing everything they can to make it happen. Think about it ... Yeah, it's still scary that we look so bad individually, but players look much better when there is a game plan. Trust me. Although I am starting to think that Chris Harris may not be a solution to our secondary ...

I don't know, Ted. Would you like him to look happy and Rah! Rah! after getting sacked, throwing interceptions , and running for his life every time he trys to pass? I suspect anyone would be a trifle disgruntled considering the missed assignments and how poorly the offense performed.I'm ready to wait and see what the next game looks like and how the Bears look when the season starts before wallowing in despair.

Say what you want about the Bears during this preseason, but the two concrete constants here are the offensive line and the corners.

Put Lombardi, Ditka, Walsh and Noll all on he sidelines, and this team will still spin its' wheels.

Our offensive line is small, old, weak and inexperienced at respective positions. The defensive push, game after game, is just pathetic. I watch, with extreme attention, and other teams are just head-over-heels better than our line.

For all the newfound pressure our defensive line may put on QBs now, the fact our corners are never within 2 yards of receivers is alarming; but it was the same last year. Peanut may be a fumble forcer, but his lack of staying within reach and his 'GIMME' interceptions year after year make him Bush League; I don't care for this man at corner. 35 (he hasn't made a name for himself) is so lost out there, I'd prefer to see any of the kids instead; my grandson included. I'm sure Graham and Moore would play much tougher than these two knuckleheads if given the chance, but we all know about the Cover-2 stubborner.

I know it was only one half, but Major Wright showed me plenty. You can't teach some of the things he did; that's a 'nose-for-the-baller'.

The 'D' line looks much improved, our receivers are scatterbacks that can get open for shorts and longs at will, our backs are VG, and, when healthy, the linebacking group should be solid.

The tight end group is the best combined in the league.

All this for naught though. With a line that couldn't get Walter, Jim or Emmitt a hundred on any given day, besides killing their QB enroute, and two corners that give 'toast' the worst of names, we haven't a chance with the brutal schedule ahead.

Regardless, I'll be watching every Sunday and hope and pray that we play competitive football.

I don't remember walking away from as many Bear games as I did last year (Cincy after 1) and I love my football.

I just don't like it with any other team!

I would love to say something, but the Bears are doing a better job of making my point for me.

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This page contains a single entry by Sean Jensen published on August 29, 2010 12:18 AM.

Martz returns to the booth was the previous entry in this blog.

Urlacher, Roach, Briggs ... Injuries pile up is the next entry in this blog.

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